Thursday, February 17, 2011

The One With the Florists

I got another anonymous comment the other day. On the entry about My First Flamer, Mr. or Ms. (my money's on Ms.) Anonymous eloquently said, "This is so dumb."

I'm not sure if the entry was considered dumb or the comment I was writing about was dumb. Either way, I thought to myself, "Self, why put up with it? Why give anonymous jerks the opportunity to be anonymous jerks?" So I took the anonymous comment option off.

Moving on.

I have a story after which I'll ask a question. A question about loyalty. I'd be interested to know other people's opinions.

D and I have a friend, who I'll call Dave. Dave owns a flower shop in a small town. Dave was in a car accident a couple years ago, leaving him paralyzed from (I believe) the neck down. He worked his way toward being completely self-reliant, being able to walk, and still being able to run his shop. He's a friend, but he's also one of D's clients, for whom D has done some signage and some business cards.

Apparently, about a year ago, Dave had a woman working with him (we'll call her Fran) who approached him about selling outdoor plants. Dave doesn't sell outdoor plants, and doesn't know anything about selling outdoor plants, so he let her set up shop outside his shop, sell her plants, and keep all the money from it. He also taught her everything he knows about indoor flowers: making bouquets, the care and keeping of flowers, arrangements, stuff like that.

After she stopped working for him, a few months passed, and she came back, asking if she could rent Dave's shop. Dave's response was, basically, "Um. . .NO!?" So then she tells him that she's renting a shop of her own. . .directly across the street. This woman opened a florist shop across the street from the florist shop that had taught her how to BE a florist.

Pretty bitchy, right?

So here comes the morally sketchy part of it. At least, the morally sketchy part of it that has something to do with me.

I was in the neighborhood of Dave's shop earlier today (having just had a nannying interview) (stop laughing), and so I stopped by to see if the signs D had done for him pre-Valentine's Day had helped generate any business. Dave wasn't there because he was out doing a delivery, so I told the girl behind the counter to tell him I'd stopped by.

As I'm driving away, I look at the new florist across the street and decide (because I'm by myself and bored) to do some reconnaissance. I walk into the shop (which is pretty bare, but cheerful-looking enough) and Fran's there. She and I are the only ones in the shop.

She asks if she can help me, and I do not lie. I tell her I'm getting married at some point and was stopping by florists today. (This is true. I'm getting married. . .some day, and I HAD stopped by a florist prior to stopping by HER florist shop, so no lies here.)

She immediately starts telling me that she hasn't done MANY weddings, but that she has done a few, and gives me some ideas. She asks me questions like how many people, how many family members, what colors, and so on.

And I find myself. . .really liking her. To the point where, when she admitted she didn't have a Web site, I almost told her my fiance does sites and she should give him a call. But then I thought, maybe not the best idea, since he does a lot of work for Dave.

Also, this trip had the added effect of making me really, really want a real wedding. Not a big one, but a wedding nonetheless. But I know that if we wait to get married until we can afford a real wedding, it'll be ANOTHER year, maybe more, that we'll stay in Engaged Limbo, and I'll risk becoming like Pam Beesly on "The Office." So that's frustrating. Wanting that day, but not being able to afford it in the least.

But my question is this: How crappy would it be, knowing the story and knowing what happened, to do business with her, either by buying flowers for my fictional wedding or by recommending her to D? What she did was pretty underhanded, but she seems to like doing what she's doing.

I don't know, but I'm feeling morally ambiguous.

1 comment:

  1. Have you considered doing business with Dave for your wedding? If not, why not? If Fran is the better florist than go with her. Business is business.