When getting together with my friends, the conversation always seems to turn to the workplace. So many of them are not happy with their current working situations. Oddly enough, the complaints are not only about their salaries. They all seem to have low morale. I think I have devised an easy way to boost their morale and self-esteem in the work place; send them congratulations cards!
Years ago, I was a manager at a very large hotel. When you work with such a large group of people sometimes some of these people slip through the cracks. I had a policy of sending out business congratulations cards. The cards could be sent out for many reasons. I tried to send a card for small accomplishments as well as for milestones. Some of the reasons I sent cards were for a promotion, a raise, someone got employee of the month, someone received a complementary letter from a guest. The card that seems most appreciated was for a job well done. As they opened the card, their faces would light up. All it took was a little recognition.
Congratulations cards are a small way that you can make a big difference in office morale. It’s something that all my friends and I agree on!
My name is Rose, “The Card Lady,” and I would like to tell you how my name came to be…
A few years ago I purchased a box of assorted birthday cards from The Gallery Collection. One week after I received them, I threw a surprise anniversary party for my parents at my house. A discussion arose about upcoming birthdays and events, when my sister chimed in and said she forgot her mother in-law’s birthday (it was the very next day!). I went into the house and grabbed the assortment box for her. I quickly had a group of people surrounding me going through the box. They remarked how beautiful the greeting cards were and that they had never seen such cheerful cards in any store. A few of my guests picked out cards that were perfect for an upcoming birthday… I was more than happy to let them have the cards.
A week after my party, my neighbor knocked on my door; she had attended my party last week and remembered I had a boxed birthday cards assortment. She asked if she could have one for a party she had the very next day. So, that is how it began, and till this day, I still have people stopping by for thank you cards, birthday cards, and get well cards. My only dilemma is I’m running out of cards…I have to drop subtle hints on how my guests can get their own boxes.
So now my friends introduce me as Rose, the Card Lady.
Sometimes we often forget that it is the simple things that make us smile and make our days brighter. I am a manager for over 200 customer service representatives and with 200 of them, it is very hard to reach out to each and every one of them to let them know that I and the company cares about them. One simple gesture that I found is really appreciated is to send out get well cards to employees who have to be out due to illness for more than 3 days. The last time I did this, one of the employees was sick with the flu which nearly turned into pneumonia. Before I started the practice of sending out get well cards, I would simply note the absence in our attendance book. Literally, that was the only thing I did to mark an employee’s illness. Then, when I was out sick for a week (with the flu as well), I received business get well cards signed by all my employees. That one gesture really brightened my day and I suspect, started me down the road toward recovery.
Because the card made me feel a whole lot better, I decided that thereon in, I would send out my own cards to sick employees. Getting back to the employee who almost had pneumonia…when she returned to work, the first place she stopped was my office to say thank you for the card. She was so appreciative of a little thing like a get well card. I really feel that cards are an excellent way to let employees know you care about them. It is a small gesture that speaks volumes – I suspect that these small gestures play a part in raising morale, retaining loyalty and might even inch someone closer to recovery. I definitely recommend sending out cards to ailing employees!
Ever have one of those weeks? You know the ones that I’m talking about – where everything that can go wrong does. It’s almost like being in quicksand. The more you try to do, the further down you go. I had one of those weeks recently and it turned out that get well cards was all it took to get me turned around. I know that sounds sappy, but it’s true.
I had a really big presentation at the corporate office in Cincinnati that Monday so there was enough pressure on me already. Then it hits me, my dog of 12 years became very sick. His name was Randy. I say “was” because my little pooch passed away a couple days after the presentation. It turns out he had an issue with his kidneys and they started to shut down.
The Cincinnati presentation did not go as I had planned, with most of my ideas getting shut down. I get home to find Randy very sick. My sister was taking care of him, but there was nothing she could have done. The vet said there was only a matter of days left before I had to make that decision nobody wants to make. So there it was the end of our great run. Randy had gotten me through a lot of hard times – girlfriends leaving, friends flake out – but a loving dog never leaves your side.
I took off Thursday when Randy passed on; I guess it was my day to reflect. It’s hard to lose a part of your family. So the next day you do what everyone else does…get up and go to work, living your life like you’re “supposed” to do. As usual, I got off the train and took that 10-minute walk.
That 10-minute stroll was one of the saddest walks of my life. Then I arrived at my cubicle and saw get well cards from everyone at work. Never could a piece of paper have meant more to me. To know that everyone around me cared enough to think about the loss of Randy made it all the more special. There’s something about people caring that just brings hope to you. So yes, a card can turn your frown upside down.
I have two small children who are both in day care and both attend a lot of birthday parties. Let me just tell you how convenient boxed birthday cards are! Everyone with children, especially young children, knows that going to any kind of store can be an adventure in itself. Before I bought my boxed cards online, this is how my adventure to the card store went…
Going to a card or stationery store can be worse than going to a toy store. They walk in and see thousands of brightly colored greeting cards and can’t help but want to touch every one of them. So, while I’m trying to find those special birthday cards, I’m also making sure my “angels” (who are trying very hard to listen to me) do not touch the cards on the shelves. If I am not quick enough in picking out a card, their patience runs out. Then their little hands start helping me select cards.
Now, the problem occurs when one of them accidentally bends the corners or crinkles a card. So I’m left with the thought of either paying for a slightly thank-you-for-your-business card or quickly putting them back on the shelf. At the end of the adventurous trip to the card store, I end up spending money on at least one card I have no use for because it’s slightly damaged and spending half an hour in the store for one or two simple birthday cards.
