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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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

No More Days Off For My Boss

I do not like it when my manager has a day off. Usually I end up making arrangements with multiple families, most of which turn out to be difficult or quirky, and last Friday was no exception. First, I had a family walk in to discuss pre-arrangements. I sat down with them and explained all the various options and costs. Then we had a call from the previous day where the family flew in from out of town. I sat down with them and took care of everything. I made an addition error on the contract, which I did not discover until after the fact. I overcharged them by $200. I will be mailing them a check, of course.

Then I had a family come in right at the end of the day. They had called us earlier to inform us of the passing, and we found out they wanted cremation. With cremation, you can have a viewing and a visitation and a funeral service, but instead of going to a cemetery, the body is taken to be cremated. You can also have a memorial service, where the body is not present, but you still have a funeral. You can also wait until the cremation is accomplished, then have a funeral with the ashes present. I explained these options to them, and the one thing they knew for certain was they did not want a viewing. They said some of the family might want to see her. We can arrange that, which is what we call an ID view. No embalming, but the person is made up to be presentable, the family comes in for a little while and sees their loved one. I met with this family on Friday, they want a service with the ashes present. So today we get the approval we need to proceed with cremation. I called the family to tell them we were ready to cremate, were they planning on an ID view? The family tells me they don't know yet, they have to discuss it. What have you been doing all weekend?  I ask them if they had selected a date and time for the service, and they tell me they were arranging that with the priest. I told them that we needed to do that because we had other services to schedule and didn't want a scheduling conflict. So they tell me they are looking at Thursday. So I asked, is that Thursday for a service or for the ID view? They said, and I quote, "Ok Thank You" and hung up!

Before all of this transpired, however, I had some interesting phone calls from the first family. We sent their loved one to the Promised Land (up North), with the understanding the receiving funeral home would set up and schedule the burial with the cemetery of choice. I found out today the family wants a Saturday service, which the cemetery charges extra for. I call them and let them know their are extra costs involved. They tell me they have been in contact with the cemetery and nothing has been done and where's there loved one and what's going on? I call the receiving funeral home to verify what I've been told, make sure they received the body, and verify they were going to set up the cemetery. They received the body and were booking the cemetery as we spoke. I called the family back to let them know their loved one was safe and in the care of the receiving funeral home and the cemetery was being booked that very afternoon. Then they ask about the death certificates, and when I told them the doctor still had not signed, they started yelling at me. In some parts of the Promised Land, death certificates have to be signed and in hand before you can even pick up a body from the place of death. They did not understand that it doesn't work that way down here. One line I tired of hearing these last few months is, "but that's how it's done in New York..." Funny, I didn't realize I lived and worked in New York. I could have sworn I lived in the South.

I told my boss he is no longer allowed to have days off.


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