“Sometimes we let life guide us, and other times we take life by the horns. But one thing is for sure: no matter how organized we are, or how well we plan, we can always expect the unexpected.” -Brandon Jenner (actor and composer)
THAT’LL WAKE YOU UP
It was an early Saturday morning for our hearse driver, the funeral assistant, and myself. We were headed to a church across town and the service we were already running a bit late.
As we loaded the casket into our coach, I felt a tug on my skirt and asked the hearse driver to stop for a moment and hold the casket. My skirt had gotten caught in the rollers of the hearse. No big deal, right?
We quickly decided we would just reverse and unload the casket. Then, my skirt should unroll with it. Well, even the best thought out plans can fall through. We ended up tangling my skirt even worse and the hearse driver was stuck holding the casket end by himself.
ARE YOU HITTING ON ME?
As any retired man would say to a woman half his age, “Our only choice is for you to take your skirt off.” As funny as it sounded, he was right and it was the only option for us. The icing on the cake was that we were loading outside in the parking lot instead of the garage like usual.
After assuring that his eyes were closed and no one was driving by, I unzipped my skirt and ran inside with just my underwear and pantyhose on. I grabbed the first thing I could, which was a high traffic rug, and wrapped it around me.
With much effort, the driver was able to get my skirt out with just a three inch tear. It was discreet enough that I was able to staple it, throw it back on, and then continue with our day. The two other staff busted their butts to help make up for lost time.
The situation could have ruined our day, our mood, and ultimately the service; however, the three of us decided 20 minutes of running around was worth the humor of the morning.
LET’S MEET IN… THE BROOM CLOSET?
Funeral directors are used to the rollercoaster that is every day in funeral service. But, more often than not, this is where pre-need specialists get frazzled.
It happens all the time. The pre-need specialist arrives at the funeral home to find out all the arrangement rooms are taken and there is a private view in the chapel. The available options are to meet in the lobby or the broom closet.
The natural response is an increased heart rate and panic. They run around the building frantically trying to make a meeting area for their appointment and work to line up the right catalogues and binders.
By the time the family arrives, they still have not calmed down. Usually they are unnecessarily apologizing for the circumstances and honestly, the family does not even realize the situation needs apologizing for.
The pace in these appointments is much quicker than it should be, and there is stress in the air. The family can always sense that something is wrong.
JUST TAKE A BREATH
First of all, just take a deep breath. Your appointment relies on you calming down. They say that animals can sense fear, well the same is true about humans, they can sense anxiety.
Second of all, do not get upset with the funeral directors. Realize that every moment of their lives is hopping from moment to moment and they are used to putting out little fires throughout the day. They are constantly on adrenaline rush because they never know what the next hour will bring. This is not how the pre-need departments usually operate but the funeral directors cannot seem to comprehend that.
Lastly, remember that you personally decide your mood and your mood sets the atmosphere. Learn different techniques on how to calm down when things are going wrong. Do not let the little things affect the big picture. As long as you are not running through a parking lot with just pantyhose on, I would say your day cannot be that bad.