Life at a funeral home-Stuff

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on February 18, 2018 by thefuneralbizz

I know, it’s been forever since I’ve posted. To be honest I haven’t had anything new to post about. I mean, I still have a lot of venting I can tell ya all about… that is the reason I started this blog years ago. I’ve got a lot of negative feedback for my bitching, so I tried to not complain so much but I thought, why am I letting others dictate what I want to say, so I’m not going to NOT bitch about what I want and need to. I can only complain so much to family and friends and co workers. My co workers all bitch about the same things. I know all jobs can be frustrating and I believe that letting yourself vent about it helps you deal with it better. So anyway, here are some things I wanted to say..

If you are not the beneficiary on a life insurance policy, you cannot assign the policy to the funeral home. If you are not the beneficiary on the policy and we do accept an assignment because the beneficiary did sign to authorize the assignment, no, we cannot somehow arrange for the portion that is due to the beneficiary to go to you instead! Whoever the beneficiary is will receive any amount due to them once the insurance company pays the funeral home. The funeral home only requests the amount of the charges for the funeral and that is all the insurance company sends the funeral home. Any amount that is left over is sent directly to the beneficiary listed on the policy! No, we cannot request it be mailed to anyone else. We have absolutely no control who the beneficiary is! The owner of the life insurance policy appoints a person to be beneficiary. Not us! It does not have to be a spouse or child, you can appoint anyone you wish, but again it is the owner of the policy! Even if you try to pull a fast one and somehow insert your address on the assignment with the beneficiaries signature, that check will still be made out to the beneficiary! If by some chance you do that and receive the check and you sign that person’s name, it’s illegal!

Also, if you want the funeral home to accept an assignment, do not call the insurance company before we do and tell them you are not doing a funeral home assignment because when we do call them, they will tell us that you have already called and stated that you are not assigning the policy to the funeral home. We have had quite a lot of people do this thinking that some how if they do this they are pulling a fast one on us. I guess they figure if they just tell us they have spoken to the insurance company and told them they would be assigning the policy to us that we just accept that.. no, we HAVE to contact them to get information from them.

Not all life insurance companies accept a funeral home assignment. This is why WE call the ins co. to verify that they will accept an assignment. It is no fault of the funeral home if the life insurance policy you have is not assignable. And no, we will not wait on the insurance company to pay you. Your bill is due by day of service, in full. I’m not saying all people are not trustworthy enough to pay us once they receive the check from the life insurance company, but we aren’t taking that chance. We’ve done it in the past only for it to bite us in the ass and we never hear from the family again, never get paid, from the very people who swear to God they will pay that bill as soon as they get that check. No amount of phone calls from us or bills we send them matter. It is not our fault, like I said, if they will not take an assignment and we are very up front with our families about how the process works usually BEFORE the family even comes into the funeral home to make arrangements. Some families will ask us upon calling about the life insurance or while we are on the phone discussing arrangement appointment we will let the family know that if they wish to bring in a policy we will contact them for them and possibly take an assignment if the insurance company allows one. It’s never a guarantee and we certainly do not lead you to believe it will be guaranteed. The amount of the policy is also not a guarantee. Sometimes, most of the time, the ins company will not release the amount the policy is worth to the funeral home. Sometimes there are loans out against the policy so the amount you think is available is not. Again, some ins companies will not release that info to us. If the funeral bill exceeds the amount of the policy, the family will owe the difference.

And here I go about food again, sorry… About a year ago there was a Facebook page that I use to follow. It was a funeral blogger who set up the page for others in the funeral industry and for those who are just simply interested in it. I am no longer on Facebook, so I’m not sure if the page even still exists, but anyway, the person who ran the page would post question/topics and everyone would answer or comment. There was a post about how every one felt about food at the funeral home during visitation. Of course I responded! I don’t recall my exact words but I know that I said I thought it was ridiculous how much attention is put on the food, how the food sometimes becomes the main focus, that the amount of food that is brought into the funeral home is absurd and that we do not allow crock pots or anything that requires to be kept warm or heated. That the families even have asked us if we have an oven/stove, microwave, plates, utensils, etc.. Well what I was unaware of is that in other parts of the country (U.S.), food is more than welcomed and even encouraged, mainly in the South. I of course received some negative comments but also some that agreed with me. My intentions were not to say that it should not be allowed anywhere, I was saying that “I” don’t like it, it is not encouraged at our funeral home and most funeral homes in my area. If you live someplace that encourages it, then fine, I don’t care, but where I am, it’s a nuisance and most of the funeral homes in my area feel the same. It’s not that we do not allow anything, but when families have to go overboard with having food catered in for during the visitation, well, no we don’t allow that. Sometime families do it anyway without asking and of course we don’t make them remove the food (unless it’s being kept warm with crock pots, steno plates, etc). We do not have a large facility and it becomes an issue. There is no room for it! People pack in and to be perfectly honest, most people make a mess. Maybe not on purpose, but they do. There are typically children who are not being watched as well and kids will make a mess. Who has to clean this mess? Our staff. People do not care about our facility. It’s a shame really that people have no consideration for our funeral home. We work very hard to keep it clean, to look nice for our families but in return many of those families or visitors of those families do not care to appreciate the work we put into keeping it nice, they do not have the common sense to see that their child or someone else’s child is spilling their juice on the furniture or dropping candy all over the floor that now others have stepped on and it is being tracked thru not only the lounge but in our chapels into our carpet. Ultimately this can be a reason our prices go up. And of course this is all just my opinion but it still boggles my mind why the family feels they have to have food for the people who are coming to visit/pay their respects to the deceased. I get that the family may want to have something while they are there all day, that’s fine but when you start bringing in bag after bag and coolers filled with beverages and ice and crock pots.. it’s just not necessary. As I’ve said before, it’s a funeral home not a restaurant not a banquet hall, not your home. We are not set up as a restaurant, banquet hall, bar, etc. When so much food is brought in, the space available becomes crowded, over crowded. There is more food than people. No room for people to sit and eat or drink. People then will take their food and stand or go to an area that is not designated for eating or drinking (we do not allow food or drink outside the lounge) and now we have people dropping crumbs and spilling things. To be honest, it’s aggravating and frustrating to have to tell a grown adult to please go into the lounge if they want to eat or drink, that you cannot have food anyplace else. I find most people do not like to be told they cannot eat or drink any other place and we receive rude remarks or the rolling of the eyes or the argument that there is no room in the lounge. Well, then there shouldn’t be that much food that over half the visitors are in the lounge! Again, these are my opinions and pet peeves. I know there are places, like I mentioned that don’t mind the food and that’s great, but we do mind. I also mind when the family asks us about if food is allowed and we tell them yes, but nothing that has to be kept warm and that we do recommend keeping what food you bring in simple. Snacks, fruits and veggies, sandwiches, subs, etc. and what do they show up with? Crock pots. Full dinners. And I suppose it’s because people fail to listen…. or they just don’t care.

