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 OFFICIAL 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.