Reflections of a Greenhouse worker

Ok, so I'm going to try not to rip off of the other author, (I read it all, funny stuff Ali), but I will try to entertain. I am a worker at a greenhouse. Kennedy Greenhouses if that helps at all. In case you might notice I spell some things differently, the greenhouse is located in southern Ontario (Canada, for those who are geographically challenged.) I am not manager. I am not a clerk. I just work there. That's not to say I dont have a real job, but if i were to have to give this job a title, the closest and best title I could give it, would be Greenhouse Bitch. And you thought that working in a greenhouse would be borring. I do whatever is required (I've gotten used to a routine if there is nothing else to be done,) but otherwise I ask my boss what to do, and he tells me. Then I do it.

This journal will most likely consist of memories of this past year, (It's a seasonal job,) and will probably not be in chronological order, because I'll post whatever I remember, whenever I remember it. Other than that, this has been your official intro.
A little background is in order.

I am a 16 year old male, very soon intending on turning 17. I have just recently finished my 2nd year working at the greenhouse, and I must say, it has been rather enjoyable. For the most part.

I have more than one boss. I cant really say how many bosses I have, because lots of times, they bicker, and one might be acting like a fool. In that case, I resort to following orders of one of my other bosses. Heres the family tree.

Anna and Mike are the technical owners of the whole shebang. They are about 80 (if i had to guess), and they both still work. They claim that it keeps them young, and as far as I'm concerned, more power to them.

Anna and Mike had a son and a daughter.

Joe was the son, and due to events that will be explained later, I do not know the name of the daughter.

Joe married Phyllis.
The sister who shall not be named, married a guy named Carlo.
All of the younger generation is about 35-43 years old.

If youre wondering about the odd names, the whole crowd of them are itallian. Joe and phyllis could probably fake for something else, seeing as they have no accent at all. They also speak fluent itallian. Carlo has a superior command over many languages, including English, but he still has kept his accent, which frustrates him.

Mike has a limited english vocabulary, and has a heavy accent. For the most part, he can get the point across.

Anna. hoo-boy. Anna is like trying to watch porn on a scrambled channel, whithout the descrambler. Her english is limited to about 50 words. I can understand maybe 4 of them. Pizza means she wants me to take these mini pizzas she makes (she likes that I enjoy her cooking). Mail, or post means get the mail from across the road (its a country road). She says hot when its hot, eat when I look hungry, and she says "OK", and "yea" alot. She usually resorts to those words when she doesn't know what to say.

So overall, my two main bosses are Carlo, but mainly Joe. Joe is the main head honcho, and is in control of ordering, bills, and general layout (big shite). Carlo knows pretty much every flower there, (he has a degree in horticulture), he does custom baskets lined with moss early in the season, and later when the demand lessens, his job is watering. Phyllis does the custom baskets early on, then later (very soon later) she is the main cashier. Lately, she comes in at 11 AM, and rarely pays attention to her duties. She mostly just plays/feeds the dogs etc. So, in the case of Joe and Carlo's absence, I ask her what to do.

Mike and Anna rarely have anything specific for me to do, so we kind of all just work around eachother.
Ill give you short rundowns of these characters personalities.

Joe: main boss. Overall, he's a really nice guy. He jokes alot, makes perverted and racist jokes, pokes lots of fun at other people (customers, other employees etc.) fun to be around at any time.

Carlo: Carlo was in the italian military. It shows. Although he can be a joker as well, for the most part, he expects you to do work, not to straggle, and do a good job while you're at it. He's into asians. (Ill explain later)

Phyllis: Phyllis is a 3 year old boy, trapped in a 35 year old womans body. She doesn't like any responsibility, and when she is given some, unless she clearly can see its needed, she usually disregards any serious comments. She is increadibly nice, but has a soft spot for anything that moves, and is 10 times too empathetic.

Mike: Nice to me, but apparently the other boss people think hes a dick head. They tell me this, by referring to him as "the dick head". Again, Ill explain this later.

Anna: Kind old woman who always wants me full of food. I like her.
Ok. The following happened just before my first year as a part timer.