When a family comes in to make arrangements, at some point we will ask if they want an obit it the paper and also let them know that we can post it on our website. I think these days most people go on line to read the news and check obits. When we gather the info from the family for the obit, we have our way of doing so. We of course will ask how they would like the deceased name to read, then the spouse of the deceased, wether the spouse is living or passed. Then comes any children and their spouse, siblings and their spouses (if they want the spouses listed), grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces, nephew’s, etc… Typically when starting with the children we start with the oldest child first and go from there, same with siblings, grandchildren, and so on. We tell the family that is how it will read, that is our format. If the family prefers to write their own, that’s fine as well. There is no other reason we put someone’s name first, wether it be children, siblings, grandchildren, etc. We only go by oldest first. It does not mean that the first person listed is the one paying the funeral bill, it does not mean that person is in “charge”, it does not mean that person was liked more than anyone else! And we only have names of those people because that is what the family gave to us. We have NO idea if the family left someone out, wether on purpose or by mistake! We have NO idea if the family may have given us an incorrect spelling of a name. We only list who the family tells us to list. I cannot begin to count the number of times that we have received calls from relatives upset that their name is not in the obit, that a name is spelled wrong, why is so and so listed before this person, why isn’t this person listed!! And then they demand we change it. First off, why are you contacting us FIRST? Speak to your family, the ones who came in to make the arrangements and second, why are you so quick to blame the funeral home and be angry with us? And lastly, we aren’t going to change anything with out the ok from the person who is in charge aka informant. We also get families who bring in a photo for us to place with the obit. We DO NOT choose the photo, the family does. Many times families will pick an older photo of the deceased. Why, I don’t know, maybe that photo is sentimental to them, maybe it was the deceaseds favorite photo of themselves, we don’t know and to be perfectly honest, we don’t care. That is what we were given and told to use and that is what we do. Again, why do people ask us why WE chose to use that photo? “It looks nothing like them” “that’s an old photo, why are we using that”? Again, we did not pull that photo out of thin air… And further more what makes people think we are going to change anything because they want us to change It? Wouldn’t you be a bit upset if someone changed the obit or photo you wanted because a friend of the deceased called upset because they ‘feel’ a different photo should have been used instead of the one you chose?

Another thing that can be extremely irritating is when we have a funeral service at the funeral home and after the Priest, Pastor, Reverend, etc.. is done, the Director will then speak to everyone and give instructions. This will usually include any luncheon that will be held, if we are going in procession to cemetery or if we are just meeting at cemetery, the Director will also tell everyone that they will be given the opportunity to pass by the casket to pay your last respects and then please exit the funeral home and proceed to your vehicle, turn your bright head lights on and to please pay attention, as we will be leaving shortly and of course pay attention to the car ahead of you, stay close but a safe distance in the procession. Now, if there is no procession to the cemetery because this person will be cremated, the Director will still go thru all the announcements but instead of giving instructions on following in the procession, he/she will still let everyone pass by the casket one last time to pay your final respects and please exit the funeral (usually thru one of the doors in that particular chapel, which will be open at that point) as this does conclude ALL services. Once all friends and family have passed by the casket and exited the funeral home, we always allow immediate family their last few minutes. We close any doors to that chapel, inside and out as a way of giving them their privacy and also a way of letting it be known that you are not really welcome back into the chapel, so the family can have their privacy. So basically we are trying to get you to leave, get out of the funeral home without coming out and saying, “exit the funeral home and please do not come back in. For some reason people just have a hard time doing this. It never fails, people will exit out the chapel doors and walk right back in thru the front door. Of course some time it’s to use the restroom, but other times it’s just them standing around or they try to get back into the chapel. If we are leaving for the cemetery, you need to be in your car! We are on a schedule! Other times people will come back in and go into the lounge and stand around, eating or drinking or whatever. There is no reason to come back in! Also, if you were not asked to stay in the chapel with the family, by the family, don’t think you ‘should’ be in there. If you do try to go in, we will tell you no, you can’t. Of course I’ve been told several times that “I’m going in anyway”. There are those people who come back in then find out that the procession is getting ready to leave and then act rushed or as if they had no idea… I’ve had people in their cars get out of their cars to go talk to someone or come into funeral home to use restroom and they are holding everything up. We have also left without those people ! You are not special, so it’s always amazing when those very people get upset that the WHOLE procession did not wait for them. But, if there is no procession it seems as tho people just won’t leave? Why? They will walk right past the doors and just stand there. Doing nothing but being in the way. They can clearly see we are trying to wrap things up and give the family their time. Also, after the family has gone up and are done, we ask if they would like to stay while we close the casket. Some families choose to stay others do not. When they do not stay, we wait until they exit the funeral home to close the casket and those people who are ‘still lingering will ask why we aren’t closing the casket as if they feel we need to do so for them. I guess I’m just always amazed at how people feel they have a say in what goes on or how things should be done when they really aren’t anyone important to the family. Not just with them hanging around when they should be minding their own business but with anything funeral related. I’m sure most people feel as if they are “helping” the family, their intentions are good but really they just need to not concern themselves with it. Unless the family has asked you specifically for your help, then don’t ‘help! We really won’t release anything to anyone other than the next of kin or informant anyway. We have a list, a Funeral Day List that we will give to the family the evening prior to day of funeral and ask that they fill it out. On that list it asks for names of the Pall Bearers, the first few cars in the procession, name and address of the luncheon if there will be one and a section to list what needs to be removed from the casket before closing it and a section to list who is authorized to come back to the funeral home to pick up any flowers and any other family belongings such as the sign in book, photos and death certificates. So, if you come to the funeral home and say you want to pick up the flowers because you want to help the family, you are wasting your time if you are not on that Funeral Home List. I don’t care if you are their neighbor or friend for 30 years, if you are not on the list, you will not take anything!

