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Rude Jerks Like This Really Burn Me Up

, , , , | Right | CREDIT: Vessecora | January 6, 2023

I work at a crematorium. We have memorial gardens, and my job is sell the sites, administration, and customer service. I like to think I’m pretty good at it. The figures definitely show an upward trend since I started four months ago.

But there’s also a cemetery out front.

The division is the car park, where there are council signs giving the name of the cemetery. People constantly call or walk in asking about sites or maintenance or help finding Grandma in the cemetery.

All I can do is explain that the council controls the cemetery side — maintenance, burials, memorials, and records — and give them their office number to call. If they’re nice and the enquiry is quick, I’ll do it for them — usually, for the nice old ducks looking to visit a friend they haven’t been to visit in years. But it’s definitely difficult to gauge whether they’re talking about the memorial gardens or the cemetery, especially over the phone; trying to figure out where to start asking questions is hard for me, being autistic. I can only desperately hope I don’t seem rude!

There is one particular middle-aged woman who doesn’t seem to get it, despite multiple explanations. This lady wants to put her mother’s ashes with her father’s. But since I don’t work for the cemetery, I can’t help her.

I’ve directed her to the council a few times, but this week, she comes back in to ask why we haven’t put her mother’s ashes into the wall niche yet. Again, I try to explain, but she just starts going off about my tone, about my lack of professionalism, and about how disrespectful I’m being.

I’m trying to be helpful and explain things, and she interrupts me, sneering.

Lady: “How old are you?”

Me: “Sorry?”

Lady: “I asked, how old are you? Hm?!”

Me: “Oh, er, twenty-eight?”

Lady: “You’re too young for this job. I bet you haven’t even lost anyone in your life! No wonder you’re so d*** disrespectful.”

I get angry and loud since it’s so fresh.

Me: “Well, actually, I lost my father six months ago. His memorial happens to be here in the gardens. The gardens that I work in. Not the cemetery. I don’t work for the cemetery.”

Lady: “Where’s your manager? If you people don’t do your jobs, I’m going to call the police! You’d just better do your f****** job, or I’ll take legal action! It’s been weeks. You don’t know how to treat people. It’s disgusting how you’re holding my mother’s ashes hostage!”

Me: “Look. I completely understand that. It’s horrible that you haven’t been able to lay her ashes to rest and say goodbye, but I really can’t help you. My manager is offsite at the moment, but I’ll give you his number.”

Lady: “I must say, your tone has been completely disrespectful. You sound like you don’t give a d***.”

I write my manager’s direct number on a business card.

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry. I have autism, so that’s probably why. I truly don’t mean to sound—”

Lady: *Interrupting loudly* “So, you’re too r******d to do your job?”

She snatched the paper out of my shaking hand before storming out the door. My anxiety levels were absolutely through the roof.

We’ve received emails and calls of complaint from three different family members so far. I’m guessing she’s telling them all to contact us specifically.

The Spirit Of A Grandma Never Dies

, , , , , , , | Related | December 11, 2022

In Buddhism, on the forty-ninth day after death, a person’s soul begins the cycle of reincarnation, and on the 100th, it is reborn into the world. As such, on my grandmother’s 100th day, the whole family gathers to perform the traditional rites.

We bring offerings of food and drink to the grave, light incense, say prayers, and burn paper money and ingots so that the deceased may have more wealth in their next life.

Me: “Why is there toothpaste and a toothbrush on the grave?”

Aunt: “Oh, it’s because last night, I had a dream about Grandma. She told me not to forget the toothpaste.”

Me: “…”

Aunt: “…”

Me: “Yeah, I can totally see her doing that.”

Aunt: “I know, right? She was even wagging her finger like she always does!”

I guess Grandma really didn’t want to have dentures again in her next life.

We Sort Of Hope That Lady Gets Haunted

, , , , | Friendly | October 15, 2021

I grew up in the southern United States, where you are still likely to see the remains of family graveyards. It used to be very common for families to bury deceased loved ones on their own property. No matter where you are, though, tampering with any gravesite without appropriate approval or permission by the family or landowner is a felony. That means it’s punishable by jail time and/or a large fine, depending on your state’s laws.

