Archive for embalming

Life working at a funeral home – SO BUSY

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 20, 2017 by thefuneralbizz

First off, I got a new tablet and I haven’t mastered this keyboard yet and so there will be a lot of spelling errors…my apologies!

Secondly, I have not posted in a long time…I have a lot to write about, but of course its mainly about how truly awful people are. So yes, this post will once again be me venting and bitching! sorry, but this is why I started this blog, to vent my frustrations!! So let’s begin the bitch fest!

I’ve about had it with people, had with the way people feel its ok to speak to others so rudely. How everyone is so quick to pass the blame or take out their bad day in people they have never met before. How people have become so demanding! Its not only those planning a funeral either, it can be a simple phone call asking a question, but just gotta be a smartass or rude, or don’t like the answer… Especially if your calling for pricing. You called and asked me to give you a price. I give you that price and you don’t like it. You have the option of saying a few things. You can simply sand Thank You and end the call. You can ask for differnt prices of other options, you can say ok, that’s out of my price range but thank you for your time…. I don’t see the need for any rude remarks. I don’t see any need for anyone to start bitching about how “I” charge way too much just to rip people off, etc. You don’t like the price, that’s fine, just say thanks good bye! 

When we are assisting you in planning a funeral, there are SEVERAL questions that need to be asked. We aren’t doing it just to piss you off! I would say most of the questions that we ask come in the beginning of the arrangement. Those questions are the info we need for the death certificate. You know, those death certificate’s everyone thinks are gold and just have to have them now! Well, without the info we cannot get you any! We always explain before starting with the questions why we are asking, yet it never fails that we get asked, “….what are ais these for, and why are these questions necessary”? So we go back and explain again! Its as if we are wasting their time. Its irritating. Know what else is irritating…When you have a family come in and there are several family members and they all talk over you and get off track and the arrangement lasts for two hours! Then while we are trying to get questions answered and trying to do all the work so the family doesn’t have to.. We sometime step away into another office to make those calls especially if there are a lot of people in the arrangement office, because they can’t be quiet long enough for us to be on the phone. So while we are making phone calls on behalf of the family, the family is in the arrangement office, we usually leave them to pick out prayer cards or flowers other times we just say that we will be a few minutes. Well the other day, we had to call the cemetery and while on the phone, which was approximately 10 minutes, here comes one of the family members. My boss was on the phone in another office and I was in mine. The person who came walking into the office was one of the deceaseds sons. I said hello and he said, “where’s that guy that was meeting with us, we need to get this wrapped up and get a move on, we still need to pick out the flowers and my sisters don’t feel like sitting around here anymore”. REALLY?? That irritated me. You need to get this wrapped up and tired of sitting around here? Well, we could have told you to call the cemetery yourself, we could have told you to go get your own flowers, but no. That “guy” you were meeting with is the Funeral Director and he TOLD you that he was going to call the cemetery for you and he would be back in a few minutes, it make take a few… So I said to him that the DIRECTOR is on the phone with the cemetery getting YOU and your family the information you will need and he will be done once he gets that information for you, so you can go ahead and go back to the arrangement office and the director will be back once he finishes up. He simply just walked away. Its just bothersome that noone can just take into consideration that WE are actually helping you. If we didn’t do these things then it would be that we aren’t helping you enough! Also this particular family wanted a specific day for viewing and funeral, unfortunately we could not accommodate them for the days they wanted, we already had two other families there for visitation and funeral services. Believe me when I say we do not like telling anyone we cannot accommodate them for the dates they want. Well, they were not happy about it and asked why there was nothing we could do.. My boss explained to them the reason why and he apologized and discounted their funeral charges, but that was still not enough.. He just came out and told them that there was nothing he could do and if they needed to go to another funeral home then that’s what they should do and he wouldn’t charge them the transport fee. In the end they stayed with us but made it clear they were disappointed. Ok, so we are fully aware you are not happy about it, so are you going to keep bitching about it? So finally they were on their way, thank God. That same day we had another arrangement about an hour later, it was close to the end of the day and I had been running my ass off. Before the next arrangement came in, my boss was in the embalming room, I was working on all the funeral arrangements and answering the phones. The family who had just left called. It was one of the daughter’s of the deceased. She wanted to know if there was anything at all we could do to accommodate them for the day they wanted!! Were you not just here for almost two hours discussing this! No, I’m sorry, there is not one single thing we can do! On to the next arrangement, not as stressful as the other one but during that arrangement, someone is at the door. I answer it and it’s the other family! They have “things” they need to drop off…. I asked what they had and if there is a lot. They say, yes there is a lot, food, soda pop, snacks, pictures, and the deceaseds violin!! They have a stand for it and NEED to set it up! I told them they could bring it in, but could not set it up because there is a body in the chapel whose funeral is in the morning! They of course were not happy about this and said they HAD to set it up and can’t they just place it in back of the chapel? No, you cannot, there will be a family in there tomorrow along with their friends and family, I don’t think they will understand why your mothers violin is in their room! So, they said they had to bring in their food. I had to explain to them they were welcome to bring it in but we would have to put it all in the storage closet until after the other family leaves, again, not pleased with anything I was telling them! I told them I would leave the door unlocked for them so they could bring in their things. I’m pretty sure they expected me to help them and if I had not been so busy I may have, but at this point I was fed up with them. They even asked ifthere wasn’t another door closer they could use. Unfortunately there is not and I was given the “ugh, ok”. Because somehow its my fault. Maybe you just don’t need to bring in ALL that CRAP! On to day of visitation, big family, lots of kids! No one bothered to watch these screaming misbehaved children who thought it would be ok to color on the bathroom walls with their crayons! They were obviously bored being stuck at a funeral home all day because at one point they decided to make about 20 cups of coffee using all the cream and sugar and make a horrendous sticky mess and put the empty coffee pots back on the hot burners! First of all WHYwere they allowed to play with HOT coffee!! I just don’t get it!! They were also playing with something that had a lot of glitter because it was everywhere! I am always amazed by the lack of supervision! I don’t understand why no parent is watching what and where their kid is at and what they are doing!! Then for them to destroy our bathroom walls and not one person apologized or offered to pay for the cleaning cost.. This is one of the reasons why funeral costs are high and continue to rise, overhead! Who do you think has to pay for the cleaning and damages? Not that it happens that often where we actually have to repair or replace things, but it does happen, cleaning we must constantly do. 

