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 08, 2012

I Guess I Know What I'm Doing

Today I was flying solo. The owner took the day off, and the other director was off today. I am not very experienced at making complicated arrangements, so I was hoping nothing significant would occur. However, we got a death call last night. The arrangements were for embalming and shipping out of state. I can handle the embalming, which I finally got around to doing after some early chaos.

One of our previous calls required the cremation be performed and the urn ready this morning. I had to run to the crematory first thing this morning to pick up the ashes. I did that, put them in the urn and was preparing to embalm our new call. Just as I was getting the features set (closing the eyes and mouth), we had a death call. I was the only one available to go on the call, so I stopped what I was doing and made the removal. When I got back, the other director was there. He contacted the receiving funeral home and got the information we needed and I proceeded with the embalming. I set the features, raised the artery, mixed the fluid and started injecting. It all went well and the body turned out just fine. I performed a flawless heart tap (a process for draining blood directly from the heart rather than raising a vein) and got good distribution. After that, I booked the flight for tomorrow morning.

The owner came in late in the day just to check up on everything. I told him we had just put the body in the shipping container, but he was certainly welcome to check him out. My boss asked how the body looked, and I said he looked just fine. Then my boss said, "If you say he looks fine, then I don't need to see him." That blew me away. Normally he's a stickler for every body that goes out. So either he trusts me and my skills and judgement, or he's just not as focused as he used to be. I prefer to think the former.

Friday, March 02, 2012

Where Is Our Business?

I cannot believe how slow things have been recently. Normally this would be our busiest time of year, but for some reason our call volume has dropped. And it's not just us, it's everybody. As of yesterday morning the last body to be brought to the cooler was on the 27th of February, and that's with the crematory doing cremations for four places. In addition, all of our vendors are telling us things are slow all over, and they would be in a position to know, since they're in contact with funeral homes all over the state.

Our boss is getting kind of antsy, and we're scrambling to stay busy, especially when he's around. However, there are only so many times you can dust an office or vacuum a room during the course of a day. So yesterday the boss decides he wants to change the wallpaper in the secretary's office. So we spent all morning stripping wallpaper. What a mess that was. Thankfully, it was only one full wall, one half wall (below the chair rail) and a border. We got it stripped that morning, then in the afternoon we touched up the paint and made the surface ready to receive the new paper. That was being done today, and thankfully I was off. I'll see how it looks tomorrow when I go in to work.

Other than that, there's not a whole lot to report on. We had one funeral this week, on Wednesday, but it was a big one. We filled up the chapel and the overflow rooms, and our parking lot was full to bursting. Thankfully, we are in a situation where our parking lot joins the one next door, so we have plenty of room for overflow. The downside is we have to station people outside to direct traffic, or else they'll just end up parking on the grass, or in our unloading zone. It's very awkward to try to bring in a body when you're receiving door is surrounded by cars.