It seems Carlo and Joe's sister (the one who should not be named) had some rough times. Not financially, more of a harsh disagreement phase. The sister decides, "hey I want to drop my life, including my husband, and my 3 kids, and I think I'll just go travel around europe." This wasnt a temporary thing. She decided from the start, she would just start a new life. Mike and Anna defended their daughter and thought she was acting wierd, but it was her choice.

Joe and phyllis decided that Joe's sister was on some form of bad crack, and sympathized with Carlo. So, the workforce was split in two, divided by opinions on the situation.

Seeing as Mike and Anna are the technical owners, they decided they could run the whole place themselves (a VERY humerous statement), and that they would fire, Joe, Phyllis, and Carlo. The three consulted lawyers, who said, if youve worked in the family business your whole life, you do own a big investment of time money etc. in it. so, if the owners fire you, you have a good chance you could sue their asses off. To hell. And back.

Mike and Anna decided not to fire them.

The first year as a part timer, I noticed tension between the two groups, but as the second year just passed, the tension has mostly subsided.
You might be wondering why I havent mentioned any co-workers, and only bosses.

in the first year, we went through 7 part timers.


Dave... Dave was a 20 year old who looked like he was 15. He thought he knew everything, and was generally annoying. They called him the doctor, cause he would come in whenever the fuck he felt like it. he didnt come back this year (because he got another job)

Kevin... Kevin was also around 20, but he looked like it. He appeared to be a good worker. I was later informed by my bosses that he was a lazy fuck. he didnt come back this year (they never told him to come back).

Carmen... A guy kid comming out of grade 9 at a catholic school. Dumb as a post, and just about as fast as one. I did admire his intentions, as he seemed to be an eager worker. he never came back. (He was that slow, they told him theyd call him if they needed him.)

Melissa... Melissa was Dave's sister. She worked on the moss baskets. Near the end of the 2nd year, the started calling her Granny behind her back, because she was really slow.

Catherine... Kevin's sister. good worker. Worked on moss baskets. Had to quit halfway through 2nd year, she found another job.

and finally, some other chick who i didnt know, who worked for around 2 days, and that was it.

the 2nd season, ...

Derek... He was the man. He was my age, into mountain biking, funny, alittle dumb, but a great worker and fun to hand out with. Alas, he got a job as a city worker, and probably wont be comming back.

Rolland... I dont mean to stereotype, but what is it with the kids from catholic school? anyway... he was also an ass. He brought his brother who was also a dillhole.

Brendan... Brendan was my best friend from grade 4 on till grade 10. In grade 10, my best friend was stollen by a succubus. I think she goes by the name of Astin. She stole him away from all of his friends, and now the poor whipped soul is so whipped, I havent even talked to him more than twice this summer. in grade 5 we went the whole summer sleeping at either my house or his house. Almost every night. We stayed up late playing nintendo or computer, or lego or kinex or whatever. we were unstoppable. That bitch.

anyway, he was a shitty worker afterall, so they told him they would call him if they needed him.

The reason this will be the last time I talk about part timers, is because for the most part, my bosses were becomming 100% dependant on me for almost 2 months of in season work. The rest of the part timers had other shit to do. Like get fired.
Frank is one of their old time friends. Hes worked for them for almost 25 years, and insists that he should get a gold watch when he reaches that year (its actually a running joke.) hes a nice guy who is in his thirties and has kids. He looked 20 when i first saw him, and when he mentioned he had kids, i nearly messed myself.

Frank is a really nice guy and a friggin hard worker.

He started on a job at bell canada when he was like 13. hes worked there ever since. Hes now a high up guy, and pretty set in his ways. He does the greenhouse job as a good way to be arround his old time friends for a couple weekends out of the year, and because if they need help, hes there for them.
Now that you have the scenario, its mid summer, and all part timers are fired or left or whatever.

Its me and the bosses.

I came into work one day, and I got a funny feeling. I usually have to take both dogs, Sam and Whinny a.k.a. winston into their cage for the day, so they dont attack any customers. I give them water, and when phyllis gets there, she feeds them. I walked up the main stretch of the aisles, and Carlo told me to put whinny in the cage. Usually he says put the dogs in the cage, but this time he was specific to which dog. I was very suspicious. Especially because his tone of voice was so brutally cold... something had to be up.

