Hazing Funeral Interns, Does It Happen?

January 2, 2013
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Guest article from: Caleb Wilde, CalebWilde.com – Confessions of a Funeral Director

I’ve never heard of hazing practices in the funeral industry (although I’m sure it’s happened).  And, thankfully, I’ve never been hazed. But if it was common place to haze interns, here’s what hazing might look like in the funeral industry:

1.)  At 2 AM in the morning you call out Intern Johnny and say, “Johnny, there’s a call at ‘such and such’ address.  Mr. Johnson has died.”  If we’re hazing Johnny, it’s assumed that Mr. Johnson’s death is fictitious, but the address doesn’t have to be.

The possibilities are nearly endless:

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Mr. Johnson’s house could be the funeral director’s ex-girlfriend/boyfriend’s house.

Johnny pulls up to ex-girlfriend’s house, rings doorbell and waits.  Ex scrambles to get dressed, opens the door and reluctantly says, ‘Can I help you?”

Johnny: “I’m here to pick up Mr. Johnson.”

Ex.:  “Who?”

Johnny: “Mr. Johnson … a deceased family member of yours?”

Ex.:  ”I’m sorry, Mr. Johnson doesn’t live here … you have the wrong house.”

Awkward.

Or, if the funeral director isn’t so diabolical as to send intern Jimmy to his or her ex’s house, he could just send Jimmy to an abandoned house.

Or, Mr. Johnson’s house could be the funeral director’s friends house and your friend could pose as the dead guy, who is waiting to scare the living S*%# out of the intern.  And this idea leads to the next hazing …

2.)  You could lay in a body bag in the morgue awaiting said intern.  From there, scare as you wish … preferably BEFORE said intern starts the embalming process.

3.)  “You embalmed an alive body” is a pretty nasty thought; and an equally nasty hazing.  Intern comes back from picking up a body at a nursing home (most nursing homes don’t have morgues … we literally take the body out of the bed … which can create confusion when there’s two or three or four people who sleep in same room).  Intern embalms said body.  Funeral director comes storming into the morgue, “Is that the body you just picked up from the nursing home?”

“Yes” says intern sheepishly.

“The nursing home just called and said they gave you the WRONG BODY!” says funeral director in mass hysteria.  “The body on the OTHER SIDE OF THE ROOM was the one that was dead!!!”

“DID YOU EMBALM THE BODY!?!” says funeral director!

Intern’s face becomes ghostly pale and distorted.

“They said the body you picked up was JUST SLEEPING!”  That person was alive!

“Quick, try CPR” says funeral director.

When CPR doesn’t work, the funeral director screams, “NOOOO!!! YOU KILLED THEM!”

“What?” says intern.  “NOOOO!” says intern.

At this point the hazing begins to involve some sense of ethics.  Does the funeral director push this hazing farther by suggesting that the intern must clean the morgue top to bottom so as to cover up said “killing” or does the funeral director stop the hazing and save the poor intern a heart attack?

4.)  Or, the funeral director could just have the intern clean the morgue, pick up dead bodies in the middle of the night, yell at them all the time … oh, wait, that’s what happens anyways.  And this is why there’s no rite of passage in the funeral business.  There doesn’t need to be.

Caleb Wilde

I'm a sixth generation funeral director. I have a grad degree in Missional Theology. And I like to read and write. Connect with my writing and book plans by "liking" me on facebook. And keep tabs with my blog via subscription or twitter.
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