Archive for life insurance

Life Working at a funeral home – VENTING!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 25, 2017 by thefuneralbizz

I’ve been working on another post, but I have to vent!

First of all, I want to say to anyone who may be reading this that the reason I started this blog was so I could vent my frustrations. over the past 9 years, I’ve had a few comments about my bitching.. my purpose was and is not to argue with anyone or start arguements, but I do realize that it happens, especially on the Internet. I haven’t really really vented in a while, but right now I just need to. So if anyone is reading this and gets upset by what I write here, I make no apologies and I will not respond to any comments that lead to a back and forth arguing.

I’ve mentioned in other posts about how I feel about people, that they are rude, no one has any manners anymore and everything  is now now now! It has just got out of hand and I for one am just beyond fed up! I’m tired of having to bend over backwards for people! I get it, I work in the funeral business, but I’m still sick of rude obnoxious spoiled people. I am tired of the people who I have to deal with including ‘some’ of the families we get. Why don’t people LISTEN?!? We are NOT at the funeral home 24/7! We are NOT there just sitting around waiting just incase you want to stop by at 5pm on Sunday evening because you want to drop off the pictures for the visitation you are going to have on Tuesday at Noon! NO! We are not going to sit and wait around on you on a Saturday evening because you want to drop off clothing that we TOLD you to bring in by 5pm on FRIDAY! ! It doesn’t work that way! We have hours of operation just like other businesses! The only difference is that we make ourselves available after hours incase a death occurs. Of course we will answer a call at anytime of the day or night for a death call. We are not available anytime of the day or night because someone needs a work or school excuse. You actually think that we are going to stop what we are doing on a Sunday afternoon  (the funeral home is closed if there is no visitation), and run to the funeral home because someone forgot to get a work excuse while they were there for the funeral? NO we aren’t! It’s just dumb shit anymore. I have people call during the evening or on weekends when we are closed and say that they are at the funeral home but no one is answering the door! Nine times out of ten, they are annoyed that no one is there! Really? You just decided to show up and you’re mad? Then to find out its just because they have a couple cases of water to drop off for their visitation the following day! Look, you set times for your visitation, you get a family hour! How long does it take really to carry a few cases of water into the funeral home? Maybe ten minutes TOPS?!? I hate when we set times and the family hour is all set and the next question I get is, ‘so what time can we all come”? Are you kidding me?
Want want want, but don’t put forth the effort to get what you want! You want grandma in a certain dress, she cannot wear anything else. Fine, that’s understandable, but when you are told that we MUST have that dress by a certain time, BRING it by that time!! You want a photo on the prayer folders, we tell you we must have that photo by a certain time in order for them to be ready by your visitation, then have it to us by that time!
Another annoying thing, when families start telling everyone when visitation and funeral will be BEFORE they even come in to make arrangements! DO NOT DO THAT! Don’t post on social media about it, nothing, until you have actually made the ARRANGEMENTS with the funeral home!!
You may want your viewing on Tuesday and funeral on Wednesday and you want specific times, and usually we can and will accommodate that, but sometimes we can’t! Also it may not even be us who is unable to accommodate those days and times, it could be that your priest or pastor is not available at that time, or the church is not available at that time! USE COMMON SENSE! Just because someone died, the world does not stop! And I absolutely hate when the attitude comes out because they don’t get their way!
Same thing with the God forsaken death certificates! It’s sometimes the only thing some people are focused on. You’ll get the freaking death certificates, but we cannot force the doctor to sign it any faster! Believe me, if we could we would! They are becoming harder and harder to accomplish anymore and when we try and explain the process of getting a death certificate signed, no one listens! If people would just shut up for two seconds and stop being so selfish and understand that there are some things that you just have to wait for! Trust me when I say I want nothing more then to get the death certificate signed and give to you asap!
Food, yes, my biggest pet peeve! I dislike those of you who bring in food! I’ve always bitched about it, but never really came right out and said I can’t stand those families who feel the need to bring in a shit load of fucking food! It’s like the biggest concern, not the deceased, but the freaking food! And.. why? Why do you need to bring in so much food anyway? Some snacks, water, even some soda, fine, but people, STOP it with your freaking food at the funeral home! You do not need to feed the people who are coming to pay their respects! especially if you plan on having a luncheon! ERGHHH!
As I have said before, if you are here for visitation and will be all day, then leave for an hour to go eat! Or bring “yourself” some thing in. I just get so irritated with the families who make it all about their food, when can we bring in the food? is there enough room? do you supply plates and utensils? cups? water? napkins? is there tables for everyone to sit at, should we bring in our own table? where will we keep the food that needs to be kept cold? And I just love when they bring in their crock pots!