I’ll stop here and stop the moaning and groaning, for now ūüėÄ

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Life working at a funeral home – Family Items & other stuff

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on March 16, 2015 by thefuneralbizz

After a funeral the family will usually come back to the funeral home to pick up any flowers and their other items. Other items are usually, the certified copies of the death certificates, the sign in book, thank you cards, any extra prayer cards or folders, any photos or any other items the family had brought in to display for visitation. Once the funeral leaves our funeral home the staff gathers these items and will put them together for when the family comes back.
What is irritating is when families come back and they take photos of all the flowers! Especially when they have alot of them.. Then they stand there and say “well maybe so and so would like to have this one or should we take this one and leave these or…blah blah blah”. Just take the flowers, take your photos home, then distribute them at that time! Also, if you have photos and you have used our picture boards, usually we will not remove those photos. Reason being is we do not want to be responsible for damaging them. Also, some photos may belong to different family members. But…I have removed them before, but usually only if I have worked closely with that family or if they only have a few pictures. What i don’t like is when a family will use tape on the backs of their photos. The older photos are already very fragile and removing the photo off the picture board will sometimes rip the back of the photo.
A tip to families who are planning on bringing in pictures. Make your own boards! Put your photos on a board, cardboard, whatever, then…we can place that in front of our boards. Ours happen to be felt, so we can therefore tack the cardboard to that felt board and place on one if our easels. Now, speaking if easels… We only have so many. We do not have an endless supply of easels. So bringing in hundreds of pictures and or boards, understand we only have so many. Also keep in mind that we may also have another family there who are also using some easels. What i hate is when a family comes in carrying 10 picture boards and hand them to us and we stand there like, uhhhh, and you want me to put ALL of these where!?! We also have several tables around the chapels. Families will bring in framed photos as well. Many times I get… We would like these around or near the casket… Well, uhhhhmmmm, there are flowers around the casket and we can only place maybe a couple near the casket on a smaller easels made for larger framed photos..there are tables everywhere, USE THEM! Of course we always try to do what the family wants, but sometimes we just have to say…No, you can place them where you want. Another issue I often get is when a family brings in photos and picture boards and photo albums a few days prior to their visitation. The problem is they want to go ‘set it up’. That is not always possible because we may be using that chapel for another family at the moment or we simply are unsure what chapel your family will be in. I cannot count how many times i have had this happen and when we try to explain that we cannot let them, but we will keep their items until day of visitation and then we will place them in chapel and when they come in ‘for family hour’ they will have the time to set them up where they want. And…next question I get… Ok, so what time should we get here then? Well…your family hour begins at…’ whatever o’clock’ so that time.

When you are planning a funeral and whether or not the deceased has property at a cemetery, most cemeteries will require the family to physically go to the cemetery to pre site the grave space. Cemeteries also typically require at LEAST 24 hours notice. Alot of them require 48 hours notice. So this means that when you come to the funeral home and arrange the funeral, you must give the cemetery enough notice. If you come in to the funeral home at 3PM and want a burial the following morning….it’s more than likely not going to happen. Also, when we tell you that you need to go to cemetery TODAY to pre site because they need 48 hours (and funeral/burial is in 48 hours) you MUST go. You cannot leave the funeral home and say, well we have to here then here and then here first… no, you must go to the cemetery! We get so many families who don’t listen when we say just how important it is to go…now! It’s different when the actual burial/entombment isnt for another few days, but we often have those who want to have the visitation and funeral asap. And, yes, we have had those families who altho we stressed the importance of getting to the cemetery asap, they do not go and….the cemetery says, ‘Nope’. The family of course becomes upset or angry and it is usually at us and or the cemetery. Not too long ago we had a family who was planning a funeral and part of the family lived out of town. It just so happened that the family who lived out of town were the ones who were in charge of planning the funeral.. Let me take a step back for a minute, this was also a ship in from out of state.. So, the deceased was shipped in from where the other family members were. Now, it typically takes a day or two for a body to be shipped. We will not schedule anything until we have the body at our funeral home. Once we have the body, the family typically comes in to the funeral home and finalizes all the arrangements. If the family is also coming from out of state, they will come in once they get in to town. But in this instance, the family was not going to be getting in to town right away and wanted to do most of the arrangements over phone so once they did get here they didn’t have to worry about coming in prior to visitation. We had also worked with this family and many of their other family members before, so they knew that we knew what they wanted. But…this particular person did not have any property at the cemetery they would be using. All of their family uses that particular cemetery. Well…the issue we had was that the family was not going to be in town soon enough before the burial to go to cemetery and pick out grave space to purchase, even tho their main concern was getting space close to all their other family members. They initially wanted entombment and not burial..but, to purchase the grave space was more within their budget. So they were relying on the cemetery to find a space close as possible to their other relatives. The cemetery told them they had a grave space available, it was ‘near’ the other family members.. The cemetery told them they really did require a pre site. The family then contacted us and wanted us to go pre site for them. We do not do that, ever! We explained that to them and told them the cemetery may agree to fax a waiver of pre site to us, so they could sign it, but the waiver states that the family hold the cemetery harmless. The family agreed and said to fax them the waiver. The cemetery agreed to do so. When the family came in on day of visitation we told them that if they had time, they should go take a look at the gravesite. They insisted that they were sure it was fine. We told them that we do not know where it is at, that noone from the funeral home went to see it because again, we do not do that and that is why they signed the waiver. Well… day of funeral, funeral arrives at cemetery and when they were taken to the gravesite, guess who was NOT happy? So, they were told at that time, if you are not happy, then do not go forth with the burial. They could just conclude the services, go speak to the cemetery and see what, if anything, they could do. One option was paying…again…for the crypt they originally wanted but decided on getting gravespace due to cost. They said, NO, they were burying the deceased and what a disgrace it would be to conclude services without burial.. However, they continued to yell and voice their displeasure the whole time and continue to say how we, the funeral home, screwed up! The director politely reminded them that they signed the waiver and that we made it very clear that we or the cemetery were not responsible for anything. Also if they in anyway feel they do not want to have the deceased buried in that space, then they should not do it because it would be much harder later on if they decide to move the deceased. They continued with burial. A few days later we started to get the phone calls from family complaining about how we screwed up and that they trusted us and they would have never chose that spot for the deceased, etc… They then told us they wanted the body moved! But they did not feel it was their responsibility to have to pay for it! They were told that we were not paying for it and the cemetery was not paying for it and they knew, understood and agreed to siging the waiver and not personally going to the cemetety themselves! This went on for a few weeks. They eventually let up because they knew they were the ones responsible for this, but they still decided to move the body…and pay for more space!!¬† As a funeral home, we go out of our way to please our families. We get many unusual requests, asked to do things we do not do, etc. But when it comes to approving a grave space or approving engraving on a marker or urn, we will not do that because things like this cost money, is most of the time permanent. Alot of people will say, ‘we trust your opinion or trust it is correct’. But when there is a mistake, guess who is not happy and says they never personally approved it?!?

A word about embalming. It seems, for some reason, every now again we get families that ask us if embalming is necessary. No, it isnt. However…if you plan on having a viewing then more then likely you will want embalming. A dead body is safer then a live one. So chances of disease spreading is typically not a risk. The reason tho you would want it is…you really wouldnt want to see your loved one decaying before your eyes. It is not pretty. So embalming slows down that process so family and friends can come see that person and, hopefully, see that person they remembered. With there hair done, makeup on, their skin intact. Yes, even men get makeup so the skin looks as if they are only sleeping, which is also why eye caps are used..otherwise it would look bad..the mouth is also sewed shut so its not hanging open, which I know I wouldn’t want to remember my loved one laying there with their mouth hanging open, unless if course that person was always maybe yelling…just trying to add some humor…i said trying. Also, there are gases that build up in the body, the body will also…leak. when it leaks, its not nice to see or sometimes…smell, just like the decay is not a pleasant smell. I can tell you first hand that there is really no comparison to a rotting corpse. Once you do get a whiff, it sticks with you all day…and night, and if you dont shower, then probably the next day too. You just cant shake it. So you really wouldn’t want to walk into visitation and have to endure the smell of decay. Personally, and ONLY my opinion, I would not want to be embalmed..and my family knows this. I do not want to be viewed tho either..I do not want to be buried either…I, personally, want to be cremated, then you can bury my cremated remains.
I think alot of people think of a dead body spreads diseases…but the dead are not actively coughing, sneezing, etc… If they did have a disease, usually that disease will also die within a few hours after death. Not all of them, but most. Embalmers take precautions to protect themselves from diseases and we also rely on the hospital, hospice, nursing home, etc, to notify us of any contagious diseases.
So..theres all that.
I havent had a whole lot of time lately to write, work has been busy as well as my life…and by busy i mean STRESSFUL!
I am however, very glad that the weather has began to get warmer!! If it wasnt going to warm up, I was seriously thinking of not leaving my bed until July!

