Sandy Meadows moved from Monroe, La., to Baton Rouge in 2000, shortly after losing her husband. While living in Monroe, she worked at Wal-Mart, where, as she said, she “did everything but cut meat and change tires.” But the job she liked best, and the one she came to specialize in, was working in the floral department, where she created arrangements, tended the flowers, and assisted customers.
Sandy’s work was so well-respected that when another Albertson’s in the Baton Rouge area loses its licensed florist, the store manager often asks for her specifically to come over and run the floral department while the store looks for a replacement florist. Sandy was frustrated by Louisiana’s florist licensing scheme in which her nine years of hands-on experience and her ability to single-handedly run the entire floral department of a large grocery store count for nothing. She had taken the state-mandated licensing exam three times and she believes the test is utterly unfair. Not only is it hopelessly subjective, but the actual skills that would-be florists are required to demonstrate in order to pass the test are totally antiquated, having little if any connection to the techniques florists actually use in real life.