Working Funerals - How to Get Fed for Free

    One hazard with this job is going a whole day between meals.  And on many funerals people have a wake, often between the church service and the committal (the final burial or cremation).  It is torture to watch people eat while you starve after working for them.  You have just run about helping them and they do not even invite you in for a biscuit.  Most people will invite you in, but do not count on it.  Instead make other plans.

Here is how to get free food, some hints and a story.

- Do not get noticed too much! This is the golden rule.  If you stick out, especially in a bad way, then people will remember.
- Do not just stand about with a huge plate of food stuffing your face.  It looks bad and people do not appreciate it.
- Do not stand or hover too close to the buffet table.  Again, it will make you look bad and people will not like it.
- Do not be pushy or overzealous about getting food.  It looks bad and is unprofessional.
- Do not stand about on your own.  If you stand on your own you stand out in a bad way.  Talking to people makes you look like one of the group.
- Do not make expectations, of people or situations.  This limits your thoughts and opportunities and will most often disappoint you.

- Help old or frail people inside.  It makes you look good and next thing anyone knows you have a plate.  And people will probably think that you were invited by said old/frail person.
- Be quick and do not hesitate too much.  If you just stand about people will look at you and wonder if you really should be eating.
- Think outside the box.  Sometimes trying something different will work, but do not be too risky.
- Talk to people.  If you stand on your own you stand out in a bad way.  Talking to people makes you look like one of the group.
- Keep your eyes open.  Opportunities will come your way for food, do not dismiss them.

Scoring free food:
    I will discuss this day in detail another time, it is too long and good to summarise here.  But basically it was a hot day, so hot I was wiping the sweat away in the church in front of everyone with my suit sleeve.  We all were, it was just that hot nobody cared.  Plus we had done a lot for this father and family.  They were good people so it was not too bad really.

    They had wanted a reception after the burial yet had not planned anything.  So it was up to me to make a booking at the Rookwood Cafe.  The cafe was not happy about only getting 45 minutes notice, but after a friendly chat we agreed that some basic sandwiches and coffee would be fine.  I made the booking for about 16 people even though there were only 13 just incase someone extra showed up.  A likely event with this sort of family.  After the burial the other hire car driver and I drive them over to the cafe.  They go inside and all sit down and proceed to eat and drink.  They had no intention of inviting us, not a bubble of the notion arose to them.  I was unhappy, it was just so rude in a way to expect us to do extra work, things we would not normally and then not even offer us a cold drink on such a hot day.  So I decided to solve the issue.  I went up to the catering guy, who I had chatted with on the phone, and told him the dilema.  I explained how we catered for 16 but only 12 had shown up and how hot and hungry we were.  He looked me over and obviously took pity on me, as most people do when it comes to feeding me.  He leaned in, looked both ways and said softy that he would slip a couple of sandwiches and a cold drink our way.  And he did.  And they were the best damn sandwiches I have had in ages.

    That is how I got free food from an inconsiderate family on and extremely hot day.



  1. Anonymous31/3/13 18:50

    Lol, as a funeral director myself I totally, TOTALLY appreciate what you are saying! I've taken to keeping a protein bar in my suit pocket for emergencies! I find it amusing that when I am scheduling a funeral I point out the timing of meals and lunches, especially on a dual service. You can bet your bottom dollar we don't get offered anything at all! But, as they are leaving they'll say "did you get something to eat?" Ah no, but thank you for thinking of us!

    1. Yep, that would happen too often, never invite us in then say "oh, you didn't eat?" in a surprised way. So I carried a small thing of biscuits or lollies with me in my suite, but never thought of a protein bar! In the end I got a bit tired of it, so I worked out a way to get into the food without direct permission and without upsetting anyone.

      But at the funerals I have attended as a mourner (like the one in New Zealand recently) I have always made a point of inviting the staff to eat with us. And I have to say, after experiencing the mourner side of it I find people like it. The other mourners actually think it's "nice" or "lovely" as one put it to have the undertakers grab something to eat. Plus it gives me time to chat with them.



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