Life a Funeral Home-Ugh
We have been busy!! I am literally. exhausted. . I usually don’t sleep all that well, I always wake up at least twice during the night… I think out this whole past week, I woke up once total!
on to the ranting… Like I said, we were busy. Now, we had a large visitation scheduled. This person was very well known so we knew it was going to be very crowded, which it was. This particular family came in on Saturday and made arrangements. On Monday we had another new call, they came in on Monday early afternoon. The family who came in on Saturday scheduled their visitation for Tuesday with funeral Wednesday. The family who came in on Monday wanted Tuesday as well. This was not in their best interest! We told them that typically we would not tell anyone we could not accommodate them, but in this instance we were encouraging them to go with Wednesday because well, we could not accommodate them due to the fact that we already have a visitation scheduled and we knew it was going to be packed! We explained that we would have to utilize our other chapels for the overflow of guests. They said, “No, we have to have Tuesday, there is no way we can wait until Wednesday, this is what we discussed with the rest of our family and we cannot do another day”! Now, it could just be me, but wouldn’t you WAIT to actually make the arrangements BEFORE telling people what day it’s going to be? Wouldn’t you discuss with your family other options? Sounds crazy, I know! Well, we continued with the arrangements and at the end we told them again that they need to reconsider or we would most likely have to turn them away. We explained that never have we turned anyone away, ever! But in this case, we really did not have a choice. Well, thank goodness they decided to take our advice! They weren’t angry or anything, but had they not been flexible and we did cave and let them be there on Tuesday, they would not have been very happy. There were so many people there, the halls were packed, I couldn’t even walk thru. When I finally left work, in the parking lot, people were all over the place! It was a mad house! OH, and yes, there was LOTS of food! Pizzas, subs, cookies, vegetables and dip, chips, pop, water, brownies, gift baskets filled with crap, fruit, Chinese food even! But.. This family was one of the nicest families we have had in a very long time! As many people who were there, as much food as there was, everyone was exceptionally nice, well behaved, neat and cleaned up after themselves! it was amazing! I know that sounds absurd, but those who work in this business know what I mean. I would trade being that busy any day if families and guests were all like that!
However, the week prior, we had a family who were nice, but maybe a bit crazy, at least some of them. We were ‘warned’ about a certain family member who surely was going to create problems and most likely a scene! As I stood there listening to this person ‘warn’ us, I kept thinking to myself, How are WE being ‘warned’!?! This is bullshit! Why can’t we be the ones ‘warning’ THEM that if anyone steps out of line, we would not hesitate to end all visitation and services immediately? Why are we not ‘allowed’ to ‘warn’ them?!? After they ‘warned’ us, my boss says to them, “well, I hope this family member does behave because we will also have another family here for visitation at the same time “. This person said, “OH NO! There will be?!? Ugh, I don’t know if that’s a good idea”! WTF!?! Really? They feel it’s not a good idea? It isn’t up to them! It’s a freaking funeral home! Most of the time when I visit other funeral homes for a friend or loved one, there is usually always more than one family there. Why is this such a big deal for people! I got that again today when the family whose viewing started today when they brought in ALL their freaking food at 10am! They wanted to see the lounge. Ok, so I show them. They say, “ok, this will work, there is plenty of space. I have a bunch of food and supplies in my car I will need to bring in, there won’t be any other families here, will there”? Uhh, “this will work”? Oh, ok. Well thank goodness, because I hate to see if it wasn’t good enough! Oh and by the way, they weren’t even having an all day visitation! So after bringing in a bunch of soda, two cases of water, three cookie platters…chips, some other family members show up with some more shit. They brought in three boxes. In the boxes were all sorts of sandwiches. I’m not talking small boxes either.. There were probably at least 50 sandwiches to a box. My coworker said to one of them, “wow, that’s a lot of sandwiches “! The lady who carried them in says, “yeah, well we will be here all day, so we are going to have to eat something”! First, no you’re not gonna be here ALL day and second, that’s enough food to feed a small army!
For those who also work at funeral homes, you all know that any day can be a busy day. There doesn’t have to be a visitation or funeral going on, no arrangements, nothing.. But we are still busy!! Of course there are those days when it’s soooooo quiet, you can’t keep your eyes open! But I always hear from people who may stop in to pick up death certificates or cremated remains, etc.. how it must be nice to have it be so quiet and have down time.. Uhhhh… well, we don’t really have THAT much downtime! I still have my mom say to me when she asks if I’ve been busy at work, I’ll tell her yes and she asks, “oh, so you have alot of funerals then”? When I say no, she ALWAYS says, “well then your not busy”. Ive tried explaining to her that just because we don’t have funerals doesn’t mean I’m not busy. I can have busier days on those days with no visitation or funerals! There is just so much that goes on, I don’t think people realize that. For instance today, no visitation or funerals but yet I didn’t stop all day! I had a lady call because she needed a photo copy of her father’s death certificate from 2002. I had a family who came in because they wanted to order an urn, a special urn with a certain carving on the wood and then engraved, I had a body that had to go to the crematory, I had three death certificates that needed to be filed (in three different cities), I had several bills to do, I had to type a death certificate, order some pendants for a family, had another family come in to pick up their loved ones cremated remains, I had to contact a life insurance company about a claim / assignment we submitted, I had to contact our local funeral directors association, I had a couple of letters I needed to type, and I had all end of month stuff to complete and in the middle of all of that, the phone is still ringing!
So it bothers me when people assume all we do is sit around when we dont have a visitation or funeral!
Ok.. I’m done for now. I am really trying to blog more!!
hope you all are doing well and getting thru the winter (those of you who have to deal with cold and snow)!
Happy Ground Hog Day!