Archive for funeral business

Life at a funeral home – WHY

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on April 18, 2016 by thefuneralbizz

I often wonder when it was that people became so rude, impolite, self absorbed? I’ve worked with the public pretty much my entire working life. I have always known there were “those” people, but I’m not sure if it’s me who is getting older and noticing it more or if people have really become so selfish, mean spirited, and well, assholes?
Every day almost I encounter someone who is just unpleasant. Wether it be on the phone or in person. I am speaking of work, but yes, of course I encounter them outside of work as well.. But it just seems that people do not have any hesitation being rude or speaking down to others. For example, we receive quite a few calls per day requesting pricing. We do not have any problem giving pricing over the phone. When I give pricing I explain to them what is included in that cost and what is NOT included. However, most of the time I cannot even begin to tell the person what is not included because I either get hung up on, the person will say, “what?!? NEVERMIND”! and hang up, or they will say, “that includes everything, right”? When I say no, I usually get, “that’s ridiculous, why is it so much”?!? I have people who have started bitching at me because the cost is high and they can’t afford it, or just be downright rude! Especially the ones who just hang up. Is it really that shocking that funerals are EXPENSIVE? And is it necessary to speak to someone that way? YOU called ME! I nicely answered your questions, I took the time to speak to with you, yes, it’s my job, but I would never speak to someone the way these people speak to me, regardless of the answer! If I called some place to request cost of something, why would I be rude in return just because I did not like their answer? ! ? Can people just simply say, “ok, thank you for your time”. Or even just, “thanks”.
I have also experienced quite a lot lately where people arrive for viewing  (the family) and other family members have not yet arrived. Now when people come in to make arrangements there is an informant. Usually that person is the next of kin. This is the person who is ‘in charge’. So if that person has not yet arrived and other family members have, we typically wait for them before letting anyone go into the chapel, unless the informant has told us previously that it is ok that people go in if they are not there. Well, you can imagine a group of people arriving expecting to be able to enter the Chapel for first viewing, which is considered the family hour, and we have to say that so and so has not arrived yet so we will have to wait for them…you would think people would understand this, but no. Usually they get quite pissy with us! I mean really? Here is let’s say, the grandkids and maybe some cousins and even the deceaseds siblings but the husband hasn’t arrived yet and the husband is the informant. So we tell them that that Mr. Whoever hasn’t arrived yet but once he does then they may go in. Why would we NOT wait?? This happens alot when we have a younger person and there are two sets of parents and also when there are siblings. If siblings arrive early, they seem to think they can just go on in. To be honest, I don’t care one way or the other. Well anyway, they get pissy because they have to wait and also think they are above having to wait. This not only happens with family but friends as well. We get so many friends that show up during family hour who feel they should be allowed to go in, regardless if family has gone in yet or not. Of course if the family is there, we will ask them, but if no one has been in yet, then no! Why would you think it’s ok for us to let you go in before any of the family has even been in? I’ve heard the excuse that they won’t be able to make it later, they have to go to work or whatever, so they just thought they would come by early. It just doesn’t work that way.
On to the next.. Life Insurance. I know that people want their money!! Don’t call me, call the insurance company!! Calling the funeral home is not gonna help you get your money faster. We want our payment too! So of course I have to explain, AGAIN, that it’s not uncommon for us to wait 30 days or more to receive payment. Also that we will only receive OUR portion, not yours! Your payment will be sent directly to you. Ok, they say. or they ask why it takes so long. . Then a week goes by and that same person is calling, AGAIN, complaining that it’s taking too long. Not my problem.. As I stated TWO TIMES  already, call the insurance company!
We ask our families who will be coming in to pick up the flowers, the family items (sign in book, extra prayer cards, death certificates, anything we removed from casket prior to closing casket, etc). We always ask them the evening before the funeral. We also ask if they would like the cards from the flowers removed and put in the bag with their family items. We explain to them that whoever they list will be the only people we will release the flowers to as well as anything else! It seems lately that this has become a big deal. Some people, wether it be family members or friends, feel that they are doing the family a favor by coming to the funeral home and trying to pick up everything for them “so they don’t have to worry about it”. Well, that’s nice and all, but we can’t let you take anything”. This seems to piss people off. They can’t grasp that flowers are “that big of a deal”. I don’t care personally, but the family does! Also, there are personal items as well, like jewelry, donation envelopes, cards, death certificates, etc. How do we know you aren’t going to help yourself to the jewelry or the donation envelopes and then say you didn’t take anything and blame the funeral home? When there are several children or siblings or whoever and they have to split up flowers because one person wants this plant and another wants this arrangement, do it at HOME! And NO, we do not take photos of each flower arrangement! And again, if you want to take pictures of each arrangement, DO IT AT HOME! I hate when family arrives to pick their things up and they stand there going back and forth over who is taking what and then arguing over it! I don’t really care if your employer sent that one or this one, just someone take it already! As far as the cards being removed, it’s really annoying when they have told us to remove them then when they come to pick them up, someone mentions that now they won’t know who sent what and now when doing Thank You cards your not gonna know!! You do not have to write in the thank you card that you are thanking them for the flowers they sent. You simply write the deceaseds name… and since I’m speaking of Thank You cards, you do not need to send a prayer card with each Thank You card! If you are sending out a Thank You card to someone chances are you are sending it to someone who came to the visitation and or funeral, right? So, more than likely when that person came to funeral home and or church, they took a prayer card! And what do most people do with those cards anyway? They hang on to them for a little while maybe.. or they put them away someplace and I bet most of them end up in the trash. I’m sure there are those who do keep them, but I’m sure most throw them away…eventually. But, anyway, unless someone wasn’t able to make it, but did send something, then yes, by all means, send them one, but if they signed the book, don’t waste your money by ordering more! I have so many families come back and ask if they can have more just for that reason. I always tell them they don’t have to send them, but…they want them anyway. I will usually just give them away, unless they want alot or if there was a photo on their cards. I had one family who wanted more and there was a photo on these particular cards, so not only did it take a day for us to get them ready for them it cost them over $100 because they wanted 100 cards! It’s just kinda ridiculous to spend that money on them when you already did and you are now going to send another card to the same people who already got one.
Most of our State is now on edrs, which just means we can file death certificates electronically. But there are still a few cities who aren’t on it, which makes it very inconvenient for me. I can’t do a death certificate on edrs if the city in which it files in is not using it. Also, many doctors still haven’t grasped that they can now sign a faxed copy of a death certificate, even when I try my hardest to explain to them that they can and why! Even though they have ALL been notified by the State of what edrs is and that they can sign a faxed copy! It just makes it all so much easier on us because otherwise we are running around dropping off and picking up death certificates. The doctor can be an hour away and when we go to their offices they don’t just sign them while we are there, we have to leave it and wait for a call letting us know its ready, so then we have to go to their office again to pick it up! Most doctors are not so cooperative when signing either. There are laws regarding time frame, but they really are not enforced and there are times when doctors will just leave it sit on their desk for days and we are calling the office asking if its ready yet. The office staff aren’t always pleasant to deal with either, which just makes the whole experience a pain in the ass!
Well, those are my recent rantings…
Hope you all are enjoying Spring, now that it has arrived!

