Wednesday, September 19, 2007

the man's an idiot

JK (Jargon King) is stupid. Plain old stupid. I had a viewing yesterday for the father of a well-known author who lives here locally. She's also a member of my church (not that i know her, several thousand people go there at different service times, plus i probably wouldn't know her anyway, not quite the same circles we run in, although she was mostly down to earth and very nice, and she gave me two signed books). Anyway, this isn't really about her, although i was a little intimidated to be honest. It's about the viewing of her father. The family was scheduled to be there yesterday at 4:00 for the family preview, followed by extended family viewing at 5, and then public viewing at 7pm. At 1pm, JK tells me there was a little bad news. According to him, the casket company sent me the wrong size casket. I ordered a 1X and he said they sent two regular sized ones, one for me one for the Gardens. He told me how he'd measured mine and it was regular and he called the company and they told him mine had not been delivered, so he measured the one he had again and determined it to be his. So he put his tiny little old lady in it. Only to then somehow find out it was mine. I was livid. LIVID. I just looked at him. I said, "Didn't you or anyone else think to look at the family name on the delivery sheet?" "Well, uh, um, No." "Didn't you wonder why it had handles on both ends, not just the sides?" "What does that have to do with it?" Oh my word. According to what he's told me, he supposedly managed 44 funeral homes for one corporation. According to what he told our courier it was 66. So, supposedly he has a TON of funeral experience, yet somehow he doesn't know that this most common of oversized caskets, has handles on both ends. "Why didn't anyone call me?" "No disrespect intended, but we didn't think you'd know." There was no point arguing. It was done. So what was being done to fix it. Well, let me back up. At my funeral home, we don't have a very good lift system. In fact we have a horrible one. Once before I got there Skip lost a big man while using it. Then last summer, me and Szechwan and another guy lost a big lady. It was mortifying. We all three cried. Szechwan got hurt trying to catch her and the lady was fine. Last week Skip, who's all of 5'6" and 150 lbs, plus he's over 60 and just had a heart attack a few months ago, got whirled around by someone he had in the lift. The guy was in the air and Skip was pushing him to the casket, when he started to whirl and took Skip with him. He said, "It was just like a blippity blip three-ring circus" and "I thought it was in some sort of blankety-blank rodeo". (add your own expletives, you'll probably choose the right ones) Anyway he grabbed the casket and got the guy wrestled in. But he wasn't willing to take the chance with my big guy. Skip planned to use the stationary ceiling lift at the Gardens to put him into his casket, which is why my guy and his casket were over there instead of at my funeral home. And of course Skip was at my funeral home doing some embalming when JK decided to help out.

A long and angry story short. Tiny lady in my 1x casket. My guy is dressed with no place to go. The casket company saved the day and five guys built me a new one, delivered it to the Gardens AND stayed to help Skip put my guy in it. Then he (Casket Company Guy) helped Skip get the casket in the van so he could drive it over to me, all by 4pm. How amazing is that. Except. JK had already made me call the family to tell them viewing would have to be an hour later, "because the casket company had delivered the wrong casket". I didn't know what else to tell them, so i lied like he told me to. Then i hung up the phone and cried. And cried. I am so overwhelmed with work right now and then a huge screw up like this. I was so frustrated. The family was mad.

When it all worked out and the casket company saved the day, JK called me and told me to call the family back and tell them they could still come at 4. I refused. They'd already rescheduled what they needed and I thought it would be much less professional to call them back and say never mind. I'd already done as much damage control as possible and didn't want to give them any reason to question the situation more.

The viewing was great, it really turned into more of a service kind of thing. Great music, lots of sharing. The real service was today at a church and JK came to my home when it was time for the family to come over for a last viewing before closing the casket for good. He wanted to apologize to the family for the casket company's mix up. What???? I forbade him from speaking to them about it. There was no point in drawing it to their attention any more. They were pleased with how he looked, the chapel was full of flowers and their viewing was a wonderful time of great stories, there was no reason to remind them that we'd messed up. I tried not to let JK be alone with any of them.

The best part of it all is that the Casket Guy called me this morning to verify that i wasn't angry with them because he doesn't want to lose my business. He said JK gave him back the extra one (the real one that the old lady belonged in) and that they'd measured it at their warehouse, and it definitely was the narrow or regular-sized one. He said aloud what I knew. JK messed up and put the lady in the wrong one and then started trying to blame everyone else. I thanked him profusely for saving the day and told him how happy the family was even if they saw him later. He and his crew totally saved us on this one. It was reassuring to know that everyone involved knew what really happened. It all would have been much easier to stomach had the idiot just admitted it rather than blaming others. Even today he started in with it again. He's an idiot and somehow i still gotta figure out how to treat him with respect for the position he holds even though I do not respect him. This is a lesson I keep getting in life. Mostly because I've worked for a bunch of idiots, I guess.


Sayre said...

I've known a few JKs... blowhards that somehow land in positions of authority (and the pay that goes with them), who then make everyone else do the work so they look good and take the blame when things go wrong. In fact, I work with one right now. Luckily, we are normally separated by a floor, so my mouth isn't tempted to run off with the truth too much!

Are you training to be a FD? Because it sure sounds like that business needs more people like you and fewer like JK.

Sayre said...

Ha ha ha ha!!! I just realized as I hit publish that my JK's initials REALLY ARE JK!

Catch said...

Wow wonder you get so stressed...what an idiot he is...I think you need to put him in that sling ( lift) and whirl him around the room a few times and teach him a lesson!

noelle said...

Sayre, it's too funny that your JK really is a JK. He is such a blowhard! And yes, i am officially now a funeral director intern... how weird is that? really weird sometimes.

And, Catch, I would love to put him in that lift. It would be a hoot!