I was told to clean up the side greenhouse, which has the baskets in it. As im walking frmo the dog cage to the house, i noticed a couple of really big, really old, big red bloodstains on the pavement. Normally the place is messy, so it could have been dirt, but there were flies around it. Now I started to draw conclusions. It popped into my head. Sam was either hurt bad, or dead. I cleaned the baskets uneasily, until I was done. I did them like 3 times, because I really didnt want to find out what was happening. After i really had nothing else to do, I went to the back. Joe was kneeling behind the door when I opened it. He stood up, and in a mostly controlled voice, but with a tiny quiver, he gave me directions on another job to do. I went to go do it. This job took awhile, so I was good to go for awhile. When walking around near the back (I forget exactly why...) I noticed phyllis' car parked where it usually is. It was odd though, she was in at about 9:30. She never gets in till at least 10:30. I see her about 50 feet away, and she waves me over. I come around the corner, and I see her feeding bologna to whinny. She's bawling her eyes out. I immediately ask "whats wrong", because a wrongful assumption could be horribly horrible. she simply stated " sams dead". I walked over to her, where she jumped up off the bench, and hugged me for a good 10 seconds.

Ive been cried on alot. Its no big deal. Why it was my boss that made me feel awkward I have no idea. But I guess its the fact that you never ever hear of a boss crying on another workers shoulder. The boss is suppost to be the tower of strength. I saw it crumble that day. Given, she was a female and was more emotional that a guy would be... but I later found out that to be wrong.

Through the sobs, I gathered that Sam died a gruesome death. She mentioned he had worms comming out of him. I dont know whether she meant worms, or maggots, but either way, the poor thing was rotting from the inside out. They didnt even know there was a problem. When the dog was found bleeding that morning, Carlo and Mike lead it out back and mercifully shot him. There aren't words to express how gratefull I am I wasnt there for that.

They buried sam out back.

Phyllis went home still crying at about 10.
Joe stayed in the house (Mike and Anna own a house on the greenhouse property) all day
Carlo stayed out to water, but didnt say a word.

The next day, things were quiet, but Phyllis was back to most of her senses. Joe still spent the day in the house, and Carlo was 60% back to normal. It seems Joe, the true tower of strength, (Ive seen that man endure 4 weeks on 1 bowlfull of captain crunch and lots of espresso per day, while getting around 4 hours of sleep) was worst off. He spent those two days in the house, crying the whole time. I can understand how he could be so hurt by his loss, and especially because he obviously knew the dog for a really long time, but the shock of him acting like so was very well... shocking. I continued work and tried not to show a lot of emotion. I guess thats just the way I deal.
I just wrote all that above this message straight (check the times)

Im tired, but im home for 2 weeks with nothing to do, so expect plenty of updates
Ok, So i wasnt as eager to post as i might have thought.

Im going to the Ex tomorrow (Its a toronto thing.)

Im taking one of my friends catherine. (not the one from work)

Ill tell everyone about stuff when i get back.

btw. the reason my boss likes asians (or more how i found out.)
I showed him a picture of my gf, April, who i love and adore, and Joe just started laughing his ass off. He stated that I "had Carlo beat".

It appears the 40 year old itallian loves anything asian. ha.

I thought it also funny, as I had out performed my boss. When he started asking if her mom was hot, I got annoyed. When I told him she was married, and he said the current husband could be their butler. I was scared. Not because I realized that he would do that if he could, but rather that he would be my father-in-law (in a GF sense).

Oh my god.

Sorry I havent updated in years... Ive been so sick recently.

I spent all night waking up, honking the shnoz, gulping water to ease the nails in my throat, and then sleeping on my sides to ensure the snot didnt ball in the back of my throat resulting in painful loogs in the morning.

I woke up at 8 cause me and April were going to go to dimsum for dinner, and she said she would call early.

I was so friggin tired and drippy i couldnt go. Actually i dont even know if she went through organizing it cause i couldnt go. (aww)

yea, so more stories to come, when i gets better!
Ahh forgot my follow up.

