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, July 21, 2015

Enough is Enough

I apologize for not writing more frequently. I'm very content at my new location, there are no personality conflicts like there were with my old boss, and quite frankly, nothing of much interest seems to be happening to me lately. However, I will talk about the business we've had since my last post. I have had at least half a dozen mothers come in to make arrangements for their sons, many of whom are my age or younger (I'm 51 as of this writing, soon to be 52). I am growing more comfortable in my bookkeeping role, but I still don't know Quickbooks like I should. I have grown as a director since my arrival at my new location. At my previous funeral home, I mostly handled cremations and memorials services, with more experienced staff handling full burials and ship-outs.

We have a married couple working for us, and when they vacation they naturally do it together. It leaves us a little short-handed, but usually we do mostly simple cremations or cremations with a memorial service, so not a lot of stress there. However, a few months ago (end of April, first part of May) they left for a week long cruise. While they were gone, this is what happened:
Monday: Full burial at the National Cemetery
Wednesday: Full burial at a local cemetery, then a viewing and visitation later that day for someone else.
Thursday: Burial from the previous day's viewing, then another viewing and visitation that night for yet another person.
Friday: Burial of the previous night's viewing, another funeral in the chapel later that day, then I had to go to a nearby church for a memorial service that night.

We teased them when they returned about how busy we were and how hard we worked in their absence, jokingly telling them they weren't allowed to go on anymore cruises. They left this past Sunday for another week long trip, and right before they left the husband said, "We need to get busy this month," as up until that point we had only had about 5 calls, all simple cremation and no services.
Not an hour later, we get a call for a full service burial. That was on a Thursday; here's what happened since Thursday at close:
Friday: I met with the family from Thursday. Viewing, visitation, funeral and burial on Sunday.
Later that afternoon a family drops in. Dad's not doing too well and they want to arrange a funeral.
We make some preliminary plans. That night after close we get another call, so I arrange to meet with the family on Saturday. Cremation (no viewing) with a funeral mass with the urn present. As soon as I'm done with that, a woman walks in to shop cremation jewelry. She picks some pieces out of the catalog and I write up the order.
Saturday: The family from Friday calls to tell me Dad passed, so I make an appointment with them for Sunday, after the funeral for the Thursday family. During Sunday's funeral my boss texts me that a friend of his is about to lose her mother-in-law and this will be an embalming and a ship-out. She passes while I am on my way back from the cemetery. I arrange for her to be picked up and then I meet with the family who lost Dad.While we're making plans another family walks in. Mom has died and they want to bury her at the National Cemetery. So I meet with them after my first family, knowing now I will have two bodies to embalm once I'm done. We get both bodies into the prep room and I'm there until 8o'clock that night, making for a 12 and 1/2 hour day.
Monday: We get a call that turns out to be another burial at the National Cemetery.
In summary, since Thursday: 4 embalmings and 5 funerals (one is not embalmed, just a graveside service). Our pay period is two weeks long, and I have 104 hours worked. And tonight, I learn we are getting another call, a ship in from out of state, most likely for burial. I can only hope that service is deferred until Monday, because I am off this weekend and I do not want to go in.

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