Some of you are still firmly of the opinion that this is a sleazy business. After all, what we're doing involves lying right to people's faces, at a time when they're at their most vulnerable. But remember the part earlier about how when you hire us, you get the full mourner package -- including mingling with the crowd and helping people talk through their grief. That is, after all, what funerals and wakes are for. People have been gathering to do this for as long as there have been people. Share stories, cry, get closure. I help people do that. It's why I took the job.
And we're really good at it -- not only because of the sheer amount of practice (hundreds of ceremonies and thousands of conversations with mourners) but also because our heads aren't clouded by grief. I've done my research, so I can remind them of the good the deceased brought to the world. I can be a lot better to talk to than some distant relative who only showed up out of obligation; making people feel better is literally my job.
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"No one's noticing the older cousin who just recognized his own mortality."
"No problem. I'm on it."
I remember one girl who had lost her grandmother. They were really close, and nobody other than her parents attempted to comfort her. When everyone at our table at the wake had stood up except the two of us, I spoke to her. I've done this enough to know that you don't tell children at a funeral that "Everything is going to be alright" or anything like that; movie cliches never work. Get on their level. Remember fun stories, talk about the good times they had with the deceased. When her parents came back, they were impressed and wanted to know how I'd gotten her to start talking again. I then learned that the girl hadn't said anything in a few days, and that was her way of grieving. I told them what I'd said and left the table.
So yes, it is a very, very strange job. Yes, you're pretending to be someone else to fudge the crowd size at what should be a solemn, sacred event. But every once in a while, you get to be the mysterious stranger who can help alleviate some pain before disappearing into the crowd.
Evan V. Symon is the interview-finder for the Personal Experience Team at Cracked. If you have an awesome job or experience, hit us up at email@example.com!
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