…3 months later.

99a7eaa29f554ea4c6d1804521c78503

Holy shit, I haven’t posted in 3 months?! I chalk it up to the fact that I’ve been super busy. Plus, I’ve been writing in my actual journal, and not on the internet. In these 3 months, A LOT has happened. Not in like big, life-changing moments. More like “experience”, and that’s a big, boring “duh”, so I didn’t think to come on here and update constantly. But now, it’s been 3 months, so I should probably make a blog post.

In the last 3 months, I’ve even closer to being on my own in the prep room. Tomorrow morning I have my 20th case to embalm, and after 25, I can be unsupervised. I’m excited to be able to be in there by myself. I know my boss wants to let me loose already, but as soon as he’s not needed, he’s gonna be all worried about me. I just want to be in there and have my space and take my time.

I’m definitely more confident in my funeral directing abilities, including but not limited to, running a church service by myself, and also arranging with families. I’ve had a couple families that were needy as hell, but I still like my job. I still like I provided something for them. I don’t like that I get attitude every so often (who does?), but snarky remarks are so few and far between, they’re more like a funny story for an otherwise normal day.

I say “normal day”, but it’s possibly the worst day for some. Part of my normal day could include forming a lip out of clay, or pulling a deceased out of their shower. Part of my normal day could be seeing (and smelling) a decomposing body. Part of what I think is a normal day is driving a hearse in the Costco gas line (see photo). 19430091_1980525581973008_6128252661533870947_nOther people think I have a weird/cool/interesting/disgusting job. I think I have an awesome job, and it always feels nice to hear,”thank you so much for what do”.

A couple weeks ago, I buried a family’s mother. They were all super nice, a little demanding, but super nice. Everything went smoothly, they loved how their mom looked. When we were at the cemetery and I was saying my goodbye’s and hugging the family, the eldest child stopped me and said, “thank you, Taryn. I found strength through you.” Needless to say, I went home feeling awesome.

That’s all I can hope for when I serve families. I want them to be able to get through this difficult moment with the least amounts of stress as possible. I’m not going to say “get through it” or “get over it”, cuz they’re not gonna just “get over it”, and “getting through it” means there’s an end point, but I don’t feel like there’s ever a real and true ending to this thing we call grief. Sure we could go decades without thinking about it, but oh man, when you do? It’s like you’re reliving the moment all over again. Maybe not as painful, but it sure as hell doesn’t feel great.

I sort of got off in a rambling tangent, but I just gotta say, I really do think I’ve found what I’m supposed to be doing. And to further my career: I went and took (AND PASSED) my embalmers exam last week! 19944450_1997956006896632_2762880515929851420_oI actually felt super confident when I was taking this one. My funeral director and my national board exams were much harder. Or at least, I didn’t feel as for sure about my answers when I was in the middle of it. This time, I was clicking through it and finished in less than 20 minutes. I walked out knowing I’d passed, and I’m not usually that confident on tests, so that was nice to get out of the way. Now the only other test I “need” to take is my pre-need insurance license so I can make some commission!

Advertisements

Girl Power!

636132018562050109-2083959007_82674-original-8137I’m writing 2 different blog entries today, because I need to address something that’s been weighing on me. Since I was in school, we’ve talked about it. I’ve now been working in the industry since last September, so I’ve now witnessed it.

Here’s how it goes: I ended up having one day where I met with 2 families in a row. The first family was simple and easy; the second family tested my patience. I did the arrangements easy enough, but the second family brought up what’s been bothering me about this industry: sexism.

I’ve noticed it a couple times in what people say, and how people act around me, but it hadn’t been directed at me. I’ve had male orderlies in hospitals take it upon themselves to move a body to the gurney for me, even though they were usually tiny old woman that I could’ve picked up by myself. I’ve had family members try and assist in the rolling and wrapping their loved one in a sheet when I’ve gone on a house call. That never really struck me as sexist, only that they wanted to help carrying their loved ones to the gurney, so I brushed it off, but always wondered, would you try to assist this much if I were a man?

I’ve heard a family tell their female funeral director,”we’d like a male director instead”, and since they were all busy, they were stuck with their female director. In this particular instance, it worked out fine and the family ended up loving her. Another time, same female director came into the office with tears in her eyes because the family said,”no, you have no compassion. We want a male director.” We were all mad about it, but luckily, one of our male colleagues was available to take on the family. So it’s happened around me, and I’m aware of it, but it hadn’t yet happened to me. But then it did, and it had me pissed off.