Yea, the ex, or the canadian national expo as it is sometimes called, sucked.

90% of it was just a bunch of carnies trying to rob me of money (and they did a damn good job.)

the 10% that was arts and crafts was pretty cool, and i bought a gargoyle hangy thing.

Other than that, the rides were ok, but nowhere near as good as wonderland (the big permanent themepark around toronto)

yea, thats about it.
I'm back.

Almost a year since the last update. Lots has happened.

I thought I had updated this thing when the last major event happened, but it seems that I didn't.

Frank died. I thought it was about a year ago, which is why I'm surprized reading this again this year that it isn't here. I guess I never mentioned. Frank was a big guy, with a big smile. My guess would have been ~300lbs. Well, it seems one day his wife walks in the house expecting to see him. Instead she finds him dead on the bathroom floor. Blood everywhere, but not the cause of his death. He had a heart attack in his bathroom, then fell, hitting his head against the floor. One of the nicest men I had ever known. Dead for no good reason. I had found out from a phone call.

A couple nights before I had found out about the incident, my boss Joe called and offered me tickets to the Toronto Leafs game, stating that Frank had to cancel. I declined, because I already had made plans. Looking back, It could have been the same night. Anyway, recently my mother asked how the wife was doing, and if she moved or not.

The story went that as soon as the peremedics got there, they yanked him out of the bathroom into the bedroom for more room around to work with. With him came a stream of blood everywhere, staining the carpets immediately. She sold the house as soon as she could. I heard that she was doing well.

Joe and Carlo put up a laminated, blown up picture of Joe, Frank, and Carlo (In that order) all being chummy. Above it, reads "We will always remember." Even now, sometimes, they look at it, and silence falls upon the normally rowdy lunch time.

We miss you Frank.
A little more history.

Joe a month or two later was up to renew his lease on his Benz. It's a tan mid 90's something...

After browsing the showroom, Joe came back to Phyllis simply stating "I saw something I like". The car he was talking about is the new SLK 230. Convertable. Silver. Beautiful.

His justification was that he only gets one life. Instead of all of this saving for retirement garbage, he would live a little. A little existentialism ala Frank's death.

Carlo renewed the lease on their old car.

Not a whole lot more in history, but maybe I will remember more later.

Lately I have been allowed to drive Joe's car home, with him in the passenger seat, because he sees how i drool over it every day. He has to run an errand by my house, so he lets me drive. He has started to take his car for granted, so he loves seeing me oogle the speedometer as it goes from 40 to 120 in a matter of seconds.

Anna it seems has gotten better with her english. Mike too. Maybe its that I've gotten used to their accents, but who knows. I was talking to Carlo who basically scoffed. He explained that they had been in the country for over 40 years (how old Joe was) and still they had "pathetic" english. I don't mind.

A couple of new part timers this year.

Thank god, Derek came back. He is the coolest guy around. He only worked for a week or two, but it made working alot easier. He returned to his normal job a while after. alas.

Melissa and Catherine came back.

Jason. I would rather work with the movie Jason, than this bunghole. He is not only the worst worker, but the worst person I have ever met. He preeches being as religious as Jesus himself, but lies through his teeth, and steals to boot. Phyllis has a pretty laid back time payment schedule, where I remember what hours i worked, total them, and tell her. No punch cards, no notes, easy. She knows I am reliable, and have always given any extra money back that she didnt owe me. She even miscalculated 100$ that I promptly gave back and told her it was too much. When she offered I keep it, I reminded her of how many plants she let me give my mother for mothers day for free. Then she agreed to take the money back. Jason on the other hand, says he comes it at 8 when he comes in at 8:59 and stays till 1 PM and tells her he leaves at 3 PM. She kept his hours without telling him one week, and he told her that he had worked something like 7 hours more than he had. I think he was making 8$/hour, and that means 56$. No, not enough for an Enron scandal, but stealing 1$ is just as bad as 100$. More on Jason later.

