Sunday, March 22, 2009

Makes Me Wanna Holler

I have written a very informative post that demonstrates the unique yarn-holding capacities of the Toyota Sienna, but Blogger won't let me upload the pictures that are an essential part of this groundbreaking piece of journalism. As soon as the Blogging Goddess allows me to insert my photos, I will post my potentially Pulitzer-winning essay on the knitter-friendliness of a Toyota minivan. Until then, a question:

A friend of mine's mother passed on last Thursday, so my friend was at the funeral home the next day making some arrangements. There was one woman working with her who was very rushed and brusque. "Sorry!" she said, by way of excusing herself. "The past couple of weeks have been so busy here! So many people dying!"

My grieving friend was at a loss with how to respond to this rather inane (if not downright insensitive) statement. I'm thinking a vague "So, business is good, then?" would have sounded a tad too callous for this particular situation. And I doubt my friend was capable at that point of mustering a cheery "Well, nothing's certain but death and taxes!" as an answer.

What would you have said?


  1. Wow.

    I guess I would have said, "Yes. I know. Like MY MOTHER."

  2. There are times, I admit, that my tongue makes remarks before my brain engages. I would have made a very smart aleck remark something like, "No ----, sherlock. My mother is one of them. Do you want me to take her somewhere else so you won't have so much work?" Then I would give her THE LOOK. You know the one. That says just how stupid are you.

  3. "Oh,......more than usual?"

    or----"Better you than me..."

    Don't know---that would have been awkward!

  4. I might have said, "Yeah, death's a bitch eh?"

  5. Probably a scathing, "Are you asking me to use another funeral home to bury MY MOM??" or something equally nasty and sarcastic. I don't think i would have been kind.

  6. I think, since I have been through mother-death, I probably would have said, "What the fuck is WRONG with you?!?!" Because beneath my doing-what-needed-to-be-done exterior (and since my parents did not want to deal with a funeral home, guess who got to write--and proof--the obituary?) I was (and still am at times) very, very angry. And I think I would have welcomed the opportunity for a target.

  7. I would have said something that cannot be repeated to the world.

    Let's just say it would probably use a lot of foul words.

  8. I would have said, "It was nice meeting you and you will be hearing from your competitor across town as to when they will be picking up my mother's body. Goodbye."
    That is unbelieveable!!!

  9. I would love to think that I would say something like, "Wow, that must be hard for you. Almost as hard as losing a parent." But I probably would be at a loss for words and say, "Excuse me?" or "You are kidding, right?"

  10. "I guess YOU will always be employed!"

  11. Hey. Still lovin' your blog!

    I work at a funeral home, don't know if you remember or not.

    First rule at my funeral home is to consider the family's feeling you are working with. We never answer the phone "Good Morning, blah, blah" and you'll not hear "Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays" not because of religion, but because for the person on the other end of the phone, it may be the worst day of their lives.

    I would have been fired if I had talked with someone that way.

    To me it sounded almost like this person was making herself sound way to important and like the personal touch is a thing of the past.

    That comes with the commericializing of funeral homes. Roll em' in and roll em' out seems to be the trend. We are family owned 2nd generation.

    You have to have a sense of humor in this business and you can without hurting feelings.

    Insensitive...I better stop while I'm ahead.

  12. "Well, if you're that busy, I'll take my mother elsewhere." is what I would like to say, but I'd be more likely to be gobsmacked lik eyour friend. Sheesh.

  13. Kudos to you finding an appropriate yarn-friendly vehicle. Wish I'd had the time on the day we testdrove our new Uplander to actually put all my scrapbooking stuff in it. In a game of rock, paper, yarn....paper beats yarn (at least in storage requirements).

    As to the comment to the woman at the funeral home. I personally wouldn't have thought of a snappy comeback until a couple hours later because that's just me but I'm sure a comment on ecomonic stimulus wouldn't have been the right one huh. Unbelievable that she would say something so insensitive and to give the impression that your friend was in anyway just another chore in her daily grind is unacceptable. Even if I hadn't taken my business elsewhere, I believe a letter to the business would be crossing their desk in the weeks afterward.

