Life working in a funeral home-crazy!

Crazy ass people!

Geeeeeeezzz, it’s been a tiring couple of weeks. Dealing with crazy people. So, ask me to do something, then bitch about it! Gotta love that! I’m doing YOU a favor and you have the nerve to be a smart ass. Ya know…I just downright dislike people anymore. I have no clue what is going on in the world but people just suck! I almost hate leaving my house anymore. God forbid I am doing the actual speed limit….someones up my ass. No one thanks you anymore, with a simple nod of the head or simple wave when you pull over on a side street when it is too small for two cars to pass because of cars parked on the side of the road…nope, no one even bothers. I always nod or wave to say thank you. If you are driving and there’s construction, and the lane happens to merge and you need to get over and someone slows down so you can merge in with traffic (that is IF they let you in) I ALWAYS wave to the person behind me that let me in. The other day at work, we had a funeral, but it was instate at church. NOTHING at the funeral home morning of funeral. Family and friends met at church at 9:30am for a 10am Mass and then from there to the cemetery. It never fails that someone will show up at the funeral home thinking that the funeral is at the funeral home at 9:30am. So this particular day, ALOT of people apparently thought it was at the funeral home because no sooner do I shut the door and turn to walk back to the office, the damn door bell goes off again! I trek my ass back up to the door and open it and say (just as I do to everyone) “ may help you”? Most of the time the person or persons walk right past me into the funeral home and just stare. So, I wait for an answer …. the responses are priceless. “Uhhh…I/we are here for so and so’s funeral service this morning”. I say “Oh, it is not here this morning, it is at ‘ insert name here’ church, instate 9:30am 10am Mass. They say, with a bewildered look, “oh..I/we weren’t aware that it was at church, we were under the impression it was all at the funeral home this morning….?” okay, so I am thinking… is this a QUESTION? or….WHAT!?!?!?!? do they want me to lie to them or say…’HA HA, gotcha, it’s really here ….I’m bullshitting ya!” Seriously…WTF? so, my usually response…. “nope, it’s at so and so church then to so and so cemetery. More so than not, I usually get a smartass or someone who is just livid that it is not at the funeral home. So, how is this MY FAULT? how is it appropriate to talk to me or just plain ole’ act like a DICK? Oh, and my favorite….”well, where is the church at”? So, I say it’s on such and such street in whatever city/town. And of course if they do not know where it is….”I don’t know where that is, don’t you have directions you can give me or don’t you actually know directions?” See, I do NOT know  where every single freaking church is at…at least not enough to give directions. same for the cemetery, and God forbid when I say I am not really sure how to get there….I can go look it up for you and print you some directions”. I either get, “I don’t have time now, I came here because I thought it was here!!!! now I doubt I am going to make it on time……”! or “yeah, cuz I dunno where I am going…”. So, when I print directions for them, I say only about 50% of the time do I get a Thank you…I am NOT required to go print you directions! Another little pet peeve is when families do NOT want us to post the obit on our website. We don’t ask why they don’t want it. There is NO charge for us to post it, it just so happens that some families just do not want it on there. I don’t really care why they don’t want it on there either! But, when we phone calls from people who want to know what times are the visitation and funeral for so and so because they went on our website but it is not posted, so they HAD to call!! OH NO, you mean you had to pick up your phone and call us…..? Should I have to apologize for that too!?!?! and of course, they will ask once I tell them the details of the funeral, why it is not on our website. I say, the family did not want it on there. OF COURSE they have to say “WHY NOT”? I say, ‘I don’t know.. we asked and they said no”! it’s really not their business anyway! Same thing happens when we get a family who only decided to do a few hours of visitation. I/we get people calling asking us the times or they see it on the website and go out of their way to call us to ask us if, that is ALL the viewing there is. They are appalled! They ask WHY, they say they’ve never heard of such a thing before! and holy hell if it’s a cremation and there are NO services the following day! I will tell them (for example) visitation from 3pm – 6pm with a 6pm service. Then most of the time I get “ok, and………”? and I say “that is it, the service is at 6pm, it is a cremation, so everything will conclude after the service at 6pm”. I get “so there is nothing at all tomorrow? and he/she will only be viewable from 3m-6pm? well, there’s no way I can make it then…thanks”. CLICK! Once in a while I’ll get the person who says they cannot make it, can’t they come in the following day just to view him/her. Uhhh…NO YOU CAN’T! visitation is OVER! and anyway, more than likely that person is no longer at the funeral home anyway if it’s cremation or even a burial for that matter… also, just because you have to go to work or have something to do or just because you were passing by, you cannot come in early to view the body either! NO ONE goes in until the family has been in! NO ONE! Being an asshole won’t help either. Trying to be really sweet won’t get you in either! Just do NOT show up early! If you can’t make it, than you can’t make it. Tough luck!

