life at a funeral home-i’ve had it…


I am so fed up with people! People who do not do their jobs that is!!!! I think anyone who has a job should feel blessed to have one.. especially these days. So what I don’t understand is WHY do people who have jobs NOT actually do their job!?! I am so tired of doing other peoples work it trying to get information from someone who obviously just don’t give a shit!!!!!

Over the last couple of days i have dealt with more rude, unwilling and useless people! Most of these people work in the medical field, now I don’t want to hear anyone comment about how hard the medical field is!!!!!!!! I use to work in the medical field, for 2 doctors offices and at a hospital!! So I KNOW how busy, how much patients/people can be demanding, doctors being jerks and how sometimes the pressure can get to you….I have done it so i know all about it! But it still does not give you the right to be an inconsiderate rude and unhelpful bitch! People need to start listening and shut up! Don’t start talking over someone when they have not finished there question, EVEN if you already know what they are going to say or if you already know the answer!!

I needed to get a time of death on a deceased. This person came from a hospital that sends that info with the body. For some reason the info did not have the t.o.d on the slip. So there was the first error! Who ever entered the info did not enter it correctly. If whoever is suppose to do that fucked up my whole day yesterday!! If that person had did their job right then I would have not wasted a day arguing with people! I understand mistakes happen, but when something like that happens you would think that the facility would be more than willing to correct the problem……NOPE! I was treated as if somehow this was MY problem! And I was ‘bothering’ the people I talked to! And another thing, it doesn’t help to complain either, no one gives a shit! I did complain, let’s see if that changes anything… I just wish that people weren’t so bitchy and rude all the time and for no reason. Sure have a bad day, someone pisses you off, BUT IT DOES NOT GIVE YOU THE RIGHT TO TREAT EVERYONE ELSE LIKE SHIT!!!!!!!!

