Life at a Funeral Home – NO we are not always open


Pretty sure people, some people, think the funeral home is always open. We arent! We are not sitting around in our suits 24/7 waiting for someone to show up at the door or waiting for the phone to ring! YES it is true…I am sorry to break the news! We have hours of business. We are actually real live humans who eat, sleep, have families and actually do things outside of the funeral home! We also have days off and take vacations! So…when the answering service calls us on lets just say a Tuesday night at 11:30pm and says there is a caller on the line who wants to speak to the funeral home and it is not a new (death) call. Well we do find it a bit irritating to find out that the caller only wanted to ask if, they could bring in food, if we have pucture boards for them to use, directions to the funeral home or what time they should arrive for family hour (when they already know their fam hour is at noon, but for some reason they think that they should come a half hour or hour before fam hour, which makes no sense whatsoever). But you get my point…these questions can wait until morning! Also if i lock the door and turn off thd lights and move the open sign to CLOSED then that means WE ARE CLOSED! so…why is it that people will still come to the door and ring ths bell? Not just once. Not twice. But continue to push the button then walk to a window and peer in? It is obvious after the first time you rang the bell and no one answered that we are closed! ..i can overlook the first time you ring the bell because maybe you just walked up and the first thing a person would do is automatically ring bell. Just because a car or two is in lot does not mean someone is there and so what if we are there…we are closed! Call the phone and talk to ans service if its that damn important!!! And by important i mean if someone has passed! Not because you want to only get pricing. Or to even pre arrange…ever hear of a telephone? Lots of people have them! They are used to call people!! Most of us who want to do something that requires us to go to a place of business will use our phone to call for their hours or make appointments! Most of us have cell phones, which nowadays has internet that you can use to look up a business and get their hours and phone number!!! I would suggest getting one of these neat little things called a phone!! To be honest, the more you ring the bell or start pounding on the door, the less inclined i am to find the kindness in my heart to go see what the hell you want!
A word on clothing. You must bring us clothes for your loved one and bring them asap! We tell you that! There is no way we can wait until you drag your ass in for visitation. It takes time! Please bring them asap! Dont bring them and change your mind either! If we ask for a photo so we can style grandmas hair…bring one! Because when you come in for visitation and are not happy with her hair…well thats your fault!
Whem you are going to bury someone in a cemetery that is quite a distance from the funeral home or chirch chances of having a procession is slom. We arent making things difficult for you we are making things safe for you and your family and friends!! Ehen we say we will meet at cemetery it means we will meet you at cemeteru!! Not tell family and friends they can follow us to cemetery and to be at fineral home in the morning. If someone wants to follow the hearse thats fine but we arent waiting for you or watching that you are keeping up! Also PLEASE check with the director before just telling people that! Our hearse is going to leave when we are ready to and know how much time we have to get to cemetery so if people start showing up, it holds us up! EVERYTHING with a funeral is on a schedule. The clergy is told what time he/she is yo be at funeral home to say prayers. The church is given a time of when to expect us (they may have another funeral after you or before or have other functions) the cemetery is on a schedule, they have funerals in and out all day so when we schedule a time we have to be there to acvomodate for other funerals coming in after! Our hearse driver is given a time of when to arrive to funeral home. Other emploees who may be needed. Then if your family has booked a place for a luncheon are expecting you! So the smallest things that may seem unimportant to you ARE important! Yiu wouldnt like it if another funeral was holding up yours so give some respect!!
For those of you who may be interested in purchasing a pendant that you put a little bit of cremated remains in…when you look at the cost of these items just so you know the funeral home most likely only orders them from another company and is probably not making much if any money from them. We ONLY order them for you. So when you decide to start bitching to me about how much we charge and i tell you WE DONT charge it is what the company sells it for, do not sit there and either look at me like im tryin to screw you over or ask me for a discount! Especially dont ask me for a discount if when you made the arrangements you claimed to not have any money and had to apply for state aide. Because im not gonna either way! If you cant afford something…then dont buy it!
Now i know i have bitched alot about walk ins…i freaking hate walkins!! But if you are gonna walkin anyway despite my efforts to inform all people not too do everyone a favor and dont be a complete dikhead!! Nine outta ten times the people who walk in are assholes. Sorry, its true…not sure why that is…some will make a turn around while sitting there some will not. But dont just expect us to know why you just showed up at our door. Dont be a dick when we ask you what we can do for you. Had a family walkin the other day…l 5 of them. When we asked what we could help them with they just stood ther, not one of them said a word! So we said…did someone pass away? … well apparently that was the winning question altho when they responded by pretty much jumping down our throats for asking well geeeezzzz…. then we were told…not asked…but told that .. the hospital called you!! In the brothers best asshole tone of voice… but they didnt call us and that is what the director told them. Told them the hosp didnt call and typically they dont call even tho theu like to tell families they will…so you see we have no idea that anyone has died let alone know or expect to know that you are this persons family. And if a hosp did call us we wouldnt do anuthing about it anyway until speaking with the family! We arent gonna get a call that someone died at such and such hosp and jump in the van and go get them! We cant! So…instead of being mad at us…who has no clue who you are ..be pissed at the person who said theu were gonna do something for you but didnt!
I have been just fed up with people lately…can you tell…!?! Just tired of putting up with bitching day in and day out. Or people not doung their jobs correctly because then it affects mine!

