The supervisor assistant of the rose nursery, Ms. Svetlana Avdeeva has been working in the collective farm Teplichny for 20 years. Ten of them she grew cucumbers and dedicated the second decade to roses. Ms. Avdeeva recalls the times when she first came to the greenhouse, why she wanted to quit and why roses fade.
"When I was a young girl, I was looking for a job and came to the HR department of the collective farm. Of course, I had an idea of what a vegetable garden was: my family come from a village, my parents had livestock, grew vegetables and my sister and I assisted in everything. Nevertheless, I had no idea what a greenhouse complex is like, how everything is here and how many vegetables would pass through my hands.
Thus, I became a vegetable grower in the cucumber greenhouse. In those times, at the very beginning of my career, everything in the collective farm was done manually: weeding, watering, soil replacement. Gradually everything started changing. Dripping watering system was installed; first turf was introduced and later hydroponics. Heavy boxes for crops were replaced by the plastic ones and later for carton boxes. Within 10 years of my career, we practically excluded all heavy manual operations.
I do not welcome change; stability is my domain that is why when I was appointed to the rose nursery, I was more than disappointed. I was crying all day long, even wrote a resignation notice… Then my immediate superior gave me some days of vacation. I got some rest, my spirits lifted; I weighed all pros and cons, started working in the rose nursery and… realized that I enjoy it here. Now I do not have any thoughts about resignation.
I have been learning how to grow roses and shape a bush for four years. Now it has been six years that I have been passing the knowledge to flower growers in the capacity of a supervisor assistant. The onboarding for the newcomers goes as follows: first, I cut roses from one side of the bed and the new growers observes the process, then they cut the other side, while I observe. After that I allow them to do one or two flowerbeds themselves, without my interference. I fully understand how difficult and exciting the first working days can be, I have been in their shoes. I always tell them: if you have doubts, better leave the flower. Then we make another go together and do the correction work.
Our work is similar to the jeweler’s, we have to consider how ripe a bud is, what the right way of cutting is, how the bush should be shaped. As by bending the main branch properly, one fosters the growth of side shoots, shaping the skeleton of the plant. Any mistake could cost a bush its life.
Now we have a very friendly team of 20 employees in the nursery. One has to love what they do, put a bit of soul in it, be passionate about roses, otherwise they won’t find understanding with the flowers. We had such a case: one associate was working with us for one month, then for another. She seemed to be doing everything right: shaped the bushes and such but there were no flowers. We replaced her with another grower and the bushes burst with flowers. The plants are alive; they feel the mood of the person and respond to it. Now, after I have worked with them for 20 years, I know it for sure.
I take all mistakes close to heart. I am truly joyful when everything goes smoothly. I understand now that personal problems should be left at home and not woven in the working environment but it has not always been like that. I am truly grateful with my family for the support they give so that I can fully dedicate myself to work. My daughter also works in Teplichny and understands me better than anyone. I am a happy person. I work in a lovely place among the beauty of flowers; I have a lovey understanding family. What else does one need?"