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

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Dogpile On The Rabbit

Our secretary is on vacation for the next two weeks, so the day-to-day administrative and clerical duties will be falling on my shoulders. This has it's good points and bad points. The good part of this is that I usually get out of any grunt work that might be going on. The bad news is my boss has a tendency to start something, then pass it off to me to finish. For example, I was off yesterday, despite my concerns that I would have to go in. Well, we had four calls between Sunday and Monday. I show up to work on Tuesday morning, and find four sets of files waiting for me to enter into the computer.

This has to be done in order to print burial/transit permits, death certificates, social security notification forms, and the like. While I'm surveying the landscape, my boss tells me we need to find the address to one of the National Cemeteries up north and send an urn to them. I said something to the effect that we can probably look it up online. He tells me we can also look it up in some of our reference books. I'm thinking to myself, "well, then, why do you need me to look it up if you know where it is?" But that's just the kind of boss he is. I guess his philosophy is, "why do yourself what you can pawn off on somebody else?"

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Postponing My Day Off

This is my weekend to work and be on call. Normally I would be off come the following Monday, but since we've got a couple of people who will be on vacation this coming Monday, I may have to postpone it. As it stands, the owner will still be gone, and our secretary is leaving this weekend for vacation. This leaves four people to cover, which is usually not a problem. However, one of the other funeral homes is hiring our limo and driver Monday, which leaves 3 people behind. If I take my day off, that would leave only 2 people, and that's just not a good idea. It could be done, but it's better to have more than just 2 people, because that second person will be running errands. That would leave only one person on the premises, and that's not ideal. So, I'll probably take my day off Tuesday, instead. No big deal.

Monday after work I'll be getting new cell phones for the family. I was on my son's plan, and his contract expires this Monday. We're changing carriers, and my wife will finally have a cell phone. She's had a Tracfone prepaid phone for the past year or so, but it doesn't get good reception and she more often than not leaves it turned off. She's going to give that phone to her niece, and take the free phone that comes with the plan. My son is taking the free phone, too, but I'm getting the phone that doubles as an MP3 player, with FM transmitter so it can play through your car stereo speakers. That will be nice on those long-distance removals.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Getting Sassy With My Boss

Business seems to be slowing down, which is a good thing, in a way. These slowdowns give us a chance to review all of our files, making sure we're caught up on everything, and it gives the secretary a chance to catch up on balancing the books and checking inventory. The other day my boss tells me to set up a service at the national cemetery for 8 days from that day. We had a funeral mass that morning, so I told him I would do it after mass and after I had lunch. The mass was with cremated remains, so me and my boss went, leaving our Errand Guy and the Secretary behind. Since things had slowed down, there were some, but not too many, errands to be run, and Errand Guy decides this would be a good day to work half the day. When I get back from lunch, I realized that even though there weren't many errands to be run, they were critical. Especially picking up one particular death certificate from the doctor's office and getting cremation authorization for it, plus some certified death certificates to pick up from the health department.

So I took off to handle these errands, forgetting completely about the service at the national cemetery. In the meantime, my boss is taking a very very long lunch, we have one guy who was taking his regular day off, and Errand Guy who bailed at lunch. Well, when I get back from running the errands, my boss was back and asks if everything was set at the national cemetery. I told him that no, they weren't. He looks at me with the deer in the headlights look and asks why not? I tell him because I've been busy doing Errand Guy's job! He then gives me grief over which is more important, death certificates or missing a funeral?

Bear in mind this is the same guy who, when things are busy, is always sweating bullets over not forgetting about death certificates. So the only thing I can infer from his attitude is that the most important thing at any given time is whatever he thinks it is. So if I have a choice between running death certificates or setting up services a week in advance, whichever I choose to do will probably be the wrong thing. In any event, I got his services set up in plenty of time so now he can start picking something else to fixate on.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

April Ends With A Bang

At close of business on April 30th, we had 36 calls for the month. At open of business on May 1, we had 40 calls. Between 5pm and midnight, we had four calls. The other guy who is on call with me made three of the removals. The third and fourth calls came in about 5 minutes apart. He took care of the one that was closest, while I got the one that was a little bit out of the way. I didn't mind, though, it was a nice drive and by the time I got home I was definitely ready for bed.

This morning I sat with the family of the person I picked up last night. Everything had been preplanned and pre-arranged, so it went very smoothly.