Life working at a funeral home-I Dunno

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 18, 2015 by thefuneralbizz

I really couldn’t think of a title for this post…so, that’s why I just wrote I dunno..
It seems that lately we have been getting alot of people/families who just show up to the funeral home whenever they feel like it and call the funeral home at hours that are just really stupid..I have said it before, but unless it is an emergency, say if someone has passed away, there is no reason whatsoever to call us outside normal business hours! Now, lets say someone in your family has passed away. You have decided on a Direct Cremation. You will be having a service tho, but not at the funeral home, maybe you will be having a Mass at your church or if you belong to a club, like the vfw or some other type of organization. When you come for arrangements we will explain how long it typically takes to receive the cremated remains back. I have explained the whole process regarding cremation before (getting death certificate signed, getting the permit approved by the medical examiner, forwarding permit to crematory, the cremation itself, etc..), this way if the family wants to begin planning for any services outside the funeral home they can do so however, we also explain that sometimes it does not go as smooth as it should and there is always a possibility of delay. It never fails that a day or two later we get a call from the family asking…again…how much longer it will be before the cremated remains are back, because they have scheduled a service on a certain day. Well, if they in fact have scheduled something that is within the next few days, well, we have to tell them we will do our best but we cannot promise just as we explained during arrangements. At this point we now have to do everything we can to make sure we get the cremains back asap. Most of the time we manage to do so, I just wish people would really listen to us when we explain to them that it does take a few days!! Now alot of people also order urns. So now we have to make sure we get that urn as well..some times people get engraving on those urns, this is a different problem. That urn most likely will not be done and delivered in just a couple of days. So anyway, my point…Once we do receive the cremated remains we will contact the family immediately! We let them know that they are back and they can come pick them up. Normally they will ask how late we are there. They will usually say something like, ok, i think i can be there before you close or i will send another person (we of course will get that persons name from the informant so we know who is suppose to be picking them up. FYI if the informant or knext of kin does not tell us that they will be sending someone else to pick them up, we will not release them). So, this is what I really have an issue with; we have now jumped thru hoops to get these cremated remains back asap at the request of the family. We have contacted them, they are suppose to be by to get them by closing time….and they never show up! Maybe they call the following day and say they couldn’t make it but will be by that day but again, what time do we close? At this point we will usually lie and say we close a half hour earlier only because if we don’t, usually we lock up for the night and an hour later someone is calling saying they are at the funeral home and HAVE to pick up the cremated remains NOW! So…someone has to now leave whatever they are doing, eating dinner, shopping, sleeping, etc…to go back to the funeral home so these people can get the cremated remains. Understandable that they do in fact need them but, we were there when we were suppose to be! We are use to being inconvenienced however, in this sort of instance, it really is very annoying. If the family could have said to us that there really is no possible way for them to get to the funeral home by the time we close, we could have and would have asked, what time can you be here, we can have someone here at the time you are able to here. Or, we would have offered to bring them to thst person!! We do this often. Many times older people are just unable to get out and have to rely on orhers and we understand that. We always go to the length we have to in order to make a family happy. Maybe someone is just unable to leave work early, we will most certainly bring them to you at work as well. But to just not call and say you are running late…that is frustrating! Same goes for if you schedule an appointment. If you have made an appt. to come to pre-plan or maybe to have us help you with life ins. papers and you fail to show up and not call to let is know, well that also is very frustrating. Why? Because we have scheduled everything else leaving that time frame open for you. Who knows if we have received a new call and the family needs to come in to make at need arrangements, so we have scheduled them before or after you. It could also be that there is a funeral that day and your appt is prior to that funeral or after. If it was before and you don’t show up but show up later, noone is going to be there to help you. If it was after the funeral, maybe the Director has rushed back to the funeral home so as not to be late for your appt. and yet, you fail to show up.
This also goes for walk ins…of course, because you all know by now how much they irritate me! If we are not busy, it still bothers me that people do not call first, but it is not as frustrating as if we are busy, in the middle of a funeral service or another family is already there making arrangements. We recently had a family walk in for only pricing. They had called about an hour later to say that they wanted to come back because they wanted to use our funeral home and that theyvwould be back in one hour. This was in the afternoon. So one hour would be at 4pm. Fine, but…they did not show up. They did not show up at 5pm either. At this point we are thinking they must have decided to not use us or they mistakenly called us instead of another funeral home.. At 6:30pm they called because they were at the funeral home and noone is answering the door! Really! They said they had called us and told us they were coming! Yeah, they called, but 2 1/2 hours earlier! When the Director spoke to them and told them that we were there past 5pm but they did not show up or call, their response was that they are very upset and have had alot to do that day and now noone is at funeral home to help them! No, we are sorry or we apologize, we should have called or anything. So now we are dealing with a family who now has an attitude with US because they didn’t show up when THEY were suppose to! The director offered to meet them at the funeral home, it would just be about a half hour for him to get there. Nope, wasn’t good enough for them. The director asked if they wanted to come back in the morning? Nope. They said…they would let us know if they still wanted to use our funeral home, that they may now use another funeral home. Needless to say we did not hear back from them…and you know what? I am glad we did not!
We always are available. Most funeral directors are. But when we say we are always available, we are always available by phone 24/7 and if it is after regular business hours and you need to meet with us, we will also make ourselves available…even when you call us because you are at our funeral home and want to make arrangements. It may just take someone a few minutes to get there. We do not have the ability to snap our fingers and magically appear!¬†
When someone calls our funeral home to ask about visitation times for someone and we are not handeling anything for that person, well, we will say that person is not at our funeral home. If we for some reason know where that person is, we will relay that info to the caller. We get alot of people who will question why that person is not at our funeral home. We have no clue! Most funeral homes will service the same family for years, every person who passes in their family is brought to the same funeral home. So when someone passes away from a family that always uses the same funeral home but suddenly goes elsewhere, it becomes confusing for the rest of the extended family and friends to understand why they are at another funeral home. It is also confusing to us believe it or not, because if we are so use to serving that family and all the sudden they go elsewhere it makes us wonder why..did we do something wrong last time? Did we make them mad? What? But anyway, those family and friends who just assume they are at our funeral home will call to ask times, when told they are not at our funeral home, of course they are surprised but also question us as to why they are someplace else…again, we have no idea!! Some people will just show up to our funeral home thinking that the person is being laid out and they come in to find that they are not at our funeral home. Then the questions start…it is always, why not?!? Why are they at that funeral home? The family always uses your funeral home! We really dont have the answers!
And of course the one thing that I complain about alot..Death Certificates. We get that there may be a life ins policy and that maybe the deceased had younger children and you want that money.. But here it goes again…The death certificate may be pending. If so, that policy will most likely NOT pay out until it is amended!! Don’t ask us multiple times or call us later thinking you are talking to someone else and they are going to tell you differently. If it is pending it is pending and there is absolutely nothing we can do! It sucks I’m sure for those who have to wait. But nothing you say to us is going to change it from a Pending staus. You can call us, you can yell at us..you can call the Coroner..it is not going to change until the State receives the correction notice from the M.E. and then it still takes time! I personally think its ridiculous how long it takes to amend a death certificate, but I dont work for the State so I have no idea what the actual process is or why it takes so long except I’m sure they also have hundreds of others they are doing as well. We have younger people who pass away, say in their mid to late 40’s. Usually they have kids who are in their late teens or early 20’s. I am not saying that the kids are not upset that their parent has passed, but ine thing I do know is that those particular kids are difficult to work with when a death certificate is pending because they want that money NOW! It seems to be that whole generation..from my own personal experience or observations, I find that teens, ages 16 up to young adults, in their 20’s have this whole mindset of ‘I want it NOW’ and ‘I DESERVE to have/get what I want when I want it’! They really have no concept of what waiting is or what being told NO is..and I find it very frustrating. Some time I just want to haul off and slap them in the face and tell them that if they want something and they want it now then you have to go and get it yourself, it is not handed to you because you want it to be! You have to work for what you want!
Well..Until next time. Hope everyone is surviving winter (those of you who actually live someplace that has a long, cold, snowy, miserable winter).

