And So Begins My New Life

Join me as I embark on a new life and new career in Funeral Services.

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Location: Southeast, United States

I'm a Funeral Services graduate embarking on a new career. I graduated high school in 1981, served honorably in the United States Navy from 1982-1986, been married since 1986, and have one son. I've relocated to a new state and have begun working in my chosen profession of Funeral Services, and I've never been happier.

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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Small World

It can be a small world, sometimes. Today we had an inspector for the health department come by the funeral home to check up on our compliance with health regulations, biohazard disposal, storage of embalming fluids, etc. It was his first time ever in a funeral home prep room, and we were working on a body. He told me he had never seen a dead body outside of a regular funeral service, let alone one that was in the process of being embalmed. He handled it ok, though, or so I thought.

When I got home, I was checking my mailbox (I live in an apartment) and who should be standing five feet away from me checking his mailbox? Mr. Health Inspector. It turns out he lives about three buildings away from me. We got to chatting, and I told him he seemed to handle his first experience well. He told me he was feeling woozy toward the end. He said he was breaking out in a sweat, feeling light-headed, and using "tunnel vision" to get through the job. I'm sure he'll get used to it as he gets more exposure.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Pardon Me While I Get Political

There has been absolutely nothing happening at work, whatsoever. Business has slowed to a crawl, which is why I haven't posted anything in almost a week.

However, when I logged onto the internet this evening, I saw a news report that says liberal activists are going to try to organize a boycott of companies that advertise on Fox News, claiming the news channel is too slanted to the right in it's coverage of the news.

Among those planning to participate is the Sierra Club, which is boycotting Home Depot:

"Groups like the Sierra Club have targeted Home Depot because they believe it's inconsistent for the company to promote environmentally friendly products while advertising on a network that has questioned global warming."

Here's my question, and I'm going to use a preposterous example to prevent any debates, because I don't want this to turn into a political mess.
Let's say I own a company that makes world globes, and I advertise on the local Fox affiliate. Let's say scientists now believe the earth is flat, and not round, and then let's say Fox calls the findings into question. Why should people who get upset at Fox for challenging this claim punish me? It would be one thing if Fox were to blatantly call the scientists liars and fools, but is it quite another to merely question whether the scientist were 100% certain of their facts. Would they rather Home Depot not sell environmentally friendly products at all? These people are treating global warming as an object of worship, and anyone or anything who even questions the claims and findings are guilty of heresy.

And then there's this quote from the same story:

"' is campaigning against Fox because it says the network characterizes itself as a fair news network when it consistently favors a conservative point of view', said Adam Green, the organization's spokesman."

And how many major news outlets do EXACTLY the same thing, but with their favoritism supporting the liberal side?

These are the types of situations that make liberal activists seem foolish to me. If you don't like something, don't have anything to do with it. I don't listen to National Public Radio, a decidedly left-leaning station. Nobody's making them watch Fox News.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Granimore, The High Roller

My wife and I just returned from a gambling cruise. It's one of those operations where they ferry you out to the big casino boat anchored in international waters. We pretty much broke even, which is a miracle, considering neither one of us has ever done anything like this before. My wife and I played the quarter slots, and we did ok. Win some, lose some. Every once in a while I would wander over to the blackjack tables ($5 per hand was the cheapest) and play a few hands. Again, I went up and down, just like at slots. Ultimately, we came home with about the same amount of money as when we left, maybe a couple of bucks extra. While we were standing in line for the shuttle back to land, I put a dollar into the slot machine right by me and won $20. We had a good time and will be going back again sometime.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Finally, A Whole Weekend Off

I was looking over my timesheets for the past couple of months, and it turns out that I have worked every Saturday for the last 5 weeks. Three of those Saturdays I was on call anyhow, but I still ended up working two Saturdays when I should have been off. Plus, there was that one Sunday where I had to go to the funeral home to take care of the funeral notice which the newspaper messed up.

Regardless, I am free this weekend. I told my boss when I left work, "see you Monday." He answered back, "Unless we get a 600 pound body to remove." I said, "See You Monday!"

I absolutely will not be going in this weekend for any reason short of the Second Coming of Jesus.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Maybe Karma Exists, After All

In my previous job in retail, a certain employee of the store got away with murder, seemingly with no consequences whatsoever. I used to wonder about that, and my friends in the store would tell me that karma would catch up with this person, and the universe would ultimately balance itself out. I used to scoff at them, and tell them there was no such thing as karma.

Ultimately, the store I worked in closed down a few months after I left, and this employee had to take a job that was essentially a demotion, and is now hating life and everyone in it.

