Thursday, March 1, 2012
When my brother Bode died, my brother Neil went to a local establishment which sells "monuments" and ordered a tombstone.
My mother and sister-in-law had agreed on what style and engraving they wanted on the tombstone.
They wanted the tombstone to read: "BELOVED HUSBAND, FATHER, SON AND BROTHER".
The salesman gave us a date when the tombstone would be mounted and assured us there was no need for concern. I would be taking my mother to the cemetery before Memorial Day to view the tombstone. The week before Memorial Day I went to the cemetery to see the tombstone, but there was no tombstone on his grave. I called the monument business and the salesman, in a very churlish voice, said, "You must be at the wrong location; we mounted it last week." I replied, "I have been coming to this cemetery since 1957 and I know WHERE my brother's ashes are buried!" He again insisted that I must be in the wrong place. Fortunately, the cemetery caretaker was there. When I appealed to him, he said, "I know where that monument is; I'll show you." We walked to a different section and there indeed was a tombstone with my brother's name on it. I gasped and asked, "Whose grave is this?" The caretaker said that he would have to look in the records. We went to his office and I learned that my brother's tombstone was on the grave of a woman who had died recently.
On the tombstone was engraved: "BELOVED HUSBAND, FATHER, SON, AND BRO". I screamed in disbelief. The caretaker said, "That's why I remembered where it was."
Enraged, I drove back to Washington C.H. to the monument company. The snippy salesman showed me the original order and "BRO" was written on it. The insensitive guy said, "We just did what you ordered and your brother signed the contract." I screamed, "How could anybody not know that wasn't acceptable? Why wouldn't you call to confirm?" He said, "We thought that's what you wanted." I said, "Are you out of your freaking mind? Why in the Hell would we want BRO on the tombstone?" I went to my attorney and I learned that since my brother had "agreed" to it by signing the contract, we had no cause of action.
I went back to the monument company and I said, "I am going to tell everyone I know, and everyone with whom I come in contact about you and how little you care." He sneered and did not reply. I said, "Well, each time I tell someone about you and I know that they have gone somewhere else, I'll call you to let you know you missed another sale, because I'm pretty damned good at boycotting!"