Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentine's Day...the "last minute" holiday

Hi all...well, I will tell you right off that I have not touched a needle and thread for several days as I have been in *The Store* working, trying to do what I can to assist DH to keep him relaxed...and helping out in the "kitchen", jumping in the production line where ever I can to assist our wonderful staff. For Valentine's Day weekend has been very crazy & busy...and if we do everything "successfully" it will be a very, very good holiday.

First off Valentine's Day is basically a "one day" holiday...meaning that everyone wants their fruit bouquet on Valentine's Day and to be delivered on Valentine's Day. As of right now, we have 300+ orders for Monday - fruit arrangements, boxed chocolate covered fruit and long-stemmed chocolate covered strawberry boxes. Thank goodness for our wonderful employees and all the preparing DH has done to get us to where we are right now, yet today will be the real test of preparing and organizing all the orders to be ready for delivery and pick up tomorrow. It is going to be a long day & night tonight, but I know that we can do it!

Second, it is also a "last minute" holiday...meaning, we are getting those desperate husband and sweethearts calling now. The phone call go something like this:

Me: "Thank you for calling *The Store*, how can I help you today?"

Customer: "I am looking for something for my wife...I am looking at your website... I know that she likes chocolate and you have anything like that?"

Me (trying to keep the sarcastic tone out of my voice, especially since this has to be the 20th caller to ask this question): "We have a wonderful assortment of arrangments containing chocolate dipped fruit. If you are on the website, is there anything that catches your eye that your wife might like? or, if you would like to tell me what her favorite kind of fruit is, I can give you some options."

After walking the customer through a few of the options that best match his thoughts, then it is time to close out the sale...

Me: "Will you be picking this up or will you like us to deliver it to her?" (this was a question asked prior to Saturday, as we have had to stop taking orders for Monday deliveries...only pick ups)

Customer: "Can you deliver it? Maybe to her office? Best to have it there exactly at 2:45pm...she has meeting in the morning, then appointments outside the office, then goes to lunch...she might even have a hair appointment before she takes the kids to soccer, but I am sure that she is around there exactly at that time...or maybe you should have it taken to our house between the hours of 6 and 6:15 because that is when she brings the kids home and helps get the kids around for soccer before leaving at 6:15...or..."At this point, I step in - trying to calm down the husband and offer a couple of options, which make it easier to settle on the delivery option, in order to close the sale and move on. 

Valentine's Day seems to have always been that kind of holiday...last minute, full of desperation. I know that florist go through it too, that is why they create the "grab and go" bouquets. And when I worked in my family's party-goods store...the red-heart mylar balloon was the popular item.
At the party store, we would advertise this balloon at 2 for a $1 (currently Party City is advertising it at 69cents each if you purchase a dozen...99cents each if you don't). We would offer all sorts of incentives for customers to pre-purchase prior to Valentine's Day so that we could have their order blown up and ready for them to come in & pick waiting in line. While that did work for the most part (I remember going into stores at 2am in the morning and blow up close to 1000 balloons or more to full fill orders as well as be ready for people to come in and purchase), there were always those customers who waited for the last minute and demanded their 3 dozen red heart balloons right now, not wanting to wait for them to be blown up and definitely didn't have the time to wait in the line to get the sale rung up. And God forbid if we should have run out of them!

Well, anyway...back to the present...I am up early, getting in a good sweaty spin on my stationary bike to make up for the one I didn't get in yesterday. I have to get up Matthew at 4:30am so that he can eat breakfast before getting picked up for an early morning hockey practice. As soon as he takes off, Robert, DH and I will head on over to *The Store* where I will start melting the chocolate - prep the apples and strawberries for dipping before the first couple of employees come in to help out. Robert is coming in early to lend a hand where he can to get things ready for a full day of prepping and production of Valentine's Day arrangements. It will definitely be a long day...but when all is done and out for delivery tomorrow there will be well worth it!

So, my friends, if you don't hear from me for a couple of days, just know that I am fine just up to my elbows in chocolate.

Take care and remember...
Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch Often!


CalamityJr said...

Not making fun of how busy you are, but I can certainly think of worse things to be "up to my elbows in"! Be sure you take time to breathe!

Kathy A. said...

Thinking of you!!! Wishing you the best of luck over Valentine's Day.

Angela P said...

Sounds like it is going to be a very long, busy, busy day! I don't know how you do it with all that chocolate and strawberries ;0)