Two woman came in to make the arrangements for their father/grandfather. I was speaking mostly to the daughter, and I was building a nice rapport with the two of them. Then the granddaughter got a call and said that “uncle’s coming”, so we continued until we heard him come in the facility. The granddaughter went out to get him and lead him into the office, where upon entering, immediately asked,”how much?”. No greeting. No handshake.

I turned my attention to him and began to tell him where were at in the arrangement process, then he held up his hand and started to fish hearing aids out of his pockets. First of all, if you’re going to come in a room demanding answers to something, maybe you should be ready to hear the answer? I started my answer over, informed him where we were at, and once again his answer was,”so how much are we talking?”.

I told him the package price and informed him that it didn’t include the casket. He says,”then lets go look at the caskets”. Now, we weren’t that far from actually heading over to the showroom to do just that anyway, but I dropped what we were doing and lead the way to the caskets as requested (demanded). Once in there, he takes a quick glance around and says,”that one!”. He didn’t care about actually finding out the difference in pricing on anything; he just needed to make that decision. The daughter and granddaughter shopped around a little, and they agreed on the one uncle had chosen. But now, uncle was having second thoughts, and in Spanish, I heard him asking the ladies if he thought it was “masculine enough”, they shrugged shoulders and nodded their heads that they thought so. He turns to me and in English says,”this color is good for males?”, and I informed him that yes, it was actually a popular one for men. He said,”then yes, this one”, and we went back to the arrangement office.

As we approached the doorway, I did as I always do, and stood to the side and gestured for them to enter the room. I work here. It’s my “home” and I’m welcoming you into the room. Makes sense, right? Well uncle did a stutter step entry. Now, I’ve seen this happen a couple of times with men. I think it’s the “ladies first” mentality, and they think I need to enter the room before them, and it throws them off when I don’t. But this is my office and I’m inviting you to come back in, so “please, have a seat” *smile*.

Once back, he now won’t sit down. For the rest of the arrangement, he was standing over me. Watching everything I write down, and questioning things we weren’t even talking about. At one point, when I was asking about music selections, he said that he wanted “Mexican guitar” music. I told them that if they had someone they knew or had someone in mind, they were welcomed to have them perform, and he cut me off and says,”we don’t know anyone!” I repeated that we can contact pianists and organists or soloists for music in the church, but if they wanted something else, that was something they were going to need to find. The granddaughter nodded in understanding and was about to say,”we could find someone”, but uncle cuts her off and starts angrily speaking Spanish at both ladies.

I don’t speak Spanish, but I know some words. I caught “dinero” for money, and in the tone and they way he pointed at himself, I gathered that he yelled,”who’s paying for this?!” or “who’s got the money here?!” and both women looked away and sat quietly. He turned back to me and once again was starting to say they would like Mexican guitars, and I hear the daughter say to him in Spanish that we have piano and organ players, “no guitarra”. He finally relinquished hope, and we moved on.

While still standing over me, I continued to now ignore his gaze and speak only towards the daughter (who was signing everything anyway!), and only directed my attention at him when he asked a direct question. By the time we were wrapping up, I could see him out of the corner of my eye pulling a wallet out. I wasn’t asking for payment yet, but he seemed to be doing a, “look! I’ve got the money” gesture. I ignored it up until we were done signing papers for everything, and then he throws the card onto the clipboard as a final dickwagging, gesture of importance.

I ran the card, and I gave it back to him. I stood in the room thanking them for entrusting us with their loved one and shook their hands. The last great thing about this arrangement (for me), was standing over this man to shake his hand. I could tell he didn’t like that I was taller than him (I’m probably around 5’10” with my work shoes on, he was probably 5’7″), he tried to puff his chest a little (making him maybe a 1/4 inch taller) and gripped my hand a little extra hard. Lucky for me, I have a firm handshake as well, and I smiled politely and took his hand like nothing. I saw in his face that he was annoyed by this. Momma always says,”kill ’em with kindness” and I did just that. I smiled like it was nothing, and I escorted them to the door.

