Life working at a funeral home


Please be warned if you are easily offended, it you are, please stop here .

Well, I am here to blog about day to day life working at a funeral home. It may some boring to some or interesting to others.  I have to say that in my years working at one things get very hectic and in general, people suck. I don’t mind the deceased, it’s the family and friends on the deceased who just piss me off! I’m  here to rant, and to give some etiquette lessons to those who plan on attending or planning a funeral. Probably bitching most of the time though.  There are days when absolutely nothing happens, then there are the days when all hell breaks loose.

Never ever “just” walk in to a funeral home to make arrangements! CALL FIRST. Why? Because the funeral director may not be there. Why? Because he/she may be on a funeral service, attending another family, out of the office, in a meeting, or gone for the day! So what happens when you just walk in? Well, a few things. One, I am going to be irritated that you just walked in, of course I won’t let you know that. I understand that you just lost a loved one. But what happens is, you are going to be irritated because pretty much no one is here to really help you. I am going to have to explain to you that the director is not available right now. I am going to have to call a director to see if one is available (we have 4 directors), then they are going to have to drive here, which takes time, of course, which means you are going to have to wait. Then, you are going to ask me, “well, can’t you help me/us?” Well, yes of course I can. BUT, I am not a director, so I will not be able to assist you to the fullest. I can take your information, the info on the deceased and kind of get an idea of what kind of arrangements you are looking for. I am the secretary (not greeter), I do, do arrangements, but usually just direct cremations. I cannot sign a funeral contract because I am not a director! If you have specific questions, I may not be able to answer them for you, then what happens? You get irritated! See where I am going with this?

Also, we do not accept payments. I do not know of may funeral homes (at least in my area) that do accept payments. So, when I say “no” do not get an attitude with me. Then this is the best part…….don’t say “what, you don’t take payments? I don’t have any money, how am I suppose to do this, and you won’t accept payments, you expect me to pay and my ‘insert relative here’ just died?” Umm, yeah. We are a business just like the next guy. How are we suppose to keep our doors open if we didn’t make people pay? I realize that funeral are expensive and I have also lost loved ones and have had to pay for their funeral. There are plenty of options available. If you do not have enough money, then there are options. Direct cremation is under $2000. So, if you do not have enough money, then don’t try to plan this big elaborate funeral. You know how much you can afford. Don’t pick out the most expensive casket and vault. Don’t buy a ass load of flowers. Don’t plan of having 2 days of visitation and the 3rd day the funeral service. Have a couple of hours during the day and that’s it. Don’t think just because you are having funeral visitation during the day, before 5pm, that not everyone will be able to attend, believe me, they will! I have had families say that they really didn’t want to have visitation from say, 1 – 3pm, with prayers at 3pm and that concludes the services because they were afraid that not everyone would be able to get out of work on time. But you know what, those usually turn out to be the biggest turn outs!!! If people want to come to pay their respects, they will! Also, just so no one feels guilty, the funeral is NOT for the visitors, it is for the family of the deceased. Do not feel guilty about what you can and cannot afford, it is for YOU, no one else and if others cannot understand that, well, they aren’t the ones paying for it.

Dressing for a funeral or visitation. Please people, seriously can you not find anything else to wear? I mean, sure, rules for dressing have really toned down over the years. You are not required to wear all black. You don’t have to come in a suit even. But, please, can you find something else than that favorite old AC/DC t-shirt you’ve had since 1989? Wear jeans, just wear the pair without holes. Try a nice dress shirt with some nice shoes. Women, no mini skirts and tank tops, that’s just ignorant! I’ve seen it all. For those of you who have children, especially ones in their teens. PLEASE check to see what they are wearing before they leave the house. The red velvet dress with the spaghetti straps and the black platform shoes on your 13 year old is not proper wear for a funeral home! Yes, I have seen it!

NO CELL PHONES during prayers! Turn them off! I mean really! That is the rudest most ignorant thing that people do! The minister/priest is up there saying prayers, it’s quite and all the sudden you hear the ‘baby got back’ ring tone on someones cell phone. Do you know you have the option of vibrate or silent on your cell phone? Then the most retarded thing you can do is actually answer it! Then get up and walk out into the hall way, which by the way, we can still hear you, and talk!

Food. DO NOT BRING FOOD! This has got to be the one thing that irritates me the most. Do you really need to bring in crock pots full of food? Bring in some donuts, maybe some water or soda pop, a meat and cheese tray, etc. But do not bring in full meals, this is not a banquet facility, this is a funeral home.  If you get hungry, then leave. Go down the street to the local diner or fast food joint. Get out for a few, you need to clear your head and get away anyway, it will actually do you some good. The funeral is not for “everyone” else, the visitors, it is for YOU! Why do feel the need to bring in ass loads of food? Where do you think you are going to put all that food anyway? There is limited space in the lounge, no we do not have extra tables for the hams you had delivered. (Yes, I had a family that actually had 2 whole hams delivered along with all the fix-ins, plus all the cookies, meat and cheese trays, and fruit baskets, plus the crock pots full of crap). When you ask me for another table and I say, ‘sorry we do not have any extra tables, we do not encourage so much food’. Don’t look at me like I am the devil. Don’t give me any sarcastic remarks either and tell me, ‘well, you should”. If you want to have a feast, then invite people back to your house, or like you should do, WAIT until the day of the funeral service and have the luncheon so you can stuff your face and everyone who attended. Like I said, we are a funeral home, not a banquet facility. Also, there are signs in the lounge that read “Please, keep all food and beverages in lounge, thank you”. So, why do I find cups with coffee in them out in the hallway or on the tables in the chapel? Can you not read? Is there someone there that can read if you can’t? And if so, why did they not tell you that you can’t take it out of the lounge? Why do I find half eaten chili dogs in the ‘wicker’ waste baskets in the chapel? or frosty’s in those baskets as well?  That’s ignorant? Would you do that at home? Oh, and my favorite! A wad of gum stuffed in the plants we have on our tables in the hallway. You mean to tell me you couldn’t throw it away in the trash can sitting not more than 3 feet away from you? There are tissues ALL over the place, you couldn’t put you nasty gum in a tissue and throw it in the waste basket? You had to stick in a plant? What is this 3rd grade?

Well, as you see I can go on and on……………….and I will, another day. peace

120 Responses to “Life working at a funeral home”

  1. Very interesting story. Don’t stop adding blogs. I will visit often to read your latest

  2. Oh my goodness! an amazing article dude. Thanks for sharing it.

  3. Wow I could not read the entire rant, I to work at a funeral home and it sounds like you do not have the stones the Patience or are caring and understanding enough to be employeed in this line of work. Go work at Walmart where an attitude such as yours will fit right in. I hope that your company either trains you Or lets you go for the sake of grievin families. With that much anger and resentment inside you won’t last long and are not able to do a good job. Good luck

    • Hi..had you read all the post or read other posts you would have read that my blog is where i come to vent my frustrations! Of course i dont act like a bitch or act as if i dont care for the families we service…this is why i blog…to vent! If in fact i did work at walmart, i would probably be doing the same thing, writing a blog about Life working at Walmart! Anyway you lokk at it..it is still customer service! Oh, and you hope they train me? And I wont last? I have been doing this for almost 8 years now…and i just received a pay increase. Because i am ventung about the funeral business people assume those who are in this business are Saints. We cant possibly become ir ritated or frustrated with anyone. We are not Saints, we are human who get frustrated by people, and not only the families ir a person in the family but by doctors who wont sign death certificates or the clerks offices or the insurances companies, etc… again customer service. But when i am sitting with a family or speaking to them on the phone i am always pleasant and understanding. Never do i or anyone i work with ever let the family see that we may be irritated. We go out of our way for our families. Im simply stating thar most people these days feel entitled. Therefore they are unappreciative, rude, etc. Not just at work but everywhere.

      • Ignore “BRB”. His/Her comments should not be considered because s/he made judgement without reading the entire blog or post. Such people have no idea about the challenges of such positions. Easier to criticize than to empathize.

    • Thanks for saying that. What a shocking attitude. I hope I never requires the services of this person.

      • Thank you for reading ‘part’ of my blog…. if you had read the very first line, maybe you would have stopped reading OR you may have continued reading to actually see that there is some interesting facts. I can accept the criticism and the dislikes however, it amazes me that people feel this way only because this is a blog about working in a funeral home. I doubt that if it was a blog about working at a grocery store or any other customer service job that people would be so quick to criticize me. Also, for those who still continue to NOT read thru my other entries, I certainly do not ever treat the families we serve with any disrespect! I treat each and everyone kindly and sympathetically… no matter what. And once again, this is where I choose to come to VENT my frustrations from work, which I am 99% sure that most people experience some form of frustration from their jobs…mine just happens to be at a funeral home. Thank you.

