My Thoughts About One of My Favorite Places--Northeastern Indiana's Amish Country

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

My Amish Greenhouse

I got a call a few weeks ago.  My husband was doing some plant-hauling for my favorite local greenhouse, Miller’s Greenery (61177 CR 43, Middlebury).  The owner wanted to know—was I free on Saturday morning?  The family needed to attend their daughter’s 8th grade graduation.  Could I run the greenhouse for a couple of hours?

I’ve never worked retail a day in my life—so my first thought was, “What an insane idea!”  But that was followed by, “If they think I can do it, maybe I can.”  And then, “I wonder how many plants I could buy with what they would pay me?”

So, Saturday morning I showed up, and with a total of ten minutes’ training, I was off to the races.  I kept this diary…

7:00 a.m. – I just woke up to see that my prayers for rain went unanswered.  Rats...

9:15 a.m. – Arrival time.  I munched on a couple of chewable Alka-Seltzers on the way over to calm my tummy.  Mrs. Miller wished me luck and off she went.  No customers in sight, which is good, because I’m not sure I can pull this off!

9:30 a.m. – Still alone here.  I took some photos for my blog post…  Didn’t want to do that with customers around, since the Amish don’t take kindly to having their pictures taken.

10:10 a.m. – My first sale!—a bottle of Sevin.  I’m glad the first one was easy.  Another customer is browsing outside.

10:30 a.m. – I just made myself useful!  A customer was looking at a “Celebration Maple” but wasn’t sure and asked for more information.  I whipped out my cell phone, gave him the rundown, and he bought four at $48 each.  “Cha-ching!” said the cash register.  (Actually, there’s no electricity at the greenhouse, so it was a solar calculator and a cash drawer.)

10:55 a.m. – Just did big sale with a long sales slip...  So far, customers have come in one at a time with space in between, so I might just make it until noon without driving customers away who got tired of waiting!

11:00 a.m. – Trouble just pulled into the yard in a pickup truck...  An “English” customer says that she got ten Bartlett Pears last year and paid $40 each instead of the marked price of $48.  Can I sell her ten more at the same discount?  (Nope.)  She walked away empty-handed—I can’t authorize that!

11:15 a.m. – A lady wanted to know which watermelon seed variety grows the sweetest fruit.  My smartphone to the rescue again!

11:25 a.m. – More customers.  A couple more successful sales.  Tick, tick, tick…

11:40 a.m. – A woman just bought a 50-pound bag of seed potatoes.  Normally, the cashier carries purchases out to the customer’s buggy and loads them.  But I have no upper body strength whatsoever—so I was glad to see that she could heave that bag like it weighed nothing!  Amish farm wives are the best! 

11:45 a.m. – And here comes the owner’s son to take over the store...  I’m glad to report that I didn’t do any harm (that I know of)—in fact, the owner called to ask me if I’d do it again if they’re ever in a pinch!  One thing for sure: I’ll be back soon to cash in my earnings for plants.

No comments:

Post a Comment