If you do not have a priest, Pastor, etc… the funeral home will find one for you. So during the arrangement, we will tell you that we will call someone for you and once we find someone we will coordinate times. If you want your funeral service to start at say 11am, well, we will ask if the clergy is available at that time however, if he or she is not, we have to schedule around their availability. We will also post on our website that funeral service times are pending, until we get that time. So even tho you want it at 11am does not mean it will be at 11am, we will try, but it’s not a guarantee. So please do not begin telling your family friends it will be at the time you want! Please wait until you hear back from us. Do not post it on social media either until you have heard and confirmed times with us! Too many times people call and say that they read on Facebook that the service is at such and such time and we tell them no it’s not, it’s at this time, they ask US if we are sure!! YES I’m sure!! People/Families are too quick to decide when they want the funeral. Most likely the days you want will be fine and we will accommodate you but times are never a guarantee. Especially if you want a Mass at church. It is when the church is available and when clergy is available. You may want Mass at 10am on a Wednesday but we do not know if the Priest is available, if maybe there is another funeral mass scheduled thru another funeral home. These things need to be done at the time of arrangements and confirmed. So when you post days and times on Facebook, tons of people are going to see this and now they all have the wrong info and what happens is once we post it on our website or they maybe see it in the paper if you placed an obituary in the paper, they begin calling the funeral home. They question us about days and times and we tell them when it is….. they go into the story about how they read on Facebook or so and so saw it on Facebook and said it was this day ad time. Well, I’m sorry they posted the wrong info but I’m telling you when it is. Believe me!! I despise when I get asked, ‘Are you sure? YES, I’m sure!

Ok.. there is my venting, for now..


Life at a funeral home – stuff

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 10, 2017 by thefuneralbizz

Who has the right to pick up the cremated remains from the funeral home? The person who is handling the funeral arrangements aka the informant, the person paying the bill. Usually, but not always, the informant is the next of kin. If the informant tells us that someone else is allowed to pick them up, then fine, but NOT UNLESS they tell us and tell us who that person is! I don’t care who you are or what your relationship to the deceased is, unless we were told specifically by the informant that you are allowed to pick them up, you are not getting them! It’s not because we are being mean, it’s because we have to follow certain rules. Say for instance you are the deceaseds sibling but the deceaseds child made the arrangements and is listed as informant (and is the legal next of kin), but you feel that you have the right to pick up your brothers/sisters cremated remains. Regardless of how I even feel about it, it’s not us to make that call. That is why we have what is called the informant  (contact person). If you feel that you should be able to pick them up, discuss this with your family and if you disagree, again, discuss it with your family not the funeral home! Same goes for the death certificates,  which I’ve talked about several times. And it does not matter to me or make one bit a difference if you tell me that they won’t mind. we’ve heard it all before and in the end only to be yelled at and held accountable by the informant and it makes the funeral home look bad and incompetent.

As far as picking things up from the funeral home, such as the cremated remains, any cremation jewelry, death certificates, work excuses, your flowers after your fineral, etc.. If we are closing at our normal business hours   (which will mean if we are not having a visitation) you will have to come before we close or wait until the following day. I’m not sure why people think we are in the office 24/7. We are available for ’emergency’ calls or first calls 24/7, not because you need an excuse for work, or even because you need to drop off clothing. If we know we are waiting on clothing, we make it clear to those families what time you have to have the clothing to us. If we tell you we close at 6pm, we close at 6pm! Not 6:30pm. Do not show up after that time, realize we are closed then call the funeral home, get the answering service and act as if you have been inconvenienced because YOU showed up late without calling to inform us that you are running late and ask if will be there or if someone can wait or meet you at a certain time.

If you call the funeral home after business hours you will be speaking to our answering service. Our answering service follows a guideline when taking calls. They will gather information from the caller to pass on to the person/director on call. This seems to annoy some people. They are only doing their job, correctly. I understand emotions run high when a death occurs but the info they are asking is necessary.

