Do flower delivery people expect and understand these extenuating circumstances, or do they feel jilted when people don't tip? Are they paid a normal wage, or is the expectation of tips part of their wage, as with restaurant workers? Or do they consider themselves like package delivery people, and not expect a tip at all?
Do you keep cash on hand at home just for this sort of situation, or are you sometimes caught off guard and unable to tip for an unexpected delivery?
I don't really know, but I think of them in the same classification as package delivery people. I don't tip the UPS man or the flower guy.
I thought you were supposed to, but it's always unexpected and awkward. I had the wits (and cash) about me to tip once when I answered the door to find someone had sent flowers to my mother. However, I just turned up stuff on an internet search saying that you shouldn't tip for flower delivery unless an unusual service was performed and that they do get paid minimum wage, at least, unlike waitstaff. So I'll go back to not feeling guilty:-)
My sister used to be a flower delivery person, and she enjoyed tips when she got them, but I don't think she expected them. Flowers are generally a gift that are paid for by a different party than the addressee, so they would pay the delivery charge or tip or whatever is involved. However, on Valentine's Day, she did get more tips, so I think people were expecting flowers and wanted to be nice.