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A&A Week Two As Christmas Tree Lot Managers in South Florida

End of Week #79

Hart-T-Trees Christmas Tree Lot, Margate FL

Miles traveled since last week's post = 0 miles

Total miles traveled to date = 11,823 with trailer

Welcome to December 2020!

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving holiday and got to eat a lot of good food! We worked the lot all day but were blessed by two different food deliveries - one from a customer for us and the lot help and one from a lot help and his family. He didn't have to work that day and lived close by so they brought us a huge feast. I couldn't have been more grateful or appreciative of the love we had that day, and we also had a great day in sales too!

I'm in a time-space continuum right now where I don't know what day it is let alone the date on a calendar. We are on day 13 of the Christmas Tree lot and I am a few days late on this week's update. It's been a busy past week and a half here for us, so I will do my best to give you guys a quick run down.

All in all, we are doing well. South Florida has been chillier than normal the past few days, which makes for great Christmas Tree sales, but a cold Amanda. Once my body drops below 70 degrees I start to shiver... LOL. The other morning I even caved and turned the furnace on to warm things up in the trailer. Don't laugh... I know my friends and family back home in Minnesota are dealing with the REAL cold...

I hope everyone reading this is starting to get into the holiday spirit, as I know we could all collectively use more joy and cheer in our lives right now!

Updates on Roscoe

The first update I want to provide this week is with Roscoe - as I mentioned last week he was still dealing with his feline tooth resorption problem and was scheduled to have surgery. His surgery took place yesterday and I am very happy it is all over with! Everything went as well as it could, and he had both dental and gum work done, and his last two canines extracted. That means that all he has left are the very small tiny cat teeth, and not very many of them. He will be very pleased to be on a mostly wet food diet moving forward, and I'm sure Rahja will enjoy that too!

Yesterday he spent the entire day at the animal hospital in Oakland Park, FL. I dropped him off in the morning and ran some errands to get groceries while Adam manned the lot. We got a new truck delivery of trees while I was gone so it was a lot going on for Adam too. In the evening I went and picked Roscoe up, after getting a phone call from the doctor regarding how it went and after they ensured he was able to stand on all 4 legs again. I had to leave during a busy time of the night for us but I'm happy to say we managed it. I was also pleased with how well the animal hospital took care of Roscoe, explained everything to me, and ensured he was stable before sending him home. It was quite reassuring after I had some skepticism about them.

Roscoe's aftercare involves pain meds, pills for inflammation and a check up appointment in two weeks to take stitches out and to ensure he is healing the way he should be. He has already started to eat again and Rahja is finally starting to growl and hiss at him a little less... she does this because he comes back smelling like other people, animals, and medication. I am hoping this is near the end of the road for Roscoe's dental work, as it has been both extremely stressful, extremely painful for him, and a big hit to our money banks.

Week Two as Christmas Tree Lot Managers

I feel like now we are REALLY getting the hang of things and getting into a solid routine. It only took a few days to do so, but now - almost 2 weeks deep, we are running on autopilot in some ways. The days are long (usually around 15 hours), and our backs and feet hurt constantly, but we are getting through it! Adam has it worse in the pain department, as he lifts a lot of heavy trees every day and his shoulders have been in immense pain too, but it really does feel like the days are going by faster and faster. After this next upcoming weekend of pure chaos, it will likely start to die down in sales - slowly, but surely. Not that we want it to die down per say, but at the same time it will be nice to have more time on our hands to try to catch up on personal things, cleaning and rest.

At this point in time we are officially over the $100K net sales needed to reach our base salary for this position. Every lot is to reach that $100K marker before you start to earn additional bonus income. At this point the total net sales today through the end of the season we will receive 4% commissions on, plus our base salary. Adam also receives some tip money every day for lugging around people's trees and putting them on their vehicles. By the end of the night tonight we will have sold over 1,000 Frasier firs alone - and then additional tree stands, table top trees, wreaths and tree products. Our goal is for the lot to reach about $220K in sales by the end of the season, as then tax will be subtracted from our total before our bonus is paid out. (Damn Florida state tax!)

In a lot of ways Adam completely runs the show here. Sure, I do a lot - especially when it comes to administrative tasks like scheduling lot help, doing payroll, closing out the bank at night, and answering all of the online orders and phone calls to the lot. But Adam is versatile and also works the cash register for me to allow me to run errands or catch up on things in the trailer like cleaning, doing the dishes, making food, and writing blog posts. I am so thankful for all of his hard work and everything he does to run this operation. All of those years in sales really pay off for this type of job as he is able to close the deal on every Christmas tree customer he interacts with. If the lot help are having trouble closing the deal then Adam finishes it off for them too. He is the ultimate salesman and essential to our business!

We have both been sleeping an average of 6-7 hours per night and it's definitely starting to catch up to us, but caffeine and sugar seems to help. By the end of this all I will need to do a serious detox AND lay in bed for a good 24 hours straight... I can't wait you guys!

Our new tree mascot & surprise friend

One exciting thing that has happened on the lot is that we now have seemed to adopt a new furry friend. We have deemed him our Christmas tree mascot and he interacts with the customers and loves to frolic through the trees. He is just a little kitty, maybe now more than 6 months or so old - and he just randomly showed up on the lot one evening and basically hasn't left us ever since! We have started calling him Fraser, for Fraser firs and have built him an outdoor bed in a box with blankets, and I've been leaving some kibble and water out for him. He wears a blue bell around his neck, but I don't think it serves as a "collar". If he has a real home out there, I don't think he has been to it in almost a week. Which then makes me start to believe he doesn't have one, or he would return back to it - especially the past few days when the low at night has dropped below 50 degrees.

He is not spayed/neutered (that's how we know he is a he), and he is extremely nice and playful. Usually stray cats aren't so social and people friendly, so then I start to think that maybe he had a home at one point but not any longer? It's so hard to say, but it's also concerning as I would hate for him to have nowhere to go after the time comes for us to leave the lot. One of our younger lot helpers has serious interest in taking him home and introduced his mom to him the other day, so I have hope that we will be able to assure him a safe and loving home before the month is over!

In the meantime he has been our little favorite friend all day long and keeps us company both when it's busy and slow on the lot. Even Adam is out there in the morning greeting him and saying goodnight to him before we close up shop. I will keep Frasier in my weekly updates as well so you can follow along in his journey too!

By this time next week we will be that much closer to our end goal, and the next chapter of our winter in Florida!


Update from last week: So the next 3-4 weeks are going to be a little different around here, as it's going to be a LOT harder for me to produce worthwhile content for my blog. Adam and I are going to be working 12-14 hour days, EVERY day, with potential work related or odd things happening all through the night. We aren't going to have a lot of time to even eat, let alone me sit at my computer for a few hours each week. So while we are here at our workamping job, I will just be providing brief updates each week on how we are doing, how the job is doing, how the cats are doing, and more in depth, organized content will resume towards the end of December!

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