Meet the team – Bruce a Funeral Operative.

January 24th, 2024 in Meet the team

Meet Bruce, a Funeral Operative at Scotmid Funerals in Edinburgh.

In the array of career paths available, the funeral industry often remains overlooked. Bruce’s unconventional journey into this profession began with a stint in the United States on a football scholarship, before finding his niche in a role that combines precision, empathy, and respect.

What did you do before joining Scotmid Funerals?

Prior to joining Scotmid Funerals, I briefly pursued a football scholarship in Virginia, USA, which unfortunately didn’t work out. Upon my return, I worked with my Dad before finding my place at Scotmid Funerals.

What initially drew you to a career in the funeral industry?

I wasn’t particularly drawn to this career path initially. My Dad, also works for Scotmid Funerals, he told me about a vacancy at Forrester Park. I took a chance on it; I’ve never looked back.

Have you received any role-specific training?

During my initial eight-week training, I shadowed a mentor and received comprehensive training in all aspects of the Funeral Operative role, including ceremonial driving and the processes involved in bringing the deceased into the care of the funeral home. I genuinely learn something new every day. I am surrounded by colleagues from all walks of life.

Tell us about a typical day in your shoes…

No two days are alike in this industry, with each funeral being unique. My routine typically involves preparing for funerals, including cleaning my designated vehicle, conducting pre-funeral checks, ceremonial driving, maintaining the workspace, preparing coffins, and ensuring the deceased are respectfully taken into our care.

Is the industry/role what you imagined? Any surprises?

I didn’t know what to expect, however I have been struck at the sense of satisfaction I get when assisting a family to give a loved one a fitting funeral and farewell.

What personal qualities do you believe are essential for excelling in this profession?

Impartiality, open-mindedness, the ability to accept and implement feedback, meticulous attention to detail, and the capacity to respond to situations in line with the wishes of the family.

In what ways do you think your age might influence or shape your perspective on the funeral industry?

Being younger, I’ve found strengths in my familiarity with technology and physical fitness, both of which are beneficial in my role.

What are some of the challenges you have encountered so far and how have you managed to overcome them?

Initially, I was apprehensive about working with the deceased. Shifting my mindset to see it as a privilege to care for someone’s loved one helped me approach the task with greater empathy and respect.

How do you approach the delicate task of providing support and comfort to grieving families during their difficult times?

I ensure I’m always available to answer questions or direct them to a colleague who can assist. Understanding that there’s no magic phrase to ease grief, I focus on fulfilling a family’s specific wishes.

What aspects of the funeral service do you find most fulfilling/rewarding?

Being involved in bringing the deceased into our care and driving during the funeral process gives me a deep sense of accomplishment and solace.

Have you set any specific goals or aspirations for your career within the funeral industry, and how do you plan to achieve them?

Ultimately, I aim to move into conducting and leading funerals. I’m actively observing and learning from the experienced funeral directors, while also relishing my current role as a Funeral Operative.

What makes Scotmid Funerals special?

I believe our exceptional adherence to high standards and meticulous attention to detail sets us apart. Whether a bespoke service or direct cremation, our approach is always focused on high quality, care, and respect for both the deceased and the families.

Can you share a particularly memorable experience that has significantly impacted you or shaped your perspective on your career choice?

Being a part of the funeral procession for a young motorcycle rider, where his friends on motorbikes followed, was a poignant moment. It reinforced my understanding that people honour their loved ones’ lives in diverse and meaningful ways.

What advice would you give to other young people making career decisions?

Be open to new opportunities, even if they don’t initially align with your envisioned career path. You might find a role that truly resonates with you.