Saturday, April 5, 2008

Work-related: April 5

At the moment, we've got two greenhouses open to customers, both of which are attached to the store. One of these is open all the time, and the other is closed most of the year, but opened October to December for poinsettias and then February to June for outdoor stuff, which in practice seems to mainly mean geraniums.

So this is what that house looks like at the moment.

Compare to last November:

In both cases, the more interesting picture probably would have been taken from the opposite corner of the greenhouse, but wev. There will be more pictures.

The tropicals, tragically, are all smushed together in about 40% of the space they had previously, in the non-pictured greenhouse. We're selling a lot of tropicals now, weirdly: I think what's going on is, it's spring, so people want to buy plants, but it's too cold still to buy something and put it outside, but they've already given themselves permission to buy something, so they get a houseplant instead. Though we're also selling a little bit of actual outdoor stuff, too, which I think has to do mostly with people wanting to get all the good plants before somebody else does. I'm told it's normal to be out of some items by the beginning of May, even though our normal last-frost date is May 15.

I'm still working a lot, in that I'm scheduled for a lot of days. The boss tells me that I will probably want to come in early or stay late just to get everything accomplished, though she doesn't schedule me that way -- apparently I'm to show initiative or something. Wouldn't be so bad except that I've got nearly 400 plants at home, and a blog, and a husband, and I need to eat and sleep sometimes too, and I'm wanting to be really careful about overdoing it, since I have a tendency to burn myself out if I push too hard for too long, and heat exhaustion is becoming a concern as summer gets closer. There have already been a couple moments that made me nervous.

Orange Pelargonium.

My predecessor in the greenhouse apparently used to work twelve- and fourteen-hour days on a regular basis during this time of year, to make sure everything was getting done, and I'm getting mixed messages about whether or not this was really necessary or desirable. Certain of the co-workers have expressed the opinion that it wasn't strictly necessary for her to do this, but she was temperamentally unable to delegate even the most basic tasks, so she had to put in the extra hours but only because she had to do everything herself. My situation kind of has to be different, since this is my first exposure to a lot of this stuff, so WCW and others are sort of electing to be responsible for one thing or another and I'm just trying to keep my eyes open and remember as much of this as I can for next year.

I'm also seeing a recurrence of something that really used to bother me back in August when I started: if I mess something up, I hear about it one at a time from everybody who knows about it. Like, a couple days ago a fountain went dry, and I had three people tell me, at different moments, to be sure and watch the fountain so it didn't go dry. Last summer, memorably, one person told me a tree was wilty and needed to be watered, and as I was walking the six feet to the hose to water it, someone else popped up out of nowhere and told me about the same wilty tree. (Ack! Yes! I know! So let me water it already!)

White Pelargonium.

I guess I'd rather hear the same message from multiple people than not hear any messages at all. Or hear conflicting messages from multiple people.

Last day of a four-day week today, and then I have a day off. I'm sort of tempted to tell everybody, I'm going to sleep now. Wake me when it's September.

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