It was 9:45am when I arrived at the door of the Sacristy. The 4-ft, rectangular cardboard box that should’ve been placed in the hallway was not there. Jiggling keys in my hand, I wrestled the lock open and pushed on the heavy door to peek inside. The box wasn’t there either.
The day prior we’d had four inches of snowfall; the driver must be running late. I grabbed four plastic buckets, two glass vases, and filled them with water. Then, I took the garden shears and apron from the supply drawer and set up my workstation on the island.
After 15 minutes and still no box, I decided to lock up shop and head over to the café for a cup of coffee. Just as I sat down, my phone rang. It was another member of the flower guild, who had happened to stop by the Sacristy to see if I needed help conditioning that morning. When she saw the buckets of water but no Carla, she thought she’d give me a ring. I told her I was just making the most of my time.
She joined me in the café and we talked for 45 minutes. Afterwards, she went up to the third floor and I headed back down to the concourse; the box was still not in the hallway. So, I cleaned out my purse, ate the rest of the chocolate chip cookie I’d purchased in the café, and then stared at the cabinets while I sat on the two-step ladder left in the room. Another 30-45 minutes went by with no sign of a delivery. I sent a text to the coordinator and went home. I had a deadline to meet for a project.
The moment I pressed ‘Submit’ my phone started buzzing with texts and voicemails. The flowers were lost and I needed to call the supplier for more information. After two phone calls, a couple of transfers, a 15-minute conversation, and description of the drop-off location, I was more confused of where the flowers could be.
“I apologize, we had a new driver today. Looks like he left them at the receptionist desk at 8:57am, near the school.”
“We don’t have a school in our building.”
“I have some notes about pediatrics…”
“We are located in an office building with six or seven floors. There’s lots of pediatrics, therapy, and medical offices, could you be a little more specific? Do you have the floor number?”
“The lobby area.”
“Our lobby doesn’t have a reception, just elevators…”
The dispatcher pulled up photos and did his best to describe what he saw. Nothing sounded familiar.
“Thanks for trying. I’m not sure where the box is, so I’m just going to head over there and walk around. I might call you back.”
During the 12-minute drive, it dawned on me. We hold ESOL classes, Bible study small groups, and other courses in The Learning Center. At 1:32pm, I parked my car, went through the side door, and saw the long box sitting atop an oval reception area.
I said, “The flowers! We’ve been looking for these for hours.”
The girl behind the desk looked at me, smiled, and said, “I wondered if anyone was going to claim them.”