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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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Flight Frenzy

I was awakened about 7am by my boss; we had a call. Normally, I wouldn't be on call until 8am, but I didn't mind. I had a good night's sleep and it's a few extra dollars in my pocket. The family had not been notified of the death by the nursing home staff, as they could not reach anyone on the phone. So I make the removal and take the body to the cooler, head home and get some breakfast and a shower before returning to work. When I arrived, my boss was heading to the cooler to retrieve the body, which was to be embalmed and returned to his home country. The owner was meeting with the family later in the morning.

While Returning Employee is embalming, I'm doing the usual Saturday morning routine: empty trash, sweep floors, mop, dust. Just some light housekeeping. The family arrives and the owner sits down with them. To make a long story short, it was about 2 hours of frantic activity. The family wanted the body on the plane tonight. In order to ship to the desired destination, we needed a signed death certificate from the doctor. Normally, we wouldn't even be able to reach a doctor until Monday, but the family knew him very well. We were able to generate the certificate, get it to the doctor, and he signed on the spot. Then we had to call one of the health department employees at home to have her review the certificate and make sure it was in order. We didn't want to file it on Monday only to have it rejected while the body was long gone to another land. Fortunately, she was home and willing to help. We then had to hurry up and prepare the body for shipping, then drive about 2 hours to the appropriate airport for international shipping. My driver called about 5pm, saying he couldn't find the right cargo terminal to drop off the body. I gave him a couple of suggestions, and told him if he ran into trouble, call the owner.

The whole time all of this is going on, I'm writing obituaries, setting up for visitation, entering other files from the past couple of days, answering phones, etc. It was a very frantic day and I'm glad it's over. (I hope it's over; when my driver called, he was almost an hour past deadline for delivering the body). And when it's all said and done, we don't know why the family was in such an all-fired hurry to send the body out today.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Working All Weekend

I'm on call this weekend, and on top of that I'll be putting in some hours. We have a visitation Saturday from 1-4pm. On Sunday I have to be at work by 7:30am so me and Returning Employee can go to the crematory and bring a body back to the funeral home and prepare it for direct burial. Bathing, dressing, casketing, getting the hair done, etc.

I had a good Thanksgiving. We went to a friend's house. The plus side is no cooking, no cleaning. The downside is no leftovers. Still, I can live with that. I'm not a huge fan of leftovers, anyway.

We did have to come into work today; well, most of us. The secretary was conspicuously absent. We had three calls since close of business Wednesday, and we met with all three families this morning. Takes A Day Off was chomping at the bits to leave early. At one point he came up front where I was working on the files for our new calls and starts moaning and groaning about how he doesn't really need to be there. I pointed out that we had at least one death certificate he could deliver, and that I was working all day Saturday and all morning on Sunday. My exact words, after that, were, "so don't go feeling too sorry for yourself." He's off all weekend, so he was wanting to leave early. Which he did; about 3pm.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Thanksgiving Dinner

Yesterday at the funeral home we were served our Thanksgiving dinner by the owner and his wife. We did it yesterday because of several reasons: we had no services, nobody had a day off, and next week we already had services planned, plus one employee's regular day off, plus Thanksgiving Day off. It made the most sense to do it when we did and know that everyone would be there. We were also given our Christmas bonuses so we could start our shopping!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

It's Happened Again, Part 2

Last night we got a call right before the close of business. My boss and Returning Employee went to get the body, and I stayed behind to wait for them, as we weren't sure if we needed to embalm or not, and I wanted to be there to assist, if needed. When they got back, my boss called the family and they gave us permission to embalm. Me and Returning Employee worked on that after we had a dinner break.

The family came in today and made arrangements. The funeral is on Monday, my day off. Guess who has to come in and work? I asked my boss that since I'm working yet again on my day off, could I take Friday (tomorrow) off? He told me yes, so I left early (about 3pm). I have to go in Saturday and help Returning Employee get the body ready. The family will be in around 11am for a private viewing; visitation for the public will be on Sunday.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

On My Soapbox

This is not a political blog, but every once in a very great while, I will have something to say in that regard. I am a conservative Republican and a Christian, and for the past eight years the Bush administration has been mocked, lampooned, satired, ridiculed, and downright attacked by those who disagree with him and his administration.

I was browsing a few of my favorite websites earlier today, and I found this link at The article talks about how The Daily Show might have a hard time surviving under the incoming Obama administration, and how it would be unethical and inappropriate to ridicule our first African-America president.

"And if you're an Obama fan — eager to give Barack the benefit of the doubt, and proud and excited about the change you've helped bring the nation — do you really want Jon Stewart sitting on the sidelines, taking potshots at your hero?"

Apparently they didn't have this concern for those who supported Bush. I won't say I agree with everything Bush has done over the years, but surely the office of President deserves more respect than was shown by various media outlets these past eight years. And many is the time I was enjoying some light-hearted entertainment on TV when an anti-Bush or anti-Christian or anti-Republican joke would seemingly pop up for no good reason.

"If President Obama's administration is the love-in that progressives hope it will be, we think it's awfully unlikely Stewart's heart will be in Obama-bashing."

The man has just barely begun to plan his administration and already we're gearing up for a "love-in"?

I invite you to read the entire article. Thank you for listening.

Monday, November 03, 2008

It's Happened Again

Once again I've had to work on my day off, although this time I'm not quite as distressed as I would be normally. My boss lost one of his childhood friends this weekend. The owner is out of town so I knew last night when I got the call that it would be best if I came in today. Not only because of that call, but we've had something like 7 calls since Thursday after close of business. Two of those are for shipping out of state, so I knew we would have a lot going on today.
I was hoping to be able to take tomorrow off, but right at 5pm we got a call we had been expecting, and I will have to go to the house tomorrow to make the arrangements. No rest for the weary, I guess. But no matter how tired I get, no matter how many days off I have to work, it still beats retail.