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12 Responses to “Life at a Funeral Home – NO we are not always open”

  1. Ah yes! Another funeral home story in my weekend paper thought I might share with you. This time it’s a family who have had their relative ‘s body kept in holding at a funeral home mortuary for the past10 years because they’ve been in disagreement withthe state government and the public hospital where the relative died over the cause of death and not being satisfied with the autopsy results that revealed a blood disorder leading to kidney failure. They refused to take ownership of their relative’s body at the morgue and the government saying the relative would then be in the hands of the State and a ‘pauper funeral’ (state aid) would have to be done. The family wasn’t having that so they had the body taken to a funeral home where it still is for the past decade. The State says it’ not a public health issue and that it holds no responsibility with funeral homes storing bodies for long periods. And its not costing the family anything either as by law a funeral home can hold a body in it’s mortuary for as long as it wants until the family goes ahead with the service. So the relative is there for free.

    • AdminAsst Says:

      Wow! I can’t imagine having a body sitting around for 10 years and not charging the family rent. I think it is allowed, in our state, to charge a fee for storeage of a body. I know our funeral home would charge a fee because we have limited space. We have to remind the ME’s office in our state that we are not a storeage facility. Often times, to save money for the state, the ME will request we bring a body back to the funeral home rather than bring it to the ME’s office. We always decline because we don’t have the room to do that.

      There was an incident a few years ago with an inmate who died at the state prison. He was from South America and his family wanted nothing to do with him or retrieving his remains. He sat in the hospital morgue (the hospital and the ME’s office share the morgue) for 2 or 3 years. The state wanted one of the local funeral homes to cremate him for free and none of them would. Finally after a few years, the state agreed to pay for the cremation.

      As for cremains, we do store them at our funeral home. We have cremains that have been there for 10 or 15 years. If they are a veteran’s cremains and we cannot reach a family member or if there is no family, we make sure they get properly interred at the state veterans cemetery.

  2. So we’ve got this funeral insurance ad that comes on the TV in the evening that just amazes me how desperate some companies are just to get people to sign up to them. For their funeral insurance they offer people a flat screen TV if they’ve kept their policy for two months minimum, and for the life insurance they offer new claimants a $50 gift voucher…(yeah that’ll save lassie! Lol) I mean,$50 doesn’t get people far nowadays – my grocery bill goes over $50 and I support only myself! That amount or a new tv wouldn’t encourage me to take up a policy with them.
    Bit of breaking news in the funeral industry here about this dodgy funeral director who got busted trying to make a quick profit for himself by loading up his removal vehicle with 6 bodies scheduled to be cremated, individually of course. But instead he drove 600km to a regional town further north where cremations are cheaper and he netted a profit of some $30,000 for himself and didn’t tell the families of the deceased who had arranged for their loved ones (mostly elderly ) to be cremated at the city crematorium. Well it was actually one of the crematory staff at the city branch who got Suss on this director when one family called Them to ask about their father’s cremains as the funeral home wasn’t answering their call of enquiry. So long story shortened here, this guy was investigated, his funeral home raided by detectives, BUT while he was being investigated he kept practising as a director. AND opened a new funeral home in his wife’s name!! He got away with this cos in my State funeral homes/directors aren’t required to be registered to practice and the national funeral directors association is livid on this as it gives the other 99.999% of funera homes who do the right thing a bad name for the whole industry. Now some (registered ) funeral homes in the area where this guy had his funeral home are reporting a decrease in the choice of cremation during arrangements and more towards cemeterial burials instead as people are just freaked out. Well it was reported in the paper this weekend that this guy got jailed but only a couple of years and his wife is still allowed to run their new home but the FDA has said we are watching them like hawks!