Then today…have a family that has a funeral. The smartass cousin of the deceased comes walking toward office, I step outside the door, with a smile on my face, and say ‘Hi, is there something you need?’ She says ‘Uhhh…yeeeeeeeah, there WAS SUPPOSED’ to be some letters for me, for work and school that says we were here, for myself, my daughter, my son, my husband…..’ I reached over and grabbed the envelope that had ALL the work/ school excuses and handed them to her and said ‘here you are, they had them all ready for you…with a fucking smile on my face!! She grabs the envelope from me and rips it open inspecting each letter. Then as her brother walked up beside her and asked her what she was doing she said ‘ getting some excuses that were suppose to be done for me, but as I can see, grandmas isn’t here and I specifically told these people who I needed excuses for, and Doug’s isn’t here and I don’t see Anna’s either….’ Well, I knew for a fact they were all in there because I checked them myself!! I was standing right there as she was goingthru them and calling us ‘these people’..but I kept my mouth shut until she had to ask me instead of me catering to her.She turned to me and said ‘I ASKED for other letters and I specifically wrote down each name and they are not here!!!!’ I calmly said ‘yes they are, here let me see them’ …. AND calmly pulled out each and every fucking one she said was not there!!!!!! If the bitch would have calmed the fuck down and not been so quick to assume a mistake was made she would have seen them. YES, I GET IT. I UNDERSTAND….people are upset and react differently during this time, this time when someone they love has died. But.. it does not give you the right to be rude or inconsiderate, especially to those who are here to help you! And..if there had been an error, it would and could of been rectified within a matter of minutes!
Those of us in the funeral industry are here for YOU! We will and do go out of our way for our families! There are things that we do not ‘have’ to do, such as bringing something to you at your home.. say if we called to let you know we have the certified d/c’s and for whatever reason you were unable to come for them but needed them, we would offer to bring them. We also are not required to give discounts, but we do ALL THE TIME! The funeral home is also NOT required to to take an assignment on a life insurance policy and several funeral homes even charge families to do the paperwork on an assignment, we do not. We have a lounge for our families, we supply all the coffee you can drink along with sugar and cream, we also supply tea bags and hot water and napkins/paper towel and cups. We do not have to do that. There are a million little things we do that we get asked to do that we do with a smile that we do not have to do.. I dont expect our families to know what goes on behind the scenes, they shouldnt have to think about it, they shouldnt have to worry about it, but some appreciation would be nice. Funeral Directors and employees work their asses off! We miss Holidays and Bithdays and plans.. of course we made the decision to work in this business but i would think that people would realize that! The other day we received a new call, the day before Thanksgiving. It was still early in the day, around 11am. We asked if they would like to come in later that day? They said No, the following day. We asked what time would be good for them (even tho it was a holiday and technically we are closed, the building closed). They said they werent sure they would let us know. We said ‘ok, however tomorrow is a holiday and the funeral home is closed, so we will need to set an exact time so the Director can meet you, unless you come today, anytime today, or you can wait till Friday.” NO, tomorrow works for us, but we will have to call you when we are ready to come.” So the Director on call had to drop what they were doing with their family and meet this family at the funeral home when the family was ready. Of course we do not enjoy leaving our families like that, but it is our job! But again.. one would think that people would be more greatful and thankful for what we do for them..so how come it is just the opposite!! Ans again, this is not only in the funeral business, this thing where people are so rude anymore is just disgusting! I dread even going to the store anymore. People are rude! I also dont understand this business of going out in public in your pajamas and house slippers! When did this become acceptable attire for shopping? I have had people show up to the funeral home in pajamas…I dont care what time of day it is, you should NOT leave your house in p.j’s… there are 2 times only when this can be acceptable, 1 is if you have to drop your kids off to school and you are NOT getting out of your car. 2 is if your house is on fire in the middle of the night!! And to wear slippers outside of your home…NO NO NO!! I dont even like wearing my slippers in my basement! They certainly should not be worn out in public! Lord only knows what you are stepping on in parking lots and store floors, then drag all that home with you and wear them in your house! EWWWW! I went to our local arts and crafts store recently and realized I did not get the notice that it was pajama night there.. there were 3 women there wearing pajamas. One of them had their slippers on. I was at the grocery store not too long ago and it was raininh out..not real heavy, but a constant miserable drizzle all day, so of course the ground was wet. Of course there was a girl walking into store in her p.j’s and fuzzy slippers! How disgusting! You could see how wet and now dirty het slippers were..and she is gonna walk thru the store with those on and then go to her home with those same filthy things on! At the funeral home I have had people come in for arrangements in p.j’s. In the middle of the day! WHY!?! I wish people would stop doing that..at least throw on a pair of jeans and shoes!! ICK!
So back to people at work.. I know I am always going on about death certificates, but it is one of the things that people/families focus on and it is the one of the things that people do not understand. Families should not have to worry about the process we go thru to get the certified d/c’s, but, when they start asking right away about them then of course we must explain the process and when we think we will have them ready for them. Now alot of States are able to do their d/c’s electronically, which I understand is somewhat quicker, I am praying that one day soon we to will be able to file that way but unfortunately we cannot yet..we are one of only a handful of counties within my State that cannot. So anyway, we have alot to do when it comes to getting those d/c’s! By law, we must file the d/c within 72 hours. And we do! There have been those instances when we havent been able to because we have had to wait for the doctor to sign it..and technically the doctor, by law, has 48 hours to sign it. Some doctors are not that easy to work with!! Actually alot of doctors and their staff are not to easy to work with! We have to call that office to verify the doctor will sign, find out when the doctor will be in to sign it, do we have to drop it off and wait till they call us or can we come and wait for it? Of course we have to factor in travel time, is the office close or a bit away? Then once it is signed we have to go to the clerks office to file it. Again, the clerk depends on which city the person passed away in. It could be the city we are located or it could be a half hour away. Then how busy is the clerks office? We have to wait in line, how much traffic do we have to deal with? Then…the dreaded PENDING d/c!! A pending d/c is issued when a person had been autopsied by the Medical Examiner and cause of death was not determined…yet! So, that d/c still MUST BE FILED within 72 hours, and since cause of death is not known yet a PENDING status must be entered on the d/c so it can be filed! We typically tell families that we still have to file it but it is probably best to wait until we receive the amended d/c to pay for certified copies.. alot of places that need a d/c will not accept one with a Pending staus! Some places will..it just depends but we want our families to save the money and only pay for death certificates they will be able to use because the clerk is going to charge us for cert copies of the Pending as well as for the amended, once the amended is available. AND this is where the issue arises…WHEN will the amended be available? The funeral home has NO CONTROL OR ANY IDEA HOW LONG IT IS GOING TO TAKE!!!! I can only speak for my State, and here it can take anywhere from 4 weeks to 9 months, sometimes even longer! I know it sounds ridiculous, and I also think that having to wait that long is absurd, but there is nothing I or the funeral home can do! Once the Medical Examiner has determined cause of death, they must fill out paperwork required by the State. They send that paperwork with the cause of death for that person to the State Vital Records Division. Once the State receives that paperwork it is their job to entet the cause of death on that d/c that has ‘Pending’ on it. Once the State has done that they then forward it to the clerks office where it was filed. Depending on which clerks office, they will call us and let us know they have the amended d/c and we may come with check for however many certified copies we need for the family. Some clerks do not call us and we have to keep calling them to see if they have it yet. Now we do our best to explain this to our families who have a pending status on the d/c. We even have a print out explaining this process so that they can read it over later when their mind is more clear. So what I am trying to get at is…why is it that no matter how many times we explain this and no matter how many print outs we give families they just cannot or refuse to comprehend what the process is!?! I have been told, recently, that we are not doing our jobs! Why are we not doing our jobs!?! What is the hold up? My neighbor/cousin/aunt/friend had their d/c’s in 3 days and said you people are not doing what you are suppose to be doing! If people would just shut up and actually HEARA what we are telling them this would not always happen! The reason your neighbor/friend or whoever had theirs in 3 days is probably because it was NOT a Pending d/c!! And again, it is out of our hands if the Medical Examiner had not determined cause of death prior to the d/c having to be filed! Funeral Directors do not know cause of death, it is not our position to determine cause of death! It is the doctor or medical examiner! And even when it is concluded, it still must go thru the right channels..and I dont know about other States, but where I am, they are very busy and understaffed!
Gotta stop for now.. but I will continue later…have more to write. Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!

