Customer Service and Too Many Male Kiwi Plants

If you’re looking for a basil plant, or oregano, or even rosemary, you can pretty much announce this on the city sidewalks and someone will shove one of these into your hand, but if you want a tarragon plant, even a visit to a proper nursery doesn’t ensure that you’ll get one.

No, this isn’t tarragon. It is the Norwegian Artist’s outrageously orange lily, which we’ll encounter later in this story. Photo by Steve Henderson Fine Art

This last week, Tired of Being Youngest has been on a quest for this anise-flavored herb, and so desperate are we that we stopped into two places I swore I would never frequent again because the only people who smile and wave at us there, or seem remotely glad to see us, are the plants themselves.

Perhaps I’m quaintly old fashioned, but I think customer service is an integral part of doing business with one another. One of the nurseries I abhor is very very small; the other is very very large. At the first one, I can generally find the proprietor, gloomily shoving plants around. I’m not sure what the mood of the employees is at the second place, since I rarely encounter these people and frequently question whether they actually exist.

I’m sure they’re there, but since they don’t identify themselves by a vest or a name tag or a “Hi! I’m Bob,” button, I wander about, looking confused and helpless, hoping that someone will notice my agitation and ask me if I’m looking for something specific, a tarragon plant, perhaps? It doesn’t do any good to go to the checkout area, since that is frequently uninhabited as well.

Sometimes I do, indeed, leave the crowd behind. But not when I’m at a nursery, looking for a human being to help me find a tarragon plant. Leave the crowd behind poster by Steve Henderson

One lucky day, when I found an employee who would talk to me, I asked about male and female Kiwi plants — you need at least one of each to produce fruit, something quite common in the animal kingdom — but all of the pots were labeled “male.”

“Do you have any female plants?” I asked.

“Oh, they’re in there. Somebody just forgot to order the ‘female’ labels and  marked everything as ‘male,’” he replied.

“Well, which ones are female, then?”

“I don’t know. You can’t really tell until they get bigger. If you buy five or six, chances are you’ll get at least one male or one female in there.”

Actually, chances are higher that I won’t buy anything from this place at all, and I never do.

It was at the third nursery, the one that wasn’t too big or too small but just right, where we hit pay dirt, so to speak. Not that we found a tarragon plant, but we were effusively greeted by the enthusiastic owner. At the time, although overhead sprinklers were watering the plants, with the serious possibility of splattering customers as well, this wasn’t a problem, because the owner and her employees dashed out and grabbed whatever caught people’s eye.

The vibrant orange of the lily stands out as strongly as the bright fabric of the Canyon Sprite. Eyrie, open edition print by Steve Henderson at Great Big Canvas

At this point Tired of Being Youngest and I realized that, though weren’t going to successfully encounter a tarragon plant that day, we were buying something, and we did — an outrageously orange lily that Tired of Being Youngest purchased for the Norwegian Artist’s birthday, because Norwegian Artists thrive on outrageously colored plants.

This morning, as the Norwegian was sipping his tea and admiring the plant, he mused, “We need some larger perennial bushes for this front area.”

“I know exactly the place where we can find them,” I replied.

All of the painting images in my articles are by Steve Henderson, the Norwegian Artist. You can find his art by hitting the following links:

This post is linked to The Chicken Chick, Butter Believer, The Prairie Homestead, Real Food Forager, Healthy Roots Happy Soul, Frugally Sustainable, Adventures of a DIY Mom, Hope in Every Season, New NostalgiaDeep Roots at Home, Raising Homemakers, Our Simple Farm, Next Generation Homeschool, Holistic Squid, Simply Helping Him, Mama BZZ, Wholehearted HomeThank Your Body, Katherine’s CornerGnowfligns, Little House in the Suburbs, Small Footprint Family, Our Heritage of Health, Real Food Whole Health, Happy and Blessed Home,Food Renegade, Life as We Know It, Friday Flash Blog

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7 Responses to “Customer Service and Too Many Male Kiwi Plants”

  1. Carolyn, this paragraph was enough to read in itself. This is what should be in every employee handbook, on the first page, before everything. Perfect.

    “Perhaps I’m quaintly old fashioned, but I think customer service is an integral part of doing business with one another. One of the nurseries I abhor is very very small; the other is very very large. At the first one, I can generally find the proprietor, gloomily shoving plants around. I’m not sure what the mood of the employees is at the second place, since I rarely encounter these people and frequently question whether they actually exist.”

    • Thank you, Susan. It is a real stretch, personality wise, being quaintly old fashioned at the same time that I am monumentally savvy and cool, but I work hard at it. Although I think that I lean toward the quaintly old fashioned side, no matter how contemporary my sunglasses are.

      I wonder if there is any mention of customer service at all, in contemporary employee handbooks. Think you, like me, that perhaps this issue is not mentioned?

  2. Carolyn, Keep it up…you are a kick for sure! You expressed my thoughts exactly when I have wanted a plant that some workers never heard of…why are they working there? For instance….a Montana Bachelor of Button plant. a lovely productive plant.

    My 18th blog post will be published Tuesday the 21st of May. Tomorrow!

    • Thelma — it’s bad enough when we’re talking plants. Then there’s the generic computer mart store, about which my computer tech man has told me assorted horror stories.

      “Do you know what their majors are in school?” he asked me.

      “Um. Computer science?”

      “One could wish. Don’t assume.”

      I will look for that Montana Bachelor of Button plant — it sounds lovely. Perhaps I could plant it next to my tarragon.

  3. Diane says:

    Thank you for linking up at Family Fun Friday on HappyAndBlessedHome.com! Blessings!

  4. Thank you for sharing at the hop xo

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