Life at a funeral home-i’m back


Well its been sooooo long! Computer still not working so blogging from phone…excuse any spelling errors.
Work has been very very very busy!
Let me begin by saying this; Do NOT tell ANYONE when the visitation & funeral will be until you actually make the funeral arrangements!! I hope that ‘most’ people would know this. What I dont understand is why some people tell family & friends (especially those who live out of town & need to make travel plans) what days & times visitation will be & day & time & place of funeral service will be BEFORE you actually come to the funeral home to make the arrangements!!!!! Even if you call & ask uf those days & times are available so yoy can let people know that more than likely it will be such & such day…. because when it comes to death…well it is not predictable…so we have NO WAY of knowing from one day to the next when we will get a death call and or arrangements or even a family who just walks in! This brings me to a family from a few weeks ago who did just THAT! and guess who they were pissed at….yep…us. For starters they did not call for appt. We received call in middle of night…from the nursing facility where this person passed. So in the morning on the call sheet it said family to call in morning to set up arrangement time. Well…about 10:30am we hadnt heard from them & since we had 4 other arrangements that day my we called the family to ask when they wanted to come in. They said they lived half hour away so they would call us sometime after Noon to set it up. Ok..fine..I said to one of the Directors…”so how much you wanna bet they dont call & just show up”? Sure enough…someone rings the bell..I go answer the doir cuz 2 Directors are with other families (who made appts) & I knew who it was right away but acted as if I had no idea who they were. I asked them what I could help them with. They proceeded to tell me who they were…I told them that both Directors were with other families, that we were not expecting them & thought they were going to call us for a time to come in. They said they just figured they come in once they were all ready … hmmmm om then. I told them it was going to be a few so have a seat. Now we have had families come in before that have had to wait…they will usually sit up front & talk wirh each other and we always offer them something to drink & they sit quietly & wait. Now remember we have 2 other families in the building making arrangements for their loved one who has just passed to. Well this family was SO LOUD! It was rude…! So eventually they met with the director & they of course wanted a day that we already had 3 other families starting their visitation. They said that they insist theu have that day because theu already told everyone that was the day!! Well…guess you shouldnt have told anyone those days BEFORE making the arrangements!! WTF!?! they actually asked us for the other families phone #’s so they could call them to see if they would switch days with them!! Are you freakin kidding me..!!! They would NOT accept that we were already going to be over crowded wirh 3 families on the day theu wanted. At one point one of the daughters said “well i wish we would have known this before we told everyone when it was going to be” ..UUUHHHHMMMM YEAH NO SHIT!!! Wht on earth did you tell everyone anyway!!! So in the end they got their way but were told that there would be very limited space and we could do nothing about it. Well…here comes day of visitation & guess who isnt happy…guess who asks “so where are we suppose to sit & drink coffee & have snacks..”? I wanted to say…”you dont..you were told when you insisted on today that we would be overcrowded” however we made some space in the back where we were able to set up some table & chairs & get them some coffee. So one of the employees said to them that they were going to get the coffee made & room set up to give them 10 min. Apparently that wasnt good enough for them because the daughter went into room where we were putting their coffee & saw that another employee was in that room on the phone..so she came to office & said “our family wants a place to sit & were told that room down there we could use so can you get up & tell whoever that is back there to get out”?….. my first thought was to get up walk over to her and jam my pen into her eyeballs…but I restrained myself from doing so but could feel my hand gripping the ink pen harder & harder as I told her that ut would be just a few more minutes until the room was ready & that the employee who was on phone in that room was cleaning up in there for them & just happened to answer the phone when it rang! So..no thank you…no im sorry…just walked away…i could feel my arm start to raise…the arm that the hand with the ink pen was in….thoughts of sprinting down the hall & jabbing the pen into the back of her head flashed in my mind. . . That sounds so horrible but at this point in the day with 3 other families who all were complaining about the other family having more room in the lounge for ALL there freakin food!! The one family did have WAY WAY too much food. It was ridiculous…foil pans full of food everywhere…they had 2 extra tables…and at one point asked for another … we told them we didnt have anymore & we have to accomodate ALL our families…each of these families who were there all knew that they would be sharing the funeral home with 2 other families. They were all told this during arrangements & the one family who made their arrangements first were called & we explained the situation to them & they were fine with it…that first family was pretty much the only family that didnt have something to bitch about!! I think they onlt asked if they could have the heat turned down & if it was ok if they had a few cups of coffee in chapel for the older people..
So yeah…I at one point wanted to pound my head off the wall…especially the day before all the havoc began because we had one family in for visitation and the decided to bring their small child…who screamed & cried & carried on ALL FUCKING DAY!!!!!!! so the thoughts in my head began to turn. First was to tape the kids mouth shut. But then I realized why punish the snot nosed kid..I should go punch the parents who decided it was a good idea to bring their child to the funeral home all day! At one point this small child came running into the front office & pushed a chair that was next to the door over…I got up…walked over to the kid whose nose had green snot dripping out of it…said NO..out..turned it around and gave her a slight push thru the door way while I looked down the hall for a parent or other sign of any adult & didnt see anyone at all…so oncw the kid was out of the door way I shut the door & locked it, sat back down & continued on wirh my work. It is NOT my job to watch your children!! If you think it is proper to bring your child who obviously has just started walking & is obviously bored & has no concept of right & wrong to a place where there is nothing for them to do than you yourself have no common sense & should not be allowed to reproduce!! Plus the fact that this kid was sick is even more dumb for you to bring it! I heard conversations the following day when we had 4 families at funeral home for visitation that made me sick just hearing them…one person was talking to another about where so & so was at. Well apparently they were outside cleaning up the front seat of their car because on the way they threw up because they have the flu but will be in as soon as they finish cleaning the vomit from the car floor & seat… wtf?!? And another telling someone they couldnt get there earlier because they had just come from doctors because they have tonsilitis! This is how germs are spread people…this is how everyone gets sick! Keep your ass at home if you are sick….geeeeezus!
I could keep going…but for now I have to stop…I can feel my blood pressure rising just thinking
about alk of this!!
Hopefully I will be able to blog more often now & maybe one of these days I will get my computer fixed.
Hope everyone has a safe & happy new year!!

