Saturday, 29 September 2007

Cat fight

Mum's garden produces orchids that are mainly exported worldwide. We supply the lower grades to the local flower shops and vendors, including vendors at the cemetery. Yes, the cemetery.

They started coming to our farm several years ago. At first, they came in their rickety motorbikes and could only afford to buy very little. They repack them into little bundles and sell for a lot more at the cemeteries. People who buy flowers at the cemeteries do not haggle over prices.

These flower sellers were soon making a bundle and started arriving in pick-up trucks and were able to buy more. Soon, their relatives, seeing how lucrative this business is, also joined in the revelry. Mum’s customer base also increased.

This is supposed to be a good thing right? Well, not really. The competition and rivalry drive mum crazy. For those who do not know about orchids, we have flowering seasons. These vendors hound mum day and night. When we do not have enough to supply, some become unreasonable and demanding, expecting mum to sell them export-quality for ‘scrap’ prices and forbidding her to sell to their rivals. They fight among themselves over territories at the cemetery. Sometimes they come with scratch marks on their faces after cat fights. The authorities have stepped in many times to keep them under control.

For them, business at the cemetery is also seasonal. Whenever the festivals come around, business soars for them. We’ll see them coming in and out of our farm too frequently. When supply doesn’t meet their demand, they'll cajole or demand, stressing mum out tremendously. Well, mum has a way of dealing with them. Whilst she’s a nice lady mostly, she will throw them out of the farm if they go overboard. This little lady is feisty too!

You go girl!

7 comments:

SOUL said...

that's an interesting little story. how cool. and so is your mama!!!
i can see people fighting amongst themselves for business etc... but the supplier? that's a bit stupid isn't it?
anyways..hope you are havin a good day.

J@n!ce said...

Blur Ting, I tagged you :)

http://janiceng.blogspot.com/2007/09/my-desktop_30.html

Anonymous said...

yeah i agree with soul... guess if your mom wasnt feisty... she would be lasting too long either... you guys both rock! Like mother like daughter eh?

Anonymous said...

how interesting.

Amel said...

Crazy competition!!!

GO, MOM!!!!! YEEESSS!!!!! ;-D

Anonymous said...

That's the way you have to be in business - especially if you're a female. Professional and nice until the manner isn't returned in kind. Then, you have to lay down the law.

I hope your mom is feeling better, I'm sorry she has to deal with people like that on top of everything else.

Blur Ting said...

There are always different kinds of people to deal with in business. In business, it's mostly the customers that are difficult, whereas working for people, you've got to deal with the boss and the customers!