Monday, February 17, 2014

A Day in the life of Karl!

  All in a day’s work.
Jensen Nursery has been a contributor to the Scandinavian Centre for a number of years through advertising and donations of gift certificates to many events annually. To make this possible, I will like to give you an account of a traditional day at work, leading up to Christmas.
Christmas is getting close and I know, we will have a busy day at work selling Christmas trees. On the long drive to work I curse the City for the poor planning of road infrastructure and the poor drivers ahead of me, but look forward to a nice cup of coffee, waiting for me at work. When I finally arrive, I am greeted by a chilling look from Susan, my boss that says “you are finally here”. I steer directly to the lunch room for my coffee and stop dead in my tracks. “What, no coffee”, I yell. Jennifer enters the lunch room. “You want coffee, you make your own. We are too busy to bother with that,” She exclaims” Jean now enters with a big smile.”I’ll make the coffee for you and bring it to you when it is ready, go help the girls in the greenhouse. As I enter the greenhouse, Jennifer and Susan M. (Macpherson) are getting trees ready for delivery. “What took you so long? Give us a hand doing these fresh-cuts” she says, giving me a certain look. “You know I’m not much good till I’ve had my coffee” I explain. Just then, as if she has read my mind, Jean enters with a cup of coffee and I’m ready to go. With my coffee in my left hand and a saw in my right, I can now do a fresh-cut on the trees, only to hear my boss, Susan complaining. “You are cutting crooked, how can we make the tree stand straight with a cut like that” Looking at a pretty good cut I say defiantly,” Well if we had a good saw that could cut straight, you would have a perfect cut.”
As we continue getting the trees ready for delivery, the first customers of the day enter the greenhouse. This gives me a chance to finish my coffee and help the people at the same time, leaving the heavy work to Jennifer and the two Susan’s. It is not hard to sell a tree as we have a really nice selection and in no time at all I have made a sale. Now I just have to take it down from it’s hanging position. I swallow the last of my coffee and go to work, only to hear the girls yelling for me to come give them a hand. More costumers arrive and now we all rush to serve them. We blame this on Tammy, who has been busy advertising our services. Come in, bring your tree stand and pick your tree. We will then give it a fresh-cut, put it in the stand for you and send it out right into your living-room, and there for people are coming in droves buying their trees. 
Late in the morning Elsie arrives, bringing Kurt to work. Elsie doesn’t look too happy. “Keep him here the rest of the day,” she says, “I’m going to the Scandinavian Centre for the Norwegian lunch without him,” she says and off she goes. Kurt wanders around the greenhouse mumbling something only he understands and then disappears out to the garage. We are now close to noon and two more staff arrive, Laura and Jane. “Anything we can help with” they both ask and instead of replying we simply hand them tools to cut plastic with and point to the trees waiting to be wrapped. At this time the girls are noticing that I am slowing down. “Don’t lift the trees by yourself, let me help you. You are getting too old to do it by yourself,” Susan M says and the other girls soon follow suit. Looking like my pride has been hurt, I manage to hide my pleasure of being pampered.
It is now one o’clock and I have to teach a group of ladies how to make wreaths. Another staff member, Arlene will teach another group to make center pieces. This gives me a break from the hustle and bustle in the greenhouse, but Jean soon lets me know that I am needed there as well, so back and forth I go. The end of the day is nearing and Elsie returns from the Centre, this time with a smile on her face from having a nice visit with friends from the Centre. Kurt has come back from the garage and has wandered around the greenhouse, mumbling his own language. He too now has a smile on his face. He has been counting the trees and learned how many we have sold in the course of the day and he is pleased. Everybody is exhausted from the day’s work but already they are discussing the plans for the next day.
As I am driving home, fighting the traffic, my cursing is less, perhaps from being too tired, but mainly from realising how lucky I am, working in a lovely environment and with a great group of people, who really spoil me. Also knowing that because of the hard, but fun work, we are able to help others. From every tree sold two dollars go to the “Pennies from Heaven” foundation.
Just a brief outline of what goes on at Jensen’s. All in a day’s work.
Karl Sorensen
Posted by Tammy Jensen at 7:10 PM