It was a FUNERAL -- there were no cocktails with umbrellas!

OK, so as I mentioned in another thread, I went last Tuesday to the funeral of the man who was my parents’ neighbor for over 30 years (and mine for the 18 years I lived at home).

Since we’re allowed a certain amount of Funeral Leave, I thought “No problem” and put the hours I took off down on my expense report as such (having of course already told my boss in advance that I’d be attending a funeral that day).


Turns out that unless it’s a family member, the hours I took off for the funeral cannot be counted as Funeral Leave–they will instead be counted as Vacation Time.

Yep. Vacation time. Hell, had I known that, I’d have brought along a few plastic coconuts and some Pina Colada fixins! Propped a cocktail up in the dead guy’s hand and rolled the casket on under the limbo stick!

OK. I realize that if not for such a policy, I could easily just go scanning the obituaries for excuses to get time off from work ("Well, looky here… the Assistant Manager of the Jiffy Lube I never go to has passed away… ")


a) there are only FOUR of us here in this office, and we all know each other pretty well,

b) I’ve never tried to take funeral leave in the 3 years that I’ve worked here, and

c) come on–I’m going to skip out of work (where I at least have access to the SDMB) because I’d rather spend the afternoon with a DEAD GUY??? I mean, who WANTS to go to a funeral (well, there’s my sister, but that’s another matter)?

Grrrrrrr. Motherfuckers.

I’m done now.

auntie em you are one of the many honest people who would not use the excuse of a funeral as a reason to take off from work. There are, however, those who will use any reason to get out of work including telling people “my grandmother died” (3 times in six months the old bird kicked off!)

Because of this, companies have had to limit funeral or bereavement leave to family and have further had to limit the number of days of funeral leave anyone may take in a year. I had to do that here, as part of the fun that is my job, is policy and procedure stuff.

It’s tough when I know someone is legitimately taking off time to go to a funeral of a good friend or neighbor and has to use personal leave time for it but the dishonesty of those who would abuse it cause those who are honest to suffer.

The incident about the grandmother who kept dying was real here. Turns out the cow-orker who used the excuse went gambling for three days each time. Needless to say this is now an ex-cow-orker.

Still makes it not fair to those who would use funeral leave time honestly.

Thanks, swampbear, for the response. It’s completely logical, I know, and the truth is that the neighbor and his widow are dear enough to me that I have no problem with taking personal time to pay my respects, and I know it makes me sound spoiled and pouty to complain about this when there’s the larger issue of Life and Death looming about…

It’s just the principle, man.

I think it was my mom that got me really riled about it, because when I first spoke to my boss about it I wasn’t even that angry (just um… surprised).

But I mentioned it to my mom because I’d told her earlier that I was planning to take a vacation day sometime soon, to catch up on my Spring yardwork, and she wondered when that would be, and if I’d like to come help her plant some flowers that day…? I told her that I wasn’t going to take the day off anymore, because I’d used almost a whole day for the funeral.

Didn’t I have funeral leave? she wondered, so I explained the situation.

Hoo-oo-WEE! Was she HOT! She thought it was the most awful thing she’d ever heard, and has since been strongly suggesting that I find another job (for more reasons than this one, however, this was the proverbial back-breaking straw, I think).

And I guess I was pissed, too, but I do see the logic in such a policy, and I am always the one to point out the logic in similar “cheater prevention” policies when they piss off other honest people…

Anyway. I’ll certainly live. No pun intended.

I think that’s pretty much standard policy for funeral leave, I’ve never known any place that would let you use it for non-family. I thought my employer was generous for allowing step-familiy members (many don’t consider them “real family.”) However, we are allowed to take the time off non-paid if we want, instead of being forced to use vacation…although I realize that is not an option for some people who can’t afford it.

I just think it’s a joke how much time they give you; it’s all the same, regardless of the relative. Hmmm, my Uncle across the country died? 3 days off. My spouse dies? Sure, I’ll be back to work in 3 days, noooo problem. Best friend? No time off for you!

I understand why they have to make the policy, I just wish they could kind of take them on a case-by-case basis, especially if it is a small company.

I worked for some pricks that gave my co-worker a lousy 3 days when her son committed suicide. And he lived out of state! Fuckers.

