And So Begins My New Life

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

My Photo
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.

Email me

Friday, December 28, 2007

Slow Day Turned Busy Real Fast

My boss is on vacation this week, so I've been covering the phones after hours. As a result, I know ahead of everyone else when we get a call or have extra work at the open of business each day. Today I went into work knowing we had no calls, with only one memorial service scheduled for Saturday.

When I arrived, I had my coffee and skimmed the newspaper, then got to work doing some paperwork and going through all of our recent files to make sure all the paperwork was in order. About 9:30am an older gentleman walks in. I figured he was coming in to make payment on a preneed arrangement or something. He tells me his wife died yesterday and he wants to make arrangements. I take him into the office and sit with him. In the meantime, the secretary is on the phone to our owner, telling him what is going on. In the meantime, I take as much as information as I can from the gentleman. When the owner showed up, he took over while we went to the hospital to get the body. The arrangements turned out to be cremation with viewing and visitation, so we start embalming the body. Due to difficulties encountered during the embalming process, I ended up working through lunch. I finally sat down to eat about 1 o'clock. Just as I'm eating, our courier tells me we have another call. I tell him to take somebody else, as I'm just now getting my lunch.

When they return from that call, we have another embalming to perform. In the meantime, I'm trying to deal with a doctor who is just now informing us he can't sign the death certificate on one of our calls because he hasn't seen the patient in over a year. So we're calling around trying to find another doctor to sign, plus we have to call the doctors on these two new calls to see if they're going to sign the death certificate. At the end of the day, with about 45 minutes until quitting time, the owner wants us to clean out the side rooms that look out into the chapel. Tomorrow's service is expected to be quite large, so we set up those rooms for overflow seating. We moved out two wooden caskets and six metal caskets, plus some assorted lamps and end tables left over from our recent redecorating.

What started out as a very slow day with nothing to do quickly turned into one full day. This type of occurrence is what makes this job so exciting. It's rarely the same day twice in a row. There is usually something that comes up that makes today different from yesterday.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

This week has been a very busy one, which is why I haven't been able to post anything in a few days. We spent all day Saturday and Sunday moving into the new house. We got all of the big pieces of furniture in. There's still a lot of little stuff at the old apartment, but we've got a couple of weeks to get it all out, and it's not anything we can't carry over in our cars. We put up the Christmas tree Sunday night. I had one of those surreal moments in the middle of decorating; "I'm putting up the Christmas tree, in my house!" I'm sure you've had those types of moments, so you know what I mean. My wife and I got most of Christmas Eve off; I left work at 9:45am, and she left around 11am. My son got off at 5pm. We went to a candlelight service at church, then came home and watched "Elf" on DVD. We're thrilled to be in the house. My wife got me a Hallmark ornament; a small house with "2007" on it, to commemorate this event in our lives. We got up early, cooked breakfast, traded gifts, then went to my mother's house for lunch and gifts. My son got Guitar Hero III for the Wii. He taught me how to play, but between his game and the Mario Galaxy he got me, Wii time will be hard to come by.

Anyhow, that's a quick summary of events to date. Merry Christmas to all and a Happy New Year.

Friday, December 14, 2007

More Pictures

This is the den. We sold the TV stand, the easy chairs (there were two) and the end tables at a yard sale last week. We've repainted the walls a darker shade of tan or khaki, whatever you want to call it. We'll be replacing the roll down window shade with vertical blinds, and have disposed of the curtains. The Salvation Army came and picked up the couch and a few other pieces of furniture. We kept the barstools.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Pictures Of The House

I will not be creating a new blog about the house, as it wouldn't last too long. Instead I will post my photos and stories here on this blog.

These are from the street. The first one was taken at sunset. The other two were taken from my car on a quick drive-by. The top color is a peachy-yellowy color. The lower half is a pinkish-coralish color. We will eventually change that color. The top half isn't too bad.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Most Expensive Practice Test Ever

Today was the day I took my State Board exams. I'm sorry to say, I failed with a 64%, 11 short of the required 75%. However, I'm not being too hard on myself over it because of the nature of some of the questions:

If you are trying to find/recover a lost body in the woods, under whose jurisdiction does this ultimately come under? a) Secretary of State b) Secretary of Defense c) Secretary of Agriculture d) Secretary of Labor

What is the oldest the photo displayed with your license can be? a)1 year b) 2 years c) 3 years d) 4 years

If we are at war, and an enemy POW dies on American soil, the U.S. will pay for everything related to the funeral except: a)Death Certificates b)Casket and outer burial container c)Transportation of the remains d)Interment

If vandals damage a tomb, what degree of crime is this? a)first degree felony b) second degree misdemeanor c) third degree felony d)fourth degree misdemeanor

The test was full of asinine questions like this, questions that have no bearing whatsoever on the day to day operations of a funeral home and it's staff.

Now that I know what some of these questions are, I'll be able to research the answers and be better prepared for the next time. I'll have to contact the Board and find out about scheduling another exam. The good news is, I can take the test as often as I need to. The bad news is, these things are expensive. My fee for this fiasco was $575.00.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

I'm On Vacation

I start my vacation this week. This is the first time I've had any significant time off in a year and a half. Since my family and I are moving into our first house, I'll be spending most days cleaning the new house, painting, and getting ready for the move. In addition, I have my state board exams in a few days, plus a Sunday School lesson to prepare for the 9th of December. Needless to say, this will be a busy week.

It never ceases to amaze me how God will sometimes work things out and you don't even know it until you find yourself in the middle of such a situation. For example, I planned this vacation about 3 months ago, based on the wedding and honeymoon of my wife's boss. I knew my wife would be off work after the wedding, so I planned my vacation accordingly. Then, within the last few weeks, we were able to get the house and start preparing for the move. As a result, we've got almost a whole week of free time (besides my State Board) to work in the new house, getting it cleaned and painted.

My plan is to work during the daytime, then study in the evening. I'll probably work on my Sunday School lesson Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. My wife and I decided that regardless of when we actually move into the house, we will at least spend Christmas Day there. I'm looking forward to it. I'm actually contemplating starting a new blog concerning the house; before and after pictures, and so forth. The only thing that's holding me back is thinking how boring that might be to anyone but my family.