……….alrighty done ranting, for today anyway.

12 Responses to “Life working in a funeral home-crazy!”

    • This documentary is due to be shown tonight in the U.K. It has already made people talk. My personal opinion is the metal racking in a cold room is not dissimilar to that of a hospital mortuary. They should however be covered properly.

      Also I know evidence can be edited to make anything look bad so I’m keeping an open mind for this one. I do think some things the general public don’t need to know. Funeral Directors are bound by ethics not to disclose information the same as doctors etc. I think some people though curious, will find it upsetting if not mortifying, if they knew every detail on how Uncle Burt is prepared. Not to say if the staff have been thoughtless idiots, they should be dealt with but such a shame the actions of a few have given people who are professional and caring a bad reputation through association to the business. I think a lot of it is that people don’t know and are scared of the unknown.

      Not to come across as selfish, but funeral homes won’t want a volunteer now if they think people are spying on them. I have no chance. 😦

      (Sorry, it would appear I’m not speechless.)

      Thought of the day :- Earth…The Asylum of the Universe.

      • thefuneralbizz Says:

        even my own mother doesn’t want to hear how bodies are embalmed…so you are correct. i don’t even remember a time when a family asked me/us how the emblaming and prep of a body was done. I don’t even know how you could possibly not know what family a body belongs to…if they are “that” busy that they make those types of errors, then they should have just been honest with families and told them they were at capacity and they would need to go elsewhere…but then again, like you said, things can be edited to make things look worse than they are.

    • thefuneralbizz Says:

      so, is this place that had the bodies stacked an actual funeral home? or is it a medical examiners office?

      • Well, after watching the documentary because they are a huge company (the biggest in the U.K) they just don’t have the same care and attention as independent funeral homes. They don’t train their staff as well as they should. What they do with the deceased is put them in those large ware houses until visitation or the funeral day. Family members think they are in the chapel of rest or at least in the funeral home, not in a huge wear house but really, you ask a corporate giant to do your loved ones funeral, they will not be the same as a family run business who may have serviced your family for generations. It’s just misleading to the families.

        They didn’t go into any gory details thankfully about embalming etc. Actually they call it “hygienic treatment” when arranging, even if they don’t really need it! (I’m not sure if it’s mandatary if they are to be viewed though.) But instead of asking or recommending, they will say, “yes, you NEED hygienic treatment”. That’s just so wrong!!

        The most disgusting thing is that they tell the funeral arrangers not to show them the basic package. If the customer asks for it they discourage them to use it. They try to sell them all sorts they don’t really need. All they care about is money really. Maybe not all the branches are like that, but this one was. Poor people grieving, and they won’t show them all the options available. The managing director said in interview he didn’t know this was going on. Hummm…I’m not convinced…

        It’s made me decide to hopefully, be able to volunteer at a small private business. I want to go into this job to help people, not to be pressured by some dick in a shit suit. I want people to trust me and the company I work for. What do you think Bizz?

