Needs and Pre-Needs….

pre2Do you have any pre-needs? Do you even know what a pre-need is? It’s a need you have before you actually need anything. For example, I have a pre-need for a drink before and after work, and sometimes during…but sadly, my pre-needs aren’t always met.

Actually, “pre-need” is a term that was coined somewhere along the line in the funeral business and it means planning your funeral before you die. Not a bad idea if you think about it, because let’s face it, no one really ever wants to plan a funeral, so this can take the emotional and financial pressure off the family when the time actually comes.  Can you imagine if people got as excited about planning funerals as they do weddings? Well, women that is. Men seem equally excited about planning a wedding as they do a funeral.

So the purpose of the pre-need funeral is to make it easier on everyone when the time comes. This way, the (dead) person plans their funeral just the way they want it, and then the family just has to abide by their wishes and it’s a win-win situation. Okay, not exactly, but  you know what I mean. I just like using the term “win-win situation.”

bronzeBut I can tell you that this is one hard sell! Believe me, I know, I work in sales. It’s hard enough to sell people things they need when they need it, so you can imagine how hard it is to sell them something when they pre-need it.  And people don’t really like paying for funerals when the person actually dies, not to mention getting them to drop a few thousand on their own funeral  before they’re even dead! If you can sell this, you can sell anything!

A couple of years ago I was looking for a job and I saw an ad on craigslist (because where else do you look for a job nowadays?), and it was for a sales position at a funeral home. I thought, “that’s right up my alley,” I’m good at sales and I’m totally comfortable with sad people! So I went to the interview which was at the funeral parlor and I must say, I felt right at home. It was a group interview though, which is usually a red flag because that tells me that they will describe the position, and people will inevitably leave. Over the years, I have found that this is a technique used to see how desperate people are for bad jobs. The ones that stay are usually the most desperate. So, when I heard it was for “pre-need” sales and not regular “they’re already dead” sales, I had to leave. And here’s the best part… it was commission ONLY!! Commission only on pre-need sales?? I almost LOL’d in the middle of the presentation. I don’t know if anyone else (in the group) grew up in a funeral home and knew that trying to sell funerals to people who aren’t even dead yet would translate into very little money, but just to confirm, when I got home I called my dad. ded

He said, “you were smart to leave because you won’t make any money, it’s like trying to get blood from a stone.”  Usually the people that paid for their funerals in advance, were people who were already “on their way” so to speak. They were either really old or had a terminal disease or something, but most people  don’t even want to even face the prospect of dying, let alone plan and pay for their funeral in advance. I know I wouldn’t. When I write my will, it will say something like, “Please cremate me, have a party and move on with your lives. And make sure there’s an open bar.”

My dad planned his entire funeral long before he died, including writing his own obituary, and that turned out to be quite helpful since none of us would’ve remembered all of the organizations that he was a member of and what exactly to mention. Granted, this may have had something to do with the fact that he obsessed over his death for years, but in the end, it made things a little easier for everyone because he spelled out everything he wanted. So I’m sure you can see the value of pre-need funeral planning, just like you can see the pre-need of hair removal in middle eastern teenagers.

He has a pre-need...

He has a pre-need…


Well, I hope I’ve shed some light on the value of pre-needing things…like drinks, funerals and hair removal products and I hope all of your needs and your pre-needs are met today!

Make it a great one…..

About Death To Hollywood

My name is Celeste Donohue and I am a writer/comedian who started this blog to tell stories about my life growing up in a funeral home and my adult life which I have spent in Hollywood, California – hence the name, “Death To Hollywood”. Hopefully, you like to read those kinds of stories. If not, go read something serious and boring.....
This entry was posted in catholic church, death, family, funeral home, funerals, Hollywood, weird and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Needs and Pre-Needs….

  1. mary donohue says:

    Great post ,Celeste! Very accurate reporting,too.Love,Mom

  2. Kris says:

    Pre-needs…funeral planning, hair removal and drinks before and after work……LOL!
    Funny post about needs and pre-needs…..everyone needs something!!! Dad needed to control his own funeral, so he needed to be pre-needed:)

  3. Josephine says:

    When you think about it, we deal in pre-need living all the time. But you are right. People are notorious for not planning for their own departure. I guess we just don’t want to think of the world going on its merry way without us!

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