The other day a client called to cancel an appointment with me. He had just completed a Resident Apartment Manager’s course and was looking for a new job in that field.

“How come,” I asked.

“My landlord passed away and I have to go to his funeral.”  He said.

“That should be a good opportunity for you,” I said.  “Make sure you bring your resume.”

“Man, you’re a ghoul.” He said. “You can’t take a resume to a funeral. Show some class will you? Besides, my building has live-in couples as managers. I’ll need to marry his wife. … Mike? … Mike! You’re not thinking  I should marry my landlady are you? … Mike? … She’s 80 and I’m only 30.”

“Sorry,” I said. I didn’t tell him that a few scenes from the movie, ‘Harold and Maude’ passed before my eyes. “No,” I said, “But I am thinking  that a funeral would be an excellent place to do a little networking.”

As I told my client, a funeral, both sociologically and anthropologically, is intended to be a time where one celebrates the life of the deceased. There’ll be all kinds comical stories about how efficient he was at collecting rent on time, and the eulogist might even tell how the deceased marched him off to the bank to collect the rent at 11:30 at night so he could balance the books by midnight. The idea is to eventually turn the celebration into a party so everyone has a good time.

I had the honour of writing and reading an eulogy for my father. There was a room full of sobbing family members in a curtained area to my right, and in front of me there was an audience of seafarers who served under my father. There was audible sobbing from behind the curtain, until I referred to the old man as a “Hemmingway of the High Seas, and proceeded to tell me some of the stories he told me.

One of these was “If you ever find yourself tied up in Anchorage, Alaska, I would advise that you visit the tavern. The natives there love to sing cowboy songs. Then they start to yodel. It gives new meaning to the word “Caterwauling.”

The sobbing stopped, so I told stories about being taught how to drive. There’s a 4-Way stop sign coming up. All you have to do is stop, then go. If you do anything else you’ll bugger the whole thing up. As I approached, There was a vehicle on my right. “Stop, then go! Otherwise you’ll bugger the whole thing  up. I stopped – at exactly the same time as the vehicle on my right. “You’re buggering the whole thing up.” I let the guy on the right go first. “Aaaa …. You buggered the whole thing up!”

There was laughter coming from behind the curtain.

My stories continued through the afternoon in the dining room. Afterwards, I got a date with the caterer.

If I could get a date with a caterer at my father’s funeral, you should be able to get a job.” I said.

Happy Halloween!

 Mike Broderick is an Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he finds employment for people with physical disabilities. Part of this work means affiliation with the Vancouver Board of Trade where he is a member of the Ambassador Club, the Burnaby Board of Trade where he is a member of the Labour Task Force, the Tri Cities Chamber of Commerce where he is an active member of the 10X10 initiative, and the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce. He does some work as a field Archaeologist and is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to alive magazine in Port Coquitlam. You can reach him at home at or at or at 604-464-4195.  If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates When he is not doing all this he lives in Port Coquitlam with his partner Cecelia.



  1. Superintendent Work Says:

    […] FINDING A JOB AT A FUNERAL «&#32&#83&#112inDoctorResumes […]

  2. Joanie Says:

    Good points on networking. I’m a volunteer on the “OB” floor at a hospital. I had a guy from Verizon wanting to network with me as new moms were arriving!

  3. Sharon Says:

    Hilarious, Mike! I got my cousins giggling a bit at Mom’s funeral when I read her eulogy. Networking happens everywhere. I did some at the beauty shop yesterday.

  4. Rose A. Valenta Says:

    Very funny, Mike! I enjoyed reading this one. It reads like networking tips from an over achiever :)))

  5. Jeanne Kraus Says:

    It is always time to network. I have finally learned that. I keep the cards handy and at the first ripe moment, we are talking and sharing and laughing, etc. You never know.

    Have not tried a funeral home yet. I am to assume that you are there because you actually knew the deceased, not because it would be a good networking experience! A wedding could also be very profitable…

  6. mikebroderick Says:

    The trouble with cards – and I always have some on hand, is that they get dirty. Sometimes they end up with someone else’s name and number on them. Even though I am relatively successful at what I do, I’m so sloppy sometimes.

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