I saw that Hallmark is now selling sympathy cards for becoming unemployed.
I’m not making this up. I had to do some checking to make sure it wasn’t a joke.
Personally, I think this is one of the worst ideas that Hallmark has ever come out with. I just don’t see who would ever buy these, mainly because I can’t see who would ever want to get one.
I lost my job rather abruptly in 2005. The story is for another time, but basically, I had a job one minute, got called into what I thought was a routine meeting, and five minutes later was in the car with my box of stuff on my way home.
After I got home, I started alerting friends and family to what had happened. I started networking and all that.
Had I received one of these cards in the mail, I think I would have been annoyed. Depending on who it was from, I might have actually been pissed.
I’m sure people that send them have their hearts in the right place. You want to ‘be there’ for the person that just lost their job. I get that. You want to offer support and compassion and all the other things that go along with it.
Fine, but you know the best way to do that?
Pick up the phone. Send an e-mail. Stop by if it’s appropriate. Make it personal. After I lost my job, the simple phone calls I’d get now and then meant a million times more to me than any greeting card I might have gotten in the mail. It takes just as long to pick up the phone, ask how the person is doing, see if there’s anything they need, and wish them all the best of luck as it does to write and mail out an impersonal greeting card.
I’m all for sending cards, but when it comes to someone losing their job, if you’re close enough to the person to want to reach out, that’s great, but I just don’t see Hallmark having a place in that.
What do you think?