Hallmark is sorry for your loss - your job loss
September 26th, 2011
05:41 PM ET

Hallmark is sorry for your loss - your job loss

Getting laid off from a job has always been synonymous with the delivery of a pink slip, but thanks to Hallmark, the experience might also become associated with receiving another piece of paper in the mail.

With unemployment sitting at 9%, the ongoing layoffs across the country have persuaded the greeting card giant to begin rolling out a line of sympathy cards with words of encouragement for people who have lost their jobs in the tough economy.

The development of cards that deal with the various hardships of the times is nothing new to Hallmark. The company also produced cards aimed at individuals who struggled through events such as the Great Depression, the military draft, and losing loved ones on September 11, 2001.

“People in times of need will always need to connect and when the consumers have asked us for a way to connect in those difficult situations, we try to respond in an authentic way and we think that what the greeting card does is offer a bridge,” Hallmark’s creative director Derek McCracken told NPR’s All Things Considered.

Those that work with the unemployed say they don’t think it’s a bad idea. “Getting a card like that and somebody caring is fabulous,” Michelle Crowthers-Lunczynski of Work One in Franklin, Ind. told CNN affiliate WTHR in Indianapolis, Indiana. “The crazy part to think about this is there's so many people laid off. At least someone's caring enough to you know, get a card and say, 'I'm thinking of you.'”

According to McCracken, the idea to produce cards that lift the spirits of the recently unemployed came from the company’s own customers, who were asking for a card addressing a topic that hits close to home for so many people.

“They sent us letters. They phoned it in. They asked their retailers, you know, in their neighborhood, where do I find a card that said this?” he said. “Loss of job, like any loss, is a grieving process. And so we have to acknowledge as soon as possible what had happened and then try to support them. So that's where we kind of offer more cards on the, you'll get through this, versus dwelling on the loss of the job itself.”

The job-loss sympathy cards are not currently available at all of the company’s 40,000 locations nationwide, but Hallmark’s website lists several of the 5×7 cards on-sale for $3.49 each.

E-card companies have also latched on to the idea, but American Greetings, a main competitor of Hallmark’s in the world of paper and electronic cards, has yet to produce any layoff-specific products. Spokesman Frank Cirillo says that the idea is something that American Greetings might look at in the future, but it hasn’t seen a demand for the cards because the company focuses on personalized products that are open-ended and conversational enough for consumers to add in their own more specific messages.

Hallmark’s cards range widely in tone: Some of them contain messages that are more on the sentimental side and offer inspirational advice, while many are lighthearted and even make light of the recipient’s situation. One card reads: “Don’t think of it as losing your job. Think of it as a time-out between stupid bosses.” Another says: “Don’t worry, you’ll get through this. Look at me! Okay, maybe don’t.”

“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 said.

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Filed under: Economy • Jobs
soundoff (185 Responses)
  1. maurypovich

    love how hallmark tries to play the altruistic card. anything to make a buck.

    September 26, 2011 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
  2. banasy©

    Love the giant leap from Hallmark cards to a political debate.

    September 26, 2011 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
  3. kate

    I would rather have the 3.49

    September 26, 2011 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Andrew

    I wonder if they give these away as pink slips when they lay people off

    September 26, 2011 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Robert Dore

    My wife worked for Hallmark for numerous years. They always kept her weekly hours just under 40 so that no benefits would have to be paid. The only benefits were the friends and co workers she has kept in touch with.

    September 26, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • solacetea

      Did your wife work for Hallmark Corporate or one of the thousands of independently owned Hallmark Retail stores? Whatever the case, it was your wife's fault for not looking for a full-time, ie: 40-hour-a-week position.

      September 29, 2011 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  6. John

    We took an informal office poll shortly after you got the ax. All agreed that you will not be missed. In fact, we plan to completely forget about you as soon as we sign the card. Signed, your ex-boss and ex-coworkers.

    P.S. Don't even think about going postal–we've instructed security to keep an eye out for you.

    September 26, 2011 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
  7. raven

    And whatever happened to just TALKIN to someone ? better still : LISTENING. Im sure people whove lost their job would like to vent about it. Not read someone elses cheesey words you would never say in a kabillion years.

    September 26, 2011 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Hooligan

    are you kidding? They are marketing the loss of ones means of living?

    Wow, capitalism has hit an all time low.

    September 26, 2011 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Southerner01

    Mail your friend $3.49 in an empty envelope. If they lost their job, they need the cash more than a silly card. Besides, if all their friends and relatives did that, it would cover a bill or two for a month

    September 26, 2011 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jeff Frank ( R - Ohio ) "Right On Target"

    "If you want to make your $50,000 bonus by chaining the doors, then chain 'em. Don't waste your time and money stroking me.

    September 26, 2011 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jeff Frank ( R - Ohio ) "Right On Target"

    With 37 years experience, on time for work, an IQ well over 123, do you honestly think I'd care if I got one of those?

    September 26, 2011 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nancy

      Don't be so quick to assume that you're ultimately employable even with what you have going for you. My hubby has 37 years' experience, was always EARLY for work, and has an equivalent IQ – guess what? Yuppers, his relatives can now send him one of those spiffy Hallmark cards – if they don't want to talk to us ever again.

      September 26, 2011 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
  12. banasy©

    @Jeff Frank:
    I think Hallmark is deplorable for doing this.
    I don't believe for a second that people were writing them and saying there is a need for this type of card; I think someone said it sarcastically to somebody in R&D and a lightbulb went off.

    Where's the "Kiss My Ass" section in the Hallmark aisle?

    September 26, 2011 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
  13. PotFace

    If I got laid off and got one of those cards, it would send me into instant rage.

    September 26, 2011 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • M in Oz

      When they bring out the musical variety of this card there are plenty of sad songs to use, such as "Nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah hey hey hey goodbye".

      September 26, 2011 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
  14. banasy©

    Especially if it were from the company that laid you off, PotFace!

    September 26, 2011 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
  15. M in Oz

    What next, "So sorry your loved one rejected you and ran off with another man/woman" (like that isn't "rubbing it in" faux sympathy)- The people at Hallmark are vultures and they made up the story about people writing them requesting these cards.

    September 26, 2011 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
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