Life working at a funeral home-People!!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on October 11, 2013 by thefuneralbizz

Hi all!!

I am thankful today that the week is officially over!

I have one question…what the hell is wrong with people?!!!!?

I have been bashed on here quite a few times by those who think I am an awful cold hearted person who should not be in the funeral business. I have said it before and I will say it again…the public sucks…working with the public suck! I don’t care what business you are in. If you have to deal with the public than you know how people can be…unless you are one of those people who is always happy from the moment you open your eyes in the morning … which by the way, I am not a morning person …gee who would a thought…lol!! Actually come to think of it, I don’t think I am an anytime of day person. I saw a photo on line not long ago, it was a drawing and it was of a girl dressed in black and it said “I only smile in the dark”. That suits me! 

But really,I was beginning to think that it was just me who thought people were a pain in the ass…but lately I have had discussions with others at work and on phone with those who I speak to on a regular basis who are in the funeral business or similar. And this week has proven that people are nuts! 

We have a family that everyone in the family is arguing. All the while poor dad, brother, uncle, grandpa is just laying in the prep room! One person is saying this about this person and that person is saying that about this person! Can you all just shut up about yourselves for ONE minute and think of the person who just died!?! Oh and of course while we are trying to call you to try to find out when you want to come in for arrangement’s, don’t answer your phones, just show up whenever you feel like it, because, you know,we are there at the funeral home 24/7….just waiting on you all to stop fighting and decide what you want to do with dear old dad…who has probably had to put up with you jackasses all his life and now in death! So today being Friday, we tried calling you twice today because we had a full day,  funeral this morning, a funeral this afternoon and an arrangement. So we didn’t want you to just show up in the midst of all of this and no one available to help you just like what happened yesterday!! They showed up, well the 3 that aren’t fighting with each other anyway, right as we were waiting for a family to come in for first viewing and just as there was a family trying to finish a pre arrangement. Now, this of course is not the first time this situation has happened but when you come in and are loud, on your cell phones and your cell phones ringing non stop all the while the wife and daughter of the man who us being laid out and they are just getting ready to walk in to see him for first time! Now ‘most’ people who have any common sense would shut the fuck up! Especially when coming into a funeral home and seeing other people in side! But, nooooooope! So as we tried to call them multiple times this morning, we received no answer or call back from anyone until 1pm….and why didn’t they come back until then…because that person just woke up! And no, they don’t work midnights and no they weren’t up late discussing poor dad because they said they did not speak to anyone yesterday about finalizing any arrangements! And that same person said yesterday that they were on a medical retirement! So that’s that! 

