Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The War of the Roses

Getting flowers delivered is harder than moving this old safe out of BigBlue.

Actually, it's the War of the Dashing Daisies. But that doesn't have quite the right ring.

Way back on May 1, I decided to send flowers to Leonard Pennario, because he had to go briefly into the hospital. Selecting my bouquet was a big kick. I found a site called Teleflora that looked big and established, and there are all these bouquets for every occasion and you just click, click and have fun. Women love this sort of thing and I am no exception. All the bouquets have cutesy names and I selected Dashing Daisies.

But my daisies dashed into a black hole! I called Leonard. "Leonard, did you get my flowers?" I asked. And he hadn't. Come on! Here I was supposed to have had a little glamour in my life. I am sitting here in Buffalo with my dirty kitchen floor and boom cars in front of my house and yet ... and yet... I am, magically, in a position to send flowers to a great concert pianist. And they don't get there!

So I call the company, and the nice thing is you do get a human being, and he was kind and gave me a 20 percent credit and told me the mistake was theirs and they would deliver the flowers the next day. By now Leonard is back home, so I have to change the address. And all bright and chirpy I call Leonard the next day asking if my flowers got there. And guess what? No! They didn't!

Back on the phone with Teleflora. More promises -- the flowers will get there today. I am always nice as pie in these situations. I mean look, I am nice to weirdos in the library, am I not? But then -- but then -- I get a call back from an employee who can hardly talk English, saying they delivered the flowers on May 2, a nurse signed for them, and ...

And then I blew up. It was 4 p.m., my blood sugar was plunging and my braces had just been tightened.

"I don't care who signed for them!" I said. "I didn't send the flowers to that person!"

"Well, I have her name," she said.

"Well, I don't care what her name is. I didn't send flowers to her!" I said. "I want the flowers to go to the person I sent them to!"

Finally she called me back and said they would deliver the flowers that same day. By now, a new worry had occurred to me.

"These aren't the same old flowers, are they?" I said.

"Yes," she said. "They are the bouquet you ordered."

"But not the same ones, I hope, that got lost last weekend," I said.

"No," she said. "They will be fresh flowers."

Tomorrow, if the flowers still aren't there, it might be time to turn Teleflora's phone number over to Ron Moss. He has a list of people he calls on a daily basis and perhaps Teleflora should be one of them.

But I hope it doesn't come to that.

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