Finding profit in others’ misery, Hallmark recently released a line of greeting cards for you to send to a friend who has lost his job. Stores have added “recession” and “job loss” categories to their greeting card displays. Hallmark says the cards are doing well. With unemployment at a record high and more layoffs on the horizon (Post Office, Bank of America), you probably know someone that has or could lose his job. But should you send that friend a “sorry about your job loss” card?
Some cards are humorous, although I fail to see the humor in a job loss. One such card reads, “Don’t think of it as losing your job. Think of it as a time out between stupid bosses.” Other cards are a bit more serious, with one stating, “Sorry you lost your job, but please remember your job is not who you are. You have many great qualities, and that’s what really matters. Until someone realizes your unique abilities, I hope you’ll take pride in all you’ve accomplished and realize how much you have yet to give.” That one would probably make me cry.
Back in 2008, when I lost my job, instead of a card I received margaritas from my neighbor, Beth, on the night of that major life changing event. Jenn offered to help with my resume and her husband, Rob, let me attend his bootcamp fitness camp free of charge. Gwen, Glen, Jean and Kevin included me in several hiking and kayaking outings. Several friends (Dawn, Zheila and DJ come to mind) treated me to lunch or dinner. The stud muffin treated me to mind blowing sex. Those first few months were tough emotionally, but spending a little bit of time with friends helped more than those friends know.
I’m glad Hallmark didn’t have those cards back then. Spending time with friends was far better than crying over a card, however well meaning it may have been. Of course, if Hallmark had those cards in 2008, they could have sent them to the 335 employees they laid off that year.
My three year anniversary as an unemployed person is just around the corner. I wonder if Hallmark has a card for that. Just in case there is a Hallmark card for that occasion, I want you to know that I’d prefer a margarita.