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, September 02, 2008

Why My Boss Frustrates Me, Sometimes (Part 2)

Last night (actually, early this morning, about 3am) I get called out. When I got to the funeral home this morning, I see that we have prearrangements. These call for direct cremation, with no services, so my boss wants me to call the family and set up a time for them to come in. He then tells me that the spouse may be too old or infirm to travel, and I may have to do everything over the phone. He also tells me to get started on entering the files from the other three calls we'd had since Friday evening, and also to clean up the chapel in preparation for this evening's service.

The first thing I get to work on is the files, because doctors need to be confirmed so we can generate the death certificate. Besides, it's early and I don't want to call my family and wake them up. In the middle of all this, one of our other families comes in and sits with my boss to finalize everything for services tomorrow. Our secretary is out of the office, Takes A Day Off guy is running errands, and our other employee is putting our second viewing room, which we needed for this evening, in order after dealing with a plumbing leak and wet carpeting.

The last thing I want to do, since I'm covering the phones by myself, is get my family on the phone and end up having to make all the arrangements by phone, possibly being forced to repeatedly put them on hold while I answer the other three lines. So I decided to wait until either my boss was finished, or the secretary came in from her appointment.

By the time this happened, it was about 10:30am. My boss was free, the secretary was back, and I was ready to make the call. The family called in and beat me to it, which caused my boss to chastise me for not calling sooner. I tried to explain to him that I was worried about getting tied up on the phone while I was basically by myself, but he didn't care about that.

Anyhow, I deal with it, meet with the family, then run and get my lunch. It turns out that while I was with my family, we had another call. Anyhow, I sit down and eat my Arby's and have a cup of coffee, and my boss comes in wanting to know what's up with this newest call. I have no idea because I was in no way involved with it whatsoever. So he looks up the prearrangements and finds we have information on the call, and the body is to be embalmed. So after a whole 15 minute lunch break (lunch is supposed to be an hour), he tells me to get the body on the table and start getting things ready. So we get the body embalmed, then he hands me a re-order for death certificates and a couple of burial/transit permits for the health department. So I make that run and come back and take care of some business.

About 4pm the family for the re-ordered death certificates comes back looking for them. My boss did not tell me to expedite them, so I have to call the health department, see if we can get them first thing in the morning so the family can have them for their lawyer's appointment. Fortunately, they were ready and I was able to run and get them while the family waited. When I got back, I had just finished giving them to the family and getting them a receipt when my boss comes in. He finishes up with the family, and after they are gone I tell him I had to run out and get them. He gets mad at me for keeping the family waiting! I told him that he did not tell me to get them immediately. He says, "I didn't tell you to, but what do you think I sent you up there with a reorder for?" I told him that he had said not to fax our reorders anymore, because they don't always get received. Basically, he got mad because I should have known to get the certificates immediately without him making it explicitly clear.

Finally, as we are leaving, he tells Takes A Day Off that he needs to deliver an urn and flowers to the National Cemetery first thing in the morning. Takes A Day Off reminds my boss that it's his day off. This throws a wrench into my boss's plans for the day, so as I'm leaving I say out loud in his direction, "Make him work. I had to work on my last day off. Am I the only one who gets this kind of treatment?" I doubt they heard me.


Anonymous Big Ed said...

"Sarcasm", nobody gets it anymore. Glad to hear that your sticking up for yourself and laying the law down.

9:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel for you. I'm a liscensed funeral director/embalmer in Texas. I like reading your blog. I have my own blog - in Xanga.

I also compose classical music in a weird neo-baroque style and I'm a Christian minister (some of my music and devotions are posted on my blog). Like you, I'm also a vet, having served honorably from 1997-2001 in the US Army and 2001-2007 in a Texas Army National Guard Blackhawk helicopter unit. Been working in the funeral industry since 2004.

Drop a line sometime and say hi. My email is

Paul :)

9:12 PM  

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