Children.. they are YOUR kids, NOT MINE! I will not watch your kids. If you must bring them with you then you need to keep them under control and they should be on their best behavior! They should not be permitted to run around like wild animals. There are things that they can get hurt on. Our funeral home is not child proof and you should not assume it is. We have steps/stairs and when your brats are let loose to run wild, well, when they fall or go rolling down the stairs and crack their heads open on the tile, it’s no one’s fault but your own! It’s is also not a place for their screaming! It is still a place of business and we are still working here. Use common sense!! Your kid is yelling and screaming, would you allow that at home while you are on the phone? Do you allow them to yell and scream and run up and down and up and down and up and down your steps? Probably not! Then don’t let them do it at the funeral home! Sometimes there are more then one family using the funeral home and that other family does not want to hear your kid! Have some respect for others!
If and when an employee does tell your child to quiet down or stop running, do not give them dirty looks, if you were doing your job as a parent, then the employee would not have had to say anything! I think it’s ridiculous that you bring your small children to a funeral home all day anyway. Get a sitter! Go home! take turns with your spouse or other family member. Bring them some books to read or color, do not assume they will be ok unsupervised! You may not be the only family using the funeral home, you have no idea what kind of people are here or who can walk in the door! We do not stand at the door and ask who every person is as they come in.
Flowers. . We get flowers all throughout the day and we have to carry them into the chapel. So if the family and visitors are here and flowers come in, we have to walk in the chapel with a stand and a flower working our way past everyone. Be polite and MOVE for us would ya?!? Also, when we set the flowers down, don’t stand over my shoulder waiting to look at the card! Wait a minute until I walk away! Also, if you don’t see your flowers you sent, sure you can ask us about it, but if we don’t have your flowers and they aren’t on our sign in list, then you need to contact the flower shop. I’m not sure why we get asked, “why aren’t my flowers set out”? Well, if they didn’t get delivered then I can’t set them out.”
Then comes the… “why were my flowers not delivered”? I don’t know, call the place you ordered them from!
It’s just stupid shit really.. But it adds up and pisses me off! We had a very busy few months and people have been really more annoying than usual.
There is alot to do and think about once someone passes, but it still is not an excuse to be an asshole! And yes, I’ve lost loved ones and yes, I’ve been the one who made the arrangements. And during those times I was not a jerk to anyone just because.
I received a comment recently.. it was said that I was quick to judge. There may be times when I am, sure. But, probably more so outside of work. It is difficult to judge those people/families I work with because I actually get to know them. I’ve never met these people before, so when they come in I meet them for the first time and immediately get to know them. I work with them from the moment I speak to them on the phone or the moment they walk in the door so I don’t really get the opportunity to judge anyone before getting to know them, especially in this business. If there is an insurance assignment, it is to pay the funeral bill, anything left over goes to the beneficiary/beneficiaries. I hear the stories!

So, there it is, my rant. I’m just burnt out. . I’m sure those in the business can understand.


Life working in a funeral home – Paperwork and a question for other funeral home workers.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on September 23, 2014 by thefuneralbizz

First, the question.. How many of you that work at a funeral home do any Veterans Benefit paperwork for families? We had received a letter from VA in July stating that they have changed the way they will be giving death benefits. That the survivors should just call a VA counselor. Years ago, we would actually take the spouse of a deceased veteran to apply for any benefits due. Within the last few years we have just been giving the aplication to them and phone number to VA. Besides the marker application, flag apication and memorial certificate, we have been giving families the phone numbers for a counselor so they can walk them thru the steps and to see what benefits are available to the surviving spouse. How do you guys handle it? We always try to explain as clearly as we can to the family that we are only giving them this info and the funeral home has no way of knowing what ‘other’ benefits are available because we do not work with the VA whatsoever and to please contact VA if they have any questions. Which brings me to my next rant. No matter how much we try to notify the family of certain things, like VA benefits or the process of a pending death cert,we always get a call asking about va benefits or whats the hold up on pending d/c. We put instructions in an envelope for the family with their items they will get once the funeral is complete. But…we still get those who apparently have not bothered to look or read these things.