In my previous post, about people leaving early all the time, I mentioned how I hated having to pick up the slack of others. Well, what I suspect might be karma reared it's head and made itself known. The employee who seems to leave early the most often was tasked the other day with cleaning, vacuuming and dusting all the front offices. I was thrilled! However, he took off early again the next day.

I guess I owe my old colleagues an apology.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Frustrated By Co-Workers

I'm feeling very frustrated right now, due to certain actions by my co-workers. The owner is out of town until Friday. He left yesterday at lunch. Yesterday at 3:30, one of my colleagues went home early. Today, the employee who has been on vacation since last Wednesday returned to work, along with the guy who left early yesterday. My boss also came in this morning. Business has been very slow, with no new calls in a week. So lunch rolls around, and everyone takes off to eat. No big deal. Then 1 o'clock rolls around, 1:30...nobody ever came back. Not my boss, not the guy who left early yesterday, and even the guy who just got back from vacation pulled a disappearing act.

I know I shouldn't let it bother me, because their job performance is not my concern. But the thing of it is, there is plenty of work to be done even when we have no bodies. Especially when we have no bodies. Landscaping, which I did this morning (I trimmed all the hedges), cleaning the restrooms, dusting, mopping, vacuuming, organizing, straightening. There's even some painting to be done, yet the mentality of my colleagues seems to be, "well, we've got no bodies. There must not be anything to do, let's leave early." So guess who gets to do most of the work? I'm prepared to do my share, especially as I'm "the new guy" and low man on the totem pole, but I resent having to do my share plus everybody else's.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Working On My Day Off

Friday I sat with a family who had pre-arrangements. They made a couple of additions to those arrangements, including a paid funeral notice. No big deal, or so I thought. I typed it up the way they wanted, got their approval, then faxed it to the paper.

Saturday we had a funeral. Even though I was supposed to be off, I had to work it. We took care of everything and the family was very satisfied. I got through around 2pm and enjoyed the rest of my day.

This morning my cell phone rings. It's my boss and he's fussing at me about the paid notice I faxed Friday. It didn't make the paper today like it was supposed to. (We were past deadline Friday afternoon for the Saturday edition, so I told the family it should appear on Sunday). He had me call the family and explain to them what happened. Bear in mind, this is supposed to be my weekend off. So I call them, explain the situation and let them know we'll make sure it appears tomorrow. So I'm on my way in to the funeral home to take care of all this when the owner calls. "I just faxed that notice; didn't you fax it? Why didn't it appear?" So I tell him I'm on my way in and we'll discuss it when I arrive.

I get to the funeral home and I tell him that I typed it up EXACTLY as the family wanted it to appear, and that I DID fax it Friday. So I call the newspaper and made sure it was received, then I head to church for Sunday School. After class I headed back to the funeral home to make sure they had faxed us the proof for our approval. They had, so I proofed it and faxed it back to them.

It aggravates me that I had to take care of all this on my day off. Sometimes it seems like every time I'm supposed get time to myself, something comes up and I have to work, and I'm getting a little fed up about it. But then I remind myself this is part of the job and it was only an hour or so total out of my Sunday.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Working On The Fourth

I ended up working some on the 4th, but I still got to cook out with my family. It rained on us, so we moved the grill onto our porch and finished the bbq. The ribs turned out well, despite my inexperience.

My work was unexpected, though. I was on call, and about 5:45am I get a call. I make the removal and talk to the friends of the family who were still there (the family had left before I arrived). We weren't sure what the family wanted to do, so I asked the friends if they knew what the family had in mind. They told me visitation and burial at the National Cemetery. This means we would be embalming. I take the body back to the funeral home and get everything ready for the embalming process, then I go home and go back to bed. (I had stayed up extra late the night before watching old movies on TCM). About 9:45am I get a call from the owner, asking if I can come in and help him out with the embalming and other tasks. So I give myself a quick shave, get dressed and head in to work. He's just finishing arrangements with the family, so I begin calling the church for mass and filling out the burial application for the cemetery. Once I get everything done, I assist with the embalming. We finished that job and were preparing to leave when we got a call from the wife of the pastor of my church. One of our members had just lost their spouse. So they come in and make the arrangements while we wait for the body to be released. By the time the body is released, it's about 2:15 or so. I head over to pick up the body and the family is there! I didn't expect they would be there, so I give them time to say their goodbyes, then they left and I made the removal. I finally got home around 3:15 or 3:30. I had told my wife that morning when I left that I should be home by 1. I would have been, too, except for the extra call. Still, I got to enjoy half the day off and spend time with my family, and it was a good day.