I Don't See Dead People
I had an interview on Friday at a funeral home.
It dawned on me as I was waiting for my interviewer that they probably don't decorate for the holidays at funeral homes. Definitely not Halloween. Bummer. Somewhere from the back a man emerged, tall and droopy like an old sunflower. He asked me for my papers without meeting my eyes and then we stood side by side for a couple of minutes awkwardly. It gave me time to stare at the three paisley couches in the room. Paisley. Good God, why?
I was rescued soon after by an older Italian man with the same first name as my Father. He entertained me for the next thirty minutes while I waited for the boss. "Are you married?" He asked. "Since November." "Bless you." He explained that the first gentlemen I'd met was the funeral director, Vance. Apparently, no one liked Vance because he was annoying. He was also the person I would be working with. Great. "Does this place creep you out?" "Maybe a little." I replied, staring at the couches.
I can't remember the name of the man who interviewed me. I think I might have been distracted by the urns that filled the room we were sitting in. He explained that the job was not for an administrative assistant position, as had been posted. It was for an office manager and substitute funeral director. On occasion I might have to wheel around bodies. I might even have to touch them. "But we'd never make you embalm them." As if that were an option!
I would be in charge of accounting and sales and funeral arrangements, a real one-woman-show. "Where will the funeral director be?" I asked. "Out selling, mostly. He visits all the retirement communities." For some odd reason, that disturbed me the most. Fortunately, the pay was lower than I was willing to accept. I say fortunately because I might have taken the job otherwise, out of obligation. But it didn't make me feel good. Despite the awesome blog fodder it might have created.
I knew when I left that they were going to offer me the position. "You can't work at a funeral home!" My Mom cried over the phone on my way home. "How will you ever make friends?!" Thanks Ma. "How'd it go?" Hoop asked when I walked in the door. "Did you knock them dead? I bet you killed them." They called this morning. They wanted me to start immediately. "It's not the direction I want to take my career," I told the woman politely.
Because I don't see dead people.
Not even professionally.