Secondly, I dont think many people/families realize just how much ‘other’ stuff we do at a funeral home. Even when we are there is usually always something to be done. I started to list all the things that we do around here when we do not have a funeral we are working on, but the list is just too much. None of those things are very hard to do, but some more time consuming than other things. I recently had a family who when they came back to pick up flowers asked about the cert death certificates. Usually we would have them ready for them with their flowers and any other items, but this particular time we did not have the death certs yet. The Director was actually out filing them at that very moment. I explained to the family that the doctor did sign it and that the director was out filing right then. The daughter in law of deceased made the comment, ‘boy, you guys sure do alot of things that i would have never guessed you had to do. It seems like alot of work and alot of running around, how do you guys keep up!?!’ It was nice that someone had actually noticed how hard we all work and just how much we do!! Instead of the usual ‘…how come the death certificates are not done yet?’, ‘what do you mean cremation takes a few days!?!’, ‘how come it takes so long for the life insurance? !?’, etc…  I mean, I get it..that in this day and age everyone expects things to be done NOW, no waiting. But there are things that take time! This isn’t a fast food restaurant.
So, next question is, how many of you who work in a funeral home will complete any life insurance claim forms for families who are NOT doing an assignment with rhe funeral home? And if you do help families fill out their claims, do you charge a fee for doing so? We do not charge..I feel we should. I dont think the fee should be alot, but still..sometimes those claim forms are a pain in the rear!! It’s hard enough doing the paperwork when we take an assignment on a policy! We go as far as contacting the insurance company for the family when they aren’t doing an assignment, then when they receive the claim forms they bring them to funeral home and we sit with them and we go thru it and tell them where to sign, we fill in all the info AND we will even mail it for them.
There are also those assignments we do that the life ins company will not send to funeral home and only send to families and we have to trust that the family will bring those to us once they receive them. There have been times when they do not, of course.. so I feel that we should not accept assignments on those policies. Then there are some policies that do not allow assignments, they are far and few between, but still there are some. For instance the VA will not allow assignments on their life ins policies. Which of course brings me back to the first question..I always give families the info they need to contact the VA, I will also give them info on anything else they may need, if its another life ins that may not accept assignments, I will at least get them the life ins company contact info and let them know what the life ins company will probably require from them. But…It never fails that I end up getting a call from a family asking what to do..READ THE PAPERWORK! !

