Meet John, operations manager at Fosters East Kilbride.
John explains why he chose to work for Fosters and why his job supporting local families is so rewarding.
How long have you worked at Fosters?
In total I’ve worked in the funeral sector for over 25 years. I joined Fosters 3 years ago having worked for Co-op Funeralcare for a long time. My role as operations manager means I am responsible for the smooth day to day running of our duties.
I’m proud to work for Fosters. As an organisation they have fantastic values and really take care of people. The focus is always on giving families the best service at a price that is fair and reasonable. There’s no hidden costs and no pushy sales people. And we give back to the communities that we serve with charitable donations which support local causes.
I’m currently based in our East Kilbride parlour. I worked in the local community there a few years back and so I am really looking forward to reconnecting with the ministers, priests, celebrants, and families there.
What is the best part of your job?
Undoubtedly the best part of this role is knowing we’re helping families through a very upsetting time. I’m always moved when they take the time to say thank you.
We’re fortunate at Fosters to have a great team of people so another part of my job that I really enjoy is working with my colleagues. I like to make sure everyone has the support that they need.
The service we provide is discreet, we’re in the background but play a crucial role in supporting people. It’s an extremely rewarding job.
What are the questions you get asked the most?
People tend to ask very practical questions about the coffin, or if the deceased should wear shoes. Now that the pandemic has changed the way that we operate the majority of questions relate to how many people can attend a funeral and what safety measures are in place.
We’ve fully changed the way in which we operate to ensure our staff and customers adhere to the latest guidelines to create as safe an environment as possible. Our phone line operates 24/7 should anyone need assistance.
Can you give an example of attention to detail in your day-to-day role?
In this job we only get one chance to get it right, so I am a stickler for detail. My team are trained to double, and triple check everything. That ranges from checking the correct spelling of a person’s name to checking the route for roadworks on the day of the funeral service.
The only thing we can’t control is the weather, but we do our utmost to ensure the highest level of professional service throughout all our parlours.
What’s your favourite tradition?
My favourite tradition is paging the hearse, particularly when the sun is shining as it can lift people’s spirits. It is such a respectful gesture to both the deceased and their family.
When you’re not working how do you like to spend your time?
I’m very close to my family and enjoy spending time with my wife and kids, who are all grown up now. I’ve two girls and a boy. My son is a policeman, my eldest daughter gets married in April, and my youngest is still at home. We’ve got two dogs Bubbles and Princess (she’s a rescue dog) and as well as walking them I play golf.