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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Monday, August 06, 2007

Worst Episode Ever

Well, today is Monday, and my Monday certainly lived up to the reputation that particular day of the week is famous for.
We had a funeral this morning at 10am. Right as it's ready to start, another family shows up to bring clothes and a picture for the obituary. Since I'm the only one who knows how to scan a photo and send it to the newspaper, I got to work. Unfortunately, the funeral ended at about that time, and it was time to go the cemetery for the burial. So I'm trying to send the photo while keeping an eye on the family, because I'm also driving them in the limo. The photo is taking forever to upload, and right in the middle of it the owner comes in to see what I'm doing. I tell him I'm still uploading the photo, but it's taking longer than usual. He asks me, "well, what are you doing?" I guess he wasn't sure exactly what I was up to or didn't understand me the first time I told him, but I said, "I'm sending this photo." He snapped at me and said, "Don't Get Frisky With Me! What are you doing?" I said, "I'm trying to upload this photo for the obit, but it's taking much longer than usual."

The whole reason I started this project was because I had this fear of missing the deadline, which is around 2 o'clock or so. I wasn't sure how long I was going to be out on the service, especially since I was driving the family, and for all I know they were going to stay to witness the casket being buried. So I really wanted to get this done before we left, but since it was taking so long, I just pulled the plug and said we could it after the service. So we left for the cemetery, and I got back in time to finish sending the picture. Then I'm told by the owner the family has 65 pictures they want scanned so we can make them a slideshow. Now, this is a new service we are starting to offer, and since it's so new to us, we're doing them for free with the understanding that they may not be professional quality. So after lunch I start scanning them. It took forever. Right in the middle of that it comes to my attention we have death certificates to pick up and drop off. Errand Guy is doing some of it, but he can't get to all the places in one afternoon. So I ask the secretary if Returning Employee can do it, and she gives me this look that basically meant, "I'm not sure if I would trust him to do that..."

What The Hell? You can't trust him to drop and pick up some paperwork? So, once again, I stop what I'm doing, which is very time consuming and time-critical (visitation tomorrow at 2pm) and pick up somebody else's slack and run the errands.

So I get to my first stop, a local hospital. I hate when we take death certificates directly to the hospital, because they can be in any number of places: the emergency room, intensive care, admitting, reception, medical records. The guy who dropped it off did not write down precisely where in the hospital he left this certificate, so I had the doctor paged. About 10 minutes later he shows up only to tell me his secretary put it somewhere, he'll go and try to find it. He comes back in about 5 minutes and tells me he has no idea where she put it and she's gone for the day. So basically I've wasted 15 minutes when I've still got two more stops to make and it's already after 4pm. I make the other pickups and deliveries and return to the funeral home. By this time it's 4:45 and we close at 5pm. So I made the most elementary of starts on my slide show. I debated staying late and getting it done, but in the end I decided I can work on it in the morning. We'll be fully staffed and I should be able to get finished. I only hope I don't hear any crap from my boss about "finish that later, we've got things to do..."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agggh, the life of a working people in a funeral home!! I have had many days like yours in the past. It seems like you have 1000 and 1 things to do and 15 minutes to do them.

Just mark it off the calendar and go to the next day.

Momma said there'd be days like this...

Have a good one

DM -- Greenwood

9:51 PM  
Blogger Granimore said...

Yeah, it was pretty stressful.
Then, the next morning while I'm working on the slideshow, one of the guys asks if I can help dress the body for the viewing. I told him I was busy, perhaps someone else can help. I finish that task, and get to work printing the memorial folders and guest book, when my boss tells me stop what I'm doing and help dress the body. It turns out boss and his best friend wanted to go to 7-11 for some donuts or something, so I had to stop what I was doing and help dress the body, anyhow.

9:53 PM  
Blogger Sheila said...

65 photos to scan? That's a huge chunk of time given your other responsibilities. It almost seems like a good job to outsource. How does the slideshow thing work? Is it accessible via the funeral home's Web site? I'm a designer and stuff like that interests me, but it seems you are asked to wear too many hats.

9:30 AM  
Blogger Granimore said...

Yes, 65 was a huge chunk of photos. We have since installed the HP scanning software that came with our new all-in-one fax/copier/scanner and that works much much better.
Right now we are using the Windows Movie Maker. We scan the photos, put them into Movie Maker in sequential order (oldest photos to newest) as best we can, and run the movie on Windows Media Player. Unfortunately we do not have internet access on anything other than dial-up, but fiber optics are coming within the next year to our area.
As far as wearing too many hats, I've decided that's just part of my job, especially as "the new guy" and everything. Still, my worst day at the Funeral Home is much better than my best day in Retail.

11:20 AM  

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