Another issue we get..almost on a daily basis anymore is people call after hours and want something. We close at 5pm if we have no visitation and our answering service answers the phone. Just recently a woman called at around 5:20pm. The answering service answered. She called to say she was on her way to funeral home because she wanted some more memorial folders. Her father had passed away about 2 weeks prior and apparently she ran out and needed more. The answering service told her that the funeral home was closed and that she could take a message and let us know the following day. If this had been an emergency, than of course the ans serv would have contacted the director right away. But…this was NOT an emergency!  Understandably most people work until 5pm, as do we!! She should have called earlier and asked if we would be in at that time, someone could have waited for her had she only been a little bit after 5pm! She got mad at the girl at ans service. She said how absurd it was that the funeral home was closed!!!! And that she would just call back tomorrow! Well..never heard from her, which is probably a good thing. When people ask what time we close and we say 5pm, that means we lock the door, shut the lights off and leave! So why would you come at 5pm!! Then get mad when no one is answering the door. This happens all the time! And then they say, “i called and was told you were open till 5pm!” Uhhh, yeah, and we were! Im not sure why this confusing to some?!? I also dont feel it is ok to get pissy with us or with ans service because we are not here, physically, for you 24/7!! There are times when someone will ring the doorbell and before we can answer it they are ringing it again and knocking. We are not standing on the otherside of the door waiting to open it the moment someone rings the bell. We are more than likely in our office..WORKING. so as with anytime you knock or ring someones doorbell, you normally have to wait a minute before someone answers! Same here! We are not going to run to the door. We are not going to just stroll up there either, I will walk as fast as I can but please, PATIENCE! There have been times when someone has rang bell and before i can get to door, which normally takes me all of 5-10 seconds, they are either ringing the bell again or walking away! As most of you know, I am not a fan of rude people and find that I have a low tolerance for them and for anyone who becomes demanding. I feel that most people take advantage of us since we are ‘suppose’ to be so nice in this business. Yes, we are nice, but also we are not going to tolerate such bad behavior. I don’t necessarily think that before, maybe 20 or so years ago, funeral directors kissed everyone’s asses. In this day and age tho, I really think people feel that we should be kissing their behinds. Especially when it comes to paying for the funeral. We get all sorts of stories of why they can’t pay their bill or pay the whole thing by day of service even tho during the arrangement the payment terms were explained to them. I read articles all the time about how funeral homes over charge and how we ‘supposedly’ push more expensive items to make more money.. But in fact, it is just the opposite (where I have worked anyway). We want you to pay your bill, so we are not going to try to get you to pay more for services, a more expensive casket, etc.. And when I read stuff about how funeral homes push more items on families, it makes me mad because it is just the opposite. So many times we get families who are not financially able to pay for a ‘traditional’ funeral with a more expensive casket, but that is what they want! ! We try to explain that there are several different options available to them, more options that will fit their budget, but…they are insistent about it. Usually at that point we know we will have a hard time getting paid. And usually these are the very famies who give us a hard time or are high maintenance. They are the ones who think we shouldn’t ask them to pay..because, they just lost someone and now we are asking them for money…how dare we! I’ve said before and I’ll say it again…We are a business just like any other business. Without charging for our services we cannot keep our doors open! I do agree that a funeral is expensive. I agree that caskets and vaults are priced high as well as cemetery fees are outrageous, but I also think that groceries are over priced, fuel for our vehicles is ridiculous, I even think that toilet paper is over priced! Lol. But in the end, it is what it is. When our vendors, who supply the caskets, vaults, supplies, lower their costs, then we can lower ours however, I dont ever see that happening. Also, death is inevitable. It’s not something that may or may not happen, so it really shouldn’t come as a shock that one day each of us will be faced with paying for a funeral. I do understand that there are those cases where someone passes unexpectedly, and we are there to HELP you select services that you can hopefully afford.
As for pre planning, yes, I feel it’s an excellent idea and not just because I work in the funeral business. But…for those of you who may have someone that is ill and in a nursing home and have been told that you should pre arrange a funeral to use up that loved ones money so the state does not take it…you actually need to pay for it! What I mean is, we sometimes get people who come to us because they have been told that they need to do the above because mom/dad/grandma/grandpa, whoever, is in a nursing home and possibly close to death and the social worker has instructed them to contact a funeral home, make pre arrangements and that they need an Irrevocable Contract for the Department of Human Services. So, we will get the occasional family that comes in and we type up all the paperwork they need, which consists of the Irrevocable Guaranteed Funeral Contract and a Irrevocable Contract which goes to DHS. This paper is filed with the state. If for some reason you do not pre pay, or pre pay the WHOLE amount, that paper is useless. If that person has a life insurance policy, you can cash it out or you can assign it to the funeral home, BUT…assigning a life insurance policy to a funeral prior to death (so the State cannot take it), is alot of paperwork and takes a while to complete. The funeral home does not take that policy and get the money from it..right away, just like a pre need, that money is held by a third party until death occurs. But when you assign a life ins policy, the life ins company has to approve/agree to it. We have to send paperwork (and just fyi, they will require the original policy be turned in as well. If you do not have the original policy, usually they will accept a letter of lost policy), we also at the same time send paperwork to the pre need company (third party). The pre need company requires payment from the family to process this paperwork. The fee is typically about $200, maybe alittle less, maybe a little more depending in which pre need company the funeral home uses. So when you come to us to assign that policy over, you must pay that fee otherwise we cannot proceed. Once the life ins company receives notice from us that you are assigning the policy to us, they will return one of the forms we originally sent to them with their write off, we then must forward that to the pre need company. So this process can take a few weeks. This is not something that can be done overnight. Also, when death does occur, there are a few more forms that need to be filled out and signed and we turn those in to the pre need company, which notifies them of death and then they pay us. Keep in mind tho, if assigning a policy to a funeral home, the cost of the pre arranged funeral MUST be the exact amount that the policy is worth. So, if the policy is $10,000.00, then the pre arranged funeral must be for that amount. You have to assign the whole amount of the policy. But…they have a cap on the amount you can assign. I believe that amount is currently around $12,000.00, give or take, and usually this cap does go up each year. So if the policy exceeds that amount, you cannot assign it to us for that amount. They do make it confusing, and confusing for us because of so much paperwork!
