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Why a Louisiana Woman Who Cleaned Up After Suicides Loved Her Job
(WARNING: This article contains extremely graphic descriptions)


by Glenn Shepard
March 21, 2017
Category: Careers




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Did You Know?

81 percent of people have lied in job interviews.
Source: University of Massachusetts

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Ask any divorce lawyer.

They hear it all the time …

“I married a fantasy that didn’t exist.”

The same thing happens when your “Dream Job” feels more like a nightmare.

It happened to me.

When I graduated from Georgia Tech in Atlanta in 1985, my first job was as a management trainee for Cintas, the uniform company.

The job looked great when I was recruited, but I soon came to hate it. Even worse, I hated the little hick town they sent me to.

I wondered how I made so many bad choices when my future looked so bright just a few months before.

One of my dream jobs was to be the kicker for the Miami Dolphins. I fantasized about kicking the game-winning field goal in the last seconds of the Super Bowl, and the team carrying me off the field on their shoulders.

Then one day I happened to talk to one of my old classmates, who’d been drafted by the Dolphins. He played under legendary coach Don Shula, and said that Training Camp felt more like some sort of detention camp for wayward boys.

At the ripe old age of 21, I wondered if any job was as great as it sounds.

In the years since, I’ve met thousands of people in our seminars that worked for companies like Cabela’s, Daytona International Speedway, Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville, Hooters, Disney, etc., and have waiting lists of people wanting to work there.

I’ve also met thousands that worked for companies you’ve never heard of, doing jobs you’d NEVER want to do.

Violette, who attended my seminar at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, did crime scene clean-up and specialized in suicide.

I was intrigued.

She explained that while commercial building owners usually re-carpet, repaint, etc. after a suicide, families often can’t afford to when it happens at home.

So they hire specialized cleaning companies.

It has to be done quickly, and VERY thoroughly so that family members don’t find blood spatter, brain matter, or bone fragments of a loved one. “The worst”, she explained”, “is if you miss a spot and the family pet licks it.” (I warned you this is graphic.)

Hers was truly a dirty job.

But what was so interesting was how proud she was. She enjoyed her job just as much as the woman who attended my seminar in Orlando the week before, and worked for a theme park that describes itself as the happiest place on earth.

I asked Violette how she could enjoy cleaning up suicide scenes so much. She explained that the real service she provided wasn’t cleaning, it was the convenience and peace of mind the cleaning provided for the families.

She said “What we do is just as important to families in their time of need as what the medical examiner, funeral director, and life insurance guy does. They really need our services, and it feels good to help people when they need us most.”

Well said.

Violette was proof that you don’t have to have the greatest job or work for the greatest company to be happy in your work. You just have to find what’s great about the work you do.

To Your Success,


Glenn Shepard

P.S. That first job I hated turned out to be the best management training of my life. Over 30 years later, I still use much of what I learned there, from how to give performance evaluations to how to reprimand people without demoralizing them.

P.P.S. That “little hick town” I hated was Nashville. Today it’s a booming city that’s become one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, and is ranked as one of the best places to live. I would never live anywhere else.

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