    • Totally agree! – If you can not handle this type of work leave. I am making funeral arrangements for my mom right now and it is just unbelievable how the employees are so rude and sorry to say ignorant. I had a pre-arranged plan for my mom, they lost it two times, three employees could not seem to read the plan. I insisted on a rosary and they said it could not be done at the funeral home because most priests do not consider it holy ground. Waited two days for a reply from a couple of priest and no respond. Rushed around to find a church, they said they would only talk to the funeral home, get to the church for final arrangements and they tell me they do not have time for a rosary. I had a melt down and the funeral home and a priest finally got it together. I buried my dad and two brothers and had similar incidents where the employees not only seemed totally incompetent they were totally oblivious to my feelings. I consider myself a pretty patient person but dealing with funeral homes is ridiculous. – Thanks for the opportunity to rant

      • Obviously I can’t speak for other funeral homes, but I can speak about myself and the funeral him I work at. First, I am sorry you have had such A difficult time. Anytime a family asks a question and an employee does not know the answer they should find an employee who does or get a director, and never ever just say to a family “I don’t know”!
        In my experience, never have I been told there could be no rosary at the funeral home be size of it not being ‘holy ground’. Typically a priest will not do the rosary but someone who is on staff at the church will do it. Also, the church will tell us when/what time the rosary will be, it is at the discretion of the person doing the rosary…. Sometimes it is hard for the funeral home to secure clergy for the family, especially if the deceased did not attend a certain church, not sure of course of your situation, but if there was church your mother did attend then that church should do their best to accommodate you. If for some reason the priest or church is/was not available they, again, should try to find another priest to do Mass at the church or at another church. Now, if you wanted the priest to come to funeral home to do the actual service on day of funeral, no, they won’t, usually do that.
        As far as the employees being rude, that is uncalled for as well as the employees not knowing what to do or how to answer your questions. Unfortunately, we also have an employee who seems to totally blank out at the simplest questions, but…again, even he knows to get an employee who does know or a director to answer any questions. Being rude to any family is NOT an option for me or anyone I work with…no matter how many times or how much I complain about work an people, I am NOT rude to anyone I deal with. Even when people come to us and are rude and uncooperative, I/we still must bite our tounges! It isn’t always easy, hence why I have this blog!!
        As far as the per need being lost….was it that the funeral Homs had misfiled? And once again, I can only speak on behalf of how we do things, but even if a per need was lost/misfiled, we still have a print out that contains the persons name, account number and amount of pre need. Also as long as the family has their paperwork/copies of per need, it is/will be %100 honored.
        Hope things have gone better…..

  4. Cynthia Guaderrama Says:

    I Really Enjoyed This Posting.
    For some odd reason, (or maybe not even odd at all.) …
    I am so fasinated with the funeral business. I am very much intrigued. My DREAM occupation would to be a Coroner, just to examine the body. Oh how intersting I find it. Or even to be a mortician, so I can bring that body back to life- I would love just to a get a foot in the door to work in a funeral home, although, I have NO idea where to even start.
    Any advice, for this single mother raising 2 kids under 2 by herself?…

    • Hi!! Thank you for reading. Glad you enjoyed it.
      I would just look in your classifieds or just start calling any of your local funeral homes to see if they are hiring. Maybe to get your foot in the door see if the need any Greeters. Typically a Greeter works only when there is visitation. That may be alittle challenging for you since you would have to find a sitter for your kids. Usually there isnt too much notice to give a Greeter when we need one. Sometimes its just the day before. And it depends on what times you may be asked to come in. Maybe they only need a Greeter in the evening..it depepnds on the funeral home. Or you could see if they need simeone to clean. If there is visitation, they would need a cleaner to clean up, either late night or really early. There is also the need in some places that have a Death Certificate person who has to go get it signed and filed. But again, that could be an on call only situation. But you never know. Call around you may just find one that is hiring that would fit your schedule or thry eill be able to work with you on your schedule. Good luck!!

      • irishmike Says:

        hi..i recently applied for the position of removal person with a place here in las vegas…..I would love the job but they are keeping the pay scale secret till the interview …sounds fishy…do you have any idea how much this would pay…im hoping it will pay well due to the nature of the job.i worked for d.o.t and responded to a lot of fatalitys and have no problem doing the job but im a single dad of 2 young boys and need to make ends meet….thx so much

      • Hi!!
        As far as pay goes, Im not really sure based on the different location. Without saying too much…I am in the Mid West so Im sure payscales vary. But, if you are hired in thru the funeral home I can see why they arent saying too much about the pay rate. I bet they are waiting to see who applies and then they will decide on the pay. Just from experience in my area for a funeral home to hire their own removal person leads me to believe they want to save money unless they are just that busy! And will you be on the job for say 8 hrs a day or only om call? If only on call will thry only pay by the removal or for those hours you are on call? Again, just speaking on experience, here you would only get paid for the call you do, which you may make between $75-$150 for each removal. Which is good if you are making alot of removals. Now id you were to get a job with an actual removal company, here they pay either a salary wage or hourly plus each removal.
        good luck!! Keep me posted about the job!!

  5. It’s almost as if I you wrote this blog using my thoughts. Great insight into the daily shit at a funeral home, keep up the good work.

  6. So helpful….looking frontward to coming back.

  7. Dawner Says:

    Hi’ya —
    I’m writing a fiction series for women and am currently working on a story set in a funeral home (my protagonist and her husband own and operate a funeral home). I’m dying (pun intended) to interview funeral directors to gather intel to ensure authenticity in the story–but do not want to be intrusive. Do you think the average funeral director would be willing to give a short tour and offer some insight about what he/she does? Should I offer compensation (how much?) or is that just tacky? Your blog is a great resource, by the way, thanks. I really want my characters to live in the funeral home — but it seems that is pretty rare these days. And I envision a grand old newly renovated home — but can’t figure out just where that would be. Details, right? Anyway — appreciate you and your thoughts, if you have a chance. Cheers.

    • Hi! Happy that my blog (my venting…lol) is a help to your writing and i am thrilled that you have been reading it for inspiration! I dont think offering to pay them is tacky at all. You could just throw that in there when asking for their time. I doubt tthat most would accept any form of payment anyway but i donr think it would hurt to mention it to them. It would be finding the ‘willing’ funeral director that may be a little hard. I would think that many may feel as if they shouldnt be ‘telling’ anyone about the stuff that happens behind the scenes…the stuff that the families dont see. But if you were to explain to them in detail what it is you are looking for and possibly some sort of contract that states you will not use their name or name of the funeral home. Unless of course they want to be mentioned…lol !! As far as funeral directors actually living in the funeral home, some still do just very few. Almost all funeral homes, at least those in my area, have apartments in them. Especially the older funeral homes that habe been around for years. Back when funeral homes started to become popular, the owners lived there. They were literally on call 24/7… now days the apartments are rented out or have been converted into an office or offices or remodeled and used as part of the funeral home or as i mentioned, the director may still live there. (Please excuse any spelling errors, still blogging from my phone & it always screws up when i am on wordpress!). Alot of the time if there is a younger funeral director that works at the funeral home, they will sometimes live in the apartment. Maybe this director has relocated to work there or …any other reason really. Also, there are a few funeral homes that may actually own a home that is near the property. Maybe it is adjacent to the parking lot or next to the f.h. and the funeral home owners purchased it along with the funeral home. I hope i was some help. Good luck to you!!

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    • HI…I’m thrilled you found me!! I do hope you get some time to read thru my blog.
      Hope you will enjoy it. Thank you for taking the time to leave me a comment, hope to hear from you again!!

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  11. Lisa J. Says:

    I too enjoyed your Blog. I stumbled upon it while researching how to get jobs playing my Violin at funerals. I’ve played at memorials and weddings many times but I would also like to add funerals since I know some folks like to have music. Could you please tell me the best way to let the Funeral Directors in my area know that I am available to play? Also, what should I be charging and am I paid by the family or the funeral home? I can put together a packet with a sample CD and Bio with my rate, but should I also have a website? I’m sure you have to deal with arranging for music sometimes, so I thought it would be good to ask you. I appreciate any advice or help you can offer and thanks for the interesting posts.