Another issue I have noticed is when someone calls for pricing. They call and speak to one of us and we give them a price. If they are calling because someone has passed away, we will usually write down what price we gave them with their name on it because that way if they decide to use our funeral home we can recall what we told them. Typically if we get a pricing call from someone who says they have been calling around because someone has passed and they do not have alot of money and they are looking for the best price, we will try our best to work with them and probably offer one of our discounted services. We will be sure to write it down or at very least tell the other employees what we told them. We get alot of people who will call back the following day or a couple days later or even come and they will say they spoke with whoever and they gave them a price of such and such for whatever services… alot of times they will say something totally different than what the person quoted them. More than likely they think that if they aren’t speaking to the original person they got the price from, then they can maybe get away with lying about what services they asked for and the price they were given. But, since we only have a few employees, we usually know who gave what price. We typically ask for the persons first name or the name of the deceased. I had a caller just the other day who called and said he spoke with my boss the other day and he gave him a price for a one day visitation with next day service, but it wasnt for a visitation with next day service, it was for a one day visitation with same day service. I am sure there are those times when maybe someone misunderstood, but I also know when someone is trying to bullshit.. This particular call was because a younger person had passed and the family did not have a lot of money but wanted a traditional funeral. My boss told him what the cost would be and he told him there was no way the could afford that. My boss then told him his other options.. all of those options were for one day same day service. My boss also wrote this down with this persons name on a pad of paper. This man he was speaking to told my boss he wanted to come in to speak with him and my boss asked if he wanted to schedule an appt. The man said he could be in between 2pm and 5pm, not much of an appt time, but my boss told him that was ok because he would be there all day.. Well of course this man never showed up, never called. But..3 says later he called back and told me he spoke with my bosd about a funeral and he quoted him a price for visitation with funeral following day for x amount of dollars. Immediately I thought..that is NOT what we charge for that! I asked him when he called and who he spoke with. He told me he called a few days ago and spoke to ‘some man’ . I then knew it was that same guy and grabbed the paper with info. I told him that price was for a one day same day..including the casket. He insisted that whoever he spoke with told him otherwise and that he specifically asked for something cheaper because they had no money. I explained that my boss had wrote down the pricing he gave him. I again asked him if his name was ‘insert name’ and he said .. yes it is .. I told him that I could put my boss on the phone so he could go over it again with him if he would like. He declined. He said he would have to come in to see us face to face to get a correct price! So i offered him an appt but he said he would just come by.. I explained to him that i would need to set a time to be sure that someome would be at the funeral home to meet with him…i sure didn’t want to meet with him, i wanted my boss to meet with him because i knew he wouldnt try his bullshit with him, especially since he spoke to him in the first place.
Well…he said he would be there after 10:30am but before 2pm!!!! Uhhhh…thats kind of a pretty big time frame.. but he wasnt about to set an exact time, so I just said. “Well, ok, but if a director is not here, then no one will be able to meet with you..” he said nothing.. Well, he came in around 2pm and luckily my boss was there to meet with him. He did say ‘he thought the price was for a visitation and service next day’. My boss went over everything the discussed a few days prior. He did end up statying with us and scheduling a day of visitation and service. He was not too happy tho when we told him that if he wanted burial, visitation could only be until 2pm then the service would have to start so we have time to get to cemetery. He said that it was not a long enough visitation. We were doing our best to work with him and give him something that would work for him. It sucks when you have a younger person pass away because usually it is unexpected, so of course we are going to feel bad for those who do not have the ability to pay for alot..but at the same time, if you cannit afford it, dont do it. So, we were giving him all the options possible, but he was just not satisfied. He kept saying ‘I bet I can go to so and so funeral home and they will give me what I want!’ So finally my boss said, ‘well, if you are not happy with what we have to offer, then maybe you should go elsewhere, I can really not go any lower then I already have. I will give you this quote and you can let us know later when you decide’. I don’t think the man was expecting him to say that. I think he was expecting my boss to say..’oh, ok, we don’t want you to go anyplace else, so I will give you what you want’ . Don’t get me wrong, we will usually match or beat another funeral homes pricing if a family asks us to do so, but when the price is already so low that basically the funeral home is paying out money not making any money on a funeral, well…we aren’t going to do it. Especially not for someone who feels they are ‘entitled’ to it. He did end up staying with us and had a very nice visitation and service. He had 4 hours of viewing and a service at the funeral home then on to the cemetery. There were alot of people that showed up too. Just as I always say, when you have just a few hours of visitation during the day, thise usually turn out to be the busiest. It upsets me when people say that they HAVE to have longer visitation hours or two whole days because they have to give everyone a chance to visit the funeral home.. No, you don’t!
So, I’m not sure about everyone else, but our weather is changing…today is the first full day of Autumn… I cannot believe how quick summer went. I love Autumn, love the cooler weather, but do not love that winter will be here again. If it is anything like last winter, I’m pretty sure I may just not leave my house until Spring!