So the use of COMMON SENSE is pretty much null these days. Either people just don’t use it or just don’t have it! They also feel that they shold be treated with respect when they do not treat others with respect! Which brings me to a family we had about a month ago. Everyone in the family was very nice except or one daughter. Everything was questioned! “Why don’t my mom have ‘one of those cross things’ in her casket like all other funeral homes do?” Well…you mean a crucifix! And your mom is not catholic! Would you like one anyway? Now we have crosses and crucifixes…so i asked her which she wanted. She then had to consult with her 4 brothers and their spouses and then all agree. That is how it was during the arrangement!! The arrangement took 3 hours!! Three hours is 2 hours too long! Couldn’t decide on prayer cards or a prayer/verse, couldn’t decide on flowers…’oh I don’t think she liked red. Oh no!, she never was a fan of carnations. Roses…hmmm…I dunno, what do you all think? OK, so do we all agree? Yes? No? Are you sure? OK, so these then, right? Everyone sure, everyone agrees? Do you think she would like these more, what about all white? Do you think if we get anything with too much color it will clash with the casket? No? OK…these then”. Oh, but what if we change our mind, will we be able to change the order?” UGH! NO!! Once we order them that’s it! If you change your mind then you have to pay AGAIN!

Maybe I have just given up on most people…I just encounter way too many rude, inconsiderate, entitled people. Even my neighbors are rude and disrespectful. Who let’s their kids stay up until 2am and play in the street? Who sits outside until all hours of the night and early morning, drinking, yelling, carrying on….while their kids are running around screaming and playing (in the street) knowing that you have neighbors ALL around you! With their windows open! And I am not talking about a Friday or Saturday night, I’m talking Tuesday thru Thursday nights! Then when the police show up because another neighbor finally got pissed off enough, you start yelling more after the cop leaves because now you are pissed because someone called on you! COMMON SENSE!!!!! I wish people would use it!! We were given the gift to know right from wrong. I just wish more people would realize that they have that gift….and use it! Just like when a person passes away, the FAMILY decides whether or not they want an obit in the paper or if they would like us to post it on our website. So why then do people get pissy with us when they call the funeral home to find out visitation and service times because they did not see it in paper or posted on our website? I didn’t decide so and so wasn’t worthy of a death notice! To be honest, I could care less! Call up the family or tell them to their face when you see them what you told me…that you “have never heard of not having an obit!” Maybe they were hoping YOU wouldn’t find out! Or when you are calling to see if we have a person you know at our funeral home and we tell you NO, we do not. Do not say, “are you sure, so and so said that they are at your place today”. I am still gonna say NO we don’t…or maybe just because so and so said so, then SURE, oh yeah, I forgot we had a body just laying around here…!

Okay, I’m done….whew.
Have a good weekend everyone!

Tip of the Day: 1/25/12

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on January 26, 2012 by thefuneralbizz

Tip of the Day:

January 25, 2012

If you attend a  funeral service (or prayers) at the funeral home, at the end the Director will come up and make some announcements. One of those announcements will be something like this “At this time I would like to ask you to please pass by the casket to pay your last respects and exit out the doors to your vehicles. Please turn on your bright headlights and remain in your vehicles for we will be processing to the cemetery. I ask that we start in the rear of the room and up the left isle.”  SO…. here is the issue. Usually there will be one of the staff waiting in the rear of the room to start guiding guests that it is there time to get up and pass by the casket. I will start with those who are standing in the rear of the room and then work up to those seated. I do so, by leaning over and saying “you can start up” and with a gesture of my hand. When someone does this to you, DO NOT just sit there! Do not just look at me and say nothing! Either get your ass up and get in line to pass by the casket or just say something like “no thank you, i’d rather not” HOWEVER please realize that there are other people in your row of seats that would LIKE TO! SO….if you are not going to pass by the casket, when someone tells you it is your turn, get up anyway and get the hell outta the way! Also, you heard what the Director said about exiting to your vehicles….Well, DO IT! Even if you aren’t passing by the casket. As a matter of fact, if you aren’t passing the casket, then you should be one of the first persons to get into your vehicle! Do not loiter around the funeral home standing in the chapel in everyones way, even if you think you are not in the way, you are! Quit thinking of yourself for one minute and realize that the family is waiting for everyone to leave so they can have a few minutes alone. AND then we need to close the casket and move it thru the room and out to the hearse. OKAY!

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