Now, I feel as if some people just don’t grasp the concept of BEING ON TIME. When you plan a funeral everything that happens once you finalize those arrangements is usually time sensitive. We, the funeral home are now on a tight schedule. From the obit to getting the deceased dressed and casketed. It becomes extremely frustrating to us when things do not run smoothly and ON TIME and we do have to rely on the family for certain things. You want a photo for the obit, you need to have it to us by the deadline! Otherwise, its not going to be published, there is no being a few minutes late. Clothing always seems to be a big issue, I don’t know why! We always tell the family we must have clothing by such and such day/time! It never fails that they never bring it on timer nor do they call to let us know they are running late. It is so important for us to get the clothing because we must cosmetize the deceased, if a woman her hair more than likely needs to be styled…There are just a lot of little things to be done and done ON TIME.

If your loved one is near death then spend your time with them. Too many people want to come in and go over things while their loved one may pass at any minute. You will only have to come back to the funeral home once they pass anyway. There are also times when someone is put into hospice care or taken off life support and the family assumes that death will occur very soon after that. That is not always the case. It could very well take only minutes or hours but there are times, more often then not, where the person has lived for days, weeks, even months. You just don’t know, you can’t predict those things.  Hospice workers as well as hospital staff tell families that they should be preparing because death is imminent. Well, there is not that much you can do as far as pre planning/pre paying. If your loved one is near death and not expected to make it much longer…..stay with them! Pre planning is always a good idea, but its meant to be done before death in near. Do it well in advanced so it doesn’t have to be something you or your family has to worry about at the last dayts of your life. If you come to us when your loved one could be taking their last breath at any moment, sure we can get everything wrote down, but to pre payat that time is pretty much useless. First, the funeral home cannot just hold your money. The money yoiu pay us goes to a pre need company that holds that money in a Trust so to speak. Once that person passes, we fill out a form and send that form to this company along with a death certificate. The company then turns around and pays us that money. So its just senseless to do all that paperwork when more than likely yoiu loved one will pass before the pre need company even receives it all…So, just spend those last hours, days with your family. If you want, write down what it is they want, cremation, burial, what cemetery, church service or service at funeral home, then write down the info needed for the death certificate (vital info), like date of birth, social security number, place of birth, parents names, mothers maiden name, highest level of education, if the person is a veteran and ask where the veterans discharge paper (dd-214) is located, etc. Of course I am not saying not to pre plan because I sincerely feel it is a very good idea to do so and not just because I work at a funeral home, but had I never got into the funeral business I would not have known just how important and how much easier it really does make things so much easier. Not only because it’s paid for (and you do not have to prepay, just getting everything wrote down and picked out and kept on file at the funeral home) but it eliminates the guessing your family will have to do and yes, the disagreements or arguing. There is also now a form that you can fill out and have signed which will allow you to appoint anyone you wish to be in charge of making your arrangements. This is new to the State I am in buyt I understand its been available in other States for a while. This was not available here until about a year or year and half ago and I don’t believe many are aware of this. If you do not have family or you just do not want your family, for whatever reason, plan your funeral you should definitely look into filling these forms out, ask your funeral home about these papers!!

Life working at a funeral home – SO BUSY

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 20, 2017 by thefuneralbizz

First off, I got a new tablet and I haven’t mastered this keyboard yet and so there will be a lot of spelling errors…my apologies!

Secondly, I have not posted in a long time…I have a lot to write about, but of course its mainly about how truly awful people are. So yes, this post will once again be me venting and bitching! sorry, but this is why I started this blog, to vent my frustrations!! So let’s begin the bitch fest!

I’ve about had it with people, had with the way people feel its ok to speak to others so rudely. How everyone is so quick to pass the blame or take out their bad day in people they have never met before. How people have become so demanding! Its not only those planning a funeral either, it can be a simple phone call asking a question, but just gotta be a smartass or rude, or don’t like the answer… Especially if your calling for pricing. You called and asked me to give you a price. I give you that price and you don’t like it. You have the option of saying a few things. You can simply sand Thank You and end the call. You can ask for differnt prices of other options, you can say ok, that’s out of my price range but thank you for your time…. I don’t see the need for any rude remarks. I don’t see any need for anyone to start bitching about how “I” charge way too much just to rip people off, etc. You don’t like the price, that’s fine, just say thanks good bye! 