Tip of the Day 1/30/2012

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 31, 2012 by thefuneralbizz

Tip of the Day for January 30, 2012

If you are going to be planning a funeral for a loved one and you are calling funeral homes to get pricing and you ask about State Assistance , please do not decide to be an asshole when I “TRY” to explain to you how it works, what YOU have to do and how much they will pay toward a burial or cremation! I am NOT the State! I ONLY work for the funeral home and have NO input nor do I make up the rules applied by the State! I am only the messenger.  You want to bitch about the State not paying more…..than call them. If you think it is “going out of your way” to haul your butt to the nearest State Aid office and just “cannot believe” that ‘you have’ to physically go there, than DON’T! And NO, I/we cannot go for you!!!! No, you cannot come and ‘just pick up the paperwork’ now! It doesn’t work that way…. you MUST decide on the funeral home you are for sure going to be using. You must make all of your funeral selections BEFORE going to the State Aid office! When we advise you to go ASAP please do so. Just because grandma or grandpa already has a Social Worker does NOT mean that you do not have to go or that they will receive more money toward the funeral cost. It doesn’t work that way! Oh and if you have a life insurance policy…..your not eligible for State Aid….I mean really….!?!

Funeral Home…….stuff?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on February 2, 2010 by thefuneralbizz

so, i was just remembering a something from a while ago, maybe about a year or so ago that happened one day. i was at work and we had a family in making arrangements. someone was knocking on the door, so i got up to answer it, as i was walking to the door i could see that it was a man, probably in his 50’s or 60’s, he looked a little ragged, maybe homeless. i opened the door for him and asked him how could i help him. his response was “i’m dying”. well… what do you say back to someone who say’s that to you? so, i said, “oh, well, i am so sorry to hear that, is there something i can do for you?” he said that he was dying and that we are a funeral home so, that is why he was there! now, obviously this man had some mental issues. i asked him what he wanted me to do for him and if he wasn’t feeling well shouldn’t he be going to a hospital instead of a funeral home? he said that he had just left the hospital and walked here. now, you have to understand that we get a lot of ‘wanderers ‘ in our area and aren’t surprised when people show up asking “odd” requests of us. so, i wasn’t sure exactly how to handle this man, and he seemed to be getting somewhat agitated with me. he wasn’t talking too clearly so i really could not understand him. so i went and got the director who was there helping the family we had….and said so sorry to interrupt but if he could come here for a minute. i explained and he went to see if he could go figure out what this guy wanted. well, he came back in about 5 minutes later and said that he was gone, but to not answer the door if he happened to show up again. he offered to call an ambulance for him if he wasn’t feeling well, but the man said that he just wanted to stay at the funeral home until he died. well, obviously my boss said he couldn’t let him stay. the man said a few choice words then walked out. then about a year ago, i had another man come into the funeral home. this man was actually from a family that we had at the funeral home, i believe it was his mother who passed away. anyway, he showed up, probably about 4 months after his mother passed. one of the directors answered the door when he showed up, i should say that this man spoke broken english, so it was hard to understand him. so of course my director, who was having problems understanding him came and got me and said that there is a man who needs your help. me, not knowing what was going on, went into the lobby to see who was there and then figured out why my boss came and got me. he couldn’t understand him, so he didn’t want to have to deal with it! nice, huh? so, i asked him how i could help him and he starts asking me if i believed in ghosts and spirits and hauntings. i told him that i did not, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t occur, that each person has their own beliefs. he told me that the house in which his mother passed in is now a rental house, him being the land lord. well, apparently the people who rented this house insists that it is haunted by this man’s mother. so he came in to see us, since we took care of her to see if her spirit is in that home, since she died in that home. what do you say to someone when they ask you that!?! i just told him that i didn’t believe it, but some people do and if he believes it, it is okay to do so. so anyway… just two things that i remembered recently. i was just thinking about people and how strange they can be. i have people that show up to ask for money. if they can use the restroom. if i have a pair of shoes they can borrow….yes, you read correctly, i had a man show up asking for shoes! i have people ask me if our funeral home is haunted. i have people show up to ask for coffee. we have one window in the front of the building and it is about eye level. so when some people walk down the street they always stare in the window, some will actually stop and try to peek in, i guess they think they are going to see some dead person, i don’t know….

but, anyway. when the funeral home does an insurance assignment we will call the insurance company to get all the information. sometimes we really don’t know who the beneficiary is until we call, sometimes this will happen after the family has left after making arrangements and when they come in for viewing we will have the beneficiary sign the proper paper work. so, each beneficiary needs to sign a claim form and the assignment form. this sounds pretty cut and dry, right? well, i guess for some it is not. what happens it, the insurance company is going to pay the funeral home the amount due to us which is the cost of the funeral. whatever money is left over will be sent to each beneficiary. so, the life insurance policy that the deceased had is paying the funeral bill. just because you are a beneficiary doesn’t mean YOU are paying the funeral bill. this was never YOUR money! if you wanted this money for yourself, then you must pay the funeral bill up front out of your pocket then do the insurance yourself and you will receive all the money, it will still be split between the beneficiaries, but it will ALL be paid out to the family. so, no, you aren’t personally paying for this funeral! is that hard to understand? why would you think that the money was ever yours to begin  with? you didn’t earn it! it was a policy the deceased took out so YOU didn’t have to pay when they passed! and yes, i am talking about a family of mine. argued with me up one side and down the other! i just finally said “look, this is not “your” money. YOU did not pay on the policy, did you? (the answer was NO). then this is not YOUR money, it is an insurance policy and they are paying for the funeral. your so and so took this policy out in 1980 ! and they more than likely took it out just for this! if they had not had a life insurance policy then YOU would be responsible for paying the $10,000.00 funeral bill! so how do you figure this is YOUR money? what is left over will be yours, and your lucky that you are even getting any back, sometimes the policy is not that large and some families get nothing back!, some families have to pay on top of it because the policy is not worth so much! but….they still sat there shaking their heads.  whatever……….. i so do NOT want to go to work anymore! i like my job, really, i do, but people are just getting bitchier by the day! half the people i deal with don’t listen to a word you tell them! especially when it comes to visitations times. i know i bitch about this a lot, but it is so true. when you make your arrangements we always ask if you want a family hour! always! if you do not choose to have a family hour, then you don’t get one! what is so hard to understand about that? i hate getting a phone call the day before or the morning of the viewing from the family asking when are they suppose to come in. you come in at the time you scheduled! not a half hour early, not 15 minutes not 5 minutes!  you come at the time you picked! even if you want to come a day ahead of time, just to see the person, come for a few minutes. BUT, you have to schedule this! and when your service is over, leave! if you don’t leave, then all the people who came tend to stick around too! i don’t know what is so hard about keeping the hours alloted for you! we even post the persons name and the hours of visitation and the funeral day and time outside the door of the building !!! then when you walk in the building, there are signs there too! and then inside the chapel there are signs! how can we make this more clear? especially when the service is ending and the director goes up front to thank everyone for attending and to please pass by the casket he actually says “please pass by the casket one more time and exit the doors and then to your vehicles as this concludes today’s services for so and so”!!!!!!   

