The Customer is Always Right

Last week, I was working in the florist when a customer came in. The exchange went something like this:

Susie: Hi! How can I help?

Customer: I’m looking for a bunch of white lilies please

S: Sure, let me make you one!

*makes bunch*

*shows bunch*

C: They’re not very bright are they.

S:

No, they are white lilies

C: Let’s try some gerberas. Yep.

S:*makes another bunch*

C: That’s not quite what I had in mind. Actually I saw these tulips on Instagram, can you do something like that?

S: *makes another bunch*

C: You know what, on second thoughts there was this beautiful arrangement I saw on Pinterest….. etc. etc. etc.

giphy-14.gif

Why am I telling you this? Because it got me thinking. It’s so easy in today’s society for everyone to be an “expert”. The rapid transformation of media from centralised to distributed information flows has meant the user becomes the centre, and can readily access the information they require. Consequently, there have been fundamental changes in world perception, culture, daily life, and many other aspects of human existence.

In the distant past, the customer could enter the shop, see what products were available, select their product, and then leave. The move towards a decentralised mode of communication has caused today’s media to saturate our daily lives.

And beyond that, it has changed the dynamics of labour, forcing the workplace to move from industrial labour, factory machines and assembly line format, to information machines and information processing.

Could a profession so labour intensive and creative such as floristry ever become completely automated? Perhaps a robot might do a better job reading minds than I can.

The background music is too real…

Featured Image: “Ask the Farmer” by Michel Curi, licensed under Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Published by susiealdermann

Fifth Year Bachelor of Communications and Media/ Bachelor of International Studies (Dean's Scholar) student

4 thoughts on “The Customer is Always Right

  1. Hey Susie! Great post, and I’m loving the anecdotal references. How do you think automated floristry would work with the time/space homogenisation of liquid labour? Is there a way in which the product can always be available without the restriction of borders? I’m curious to know what you think, because I know they’ve already developed upon this with Uber and Airbnb, but I can’t imagine it being done with such a creative craft! Let me know ☺ Also, here’s an article outlining the top 100 jobs most/least likely to become automated (for your ease of mind hahah) http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/news/article-2642880/Table-700-jobs-reveals-professions-likely-replaced-robots.html

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your comment! It’s interesting that you’ve raised this actually, I was only thinking about it recently how the dynamics have really changed. I don’t think the actual craft of floristry could really become completely automated, but the ordering system has completely changed over the past decade. It used to be that a customer would have to wait until the shop opened at 9am to be able to either phone in or come in store to place an order. Now, almost everything is done online, which means a person sitting in Wollongong can place an order for flowers at 2am when they can’t sleep, going to a florist in South Africa which they have never even seen in person!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. hey susan!
    love this post, and the kevin hart floral gif had me feeling some type of way!
    i don’t think that floristry will ever fully become decentralised, at least for me personally i feel like seeing the tangible product is really important because an idea in your head can be very different in person!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I completely agree with you! It would be a shame for the industry to lose the great sense of emotional connection and personal interaction that comes with floristry, especially when dealing with occasions such as funerals etc. I think that’s why I found the video so funny with its music! Thanks for the comment!

      Like

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