    • Hi!! Thank you for reading…hope you enjoyed the blog. But to answer your question, yes, we do get requests for music. More often people will bring in cd’s but we do get those who want live music. If i were you i would do what you said, put together a packet then i would just hit the pavement and go to your local funeral homes and drop off that packet with your contact info. I wouldnt just limit the info you drop off to list only funeral home availibility tho. Include with your info that you are available for other functions as well because if someone does happen to see your info at a funeral home but dont use your services for a funeral they will remember seeing that you do other functions and may need your services for another purpose. They may also be able to pass it on to someone they know who may be interested in your music for a funeral. If you are willing to travel to locations other than near you, i would mail out your packet to those funeral homes within the distance you are willing to travel and state that you are willing to travel so many miles. In my experience any info that comes into the funeral home WILL get looked at and kept just incase. If you go door to door it isnt really necessary to ask to see a director or owner. You can hand it to whatever employee happens to answer the door but ask them if in fact they are the director just to ask… as far as how much to charge, you could have a straight fee ir by so many hours. Maybe $200 for 3 hours. $150 for 1 hour plus add a fee for any miles you travel over 50 miles.. or additional fee if they rewuest you play at church and or cemetery. As far as who pays, it is always typically the family who will be paying for your services but it is up to the family if they want to physically hand you a check or cash or if they have decided to add ut to funeral bill in which case the funeral home will hand you payment. I would imagine also having a website would be a good idea that way the funeral home could research you more or even the family. Maybe yiu could eventually have a small video of yiu playing at a funeral so they can see and hear . U wush yiu the best of luck!!! If you have anymore questions please ask or if i have missed anything let me know. Please excuse any spelling errors…typing in my iphone that us giving me sime issues today.
      please stop by and read more. And thank you again!!

      • Thank you so much for your reply! All that you have said is exactly what I have been doing so glad I am on the right track. I’ve put together a large postcard, business card and a nice website which has sample tracks on it. All of them clearly states that I play at Weddings, Receptions, Funerals and other special events. I am in the Denver area so there are plenty of Funeral Homes for me to visit. After reading your blog I thought I would also ask them if they needed a p/t greeter as well. I would love your feedback on my site if you have time. You can find me at denverenchantedstrings.com I don’t play the usual classical pieces because I specialize in more of a soft Celtic/Gypsy sound so it makes my songlist a bit different then your typical quartet. I play with beautiful background tracks so it’s very pretty and soothing. At Funerals I don’t want to put on a show, just evoke emotion to help them with the grieving process. Thanks again and it was very nice of you to take the time to advize me. I appreciate it very much!

      • Hi! No problem…i am flattered you even want my opinion!! I am more than glad to answer or help!! I think what you said about not wanting to put on a show is right on…perfect!
        I will be more than happy to check out your website. I will look at it when i get to work today so i can use the computer & not my phone.
        That would be great if you got a job at one of the funeral homes…you could just ‘slip’ in one of your cd’s…lol !! Good luck, keep me posted. As soon as i take a look at your website i will let you know.

      • Love the website. Also like the fact that you listed your charges for playing at funeral. Personally i hate when i go to a website to look for prices and it says “call for pricing”. I realize that there are certain things you have to call for but at least it gives you an idea of charges! It is also helpful to the funeral home to know what you charge so they can let the family know. Of course we would call to verify that the charges are cirrect and im sure most other funeral homes do that as well, especially if the funeral home will be applying those charges to the funeral bill. Also liked that you put your pic on website. Its nice to know who you are talking to … for the families who contact you as well as the funeral home. I couldnt listen to the music tho…pretty sure it just wont play on my phone and i didnt get the chance to listen to it on computer at work because of course i got busy with some work that needed to be finished and ended up taking me all day! But…i have the website bookmarked on my phone and saved as a favorite at work. You may have mentioned this, but do you take orders for your cd’s or sell them? I RWALLY REALLY hope that your business takes off! It doesnt take long for news to spread so hopefully you get some business and the news spreads about how GREAT your music and you are!! ( please excuse any spelling errors, stupid phone just not cooperating today! )

      • Thank you for taking a look at my site. I don’t have my own CD’s or write my own music to play at Funerals. I use other music and play my violin along with it. For instance, I play a lot of Secret Garden because it’s very soft Celtic with a slight Gypsy sound. Very pretty stuff. It’s called using “background tracks.” It makes it seem like I have a large band playing with me but it helps me keep my prices low because it’s only me. One song I sing which is great at funerals is by Secret Garden called “Sleepsong.” You should look that up on youtube. I do hope you get a chance to listen to those sample tracks on your computer because they are really pretty. I’m glad you liked how I put my prices on the site too. I just like to keep things simple. Here’s my price for this or that and here’s my picture and here’s what I do. Keep it simple. So thanks again for checking it out and giving me your advice. I’ll let you know how it goes this summer in trying to get the funeral homes to push my work. I also have an art studio and I paint big abstracts so that keeps me busy as well. That site is http://www.bigpaintingsforbigwall.com Just in case you want to check out my art. I just really like the arts I guess.

      • My pleasure…! I wish you the best of luck & stay in touch with updates. I am going to look at your art right now & hopefully it stays quiet at work today so i can check out your music!!

  12. Hi, I went through a bit of your blog and found it interesting. Sorry if this is personal but I’m curious as to how you got your start. You started off as a greeter correct? You’re now a secretary?

    • Hi! Thank you for reading…!
      Yes, when I first started I was a Greeter. A Greeter is someone who only works during visitation and or during a funeral service. They will greet those who are coming in for visiyation, hang their coats if they wish, direct them to the correct chapel, make coffee, empty trash, answer phones etc…
      I am now the funeral homes secretary/office manager. I oversee all the accounts. I do all the work that needs to be done after the family has finalized their arrangements such as, all permits, type the death cert. Obits that need to be placed, order caskets, vaults, urns. Contact cemetery to set up burial. Also all of the accounting. I also will meet with families to make arrangements if i am asked to do so or if no one is avail to do meet with them. Not all funeral homes are the same however, some do not allow anyone but a Director to meet with families. I have been fortunate to work for people who trust that i can do an arrangement.
      Thanks again for reading my blog!

  13. You should be a part of a contest for one of the finest blogs on
    the web. I’m going to highly recommend this web site!

    • Thank you very much…I appreciate your comment !!

    • Lisa J. Says:

      Yes, I too really enjoy your blog and find it fascinating! Good job! I’m sure it feels good to vent a bit once in a while as well. Humans bad behavior is not limited to one industry so we all can relate and feel your pain. But I also find it interesting and amusing at the same time. I went to a funeral for a friend of mine and I too could not understand why so many people brought food to the funeral. I thought, “now why didn’t they just have a wake at someone’s house and bring the food there?” I thought it was all very strange. Plus, I’ve seen lots of children just running amuck with no supervision whatsoever. I found that to be shocking and disturbing. So thanks again for your blog and your advice.

      • I will never ever understand why people do not feel it necedsary to watch their children when at a funeral home!! We have stairs and most but not all funeral homes i’ve been in have stairs. And where do most kids go to play…the stairs!! And when a kid hurts themselves on rhose stairs who is going to get blamed? Just the other day during visitation (this wasnt a large visitation either) some kids were sitting at a desk we have near the entrance. Inside the desk drawer are some extra ink pens and paper. There are some paperclips and a folder of our general price list and some extra booklets on aftercare. There is also a memo pad and ink pen on top of desk. So about an hour and a half into visitation i walk up front to check on rhings and what do i find?!? Three kids, one sitting at the desk, two standing in front of desk. There are are several paperclips all bent, pulled apart. The memo pad almost all used up wirh scribble on each piece of paper. Where were these items….on the FLOOR! so if someone would have slipped on the paper or a paper clip then they could get hurt! Also the one kid had the desk drawer open looking for more stuff…and where were the parents (or an adult) they were sitting RIGHT THERE!!! too busy talking. They were literally sitting right next to them in the chairs we have up front outside the chapels! So i walk over to the kids and say “you guys cant sit here and do this, you are wasting our paper and office supplies that we pay for and you arent suppose to throw things on the floor because someone can get hurt. Now i need all of you to please pick everything up and do not open that desk drawer again. Ut is not pilite to go thru other peoples things without asking. If you wantes paper and pencil you should have asked your parents!” As soon as i sais this the parents who were sitting RIGHT there say “oh im sorry, are they getting into things? ..you guys help pick all that up! Im so sorry they got into all your things” ….. that was it! Not one of the parents or other adult got up to help or even offered to help… they did not disciplin the kids (not that i think they should have been spanked or whatever) but at the very least told to sit down and not move until told they could get up! Or like i say….TAKE THEM HOME! Dont even get me started on food…again! Lol

  14. Everything you’ve stated in your blog is just plain common sense. I’m not wondering if the term “respect for the dead” does not apply in this modern world anymore, as if everyone does not know how to act or dress up for a the most saddest occassion that you could ever attend. It’s just sad how this world is turning out to be. But I must say on those “rude family” defense, I think they are just exhibiting anger as an emotion to rely on to deal with death. I work in the retail industry and i found that when customers are confuse they seem to go into attack mode. It is hard to face those people ahhaa unless your background career was being a psychiatrist. :) but overall your blog is a good insight of what really happens in that field, which seems to be socially underground topic.

