Sunday, May 25, 2014

Happy Spring, Motherfuckers!!!
or
Operator Error in Shrubbery
 (and also anything else one might pick up at a Garden Center or Home Depot or the like ((and no- the Home Depot plant sales area is NOT the same as a garden center, although it has it's uses- I'll be the first to admit!)) )

I was walking out of a specialty grocery store today with a good supply of cookies and saturated fat-packed prepared foods to make life slightly less miserable (I did have a few fruits & vegetables to at least appear like I give a shit about my health and my industry).  It was a cool and breezy morning.  Since I was not at work, I could tolerate and even enjoy that the sun was shining.  I saw a nicely-dressed woman walking across the parking lot carrying what looked to be a dead shrub.  For a second, I couldn't figure out why someone would be carrying compost on their shopping trip, but then I made the connection, and my rare good mood was instantly ruined.  I had all but forgotten about the store's seasonal plant sales area.  It was fairly well-stocked, with mostly locally grown greenhouse-produced annuals (good effort for sourcing locally!).  However, none that met my price requirements met my exacting standards for either quality or "interesting-ness" of variety (Big Boy and Early Girl have not been exciting new varieties of tomatoes since the 50s and the 70s respectively [see footnotes 1,2] and that was about the level we were working with here...) so I moved on to the food (which did meet my standards!) and promptly forgot about plants for a happy 45 minutes.  This woman brought back memories from over 15 years ago from my time at a nice family-run garden center where the occasional ridiculous and insane encounter with a rude and stupid custome was the bane of everyone's existence.  In case you are not familiar with this level of insanity - this woman (whose dress cost $200-at least, and who drove there in a pricey car - this was a nice suburb, not the inner city or the hardscrabble countryside) was returning a dead plant to the store, thinking she was entitled to a full refund, even though the seasonal nature of this store's plant sales meant that, at the very least, it was sitting in her yard ALL WINTER!!!!
REALLY!?!?

I don't know why I still care so much, but it makes my blood boil when I see someone approaching a store with a dead plant in one hand and a sun-bleached care tag (usually with the store's name displayed prominently on it) in the other.

If you do that, or have ever done that, or are reading this and thinking"what's wrong with that?" - Stop Reading Right Now!  March yourself straight into the nearest corner and start hitting your head against the wall until you feel some sense start to make it's way through your skull!

Who the hell would sleep in a bed for a year, then decide that it really wasn't working for them and take it back to the store expecting a full refund?  A dishonest moron - that's who.  Someone who thinks they are too good to suffer ANY of life's disappointments.  Someone who refuses to believe that they could have made a mistake - that they chose the wrong product, or put it in the wrong place, or used it in the wrong way, or that sometimes living things (like plants!!!!!) just fucking DIE!

Don't be that person!  I know some stores make the idiotic promise that they WILL indeed offer you a refund if your plant dies - no matter how long that is after you buy it...  Well, probably don't buy anything at that store.  They have to make their margin somehow, and it follows that all of the people who don't bring stuff back are paying a higher price for their merchandise to offset the idiots who do!  That's how retail works.  If you don't believe me, go a few paragraphs up and follow the directions concerning taking yourself to the corner.

In summary;  Don't be that person.  It is unreasonable, unfair, irrational and it jacks prices up for everyone else.

If you can't garden by "trial and error" or if you can't deal with the consequences of your own inevitable occasional mistakes - PAY THE PROFESSIONALS TO DO IT.  There are plenty of us all around - willing to put up with your bullshit for a price!!



1. http://www.burpee.com/vegetables/tomatoes/beefsteak/tomato-burpee-s-big-boy-hybrid-prod000976.html
2.  http://www.tandjenterprises.com/earlygirlhistory.htm

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