We all know that delivering bouquets is not the most dangerous job in the world but it isn't that safe either. Flower delivery boys in the city have had various encounters but thankfully lived to tell their tales.
Unable to lay hands on the real sender of these floral missives, guardians of the recipients - parents, spouses, the extended family - vent their anger on the delivery boys. And the degree of wrath can vary from verbal abuse to a black eye.
Atul Kumar, 23, a flower delivery boy with a Fern N Petals outlet in V3S Mall, Laxmi Nagar, had not one but a string of such experiences on Valentine's Day. He says, “This was in Krishna Nagar. As soon as I handed over the flowers to an elderly person, he slapped me. The girl's mother and uncle also joined in and twisted my arm. They threw me out with flowers after their daughter assured that she knew neither the sender nor me.”
Raj Kumar, who owns the Fern and Petals outlet in V3S Mall, corroborates this. The problem, he says, arises mostly when people place over-the-counter orders, though this happens in online orders too.
“They leave a romantic message and either give us their wrong address or no name or address,” he adds. As a result post-delivery, there are angry calls from people. “They want to know the identity of the sender and even threaten to hand over our boys to the police.” Brij Mohan Khanagwal of Birju Flower Group, who has also been thrown out with bouquets, confirms, “At least 25 per cent of Valentine's Day orders are not accepted.”
When Anil Kashyap of Chandrakala Florist in Palika Bazar went to deliver flowers at an address in Gurgaon, a young girl received it. But once she read the message she was furious and she flung the bouquet and Rs 300. Says Kashyap, “Since tips are rare in this profession, I kept the money as tip.”