Cayora (cayora) wrote in makeupinmourges,

Another newbie with questions.

Hello to you all!  I was excited to find this community, since it gives me somewhere to come with questions I am having difficulty finding answers to.  I had long been interested in the funeral industry, but I was discouraged by the rather foolish belief that the only thing to be done was to be a funeral director.  I really don't feel up to that kind of organizational or sales work, but I do believe that focusing on the restorative arts would be more or less ideal to me.  To be more direct, I would like to be an embalmer.  I am not particularly interested in making a lot of money, but rather I would like to do something that employs my skills.  In my free time, I sculpt and paint and sew and have been told I am good at these things.  It seems as though these skills could be well applied to restorative art.

As part of my considerations, I read the book Grave Undertakings, which described rather severe sexism.  However, your stories here have eased my mind somewhat about that.  I have two other concerns. though.  I understand that this is a conservative industry, and this is where my concerns stem from.  While I respect others' choices regarding their personal beliefs, I am an atheist and would be disheartened if I were to passed on a job due to this fact.  I am not someone who needs to argue about religion, and I will not say anything unless asked a direct question. Also, I know that the dress code is suits for anyone who interacts with the public, is it such for embalmers?  It seems impractical, with that kind of work.

If I am too unusual and non-conservative to even be considered in this line of work, I would prefer to know before I put in the time and expense of completing the training.  I do intend to approach it with respect and professionalism, but I have never fit in with the mainstream, much less the conservative section of society.  Every job I have done has been pleased with my work, however, I hope that would continue into this.  

Anyway, thank you for reading this longish post.  It's good to meet you all!  I hope this goes well. 
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1). it is illegal to hire (or not hire) based on someones religion. Or lack thereof.

2). at my work, embalmers typically wear suits or slacks/shirts and put scrubs on over them if they choose in addition to wearing smocks. The embalmers are the ones who also go to the hospitals, nursing homes, and residences to take the deceased into our care and are frequently the first impression our families get of our staff. It is VERY important that they are dressed to the same standards as our funeral directors who meet with families directly at the arrangement conference.
In some of the smaller/family-owned funeral homes, you could potentially experience pressure from the staff regarding religion. But, know your rights. If you act like an adult about it, don't argue, just say you prefer not to discuss it, etc., what can they do?
You should get used to the idea of listening to sermons, prayer, and so forth. Personally, I just shut my mouth and let people do whatever they need to do to feel better.
As far as being unusual...I have 3/4 sleeve tattoos on both arms, and no one who saw me in my suit would ever suspect. There truly is a new guard taking over this business, the "old boys' club" you read about is dying off and it's a great time to be a woman in this business.
The sexist thing is there, but as more women enter the industry it is dying off. Granted, you're not going to be able to lift some of the 400 pound bodies without help, but neither are the guys.
You also have to consider that book was written awhile ago. I read it also.
I know it was written in the eighties, and I was considering that. I'm also hoping that western states might be somewhat better than eastern ones. I simply had not had any idea about how much things had changed since then, although I assumed there had been some changes. I was glad to see that things have changed more than I expected.