oh and one more thing. smokers, do not leave all your cigarette butts laying in our landscaping! i don’t have a problem with smokers, smoke all you want, i could care less. but if you go outside the building please just don’t throw them in the flower beds! it looks trashy! it makes our building look trashy. there is an ashtray right there!!!!!!!!

Funeral Home work..Life Insurance

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on January 16, 2010 by thefuneralbizz

Okay…you have a Life Insurance Policy or a loved one has a Life Insurance Policy and the pass away. You make your appt.  to meet to make funeral arrangements and of course you bring in the insurance policy. Especially if you want the insurance to pay for the funeral and you don’t want to pay out-of-pocket. The funeral home will do an insurance assignment. IF you would rather collect on the ins. policy yourself and pay for the funeral costs out-of-pocket that is fine as well, but if you are depending on this life ins. policy to pay for the funeral so you don’t have to , then please double-check the policy to make sure that it is over 2 years old! If it is under two years old then it WILL BE contested! You “MAY” get what premium you paid into it over the course of 2 years, but that is no nearly enough to pay for a funeral. I have had a few families over the last 2 weeks or so that have brought in policies that  have been under 2 years old and for some reason they cannot grasp the concept that the insurance is NOT going to pay for the funeral! And it does not have anything to do with the funeral home! if the life insurance company isn’t going to pay, then it is NOT going to pay and we have no say in whatsoever! NONE ! at all! it is strictly up to them!

When someone passes at home usually the coroner is contacted. if is a suspicious death, then the coroner is going to take that body and conduct an autopsy! We will contact the coroner and ask them to give us the info on the deceased, such as time of death, day of death, when will the body be ready for pick up. They will let us know when we can come to pick the body up. BUT, the family must ID the body! so we cannot do the removal until the family has ID’d the body! or at least someone who knows the deceased! Please don’t tell us that “you are NOT going to that place to ID the deceased, because if you don’t, we DON’T make the removal. see where this is going…..good.

working at a funeral home……yet more BS

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on January 8, 2010 by thefuneralbizz

why are people rude? mean? just plain assholes?

you know, i don’t know you from adam, but i’m certainly not going to treat you like shit. i am here to HELP! i did not ask you to come to me, you came to me! remember!?! i am doing my job. i am not being rude, because if i was rude to you or anyone else, well, i would get fired from my job. but what i want to know is why on earth are you being mean to me? i did nothing but let you in the building, ask you to have seat in the office AND ask if you would like something to drink, perhaps a nice warm cup of coffee? BUT, nooooooooooooooooo………… lets just start out being a jerk! while i sit across from you with a sympathetic smile on my face, but all the while thinking what a big fat fucking jerk off you are! then i have to deal with you over the next few days! lord help me! and why is it that you are upset that i have another family using our facilities on the same day as you wanted your visitation? do you think you should come first? you think you are special? more special than the family that have already made their arrangements? come on! and no, i cannot ask the family to move their times around to accomodate YOU! really? are you really that egotistical? oh, any yeah, your dad is a veteran and yes, he is entiled to a flag, but guess what, YOU DO need to bring me proof, no, I am NOT going to just take your word for it. I’d hand out flags all day long if it was up to me, but it isn’t and i explained to you that it wasn’t. i need a copy of your dad’s discharge papers, so i can make a copy and fill out a flag application and then turn it in to the post office so they will give me a flag. each flag they hand out is accounted for! so, really, it isn’t up to me! so until you bring me that discharge paper, screw you! i could have been nice and told you that we would display a flag for you, either folded in the cakset or draped over the casket, but no, i decided since you are such a wack job asshole that i wasn’t even going to give you that option. because for one, well, your an asshole and two, once i would have tried to explain to you that i could do that but you could not keep the flag you would have argued with me and then you probably would have left with the flag after your services anyway. oh well…….