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3 Responses to “Life at a funeral home-i’m back”

  1. Gosh! I wanna be best friends with you!!! I love how honest you pen down your feelings. It IS very ‘educational’ for the readers but then I guess, those who read your blog, are most likely of similar minds i.e. being professional and responsible and respectful. Anyways, back to this posting – I’m sorry but I was laughing so hard on the inside (I have a work station in a giant open space) that my tummy and chest hurt! But yes, ah..the topic on ill-disciplined children and idiot-parents…this topic is endemic across all areas from air travel to restaurants.
    Thanks again for sharing 🙂
    All the best in the new year!!!

  2. Wow!! I can’t believe the nerve of that family wanting the phone numbers of other families so they could bump them off their schedule. I’m not sure I ever ran into a situation like that before. What is wrong with people?
    We have been insanely busy this week too. And yes, the typical “walk-ins”. I really wish people would learn funeral home etiquette! We, like you, had 2 FDs with families and a third family walked in while our 3rd FD was waiting for another familiy to come in. So, when the walk in came in, he explained he could sit with them but when his other familiy came in, he had to see them because they had an appt. So the arrangements with the walk-in family lasted about 15 minutes.
    I have worked for a funeral home going on 8 years and I have noticed that families seem to be becoming more and more demanding and funerals and memorial services are becoming big productions. It’s realy getting hard to satisfy families nowadays.
    And obituaries (which are the worst part of my job) are becoming productions too. I remember seeing obits from the 1950’s & 60’s on a genenology website once. They had the person’s name, date of death, occupation, suriviors and services. Nowadays they are novels, 2 pages long. We usually have families email the obit to us which is much easier, but some folks bring in hand written obits but rather than writing it in paragraph form they write it then add stuff on the side column with arrows indicating that they want so and so’s name here in front of so and so’s or they want a paragraph moved from the top of the page to the middle ect….Ugh. I really hate obits! Then when we get it typed up and approved by the family and send it off to the newspaper, they will call (after deadline of course) and want to make changes!
    And certifieds!! Some families only care about getting certified copies of the death certificate even before we’ve picked up the body!! And often times we have to tell them we can’t get them until they come in and we get the vital information in order to file the d/c.
    I can see why fewer and fewer people get into the funeral business today.
    Okay done with my rant!! LOL. So glad you are up and running again. I have missed your posts!! It’s so nice to have a blog where we can vent about our jobs.
    I hope you have a very happy new year!!!

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