So i start off the day in a hazy place where i'm uncertain what the heck i'm doing here and I end in a place where I'm positive it's not for me. I wanted to deal with the public??? I chose to deal with idiots? hmmm.
1. Mom died in 1999. I know she went thru my funeral home, because ever since I started working here I've been trying to find her file. I came across her death certificate. Have looked EVERYWHERE and can't find her file. Unprofessional? Yes. Unusual? I'm finding that it's not. There was NO filing system for the past 100 years, why do I think i needed to start now? grr.
2. Dad died yesterday. Normally when second spouse dies, we look at first spouse's file and set everything up the same way. Hey, where's that dang file?
3. Dad's pre-need file says put Dad's ahes with Mom's. Who has mom's ashes?
4. let's see, Dad got a new friend sometime after mom died. (he's 89, why does he need a new "friend:?)
5. Dad, NF (new friend) and D1 (Daughter 1) pre-arrange for Dad's cremation in 2003. They pay cash.
6. Dad and NF move and subsequently misplace all receipts and other documentation regarding pre-need.
7. Noelle calls pre-need insurance company for death benefit amount. They say there's no record of Dad or Mom having ever been in their system.
8. NF and her Child come in to bring Dad's clothes. I ask her if she has any of the records. She tells me again, they're lost. I tell her it's a problem. She starts to cry. She's got to be close to 90 herself. I feel like the big bad wolf.
9. D2 comes in to sign the cremation authorization. Oh, let me back up. Dad didn't sign his own authorization. His wife is dead, so all adult children have to sign. There's nine of them. She signs. I don't mention the money thing.
10. Son 1 lives in another state. Has been estranged for fifteen years. I call him. He doesn't believe his dad wanted to be cremated, he's not going to sign. Fifteen minutes later, he says he'll go to the bank, I can fax the form, sign, notarize, fax back. All good. Well, except he never goes to the bank.
11. D1 comes in to sign. I gather statistical info for the Death Certificate. She signs the authorization. Then I tell her there's no pre-pay record. She takes it well. She says she'll look in her records. I say NF is looking for it too. She goes away happy.
12. NF's Child 2 calls threatening lawsuit. who stole the money? Why did I make her mother so upset? Yadda ya. (Remember that she's not even related to Dad as far as I can tell). Fifteen more minutes consoling another person. I tell her to find the records and shut up (well a little nicer than that).
13. D3's boyfriend (what?) calls to ask what kind of form she has to sign and why don't we have a copy of Dad's will? Did I mention it's my funeral director's day off and i'm the only one in the office today. D3, her boyfriend, and S2 go to the bank. Fax, sign, notarize, fax. Call, call, call. 4/9 signatures obtained.
14. S1's wife calls. Can I prove that cremation is what Dad wanted? Scan in the information, email to her, so she can explain it to S1. Did I also mention that the whole family's combined education level is probably junior high school? Maybe that sounds harsh, but these aren't educated folks.
15. D4 goes to Winco (the Walmart of grocery stores), writes a note that says cremate Dad, I'm not paying for anything, faxes it and leaves the store. I call the store within seconds of receiving the fax, the man I talk to is dumbfounded about what the woman just did. He said he even asked her if she wanted to call me first as there was probably a form she needed to fill out. Anyway, she's gone. I leave a message on her message phone. She never calls back.
16. S1's wife calls back. She got my email. She talked to D4, they want to know who's paying as they've now heard the whole saga and don't want to pay a dime. Of course they don't want to pay, they haven't spoken to dad in fifteen years. I don't bother answering her and instead ask when I can expect the signed authorization form. She's a little short when she hangs up. I don't care.
17. D5 calls for me to fax her and S3 their forms. fax, sign, fax. Call, call, call. 6/9 signatures.
18. Oh, wait S4 died last month, whew. 6/8 signatures. Just waiting on S1 and D4 (who did it wrong).
19. Call the doctor's office for verification she'll sign the death certificate. She's on vacation till next Wednesday. No other doctor will sign.
20. NF and her C1 come back, with C1's dog in a crate. Hey, this isn't a pet cemetery, get that thing out of her. Oh, it's alive. why didn't she leave it in the car? They found the paperwork. I make copies. It's an all around lovefest. I let them know I didn't like C2 calling and threatening me. Highly unnecessary.
21. Call D1 to tell her the receipt has been found.
22. Hmm, receipt found. Payment made, no record at the insurance company, where DID the cash go? Did a greedy funeral director try to take advantage of an uneducated family? Been chatting with my manager throughout the day, he's at the other funeral home and wondering the same thing.
I can't wait to see what tomorrow holds. Where's the missing money? Where's the mom's file? Will Dad's ashes be placed with Mom's? What does NF say about that? Will S1 sign? What will they all say that we can't do anything at all till the doctor comes back? Stay tuned...
Oh, wait. I forgot to mention that just as i walked to the prep room door late this afternoon, Skip said to a (body) transportation guy "Hey, get outta here before you barf on my floor!" He rushes out past me, I see why. I don't know how Skip will repair her, she's inside out.