NieuwsFlowers also bring energy and cheerfulness
March 12, 2021

Flowers also bring energy and cheerfulness

A phone call came from the vocational school at the end of the seventies. They were wondering whether Bert would be returning to school after being absent for a few months. He wouldn’t be, because he was having too good a time as a flower delivery driver’s helper! “That’s how I got into it,” says Bert Jonkers from Meppel. “And I still enjoy doing it.”

It is half past nine on Wednesday morning. Bert has finished packing his truck and is ready to leave, with the Auction sale ending a little earlier than usual today. “I am about to go out to my customers in Zwolle, Steenwijk, Emmeloord, Staphorst and, of course, Meppel.” Bert has an enthusiastic attitude. He recounts with pleasure the moment the alarm clock goes off on the days he drives to Plantion. “That’s at three in the morning. My girlfriend Ina is still sleeping then, but our three cats always put me in a good mood. They’re already there looking at me, waiting for their biscuits.”

Just kidding
He takes out his phone to show us how the animals looked that morning. “This is Mr. and Mrs. Jansen, and this is Mac. I don’t know how you write it, because there’s nothing on paper. Haha.” Then he walks off towards the side of his sales truck. It says ‘Bert and Ina Bloemen’. “That Ina’s name is also on it was actually intended as a joke. ‘Don’t do that,’ she said. So, I went ahead and did. But it also looks much nicer than something like ‘Bert Jonkers Flower Wholesale’. After all, I like cheerfulness and fun.”

Atmosphere and emotion
This is also how he sees his work as a flower delivery driver. “You should never forget how important flowers are to people. They create atmosphere, but they also represent emotion. Especially with COVID. It is no coincidence that flowers are doing well. People feel a greater need to give flowers: it’s a sign that you’re thinking of somebody.” When Bert heads off from Plantion towards the north of the country, he will arrive at his first customer an hour and a half later. “I know what they want and sometimes they also pass on special requests to me, such as flowers for funerals. I spend about half an hour with each customer, although I do also have a large customer that takes me an hour.”

Trust
When the Meppel flower delivery driver gets to his customers, he opens the door at the side of his truck and lowers the steps. “Then the customers pick out what they want. I don’t really have to go out of my way to promote the products, because that’s the beauty of flowers: they sell themselves.” Sometimes Bert is allowed to make the choice for the customer. “They are busy then and say: ‘Just put something aside for me, because you know what I want’. This is only possible when you know each other through and through and when you have trust.”

Nice at Plantion
Bert does his work with love and pleasure. “I really enjoy coming to Plantion in the morning and seeing what’s on offer. It’s nice to walk around and smell and feel a little. I also like the driving and the contact with people. You’re not just bringing flowers, but also energy and cheerfulness. Which works both ways.” On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, the flower delivery driver works days of up to fourteen or fifteen hours. He gets into the truck at 3.30 in the morning and finishes around 6.30 in the evening. On other days, he starts at eight in the morning. “I have no idea how many hours I work. It doesn’t matter either. I enjoy it and still have energy left over to play football and tennis as well.”