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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Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Never Ending Day

Today was a perfect example of why business in a funeral home can be so unpredictable.

On Saturday mornings, the routine goes like this: Whoever is on call goes in about 8 or 9am, does some cleaning, brings in the mail and generally is available in case anyone calls or comes in. Today was my Saturday to work, and in addition to cleaning, we had a body to dress, place in the casket and prepare for visitation tomorrow. I made arrangements with a co-worker for him to come in at 10 to help take care of the body. I was to arrive early and get the cleaning done.

At 7am my phone rings and we have a call. So I get up, hating the fact that I don't have time to take a shower before I go out, because I cannot stand to start my workday without a shower and shave. So I make the removal, thinking that I can get my shower after my workday is over, which I anticipate being around 11am. Well, it turns out the new call has pre-arrangements which call for embalming. I bring the body back and get it on the prep table, and do as much as I can before help arrives.

Right in the middle of embalming the body, we get a phone call. Someone has lost a loved one and is inquiring about services. I call the owner and give him their phone number so he can deal with them (I don't give quotes to customers, as I'm still on the learning curve). So after I talk to the owner, we get back to embalming. Then I hear the front doorbell ring, which means someone has just walked in. I go up front and it's a family who just lost somebody, and they want to make arrangements. So I call the owner and he has me sit with them initially and take some preliminary information until he arrives. So I get them seated and start taking the information. The owner shows up shortly afterward and takes over. Right in the middle of his arrangements, the other family calls back and wants to use us.

What started out as a quiet morning with nothing to do but some minor housekeeping and preparing for visitation has turned into a three-call morning. After the owner finishes with his family, we get word that one of the two bodies is ready for pickup. This body is about an hour away, and the other one is in a local hospital. So I head for the long-distance removal while the other co-worker makes the trip to the hospital. He and the owner embalm this body while I'm making my run. I pick up and the body and head for the crematory, as their is no viewing or visitation. I arrive at the crematory and get the body in the cooler and head back to the funeral home. I got home at 5:45pm, which made my three hour workday eleven hours long. It seemed even longer, as I was hot, sweaty, unwashed and unshaved. I finally got my shower, though, and it was heaven!

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