To be honest, I don’t know how much time I get off for such an event (since I’ve never used it)–I’m guessing 3 days, from what everyone else has said…

I’d like to think that if something happened to someone whose death would be completely devastating for me, my boss would give me some leeway, seeing as we really are pretty close-knit around here. In light of the whole thing with the neighbor, however, I dunno…

Based on this thread, I have decided that there will be cocktails with umbrellas at my funeral.:wink:

Yeah, the three days bereavement leave for the dealth of a spouse or a child thing has always struck me as border-line obscene.

It really sucked when my nephew (in-law, not a child I was close to) burned to death about a year ago. My brother-in-law (child’s uncle) couldn’t get any leave from the army to come back to the funneral. In this case, it seemed wrong because it was immediate family that needed him: he didn’t want to come home for his dead nephew, but for his grieving mother, who really needed all the support she could get.

Where I work gives you 5 days for a spouse or child, 3 for a parent, parent in law, grandparent, sibling, 1 for uncles, aunts, nieces & nephews. Thats it. I don’t think its such a bad thing though, I’ve worked places that gave no bereavement leave. They don’t have to, its part of you compensation package.

Hey, even in the Netherlands (home of Many Vacation Days and General Pinko Commie Labourers Protection Stuff), I had to take a vacation day to attend a funeral last year.

It was my uncle. Unless it was either a parent, sibling (and spouse thereof), child (and spouse thereof), or your own spouse, the verdict was “vacation day”.

Of course, I have like 35 vacation days a year, so it’s not a huge deal either way.

Be glad you don’t work for the Feds. There’s no such thing as Funeral Leave. You have to use your Annual Leave (vacation time) or if your manager will approve it your Sick Leave.
That’s what I had to do when my mother died. :frowning:

And gods preserve you if it’s your gay lover.

matt: If it was the gay lover of someone who works for my boss, the employee would have gotten funeral leave. When my boyfriend’s (now my husband’s) mother died, my boss let me use funeral leave to go to Florida for the funeral. I got the full funeral leave, even though she wasn’t family. Although we work for a huge company, managers get plenty of leeway to make decisions like that. When I came back, I thanked him for letting me use funeral time. He noted that he understood my situation–if his gay lover’s mother died, he would be in the same position I was in–and it just wouldn’t be fair. His lover, and my live-in boyfriend, are our family.

In auntie em’s case, I don’t really understand it–there are only four people in her office and they know each other pretty well. It seems like it would be hard to abuse a funeral leave policy under those circumstances.

This is a key point. That, plus the fact that auntie em has been working there for three years and never took any funeral time. IMHO someone’s being either really cheap or really mean.

I’m the administrator for my dept and I am responsible for upkeeping the vacation schedules. When someone reports to me that they are attending a sick relative/friend or a funeral, I record it but do not deduct against their vacation time. Each time I update their record I send them a copy of it. That way they see that I’m not counting it against their vacation, but they also see that I’ll be on to them if they decide to go to 5 funerals per year.

My way doesn’t follow company policy per se, but it follows the spirit of the policy. That is, identify people who abuse the sick/vacation policy and leave the rest of the honest people alone.

Sorry about the death of your friend, Auntie Em.

Greenlady and PunditLisa, thanks.

My boss is not generally cheao or mean, but every once in awhile, he just turns into a giant freak about something (like insisting upon having someone in the office on Christmas Eve, despite the fact that the entire downtown area was a virtual ghost town… or making a coworker (who commutes from out of town) take a vacation day when she was unable to move her car–let elone drive it to work–due to an ice storm… or yelling at two of us for going to another part of the building (while he was out at a meeting) to see TV news coverage on September 11, even though there was still one guy in the office…)

You just never know…:rolleyes:

i worked at Big Mega Corp when my Grandpa died. the standard rule applied, and i got a “bereavement” day to go to the funeral. I had to take a vacation day to go to a close friends, and when i submitted the request, i was told by dickhead supervisor he would have to get it approved. i replied by saying that i had plenty of sick time (they are not allowed to question that) if it was denied. :wink:

i now work at Mega Cool Corp. My Grandma died about 3 weeks after i started here. techniclly, i didn’t qualify for anything. my boss told me, “Take as much time as you need” and left it at that. i have never filled out any paper for any time i have taken off at this place, nor is it ever questioned. the boss just says “Okay!”

great place, great people. Big Mega Corp can suck my ass! im so glad i don’t work there anymore! :smiley: