Thoughts from a not-so-new employee
About a month ago, I posted a message about being a new employee at a big nursery and got some great advice about making a good first impression. I thought all you nursery owners might enjoy hearing what I think about my first month. First of all, I love this job, I love all the customers, from the sweet little old ladies who just want one primrose, to the experienced gardeners, who continually impress me with the beautiful combinations they create out of the stock they find at our nursery. I can visualize the combinations when they bring them to the check out counter, and there are some very talented people out there. My first impressions ----
Ok, this is one of the most exhausting jobs I have ever had, with the mental challenges of dealing with the more difficult customers and the more difficult planting situations combined with the physical aspects of pushing pulling bending stretching running reaching and stooping, non-stop for 8 or 9 or 10 hours.
Having an extra pair of shoes to change into on your lunch 1/2 hour helps as does dressing in removable and addable layers. Now its cold, now its hot, you are outside in the freezing rain, 30 seconds later inside in the warm steamy greenhouse.
All family owned businesses will have a certain amount of family teenagers/relatives/neighbors on the payroll, and most will work as hard as you, but sometimes not, and there is really not a damn thing you can do about it except work around it.
Weekends are mandatory in this business, but Friday/Saturdays nights mean more to the younger workers then they do to me. Although I can remember what it was like to be in my early twenties, I have to be careful what I say and agree to, or I will end working 8 or 9 or 10 days in a row. And that's not good.
If I was a nursery owner, I would make double sure that everything but the bedding is marked. I know the difference between the .69 primroses, and the 1.49 and 2.99 double, aricula and other fancy forms, but the cashiers without a gardening background will not.
Some people will agonize about buying a $2.99 perennial, others will drop $250 without blinking. Some people will bring in a piece of sick tree and want to talk to you for 20 mins and leave without buying anything, others can take care of themselves and find the most amazing wonderful things with no help. EVERYONE is important.
There is much more awareness these days about chemicals and organics and organic soil amendments.
People will buy anything blooming, that has a scent or is blue. So much, they will be grabbing the stuff off the racks before it is even put out. Sometimes when I get really really stressed and busy (like Saturday about 1:00) I imagine putting out something that has a blue bloom with a intoxicating scent and watching the customers fist fight over it. Stress relieving imaginary moments are very good in this business, for me anyway.
And finally, there is always something to do........ Thanks...