Editorial

9 Puns Funeral Directors Don’t Think Are Funny

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10.18 Pun 2Let’s say you’re reading this post, and you’re not a funeral director. Imagine you’re at a party.  You meet funeral director Joe, and when you hear what he does for a living, you think of a simply brilliant pun to tell him and the group around you about his profession and what he does on a day-to-day basis. 

If we can offer you any advice, it’s to stop right there. Don’t open your mouth and share the pun, crinkling your eyes as you throw your head back in laughter. Don’t slap him on the back and say “that’s a good one!” Chances are he’s heard every single pun you could possibly come up with hundreds of times, and he doesn’t think they’re funny.  They weren’t funny the first time, and they definitely won’t be funny by the time you get to them.

Here’s our list of 9 not-so-funny puns. Use at your own risk.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Managing My Generation: A Millennial’s Perspective

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Blog Imagesby Randy Gagnon, OGR Member Brunswick Memorial Home

As of 2015, Millennials have surpassed Generation X as the largest workforce in today’s economy (Pew Research Center, 2015). Millennials will be assuming more and more positions in your firm and with the vendors you encounter daily; therefore, knowing how to successfully manage them is critical to the future of any business.  Do you know how to manage this generation to maximize their productivity?

While there are no exact years as to when this generation begins and ends, researchers typically believe them to be born in the early 1980s to early 2000s (Wikipedia).  This much is true: Millennials are the product of a different time, with different values, different motivations, and different desires than many of those who manage them. Millennials grew up in an electronics-filled, Internet-driven, and socially-networked environment.

Interestingly enough, Millennials have received the most marketing attention of any generation (Forbes, 2017). They have been taught to ‘follow their dreams’.  They were raised in structured environments but have had substantial contact with vast and diverse groups of people via the Internet.

Like many generations of workers, performance lies in management. Here are some best practices for maximizing the potential of your millennial employees from the perspective of a Millennial: Read the rest of this entry »

The Funeral Rule: Not So Bad; Requiring Online Prices: Not So Good

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Thanks to Joshua Slocum and the Funeral Consumers Alliance, the media have jumped all over the “funeral-prices-are-so-hard-to-find” bandwagon. From there it’s a short ride to believing that mandatory posting of prices on funeral home websites is an easy solution for simplifying funeral options and costs. Can it really be that easy? Do funeral professionals want to make access to information difficult? Read the rest of this entry »

2016 Trends that Shaped Funeral Service–Part II

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2016-trendsLast week we began a review of 10 developments in funeral service that caught the attention of national–and sometimes–international media. Coverage focused on changing trends, occasionally on what went wrong, and often what were the most outrageous ideas. Here are another five topics that demonstrate what is catching the attention of media outlets and their readers.  Read the rest of this entry »

2016 Trends that Shaped Funeral Service–Part I

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In many people’s minds, 2016 will be remembered as the year celebrities dropped like flies. According to Legacy.com, the number of celebrity deaths was comparable to previous years, but three factors made it appear that celebrities were dying in droves: 1) a higher-than-average number of those who died were either A-list or legendary stars; 2) many musicians died who had extremely loyal fan bases; and 3) the average age of celebrities who died this year was about 10 years younger than usual.

Aside from celebrity deaths, growing pains continued to reach every aspect of funeral service. During the last 12 months we saw some outrageous trends, some of which have already used up their 15 minutes of fame. Other news stories highlighted shifts in public preferences that merit our continued attention, even if these changes seem undignified to some traditionalists.

Part I of this blog will examine five topics which drew national, and sometimes international, attention to funeral service in ways that are relevant to serving families in the near future. Next week, Part II will examine five more topics.  Read the rest of this entry »

Funeral Directors Give Thanks

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Thanksgiving is more than just a break from school or work and eating lots of turkey. As we gather with family and friends this Thanksgiving holiday, may we pause to reflect on the blessings we have and remind one another of all the reasons we have to be grateful.

Here at OGR, we want to thank all of our members who help this association thrive. We are grateful for the trust you put in us to provide you with the best resources an association can offer, and we thank you for your many years of loyalty and friendship.

We asked some of our funeral home members to share what they are most thankful for. You can see their responses below.

Read the rest of this entry »

10 Things I’ve Learned from Working with Funeral Directors

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Here’s a typical conversation that I have when I’m out with friends, meeting new people.

“What do you do?” asks someone who doesn’t really care but feels obligated to engage me in conversation.

“I work for a trade association that works with independently owned funeral homes. I’m a meeting planner.” I respond to cut to the chase.

“Oh! So you plan funerals? Do you embalm bodies?” returns the individual who now has a stronger interest in hearing what I have to say and obviously wasn’t listening.

“No. But I know quite a few people who do. Why? Do you need a discount on an urn?”

The asker typically turns pale and isn’t sure where to go from there.

So goes many a conversation at cocktail parties and other events when I have the opportunity to interact with anyone who doesn’t work in funeral service. It’s made me stop and think about what funeral directors face when they share their story with others.

Since I joined OGR’s staff four years ago, I’ve learned quite a bit about funeral service professionals and have found that they have a pretty challenging job. They work long, irregular hours around strange smells, extreme emotions, and lots of paperwork. They respond to phone calls in the middle of the night, often miss holidays with their families, and care for dead bodies. They maintain composure and professionalism in the midst of family conflict, inclement weather, and national tragedies. A lot of what they do is behind the scenes, unseen and unheard.  Read the rest of this entry »