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10 Responses to “life at a funeral home-i’ve had it…”

  1. Oh.MY GOD! I am an office manager at a funeral home. I am in charge of doing death certificates and permits. Everything you have blogged about is exactly what I go through! Its like I wrote it! LOL From the rude families, rude Dr.’s & their assistants…..I feel your pain!!

  2. The pyjama thing must be global as I see it here too andnot just women dropping their kids off at school but at the local shops/library and I’ve had people at my work bring their slippers in and wear them while at a computer so they can be more comfortable, so they say, or get all their work done, again they say. Do they think we were born yesterday to believe that bullshit? If the staff have to wear correct footwear for OH&S, that goes for other people too. And much worse than slippers, barefeet.
    Ok Summer here, and its damn hot
    some days but I don’t always have my
    gas mask in my handbag to not have to
    breathe foot odour and it only takes a
    few secs to apply deodorant too. But I
    agree with you, in service industries, people just aren’t grateful for what you do or tell them.

  3. Starting to have doubts about my intention to join the industry….*heehee*

    • Im sorry.. I certainly did not mean for it to cause you to not want to work in the funeral industry!! It isnt only people here at the f.h. its everywhere.. if you are in any sort of customer service these days, people are just rude and inconsiderate.

  4. I can totally relate to all your points in your post. Where I work, however, the one area where our FDs draw the line with meeting families is on holidays. They would simply say, politely, “We’re sorry but since tomorrow is a holiday and nothing will be open, why don’t we meet today or the day after the holiday.” Some people don’t even consider the possibility that FDs and funeral home staff have families of their own that they would like to spend time with on a holiday. But that has to do with the “Me, me, me” attitude of society now.