The Funeral Business

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on July 12, 2012 by thefuneralbizz

How come it’s so wrong for a funeral home to demand to be¬†paid compared to any other business?¬† What’s the difference? We supply a service you ask for. In return we expect to be¬†paid. It’s that simple. But somehow, it’s become wrong for us to ask for payment.¬†I’m really not sure why ANYONE would assume that they wouldn’t HAVE to pay!¬†It isn’t like no one knows that eventually they or a loved one is going to pass away and, well, need to be¬†buried/cremated.¬† I get the whole¬†‘no one likes to talk about death’ bullshit…but really.

There was an article on-line from¬†Reader’s Digest, and I am sorry but I do not have the link to it. I am sure you can just type into your search engine the article title, which is, 13 things your funeral director will not tell you. I was just bewildered at the article and the writer for writing such bullshit! Take a look at the article if you want. I am going to say this…. When you prepay¬†your funeral, your money goes into a trust. The funeral home does NOT keep that money. It is also guaranteed and if you change your mind later on and decide that you do not want to use the funeral home you preplanned with, you may go elsewhere or your family may choose to take you elsewhere. There are “those” funeral homes (that have been on the news) that took people’s money…yes, there are those funeral homes out there that are not honest and have done this illegally! Those funeral homes that do this, WILL eventually get caught! no doubt about it! But the majority of¬†funeral homes will NOT do this!¬†When you pre-pay you are also locked into todays prices. ONLY if you add to that pre-pan at time of death will you incur extra charges. If the funeral home goes out of business you should call the funeral directors association in that State or contact another funeral home of your choice and let them know what the situation is. When you pre-pay you should receive paperwork that the funeral home fills out. The funeral home keeps a copy, the family gets a copy and the trust gets a copy. Once the funeral home mails in the copy to the trust, the trust in turn will mail the family a letter stating that they have received the funds. That letter has the amount paid to the pre-plan and an account number. KEEP ALL THOSE PAPERS!