When we are assisting you in planning a funeral, there are SEVERAL questions that need to be asked. We aren’t doing it just to piss you off! I would say most of the questions that we ask come in the beginning of the arrangement. Those questions are the info we need for the death certificate. You know, those death certificate’s everyone thinks are gold and just have to have them now! Well, without the info we cannot get you any! We always explain before starting with the questions why we are asking, yet it never fails that we get asked, “….what are ais these for, and why are these questions necessary”? So we go back and explain again! Its as if we are wasting their time. Its irritating. Know what else is irritating…When you have a family come in and there are several family members and they all talk over you and get off track and the arrangement lasts for two hours! Then while we are trying to get questions answered and trying to do all the work so the family doesn’t have to.. We sometime step away into another office to make those calls especially if there are a lot of people in the arrangement office, because they can’t be quiet long enough for us to be on the phone. So while we are making phone calls on behalf of the family, the family is in the arrangement office, we usually leave them to pick out prayer cards or flowers other times we just say that we will be a few minutes. Well the other day, we had to call the cemetery and while on the phone, which was approximately 10 minutes, here comes one of the family members. My boss was on the phone in another office and I was in mine. The person who came walking into the office was one of the deceaseds sons. I said hello and he said, “where’s that guy that was meeting with us, we need to get this wrapped up and get a move on, we still need to pick out the flowers and my sisters don’t feel like sitting around here anymore”. REALLY?? That irritated me. You need to get this wrapped up and tired of sitting around here? Well, we could have told you to call the cemetery yourself, we could have told you to go get your own flowers, but no. That “guy” you were meeting with is the Funeral Director and he TOLD you that he was going to call the cemetery for you and he would be back in a few minutes, it make take a few… So I said to him that the DIRECTOR is on the phone with the cemetery getting YOU and your family the information you will need and he will be done once he gets that information for you, so you can go ahead and go back to the arrangement office and the director will be back once he finishes up. He simply just walked away. Its just bothersome that noone can just take into consideration that WE are actually helping you. If we didn’t do these things then it would be that we aren’t helping you enough! Also this particular family wanted a specific day for viewing and funeral, unfortunately we could not accommodate them for the days they wanted, we already had two other families there for visitation and funeral services. Believe me when I say we do not like telling anyone we cannot accommodate them for the dates they want. Well, they were not happy about it and asked why there was nothing we could do.. My boss explained to them the reason why and he apologized and discounted their funeral charges, but that was still not enough.. He just came out and told them that there was nothing he could do and if they needed to go to another funeral home then that’s what they should do and he wouldn’t charge them the transport fee. In the end they stayed with us but made it clear they were disappointed. Ok, so we are fully aware you are not happy about it, so are you going to keep bitching about it? So finally they were on their way, thank God. That same day we had another arrangement about an hour later, it was close to the end of the day and I had been running my ass off. Before the next arrangement came in, my boss was in the embalming room, I was working on all the funeral arrangements and answering the phones. The family who had just left called. It was one of the daughter’s of the deceased. She wanted to know if there was anything at all we could do to accommodate them for the day they wanted!! Were you not just here for almost two hours discussing this! No, I’m sorry, there is not one single thing we can do! On to the next arrangement, not as stressful as the other one but during that arrangement, someone is at the door. I answer it and it’s the other family! They have “things” they need to drop off…. I asked what they had and if there is a lot. They say, yes there is a lot, food, soda pop, snacks, pictures, and the deceaseds violin!! They have a stand for it and NEED to set it up! I told them they could bring it in, but could not set it up because there is a body in the chapel whose funeral is in the morning! They of course were not happy about this and said they HAD to set it up and can’t they just place it in back of the chapel? No, you cannot, there will be a family in there tomorrow along with their friends and family, I don’t think they will understand why your mothers violin is in their room! So, they said they had to bring in their food. I had to explain to them they were welcome to bring it in but we would have to put it all in the storage closet until after the other family leaves, again, not pleased with anything I was telling them! I told them I would leave the door unlocked for them so they could bring in their things. I’m pretty sure they expected me to help them and if I had not been so busy I may have, but at this point I was fed up with them. They even asked ifthere wasn’t another door closer they could use. Unfortunately there is not and I was given the “ugh, ok”. Because somehow its my fault. Maybe you just don’t need to bring in ALL that CRAP! On to day of visitation, big family, lots of kids! No one bothered to watch these screaming misbehaved children who thought it would be ok to color on the bathroom walls with their crayons! They were obviously bored being stuck at a funeral home all day because at one point they decided to make about 20 cups of coffee using all the cream and sugar and make a horrendous sticky mess and put the empty coffee pots back on the hot burners! First of all WHYwere they allowed to play with HOT coffee!! I just don’t get it!! They were also playing with something that had a lot of glitter because it was everywhere! I am always amazed by the lack of supervision! I don’t understand why no parent is watching what and where their kid is at and what they are doing!! Then for them to destroy our bathroom walls and not one person apologized or offered to pay for the cleaning cost.. This is one of the reasons why funeral costs are high and continue to rise, overhead! Who do you think has to pay for the cleaning and damages? Not that it happens that often where we actually have to repair or replace things, but it does happen, cleaning we must constantly do. 

I’ll stop here and stop the moaning and groaning, for now 😀

Life Working at a funeral home – WTF

Posted in Uncategorized on February 16, 2017 by thefuneralbizz

Seriously, WTF? Yeah, I know, last post was all complaining too, but I am just in complete awe of how people have been behaving! I don’t know, maybe it’s the dreary weather here, it’s cold and hasnt been much sunlight, but that’s still no excuse to be an asshole to people! they should keep in mind that we are in fact the very people who are caring for your loved one who has passed..We are going thru great lengths to make sure your loved one looks the very best, to your liking, that every thing you think the funeral you have planned and paid for will be just that! But, nope! I mean, I’ve been very down in the dumps lately, mostly due to the weather. We literally had no sun for over two weeks! No lie! It was cold and miserable on top of that. I can handle the cold, the snow, the,freezing rain, all of it, but as long as we get some sun. And life in general has been not so great, just personal issues…But even tho I’m experiencing the blues, I’m feeling down too, I’m certainly not an asshole to anyone! Ok, well maybe I get a bit sassy with my other half or a bit of road rage (no I don’t mean I’m driving get like a moron or yelling out my window at other drivers, but I am talking to myself and saying a few choice words, to MYSELF). I would never talk nasty to anyone who walked into work just because. I’m never nasty to anyone who calls and asks a question or wants something done..Why would I? It’s my job first and foremost and secondly, why would I be rude to someone just to be rude? For those of you in the funeral business, I’m sure you will understand this.. Once we get the doctor information, the doctor who will be signing the death certificate, we have to contact that doctors office. At least we do, Everytime because the info we receive from the hospital, the Hospice nurse, the nursing home, the medical examiner, etc.. could be wrong. It happens ALOT! It’s frustrating to say the least. So anyway, we get a name of the doctor and if we’re lucky a phone number. We call the office and the conversation goes something like this, “Hi, this is so and so calling from ABC Funeral Home regarding Jane Smith who has passed away. ABC Hospital gave us Dr. Needless information and stated he would be the doctor signing her death certificate and I’m calling to verify this information and if correct what are the doctors hours so that we may bring the certificate to the office to get signed (or, will the doctor sign a faxed copy of the certificate)? We get all kinds of answers, but what gets me is the attitude of the person on the other end of the phone! One would think I’m asking for them to saw off their foot and send it to me! I’m simply asking them to do their job! They are the doctor’s receptionist, the are usually the first impression people get when contacting that office. If I was a patient, I would not be happy with that and I’m not so sure the doctor they work for would be ok with the way some of them speak! Now, I’m not talking all offices we call, but a good portion of them (and before anyone starts about how hard it is working for a doctor, I KNOW it is, I use to work for a couple doctors before I got into this line of work). Same goes for most of the City/County Clerk’s Offices. Talk about rude! We are using your services, WE are PAYING for your services, so why on earth would you be so rude to someone who is only asking you to do what you are supposed to do, your freaking job! It just frustrates me so much! I am expected to do my job for others, so I should expect others to do their job for me, right!! 

