Funeral Directors: Know that you are appreciated

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For almost 35 years I went about doing my job as an owner/operator of a mortuary.  I answered calls, I did some embalmings, I met with families, and I conducted thousands of funerals.  I know that by my nature that I am a “people pleaser” and I always strived to please everyone whom I was working for.  If that meant staying late for a visitation. . fine. . . if it meant missing watching a Vikings game on a Sunday afternoon for an arrangement. . .fine. . . I pleased the people.

I’m not complaining. . .I enjoyed it. . . and I built a pretty good business over the years by having that attitude.  But, I never really sat back and thought, “I wonder if these people appreciate it.”  Quite frankly, even though people told me that they really appreciated the effort I put forth, I didn’t really think about it. . . . it was just what I did and who I was.

I’m also a person who is very self-reliant and try to do things on my own.  With a little help from a financial friend who knows more about technology than I do (which is certainly not a ringing technology endorsement for him), I’ve been able to figure out this blog and maneuver enough to reach about 1600 daily subscribers.  However, technology does a lot for you and, unless you are a computer programmer, you don’t know what is behind the technology.

I learned a little about technology and a lot about appreciation in August.  You see, on a Monday I noticed that comments to Funeral Director Daily were not being posted by the programming properly.  Then on Tuesday I noticed that the new subscriber form had disappeared.  Finally, on that Wednesday morning, I checked my e-mail and there was no e-mail from Funeral Director Daily. . . and I knew that there was supposed to be one.

I didn’t really know what to do but I knew that there were about  1600 subscribers who were looking for an e-mail or Twitter feed that they never received.  I know that is not a way to please people.  So I called my financial friend and he tried a fix but by Thursday morning blank e-mails were being sent to subscribers.

Have you been that funeral director that has received a call on his personal phone and someone on the other end says, “I have no idea what to do but my dad (mom)/(husband)/(wife) died?”  You then quite calmly reassured them that you are there just for this situation.  You let them know that you would be on top of the situation and knew exactly what to do. . . . and then you went about taking care of them.

Well, I was that guy on that Thursday.  No, not the funeral director. . .but the guy who called his friend, the computer technician, and said “Hey, here is what happened and I don’t know what to do.”  My friend, Jeff, told me, “Don’t worry about it. . .this is what I do every day.  Get me the information and we will get it fixed.”

Well, by the end of the day, we believe we had it fixed.  And, you know what. . . . I really appreciated Jeff.  So, I thought to myself, I bet those people really did appreciate me when I got their mom “home” from Florida or found them a grave space near Grandpa’s in that particular cemetery.

So, funeral directors, when you are just doing what you are good at. . . .don’t brush off the fact that those people who you do it for in a great time of need, really do appreciate you.  It took me seeing how much I appreciate someone else to see that, yes, maybe families did appreciate that effort I gave for them.

Funeral Director Daily take:  I’m still not really sure what happened with the Funeral Director Daily blog delivery system in August.  However, all indications indicate to us that it was “growth caused”.  Meaning the growth of readership and page views is causing us to go to a more commercial style of “back room” for operational functions.

Over the last couple of weeks, Jeff, has analyzed my technology operations — everything from how the morning and afternoon articles get sent to you to how we are lining up on Google searches to bring more readers to the blog.  I still write the stories, but virtually everything else, from a technology point of view is different and updated. . . . and, it is taking some getting used to on my part to find all the reader reports available, but the discovery of the data available to me is an adventure in itself.  Truly, I’m an old dog learning new tricks.

I’m still a one-man band here in the editorial department and plan to stay that way as I believe the home-spun knowledge, stories, and opinions is what gives Funeral Director Daily its unusual readership flavor.

However, I’ve now got my friend, Jeff, in my technology “department” on speed dial!






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