One of these family graveyards was in the lot next to my childhood home. It was so old we couldn’t read the headstones anymore, but it still had the original iron fence around it. When the neighborhood was developed, the realtor who plotted out the lots bought that one, since it couldn’t be built on anyway. He was also our neighbor down the street. 

I also grew up in one of those small southern towns that frowns upon anyone going outside of what is considered “normal” behavior. We saw it firsthand when my parents got divorced in the early 1990s. On top of the gossip about getting divorced, my mom also chose to live alone and never date or remarry again, which was “unusual”. Both my parents were much happier being divorced, which in turn made me happier, so I never saw anything wrong with it.

Now, I am a freshman in college, living a few hours away. I get a call from my mom and she’s laughing her a** off. 

There is this woman who lives on the other end of my mom’s neighborhood. No one likes her because she goes out of her way to be mean; she’s just a miserable person. Her own husband once said to my dad that it was “easier to put up with her than to try to divorce her.” She’s THAT kind of person.

My mom was looking out her window and saw a guy in his twenties walking around the old graveyard with a set of post-hole diggers and bolt cutters. She called the neighbor who owned the lot and he asked her to drive over and see if the guy worked for the city or something until he got there. Turns out, the guy was doing yard work for extra money, and he said [Miserable Lady] had given him “permission” to DIG UP part of the fence and bring it to her. She wanted it for her TOMATO PLANTS. When my mom told him it was a felony to tamper with a graveyard, no matter how old, the kid started to panic. 

Luckily, the owner arrived and started handling the situation. But I guess someone else had tipped off [Miserable Lady] because here she came in her own car. She screeched to a stop next to my mom’s car and started screaming out the window at her. After letting her go for a few minutes, my mom rolled down the window and calmly told her that she had no legal right to mess with the graveyard.

Miserable Lady: “Why don’t you mind your own business, b****? You know, I always heard you were crazy! Now I know it’s true!”

And my mom — my sweet, little, kill-them-with-kindness mom — smiled at her.

Mom: “That’s funny, I’ve heard the same thing about you.”

What Do You Want On Your Tombstone?

, , , , | Right | CREDIT: jcstan05 | July 8, 2021

I am a headstone designer. Years ago, a gentleman came to the shop looking to buy a grave marker for himself. He was in good health; he was just getting his affairs in order. Ordering a headstone pre-need is a good decision for a few reasons, including the fact that you can choose what goes on it.

Our client wanted us to engrave something pretty crude. I can’t remember the exact phrasing, but it included an F-word and would definitely cause some backlash in my small town. The cemetery, not surprisingly, rejected our proposal. I’m willing to engrave whatever my client wants on a stone, but we’re constrained by the graveyard’s regulation: no inappropriate images or wording should appear on the memorial. Bummer.

We found a workaround: we engraved the scandalous epitaph on the bottom side of the stone. That way, nobody had to know what was under there, and my customer “could read it and laugh for all eternity.”

A Fee-ble Attempt At Avoiding The Fees, Part 2

, , , , , | Right | March 11, 2021

We rent out our chapel for funerals with a slight discount if they’re using the crematorium, as well. One family requested a three-hour service using both but started to balk at the price, so they chopped the first hour off the service and seemed happier with the price.

Fast forward to the day of the service. I’m doing some other work when I see that the family has arrived an hour early to start. I pop my head into our office to see if they’d changed their minds about paying the larger price and it hadn’t gotten to me. Immediately, our administrator stalks off to find the family.

After some discussion with them, it turned out they’d just figured it would be fine if they came early. They were quite unhappy when they found out that they would have to pay the three-hour fee if they wanted in our chapel early. We’ve allowed leeway before with other families, but never by that much, and certainly not when it comes across as skirting our fees. 

A Fee-ble Attempt At Avoiding The Fees