I have to vent about  a recent family. Talk about people thinking they are above you! Wow! From the get go, it was nothing but feeling as if we could do nothing right, that we were below them. There are a few tables in the chapel they were in and they brought in photos to place in the room. They brought in ALOT of photos. So when my boss said to them that there are a few tables, but may not have room for that many but maybe we could find another table for them and figure out where to put it, well, that just wasn’t what she wanted to hear! She let out a huge sigh of disgust and said something along the lines of (with eye rolling), I guess we’ll just have to not put them out and “I” will just figure it out, I’m only the one paying you people for what “I” want and I can’t even have the photos of my mother set up! Unbelievable! and she proceeded to ‘snatch’ the few frames out of bosses hands! He TRIED to tell her we could make it work, but she wasn’t hearing it, she WANTED something to be pissed about. Nothing was good enough for them. You know those people, the ones who look for things to be upset about. Unfortunately I have found that there are far too many of those people around these days.

And now on to my lovely co workers. I try to mind my own business, I do. I would rather just come to work and do my work and let everyone else do their work and all be good…but it just doesn’t work that way! I do my work and I usually get stuck doing other work and that’s ok for the most part, but it can become a giant pain in the ass when the work you are doing is someone else’s because that someone else is too busy NOT doing their job! They are too busy bitching and complaining about everyone else! Shut your trap, stop worrying about what everyone else is doing or not doing, quit finding excuses to leave and do your freaking job! I hate that shit! What pisses me off even more is when I get stuck doing their work and I make an error and I get scolded for making the mistake! Well, yes, I am the one who made the error, but had I not have had to do someone else’s work it probably would not have happened! 

Ok, I’ll wrap it up. . for now 😉

Life Working at a funeral home – VENTING!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 25, 2017 by thefuneralbizz

I’ve been working on another post, but I have to vent!

First of all, I want to say to anyone who may be reading this that the reason I started this blog was so I could vent my frustrations. over the past 9 years, I’ve had a few comments about my bitching.. my purpose was and is not to argue with anyone or start arguements, but I do realize that it happens, especially on the Internet. I haven’t really really vented in a while, but right now I just need to. So if anyone is reading this and gets upset by what I write here, I make no apologies and I will not respond to any comments that lead to a back and forth arguing.

I’ve mentioned in other posts about how I feel about people, that they are rude, no one has any manners anymore and everything  is now now now! It has just got out of hand and I for one am just beyond fed up! I’m tired of having to bend over backwards for people! I get it, I work in the funeral business, but I’m still sick of rude obnoxious spoiled people. I am tired of the people who I have to deal with including ‘some’ of the families we get. Why don’t people LISTEN?!? We are NOT at the funeral home 24/7! We are NOT there just sitting around waiting just incase you want to stop by at 5pm on Sunday evening because you want to drop off the pictures for the visitation you are going to have on Tuesday at Noon! NO! We are not going to sit and wait around on you on a Saturday evening because you want to drop off clothing that we TOLD you to bring in by 5pm on FRIDAY! ! It doesn’t work that way! We have hours of operation just like other businesses! The only difference is that we make ourselves available after hours incase a death occurs. Of course we will answer a call at anytime of the day or night for a death call. We are not available anytime of the day or night because someone needs a work or school excuse. You actually think that we are going to stop what we are doing on a Sunday afternoon  (the funeral home is closed if there is no visitation), and run to the funeral home because someone forgot to get a work excuse while they were there for the funeral? NO we aren’t! It’s just dumb shit anymore. I have people call during the evening or on weekends when we are closed and say that they are at the funeral home but no one is answering the door! Nine times out of ten, they are annoyed that no one is there! Really? You just decided to show up and you’re mad? Then to find out its just because they have a couple cases of water to drop off for their visitation the following day! Look, you set times for your visitation, you get a family hour! How long does it take really to carry a few cases of water into the funeral home? Maybe ten minutes TOPS?!? I hate when we set times and the family hour is all set and the next question I get is, ‘so what time can we all come”? Are you kidding me?
Want want want, but don’t put forth the effort to get what you want! You want grandma in a certain dress, she cannot wear anything else. Fine, that’s understandable, but when you are told that we MUST have that dress by a certain time, BRING it by that time!! You want a photo on the prayer folders, we tell you we must have that photo by a certain time in order for them to be ready by your visitation, then have it to us by that time!
Another annoying thing, when families start telling everyone when visitation and funeral will be BEFORE they even come in to make arrangements! DO NOT DO THAT! Don’t post on social media about it, nothing, until you have actually made the ARRANGEMENTS with the funeral home!!
You may want your viewing on Tuesday and funeral on Wednesday and you want specific times, and usually we can and will accommodate that, but sometimes we can’t! Also it may not even be us who is unable to accommodate those days and times, it could be that your priest or pastor is not available at that time, or the church is not available at that time! USE COMMON SENSE! Just because someone died, the world does not stop! And I absolutely hate when the attitude comes out because they don’t get their way!
Same thing with the God forsaken death certificates! It’s sometimes the only thing some people are focused on. You’ll get the freaking death certificates, but we cannot force the doctor to sign it any faster! Believe me, if we could we would! They are becoming harder and harder to accomplish anymore and when we try and explain the process of getting a death certificate signed, no one listens! If people would just shut up for two seconds and stop being so selfish and understand that there are some things that you just have to wait for! Trust me when I say I want nothing more then to get the death certificate signed and give to you asap!
Food, yes, my biggest pet peeve! I dislike those of you who bring in food! I’ve always bitched about it, but never really came right out and said I can’t stand those families who feel the need to bring in a shit load of fucking food! It’s like the biggest concern, not the deceased, but the freaking food! And.. why? Why do you need to bring in so much food anyway? Some snacks, water, even some soda, fine, but people, STOP it with your freaking food at the funeral home! You do not need to feed the people who are coming to pay their respects! especially if you plan on having a luncheon! ERGHHH!
As I have said before, if you are here for visitation and will be all day, then leave for an hour to go eat! Or bring “yourself” some thing in. I just get so irritated with the families who make it all about their food, when can we bring in the food? is there enough room? do you supply plates and utensils? cups? water? napkins? is there tables for everyone to sit at, should we bring in our own table? where will we keep the food that needs to be kept cold? And I just love when they bring in their crock pots!