      • thefuneralbizz Says:

        i think that businesses like these hurt and give us small guys a bad rap! people have the idea that all funeral homes are out to “get” them and try to sell families things they don’t need, when really, we aren’t, at least not where i work or have worked! to be honest, we discourage people to go over their budget. we let the families lead us to as what they want. we only start them out…they come in for arrangements, they haven’t had to ever make arrangements for someone so they really have no idea what is to be done, so, we start out by asking simple questions. usually first one is, do you know if it will be burial or cremation? say if it is burial, then we ask, is there property at a cemetery that the deceased already has or do you need to purchase property? if it has already been purchased, then we ask where. we then tell them that we will call the cemetery to verify and to find out if any opening and closing fees are owed (which 9 out of 10 times they are owed, only because opening and closing are not typically pre-paid, which usually comes as a shock to most families because O/C fees are usually over $900.00! but those are not the funeral homes charges those are soley the cemeteries and we have nothing to do with it). then we ask if they want any type of public viewing, if they do than we explain that in order to have a public viewing than embalming must be done. i’m not sure what the laws are over there, but here in the U.S. each State has their own laws regarding how many hours after death the body must be embalmed if public viewing will be held. where i am at, it is 48 hours from the time of death (at by 48 hours from “time of death” means the minute that person expired). It is for the safety of the staff and the public. i know many people will argue this, but i really don’t think that anyone wants to see an unembalmed body 3, 4, 5 days, sometimes longer after that person has passed away, the smell is NOT pleasant, the deceased is decaying and i highly doubt that anyone would want to remember their loved one looking and smelling bad! so anyway…on top of the embalming is the “other” preparation, which means, washing the deceased, any triming of hair, beard, mustache, dressing, cosmetizing, hair done, etc… Now, if the body is able to be viewed within that 48 hours, we would still wash them so we would still charge for that. so once we have established what kind of funeral it is going to be and how many days viewing, we move on to the prayer cards/folders, if the family wants to do their own, that is fine by us, sign in books, alot of people have gone and purchased their own book, which is also fine. then it’s the casket and vault (sometimes when a person buys their property at a cemetery they may also purchase a vault from the cemetery, some cemeteries offer a package deal with the vault included. so instead of having to purchase one at time of need, it is already taken care of) so, we lead the family into the display room and let them walk around and look, most of the time, if the family is not asking us questions we will step out of the room and let them have their privacy and we will go back in a few minutes later to see if they have any questions. our prices for our caskets are placed directly on each casket so that while they are looking they know how much it is! if they need a vault usually they will ask us what the difference is, we will explain to them , but the most popular vault would be the concrete rough box, and we would never try to talk them into buying a more expensive one. when families come in and tell us that they have limited funds and we try to find out what they are thinking as far as visitation and such, we will always offer our discounted prices (packages)!! if someone is telling you that they have no money to pay for a funeral, then why we would we try to sell them more than they can afford anyway… we want to get paid! and we aren’t going to get paid by someone who had little money to spend! there are those families who are full of shit, for sure…but still we would not try to sell them more than they need, never! I also believe that yes, this owner of that funeral home knows damn well what was going on, why would the employess be doing it if they were not told to do so? what do they have to gain by doing without the direction from the owner? the owner is the one who will gain… a good question i guess is to ask the director where your loved one will be held until viewing. i just find it very odd that they keep these bodies in a warehouse. seems to me that this company got too big for its britches (sp?).

  1. Admin Asst Says:

    All I can say is “Been there, done that.” I know what you talking about all too well. Although we rarely get people showing up for church services at our funeral home when the service is at a church, we do get the phone calls about “Where is such and such cemetery?” Umm, hello? Didn’t you follow the procession? Or the numerous phone calls “Hi we’re coming from out of state/out town, where are you located?” (we have Google Map on our website). And like you, I don’t know where half of these places are because I don’t go on funerals or to the cemeteries.

