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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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

How Is That Not A Mistake?

I'm back at work after vacation, and my boss just left for his. One of the calls he handled while I was away is a ship out up north. Today I got a call from the receiving funeral home; the date of death is in question. Our paperwork said one thing, the family said they were notified a day earlier. So I pull the file, and see that, yes, the family seems to be correct, yet our face sheet shows the later date. So I call my boss, and he says the face sheet is correct. Then he hesitates, and says, "well, I got the call the day before yesterday. When would that be?" I told him that would be the date the family is indicating. He then tells me the stupidest thing I think I have ever heard in my entire life, and I can't wait until he rags on me for something dumb I did so I can throw it back in his face; "Well, I didn't make a mistake, I just wrote it down wrong."

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Easy Come, Easy Go

I'm on vacation this week. I've got the in-laws from out of state visiting. Monday we went to the casino. My wife and her sister and mother played the slots, I headed straight for blackjack. $5 minimum, so I started out with $20 in chips. Within just a few hands, I had doubled my money. I then got up and went to the slots, where I piddled around for a little while. I kept coming back to blackjack, playing a couple of hands, moving up and down, leaving when I lost too many hands in a row. I hit a decent payout on a slot machine, and I was having a good time. At some point I went back to blackjack, and got on a losing streak. Eventually I was down to nothing. I had run out of slot money, as well. I took a couple of tokens from my wife, parlayed those into enough for another blackjack hand, and won! I was excited. I put $5 down, drew a 20 with the dealer showing 3. Naturally, I stood. She turns over an 8, for a total of 11. You can imagine what happened next. She draws a 10 for 21. I was so flabbergasted, I actually blurted out, "you've got to be kidding me!" I played my last $5 and lost. I went to the casino with $50, had probably doubled my money at one point, and came home empty handed (and headed). I should have quit while I was ahead.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Thank Him For What?

Last week my boss, at the request of one of the hospital chaplains in our town, went about 35 miles south to meet with the chaplain's brother-in-law, who was terminal. So he goes down there, makes the prearrangements, and comes back and files away the paperwork. A few days later (Tuesday, the 7th), we get the call, and I'm on duty. So I get out of bed at 6am, get ready and go down and make the removal. I then take the body to the crematory, come back to the funeral home, contact the doctor, then enter the file, generate the death certificate and permits, then run the certificate down to the doctor, who is also in the same town 35 miles south of us. Once the cremation is accomplished, I print up the prayer cards for the graveside service, which the family set up all on their own, just down the road from their house, by the way, pick up the ashes and urn, take the contract and other assorted paperwork needing signatures, down to the graveside service, where I assist, including leading a procession of people from the chapel over to the niche, where the priest blesses the space, then I place the urn inside. After the service, I proceed to the doctor's office, pick up the death certificate, take it to the health department, file it, wait for it, then take the certified copies back to the family's home, have the family sign the contract and other paperwork, answer all their questions, then prepare to head back north. After all of this, which started on Tuesday and ended this afternoon about 12:30pm, the family tells me, "be sure to thank {my boss} for us."

Honestly, I've got to tell you, I feel kind of slighted. I know that they don't know what went on behind the scenes, but they haven't seen my boss since he made the initial consultation. All he's done is talk to them on the phone a few times. I know I shouldn't feel envious or jealous, that the important thing is the family was very pleased with how everything was handled, but still...