Sign o' the times: Layoff sympathy cards
Hallmark and other companies now offer greeting cards with that special message for a newly unemployed friend.
Greeting card giant Hallmark has introduced a new line of greeting cards to bolster the spirits of the newly unemployed -- or maybe just make them laugh.
Several online greeting card providers are also offering job-loss sympathy cards, The Dallas Morning News reports. Post continues after video.
Derek McCracken, a creative director at Hallmark Greeting Card Co., told NPR's Melissa Block the company came up with the line in response to requests from customers.
We can see why. Job loss can be a financial reckoning, the first step in a long slide, as well as a deep blow to one's self-worth. When you know that the average job loss lasts 40 weeks in this economy, what do you say to a former colleague or friend who just got laid off? That's where greeting cards come in handy.
To its credit (or not) Hallmark seems adept at creating cards that acknowledge major public issues and events. The Morning News says:
In the past, some Hallmark cards have dealt with difficult issues -- such as the military draft in the 1960s, nuclear warfare and the Great Depression. Cards have also offered sentimental greetings to members of the military during the 1940s and to those who suffered loss after Sept. 11, 2001.
Of course, Hallmark also wants to make money. Mediaite offers a more cynical assessment of the job-loss cards: "... in an attempt to boost sales, someone at Hallmark has come up a new demographic that, in America, is second only in size to 'People Who Have Birthdays.'"
What's the most popular type of layoff sympathy card? "The ones that offer more moral support, but maybe with a little humorous twist in a more encouraging fashion are doing very well and we're publishing more of those," McCracken told Block.
Me? I'd be partial to the one with a grumpy cat asking, "Is there anywhere I could hack up a hairball, like, say, on a former employer's head?" (You can see a slide show of some of the card covers here at The Huffington Post.)
- If you chose to send a card, don't dally. "... the grace period in bestowing such a card is probably within a month or so of losing a job. Afterwards, yeah, it might get a little ugly," Mike Schuster wrote at Minyanville.
- Pick appropriately. Would a card about hairballs actually make the person laugh?
- Prioritize your spending. Perhaps the newly jobless friend would prefer that you spend the $3.49 for a fast-food lunch rather than a greeting card.
- Would a written note be more suitable? A handwritten note probably has a better chance of being saved as a keepsake -- a reminder of how much you cared.
Most of all, remember that caring shouldn't stop once the card is in the mail. Your friend or former colleague will likely need your kinds thoughts and help for many, many months to come.
More on MSN Money:
I got an idea. Why don't bosses and other management take a cut in salary so their employees can stay working.
Coming soon .... Foreclosure and homeless cards, car repossession cards, IOU birthday & wedding cards, food stamp dinner invitation cards and Vote Obama for hope - He took the last of my change card.
Vote this do nothing never had a job bum OUT in 2012
Anything for a buck, I guess.
You have got to be kidding, this is a very tasteless way for your company to make money in a tough time for a lot of people. I think you should be ashamed of yourself.
I am lucky and I have a job but I think (Hallmark) at least in my opinion has a Big Black Mark next to them.
I have always bought (Hallmark) cards but I no longer will. I hope that the company presidents feel good all the way to the bank. I am sure you will (BUT YOU SHOULD NOT).
I understand your company trying to make light of this, but to the person who receives it...... Deep Down It Has To Hurt that person. And to the people who buy them to give to someone else......
Shame On You.... As Well.....
Possibly you give the recipient the $5.00 rather than spend it on a card that reminds someone of a tough situation...
SO MUCH FOR COMPASSION...
Can layoff sympathy cards be purchased in bulk? Like Christmas cards? One usually gets a discount for buying in bulk, and these days......well, I could use some of each; the cards in bulk, and a quantity discount. "A penny saved is a penny earned."
... Obama Cards ... ? " Stop Your Whinning and Start Marching "
" Welcome To Obama's Gubba'mint ChEeZe Line " " President Zero "
" Lost Your Job, Your Home, Your Healthcare, Your Freedom, Your Car, Obama Says ....
Welcome To the Ghetto " " Fo Mo Years ? "
" I Love Obama He's So Dreamy "
" Gays In The Military ... Its The Right Thing To Do
and It worked Out So Well For The Catholic Church ? "
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