Sometimes during transit and handling the stem may break. Once this happens, the flowers and buds on the broken piece will die, as they are unable to receive water. At this point, the orchid is beyond repair and the damage is permanent. Be sure to look for undamaged orchids at the stores when selecting your plant.
If you have a plant with a leaf on its stem, do not be alarmed. This is a sign of high temperatures in the greenhouse for a short time during the growth of stem. This will not affect the plant.