    I’m not trying to diminish the loss of a loved one with a family. I understand they are not at their best when a loved one passes, however, many people do tend to become single minded no matter when a loved one passes away and want to come in right away no matter what day or time of day it is.

    When you discussed the death certificate from the hospital, it reminded me of a situation a few months ago. We had a person who died at a local hospital and we had to wait until the organ bank had harvested the organs before we could arrange to have the body picked up from the organ bank. The local organ bank is in another state. They take the body but then it’s up to the funeral home to arrange to have the body brought back to our state. Well, it took a few days because we were very busy and didn’t have time to send someone for a 2 hour drive there and a 2 hour drive back. Finally we go the body back, but the death certificate was never completed!! The organ bank took the uncompleted death certificate with them (how is it supposed to be signed by a doctor at the hospital when it’s in another state???). So by the time we got the body back, the services were scheduled for the next day. I complained to the hospital about this. I mean why is the hospital releasing bodies to the organ bank without filing out the cause of death on the the dc? I would think that would be a huge liability issue for both the hospital and the organ bank. What if this person had MRSA or Hep C? Anyway, I complained to the hospital about it and they never did a thing about it.

    Where I live, our doctors have the ability to complete DCs online, but in the city where I work, they won’t do it. So we still have to run around town and surrounding towns to get dcs signed. Legally they are supposed to complete them online, but the state never put any penalties in place if they don’t complete it electronically. Sigh.

    • Why is that tho…i have always thought that if you screw up, especially a business, that you need to make it right. If the only means is to apologize than, apologize…and mean it. But it isnt that way anymore i am finding out and that is upsetting to me. At our f.hn if we screw something up then you better believe we fix it, no matter what the cost! As far as the hospital screwing up that d/c that you said got sent to the organ bank..that is something that technically cannot be fixed it can only take time to get it to the right people. But the thing is, while they are trying to get that d/c there is a family waiting for that d/c.. so then the f.h has to explain the hold up when really the f.h. is then apologizing for someon elses mistake! The hospital should have to explain to the family! But we know that will never happen! Also, it somehow sometimes feels as if we, the f.h. is making excuses for ourselves, as if “we” made an error and blaming it on someone else.. How do your families react when they want to come in on a holiday but the Ditector suggests another day? We get people that just cannot believe we are not open! Actually we get that ALL the time!! Lol.. if we dont have any visitation in the evening we close at 5p (6p in Summer).. so at least once a week we get someone who shows up after hours, rings the doorbell, realizes that we are closed (not only is the door locked and no one answering, the closed sign is right there in front of their faces along with our hours and ph# to call)!!! So..they call the f.h. and when we leave at 5p or 6p we transfer the phone to the ans serv. So they tell the ans serv they are outside the f.h. but NO ONE is ans door!! They tell them that the bldg is closed but they can connect them to the Director if they would like or they can leave message. I’d say 99% of the time they want to speak with Director.. and of course they say they are in the parking lot or standing at door and no one will answer! Of course we tell them that we are closed and what do they need. I cannot tell you how many times people have said “well there are cars in your lot so someone HAS to be here!” NO..those are company vehicles!! No one is there! “Well there are lights on too”! We leave lights on at night!! They get so irritated that we are not there at all times!! And its usually little things that they are there for..maybe to pick up more thank you cards or to pick up cremated remains (not that picking up a loved one is a little thing) but im talking about cremated remains that have been sitting in our office for weeks…and they have just decided to show up at 9pm to pick them up…without calling! We have had people show up at 6am to make arrangements! WHY!?! why would you just show up without calling!! I have actually been at work after hours..and have had people come to door and ring the bell. I never answer, it is after hours and maybe i am there finishing some things up.. i am in the back and no one can see me.. i am not ans door! I find it hysterical just how many times someone will ring tje damn door bell!! If no one comesvl after the second ring..go away! But nooooo…they hit the damn thing continuously over and over! UGH!!

  5. patbartlet@aol.com Says:

    I am sorry to read your latest invective filled post. People are at their worst at weddings and at deaths. Pat

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