Do you send store-bought cards anymore? I occasionally do, but typically only to kids or friends/family who need support or a laugh; otherwise, I prefer to make my own cards (yes, could be considered cheap but I prefer creative).
I was in a Hallmark store looking for a sympathy card recently and you’ll never guess what I found. For $3.49 you can now send an “I’m sorry you lost your job” card. Seriously. Hallmark has a card category for those who have been canned, RIF’d, laid off, job eliminated and/or decided to pursue other options. Their line of “job loss cards” as described by their Creative Director:
“The idea is to provide a little comfort and empathy in an otherwise demoralizing and stressful situation.”
Hmmm? I’m sure that is somewhat of a true statement, but I bet the Creative Director also saw the opportunity to provide a little revenue to Hallmark.
I do wonder who buys these cards. I think I’d be a little taken aback if I received such a card. It almost says, “I don’t know what to say to you, or I’m too chicken to pick up the phone and actually talk to you…so I’m just going to send you a card instead.”
There are only like six cards in this category, so clearly Hallmark decided to test the waters before going all in. Some of the cards are humorous, some are serious. Smart, but also means you need to know your audience.
In all fairness to Hallmark, they are not the only ones offering this kind of card. Greeting Card Universe (whose trademark tag-line is “any card imaginable”), allows you options to create loss of job encouragement cards. At least they live up to their tag-line.
To my friends and family: Should I ever get RIF’d, please use the money you’d spend on a card and take me out for a drink and some empathetic conversation instead! OK, so maybe $3.49 + stamp won’t buy me a nice glass of wine – but I’ll order the house wine and would relish a friendly ear vs. a card anytime.
A bit of a scandalous side note, but I hear through the HR grapevine Hallmark may have done a few of its own RIFs this year. Wonder if those folks got a card on their way out? I bet they didn’t.
hrQ is a national HR search, Interim HR Staffing, and Human Capital Consulting firm. Your people equation. Simplified.
Kathy Rapp is the President of hrQ where she helps companies find groovy HR Talent for permanent or interim roles and has amassed a rockstar human capital consulting team doing work across the country. Prior to joining hrQ Kathy booked more than 15 years of diverse HR leadership experience working in F500s and start-up organizations. A connoisseur of the intersection between pop culture and business, Kathy believes many talent insights can be gleamed from the succession planning lessons experienced by Van Halen and AC/DC.