i hate the public...

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some call me brian
Jun 7, 2006
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Cape Cod
okay, maybe not hate, but...
i've got this Paph supardii that's been limping along for a few years now. recently repotted it, seemed okay.
today, i'm giving a little tour, this guy has his coat strewn over his arm and bam, mix everywhere....broken leaves...
Damn. That sucks dude.
That's why we don't allow coats and backpacks in the museum. People are always knocking into things.

We were just talking about this the other day. I remember the first thing I learned when going to an orchid show is not to wear a scarf or anything that could possibly hit plants and flowers when you lean in for a closer look.
People need to be more considerate.

So, is the sup going to be okay? How badly damaged were the leaves?
Should've *****-slapped him and asked him if it felt good.
Oh yeah! How about the customer who looked at our hybrid miltoniopsis, pulled a variety of tags, brought them up front to me and asked what colors they'd be when they bloomed. I then had four plants that became "unknowniis". And did she buy one? Nooooooooo.

Or how about the person that broke the tips of the spikes on the aerangis spiculata as they walked past...

Or...or...or... It sometimes makes us question if turning the hobby into a business was such a good idea. Thankfully, I have a greater number of POSITIVE experiences!
BotanicaLtd said:
...Thankfully, I have a greater number of POSITIVE experiences!

ditto. just had to vent.
it's when people just don't think that gets very aggravating...
It may be alot of work but do your guest have to handle the plants or even to smell them. All they have to do is to see them. You can mitigate by widening the aisles, raising the benches up higher, or by actually mounting a clear plastic sheeting in front of the orchids that is secured to the bench and using fans to keep condensation off the plastic: only done when open to the public. People who love and grow orchids would be considerate; people who are only look-a-loos or who have other intent, such as snabbing some pollen off your highly awarded catt are indifferent.
Just don't complain. Check out your situation and see what you can do to protect your precious! Also signs or hand outs that advise that if you break it or swap the label, it becomes yours!!!
Also another reason why I like using a label maker. You can stick labels right onto plastic pots- dont know about clay ones but if you seal an area then a label would stick on it.
One thing I used to do when I dealt with customers was to put the flowering plants towards the back of the bench or otherwise make access to them simply impossible by hanging or setting on a ledge up above on the wall.
Guilty confession.

I was shopping (for the first time) at Hoosier Orchids one day, sifting through a mess of Phrags they had on the end of a bench. Found a nice Don Wimber that had a spike about 6 -7 inches. Pushed it aside to dig in the 'pile' deeper to see what else they had. All of a sudden i fell resistance against my watch and hear a slight snap sound. Yep, you guessed it. Just broke off the soon to be Don Wimber bud. I felt horrible. Leon walked by about that time asking how i was doing and if i had any questions. I told him what i had done, and told him i would buy the plant regardless. I was interested in it, but not sure up to that point. He was actually quite forgiving, but i bought it anyway. Along with a Maxillaria tenuifolia, and Sederia japonica. Felt like the right thing to do.
i work at a public conservatory so although i find some of your ideas appealing, they are impractical. i have signs up asking people not to touch specific things, but when people just don't pay attention, a handbag/purse/coat/elbow/nose/backpack/baby carrier is an instrument of destruction....
BotanicaLtd said:
I then had four plants that became "unknowniis"

I would have rung them up for her as I explained why the "you broke it/you bought it" rule applies. :D
Cool! Then other avenues of revenge are opened when a business isn't at stake. :evil:

EDIT: Then in rereading Botanicaltd's post I'm confused as to why the malefactor was referred to as a customer and that B has a commercial web site. :confused:
the tag thing happened at b's greenhouse which is a commercial greenhouse.
mine is a conservatory where things are only for lookin'
likespaphs said:
i work at a public conservatory so although i find some of your ideas appealing, they are impractical. i have signs up asking people not to touch specific things, but when people just don't pay attention, a handbag/purse/coat/elbow/nose/backpack/baby carrier is an instrument of destruction....

I still think that you can find some kind of mitigation that will protect your plants. It all depends on how you lay out
the floor plan and make the placements. Perhaps some kind of effective barrier like a low fence or wall that would fit into the scenic flow. For your situation it is a design and traffic flow chart that are your best defenses.
I work at a model railroad club that is open to the public on weekends. If the kids aren't touching something, [and trust me, a custom locomotive w/ a decoder inside could run about $230], it's the parent actually reaching over the plexiglass barriers! It makes you wonder what kind of common sense some people have. :confused:
Two years ago i did a display for a local greenhouse that was having an 'Orchid Day'. I wasn't selling but simply showing off my plants....I was there with my display both days to answer questions as well. Despite me being there, and having two BIG plasticized signs that said 'NOT FOR SALE-DISPLAY ONLY" and 'PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH' I had to 'lose it' on a couple of ignoramuses (is that a word) who figured that the signs didn't apply to them. Man people can be stupid at times! And you know that they thought I was rude for getting angry?????!!!!:confused:
Wendy said:
...ignoramuses (is that a word)

It must be...they were in our greenhouse, too! I sometimes feel like we've tried everything---we've even blocked off certain areas of the greenhouse where we didn't want "the public" to go. Those blocked areas entice some people to "need" to go there even more---since there must be something important or special hidden there. I've grudgingly determined that it's part of business; and orchid shows and displays.

I just keep trying to focus on the positive (though it's difficult sometimes)...like the local fellow who visited the greenhouse to see if he could identify some orchids in slides he'd taken 30+ years ago in Cameroon. I enjoy visits like that and the conversations that ensue.

Maybe the key is to identify the ignoramuses as quickly as possible and somehow direct them to ---- ?!
Those are the orchids we recommend to people who ask for no-care, no-light, ever-blooming orchids. PERFECT solution!

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