A Grave Situation

One way that companies can often inspire team-building is through competition. Working together to achieve a specific goal often brings people closer together. Feeding a person’s competitive spirit can also attract someone to your company or profession. That’s the hope of gravediggers.

Earlier this month, the best gravediggers in Hungary competed in a grave digging competition intended to increase respect for the profession.

While machines do most of the grave digging, humans are still needed in crowded cemeteries where a machine can’t maneuver without disturbing someone else’s resting place.

But an increasing amount of people choose cremation over burial. And young people often avoid professions requiring manual labor. The profession is under threat, so the competition was meant to make the job more appealing to youth looking for honest work.

The hardest part of the job is to deal with the mourners. But it’s a good job, with good colleagues and a good environment.

Gravediggers Competition

At a graveyard in Debrecen, Hungary, 18 two-man teams were assigned plots at random.

Each team was supplied with regulation-size shovels, rakes, axes, and pickaxes.

Contestants were judged on speed, grave neatness and whether they complied with the regulation size: 200 cm long, 80 cm wide and 160 cm deep (7 feet x 2 feet 7 inches x 5 feet).

One aspect of the competition was to showcase the different techniques of grave digging. Some teams dug simultaneously, and others had one man digging while his partner cleaned up the outside.

The home team won and will progress to represent Hungary at the regional competition later this year.

There’s a youtube video of the contest, but I warn you, it’s all in Hungarian.