Whenever people find out that I work for Schoedinger, the next question is almost always something like, “So, do you actually work with the dead people?” While ultimately, we all have some kind of connection with the deceased, and yes, our funeral directors, embalmers, and crematory operators do spend some of their days with dead people, I do try to convince people that our focus really is on the living.
This is not a lonely job. There are people… living people… in and out of my office all day long. So, for my Hollywood-educated friends, I thought I’d tell you about some of the OTHER jobs that are represented in your local Schoedinger chapels.
1) Administrators: These are the people who handle the business of funerals. They keep track of every obituary, death certificate, and post-it note that hits their desk, they create memorial folders, DVDs, and personalized guest books, they answer endless phone calls about visitation times and locations, and they help those crazy Funeral Directors pull-off exceptional services. These are remarkable multi-taskers who honestly have a passion for serving others.
2) Bookkeeping Staff: This group makes sure that the right money gets to the right place. We pay cemeteries, newspapers, florists, and clergy on behalf of the families we serve, plus receive money from estates, insurance policies and great-aunt Betty. That doesn’t even include payroll, electric bills, snow removal, and the many other expenses of maintaining 13 chapels. It takes a village to keep flawless records that will still make perfect sense 50 years from now.
3) Pet Services Staff: These people love pet owners almost as much as they love pets. Like funeral directors, they serve our pet families compassionately and respectfully throughout the grieving process. From picking up pets at various clinics around the city, to returning pets to their owners, our staff makes sure your pet is celebrated and remembered as part of the family.
4) Drivers: With several services going on every day, it takes a team of drivers to get everyone and everything where it needs to be at the right time. Their job is unlimited, from taking flowers to the cemetery, to driving a hearse or limo for a family. They deliver death certificates for doctor’s signatures, and distribute inner-office mail between chapels. Whether funeral supplies or office supplies, or a much more important delivery, they spend the day on the road keeping us all on time.
5) Advanced Planners: This team of licensed planners helps all people- young and old, healthy and aging- record their funeral wishes. We keep a permanent file at our funeral home so that when the time comes, the plan is already in place, saving a lot of uncertainty for loved ones. Our planners also offer pre-funded plans that allow people to pay for their funerals ahead of time, as a gift to those left behind.
There are others: technology gurus, maintenance masters, telephone phenomena… the list could go on. It is true, of course, that at some family-owned businesses, and some of the smaller chapels across the country, the funeral director really does wear all of these hats. But I consider myself lucky to be part of entire staff of living people, helping other living people through one of the most significant events that humans encounter… and I’m not even a Funeral Director.
Amy is a Columbus native with a Journalism degree from Otterbein University. She came to Schoedinger in 2009 as a chapel administrator, and is currently the advance planning coordinator. She enjoys writing, reading, and spending time with her family.