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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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Identity Theft, In My Own Workplace

This morning, my boss got a call about 7am (we were not open; he had the phones forwarded to his cell, as he does every night after hours). A family had a death and was price shopping. He gave them the information, then they called our new acquisition, which has an answering service. Of course, the answering service called my boss since he covers those calls, as well. It was the same family, wanting the same information. So, while pretending to be me, he undercut our own price by $100. He pretended to be me because he has this paranoia about people finding out we own both locations, and he had already given them his name when they called the first time. Frankly, it's the worst kept secret in town. All the funeral homes know we now have two locations. Eventually, around 11:15, we get the call, so he sends me to make the removal, set an appointment with the family, and sit down with them. Bear in mind, now, he had a lengthy conversation with them earlier while telling them he was me. So now I'm in a position where they can say that "I" told them something, and I wouldn't know if "I" did or not. And sure enough, my boss wanted me to collect an additional amount of money to cover the medical examiner fee. When I mentioned that to them, they said that "I" had told them that X amount of dollars was supposed to cover everything except death certificates. So I took the fee off, which did not make my boss happy. I told him I didn't appreciate being put in this situation. He gets mad and tells me he has to go behind the owner all the time and finish up arrangements. I pointed out that while that may be true, he never had to pretend to be the owner. Then they couldn't make up their minds when they wanted services, where they wanted them, and there was a great deal of confusion about when the cremation would be accomplished. The law here is no cremations can occur within 48 hours of the death. They misunderstood what my boss had told them, and thought the cremation would be completed within 48 hours. It was not a good day. The upside is, the service is scheduled for his Saturday to work, so he'll have to deal with them from here on out.
This is my second challenging family this week. The other day I went on a call and told the spouse we would call to set up an appointment. When I called, I was told the spouse was waiting to talk to the children and they would call me back. So the next morning, I get a call from the spouse wanting to know if the death certificates are ready. I said that no, they weren't, because you haven't come in yet to give me the information I need to generate them. We set up an appointment, for which they were 30 minutes late, and I finally got the death certificate prepared and to the doctor. I was worried about us not getting paid, but it turns out that won't be an issue.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Baseball, Funerals, Apple Pie And Chevrolet

The work just keeps on coming. We had three funerals today, two tomorrow, one on Friday, and three on Saturday. In addition, we got a call this morning and the family is coming in tomorrow to make the arrangements. This will also be a full service; viewing, visitation, etc. I hope they don't want Saturday. {Edit: They did want Saturday; that's our third funeral}. Takes A Day Off was off today, despite the fact that we had three funerals, with two of those going to the National Cemetery. I think that if he was able to be off today, I should have no issues taking my regular day off this Friday. If I have to work, I'll be wanting to have a discussion with the owner.

In other news, I've been wanting to play some baseball on my PC, and I can't find my EA Sports game I bought a few years ago. So I went out and bought 2K Sports MLB2K9. It was half the price of 2K10, and I'm not one who has to have the absolute most up to date rosters and such. Overall, it's an ok game, but it has some issues which are driving me crazy. I can't seem to be able to play at home, no matter how many times I select HOME from the menu. The controller is programmable, but if you change the buttons on your batting menu, it also affects the buttons on other menus such as fielding and baserunning. Also, despite the fact that I saved my profile as a rookie, every time I start the game I'm back on pro level. Overall, I prefer my EA Sports baseball game, but they no longer make them.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Holy Crap, It's Busy!

The business just keeps coming and coming and coming! We're short-handed, overworked and frazzled. We had quite a few calls over the weekend, 2 this morning, 1 as I was leaving work, with some calls that we know are pending. The owner is looking for another licensed funeral director, and a secretary for our new location.
Saturday we had a large funeral, I came in at 8am and left at 6pm, stopping long enough to shovel down a Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger from Wendy's, then went right back to work. Sunday I worked 5 hours, and this morning, as I mentioned, started out with 2 calls. I made both of those removals, then started running the errands, got shorted on my lunch by 30 minutes, got back to the errands in the afternoon, and left work 30 minutes later than normal.
Please, God, if you're willing, give us a break.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Eleven Years

Today is the 11th anniversary of the passing of my father. How my life has changed in that time. I went from being a broke, unhappy, retail slave renting an apartment to a more financially secure, happy in his career, home owning funeral director. Yet I would give all that up if it would bring my father back. I miss him terribly. Still, had he not died my life would be nothing like it is today. I'm rambling, I know. My point is, you never know why things happen the way they do or for what reasons they do. The best you can do is take a crappy situation and try to make some good come out of it.

I Did Well

The other day a family walked in to make arrangements. I was told they were coming in on Friday, but they showed up Thursday unexpectedly. I called my boss, and he told me to go ahead and sit down with them and handle everything. So I did, and it was a full service cremation with embalming, viewing, services, the whole works. I had already embalmed the body, with assistance from Returning Employee, but I did most of the work. I set the features, raised the vessel, did the injection, and the heart tap. I was worried about how the family would like the way their loved one look, especially since they were worried about the lower teeth being in place. (The dentures had gone missing from the facility where we made the removal; turns out the lowers were in the mouth, and the family had the uppers). Today was the funeral, and I was very relieved when they told me how wonderful their loved one looked and how pleased they were with the job we had done.