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WHY YOU SHOULD STOP SAYING "Playing with flowers all day would be so relaxing."

We florists get it all the time, "It must be sooo good to just play with flowers all day", "you're in like, the prettiest, most relaxing job ever". No. Stop saying that!

I'm not saying that being a florist is as hard as being an oil rig worker or a lumberjack, but just trying to educate the general public that there is more to a florist than just 'playing with flowers'.

Next time you go buy a posy, you can appreciate the beauty of the flowers but maybe, just maybe notice the cracked hands, short nails and epic biceps of the florist who has been up since 3am.

We only seem to take photos of the 'glamorous' side of being a florist. Wandering through fields of beautiful flowers or tugging on the finishing touches of an archway arrangement, but in reality there is so much more.

3am is the typical wake up time on a busy market morning. You haul the 20 stack of empty buckets into the back of your van and head to market, where you spend 2 to 3 hours lifting bunches and bunches of foliage in buckets full of water onto a trolley, then try to cram them in the van. After water has thoroughly soaked your whole body, and the cold morning has frozen your soggy jeans to your legs, you jump into the van and head to the shop/studio. The next two hours are spent unloading, cutting the inch thick branches of the foliage, re-soaking your jeans and smashing the occasional vase.

Then comes the pretty part. The reason we love our job. Making the arrangements. Even these are made to be more glamorous than they are in reality. There's usually a heap of leaves, sticks and thorns at your feet and you might slip once or twice if you're clumsy like me.

Once the arrangements are all made we can have a night of restless sleep maybe waking a few times to check on the blooms and top up their water.

The next morning rolls around and you load up at the crack of dawn. Drive to the wedding venue, trudge up and down steps a thousand times while carrying huge arrangements in vases full of water, climb up and down a ladder a million times and then finally you are done. Now you can go home and finish some quotes until it's time to come back at midnight to pack it all up.

Before you think "just quit and become a florist", like Joe in my business class yesterday said after a discussion on the subject of stress management, consider that statement to be one that should be mentioned when seeking an exciting, challenging new job opportunity.

I do love being a florist, and I love the feeling of being strong after hauling a 4 meter ladder around a venue while the business men in their pristine suits sip their coffee and watch. I just don't appreciate my whole industry, all the boss ladies and the lads being put down in a single comment.

Phew, rant over.

T x

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