He had been a funeral director since he was a very young man all the time serving the same community in which he was raised. He was extremely well known and liked by most, not all, but most people who I met who knew him. It was a rare occasion when he was out of his dapper black uniform complete with white shirt and tie and very soon into his career he became an elected official of the county serving as Coroner; not appointed. So here he was, pretty nice guy, always dressed for his role and a highly visible and liked public figure in the small community in which he lived and served; the perfect employee for any funeral home to have.
Funeral directors seem like a pretty tight knit group since there aren't many of us in any given location by comparison to the general population. Not clannish by any stretch, especially outside of each firm, we do however often give the appearance of camaraderie, all the while watching each other with the eyes of hawks; yet cloaked when in a large group or in the public arena and always extremely amiable toward one another at that time. But, and this is a big but, when the group is broken down to one on one conversations or sub-groups within their own realm, I would be willing to bet, from experience, that something negative will be mentioned about someone not in attendance in almost each discussion. We are after all competitors but this isn't competition. Bunch of backbiters if you ask me. Sadly enough, it's all too easy to get wrapped up in this, as I have in the past, but I try my best to keep my thoughts to myself and just listen. Sometimes I don't even want to listen but...OK time to move on, this should be in another post.
The gist of the matter is that this particular funeral director/nice guy/coroner has been discussed by countless funeral directors that I know of. Each time, it has been brought up that what he does is a conflict of interest and we should all band together and somehow get him out of the coroners position. After all, he shouldn't have the ability to sway anyone in his direction for services. Should he? Does he? Did he ever? People! The man is a publicly elected official - don't the communities votes mean anything here or is it just us we care about after all? Anyway, during this directors career he has worked for every local funeral home in every capacity imaginable and each time he was somewhere different his employers views suddenly changed; it was no longer a conflict of interest when it was supposedly benefiting them. It's almost funny, every time he changed jobs one group, his previous employers, would begin to bitch about him and the ones who were previously doing the complaining, his new employers, were now quiet. So what does it really come down to? Conflict of interest or not it's probably jealousy or greediness if you ask me; and guys, I'm not talking about myself, no one is jealous of me or should be for that matter.
The above is an over- simplistic example of how I personally see this particular aspect of human nature. Perhaps I'm alone in my way of thinking or understanding and it could very well be the wrong view in others eyes but this is what I perceive. What I don't understand is what makes us so opportunistic. When it's to our benefit we're sometimes more than happy to overlook the same thing that we bitch about or believe to be wrong when we're not getting a slice of it. I know that not everyone is like this but there just seem to be so many who use or abuse the current situation whether it be right or wrong if it happens to fit into their plan and I know I myself am guilty of doing the same. But why? Maybe someone can tell me what it is that causes this. Unhappiness, fear, jealousy, greed, hatred a combination of these? Maybe someday I'll understand this part of me and will be able to avoid going there completely; I can only hope. Any suggestions?