Here’s a benefit that you didn’t see coming

I operated a funeral home business for over 33 years.  When I started in 1980 the only benefits offered were health insurance and paid vacation.  Over the next 33 years we changed with the times and I came to approve benefits that included not only health care and paid vacation, but also a 401k -like profit sharing plan, the option for benefit money to be put towards child-care expenses, the ability for Aflac-like health incident coverage, employee retention agreements with cash bonuses each year for longevity worked in our company, and more.

As an owner manager it’s like a lot of things. . . .as society changes you want to be up on the changes and make sure that you can offer the benefits that employees care about.  In today’s world that many times includes tuition reimbursement for being a life-long learner in one’s profession as well.

I recently read this article from CBSNews.com that is entitled, “MasterCard, Starbucks, and PayPal to cover abortion travel for workers”.  In general the coverage includes expanding medical insurance offered to workers to include reimbursement for travel expenses who don’t have access to that procedure within 100 miles of their home.

Funeral Director Daily take:  I don’t want to get political in this discussion and will explain here that these companies have recently taken this stand, as you can well imagine, because of the “leaked” Supreme Court document on the coming Roe vs. Wade decision.  It’s my understanding that the decision is not on the medical act of itself, but if the right to that medical act should be determined, as directed by the United States Constitution, by a national decision or by individual states.

Tom Anderson
Funeral Director Daily

The new benefit from these companies would take into consideration that the court rules it is a “States Rights” issue which could lead to different legalities state-by-state and it is not odd that corporations would want uniform coverage for all their employees wherever they may work around the United States.

However, some people are taking the companies actions as “taking a side” on the issue.  For the purpose of this article I take no side on the issue but want to use the “politics of it” to point out a lesson in my life.

It’s interesting, but reading this article brought me back to the time 50 years ago when as a young teenager I learned a lesson about keeping politics out of the funeral business.  It was in 1972 when a neighbor of ours was challenging for a seat in the United States Congress and his daughter was a friend and schoolmate of mine.  She convinced me to place a yard sign on our home’s lawn. . . a home that was right next door to our funeral home.  I will also note that I knew my parents were in favor of this gentleman and would be voting for him from our dinner time discussions.

When Dad got home that night he asked about the sign and about how it got placed in our yard.  I was happy to confess because I was certain my parents were voting for the candidate and would be happy that I procured a sign for our lawn.  My dad, in his gentle sort of way, explained that while we are voting for the man, we keep our politics to ourselves.  He told me something like this, “You see, we operate a funeral home open to people from all walks of life.  If they happened to be for the other candidate we don’t want to make them uncomfortable when they come to our funeral home because we have a different political opinion than theirs.  We will welcome everybody and not judge any of them by their viewpoints.”

As 50 years have passed from that dinner-time discussion, I’m also of the opinion that Dad didn’t want to alienate the other party from using our funeral home because of the economic benefits that came from serving “everyone” also.  And, over the years, I’ve had my political candidates I favored. . . some of whom I also donated to and worked to elect.  However, I never made a big deal about it because there might be an economic aspect to my business because of such.

I’m still pretty pragmatic. . . and I’m still of the opinion that business and politics don’t mix too well.  In business, I’ve been pretty successful with the modus operandi of treating everyone the same, whether their opinions agree or disagree with my own. . . . and I think it is a good position to hold.

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