After they were gone, I let out a big sigh and spent the rest of my day starring at a computer screen and wondering: why does it have to feel like this? Why does it need to feel like such a push and pull? I understand that, culturally, things are going to be different. I grew up in a very egalitarian household, and I understand that societies are usually patriarchal in practice, but respect is respect, no? You go into a place of business to spend you hard earned money. You don’t know the ins and outs of this business, so you seek a professional. So why are you treating me like shit? If there was a man in the room telling you all this information, would you have stood over him? Would you had at least shook his hand when you entered the room? I deserve respect, and it pisses me off when I can tell it’s not given to me when it should.

I may be new at this, and I may be a little shaky at times, but I knew what I was doing with this arrangement. There was no surprises to throw me off, and I was confident in what I was doing. I don’t understand why I get the push back if I know what I’m talking about. If it makes you feel better to talk to a man, fine, talk to my boss. But if you really have that much of a problem with speaking with women, I have a newsflash for you: women make up a huge part of this industry. Hell, in school I think there was only 3 men in my graduating class, and there was maybe 3 more in the rest of the semesters. Everyone else is female. As a rough estimate I’d say there were 70 women and 6 guys in the program?

There are numerous articles stating these facts too: this one. this too. another one. And those are 3 of many articles on the subject, just a quick Google search away. And it’s not just in California, it’s across the nation. More and more women are becoming funeral professionals, so get used to us. We shake hands just as firmly, we can maneuver a body/hearse/gurney/flower car just as easily as our male counterparts.

We’re not better or worse, we’re equals, so treat us as such.

 

Don’t forget the tax!

It’s been a whirlwind of a month since I last posted on here. We’re basically settled into our apartment, only a couple of boxes still remain, and that’s mostly because they’re gonna be storage things anyway. We’ve spent more money than I want to mention at IKEA and Target and other places, but it’s finally feeling like home.

My boss went on his week long vacation last week, and this morning was the first time I’ve talked to him since then. It was kind of a slow week, nothing crazy happened, but I felt uncomfortable being the only one here to do arrangements and things. I wasn’t completely alone, I did have the ladies in the office with me during the week, so they could help me when I had questions, but I still felt like a fish out of water.

I had my first solo arrangement with a family who were super nice, but I felt like an idiot the whole time. When I was about to leave the room for the 3rd time with a question, I admitted, “this is the first time I’m doing this by myself if you can’t tell”, and they let out a giggle. Made me feel a little better that they found the humor in it and not annoyance. And even if they were annoyed, they didn’t show it. I ended up having to do an itemized contract instead of a package, which is a little harder since I was going to have to remember all of the little things they were going to need. I ended up forgetting to charge them tax *face palm*.

They were really sweet though, and I ran their service by myself. It was nice to be the one to do everything because I knew who to go to and they knew who I was, so there was a little bit of a relief there.

I’m starting to get in the groove of funeral directing. My arranging and embalming needs to get better, but that comes with experience. Still lovin my job though!

 

21 Days

moving-2

It’s only been 21 days since I last posted, and things couldn’t have change more! Change for the better of course, since in those 21 days: my coworker who lived in the apartment over the mortuary quit and left, so not only am I now the 2nd in command here (and the only one listed as a funeral director on the website cuz my boss has “manager” as his title, but he is a FDR/EMB). Since he’s gone, my boss and I had a chat and he ended up offering me the apartment and my dude and I SWOOPED on that opportunity! We talked over the details with him, but there wasn’t too much to discuss, we were pretty set.

That may or not may not be an actual photo of our move by the way.

Telling my parents was kind of a pain in the ass, since I knew they weren’t going to like the fact that we weren’t going to be able to bring my dog with us and they were going to be stuck with him. We’re allowed the cat since he’s small, but I’m really missing my big baby boy. After we dropped the bomb, they were pretty peeved. Peeved is a nice way of saying that when I told my mom, she shut down and didn’t want to hear the details of it. We gave it a day, and my parents ended up sitting us down and voicing their concerns (mostly the pets and their care). After we talked and we finally got to tell them the benefits of moving in here, they were on board.

It’s only been a week since we had that conversation with them, and as I type this, I’m sitting in my new living room. We figured that the way that our work schedules don’t sync up and the fact that the mortuary didn’t have anything going on this weekend, it was the perfect time to strike! So my boss gave me Saturday and Sunday and the van from work and we moved all of our stuff from our storage unit, packed the house, and bought a couch. Then on my actual day off on Monday, we moved the rest and I spent the first night in the new place last night!