Also in the article it mentions that embalming is not necessary. Simply not true. Each individual State has their own laws when it comes to embalming. My State’s law states that a body must be¬†embalmed within 48 hours from the time that death occurs if there is to be¬†a public visitation. Meaning if ANYONE wants to view the body, then it must be¬†embalmed before it is viewed¬†if it is not possible to be¬†viewed within 48 hours.¬†A body that is going to be¬†cremated, no visitation, will not be¬†embalmed. We simply pick the body up from the place of death and transport it directly to the crematory. We are not trying to scam anyone into paying more than they want or can. If someone comes in and says that they are only able to afford a certain amount, than we will do everything we can to keep the costs to a minimum. Yes, cremation is typically less expensive, however, if you want cremation, but you also want a visitation and a service then it is going to run almost as much as a burial. We do not try to sell you a casket that is thousands of dollars. First off, if you tell us that you do not have alot¬†of money, why on earth would we try to¬†sell you more than you can afford…we want to get paid and if we try to talk you into spending more than you have, well, chances are we aren’t going to get paid….makes sense, right…¬† As far as caskets go, if you prefer to purchase your casket elsewhere, we have no problem with that, the only issue we have is that it is delivered¬†to the funeral home on time and that if there is any damage to the casket, the funeral home is not responsible. We will not replace the casket or pay for any damages.¬†I have had a few families order caskets elsewhere, one was scratched, but not bad at all, you couldn’t even really tell, and the others were fine.¬† If the deceased was a veteran, yes, there are veteran’s benefits. For a marker, there is no charge. Opening and closing fees are waived, IF burial takes place in a Government cemetery.¬†There are also other benefits available, and most funeral homes will gladly obtain¬†the necessary paperwork for the families and even fill the paperwork out and explain to the family what they need to do. I fill out all the veteran paperwork and have the next of kin sign where necessary and let them know what needs to accompany¬†the paperwork.¬†Usually a certified copy of the death certificate, copy of the funeral bill, ¬†and the veterans discharge (DD-214) papers. We will even mail all the paperwork for the family, BUT, they (the Government) requires that the bill be paid in full! So, no use trying to get any other benefits if the funeral bill is not paid. This is not a funeral home rule, this is the veteran’s benefits rules.

As far as removing any gold teeth. First off, most “gold teeth” are simply not gold teeth…they are gold fillings!! Unless you have a solid gold tooth in your mouth, then the gold in the fillings are really not worth much value. Second, we will NOT remove any teeth or fillings. Period. We are NOT Dentists. If you feel it necessary to have any gold, fillings or not, removed from your loved one, then you must obtain¬†a Dentist to come into the funeral home and have them removed. I have had this happen not too long ago. The husband could have cared less, but the children all wanted the “gold” removed from their mother mouth. I explained we would not do it and if he preferred he could contact¬† his Dentist and he was more than welcome to come, but first they have to contact him asap, so we do not start any other process, such as sewing/glueing the mouth closed. He said that he was very good friends with their Dentist and have been going to him for years and years….well, even the Dentist told him he would not do it. Also, told him that the “gold” in his wifes mouth, are only fillings and not worth much…so, they did not have the gold taken out.

Also in the article, it mentions the fact that¬†instead of being called a Mortician, we go by Funeral Director because it has a “nicer ring” to it….well…uhhhh, yeeeeeeah! Why wouldn’t you/we? I really don’t even see the wrong doing here? Mortician¬†does sound creepy as opposed to Funeral Director.

It also mentions that we may ask for a photo of your loved one and that we mean a recent photo not an older photo. Not sure why this is a big deal either…We ask for a photo so we know how that person styled their hair, facial hair, makeup…but we explain¬†this to our families anyway so they know to bring a photo that is recent enough. Altho there has been the time or two when a family has brought in an older photo and we have to explain that we need something more recent.