    • thefuneralbizz Says:

      Joane..Thank you for reading my blog. I have not posted in a while due to my computer not working & trying to post from my phone is well…a pain inthe rear! So please excuse ny spelling errors. I obviously agree with people not using common sense…I a tually believe that most people anywhere no matter the situation do not use or have common sense anymore!! I also find in everyday life here at work and every place else people are just dowm right rude! Im not sure why people find it acceptable to talk to others the way tjey do… amd I do agree that people lash out or act rude when dealing with death or anything else they have no control over..however i truely believe that ‘some’ of the people/families I deal with are just plain ole’ rude. Typically I can get a sense of how they are by speaking to them on the phone…also most of the time when a family is here and having visitation there is usually lots of laughter and talking and chitchatting with friends and relati es going on. BUT when those same family wants/needs something they are still rude. Demanding. Short. Or actially accusatory in a sense that ‘how come “I” have to ask for something’… just the other dau we had to contact a daughter regarding her mothers death cert that had been pending that has now been amended. When we called and said that we had them, before I was even done talking she is talking over me saying “yea yeah ok but who has the autopsy report? Noone has even bothered to call me about that!! ” so i begin to tell her that the funeral home does not get autopsy reports that she needs to contact medical examiner..but sure as shit she again talks over me and proceeds to say ‘how am i suppose to contact them when i dont have their ph#! and I have to work! Im late for work right now so I cant come for death certs now so its gonna have to wait!” Soooo again I begin to speak to tell her I can give her the ph# but she begins to talk over me and says that the connection sucks so whatever it is I am saying I may as well just not because she cant hear me anyway and then says Im late for work bye… so regardless of how she may be reacting (it has been 2 months since her mother passed. Not that it makes a difference just giving info) there was no need for her to talk to me like that whatsoever!! Also I want to add that anytime there is a pending death cert. I ALWAYS give the family a letter explaining the process and included in that letter it states that the funeral home does not receive autopsy report that you need to contact medical examiner and right there in bold is the m.e. ph#!!! But anyway…I do agree with what you said as well as the funeral business being something noone ‘discusses’. Thank you again for reading!!

  15. You really need to get out of the industry. You really have no idea when it comes to people, business or customer service…. or compassion for that fact. Your blog is disrespectful and seems to be all about you and not about the family of the deceased. It is one of the biggest problems in business today through out the world is the attitude that you demonstrate in your blog …. I have the power …. I will/might/will not give you any of what I am being paid to give. I have the power now go away. Yes mate…. get out of the industry where it involves people.

    • thefuneralbizz Says:

      Well…I appreciate you visiting my blog….I think.. As you say “Your blog is disrespectful and seems to be all about you and not the family” Uhhmmm, YES, it is ALL about ME. That is in fact why I have a blog. This is MY blog where I can come and vent my frustrations. You also say that “it is one of the biggest problems in business today through out the world is the attitude that you demonstrate in your blog”. This is actually true however; again, this is why I have MY blog. To come and vent my frustrations with dealing with the public. But I agree with you on that…it is one of the major problems with customer service, NO ONE give a shit! I DO!!! and, again, that is why I come here to MY blog…to get out my frustrations, this is how I am able to maintain a pleasant attitude and smile thru out the day, even when I have someone else, a family, someone on the street, the corner store, another driver, etc…being rude and unhelpful to ME! If you had bothered to read all of my posts, you would have read…that I NEVER treat my families with disrespect, I am never rude, I am ALWAYS pleasant and helpful to EVERYONE who I deal with at work..and outside of work! You would have read where I have blogged several times about people in the world being rude and disrespectful and questioning WHY it is that others feel that they can treat others so bad. I am in this profession knowing full well what I have to deal with. I chose this job knowing that I would have to deal with the public. (dealing with the public SUCKS and most everyone knows it) as I stated above, people are not polite anymore or willing to ‘do their job’ that…yes, they are getting paid for, just like me, I get paid for showing up for work everyday and doing my job. I get paid to be there for greiving families and see them thru their most difficult times…but that does not excuse the fact that even these people can be ‘difficult to deal with’… If you do not like my blog, no one is making you read it. If you would have read the first page of my blog, it clearly states that if you are easily offended, than please do not continue on. But, none the less, here you are…and once again, Thank you for your comment, Mate.

      • You tell em! Silly person to attack you like that. That’s whyyyy it is called a blog and besides, you have already clearly presented a ‘warning’….don’t worry about such silly people. You keep doing this. Let it all out so that you can be refreshed and do a good job :-)

      • thefuneralbizz Says:

        THANK YOU!!!!

    • Timos, only this – piss off and go fuck yourself – if it’s possible. It’s her blog she can write what she wants, and if you’ve bothered to read other entrys she has a lot of other funeral workers supporting what she writes about. Since when is it up to people like you to tell others what they can write on THEIR blog?!

  16. I could be the oldest poster here *shy* but I am grateful for your posts because I was thinking of joining this industry. When I shared with friends about my interests, they all shrieked and said I was crazy (I am of Singaporean-Chinese origin and in my culture, any matters relating to death is taboo, until they have a death in the family and go through it). But to me, I see it as a necessity just like events of birth and marriage. I see it as sending love ones onto their final journey. Anyway, thanks again for sharing.

    • thefuneralbizz Says:

      hi! thanks for visiting!
      isn’t it funny how certain cultures view death so differently? In Mexico, they celebrate. Muslim cultures do not allow a woman to touch the body and they must be interred within, I think, 24 hours. it may be 48…and no embalming. Here in the U.S, it is a toss up….lol. Only because in my opinion there are so many different religions, cultures, beliefs, etc…here. But, whatever, everyone has their right to choose how they think or what beliefs they have. In my opinion, I don’t think it should be something that you never discuss. It is inevitable. It is going to happen wether we like it or not! Alot of people do not deal with death and planning a funeral at time of need, so those probably should think ahead. I think you would do well in the funeral industry….you have the right way of thinking about it and understand that others have different views. Good Luck!

      • Well, the idea of working in the funeral industry was never in my mind. But I watched a wonderful Japanese movie about how a musician’s orchestra disband and he secretly works in a funeral home. The movie is called “Departures”. After watching that movie, subconsciously, I reflected on it. You see, I worked in the logistics industry and then moved on to being an academic. I no longer find my job rewarding and having been in a few traffic accidents in the last 3 years, I had another hard look at what I want to do with my life. And then it hit me in the last 12 months – funeral industry. I spoke to mum about it and she ‘smiled’. She said a fortune teller told her I am ‘destined’ to work as a teacher or in the funeral industry. Hence begins my ‘research’ into what it is like to work in this industry. Your honest sharing provided me valuable insights. Looking forward to read more of your experiences. THANKS!!!

      • thefuneralbizz Says:

        thank you! i hope that it is your true calling. good luck!

  17. g2-66013621aff968c23d37a38326b941ca Says:

    Hello. I’m interested in the embalming. I know i have to go to school for this. Ever since i was little i wanted to become a medical examiner. for one thing or another though i didnt go to college. but now i feel like embalming is my calling. just being able to make other peoples hurt less painful. my question is how do you get through issues of weakstomach, or sensitivity to others pains since i’m so sensitive when seing others cry or in pain, or just being around the dead in general.

    • thefuneralbizz Says:

      hi. thank you for visiting my blog.

      I’m not sure how you would get past the sensitive stomach part….however I do know from experience that you will get over being sensitive to those who are upset, sad, etc…because they have lost someone. It becomes a part of your everyday life, unfortunately…I still become upset every now and again. Usually in the funeral business we are usually very busy and you have a job to do. That job is to make sure that the family is happy with your services. It’s okay though if you do become emotional, I have been with families and have started to get sad and start to cry. As far as the embalming goes…there are alot of things that will affect your sensitive stomach. If you are sure this is what you want to do though, I would definately go for it. If you find you can’t stomach it, then you just can’t, but at least you gave it a shot!

