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, September 25, 2013

First Week At My New Location

And so far it has been very satisfying. I arrived at work 8:30 Monday morning. We had one body already embalmed, and another awaiting embalming. While working on that one, we got another call. We made that removal. Tuesday we had two funerals, one a casketed burial at the National Cemetery, the other was an urn ceremony, again, at the National Cemetery. Today we had another call, and Thursday we have viewing and then burial. Friday we have another viewing, then ship out of state. A very busy week so far, and very satisfying.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Things I Will Not Miss

I was thinking the other night about things I will not miss as I leave my former firm.

1. Cake Day. One day every month we buy and deliver a birthday cake for a nearby nursing home. They order, we pick up, pay and deliver. The idea, of course, is to generate more calls from that facility for our firm. Last year we got about 5 calls, the year before that, one or two, this year, maybe two or three. Let's do the math: $88 per cake, times 12 cakes per year = $1056 dollars. Not worth it, in my opinion.

2. My boss. Obviously, if you've been reading this blog for a while. Not only did he treat me with no respect, but he had this habit of bringing in his Big Gulp drinks, all dripping with condensation, and setting them down with no paper towels or coaster underneath them, leaving a big, wet mess on the counters. He also had this annoying habit of spelling at me, and he is the worst speller on the face of the earth. "We have a call, first name Amanda, last name Smith. S-M-I-T-H. It's like having Jeffrey Dahmer give you cooking tips. Annoyed the crap out of me.

3. Casket deliveries. My boss and the original owner tend to buy caskets in quantity; it gets them a better discount. These caskets are stored at my original firm. The last delivery we got was 12 caskets, and I was there by myself. The driver and I unloaded them all.

4.  Middle of the night calls. My new firm uses a service for those types of calls. At most, I will have to go out no later than 10pm when I am on call. I can now be assured of a full night's sleep.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Free At Last

Today was my last day. Monday I report to work for the original owner at his newest acquisition. It's a longer commute, but I know I will be much happier there, and I know I will be respected and appreciated. These are sentiments I never quite felt from my old boss. There will be much to learn; which cemeteries do we usually go to, how to process there, where all the different hospitals and nursing homes are, things of that nature. I'll keep you posted as to how the transition goes. I'm very excited. I also heard from my new boss today; he says the workday there starts at 8:30, so I can still get up at my usual time. I thought I was going to have to start rising earlier to make it to work by 8:00, but that is no longer an issue. Thank heavens, because I am not a morning person.

Saturday, September 07, 2013

That's What The Clerical Staff Is For

For the last few months I've been trying my best to train our intern to be an effective funeral director and embalmer. One thing I've been trying to get him to learn is how to enter death certificates into the computerized system the state set up a couple of years ago. Whenever I would suggest we sit down and go over some things, he would say things like, "Well, I've got finals. Let me get through that first." Then when he graduated, it was, "I've got the National Boards. Let me get through that first." Yesterday he piped up and told me, "Boss said I don't need to worry about learning that. That's what the clerical staff is for." I was stunned. I told him he needed to be a director that knew how to do everything, which my boss is not. I pointed out that had I already left for my new position when the secretary walked out, there would be NO ONE in that funeral home who knew how to enter death certificates. Regardless, when I do vacate the premises, whoever does or does not know how to generate death certificates will no longer concern me. Incidentally, the "clerical staff" to which my boss was referring is myself and the secretary at the other location, who is out of town all next week for vacation. Funny, the license on the wall says I'm a funeral director, not clerical staff.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

She Quits!

I was at work today, and lunchtime rolled around. I'm sitting in the kitchen eating when the secretary walks by on her way to lunch. She gives me a non-committal, "bye..." as she walks out the door. A few minutes later I get a text from her, asking me to tell my boss she quit and there is a set of keys and a letter on her desk. This was totally unexpected and no one, and I mean no one, saw this coming. Needless to say my boss is pissed, and now I'm going to have go behind her and clean up all the unfinished business she left behind. I'm sure this is going to put a crimp in my plans to move on to the next funeral home.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Email Issues

When I established this blog all those years ago, I set up one email address for the blog, and a separate email to receive notifications of comments. I found out a few days ago that my comments email address hosting, which was my primary email address for practically everything, had been shut down by the owners in protest of the NSA revelation of spying on American email messages. So if you commented and I never responded, it is most likely because I never received notification of a comment being made. I apologize for any oversight and certainly did not mean to ignore or offend anyone. I have transferred all comment notifications to this blog's email address, and should not fail to receive any further notifications.

Monday, September 02, 2013

I Quit!

Really, I am quitting. Let me summarize things for you and you'll understand what's going on. I was hired in 2006 by the original owner of the funeral home. I worked well with him, but not so much his partner, whom I usually refer to in my posts as My Boss. A few years ago we acquired our second location. After running it for a couple of years, the original owner sold it to his partner, My Boss. It was a wonderful time! My Boss was never around, and on the few occasions when I had to interact with him, it was with the knowledge he had absolutely no power or authority over me. This lasted barely a year. The original owner retired and sold the other funeral home to My Boss, the funeral home I was hired into. That was a year ago, and I've been unhappy ever since. My Boss does not run things the way the original owner did, we've been shorthanded since February, and I've been working like a dog doing the work for two funeral homes with only the staff of one. All removals, all embalmings, all dressing, casketing, and cosmetizing, and the never ending trips to the National Cemetery. My gosh, I am so burnt out on going there, and yet I have another funeral there tomorrow. Anyhow, after selling the original funeral home, the original owner stayed retired for about a week, then found another funeral home to buy. So he's been running that for the last year or so, and last Friday he approached me with an offer to come work for him. This would mean I would be out completely from under the thumb of My Boss and would work solely for the original owner. My Boss would again be completely out of the picture entirely. Even if the original owner sells his latest funeral home, he told me it would not be to My Boss. So if he decides to sell out and retire, I would not have to worry about being under the authority of My Boss yet again. I am so excited I can't stand it. I don't know when my last day will be; My Boss needs to find a replacement director and perhaps another full time employee to fill the gap I will be leaving. So the transition is going to be a slow one, I can see. However, it's wonderful knowing that there is light at the end of the tunnel. I have always had a sneaking suspicion, however, that once our intern obtains his license, or My Boss hired another director, I would be shown the door. That might be paranoia on my part, but My Boss has never liked me, and perhaps is even jealous of me because of my friendship with the original owner.