Children.. they are YOUR kids, NOT MINE! I will not watch your kids. If you must bring them with you then you need to keep them under control and they should be on their best behavior! They should not be permitted to run around like wild animals. There are things that they can get hurt on. Our funeral home is not child proof and you should not assume it is. We have steps/stairs and when your brats are let loose to run wild, well, when they fall or go rolling down the stairs and crack their heads open on the tile, it’s no one’s fault but your own! It’s is also not a place for their screaming! It is still a place of business and we are still working here. Use common sense!! Your kid is yelling and screaming, would you allow that at home while you are on the phone? Do you allow them to yell and scream and run up and down and up and down and up and down your steps? Probably not! Then don’t let them do it at the funeral home! Sometimes there are more then one family using the funeral home and that other family does not want to hear your kid! Have some respect for others!
If and when an employee does tell your child to quiet down or stop running, do not give them dirty looks, if you were doing your job as a parent, then the employee would not have had to say anything! I think it’s ridiculous that you bring your small children to a funeral home all day anyway. Get a sitter! Go home! take turns with your spouse or other family member. Bring them some books to read or color, do not assume they will be ok unsupervised! You may not be the only family using the funeral home, you have no idea what kind of people are here or who can walk in the door! We do not stand at the door and ask who every person is as they come in.
Flowers. . We get flowers all throughout the day and we have to carry them into the chapel. So if the family and visitors are here and flowers come in, we have to walk in the chapel with a stand and a flower working our way past everyone. Be polite and MOVE for us would ya?!? Also, when we set the flowers down, don’t stand over my shoulder waiting to look at the card! Wait a minute until I walk away! Also, if you don’t see your flowers you sent, sure you can ask us about it, but if we don’t have your flowers and they aren’t on our sign in list, then you need to contact the flower shop. I’m not sure why we get asked, “why aren’t my flowers set out”? Well, if they didn’t get delivered then I can’t set them out.”
Then comes the… “why were my flowers not delivered”? I don’t know, call the place you ordered them from!
It’s just stupid shit really.. But it adds up and pisses me off! We had a very busy few months and people have been really more annoying than usual.
There is alot to do and think about once someone passes, but it still is not an excuse to be an asshole! And yes, I’ve lost loved ones and yes, I’ve been the one who made the arrangements. And during those times I was not a jerk to anyone just because.
I received a comment recently.. it was said that I was quick to judge. There may be times when I am, sure. But, probably more so outside of work. It is difficult to judge those people/families I work with because I actually get to know them. I’ve never met these people before, so when they come in I meet them for the first time and immediately get to know them. I work with them from the moment I speak to them on the phone or the moment they walk in the door so I don’t really get the opportunity to judge anyone before getting to know them, especially in this business. If there is an insurance assignment, it is to pay the funeral bill, anything left over goes to the beneficiary/beneficiaries. I hear the stories!

So, there it is, my rant. I’m just burnt out. . I’m sure those in the business can understand.

Life working at a funeral home – Micro Managing

Posted in Uncategorized on November 28, 2016 by thefuneralbizz

(This is going to be a shorter post, I have another post I am currently working on and will post soon).

Don’t! Just don’t! Do not MICRO MANAGE!  For everyone out there who will plan a funeral for someone, DO NOT micro manage! Let the funeral home do their job!