      • g2-66013621aff968c23d37a38326b941ca Says:

        That really helps me alot! I’m going to start calling all funeral homes nearby to see if they are hiring. *fingers crossed*. I think it’s good to start working at a funeral home before going to school so I can see what it’s like.

      • thefuneralbizz Says:

        excellent decision! i wish you the best of luck! and be persistant…even though you do not have the funeral home experience yet let them know what other skills you have, such as good communication skills (very important in the funeral industry) any computer skills, answering phones, making others feel comfortable, etc… even if you get a job as a Greeter, it’s a start, thats where I started! Keep me posted!

  18. BreAnne Edler Says:

    I am 16 as well I read the other comment about the 15year old. I work at a funeral home under the aid of the mortician. its a great buissness and sometimes I am sent out to help talk to the familes and encourage them through tough times. My boyfriend passed away on my birthday so I have a lot of sympathy twords lost loved ones. I respect you greatly and yes I understand what you say when your talking about leaving food in the lounge!

    • thefuneralbizz Says:

      hi BreAnne, I am so sorry to hear that you lost your boyfriend, and on your birthday no less. I’m sure that was hard for you and being so young to have to go through that. I am sincerely sorry. However working at the funeral home I suspect has helped you deal with it?? It can go either way, either it can help people or make things worse…How great that you are able to work there under the funeral director and actually be able to interact with families and help them thru such hard times. I sometimes forget, you become immune, that people are hurting.
      The lounge on the other hand is a whole other story! Just as I write about sometimes forgetting that someone/familes are hurting and sad, it still does not excuse them from being civilized.

  19. funeral expenses insurance…

    […]Life working at a funeral home « Thefuneralbizz's Weblog[…]…

  20. Siento mucho no escribir en inglés, pero es que así expreso mejor lo que hacemos aquí en España en nuestro trabajo, aunque si a alguien le molesta, puedo poner el traductor, aunque el resultado del traductor es que a veces no interpreta bien lo que escribo.
    Aquí hay varias leyendas urbanas con respecto a nosotros, os paso a explicar, algunas son curiosas:
    -Tenemos maquilladoras que sólo vienen cuando alguien fallece, esto es totalmente falso, ya que somos los propios funerarios los que hacemos todo, ya que nos han preparado para este trabajo.
    -Somos gente triste, aburrida y no tenemos familia, falso, somos como cualquier persona, hay de todo, pero en mi trabajo son mucho más alegres que en otros trabajos, debido a que la naturaleza del trabajo es triste.
    Yo estoy felizmente casado y soy un feliz padre de tres niñas.
    -Nos quedamos con lo que traen los difuntos, muy falso, ya que todo lo que traen es minuciosamente escrito y detallado, se le pregunta a la familia continuamente, todo absolutamente todo se registra, hasta la ropa interior por si la familia quiere la ropa.
    -En las incineraciones ponemos cenizas de cualquier cosa, tremendamente falso, el control es absoluto, la familia asiste a la cremación de principio a fin, sin excepciones, se limpia muy bien el horno antes de cada cremación, los recipientes donde contienen las cenizas son todos nuevos para el fallecido, las erramientas utilizadas son limpiadas en cada nueva cremación, todo es continuamente registrado, supervisado continuamente, y todos los controles se repasan tres veces, las cenizas que se entregan son unicamente los huesos de la persona que se ha incinerado.
    -Somos indiferentes a los difuntos por que tratamos muchos, falso, nuestra mentalidad es colocarnos en el lugar del familiar para dejar lo mejor posible al difunto, esta claro que no sentimos dolor por su fallecimiento, pero si mucho respeto por el difunto y su familia, lo tratamos como nos gustaria que tratasen a un ser querido nuestro.

    En este trabajo hay un control muy alto de todo el proceso, total libertad de la familia para todo, revisiones internas continuas, comunicación de fallos y reuniones para arreglarlos, control de los compañero veteranos a los novatos, y así una larga lista.

    Gracias por leer este comentario.
    Un saludo a todos los funerarios que sufrimos la ignorancia de la gente, espero que estos comentarios en tu blog sirvan para que haya menos ignorancia.

    • thefuneralbizz Says:

      Thank you for your comments. It was a little diffucult to understand some of what you are trying to say, but using the Translator was helpful and I think I was able to figure out what you intended to say.
      For those who read my blog, I used the Google Translator, if you are interested in what the comment is.

  21. Andrew Lipscomb Says:

    I myself am considering to pursue a career in the funeral business.

  22. BELOW IS THE ENGLISH TRANSLATION:
    Yo soy funerario en España, y el proceso aquí ante todo es de un respeto máximo, pero en ocasiones, la gente se porta muy groseramente con nosotros, aunque, la profesionalidad es muy importante y siempre se trabaja para rebajar la tensión a niveles aceptables.
    Mi trabajo consiste en ser chofer de recogida, preparador, asistitir funerales, llevar al difunto al cementerio, etc…, trabajo en una gran funeraria con unos 2000 empleados.
    Mi trabajo es triste por que asistimos acontecimientos tristes, pero mi trabajo me gusta, aunque en determinadas circunstancias es un poco valiente decir esto, ya que la gente se muere en todas las circunstancias, suicidios, asesinatos, muerte natural, abandonados varios dias, etc…, pero el trabajar en una empresa buena como en la que yo trabajo, ayuda mucho.

    BELOW IS THE TRANSLATION:
    I am a funeral in Spain, and the process is here above all maximum respect, but sometimes, people behaved very rudely to us, though, the professionalism is very important and always working to lower the voltage to acceptable levels.
    My job is to be collected driver, trainer, asistitir funeral, carrying the deceased to the cemetery, etc …, working in a funeral home with about 2000 employees.
    My job is sad sad events we attend, but I like my job, although in certain circumstances is a bit bold to say this, because people are dying in all circumstances, suicides, murders, natural death, left several days, etc. … but the good work for a company like where I work, it helps.

  23. Craig White Says:

    I am a embalmer, I actually had a wife of a recently deceased client request that I remove his gold fillings and return them to her, she informed me ” You probably did not realize Gold broke 1700 a oz recently”. When I politely refused to do this, she accused me of wanting to keep them for myself. I explained to her that I would not remove his teeth, gold or not. She told me that all his teeth better be there and she was going to check before he goes into the ground. I just shook my head, yes and returned to my office.

    • thefuneralbizz Says:

      hey craig..thank you for reading my blog!
      i don’t think people realize that the gold fillings used for teeth are NOT worth anything. i recently had a family, maybe about 3 months ago who wanted the gold teeth out of their fathers mouth! the son asked for them but he said his kids (the deceased’s grandkids) were pushing for them. well, we don’t remove fillings or pull teeth! explained that if they really wanted those gold fillings, which i think there was only 1 anyway, that they would have to contact their dentist or any dentist and see if he/she would be willing to come to the funeral home and extract the filling for them. they were not happy about this! we even explained to them that the filling is not worth anything and that they would really be wasting their time. and just like your story, they insisted that gold prices are thru the ROOF! ………okay then….. so the son said he would contact their dentis that his father has been seeing for years and that they were “really good friends” and he wouldn’t have a problem doing it. he said he would call and let us know as soon as he spoke to the dentist….well, apparently he spoke to the dentist alright, and LOW AND BEHOLD whaddya think the dentist told him?!? yep, that one, he would not come to the funeral home to remove the filling and two, that the filling is not worth ANYTHING! lets just say the grandaughters did not really care to be so nice to us after that, even tho we hadn’t even met them at that point! we had to deal with them when they came for visitation….and nothing but attitude…and why…..just because WE WERE RIGHT! but of course, like you, we had to bite our tounge and smile and move on…. did the woman ever really check his mouth to see if the teeth were still there?