It’s a little weird, and I don’t think I’m going to feel at home until we’re settled. We’re living in box world right now and the way that schedules are working out, we’re not gonna be settled for a while. BUT, we’re here. I’m going to be on-call for my boss so he isn’t doing 5 days a week by himself anymore. I’m going to be involved in the business more since I’m literally living in it now and I’m BEYOND excited.

Also, as a side note: my new couch is super comfy and bright blue and I’ve never been so excited about a piece of furniture! I might be more excited when we eventually buy a new bed, but for now, I feel like a full fledged adult with my first ever big furniture purchase!

[Insert Witty Title Here] I Can’t Think of Something Better To Say Than: UPDATE!

It’s been a month since I wrote on here?! My bad…

You know that saying, time flies when you’re having fun? Yeah, that’s totally how work has been going for me! In the last month, I’ve done so many “firsts”, I don’t even know where to start. I guess, FIRST first would be to say the memorial service that I mentioned in my last post that I was the director on went smoothly. There wasn’t really anything to that one.

Since then, I’ve gone all over the place in the hearse and the first call car. I’ve picked up from 2 convalescent homes and 1 residence by myself. I’ve had to drive to the crematory and then out to Riverside to pick up a case we got from another home out there. Then about a week ago, I was on my first church mass alone. THAT was kind of a shit show, but I blame the church more than anything. Mostly because any of the running around I had to do was because they were late, but everything seemed to go smoothly after that.

Speaking of that service, here’s a new something that I hadn’t experienced before: a pallbearer who was too cool to be there and ended up sucking at being a pallbearer. On top of the running around I was already doing, dealing with the Johnny Depp wannabe, wearing too many scarves made it that much worse. At one point the guy took off out a side door at the end of the mass and when I went up to the front for the recessional to the back of the church, another guy (an uncle I believe) stepped in without asking and helped us walk to the back. Once we were at the back of the church, cool guy appeared again and lugged the heavy end (which he should NOT have been on) into the hearse, while making the comment,”grandma only weighed 80 pounds, why is this so heavy?”…maybe it’s full of her high hopes for you Scarves McGee.

After we got to the cemetery, he posted up in the shade till the last minute before we had to pull her out, and then when we were placing her on the vault, he almost dropped his side and the casket ended up being all askew. At the end of the graveside service, I asked for all the pallbearers to come up and leave their gloves and boutonnieres on the casket, and he made no attempt to come forward. One of the other guys whispered,”what about him?” and they all kind of rolled their eyes and one said,”whatever”, so they were equally annoyed with his presence, I think.

Back to being annoyed with the church though: the priest, nor the attendant, would answer their damn door so I could give them the clergy record and honorarium. It got so close to being time for mass that I was told by my assistant (who attends said church), to go around the building to the kitchen and knock and see if someone in the office could help get it to him.

When I finally got it to someone I thought was going to help me and then made my way into the church with the casket, the alter attendant comes running out to tell me the priest has been “waiting on me” to get him the lecturers and the record.

[insert giant eye roll]

I ran up and down the aisle of the church about 3 times before we were set to go. Once to get him a lecturer and another time because he didn’t have the record. I explained to him that I gave it to someone who said they were going to give it to him, and obviously they had not. So I ran and got him a memorial folder so he at least had the decedent’s name. Once I thought we were ready, I was waiting at the casket in the back of the church as he made his way to us. He sprinkled holy water on the casket and then suddenly I realized, he didn’t bring a pall out! So he turns around to walk and I look at my assistant and he gestures like,”What about the pall?” and I just shrugged my shoulders and walked.

I don’t think the immediate family saw any of the chaos. If they did, they made no mention to it. I felt more confident about doing another service after this one, cuz I can’t have a smoothly done one as my first, I gotta make it a little hard on myself the first time around.

Besides that service, I’ve helped and done a couple viewings and services that went smoothly. As I type this, we have 2 different visitations going on. Neither of them are very big crowds, so it’s still kind of quiet. I like having the night to myself here, it’s peaceful and I can do things like this blog post!

On the exciting news front, I got my OFFICIAL16797572_1803920942966807_6089374996680411587_o apprenticeship paperwork and license number! I’ve already got 1 assisting written down for it (only 99 to go!). I also found out that my coworker is quitting, so I’ll be taking his shift basically. I’ll be on the day shift with everyone and then I’ll actually get every other weekend off, so that’s a bonus! I made a good amount in overtime so far in this pay period, and I’m sure I’m going to be getting some more after he leaves. I just hope we hire people soon so that we’re not overdoing ourselves.