I believe they mention a vault as well. No, you do not need an expensive vault and we never claim that you do. Again, maybe there are those funeral homes that try to push the more expensive items, but MOST of your funeral homes will NOT! The least expensive vault is a concrete rough box. And it is just that. A concrete box, the lid sits on top. If you want something that seals, then you have to upgrade to another vault and those are more expensive. Plain and simple. Most cemeteries require a vault. So, we are not trying to sell you something you don’t need.¬†

Just to add my two cents… As far as trying to save money, if you do not want to use a Hearse, if the funeral home offers a service vehicle, such as a van, you can do that and it is less expensive. Death certificates, we do not charge for the death certificates. We only charge what the city/county clerk charges. We don’t add-on¬†extra. Each clerk and county has different pricing. One city/county may charge $15 for the first death cert. and $5 for each additional¬†whereas¬†the next city or county may charge $20 for the first and $7 for each additional. Also, as far as the death certificates go, we pay that as a cash advance. We front that money before you even pay us, most of the time. Death certificates must be¬†done in a timely manner, so we cannot wait to do those. So be sure of how many you need. Other cash advanced items would be any death notices/obituaries. Our local papers do not have a set price. They charge by the line. So we have no idea of how much it will cost until after we submit the notice. Again, we do not charge extra for¬†this either. We only charge what the paper charges. Cremation fees and Medical Examiner’s cremation permit are also items that are cash advance items. And again we do not charge extra, only what the crematory charges and the M.E. Medical Examiners also have different fees depending on the county. One may charge $30 and another may charge $75 and another may not charge at all. It just depends.

As far as a funeral homes General Price List goes…we are required to¬†give you a price list if you come in and ask for one. We have no problems giving you a price list. Take as many as you like. We are not, however required to fax you one and we aren’t even required to give you pricing over the phone (this may vary by State, but I am not sure), but we will give your pricing over the phone because you called us and we of course want your business.

We also offer Limited Services. These are services we offer to those who cannot afford much at all. In my experience I have come to realize that most families do not even want to hear about them, but we offer them and we have a separate price list just for those options and again, we are more than happy to give you one. We also offer lower end caskets and if a family wants to see one, than they may do so. We do not hide them or keep them in the basement. There are times when we do not have one on the floor but that goes for any of the caskets we display.

So, again, it is on-line, Reader’s Digest, 13 Things a Funeral Director will not tell you.

Life at a Funeral Home…………

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on September 19, 2010 by thefuneralbizz

Well……once again another family who for the Love Of God could NOT make up their minds! How hard is it really to decide what you are going to do? And if you are aware that there are¬†other family members who will want to be involved in the funeral planning, well, then….I suggest you DO NOT proceed without them!! First off the deceased has been dead for almost 2 weeks now. The sisters of the deceased came in to arrange the funeral. At the end of the arrangements they said, we will let you know for sure¬†by tomorrow if we want to do this. So, the next day they were suppose to call us. NOPE, no call. Then, the following day at 4:30pm, guess who shows up at the door! And guess who wants to look at the caskets………again………….and sit down and discuss everything they went over 2 days ago? And guess who was busy with another family? YES, me, I was with another family, so just another instance of what happens when you “just walk in” with no appt! Then on top of that, we have another family who will be having visitation starting Tuesday and they just showed up to meet some other family members at the funeral home, just so they could see the place. WITHOUT CALLING and letting us know that they would be coming in! ANYWAY……..so, I had to go over the same exact shit that we went over with them 2 days ago and let them look at the casket again. SO, they say, “OK, well, we have decided we are going to go ahead with everything and we will be in tomorrow to pay in full”. Ok, so I get everything on the contract and give them their copy, I call and let the boss know. I start on the file once the other people leave! So guess what happens the very next day? Go on, Guess! PLEASE, take a guess! They call. They say to me. “my brother just got into town, and he has decided that we are going to use another funeral home”. EERRRGGGHHHHH! Seriously! ? ! Fine, GOOD, thank the Lord! Better another funeral home deal with them. I am already tired of them!

Just FYI. Someone dies. There body is kept cool . It slows down the decomp. It does not STOP the decomp! Then the body is typically brought to the funeral home to be embalmed. Which again……..ONLY slows down the decomp. So, if someone passes on and you wait two weeks to make funeral arrangements, then when you do make those arrangements and then do not want the viewing for another week, well…..sometimes it “may not be possible” to have an open casket. It depends on the condition of the body, every body is different. For instance the family we have next week. This is their situation. The deceased¬†is NOT in good condition and we told the family that. They became, lets say, a little irate¬†with us. I really have no idea why they became irate¬†with the funeral home…..? It isn’t our fault that the body is not in good condition. When we explained to them that they may not be able to have an open casket I thought they were going to reach across the desk and strangle the Director! Yelling and blaming us for not taking care of the deceased. Well, first off, the deceased has been at the Coroner’s office for a little over 2 weeks. How is that our fault? Then they threatened that if the body did not look good they were going to sue us and the funeral home will be in so much trouble that we will have to shut down! (i was laughing at that one, quietly in my office). But, whatever. When they just showed up the other day to show the other family members the funeral home, they were as nice as could be. Whatever……………We’ll see on Tuesday how they act. Still unsure if the body will be viewable or not, haven’t heard anything yet……..

When we do an insurance assignment for the family, we WILL use one of the certified death certificates that the family purchased. Why are we going to pay for a cert. death cert. to do an insurance assignment for the family? If the family were to do the ins. assign. themselves they would have to use one of the cert. death. certs. that they paid for anyway! I know I have said this before, but I just got bitched at the other day when this guy came to pick up the death certificates for his grandfather. He wasn’t too happy. Oh well……boo hoo……..do it yourself then.