The twins, Andrew and ... some other name, worked there too. They were identical twins, and they were nice/funny. Jason never was invited to work with them, because they would have torn him appart, them being 19 and jason being 15 and naive as hell. Jason asked me if they were good workers, which was better etc. all the annoying intrusive questions he usually asked. He asked how I could tell them appart. This made me chuckle because 1 of them has a big curly pseudo-fro, while the other has a shaved head with big fat metal hardware in his ears.

My mom was the last. She worked there doing crippled people jobs, such as transplanting, filling pots with soil etc. Stuff that required very little lifting. She was a good worker, but my mom is the nosey-est person ever. A couple of times I wished she hadn't worked there because she put her 2 cents in on family stuff. Which I stayed out of intentionally.

Jason is 15 years old and somewhere around 6'5". Huge. He is the biggest liar i've ever met. (literally) So far, hes claimed:

- His dad owns a Ferrari Carrera (To non car buffs, a Carerra is a Porsche)
- His dad owns a special edition of the Escalade called the 'slade (his last name) that was specially designed for them...
- His older brother goes to Harvard for Biochem (he goes to a florida college for basketball)
- His dad faced lethal insurance raises for his trucking company of 100,000$ to 200,000$, and later that day, 300,000$ to 600,000$... :rolleyes:
- His average is a 96, and his brothers is a 98, "but thats because he's a smart alec"
- he's in grade 11, and hes already taken advanced calc.

i'll add to the list and update later, I have to go out.
Carlo gets a girlfriend.

Red hair, tall, slender. I thought she wasnt bad, but apparently my mom and Phyllis who first saw her thought otherwise. So, she gave Phyllis her number to give to Carlo (odd).

Turns out she has 5 kids, and is separated. He has 3. Carlo is just a lonley guy who is looking for company. Not a new life. So, she, looking for a new father, him looking for a companion, both start going out.

She starts to get posessive, and tells him not to tell Phyllis what goes on during their dates, and what she says etc. She even says that she wouldnt go out on a double date with Phil, Joe, Carlo and her. We thought she was jealous of Phil, but Phil is married to Joe, and she would kill for him. And I mean that.

Later on, she came in to visit. Later as in a week or two later. Believe it or not, they start to make out just behind the side greenhouse, in full view of the public. Anna takes a big shit. Screaming about how "this is a place for work, not making love!" Luckily I wasn't there, but my mom was, which was how I found out.

Recently they were all invited to eat dinner at her house, so I guess things cleared up, but I havent been into work to hear about it yet. (Just took a vacation)

Oh well, we'll see.

I also built Carlo a computer for his daughter going into graphic design. His daughters are twins, and although very italian, somewhat hot. Tech support man to the rescue :p . I mean :angel: . I like to joke, but I am happier with April than at any other point in my life. I wouldnt trade her for all the money in the world.


It's getting late, I'll update maybe soon after I remember more from this past year.
I forgot!

A couple weeks ago I had to get roadkill off the road. I saw it as I drove in. It was a racoon the size of a small dog. I got a snow shovel instead of a spade or anything that would require me levetating the gnarled beast above ground level. I went to the road, now empty, and started to push the thing across. It had been disembowled, and its intestines were all over. Its liver sat happily on top of the fur and wound, sunbathing. I also had to push a severed paw off, and a hunk of meat that looked too big to come from the racoon. Almost fillet mignon-esque.

Fun stuff!

I'm going into biology at U of Guelph, so this stuff interests me.
Wow, its been 2 years? I worked at the same place last year, and the year before. I haven't posted in a long time mostly because it has been uneventful and I get kinda busy. I'm almost done second year university now, U of Guelph Molecular Bio & Genetics program. I'm 19 now. If you'll notice, my first post was when i was 16. Scary.

Anyway, I'll be making the greenhouse tour for the 5th year this summer, and hopefully some entertaining stuff will happen so I can keep whoever reads this entertained. I might also be able to get pictures of people/the greenhouse.

Anyway, I have to keep it short, Finals start next week and my last day is the 18th. I'll probably be working 3 or 4 days after that, so I'll try to get into the habbit of posting more often than every few years.

Wish me luck on my finals, I'll need it.