BRAIN FOOD: Matters for the mind to chew on - Unlikely managers - Funeral director - A France & Sons, Holborn, London

BRAIN FOOD: Matters for the mind to chew on - Unlikely managers - Funeral director - A France & Sons, Holborn, London - Name Bernard France Jr

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Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

Name Bernard France Jr

When did you become a manager? I've been a director for the past two years. But I started working in the mid-'70s and my job has always involved some management.

What does management mean to you? There's a lot of man management - liaising with the guys who drive the cars, paying bills, chasing up accounts and so on. There's also the nature of the funeral. Some people want horse-drawn hearses, while others want something very simple; sometimes the family won't even go. Then there are our customers. Obviously it's not the easiest time to deal with people - some take it in their stride or it can be very disheartening. With elderly people, for example, it's a big loss, but the family is often expecting it, but if it's a child or sudden death it can be really distressing.

What do you love/hate about it? I like it when everything goes well and you can help people. I hate being on call 24 hours - that really eats into your home time.

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