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, November 13, 2007

When It Rains

Business is picking up at work. I went in to work Monday to find that we had four calls over the weekend. At least two of those are burials on Wednesday, with one visitation today. We got the body ready and placed in the chapel, flowers came in early enough to set them up before lunch, and we were in good shape. Then we got a call. We sent two people to make the removal, leaving me, the owner, and my boss at the funeral home. The secretary was out for the day. After the crew came back from getting the body, we all went to lunch. I had brought mine from home, while everybody else left the premises for lunch. One of the employees came back with Burger King and ate with me, then he got to work embalming the body we had just picked up. In the meantime, the family was due in for their visitation, so I'm waiting up front to greet them. I see two cars pull into the parking lot, so I figure it's them. The first people to come to the front door are carrying clothes on a hangar. So I greet them and they tell me they are the family of the call we just got. The other car was the family I was expecting, so I show them in. Phones are ringing, I've got families coming in on me, and I'm all alone.

I got them seated, then called my boss to let him know the family had arrived unannounced. He was on his way back from lunch and arrived in just a few minutes. While he's meeting with them, I'm covering visitation and the phones. A short while later, another couple come in and I thought they were here for the visitation. I ask them if they're here for the family, and they tell me they just lost someone and need to make arrangements. So I got them seated and tell them we'll be with them as soon as possible. The phone rings and it's a local facility, telling me they have a call for us,and the family is on their way to see us. I take the information and send the only guy available to pick up the body. My boss escorts his family out, and I introduce the new family. While he's meeting with them, the phone rings, and it's a local hospital with another call for us. By this time another employee has returned from running errands, and I send him to the hospital.

My boss, in the meantime, has told me the first family he sat with wants everything completed as quickly as possible, so I get to work typing up the obit, faxing that in, calling the doctor to see if he'll sign the death certificate, get that ready for delivery, etc. Then my boss finishes with his second family, and they're in the same kind of hurry. So I repeat the process all over again. Bear in mind this whole time we still have visitation going on, the family's popping in every once in a while asking questions, etc. Finally, I get everything done, only to be told to deliver the certificates to the doctor and take a body to the crematory. I ended up working late, which normally I wouldn't mind, but one of our employees had already made arrangements to leave an hour early. So basically, I got to pick up his slack, which I seem to do more than I care for.

Anyhow, tomorrow will be very busy. We have two bodies to dress and casket, one of them weighing about 350 pounds. We've got two funerals tomorrow, one at a local church, the other at the National Cemetery. I'll be leading that one. While we are on those funerals, whoever is left behind will have to set up for the 2 o'clock visitation. When I return from the National Cemetery, I'll have to work the evening visitation, as I will be back on call. We have a funeral Thursday in our chapel, with burial at a local cemetery. I believe one of our calls from today has Friday services, and we have a memorial service Sunday afternoon. It will be a very busy week.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stick in there Granimore. When it gets hectic try and remember how much you hated standing behind a counter at that watch store.

For me, I try to remember how much I hated waiting tables as I was working my way through school.

2:09 AM  

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