Archive for making funeral arrangements

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 – Figure it Out!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on February 20, 2012 by thefuneralbizz

When you have more than one person who will be making funeral arrangements, meaning more than one family member is involved¬†in making all decisions, make sure that you all GET ALONG! If you do not all get along, please figure out how you are going to handle making the arrangements BEFORE you come to the funeral home to see us! DO NOT expect the funeral director or staff to get involved in family issues. We WON’T! It is not our job or to be¬†honest any of our business. Don’t call us ahead of time and “warn” us that there will be “problems” either. When you do “warn” us, we think “great, ‘one’ of “those” families”! Put your differences aside for a bit and have respect for the deceased! Also, do not think that once the funeral arrangements are made¬†that if the “other” person calls us and says something like “ya know, I was there a bit ago with my family making arrangements for so and so, and I am really not happy with what the decision on the casket, vault, church, etc selection¬†is, and I want to come back in and pick something else, or change the times of the service, etc….” Because whoever is the “Informant” on the file is, that is the ONLY person we will let make changes. We ask who the informant will be when you come for the arrangements so that there are no issues later on. If you say, well, my sister and I are the informants, then we will say “ok, so if either one of you decides on something or wants to change something the other one will have to accept that and we will take no responsibility for those changes then”. If you have used our funeral home in the past and something happened that you did not like don’t wait 4 years to let us know about it either. Why would you wait that long to let us know? If your family has used our funeral home for everyone in your family that has passed away, that doesn’t entitle you to a discount! It’s not¬†like McDonald’s¬†where you get a punch card. Get 5 punches on your card and the 6th is half off! Cuz I have had so many families ask me/us that question. Well, we have had 4 other of our family members here in the past 4 to 6 years is there a possibility that since we are returning customers we get a discount on something? Uhhh, no. Oh, and another thing, please don’t bring us a folder filled with a bunch of life insurance policies and the all the paperwork is just shoved in the folder. If you don’t feel like sifting thru all this crap, what makes you think I do?!? Just bring in the policy itself with a phone number. I/we will take it from there. There are also privacy laws, so not all insurance companies will tell me/us what the policy is worth! So, when one of us tells you that YOU will have to call the insurance company to find out the policy value, don’t say something like “oh, thought you people were suppose to take care of this so I didn’t have to worry about it?” Well, yeah, we are taking care of it for you and we have even offered to accept an assignment on this policy for payment of funeral services, but if we are unable to get¬†the value than we do not know if it will cover the funeral bill! And ONLY the Beneficiary will be able to get¬†that information. I don’t care if you have power of attorney or not, I am telling you that ONLY the Beneficiary will be able to get¬†that info! And just for those power of attorney know it alls……Power of Attorney ends at time of death! So put that in your pipe and smoke it! Which brings me right back to where I started. Just because you “had” power of attorney over your loved one, it does not give you the right to make all the decisions and sign ALL the paperwork! Especially when it comes to cremation! I don’t care if you haven’t spoken¬†to your brother/sister in 5 years. I don’t care if it’s been 30 years. If your parent passes away and your other parent is already deceased, yes, you are the next of kin (the oldest child), however, in certain States there are LAWS, and in my State, we MUST have the ‘majority’ of signatures for a cremation! So, if you only have one sibling, you must do everything you can to contact him or her. If you have 2 other siblings, then you must make every effort to contact BOTH of them, however 2 signatures will do. If you have 3 other siblings, same thing, you have to make an effort to contact EACH of them, but 3 signatures will do. This isn’t a joke. When it comes to cremation, that’s¬†it. There is nothing you can do after it is done. Even if your parent or loved one has stated they want cremation, we still must get the next of kin signature. Please don’t lie either and say that you are the only child. This will land you in plenty of HOT water if your brother or sister does find out and actually gives a shit. Because that authorization you are signing states that you are the only LEGAL next of kin. So….be fore warned. Also, if your mother or father remarried that person they remarried is their LEGAL next of kin! Just because you don’t like him or her doesn’t matter. They have the right to know that this person has passed away (meaning extended family, step siblings, etc).

On to what is going to piss me off this week. We have been really freaking busy the last 2-3 weeks. We have visitation after visitation and funeral after funeral. So, this is what I see in my near future. Me trying to carry extra chairs into the chapel for those who are standing and people just staring at me as I struggle¬†to inch my way between people because no matter how many times I say excuse me NO ONE freaking moves the HELL OUTTA MY WAY! I am bringing these chairs in for your fat asses so MOVE! Because after 3 or 4 times of having to say to the same people “excuse me” and them not moving, I stop bringing in chairs. Guess what happens next…………..go on guess.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† When the Priest/Pastor/Reverend¬†stands up and begins prayers I am going to have a bunch of assholes looking around for someplace to sit. I am going to have a bunch of them come to me and the other staff and say “There is no place to sit! Do you think I could get a chair!?!” You wanna know what I want to say or do? I want to say “well, you see I did try setting up extra chairs, but you and or the other ignorant, rude, self-absorbed assholes wouldn’t get the fuck out of my way, so if you want someplace to sit, go right on over to that douche bag and push him/her right out of their seat, because I asked them several times to move so I could get thru with more seating, but he/she wouldn’t move for me or YOU wouldn’t move for me, so looks like your fucked!’ What I want to do is just stare at them like they don’t even exist, like they did to me when I was trying to bring in extra chairs. Or when they ask me just say “nope”. Same thing with the damn flowers. Listen folks, the flower arrangements that come in don’t magically appear in the room! They are usually heavy and awkward to carry. So scoot your ass outta my way!

¬†When you set up visitation and lets just say your visitation times are 1pm to 2pm for FAMILY ONLY (also called the family hour) and then 2pm to 9pm for everyone else. What time do you think you should arrive? 1PM !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!¬†¬† NO, you don’t need to come in an hour early to set up FOOD! or picture boards or anything! It takes 2 minutes to set up a picture board on an easel¬†and if you have to bring in that much food that you have to arrive early for, then you shouldn’t be¬†bringing in that much food! I HATE families that bring in that much food. You arrive at 1pm for the family hour and that’s¬†that! If you do happen to arrive early chances are that the room is not going to be ready anyway. Oh, and if you have family that will not be¬†able to attend the visitation or the funeral because they are leaving town or who knows what, NO, they cannot come a day earlier. Had that happened¬†not too long ago. The family had not even chose a freaking casket or viewing days or times ¬†yet and we had a few family members calling and showing up INSISTING on see this woman. It takes time to get a person ready! We can’t just throw them in any ole casket just because you want to see them. And when you are being a dick head or a bitch about it, we certainly are not going to go out of our way to appease you!

So….I’ll update on what my week is like in a day or 4…..

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