Do ya think they paid?……….uhhh….NO!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on April 5, 2010 by thefuneralbizz

so, a few posts ago, i was writing about a family that had come in and insisted that we give them 60 days to pay us. we went back and forth with them and told them we do not accept payments and they kept saying that a few years ago when someone else in their family passed away we let them make payments, which we did not! so anyway the agreement that we came up with was pay us half on the day of service and then they have 30 days to pay us the rest. I wrote that on the day of service that they DID NOT pay us half! they did not pay as anything that day! The woman came in about 2 weeks later and paid a few bucks on it. I was not in the office at the time. But, they still owe us for most of the funeral bill. I believe she paid a few hundred. Well….here we are today and still NOTHING! she called about a month ago and said that she was going to come up on a Saturday and pay us, but she never showed up.¬†I have called them, and no answer. So,¬†this is why we do not take payments.¬†Happens everytime! If they couldn’t afford it, then they shouldn’t have racked up that much of a bill. I get this shit all the time. People are constantly asking me/us “what do you mean you don’t take payments?” Because we don’t fricken get paid, that’s why!

Now i have another family coming in at 3:30p for an arrangement. When I took the call, they would not give me any info! all they would give me was the deceased name and where she passed at. I asked for more info, but they said that they did not feel comfortable talking to anyone on the phone about that “sort” of thing. HUH? I was only asking the persons age,¬†if they wanted burial or cremation, the next of kin and a phone number. WHATEVER!¬† so, I get a call from someone else in the family who wants to know why they have to come in. Seriously? I said ‘to make arrangements for so and so”.¬† He said “but why do we have to come to the funeral home, do we have to sign something or legal documents or something?” OMG! I said, yes you will have a few things to sign also we need to know what to do with the body, cremation, burial,¬†info for the death certificate, how many you want, etc….and you will need to pay!¬† “his response¬† “oh, really? i had no idea that we would have to go thru so much bullshit just because so and so died.” HUH?¬† WHAT? REALLY?¬† can’t wait until they show up! can’t freakin wait!

life at a funeral home…why can’t “people” do their work?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on March 9, 2010 by thefuneralbizz

just a thought….but when you have a job to do, why is it so hard to do it?

keep pondering this question over and over and over and over and over………………………….

if you have an arrangement on a Monday, say at 11am. The arrangement should be finished up no later than 1pm. If there is nothing else going on that day, no other arrangements, no visitation, then there should be NO problem getting that WHOLE file done before 5pm. Depending on the phones, if they are busy, you should still have it done by 5pm. SO, why is it that certain people cannot do this? I find it extremely irritating! Because when I come into the office a few days later, guess what?¬†I have to usually finish the file. I don’t mind doing the work, but I shouldn’t have to, since this person had more than sufficient¬†amount of time to complete it all. But, if the situation were reversed and it was me or another employee who¬†had been there and did not complete the file, that “other” person would complain about it! They would “tell on us” like a child. For someone who “know’s it all” they sure do fuck up alot! But make no mistake about it, when one of the other employee’s make an error they are the first one to complain about it! This person not only just complains to one person, no, they say it LOUD and clear for ALL to hear!¬†Which I find is¬†¬†inappropriate!¬†Either keep your mouth shut or go to the person themselves. AND, if it really isn’t “that” big of a deal, then just shut the fuck up and correct the error and be done with it. We are humans and humans make mistakes. If it isn’t something that cannot be fixed, then go to the boss and let him know, but don’t go in there and make a spectacle out of it. Most of the time the errors that most employee’s make are not major and can be fixed within a matter of minutes. Get over yourself. You are far from perfect. Although you like to think you are. How long have you been an employee and STILL don’t know half the shit you should? EXACTLY!¬†You of course won’t admit it, you just slide that work to the side and hope that someone else will find it and do it. And, we usually do. I for one have stopped doing so. When asked by someone why it was not done, well, from now on, I tell them why. I tell then that you did not do it. And I am guessing that is why for the past few weeks you have been in a pissy mood.¬†And that makes me HAPPY!

Okay…enough about that…. on to the next topic.

I do not know why other funeral homes charge differently. So, don’t ask me.¬†I know what we charge and that is all. I cannot tell you why so and so funeral home wants to charge you $300 more for the same casket we have. But, on the other hand, I cannot tell you why we charge more for embalming. That is just what we charge. And again, when someone passes away and you call a funeral home make sure that is the funeral home that you are FOR SURE going to use! Make sure with the rest of your family as well. because once you call a funeral home, they will do the removal. They will also begin embalming when that person arrives at the funeral home. So, if you choose¬†later on that you do not want to stay at that funeral home, you will now owe that funeral home removal fees and embalming fees. We will NOT pick that body up from that funeral home until ALL fees are paid in full to that funeral home. This is going to put a delay on your visitation and funeral!

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