  24. Hey Thefuneralblizz, or anyone else who can answer my question. Im 15 not too long until 16 and Im interested in maybe working in a funeral home next summer or so, is it possible that someone would hire a teenager in that field? I mean I find it interesting.And I like your blog,I remember going to my Grandfathers visitation a couple years back and sitting there talking to my parents,when some annoying family came in demanding to talk to”whoever was in charge” I dont know what was wrong with them…but i was pretty pissed.well i feel like kind of an idiot for asking this question..since im sure nobody in a funeral home wants to hire a 16 year old! but eh…gotta give it a shot right? :)

    • thefuneralbizz Says:

      i don’t think it’s a silly question at all. you would just have to go and apply at some funeral homes in your area and see if they are interested. they may want to hire you because you are young and have an interest in the business. some may want to hire you just because they may need an extra hand doing odds and ends…you’ll never know unless you try! At the very least, when you do go to the funeral homes to see if they are hiring and if they aren’t, you could always tell them that you are interested in the funeral business and if they could tell you a little bit about it or give you any tips or they may know of another funeral home who is hiring….it always helps to talk to people, get as many connections as you can! and since you are young and know that this is something you are interested in, getting to know those in the funeral business in your area may be a really good start for you! you will want those connections later on!! Good Luck!!!! Let me know if you find a job anywhere.

  25. Christina Says:

    This was an impressive entry, FuneralBizz. I’m just a 21 year old college student with a Comm-PR major (not much to do with the funeral business) but I must say that I have so much respect for those who work in the funeral business. To deal with such heightened emotion must be so difficult sometimes.

    My best friend’s dad owns a funeral home in Buffalo, NY + he works so hard to make the funeral process as easy and stress-free as possible for mourning family + friends. However, I had no idea there was so much involved in the preparation (and so many rude people, I might add).

    Anyway, I am so glad you shared your experience + I wish you all the best in your endeavors! Keep strong. You’re doing a wonderful thing for the community.

    • thefuneralbizz Says:

      Thank you Christina.

      It is hard work and I am sure your friends father works his tail off, I am sure he could tell you some stories!
      Our job is to make it as stress free as we can for the families and we do our very best to do just that. Some people are just harder to work with or harder to please than others. I have a family right now, just received the call yesterday that she passed and they are a very laid back nice family (as of right now)…. However, who knows what tomorrow will bring.

      Thank you again… and good luck with college!!

  26. Crystal Says:

    I work in health care, mostly with the elderly, and I can completely relate to how rude the public can be. Some of my clients are really lovely and a joy to work with but they’re outnumbered by people I could associate more from a horror movie. I never thought some grannies could be so evil! Some of them really make you feel like you’re just “the carer” and beneath them and they don’t talk, they yell. And the ones who are lovely to work with, their reletives are the opposite, they’re awful! One of their grandchildren even called “maid” and demanded me to get them a drink. I didn’t as I’m not a maid, but you have be so careful how you speak to people as they can take simple comments the wrong way. I can understand you want a place to vent, really I do!

    I read your post about the woman poking her deceased child lying in the casket in the eye and I was totally shocked and speechless. What an awful piece of work she was to do that to her own kid and what a horrible experience for you to witness. Do you have children? For a mom, that would be exceptionally hard to witness. I admire your emotional strength to work amongst people like that and in general, the funeral industry. I’ve helped out at some of the funeral services of elderly clients who have passed and you’re exactly right. It is a lot of work to organise in a short period of time. But people don’t understand that, they want things NOW! In my opinion though, a loved one passing is no excuse for blatant rudeness and being plain awful to people who are just trying to help. I’ll keep reading your blog, I’m enjoying the bits of humor cropping up now and then. I can totally relate to it!

  27. Fun e gal Says:

    I was a funeral director for 15 years in NYC and I laughed so hard while reading your account of your day. You made many valid points, however you forgot to talk about people who want to have funerals on major holidays . Certainly I want to go to a funeral on Christmas or Thanksgiving after all I have the day off…Really!! what are people thinking. How about when there is a snowstorm and roads are closed.. people ask what you mean I have to postpone I have people comming in…yeah from where? Absolutely enjoyed your comments.

    • thefuneralbizz Says:

      i thought i did write about the holiday hell families?? maybe not, i meant to! just a few weeks ago we had a family who insisted they have the viewing on the 4th of July. also that same weekend, we received a first call on that saturday (july 2nd) and the family didn’t even want to come in to make arrangements until…….the 4th! WHY!?!?!? i mean, i know we are a funeral home and we have to be prepared to work holidays, etc… but seriously, if someone in my family passed away, i certainly would not want to have their viewing or funeral on a holiday! most cemeteries in our area are closed for burials on holidays, except for a couple, who then charge an outrageous amount to bury someone that day. but then again, i can see why, since EVERYONE has families, friends, plans, etc…. on HOLIDAYS! i have had visitation on christmas day, new years even and day, easter sunday, july 4th, labor day, memorial day, thanksgiving, ….well, i guess thats just about every major holiday, isn’t it!?! i also wouldn’t expect friends and other relatives to come to the funeral home on a holiday. more than once and i am serious, i have had a family sitting in front of me deciding what day they should start viewing because of a holiday and i ALWAYS remind them that such and such day is a holiday, and i have received this in response “well, we don’t care, and if our friends and family can’t show up to see aunt betty just because its a holiday then they really aren’t friends then are they!?!” I mean really…..?? COME ON already. give me a break. oh poor me. poor us.. we have to greive on a holiday so why not make everyone else feel bad…….because you know i would rather not do anything more than go to a funeral home on christmasfreaking eve! and for those family members that were closest to the deceased, why would you want to remember that person on such a day?

  28. Greetings Bizz,
    Love it! Would be so thankful if you have time to answer my question. I am 37 yr old who has been hairstylist for 10 years. I have been wanting to change careers to funerals…no I don’t have to do hair..I would love to know if I would have a chance to apply with no experience. I am so thankfull for any advice for interv iew . I am over the beauty industry and would love to b a part of the funeral process. What position could I apply for that would be entry level? Mabe coffee security? Lol

    • thefuneralbizz Says:

      LOL…there should be coffee security!! just security outright!
      but anyway…depending on the funeral home you may be able to snag a greeter positon. greeter usually answer the phone, make coffee, straighten up, direct people to the restroom, take their coats, etc.. and in general “greet” people. some funeral homes may have positions just for ‘running’ death certificates. which means once the funeral home finds out which doctor will be signing the d/c you take the d/c to that doctors office and wait for the doc to sign it. then after it is signed you have to take it to the appropriate city clerks office and have it filed, and at that time they will give you the amount of d/c’s the family paid for. also, this person usually does local removals and odds and ends. there aren’t that many positions within the funeral home, generally (and i am speaking of ‘a’ funeral home as opposed to maybe there being a few or several of the that same (same name, same owners) funeral home. but there is usually just the director/directors, maybe a seperate embalmer (if the owner/director doesn’t not do it) the office secreary/manager, /greeter/greeters, /d/c person and maybe a cleaning person and maybe a specified pre-need person.
      but just go fill out an application, you never know! i had no experience when i applied for my job at the funeral home! no experience working at a funeral home that is. it started out they were just looking for a part-time greeter. once i started that, which didn’t last long, i was doing secretarial work, filling in the office secretary on her day off, vacations, etc… then up from there. the more you learn the better. and if you do, do hair, then why not see if they could use you to do hair? we had a girl who worked for us a long time ago and she was a greeter but also did hair.
      one of the big things i am sure they would want you to know is computers! be familiar with alot of different programs. just know your way around a computer, printer and scanner!!! oh, and that you ddefinatley do not have an issue being around the dead!

  29. Greetings Bizz,
    Love it! Would be so thankful if you have time to answer my question. I am 37 yr old who has been hairstylist for 10 years. I have been wanting to change careers to funerals…no I don’t have to do hair..I would love to know if I would have a chance to apply with no experience. I am so thankfull for any advice for interv iew . I am over the beauty industry and would love to b a part of the funeral process.

  30. FunDirect Says:

    Just found the blog after a crazy week of meeting with families. Love it! I had no one to vent to until now. I’m a funeral director and love my job but damn, some families are ruthless. And I treat everyone spectacularly, i might add.

    Don’t you love it when “guests” take individual flowers out of the spray the family purchased just because they want to? How rude. And Kids! Don’t get me started. Funeral Home, NOT PLAYGROUND. Watch your kids or leave them with a babysitter. Also, Coffee is not meant to be chugged by 12 year olds. There is a water fountain for chugging!

    I can’t stand walk-ins either. Funeral directors/secretary’s have homes that we live in, with children, and cook dinner, and go to movies. We are always available by phone. But myself and my secretary do not bring sleeping bags to work.

