I have delivered flower arrangements for eight years and during that time have encountered a number of hazardous conditions--icy steps, snarling dogs, knee-deep mud pits people pretend are driveways, half-naked old ladies (no lie, once we called to let this woman know that we would be there in half an hour to deliver a plant we had repotted for her and the seventy-three year old woman came to the door in just a T-shirt and panties (bringing "granny panties" to a whole new level). Worse, the door was at the bottom of a set of stairs that led into the kitchen and as she was too frail to carry the gigantic plant, I had no choice but to follow her up the steps with her jiggly, saggy, old-lady butt right in my face.), not to mention various hazards in funeral homes including wheeled casket stands that someone has forgotten to lock so when you go to put the casket spray on the whole thing lurches back and forth and you have a moment of panic in which you're absolutely certain that you're going to spill the dead guy and how the hell are you going to explain that one to your boss, the family of the dead guy and the already grumpy funeral home director.**
Despite all these hazards (for which, incidentally, I think I should get hazard pay, but of course I do not), I have only ever seriously injured myself once while on deliveries--the day I totaled Cranky Boss Lady's car (because, of course, nothing bad would happen to the shop van, it would happen to be the day the van was at the mechanic's getting new tires and I was driving CBL's personal vehicle, a fuschia Ford Escort, which I just don't think was a coincidence) until Wednesday.
Wednesday I was delivering to another little old lady--a great customer, who has money to blow and regularly does so at our shop. She's housebound though so we take everything to her. She has a little set of six or eight stairs leading up from her garage to her kitchen. I've probably been up and down those stairs a thousand times. On this particular day alone, I'd been up and down them four times. I had brought in all the spring wreaths and wicker baskets that she'd ordered and was getting ready to leave when she asked if she could see the arrangement she was sending to someone else. No problem, right?
I went out to get it--an artificial arrangement in a little metal airplane done in patriotic colors for a guy who just had surgery to fix a deviated septum-- and brought it up to her. She was delighted with it and I turned to leave with the arrangement in my hands and promptly stumbled at the top of the stairs--or more accurately stumbled all the way down the stairs, almost but not quite regaining my balance several times before falling forward at the bottom of the last step and landing on my face on the concrete garage floor.
I never let go of the arrangement! I skidded on my face because I was so intent on not dropping the arrangement. (Save the arrangement, save the world?) It hit me that every time I've started to slip on an icy sidewalk, I have held whatever arrangement I was carrying up in the air to protect it to the best of my ability--the same way I would hold a child I was carrying. Gosh, that's just sad.
Sadder yet is my face today--two days later the bruising is still coming to the surface, the swelling is settling and shifting, the brush burns are an icky brown color that looks like it's oozing even when it's not. As an added bonus, I'm sore everywhere--Hubby and I have been debating whether it's the landing or the trying to catch yourself that does that to every muscle in your body, but whatever side of the debate you come down on, you still can't get off the couch without creaking and groaning and whining and moaning.
I need a raise.
*In case no one else is as much of a geek as me: "considerable redness and swelling" is from the Dr. Scholl's Gel Inserts commercial. One of those "I'm gellin'" asinine commercials. This one the guy's "not yellin' even though there's considerable redness and swellin'" from some dippy waitress who spilled hot coffee on his leg.
**Granted, this only happened once, but one "I almost spilled the dead guy!" is enough.
Wrong, Wrong, Wrong
9 hours ago