Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Have you ever had one of those days where you wake up feeling super confident in yourself?  You know, you feel like you have everything under control, you get to work on time, you don't spill your coffee and you're having a great hair day?

Well, that was my day today...for about an hour.

Today marks the first time during my part-time/part-time employment with the church that we've lost a church member.  When you have people super involved and connected to the church, as some of our elderly members are, when they pass away things tend to get busy. Not only is it a sad day, but arrangements have to be made, phone calls come in and go out, and all kinds of things have to be coordinated if the visitation and funeral are going to be held here at the church. Since I currently only work two days a week, I wasn't here yesterday and I missed the initial rush of information and arrangements.

This morning I got into the office, I sat talking with the current secretary while all of the morning stuff was being taken care of.  She told me about what happened the day before and we just chit chatted about Sunday school rolls and membership programs and stuff like that.  The preacher arrived, looked at me and said "You know you're supposed to sing tomorrow, right?"  Negative.  I did not know that.  Whomever was supposed to have called me to let me know had forgotten to do so.  Honestly, though, that wasn't a big deal.  I mean, singing at a funeral is very hard, but of course I'm going to do it if asked.  My main thought about it was that I didn't even know this man!  Why did they want me to sing at his funeral?  I mean, yes, I know his daughter and everything, but it seemed odd that they'd want me to sing.

About an hour later, it was time for what I call "Trial By Fire," which is a very grand term for when I take over the secretary's desk and left to my own devices.  Basically, she sits back and watches, and I can ask her questions if I need to.  Usually there are very few problems, but today so much was going on that I just lost my brain.  My first problem came when I had to do a recording for the phone tree, which is where we record a message and send it out to church members automatically so that we don't have to call people individually.  I recorded and re-recorded the message until it sounded good, and then started the automatic calls.  I then get a call from someone telling me that I'd forgotten to say what day the funeral would be on.  I felt like a moron!  I had to re-record the message again, which was fifty times harder now that I'd screwed it up already) and send a second message to the people on the phone tree.  There are now members on the list who have two messages waiting, which isn't going to give them much confidence in my ability to do simple tasks.

After that pretty much everything went downhill.  I couldn't get phone calls to transfer (which is something I've never had happen before) and it made me seem completely incompetent to the pastor. I discovered that some disgusting person had clogged up a toilet in the basement and hadn't told anyone, leaving it to fester for two days.  I had to unclog that, and not only did it almost make me puke, but then I pretty much had to boil my hands just in case.  I had people calling and asking for directions, and I couldn't get the mental picture of the roads in my head, so I'm fairly sure that a few people hoping to come to this funeral are going to end up in Tennessee or something.  The worst part, though, was when the pastor came in and asked me if I would look up some information on the deceased man so he could put it in his eulogy.  I said "Is he even a member here?"  He just looked at me like I was insane.  I told him I'd never met the man, and he insisted that I had.  He went as far as looking up an old directory, which has pictures of everyone in it, and he pointed him out to me.  Holy cow, not only did I know that man, I liked him a lot! He was so nice. For some reason, I hadn't connected his face to the name!  He loved to hear me sing, which I suppose is why I was asked to sing at his funeral.  Oh, I felt so stupid and terrible for not realizing who he was, and the preacher must think I'm the airiest of all air heads.

So now I'm just hunched down in my chair, trying not to touch anything else, hoping that whatever bad juju I've got leaves me alone for the rest of the day so that they don't change their minds about letting me work here.


Anonymous said...

To err is human; to do it up good like you did is why people love you! You are real...not some Stepford version of the church lady...cut yourself some slack!

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