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AIBU to ask if any of you folk work in the funeral industry?

(24 Posts)
QueenArseClangers Fri 07-Apr-17 12:54:39

I'm looking at a career in funeral care, it's kinda hit me like a brick that this is something I'd love to do.

I've worked in the NHS and in infant feeding/birth/pregnancy so to care for people (and their family) after death seems the O to the A.

Any MNers have any advice please? smile

WorraLiberty Fri 07-Apr-17 13:01:38

My sister does.

If you have any specific questions you need answering, feel free to PM and I can ask her for you.

FilledSoda Fri 07-Apr-17 13:29:06

I've fleetingly thought about this too.
I think a lot of it is on the job training like an apprentice.
Where I live most funeral directors are a family business.

QueenArseClangers Fri 07-Apr-17 15:17:46

Cheers Worra.

QueenArseClangers Fri 07-Apr-17 15:20:22

Filled I've applied for a position with Cooperative Funeral care. They seem to be the only national ones who aren't (incestuosly) family run.

loveka Fri 07-Apr-17 15:23:30

Coop funeralcare take on people of all ages. A lot are ex army. You need to be a good driver and a meticulous car polisher at the start! I would call their head office HR department for advice.

As a group funeral directors are some of the nicest people I've met. They also have a higher proportion of smokers than any other profession I have worked with!!!

NeedMoreSleepOrSugar Fri 07-Apr-17 15:25:59

I work with two people who used to work in the industry. Both have nothing but praise for it.

RuncibleSp00n Fri 07-Apr-17 15:29:21

They seem to be the only national ones who aren't (incestuosly) family run'.

That's a bit uncalled-for OP. I'd been about to give you some tips and pointers, as I'm third-generation of a family of (very honourable, well-respected) undertakers. I can assure you there's no incest involved. hmm

The one piece of advice I'd give you is that undertakers need good people and communication skills and a sensitive and respectful manner.

Maybe something to consider. HTH.

EnglishGirlApproximately Fri 07-Apr-17 15:29:59

My dad is a funeral director. You need to be very patient, compassionate and have empathy whilst still understanding that you are a business.
It's really important to maintain a sense of humour and be able to emotionally detach from the work. It's very rewarding and people put a lot of trust in you so you need great attention to detail, things do go wrong but rarely as detail is key.

hippogriffwobble Fri 07-Apr-17 15:31:10

I'd really like to do this too. It kind of hit me like a brick too OP.

EnglishGirlApproximately Fri 07-Apr-17 15:32:02

runc I was going to say that but decided to let it slide wink Many people like family businesses, they trust them and know them in the community.

HunterHearstHelmsley Fri 07-Apr-17 15:35:12

My Mum does and loves it. She arranges funerals for a family firm. Used to be at a national chain.

RuncibleSp00n Fri 07-Apr-17 15:40:32

Forgot to answer your question:

Yes, YABVU to describe family-run funeral directors as 'incestuous' and not to think this may alienate a fair few of the very MNers you're asking for advice from.


TheCraicDealer Fri 07-Apr-17 15:41:55

I think OP was referring to the perceived nepotism rather than implying actual incest. It's hardly surprising- people brought up with family working in a niche industry see it as normal and don't have the same "ick" factor as the more general public, and inevitably take jobs with the family firm. Which is great, but can make it difficult for someone with no industry connections to get into the industry. Not unlike abattoirs or solicitors firms over here grin

RuncibleSp00n Fri 07-Apr-17 15:45:58

Meh. I know what was meant, but personally don't care to have the term 'incestuous' applied to my family - particularly by someone asking for my help.

Good luck with breaking into the trade OP. Remember my top tip about needing good communication skills/people skills. and perhaps have a rethink

JaneEyre70 Fri 07-Apr-17 15:52:04

I used to work for a small well established company of local funeral directors, and I'd never go for a "chain" to be honest - I think the personal touch is far more important at such a terrible time.
I worked in the office, you had to be very on the ball as you can't ever make a mistake and mess a funeral up! You also had to be very sympathetic whilst staying very detached and some days it could be very rewarding, other days very draining. You are always dealing with people at the worst time of their lives and that can sometimes really wear you down.
I also found it hugely upsetting when it was a young persons funeral or even worse a child as opposed to someone that had had a good innings.
Having said that, I met some of the loveliest people, and the pallbearers especially were wonderful company. They had a great sense of humour (something you def need) and treated people with such care and dignity. There was very much a family feel to it, and a very strong sense of morale and looking out for each other.

TheCraicDealer Fri 07-Apr-17 15:53:28

So you knew what OP meant, decided to deliberately misconstrue it and then make several passive aggressive posts in response? There was no need. Maybe you should take your own advice.

QueenArseClangers Fri 07-Apr-17 15:54:55

Many, many apologies for the the poorly thought out quip.
I was referring to Six Feet Under (excellent US tv drama which had a dodgy storyline re brother and sister) but missed out mentioning it on my OP!

QueenArseClangers Fri 07-Apr-17 15:57:16

QueenArseClangers Fri 07-Apr-17 16:06:29

Would any of you lovely folk say that working with death on a daily basis has made a difference to any bereavement you may have had personally?

RuncibleSp00n Fri 07-Apr-17 16:07:02

Craic No, I didn't choose to misconstrue things at all. You jumped to that conclusion by yourself. I obviously knew what the OP was getting-at (thanks for pointing it out though wink) but I felt a tad offended by the ill-judged use of the term 'incestuous' as a synonym for close-knit. It felt a bit unnecessary and uncalled-for, when applied to family businesses such as my own.

OP Thanks for your reply, and apology accepted! I remember Six Feet Under- it was quite a good show. Full of hot men IIRC?! grin

QueenArseClangers Fri 07-Apr-17 16:22:43

It's certainly reminded me to press the 'preview' button before posting to save me looking like a right dick blush

FallenSky Fri 07-Apr-17 16:30:10

My mum is an arranger. She went in to the job at about 45 I think and had never done anything remotely similar in the past. I'm constantly telling her I don't know how she does it. I think you need to be a special kind of person to be able to cope with others grief day in day out. I don't think I could. It's not just the crying, devastated people though. She's been attacked, verbally and physically a few times. It seems tough. But she loves it. Especially when she gets a little card or phone call after the funeral from families thanking her. She does get upset at home sometimes, especially if it is a child she is arranging the funeral for. But they have counselling available to them if needed.

QueenArseClangers Fri 07-Apr-17 16:36:19

Sounds very similar to working in the NHS Fallen.
How does it affect one as a parent? Like you said, someone else's grief day in day out?

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