Happy Birthday, Congratulations, and Sorry about your [Job] Loss

17 Nov

This week’s assignment asked the class to write a memo to employees losing their job, being mindful of reader.  Instead of a careful crafted memo, what if you sent one of 6 new Hallmark cards. Marketed to the family and friends of those who have experienced job loss, Hallmark addresses the 9% unemployment rate with a new line of layoff cards.

There is the sentimental:

“Losing a job is just plain painful. So I want you to remember I’m in your cheering section.”

The inspirational:

“I’m sorry you lost your job but please remember that your job is not who you are. You have many great qualities and that’s what really matters”

And the humorous:

“Is there anywhere I could hack up a hairball, like say, on a former employer’s head?”

Job loss is an uncomfortable situation to approach with a family member or friend and a pre-written card helps convey the sentiment without stumbling over word choice. Like in all forms of communication, the receiver must be a priority. While some readers may recognize or appreciate the sympathy, others may be offended at a card making light of their job loss. After receiving one layoff letter, few may be receptive to another hard copy reminding them of their situation. Some bloggers suggest giving the friend the $5.99 instead of spending it on a card. Through cards, Hallmark legitimizes feelings of sympathy for the unemployed; however, it may take a while before people become comfortable sending sorry for you [job] loss cards.

by Jeannette Mundy

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