I feel like I need to reiterate this though: I love my job. This is the first time that I’ve been at a job (besides the record store), where, even after a month, I felt happy to come into work. I’d always heard that if you’re doing what you love, it doesn’t feel like work. I don’t think that’s necessarily true in my case. I do love this, but it’s damn hard work (and constantly reminds me that I need to join a gym and work out more). I go home exhausted, but I’m not exhausted and hating life. I’m exhausted and still want to tell people about my day.

My dude and I were stopped in a store a couple weeks ago by another couple, and I happened to be wearing my mortuary school sweater. The girl noticed it and we got in to a half hour discussion about my job, and by the end of it, they both said that they could tell that I loved what I was doing, because they could hear it in my voice. It’s true! I feel it, and I know it comes out in my tone. I sound excited when I talk about it, because I am! I’ve never felt so jazzed to tell people about my job before. Hopefully this feeling keeps going. It sure feels like it will, and hopefully that means I’m in this career for the long haul.

Too good to be true (but it is!)

4477406

You know that guy that talks about his job and how much he loves it, and you’re silently cursing him in your head because you wouldn’t know what it’s like to love a job? Well, I’ve gone from being the guy cursing to the guy getting cursed at!

I. LOVE. My. Job.

Seriously, I love it. I knew I loved the industry and that this was a fit for me when I was going through school, but in less than 3 days I’ve grown to love my job more than in the last 4 months at my old place. Let’s just compare the first day at both places.

At my first mortuary, I was brought in in a rush, signed papers, given an employee handbook and told to go sit at a desk and read the whole thing because the manager had to leave. I was forgotten about, and none of the other employees cared to do anything with me once I was done reading said handbook, because I was the manager’s new problem. Once we were closing the place, the girl told me,”you know, just go home, we’ll finish up”, and I went home in such a let down.

My first day at my new place had me getting into it right away. I was given a key and shown how to lock up (I was given a key to my old place for over a month). I was brought into the prep room where I helped casket one guy, and later helped dress 2 people. Then I was in charge of making memorial folders. Not just shown how, and talked down to like I was a kid, and then told to fold until my fingers hurt (although I did fold all these ones, but my fingers are fine), but I was sat down at the computer while they told me what to do and watched to make sure I did it correctly. I physically did all the steps so that way I know how to do it (WHAT A CONCEPT RIGHT?!).

Once we were done with the busy work, it was back in the prep room where I was given the opportunity to suture incisions on their arms (they were an organ donor and the long bones in the arms were taken, so the incisions were wide open) and the carotid opening from embalming. And when I say I was given the opportunity, I mean: I was given the opportunity. I was left alone to complete the work! Which I did beautifully, if I do say so myself! We washed the case, and I washed and disinfected the tables, while the guy that was helping me close that night mopped the floor. Once we were done, the night was over! Time flew and it felt great!

Now, reading this to anyone else might sound a little mundane, but in all seriousness, I felt like a funeral director. I felt like an equal. I felt like a god damn adult. I didn’t feel like a maid for once!

Since the first day, I’ve driven the hearse to 2 services away from the mortuary. Tonight was my 4th day on the job, and it was a HUGE service in the chapel and a viewing in the smaller, side room. I love my supervising embalmer because when it’s time to close, it’s time to close! We got them out, cleaned up quickly, and that was that. No need to vacuum (no footprints! *eye roll*) or deal with the trash!

I can’t wait to finally have my apprenticeship paperwork in order and get the official go ahead to start my journey toward my embalmers license! I got a taste of working with my supervising embalmer yesterday when he was finishing up a case. I was allowed to aspirate and do the cavity treatment, and it was an amazing feeling to be doing what I learned in school, and getting paid for it!

Tomorrow, I finally work a day shift, and I’m actually about to be in charge of my own service! I’m the director! Not an assistant. Not some random person in a suit (who doesn’t actually get to meet the family because the director I’m working with didn’t feel the need to introduce me, even though I did more for the family than they did during the service, but WHATEVER).

Less than 1 week, and my feelings have been confirmed: this is what I’m supposed to be doing with my life, and I LOVE my job.

