The Second Most Depressing Event Ever
Today I’m taking my continuing ed. courses.
Every two years we Pennsylvania licensed funeral directors need six hours of continuing ed. and it’s boring. Like watching 500 pages of dull, default PowerPoint pages boring.
I don’t think there’s one person who wants to be at these things. Maybe the casket salesmen enjoy it. The organizers of the continuing ed. events — in order to keep the cost down — allow funeral merchandisers to rent space and pitch their wares.
The thing is … these events are so difficult to enjoy that I’d actually rather talk to casket salesman than have to think about wasting six hours of my life listening to a speaker wax eloquent about how the cremation rates are rising and all of us are going to become much poorer in the next couple decades. The casket salesmen know how much we dislike this required event and they exploit us. They have all their discounted casket specials ready to go and here at this place — and only here — we listen intently.
We do get free coffee. But no matter how much coffee I drink, I just can’t stay awake. Caffeine is rendered impotent from the six hours of nearly useless information. The only benefit of drinking copious amounts of coffee is that eventually, after you’ve drank a couple cups, you have to pee. And when you need to pee, you can get up, go to the bathroom and take a break from the sadistic PowerPoint presentations about death.
Yes. I’m ranting. I’m laying down a big stinky rant. But, I’m trying to be positive. I am a funeral director. Funeral directors have found a way to make a positive out of society’s biggest negative. So you’d think I’d be able to find something good about this whole event.
We do get to look at all the other funeral professionals who have to come to get their credits.
We get to measure ourselves and categorize ourselves against our other competitors.
I always struggle with what I should wear. A suit? A sports coat with khakis? I don’t even know if I’ll shave.
Some guys roll up with their best suits, their diamond studded cufflinks, $500 Italian shoes and a $200 tie. You know this type. They’re in every business. The guys who want to prove that they’re better than you by the amount of money they can wear on their body.
My hoodie is extremely comfortable, so I’m thinking I might rock that with my Nikes.
The hoodie, if worn properly, allows for a significant chance to sleep without anybody noticing. But, in order to use the hoodie properly, you have sit in the very back. The back is prime property. And everybody knows it … cause in the back you can sleep, or look at your phone or count the hairs on your arms and nobody will know. And I’ll gladly arrive 15 minutes early in the conference hall to grab me a piece of that prime property where my hood can be slipped over my head and I can close my eyes while the 500 page PowerPoint presentation chugs along.
There’s got to be some joke in this whole thing.
How ’bout this: “Where are two places you’ll see a bunch of funeral directors? At a continuing ed. conference and a train wreck.”
Here’s another: “What happens when a bunch of funeral directors take continuing ed courses? The get bored to death.”
Come to think of it, it is kinda fun to get a group of funeral directors together. The stories that we can tell. See, there’s simply a lot that we won’t share with the public. Stories that we CAN’T share. Some absolutely funny, others sad as hell and some that are weirder than you can imagine.
Stories that go with some of us to our own graves. But when we all get together, it doesn’t take long and our weirdest, most funny and/or saddest story gets told. And soon it’s like a tennis match. Back and forth. Back and forth.
So, yes. There is something positive about tomorrow. Maybe I won’t wear my hoodie so people will actually talk to me during the intermissions. I’m looking forward to the stories. And the free coffee.
But seriously, if funerals are THE most depressing events in the world, these continuing ed. courses come in at a solid second.