Why? Because it will screw it up. Trust me. Every single time we get a family who is the type who micro manages, who goes over every single detail over and over and over again, there WILL be an error! it never fails.
You may feel you are doing it right. You may think you have to make sure every single little detail is your responsibility, as if you owe it to your loved one… It’s not. We do this every day, that’s what we are here for, this is what we do, day in and day out.
When you begin to constantly worry about every little thing and question every detail, YOU start to forget, YOU begin to forget if you did this or if you asked this, then you are continually calling us and then getting things twisted and it then begins to confuse us because you had already forgot what you have told us. So when the day arrives and you see some thing that was done “wrong” you become upset. When really you had changed your mind so many times that it’s actually correct!
See where I’m coming from?
And of course when emotions are high and you have exhausted yourself ‘planning’ this funeral, you are not going to admit you are wrong! When in fact you are!
This also goes for those who call or come in for pricing. The ones who are “calling around” for the family or friends. They share the info and then someone has a question, so then you call back. Then you want more or different pricing for different services. . We always suggest coming in for pricing. This isn’t to get you in to the funeral home, we aren’t trying to sell you anything, it is just better when you are face to face and EVERYTHING can be wrote down so there isn’t any miscommunication! From us yelling you over the phone, you telling another person, then them questioning you and then you now have to call us again. It is irritating, I’m being honest, it’s irritating! When you then actually come in to make those arrangements, chances are you are going to say that we said something else!
So that’s that.. just my rant for today, I hope a micro manager reads this!

Life at a funeral home – been a while

Posted in Uncategorized on August 8, 2016 by thefuneralbizz

Can’t say it’s been crazy busy, so no excuse for not writing.
I guess just not too much to write about.
One thing that’s been bothering me, and actually has been for a while now, are co workers. I know I’ve wrote briefly about it before, but recently it’s just really gotten to me.
I don’t come to work to compete with anyone else. I come to work to do my job. I like my job and I’m good at my job. I worry about what I need to do, what I have to get done and by when. I don’t screw around (there are those slow days tho when we all get to goof off) I don’t put things off and I do go the extra step if and when needed. If someone needs help with something, has a question, etc. .I am always willing to help, no matter what! Do I hope my boss notices, of course I do, but I don’t do it just so he may notice, I do it because I feel that when and if I should need help those that I have helped will be there to help me. I also feel that when you are at work you should worry about yourself, not what anyone else is doing/not doing, unless it is directly affecting you. I can only hope that those I work with do the same, but as we all know (and hate) there are those other employees that just want to meddle in everyone else’s business and watch everyone else’s moves. Instead of worrying about themselves! That’s what just pisses me off.
Instead of being so concerned about what time so and so signed out at, be concerned about what time YOU are signing out at! Instead of worrying about how long someone has been gone running death certificates, transferring a body, etc.. be concerned about YOUR work! Also nothing else is worse than a brown nose. Nothing is more irritating than someone who is a constant bullshitter and it just amazes me that most people can’t see thru the bullshit! I sit in amazement when I hear said bullshitter go on and on and that others actually believe them.. Of course I keep my mouth shut and go on my way. Gossip is also a bad habit. Yes, I’ve been sucked into gossip before and sometimes still do, but I catch myself these days and just keep quiet, even if I may agree.. lol. I have also realized who will rat you out to save their ass. I don’t, intentionally, do anything that would get me into trouble, there are those who do, but those very people are the ones who will go behind your back to get you in trouble to save their ass! For the most part everyone here gets along. At the same time, there is alot of talking behind people’s backs. I know who I can trust and who I cant.. Wish it didn’t have to be that way tho. I also hate liars.. those who feel they have to lie about shit that’s not even something they have a reason to lie about! I guess a liar is almost the same as a bullshitter. But the one I’m speaking of will lie and will have his/her family help lie about what they are lying about.. You know those fake phone calls where the other person is aware that the other is lying, so to make the story sound real? Well, this one person does it often and I once could hear the other person on other end of line, couldn’t hear everything, but enough to know what was going on.

So, enough about that, it’s irritating me just as I write about it.

As far as funerals, there is alot that goes on “behind the scenes”. I don’t think most realize this and for the most part it really shouldn’t be something that families should be concerned about. But, there are times when people, visitors, will begin to notice that maybe a few more chairs are needed because the room is getting full. Well, we know this and we are watching. I don’t mean to imply that we get mad or that we don’t need anyone to tell us, it’s just that we do know. What is irritating and frustrating is when we are trying to bring in extra chairs and noone will move. We can say excuse me a thousand times, but no one moves! So, we will stop trying to set more chairs up. So what happens when just before the service is to start? Every one begins to complain to eachother about no where to sit and we have several people TELL us they need chairs! Not ASK us, but TELL us. Had anyone paid attention sooner, all would be good. Same thing happens when just prior to service, the Director will ‘try’ to make announcement to say for everyone to please find a seat, turn your phones off, the service is going to begin…And we have the same issue  no one is listening, so it takes that much longer to get everyone quiet and seated. Which brings me to after the service. Now we are running behind. So yes, we are trying to rush you without it being too noticeable and with out being rude. When we ask that you pass by the casket and EXIT the funeral home to your vehicles, GO! Don’t linger, just go! I do not understand why so many people, who are NOT immediate family, linger and refuse to go to their car. Those are the people who ultimately hold everything up. We cannot give the family their last few moments with the deceased if you are still hanging about..and heaven forbid we say, “you need to go”! We have, but of course we get the usual snare or the, “well, I’m their good friend, etc”! I don’t care who the hell you are, if the family doesn’t want you in here then you need to go!
When arriving at funeral home, if you are not driving your vehicle in the procession, then don’t park in it! When asked if you will be in the procession and you say that you don’t know, you will be asked to not leave your car in the line up, you’ll be asked to move it.. It’s too hard to keep putting in and taking cars out! When leaving the lot in procession, WATCH WHAT IS GOING ON! When leaving the lot, do not be on your phone!! When we YELL at you to “GO”! we do not appreciate you giving us dirty looks or saying rude things. Pay attention, we are looking out for YOUR safety!

Maybe the heat is getting to me, I dunno, but I do know most people are really getting on my nerve..

Hope you all are having a wonderful summer!

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