    Also, Pre-plan for you or your family members funeral! Hell, just get life insurance. Anything to cover the costs. Compared to other life events (child birth, buying a new car, college tuition, weddings) funeral’s are the LEAST expensive on average AND it’s the only event that is inevitable AND it’s the only one you can pre-pay for years in advance while locking down prices at current costs! Wait, that would make too much sense………

    oh yeah, that felt good!

    By the way secretary’s…..I’m getting ready to hire a new secretary with limited experience (I live in the midwest, not a high cost area) any suggestions on a starting salary to offer??

    • thefuneralbizz Says:

      Thank you for reading….and venting! doesn’t it feel good! i find that if i vent to people/friends (who aren’t in the business)/relatives, i think they tend to think that i am a cold hearted bitch! just because i am dealing with people who just lost a loved one….but like you said “but damn!” LOL

      for a secretary, with “minimal” experience? I would say at least $10 an hour. but with experience i would say at least $13-$15 an hour. also i suppose it depends on whether or not you are offering benefits.

      and the coffee drinking kids!!! OMG! I know right! or they sit in the lounge cause the parents again, don’t want to watch them and they have nothing to do, so often I find them playing with the tea bags and shit! UHG!

      hope you come back to the blog often……! and vent away! i haven’t had much time to blog that much lately, just because it has been busy at work the last month. but i will return soon!!

    • thefuneralbizz Says:

      walk ins suck! especially when you are busy! i can have a funeral home of people for visitation or a funeral in progress and maybe even an arrangements in progress and a family will walk in. and what really pisses me off is when you ask them “how can i help you today?” they just look at you like you are the biggest idiot on the face of the earth! and when they say they are here to make arrangements because so and so died, i just want to put my hands around their necks and choke them! you see the funeral home has a parking lot full of cars and maybe even a hearse out there but you are just gonna walk in anyway….because like i have said before, no one else in the WHOLE WORLD matters to them, because they just lost someone. they have no regard for the person whose funeral it is or the family who is sitting in the arrangement office because they just lost someone to…nope, the world MUST revolve around them at this moment! and when i look a them and say that a family is here with the director making arrangements right now that they will have to wait or come back later…..the looks, the rolling of the eyes, the ‘sighs’ i get…..erghh….pisses me off just thinking about it! then you get the snotty question ‘well, how long are “we” going to have to wait?
      i always tell people i know that pre-planning is a good idea, i don’t like sounding like a sales person, but really it is a great idea!! unless you are a millionare and so is the rest of your family, pre-plan!!!
      as far as your secretary hiring goes, if no experience, i would probably suggest around $10-12 an hour, if experienced then $12-14 an hour to start. i guess it would also depend on if you are offering any health benefits as well.

  31. Hang in there Funeralbizz, it’s not your fault that people are the way they are with no manners or respect even for their own deceased reletives. (I guess that’s why a lot of old folk are often stuck in Homes by their own grown up children until they pass away which seems wrong, doesn’t it? But it seems to be a world wide tradition to do something like that and then hover around like vultures to see if they’re in the will).

    Us community service workers cop a fair deal of crap but the world today seems to be just full of attitude spilling people who haven’t had their mothers teach them if they can’t think of anything nice to say don’t say it at all. It sounds like people treat funeral home lounges like a Mcdonalds’ restaurant with all the rubbish everywhere. How rude can people get leaving all their rubbish and cigarette butts everywhere as if it’s their own home? (I’d hate to think how poeple live in their homes actually. I think I’d pass out from shock:))

    At my old job, we used to hold functions for the volunteers or special guest speakers and the amount of food following by used napkins, serviettes, tissues stuffed under coffee cops laced with thick lipstick around the rim and food left on plates that greeted us secretaries that had to clean it all up.
    Can remember helping out one time..” oh get me another coffee will you” – no please or thank you following, just “get me another coffee”.
    Well, the coffee urn is right behind them, can’t they move. Don’t they have legs, arms and a heartbeat? Clearly not. But you can’t say anything, just smile and say of course and thank them for coming (but really I’m thinking in my head, now just piss off I have a load of washing up to do and not getting paid overtime for cleaning up a pig sty)

    Keep up the blog, it’s good.

  32. Good blog. Loved it.

  33. I might add too that it was also the families of the customers we were dealing with too that actually worse than the client. I can understand that they were feeling a sense of frustration and isolation about their loved ones receiving the correct support and my family has experienced it too, as I have mentioned I have a reletive with a disability. But getting abusive and uppity with the secretary that the correct person they are supposed to be dealing with isn’t in the office at the time as they may dealing with other clients (yes, there were other clients we had to deal with not just them I felt like saying many times, but never did as it wasn’t professional) isn’t really going to help their relative get the correct support is it? I’m sure it’s the same in a fun house when a client demands they want to see a funeral director there and then. Irritating isn’t it?

    • thefuneralbizz Says:

      glad you got outta that place you use to work for! dealing with the public is no easy feat! and, yes, we do get a lot of phone calls and letters and requests from organizations wanting us to donate to this or that. some we, do some, we don’t. usually if it is a local organization we will. i also think that everyone feels that since we are a funeral home, then we ‘have’ to have sympathy for everything and everyone! no matter what the situation. of course we do sympathize with the families we have, however it just becomes so difficult when a family or family member is just being rude or think that they are “owed” ‘special’ treatment. like you said, you have to remain professional at all times.
      I am glad you found my blog, wish i had time to write more, but i try to at least post something at least once a month. I have thought about writing a book, maybe i will one day….you never know. and thank you for the compliment!! Hope you keep reading, I will try to keep the blogs coming!

  34. Hey FuneralBizz
    From Australia and just found your blog now. I know it was written a few years ago but I loved it. You have a real knack for writing. You should write a book on behind the scenes in a funeral home. I’d certainly buy it. I couldn’t stop laughing what you wrote. Isn’t public service great?! I worked as a secretary for an organisation dealing with disabled people and I’m not bagging out disabled people as I have a reletive with a disability but gee whiz!! some of them were bloody rude and made my life hell each day I came into work.

    I can relate to how you feel when you tell these customers simple information and they can’t take and want a doctoral thesis delivered into exactly where the manager is or where is this particular information. Yup, you’re right, some people are total assholes!

    One of my jobs with this organisation was sometimes we’d get people ringing up wanting to leave a bequest and I’d have to get in contact with the finance/fundraising officer (total superbitch she was) and yup, this organisation categorised bequests as fundraising(!) This woman would also send out donation slips to funeral homes asking if any of their clients would want to leave a bequest to this charity organisation…wow, in 48 hours all the slips were returned to sender. It was hilarious. I bet you get annoyed with charities sucking up to your funeral home workplace as well. Anyway I’m out of that place now thank god. I don’t mind helping people and some are great but I’d have to say a lot make it hard and treat you like a servant. I don’t think it will stop me wanting to continue a career in helping people as it must be in my nature with my mum and sister being a carer to elderly people.

    Just like to say again, great blog. Well done. You’ve made my day.
    Amanda

  35. Im in shock after reading you critic of people that are quite possibly dealing with the worst and depressing thing ever. You appear in my opinion to be the least consoling, caring, and patience person. I’m so put off that you used the term Retarded! The proper terminology for years has been, Mentally Challenged. It’s offensive to them and me as I work with the mentally challenged. It seems clear that the person who has an issue is you. It would be simple the put ALL of YOUR issues into a nice ” answers to many of the questions/ concerns you may have about your Loved one “

    • thefuneralbizz Says:

      I thank you for your opinion, Tammy. But as I have stated several times before in my blog, that if you are offended by what I write, then please do not read it.

      • parlor gal Says:

        Dear Tammy, if the ‘BIZZ’ ever changed the format to what you suggest, I would not be interested in reading it. This is where we go to VENT !! What she relates is right on the money and sound advice is given. Being depressed and sad does not give anyone the right to act like a jerk, especially toward the people who THEY want to help them. Again, this is where I can go to VENT and share like experiences. A stress release if you will. Anyone who deals with the public can understand this. Where is your compassion ?????