“New Year, New Me”, and I actually mean it this time.

bfq29bn

2016 was a rough year. The stress of finishing school and the pressure of getting a job towards the end of the semester made the last month or so of 2016 extra stressful. Now that the holidays have passed and we’re into the new year, I wanna reflect just a little. I normally look like the meme I used for this post, but I actually mean it this time! Here’s why:

I passed both sections of the National Board Exams just before Christmas, and therefore, officially met graduation requirements. I continued working hard at my job, but felt like it wasn’t getting me what I thought it would, or taking me where I feel I deserve. I’m a glorified maid, until there’s a service that I can assist on, and then I enjoy my day. Otherwise, I’m filling copy machines and making coffee like a damn intern, so I’ve been keeping my ear to the ground for something else.

I was tempted into applying for the place I’m currently at with the possibility for starting my apprenticeship. Once I got in there and started working, I discovered that there’s not really a need for another embalmer, and it was “up to me” to make friends with the one guy, to even try and get a shot at an apprenticeship. Once I realized how the game works at this place, I realized that an apprenticeship was not gonna happen. Nor did I really want it after seeing the quality of work our establishment produced.

There’s also another coworker of mine who’s been there for 2 years, graduated a year before me, and wants to be an embalmer, so I’d be competing for a spot against her. There’s another coworker that’s in school right now, but has been there over a year, so they’ll both have seniority over me if I were to try and move up in any kind of way.

I told myself that this wasn’t going to be my job for much longer, and I made it happen. A friend of mine worked at another home right around the same time I got the job at my place. Our stories of going to work could not have been more different. She LOVES her work and coworkers. She gets paid a livable wage. She has benefits and enjoys what she does each and every day. In December, she didn’t have a date to her company’s Christmas party, so I tagged along with her and met everyone at her work. They were a small bunch, but you could tell how much they got along. They were a little family, and I could not have been more envious! I walked out of that dinner thinking, “I want this!”, and it just so happened that my friend was moving out of the area and her position was going to be opening up. Without telling me at first, she talked to her boss and coworkers about me and put a good word in for me to take over her position (whata sweetheart, right?!).

So cut to this last Saturday. I wake up to a phone call from the boss, asking if I could come in for an interview on Monday! I had an opening shift at my job that day, so I had to hurry over right after I clocked out. I got to the new place and reintroduced myself to the office ladies and the other funeral director. He proceeded to take me to the boss’ office and had me hang out while he went to find him. In the maybe 5 minutes that I sat and waited, and I could just feel the difference between the two funeral homes. I gave myself a little pep talk just before he came in the room, telling myself, “You’ve got this, you’re awesome. Make it happen!”

After he came in, we just chatted for a little bit. We talked about the establishment, the pay, the days I would possibly work, the possibility of acquiring another funeral home in the future and expansion before taking me on a tour of the place. On the tour, we ran across 2 bodies that were sitting ready for their prospective funerals/visitations the next day, and he took me up to them to look at his handy work. I could tell just from these two cases, that this establishment was far beyond where I was currently working. The decedent looked great! There was good color in their hands and face, the makeup wasn’t caked on like a layer of paint, the mouth (OH THE MOUTH!) looked natural! Our cases, each and every one that comes through the door, gets super glued shut. I always feel it makes their expression funky and sad.

We went to view the decedent in their chapel, and after he told me that this one had scraped his head in a fall and lost tissue on his hand, I took a look at the case and couldn’t tell one way or another that there had been reconstruction work in anyway! It was amazing, and I made sure to praise his work (without brown-nosing of course!). We made our way back to the arrangement room we started in, and I was told to fill out the application (formality). When I was done, he had me go to the office to hang out and chat with the other 3 potential coworkers. They were finishing their day up and didn’t have very many questions for me. The other funeral director did ask me about when I graduated, if I had my licenses, if I passed my NBEs, if we had any mutual acquaintances from the program, etc. Once we were kind of talked out, the boss hurriedly entered the room, exclaiming,”YOU WENT TO PACIFICA!?” (my high school). I told him my graduating year and he says,”OH! Then you would know my daughter!”

As it turns out, my potential employer’s daughter and husband are former classmates of mine. We also share a mutual acquaintance because of his daughter and my friends growing up who played soccer! A woman who I call my “other mother” (and who I used as a reference on my application), is someone who this guy knew for YEARS! “Small world” is an understatement!

