Thursday, August 11, 2011


WOW! Delicious chicken...
Yesterday on my way home from work I decided to stop of at a local chicken joint and get a bucket of chicken.  It was a regular day and I decided to walk in instead of going through the drive thru to get my chicken. So I walked into this place and there were three people in the place behind the counter. A young lady, lets call her Diana, walked up to the counter and said “Hi! Welcome to Chicken Land” (fictitious name) can I help you?” Diane had the best demeanor that I have ever seen in a “chicken place”. I was really blown away by her friendly greeting and real sincere desire to help me select the right chicken to suite my needs and hunger.  I asked her, Diane, how long have you worked here? She said a while since she graduated from high school; she needed a job until she could decide what she was going to do. I was really blown away. Most places it takes all you have to ignore the fact that the kid behind the counter trousers are hanging below his…, well, you know.
Will that be a wing or a thigh?
I worked fast food during high school and I know what its like to have to deal with people and food.  It is really hard to deal with people on a daily basis who really don’t seem to care who you are, only that they are hungry and they want the chicken on the racks behind you and they have about 20 minutes to eat and get back to work.

I know Diane could not have made $7.50 an hour MAX and for that, she gave me a great smile, a pleasant greeting and was quick to retrieve my chicken.  As I left it almost didn’t seem fair that she did all that for me, put the cash in the company drawer and commenced to grab a towel to wipe down the tables out front. The sad part being, her boss back in chicken central in Kentucky does not know nor will they ever know or care who this person is on the front line in the chicken wars. They just want her to push the chicken.
So why am I doing all I can to bring Diana and the chicken fiasco to your attention? This is a simple person doing a very simple job as she goes through life serving people for such a small hourly wage. I’m sure that at the end of the week she gets her check and goes home and is happy to have served a few people some chicken and earn a little wage to enjoy her weekend, help out around the house or maybe care for her family. The point here is Diane did not appear to me to be very self deserving with her attitude in her job or position.
So many in this industry we call funeral appear to me to feel that way. I talked to a man as of this week who was trying to do a simple cremation for his sister. He shared with me that he called 13, that’s thirteen, funeral homes prior to our location before he felt comfortable enough to work with one. He was amazed at the charge for a direct cremation. He kept asking, and what else…, and what else….. Nothing I shared with him. Direct Cremation, $585 complete. All included.

I was told by this gentleman that he was disappointed with how insensitive the industry appears, once they make the pitch for the big sale and all you want is the direct cremation, it’s like the air is let out of the counselor’s sail. They just don’t appear to care. "They cant get me off the phone quick enough" he said. He asked me,  "Why do people not care or act like they are doing you a favor by talking to them? Why do they act as if you are asking them to throw a piece of trash away for them? That's my sister!" He said.

I shared with him that it is my belief and experience that: (I am not an expert now!)
  • 1. MOST Corporate funeral staff work on commission for the service packages sold, a direct cremation does not draw that much commission for the arranger, if any at all.  Remember, anyone who has the opportunity to receive a commission on a sale will sell you ANYTHING for that commission. The more sold, the bigger the commission.  There is the incentive.
  • 2. Smaller funeral homes don’t make that much on direct cremations so whether one is provided or not, there is no great loss of revenue. Some care, some don't. 
  • 3. Corporate staff works by the hour, they are not serving from a family owned point of view, in other words, it’s just a job to them, not something they originally chose to do.
  • 4. The employee just doesn’t care. Its an easy weekly check for them, either they help you or not, at the end of the day they just punch the clock and go home.
Bla Bla Bla, I have no time for this....
My 13 years of experience leads me to believe that a vast majority of poor service in the funeral industry falls under number 4. And they don't care. Most of these people should not be working in the death care industry. They took the job out of necessity and lack the passion and compassion to serve people during these trying times. Remember, when you find yourself talking to a person that is giving you the impression that you are annoying them, disturbing them or is spending more time talking or laughing with someone in the background or being put on hold, do yourself a favor and hang up, because they don't care, not for you, or the next caller.
There are a lot of good honest people out there that work in this industry because they really want to help people, both corporate and independent. Let me repeat that! There are a lot of good honest people out there that work in this industry because they really want to help people, both corporate and independent. Now the reason I repeat that is because I don’t want my post to be interpreted as one that is laying blame on all others and making myself the beacon of light in the funeral industry.
The funeral industry has its good and bad, like, uh, let’s see……. steel mills, churches, shoe stores, window cleaners, gardeners and yes even chicken land!
So the next time you find yourself in need, please call around, with a little luck and good reception from a caring individual, you just might run into a caring counselor who will greet you with a gentle smile, a caring heart, a gentle touch and does her job not for the bonus or the hourly wage, but because she wants to help you.

Even if your just buying a bucket of chicken.

No comments:

Post a Comment