      • thefuneralbizz Says:

        thank you parlor gal! i think, actually i know why people think that i am such a bad person writing about this kind of stuff, because they feel that, gee, it’s someones life, someone died and we/I are bitching about it. but what people need to realize is that this job, like every other job out there, when dealing with the public you are always going to have those assholes!! when i started to write this blog i had realized that there was no other blog or website, etc….. about the “real” stuff that goes on in a funeral home. i was extremely reluctant to start writing about it for fear that people would take it the wrong way. in NO way shape or form have i ever said where i work and i will never state where i work, i have not even mentioned what state i reside in. i try to keep it to just my venting and advice to those who may come across this blog. there is some good advice or opinions on my blog and of course there is a lot of venting! my spouse, family and friends can only take so much of my bitching and being able to actually write down exactly what i am thinking and how i am feeling is a great stress reliever for me. i agree with Tammy that these people are quite possibly going thru the worst and depressing thing ever! i actually know for a fact that most of these people are going thru the worst thing ever because i see it! i work with the families, i hear their stories, etc……… but to say that i am the least consoling person is way way off………….when i am with a family, talking to a family, making arrangements, i would never ever treat them bad. i am most respectful and helpful!! that is MY JOB! but just because this had to do with death, people have a hard time reading what i write and that is fine, everyone has a right to their opinion, however, i have stated several times thru out my blog that if you find what i write offensive then do not read it, just like if there was a tv program that you did not approve of, change the channel. thanks again parlor gal……….!!!

  36. Well life is a big curious thing..I have no idea how old yall are but Im 44 and lost my son Dusty in 2009..He went to jail and I asked them to take him to the psychiatric center in Houston and they did not..They let him out in less tahn 24 hrs sending him ny way and I had to leave my rental home and evacuate.He burned the house and killed himself with smoke inalation and the family pet too..
    What happen to PROTOCAL!!!!

  37. I really enjoyed your article. I’ve worked in the medical field for 12yrs in a hospital setting. I’ve always wanted to work at a funeral home and now I’m seriously thinking about going into it. I’ve done counseling, working in the ER trauma room, and also the financial side. I know where you are coming from because of all my encounters with family and friends getting all hostel when they enter the door concerning their loved ones. I’m in South East Texas and it seems there is no openings hardly at any funeral homes. I would like to get my foot in the door some place before jumping into classes. Anyway, I look forward to seeing more of your post.

    • thefuneralbizz Says:

      Thank you! Glad you enjoy it. Isn’t dealing with the public just great………! It just becomes a bit more tricky when it comes to death. Hope you find a job someplace in a funeral home, at least you would be able to see if you like it or not before taking classes. Good Luck to you!

  38. I too love your article. I started writing my blog after my grandmother died and we found it difficult to find advice relating to funerals. I haven’t really spoken to a funeral director so your views are very helpful!

    thanks

    • thefuneralbizz Says:

      Thank you! i hope that i was able to provide “some” advice….altho i do vent an awful lot in my blog, there are some things that are helpful. thank you again for the comment and reading my blog!!

  39. tacanesha Says:

    Hi! I love you blog. I interned a morgue during college and found it very interesting work. I want to start a wellness program specifically for funeral home staff and would like to get your input.

    • thefuneralbizz Says:

      Thank you!! What do you mean by “Wellness Program”? sounds interesting…..!! Tell me more.!!

  40. angela morrison Says:

    i enjoyreading your article i am thinking of becoming a funeral director iam trying to learn as much as possible about that industry so i go on line and look up all thes web site iwould i toknow if ican to to a funeral home and look how the dead istakencare of but i live in jamaica if you couldsendme some information i would bethankful thnk you very much

    • thefuneralbizz Says:

      thank you for reading my blog, glad you enjoy it! however, there really isn’t much of anything “I” can send you that you couldn’t find on the internet. actually the internet or library would have more information than I would. good luck!

  41. parlor gal Says:

    oh, forgot. There is a LARGE sign in the hallway BEFORE you even get to the lounge about no food. Maybe I am the only person that sees it ????

  42. parlor gal Says:

    about bringing food to a funeral home—-our lounge has four round tables in it for drinking coffee,tea,soda, and is sometimes used for arrangements when someone cant use the stairs. On EACH table is a three-sided sign that reads ABSOLUTELY NO FOOD OR SNACKS ALLOWED. THANK YOU, THE MANAGEMENT. How can anybody NOT see the signs??????? But there they are,eating and munching away. WHY???? When told VERY nicely that we are so sorry but there is no food allowed (like the signs say) can you tell me why folks look so surprised at me ?????????? Or give us the evil eye??????? I am sorry little Billy boy is hungry but what does that three sided sign RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU SAY ????????????????? Why do some people think rules dont apply to THEM?????

  43. parlor pal Says:

    just found your blog–EVERYTHING you related is on the mark. i am an evening hostess for a busy east coast funeral home. I share your experiences also. My evening co-workers will be delighted I found you. We would also like to vent !! We will look forward to sharing stories.

  44. Madabby Says:

    YUP! I get that too. They’ll call like months later and ask where the other copy is. Same with corrections. They’ll realize something is wrong months later and I have to get all new certifcates…well they used some of them and they worked just fine. By then I have no idea if it was our error or theirs. Amazing! We can do certificates online now though…pretty cool. Just wish ALL the doctors thought the same thing LOL!

    I am at the fun home today actually…

    • thefuneralbizz Says:

      on-line you say, huh? that would be awesome, i think i may have to look into that.
      and you are not alone, i am at the “fun” home today as well! hopefully our day will go by fast!

      • I think it would be a healing expierence for me..Although I love the in put..Customer service can be challenging..As life ..Its what you have left to live with is the hardest lesson of all..

  45. Madabby Says:

    I too am a funeral home secretary! I stumbled onto your blog and love it! Everything you say is true. I would like to add, NO we do not keep original copies of every death certificate. We are not Vital Statistics…you paid for your certificates….they are yours not ours to keep. Do you get surprised callers wondering why we can’t issue them original dc’s? What state are you in? I am in NJ.

    • thefuneralbizz Says:

      I’m glad you like my blog! i know…..it’s a lot of complaining, but soooo true! I get calls like that all the time and then when I tell them ‘no, i don’t have original certified copy, only a photo copy’, I get yelled at! i also love when doing an insurance assignment, we keep a cert. death cert. out of the copies the family ordered, then they ask ‘well, we ordered x amount of copies how come there are only x amount here?!’ and i reply, ‘we keep one for the insurance company, because they require a cert. copy’….THEN, they get angry because “we are taking one of their D/C’s!” well…NO, we aren’t, we are doing the ins. on your behalf, it you were to do the ins. you would have to use one of the D/C’s anyway!!!

  46. Provoking blogpost, I enjoyed reading this today.

  47. Is there any particular training you need to work in a funeral home?
    My job finder is reluctant to tell me.

    • thefuneralbizz Says:

      baron,

      i would guess it would depend on what position you were looking for. if it is just secretarial, i would think just some secretarial experience. but if you are interested in becoming a funeral director, then you would need to obtain your license.

      • D C Walker Says:

        How about affairs among funeral directors? Any hanky panky going on in there? I’ve heard rumors….

      • thefuneralbizz Says:

        well, i’m sure somewhere someplace there may be…… we joke about it with our “star” employee and the boss, but i doubt it.

  48. death on my mind Says:

    Really liked the honesty, was really thinking about becoming a mortician, u stated alot about how it was in the funeral home. I want to know how it is being a morticianor an how to become one?

    • thefuneralbizz Says:

      dear, death on my mind,
      what do you want to know? if you are interested in becoming a mortician you do need to go to school to get your degree. it is a very interesting job. i guess you just have to learn how to be patient with people, that is the biggest challenge. I don’t think anyone who does not have a lot patience could work at a funeral home. but, any questions just ask. also thank you for the comment about being honest. i think a lot of other people may take my blog the wrong way. this is just a place i come to vent about work and to maybe explain some things in the process.

  49. Hi, I was wondering if you have a license will the funeral home hirer you to just pick up the bodies from the morgue????

    • thefuneralbizz Says:

      i don’t know about all funeral homes, but at ours, you don’t need a license to do removals. i would imagine it would depend on the state you live in or just the rules of the individual funeral home. you would also have to do removals from hospitals and nursing facilities. we use a removal service to do removals for home deaths.

      • thanks for writing back. I was just wondering. what state are you in? if you don’t mind me asking

      • thefuneralbizz Says:

        well, i would rather not say. i will say i live in the midwest. i just don’t feel comfortable stating what state i am in due to all of the things that i write about, the people and the people i work for and with.

  50. raunnie Says:

    This writing is funny, entertaining and informative with an undercurrent of humor. Please keep on posting!

  51. Sounds like about every servicejob in the world. You always get clueless fools with no sense ofwhat is appropriate or reasonable.

  52. splashy Says:

    tht is so true LOL

  53. You are brilliant and there is a burning thing in me to become a funeral director! Maybe it’s the Six Feet Under thing but damn, it sounds like an interesting way to make a buck.

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