Wednesday, January 27, 2010

No Bed of Roses

Confession Wednesday Button
(Confession Wednesday brought to you by Karen)

I have a presentation tomorrow. Which meant, although I was sick at home with the worst migraine I've had in years, I spent my afternoon researching radiographic evidence of pneumomediastinum. I couldn't make it up if I tried.

Between this, and the fact that I start internal medicine wards on Monday, I'm not really liking my job right now.

It can be very satisfying. And it pays the bills.

And it is not the worst job I have had.

That honor goes to to the time I worked taking orders at a flower shop.

Let me set the stage. I was still in college, and pregnant with Bug. We lived in the tiniest apartment known to man (the refrigerator door nearly hit the opposite counter when you opened it.) Money was tight and with Bug due in a few months, it was about to get tighter. Hubster had just barely left his construction job to start at a dental product company. Since he was new at the job, he was getting paid entry level. A raise was months away. So, despite the fact we didn't want it to happen, I needed to take on a part time job. It needed to be flexible because of my class schedule. It needed to be close by (because I didn't have a car.)

It was about this time that Hubster's aunt mentioned she worked at a flower shop close to where I lived and I should work there with her.

Now, I had in my mind a very romantic view of flowers. Let's blame it on Bed of Roses. It's always been a very small daydream of mine to own a flower shop. So I jumped at the opportunity.

Right away, I could tell the owner and I were not, well, kindred spirits. He said, "First thing you need to know. The customer is NOT always right. In fact, they are usually always wrong. Keep that in mind when you deal with complaints." Great.

He said, because I was going to work taking orders, I would be paid straight commission. No hourly base rate. He said most people earned so much this way, it didn't matter there wasn't a base rate.

I started the week of Valentine's Day. To say it was busy was an understatement. I was on the phone non-stop. And then, Valentine's Day passed, and it was slow. I spent time between calls studying calculus and battling morning sickness.

And avoiding my co-workers. Hubster's aunt was always trying to get me to go to the bar across the street for lunch with her for a couple of drinks. Hey, I'm pregnant over here.

The lady with the desk across from mine talked about all the jobs she been fired from because she kept sleeping with people. And then, a couple of weeks later, she called her husband to ask if he would take down the inflatable Santa and plastic candy canes out of their yard. It was March.

And my boss? Well, he didn't grow on me. I always answered the phone, "A-- Flowers, your FTD associated florist. How may I help you?" My boss didn't like this. He put a memo, a typed memo, in every one's boxes that said

Some employees have been overheard to answer the phone, "A-- Flowers, your FTD associated florist. How may I help you?" This is incorrect. The correct way to answer the phone is. "A-- Flowers. How may I help you at your florist associated with FTD?"

Huh? How is that better? How does that make sense?

And he couldn't just tell me he didn't like it. He had to send a memo to every single employee.

It didn't take me long to start hating the job. I hated my co-workers. I hated the fact I sat in a cubicle answering phones. I hated that I hadn't seen a flower since I started working there. And no one resembled Christian Slater.

And then I got my paycheck. The whole commission only paycheck.

I had made $3 an hour. Three.

I quit the next day.


  1. Wow that really sucks!!
    I am lucky to have always had jobs I really enjoy. Even if the pay is still terrible you can't beat free child care while you work. Plus the rewards you get from the Children. Hope you are feeling better and Good Luck with Internal-- hope it is better than you are thinking it will be.

  2. That job is officially worse than my worst job. I bet starting Internal Medicine on Monday doesn't sound so bad compared to the thought of going back to that place!

    Thanks for playing!

  3. Here from SITS. I would have quit too. That is just crazy!

  4. Great story telling on this one!! And that does sound miserable...

    Do you still dream of owning a little flower shop?

  5. Sounds the job from hell. Fortunately you didn't waste a lot of time there. I guess there's a story like that in everyone's background.

    I like the way you write, BTW.