when coming in to the funeral home to make arrangemetns, if you have a life insurance policy on the person who has passed, bring it with you. we will call the insurance company to make sure that the policy is in effect and to see if they will cover the costs of the funeral and if they accept assignments so the check is made out to the funeral home and you, the family, don’t have to worry about anything. of course if you prefer you can do this yourself, but you will be expected to pay us now, you can’t wait and pay us when you get the insurance money.  if you agree to do an assigment then you will not pay us anything. up to you! but bring that policy in or whatever info you have on it so we can call for you. if you bring me  a policy and i call on it and i am told that the policy is no good, then there is nothing i can do for you, so please don’t sit in front of me and say that you have been paying on it, you know it is good. sorry, nothing i can do and no i will not “try” to do an assigment after i have already been told that it is no good. also, many people have accidental death benefits, and if you or your loved ones dies and it is NOT accidental, then i can use that policy either! and usually, a drug overdose does not qualify as accidental! ahem….sooooo………


Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on December 16, 2009 by thefuneralbizz

so what did i say the other day about money? if you don’t have it then don’t plan on having a big funeral? isn’t that what i just wrote about (and probably every other post i have ever wrote).

a family who has no money came in. we gave them a price. they got belligerent with us. WHY? funerals are expensive. period. so, we gave you options. you still weren’t happy. what do you really want us to do? honestly? just not charge you? well, wouldn’t that be wonderful if we could just not charge people anymore for funerals. wouldn’t it be nice if the ‘someone’ else were to pay for it? gee, i wonder how long we would be able to keep our doors open for? a few weeks? maybe 2 months?  do you walk into wal-mart, the party store at your corner, the grocery store and get up to the register and say “i don’t have any money, so, either i can pay later or make payments” ? probably not! what about if your car broke down? would you call a tow truck and have them tow your car and fix it, then say “oh, i don’t have any money, but i am going to take my car, you can take payments from me or wait until i get the money”. probably not! SO, what makes you think that WE WILL? my advice to everyone! even young people, make pre-arrangements! you CAN make payments on that! you can pick out what you want too! OR, get a life insurance policy. it’s really not that expensive to take out a life insurance policy. even if it is only for a couple thousand dollars. YOU CAN make payments on your life insurance policy! so you see, do it before it happens! because you can’t make payments to us once it does happen! we will actually do an insurance assignment for YOU! all you family has to do is bring that policy into the funeral home when they come to make your funeral arrangements. we do ALL the work! and they won’t have to worry about a think, except to sign a few pieces of paper! we call the insurance company to verify the policy is good. we get all the paper work in order. we mail the required documentation to them. they mail us a check for the amount! ALL DONE! that’s it. no worries! and guess what, if there is any money left over, it goes directly to you family, the beneficiary! isn’t that easy? the only draw back is if the policy is less than 2 years old, the insurance company will probably contest it and not pay. so, my advice is to get a life insurance policy as soon as possible. most employers offer this to their employees and it comes out of your paycheck. or, even your credit unions offer this. OR, ask your homeowners insurance company if they offer life insurance. if you are young and still live at home, ask your parents if they have a life insurance policy on you, if they do, when you get older and move out or are on your own, see if you can take over the payments. whatever you have to do. anyway…….. this family that i was speaking of. they bitched about the cost of embalming. they were undecided if they wanted embalming. BUT, they wanted visitation. well, you must have embalming if you want visitation. the person passed on the 12th of this month, now it is the 16th, so you must have embalming. then they bitched because we charged to do the removal. then of course they bitched about our charges. they didn’t know if they wanted to do cremation or burial. burial is going to be more expensive, because you have to pay the cemetery! then you accused us of charging too much at the cemetery. we explained that we have nothing to do with the cemetery. you rolled your eyes at us. when you asked about state aid. we explained that to you as well. and again, accused us of not working with you to get more money from the state. again, we do not have anything to do with what the state approves you for! nothing! at all! you, under your breath, sighed and said ‘yeah, right”. at this point i was ready to tell you to leave. go someplace else. let someone else deal with you, because you are the kind of people who are not going to be happy with anything. now that you have decided to stay with us, you set your times. one day. with cremation. well, when we told you that you must have your service no later than 6:30pm, you asked us why on earth so early, when we don’t close until 9pm. well, it doesn’t work that way. you chose to have 6 hours of viewing. which means that you have until a certain time to stay here. because that is what you paid for. yes, we are open until 9pm for those families who chose to do visitation until 9pm. you are only paying to have yours until 8pm. that is what you can afford. so you say. when you decide to have a service in the evening (which is common with cremations) you have to start your service early enough so you are done by 8pm. understand? if you didn’t start your service until 8pm, then you would be here until 10pm! and that is IF everyone leaves right away. so if that was the case, you would have to pay that extra time! back to the state aid thing for a minute. when we explained to you that if the deceased had any assets a bank account a vehicle, etc… that the state will find out and they will deduct that from the money they give you, you asked us not to tell them. WE DON’T tell them anything! we told you this. the state will find out on their own, trust us! how many times did we tell you that we have NO control over what the state does. just be grateful that they may give you anything.

i can’t wait to have a few days off. can’t wait can’t wait can’t wait!

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