    While I don’t work vistations, I have heard stories from our attendents about visitation from 5p-7p and the famiies staying until 10p or 11pm. That annoys the boss when families do that so he will charge extra for the extra time. He sees it as they are using the facility for a specific amount of hours that they’ve paid for. If they go over that time ( I’m talking way over) then they should pay extra. He doesn’t always charge but only if the families are difficult or have caused issues (like spilling stuff on the carpet, tracking in dirt, leaving the place a mess). Part of the attendents jobs are to to clean up after calling hours and it’s unreasonable for them to be cleaining until midnight (some have to be at other jobs during the day).

    • thefuneralbizz Says:

      i am amazed at the things some people ask us for! i would never even imagine asking for the things some families or callers ask us for! like i have said before, some people just call up to ask for some random business just because it is in the area. why would i know that and i don’t have the time to be your personal phone book! i also get the people who call for directions, then proceed to argue with me about them! that really pisses me off! there is a certain expressway near me. once that expressway ends it turns into a road. the road has the same name as the expressway. the expressway runs north and south…. until it ends and turns into a road. once the expressway ends and road begins it runs east and west. i know this for a fact!! i have lived in this area all my life and have drove on these roads almost just as long. so many many many people are coming to our funeral home by way of this expressway. they know the expressway, they know the exit they need to get on, however they do not know once the get off the exit which way to go. if you stay on the expressway until it ends and the road begins and take that road all the way to the street we are on (i’ll call it A street) and make a right hand turn and about 3 blocks down, there we are. SIMPLE. one would think. but here is where people get confused. they think that the road is still running north and south because the exit they took was expressway south exit. No No No.. so they always say to me ‘i just take the expressway until it ends and stay on expressway street south and turn right and head west on A street. NO. Once the expressway ends (there is a HUGE sign that says EXPRESSWAY ENDS) you will continue onto expressway street, which runs east and west thru the city, so you will be heading east on expressway street. take that to A street and turn right heading south! they argue with me up one side and down the other and then in the end say “okayyyyyyy”, like they have that tone that they think i have no clue as to what i am talking about. i tell them, look, if you think i am wrong, keep going until you run outta road, then tell me who is right and who is wrong, because if you take expressway road all the way to the end…guess what…you are going to drive right into the water! i have said that plenty of times to people and they say to me “how can i take expressway street all the way to the water when i am heading south…..HELLO! because you are NOT going south once the expressway ends! you are going east! UGH! anyway,,,,,geeem, that was a long story!
      i detest families who think they can stay past their viewing times! 10pm and they feel that they have every right to still be there. and, God forbid, you tell them its time to go! you’d think you just punched their grandmother in the face! and, yes, it is unreasonable for our evening staff to be cleaning up that late. we have set hours for a reason! and families pay for their time ‘using’ the funeral home! i also get those families who come in way early. if you wanted more time than you should have scheduled it to begin with! and coming in early is not going to get you more time. usually we are not prepared for anyone early! i don’t think people take the time to stop and THINK about that. the room is magically set up…WE set it up. Maybe the deceased is not fully prepared! flowers are all not set up! and again, God forbid you tell them that the room is not ready yet if they come early. It’s like they get pissed and we did something wrong. and i know i have said it a million times, but do NOT come early to “set up” your freaking food! it does NOT take more than a few minutes to stick your food in the lounge! better yet…don’t bring any food anyway!

  2. Pat bartlet Says:

    Are we a cranky one today?

  3. Tip of the Day: one doesn’t know how dysfunctional their own family is until they have to start making funeral plans for a family member about to kick the bucket. I’m going through that right now and given some people’s attitude I gotta deal with, I strongly believe I’m adopted!

    • thefuneralbizz Says:

      hi amanda….i’m so sorry you are going thru this. but i believe you have the right attitude about ‘dealing’ with others bad attitude. sometimes you just have to sit back and let it go. i think sometimes that if the other person or person’s are acting in such a way that is irritating to me, than walk-away…if at all possible. you are not the only one who feels as tho they are adopted…i sometimes feel that my parents were given the wrong baby at the hospital, but my mother insists that i am their’s!

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