    • Ya know…i just dont understand why some funeral directors think they can get away with lying, stealing, etc…sooner or later they will get caught! It gives the rest of the funeral homes a bad rap! Not all … actually not MOST funeral homes do NOT steal or lie or try to stuff way too many bodies in our service vehicle is just not worth it. And how on earth did he make $30,000.00 from trying to scam those families? I’d like to see his GPL! as far as life ins co’s go…they always seem to have some sort of “giveaway” or promotion…i do really recommend life ins i just wish the ins co’s were a little more honest with people.

  3. Very sadly, we are in a generation where it is ‘all about me’ and never about you. I do whatever I like, whenever I like. Stuff your ‘official’ operating hours and door signs. And in your case, it is even worse because ‘my loved one has died and YOU MUST help NO MATTER what!’. I work in an university and it is the same – students ‘demand’ you see them whenever and you ‘have’ to reply to their emails within minutes! Hang in there my friend. We will meet nice people and then there will be the ‘nastys’. Let’s focus on the nice ones and move on 🙂

    • So sorry it has taken me so long to reply to your comment. I tey to respond to every comment i get but its been busy at work and at home the last few weeks.
      I try to focus on those who are nice, those who are appreciative of things you do for them….i try to let those who are rude think they are getting their way just so they go away! Im not sure how some people can just be so rude to someone they have never met or angry about things that no one really has no control over. No matter how many times i try to explain things to people they just dont listen or only hear what they want to hear.. and when people only half listen or hear what theu want, that is when errors and mistakes start to happen and in this business when something goes wrong, well…its always our fault! As for your job, i can imagine the students bombarding you. The younger generation is so use to everything being done asap. They are so use to emails and texts being immediately answered etc… some things just take time. There are things that take time and people just cannot accept that anymore.

  4. I saw a Gary Larsen joke the other day which reminded me of all the dickheads you got to put up with: two guys told to leave a diner with the manager pointing to a sign near the entrance which says, No Brains, No Service! (Replace ‘diner’ with funeral home! Lol)

  5. keep posting, girl. love reading your horror stories! sorry that you have to live them 😦

  6. AdminAsst Says:

    Do you work at the same funeral home that I do? LOL. We had a similar situation just this past week. We had someone call the funeral home around 7pm looking for one of the funeral directors because they were planning on stopping by. No one was there. Of course we try to close at 5pm, unless we have a service or calling hours. We were all long gone by 7pm. People just don’t think. There is no common sense anymore.
    We also had a situation, 2 weeks ago, where a family just walked in. On that particular day, we had 5 families scheduled to come in to make funeral arrangements. We had no room in the schedule to fit another family in, yet these folks just walked right in, and then got a little miffed that we couldn’t see them until the following day. I don’t mean to sound mean, I felt sorry for these people because they did just lose a family member, but if they had called we could have had someone speak to them and explain the situation and maybe it would not have bothered them so much.
    I often wonder if people use any common sense anymore. I mean you would not just show up at your doctor’s office or your attorney’s office and expect to be seen, why should that be any different for a funeral home?
    I often wish that we could put a sign up or put in the newspaper on what to expect and what not to expect from a funeral home. Like, call for an appointment, have one person in charge of the arrangements (not all three sons and a daughter), don’t make changes to the obituary after the newspaper deadline, don’t try to get us to submit an obit after the deadline and then complain that it’s not the paper the following day, don’t keep calling for certified copies of the death certificate, it takes time for that, don’t just stop by the funeral home after hours then complain that no one is there etc…..

    • It sure seems like the same funeral home! I just cant understand why people get pissed when they just show up and find out that no one is there to help them! I always make a point to tell them that the director is on a funeral or if we have an arrangement alreadu and the director is with that family, i will tell them that…but yet they still get pissed! Why are they more important than the person/family that is having their funeral or who is already there making arrangements! Im sure they wouldnt appreciate it if they knew someone was pissed cuz there loved ones funeral is getting in the way of their arrangements! Oh i have been there when 5 arrangements scheduled and low and behold…a walk in! ..i feel for you..really! Im not sure what part of DEADLINE people do not understand!?! There is no “just ask” if you can change anything after deadline! The paper is not going to hold up production because you have to add all the grandchildrens middle names!!

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