So I’m flying when I leave this interview. We had great conversations, everything they offer sounds AMAZING ($4 MORE than what I’m currently making, full time, the apprenticeship, medical and dental benefits, 401K, etc etc), their establishment feels cleaner and newer, their cases look awesome, and I go home and start telling my family about how BADLY I want this! One of the last things one of the ladies said to me before she left was, “so when do you start?” And I stuttered back with,”uhh, he hasn’t given me a date yet?” To which she follows with, “Well, I guess we’ll see ya when we see ya!” My boyfriend is sitting here telling me that I have to get it if they think I already have it, but I’m not counting chickens before they hatch.

Cut to Tuesday night. I just got done vacuuming and finishing my duties at my current job. I can’t quite leave yet because the retort in the crematory is still reading too hot, so I need to kill some time and let it cool before I lock up. I go back to the office and grab my phone. There’s a missed call and a voicemail from the new place saying that he wants me to call back and that he’s there till 10pm. My head starts buzzing! Do I call now and get it out of the way or do I wait for the crematory, drive home, and call back once I’m there? Of course I do the former, since I’m at work all by myself and I’ll stress myself out more if I don’t call back immediately!

When he answers the phone he asks me if I was running because I seem out of breath. I told him that that was because I had just finished vacuuming (and because I was stressing myself out, but didn’t tell him that), and his reply was, “oh, so they’re showing you the business end of a vacuum again?” (HA!)

We chat for a few minutes. He reiterates the pay, sick time, vacation time, the fact that I will be set in the schedule we talked about for 2 years and if i was OK with that (I was). He then told me,”well I talked to [your ‘other mother’] and she had nothing but good things to say about you…I also talked to your boss there” I clammed up because I haven’t mentioned in ANYWAY about looking elsewhere. He continues,”We had a nice talk, and he said he’d be sad to see you leave, because you are, you’re hired!” After a bunch of thank you’s and “oh my gosh, I’m so excited”, we decided that I would be putting in my two weeks notice and starting at the end of the month!

I still can’t believe that my year has started off so well! I keep feeling like something’s gonna happen to fuck it all up, but for now, I’m staying positive and excited! My dude and I are finally gonna be making money in “adult jobs”. Not only that, but our dream of moving is closer than ever! We’re going to make it happen in 2017, I can feel it!

I hung out with the coworker/friend that got me the job at my current place and broke the news that I was leaving. She was bummed that I’m leaving, but more bummed that she’s still stuck there. I thought she was going to be a little mad that I was going so quickly (I’ve barely been there 4 months), but she’s happy for me and told me to keep my ear out for anything for her to try and apply for.

Now, I have to say, I don’t want to talk shit about any home. This is a very small industry, and I wouldn’t want to say something that could get me in trouble, or insult a family, or anything that would just be a dick move. They let me dip my toes into the industry, and made me see what I don’t want to be, but that doesn’t mean the ones who have been there for a long time are doing it wrong, it’s just not what I want for myself. I wanted to find a place that was more like minded to me, and this place and I couldn’t have been more different. The new home is awesome and I can see it meshing with my ideas much more, so I’m really excited to start working there.

Also, every place has coworkers that you just don’t get along with, but my biggest gripe or reason to not want to be at my current place is this: I just don’t fit in with those guys. I feel strongly that there’s a place for everyone, and I was a square peg in a round hole at that place. They were a group that I was just not going to be able to mesh with. They’re nice people, they love what they’re doing, but I’m not going to make them like me or change their mind. They weren’t going to treat me any different than I was already being treated. I was seen as a secretary or each of their own personal assistants. But not only that, I was shit on and given the stupid shit they just didn’t want to do. They all treated night attendants (my position there) as “less than” a funeral director, even though I was licensed and 3 of them weren’t.

There was no procedure or training. They would just say,”don’t do that”, after I was already doing something a certain way (that I was told to do!) for a month. There was no consistency, and I am not an idiot so don’t treat me like one. The last couple of weeks, I’ve started assisting and taking over services for some of the directors and getting little to no recognition from my coworkers. But they’re the first to try and point out something I did wrong (even when it wasn’t!). I just really needed out of that environment, and I’m so happy it happened so quickly.

I didn’t really mean for this post to become so long, but I didn’t update in a long time, and I really wanted to document my excitement! I can’t wait to start my apprenticeship, and I’m one step closer to becoming a licensed embalmer!

“New year, new me” is very fitting this year! I can’t wait to see what happens for me this year!