This is more of a rant, and it's paraphrased, since I'm too annoyed to remember the full conversation.
After receiving a call from a sobbing wife, I start calling around looking for why a particular Death Certificate hasn't had copies made. My Supervisor had already left for the day, so I get to make all the FUN phonecalls. After all, there's nothing as horrible as a wife crying her eyes out as she's trying to explain how hard its' been, how she can't pay her bills, and if only if only....
First Call, The Medical Examiner:
Me: Yes, I have this lady asking about Case # (xxxx), where's it standing?
M.E: What? Yes, I talked to the wife, we sent you the CoD (cause of death) on Nov 9th. It's closed out.
me : You sent it Nov 9th? I don't see where we have it. I'm going to fax it to you
M.E: Ok, but our records show it's been completed.
I get out the DC, fax it, then I make Call #2:
me: Ok, we don't have the M.E's release yet, and btw you didn't order copies for it.
Funeral Home Director: Oh, no, we were going to order copies from the County Office once you sent it there
me : Ok, ok. but he's been dead since Sept, why didn't you call and ask about this sooner? The wife was crying her eyes out, and that made me feel horrible
FHD: Oh, yes, she's been calling me crying too. He did work for me, you know, so I know the family well.
me,wondering why he didn't jump on it faster if he knew the family well.: Well, I don't know when it will get to the County, as we have no record of the ME releasing it. Why don't you go ahead and order a copy from us so we can get it to her faster, ok?
FHD : (hems, haws) well, ok, I'll try to get it in the mail before it goes out.
me: Good. you dothat
Then I noticed something that made me sit up and want to kick the shit out of the FHD.
The guy died in September.
The M.E. released the cause of death Novemeber 9th.
THE CERTIFICATE DIDN"T REACH OUR OFFICE UNTIL NOVEMBER 21st
A quick search of my Supervisor's desk, and I find the M.E.'s fax adding Cause of Death and releasing it from Pending, marked Nov 9th just as they said. A quick call back to the M.E. asking them to disregard gets me talking to the actual MD who signed it, and we have a nice little chat about Stupid Funeral Home Directors who hold onto Death Certificates instead of turning them in like they're supposed to, even if they ARE pending CoD. (This is the second DC this particular MD and I have had a FHD being a dick over)
Last Call, to wife:
me: Ma'am, we have it here, we're going to take care of it.
Wife, breaking into audible tears: Oh, thank you, thank you! I just have so many bills I need to pay, and it's been so hard...
me, interrupting another recitation of her problems: I just don't understand why the FHD didn't have this here sooner... we didn't get it until just before Thanksgiving. The Medical Examiner had sent the cause of death to us before we got it.
Wife: Wha... what? Thanksgiving?
: Yes, we didn't get it until November 21st, ma'am. Also, there were no copies ordered, the funeral home was going to get County Copies, not State Certified.
Wife: Oh.. well... well... how long will that take?
: I can have this on file tomorrow, but the County won't get it until next week, ma'am.
Wife: oh... oh... do you think they can order from you?
: Yes, yes they can, ma'am. You may want to call the funeral home and ask about it.
Wife: oh, yes I will... you said you got it in November? My husband died in September.
: Yes ma'am. November 21st. But I'll make sure it gets filed tomorrow.
Wife: Thank you so much.
After I hung up, with only 5min before clockout, my co-worker tells me "I'm sure glad you took that call. I can't believe they done her that way! I hope she tells him off!"