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garden center workers - first hand account....

Posted by melissa_mumof4 4 ( on
Sun, Jun 14, 09 at 6:03

Hi everyone!!! I've been up since 4am and have been hmmming and haaaaing about posting this.
I really just want to let everyone know how it is for us garden center workers...... so you all can understand our point of view.
I am an avid gardener and wouldnt even think to buy some of the stuff we offer.
Please dont walk into a garden center the day after a freak snowstorm or a sudden frost and start complaining that the plants are frozen or affected.... that would be like me walking into your backyard and criticizing you for the frost killing all your plants!!! Believe it or not, we do not work 24 hours babysitting the plants we sell to you.
We have families at home, we have gardens, we have bills to pay( hence the job!!!). Many times we are working "family" holidays to serve you!!! This includes Mothers Day, Victoria Day and everything in between!!!!
Please also remember!!! sometimes the plants that get ordered are ordered by "higher ups" that think they know what they are doing, and then we get stuck trying to figure out how to sell plants that are not even good for our zone or plants that have been ordered because they are a "great deal".
We really are just people like you, people who want a beautiful garden and something thats going to last.....
I've had customers complain out loud in front of others that the plants arent watered enough!!!! I'm one person!!!!
I have four kids at home, dont get enough sleep and no one in the greenhouse to help me!!!! Please just keep your comments to yourself!!! Or pick up a hose and give me a hand!!!!
I have many customers that come in to see me regularly, I order stuff for them, no problem!!! They bring me plants they've grown at home(only to get thrown out by mgmt!!!) I do my very best for everyone!!!! Please try to give us a break...... We hear about husbands dying, family pets being lost, children moving away, we take the time to get to know each customer, remember their name, call them at home to tell them certain items have come in, the whole shabang!!!
Please remember that when it snows, and you decide to come shopping, I'm trying to pick up the pieces of the damage, not to mention working in -2 degree weather!!!!! the last thing I need, is you to complain that all the plants got killed!!! No kidding!!!!!
I'm sorry to rant and rave, but we really do try our best to help everyone!!! Please understand us "garden center" workers and realize that we are ultimately "controlled" by what management says will "suffice" to make the $$$$$.
Many times myself and my co-worker go home in tears and ashamed of what we have to offer, and its really not our fault, but we are "thrown" into this situation by no fault of our own....
We both have kids, husbands, bills, problems...... the last thing we need is an insult of how we are managing "too many" plants in an uncontrollable weather situation.
Thanks for listening to my rant.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: garden center workers - first hand account....

I can certainly sympathize with you, it is just as bad in the big box retail. I worked at Walmart for 5 years, and I was continually shocked at the behavior of the customers. It was not the parents who dropped their kids there while they shoppped else where, or the questions, or the general grumpiness of the customers. I could never believe the lack of respect the customers showed the staff. I saw people throw things(2L pop bottles among others) at staff, physically threaten them, mental abuse. I often wondered how or society got to the point where retail workers are treated like 2nd class citizens if not worse. If I yell and scream at a person, insult them, and swear at them can I really
1. Expect them to be willing to help me
2. Expect them to hold their temper
3. Expect them to show me respect
And it is getting worse, at least you would not see that behavior in grocery stores but even there it is now not unusual to hear profanities floating down the checkout lines. I think that we are seeing more self serve check outs because the cashiers are not willing to put up with the abuse, they can not escape like the floor staff can. Sorry guess this turned into a rant also. I have not worked retail in 5 years and it can still rile me, I will never work retail again. It takes a very special kind of person to make a career in retail and we all need to show them the same respect we would show a doctor, or a lawyer, or a minister, it is definitely a calling not a job. Melissa you have my sympathies and my respect.

RE: garden center workers - first hand account....

Melissa, I'm sure all current and former garden center workers can identify with what you are saying (myself included). I think it just comes back to the respect that every person deserves. I worked at a smaller family nursery and the common comment we heard was "Walmart has these for half the price!" People don't understand that part of the cost of those plants is the seeding, transplanting, watering, fertilizing, and TLC that we would give the plants because we truly LOVE to see them grow! And the fact that we couldn't order in unbelievably mass quantities. We tried to provide the staples, as well as the hard to find, and take care of them as best we could!
Keep up the good work Melissa, and to those of you gardeners who come in with questions, advice, tips on new plants to order, etc... We love talking with you! I have made some really great friends while working at the nursery!
P.S. We got snow last week (June) :)

RE: garden center workers - first hand account....

I am so sorry to listen to your problems. I thought garden center job is so they are always with flowers and beautiful plants.... I get lost when I am there...
But its the nasty people who are the real buggers to ruin your day in such a beautiful place.

UPDATE: garden center workers

Well everyone, I've just had it !!!!!
Tomorrow I'm putting in my two week notice!!!!
Not only did I work through a freaking heat wave on the weekend, I had a kid who works outside in the yard(he's 17?) he was definately suffering heat stroke!!! Big boss says too bad, keep working. Well!!! This kid is puking in the back!!!! I told him to go inside and take a break(a/c in the store) and I'd cover him. I gave him a water bottle because none are provided to us. The cashier has a fan, etc. hmmmmmmm.
I learned today that another chick that I call a "sugar baby" because she will not go out in the rain if her life depended on it, has attained a job in the store, ahead of me!!! I've been there for four years!!!!!! Given up every single mothers day, every single fathers day, my kids birthdays!!! every single civic holiday to make them $$$$$
I've had enough and I'm going to let them have it!!!
I will be starting my own little business selling plants and that will include perennials, veggies, fruit plants/bushes and flowers. I will sell right until fall, like garden centers should.
Please pass on the word, I'll be available to people from Sudbury right down to Powassan and Callandar, and if anyone from anywhere else wants to visit, great!!!!
I'm offering custom made baskets, planters, and hard to find plants.
Thanks for listening, I'm on a journey!!!!
Happy Gardening!!!

RE: garden center workers - first hand account....

Good Luck!

RE: garden center workers - first hand account....

Melissa, where are you located?

RE: garden center workers - first hand account....

People have the mistaken belief that the person serving them is the one at fault or has the power to change things, Wrong! the higher up's set the stage of what is and what is not and shelter themselves from the customer. So by being rude and mean to the person serving you has very little effect, and if they quit, because of irate consumers; another person is hired to take the heat. The person helping you is really trying to do a good job and do the best they can under the rules they must follow, so if one must complain, take it to the source of higher up's because that is where the change will be made.

RE: garden center workers - first hand account....

Those customers are newbie or seldom buy stick a few flowers in the ground and forget it, people. Anyone who knows flowers knows you get a better selection and better flowers buying from a greenhouse.

Besides have you priced plants at those big box and grocery stores. They want as much or more for dried up, taken care of by someone who never stuck their hands in the dirt, plants as the greenhouse does.

I usually buy my plants from Azilda greenhouse, but it's 14 miles away. I needed a just few impatiens to finish filling a planter, so rather than drive there I thought I'd drop into the grocery. Well they had impatiens--8 pathetic yellow leaved plants in a carrier with a handle and they were on sale for $3,00--from $3.49. Needless to say I didn't buy them. I waited a couple of days until I had to be out the way of the greenhouse and got 2 packs of 4, lovely big green with lots of blooms and buds, plants for $1.49 for each pack-- or $2.98 for the 8 plants. These plants filled the planter and another smaller one.

Anyway mudflapper you know how to complain, I wish more people did. You may vent your anger on a poor clerk, but you won't get any results. The clerk will be upset and it's an all round bad scene.

If anyone has a complaint, always go to the top. That's the person that can give you satisfaction. That's the person who can rectify your complaint

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