  14. I hope I would have been gracious enough to say something along the lines of, "I understand this is a job for you, but for me, and all the other families, this is a great tragedy. Your behavior is really hurtful."

    Probably not, though--more likely I would have gone with WTF?

    Condolences to your friend.

  15. My condolences to your friend.
    I probably would have been too hurt and flabbergasted to say anything.
    If I could have spit anything out at that moment, it probably would have been along the lines of the first commenter.
    If I was feeling particularly charitable, I might be as tactful as Jenn. (Not likely)

    My mother loves her Toyota Sienna.

  16. I'm so jealous. I have a bad case of new-car-itis. I totally don't need one but I waaaaant one!

    And I'm not terribly great - or tactful - with the comebacks. My first impulse, which would come out of my mouth because I have no filter, would be "fuck you bitch" which is why husband doesn't let me leave the house without a gag on.

  17. "How INSENSITIVE of them!"

    As for the other: a whole lot of vehicles can hold a whole lot of yarn, if you just keep the kids out. Right?

  18. I would have just gaped. I don't think quickly enough. But WHA??? How very rude. Sorry for your friend. Congrats on your new car.

  19. If I had just lost my mother, I would have been at an emotional disadvantage, and I may have just gaped at her. On the other hand, I may have automatically reached into my motherhood bag of tricks and pulled out the words I use when my kids are rude: "PARDON ME?!" (They say what works on a 2-year-old will work on a CEO...)

  20. I'm with MamaHen Em, but yes, I probably would have been too shocked to say anything.

    No excuse for that kind of insensitivity in that business. My condolences to your friend.

  21. I probably would have said "Oh! Well I guess I'm doing MY part to keep you employed...or well, at least my MOTHER did."

  22. I'm with SubWife on this one. Or Kalynne.

    Hopefully that employee went home kicking herself for such a comment and has been kicking herself ever since.

  23. My sister drives a Toyota Sienna. After a driving hers while visiting, I decided that I could take the minivan plunge afterall. I found a Dodge Grand Caravan that I decided was just what the doctor ordered...until I got to the dealership and was distracted by a shiny object. I left with a great deal on a Durango.

    With baby number six on the way, I think that there will be a minivan in my very near future though, so I've been keeping close tabs on your search.

  24. What a horrible thing to say. That person is a complete idiot.

  25. i cannot believe this was said to your friend! i'm sorry for her. i think i wouldn't have been able to reply anything in that situation but later on, when i had my senses back, i would go back and ask to talk to the manager.

    this is unacceptable given the situation!


  26. Probably something along the lines of, "What a shame." Although, to be honest, I probably would have to keep my mouth shut for fear of saying something really totally inappropriate or perhaps using foul language which certainly would not go over well on a day like that ... I find myself having to shut up fairly often.

  27. "I'm so sorry my mother inconv3enienced you by dying" would be the type of thing I would say.

  28. how about 'can I speak to your manager?'

  29. "Yeah, my freezer at home's full too."

    "Gee, I hope nobody STIFFS you!"

    Sorry, I used to work in a morgue. I would have had a snappy comeback. Then I would have contacted her boss about her insensitivity.

    I'm anxiously awaiting the Sienna yarn capacity article. I'm still driving my '98. First one off the lot - bought the day after we found out we were having twins.

  30. I think I might have said something like, "Perhaps I should speak to someone in this office who's less busy, maybe your boss?"

    When my mom died two years ago I was fortunate to work with a woman who's husband had died about a year before. She was unbelievably compassionate and kind. I'm so sorry your friend had that kind of experience during such a difficult time.

  31. The only way to handle a person like that is to stand there in shock, jaw on the floor, speechless. They may not get it then, but they should later.

    Having someone else take them aside right afterwards and explain to them the facts of life is also very very helpful. (As if such a thing were a moment one could plan ahead for and have the friend all ready to step in.)


  32. How did I miss this post???

    I think I would have said, "I'm really sorry. Can I give you some help? A little embalming? Perhaps rolling the coffins around?"

    Of course, I never think of anything that funny in the moment.

  33. "Yeah, she always did have poor timing" or "geez, and I thought she'd stop making peoples lives miserable once she was gone"

    *not at all about my mum (just in case she's reading this) or any other mum.



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