The funeral director is the
person in charge on the day of the funeral and the one who will carry sole
responsibility for the correct performance of all other staff involved
with that particular funeral.
They may appear far too young (to be
a funeral director) but
they should be able to take full control when necessary.
The funeral director is personally
responsible for all details of the particular funeral that they are
conducting at that moment - and more than likely several others during
the same day!
They may hold a senior
position in their company such as manager or be in charge of stock
control or personnel.
They will be prepared to
step forward and take control of events as they unfold and all the staff
and mourners should be able to look with confidence to the funeral director for guidance
and leadership on the day.
They may be working on a 24
hour call-out rota and can be forgiven for appearing a little bleary
- eyed during the day - it is quite possible that they will have spent a
very disturbed night, answering telephone inquiries, responding to police
calls or preparing work schedules for the following day.
They will be available for
day and evening visits to clients, often as well as having to complete
other duties, when and if they can find the time.
In many companies the
funeral director will also be striving to obtain full qualification - usually
in any "spare" time.
It is to this person that
you must first turn in the event of any complaint - even if they did not
make the funeral arrangement with you or your family, they will be
held responsible for correct completion of all instructions relating to
the funeral on the day.
The modern funeral director
is often subjected to a lot of pressure in the work place; sales targets
to achieve, staff and vehicle presentation, correct handling and loading
of floral tributes, proper identification of the deceased, accurate
completion of paperwork to mention a few points. And, above all,
the clients to be dealt with.
There is an enormous
satisfaction to be gained from doing this job "right" and
perhaps it is this one thing that keeps the funeral director dressed in black.
Employment in the larger UK
companies is most often gained by starting either as a driver/bearer or
trainee funeral director and working up.
Two good places to begin, by
application to the National Association of
Funeral Directors, (NAFD) asking for the address of the local area secretary.
A scan through the telephone book will turn up several suitable addresses
and a CV with covering letter may often prove successful. Be aware that
writing to all the offices listed will inevitably result in some
duplication where the firms are actually branches of the same holding company, and
the Society of Allied and Independent
Funeral Directors (SAIF) who cheerfully provide a long list of their members
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