When I found bulk birthday cards, it was the best thing! Not only are they brightly colored and the children love them, they also save me a lot of time and money!
Looking back, I remember a time when I had been the host to a fantastic surprise birthday party. It was a 16th birthday party that took place at my home on a Saturday night in March. There was a lot of thought; preparation and planning that went into organizing the event. I sent out invitations about a month and a half in advance so that everyone could have enough time to plan ahead for the big night. I figured sending out invitations in the form of assorted greeting cards would be the best way for everyone to remember the date and mark it on their calendars.
As the day of the party drew closer, I double checked my list to count how many people were coming so I knew how much food to make and how many beverages were needed. There were 50 people coming. For those 50 people I had ordered 50 boxed greeting cards. On each card I wrote, “Thanks for sharing in my Sweet Sixteenth birthday” and included a picture of my daughter on it.
On the Saturday afternoon of my daughter’s birthday I began to decorate my home. I placed the pink and silver Happy Sweet Sixteenth Birthday banner up in the foyer and scattered the matching pink and silver balloons throughout the foyer, the kitchen and the dining room. I had ordered plenty of coordinating pink and sliver plastic plates, napkins, utensils and cups. Throughout the day I cooked and prepared appetizers, the main course and baked and created a two-tiered chocolate cake! As I finished icing the cake, I placed it on a silver platter on the kitchen table and surrounded the cake with pink and silver photo confetti. On the confetti were pictures of my daughter – just the perfect touch of detail to mark her special day.
At 8pm the guests started arriving and by 8:30pm everyone had arrived and the lights were out. We were ready for my daughter’s arrival. My daughter would be arriving at 8:45 from her dance class and we were all quiet and still ready for her entrance. I was the closest person to the front door and I heard the jingling of her keys as she was preparing to unlock the door. As she opened the door and reached to turn on the light, we shouted out “Surprise!”
Almost all of us have a written list or have at least thought of some things that we would include on our bucket list. I have been very blessed to have done a few things already that I have been able to cross of my bucket list but my latest thrill has come from jumping out of an airplane from 14,000 feet. Do I deserve Congratulations cards for such a feat? My kids think I do! Let me tell you why.
Skydiving is totally safe is the message I got from the company that was allowing me to jump, yet I had to sign many a form saying that I would not hold them liable should anything happen. Always having been a bit of risk-taker, I was undeterred and ready to jump. I was not really nervous but as we were ascending higher and higher, 7,000 feet, 9,000 feet, 12,000 feet….I did have a brief moment when I thought to myself, what the heck were you thinking? But alas, that passed quickly as my tandem instructor hurled himself, with me attached, out of the back of the airplane. I can’t tell you how incredibly liberating it is to free fall for an entire minute before having your parachute deploy. I highly recommend adding it to your bucket list.
The next day, I found Congratulations cards that my kids had made for me which said Congratulations Mommy for jumping out of an airplane. I found it very amusing to be congratulated for something I’ve wanted to do since I was a teenager. But nonetheless, I saved those precious hand-made greeting cards along with the video and pictures I purchased of my extremely eventful day. I will never forget the experience but it’s great to be able to relive it every once and awhile. My next bucket-list adventure is a hot-air balloon ride. Not quite as risky maybe but at least the hot air won’t only be coming from me this time.
I am a senior salesperson who had a really positive experience with Get Well cards. In November, I was pursuing a lead for a new account. My contact for the potential business was the CIO. We had been to lunch a few times and I started feeling like the new deal could be mine. I sell software which monitors network activity and it is pretty pricey. Every deal is a potential huge deal for me. When I called the CIO’s Executive Assistant to confirm our next appointment she told me that Dan, the CIO, would be unable to meet me on the scheduled date. Startled, I asked whether Dan simply didn’t want to pursue the deal with me any further and she replied, “It’s not that. Dan is in the hospital having bypass surgery”. I hung up disappointed and dejected because not only was the deal off, but I felt I had been building a good relationship with the CIO and certainly did not like hearing that he was ill.
Obviously sending flowers to the hospital or visiting was entirely inappropriate considering that this was a business relationship with someone I only gotten to know two months ago. I decided then that I should send a business get well card to at least express my hopes for his speedy recovery and return. The get well card went off in the mail and I forgot about the lost deal as several months went by. Then, in January I got a phone call from you know who! It was Dan, back at work and ready to pick up our conversation. A few days later we went out to lunch to discuss the deal and Dan said, “You know, there were 5 competitors out to get this sale and not one of them was as thoughtful as you. As soon as I received your card I knew we’d be doing business together.” I can happily report that Dan is feeling much better, the sale was made and I can thank business get well cards for sealing the deal!
April 27th, 2011 is a day I will always remember. My state (Alabama) was hit by the largest outbreak of tornadoes ever recorded. The devastation was horrific. 249 fatalities were recorded in Alabama that day, and it felt like I was living a nightmare. The sounds of tornado sirens blasting all day and all night are forever etched in my mind. I graduated from The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, AL., which was one of the hardest hit cities in the state with 43 confirmed fatalities and over 1000 injuries. In fact the apartments I lived in my sophomore year of school were completely destroyed. I live in Birmingham now which is about 50 miles from Tuscaloosa, and several of my company’s employees lost their homes and everything they owned. A few weeks after the tornadoes I was at work one day and thought it would be a nice idea for my company to give their employees that were affected welcome cards when they returned back to work. These people needed all the help they could get and returning to work might provide a sense of normalcy when their lives had been turned upside down.
My boss was in total agreement with me and loved the idea. Not only would the cards serve as a reminder that the company was thinking of them during their time of need, it would hopefully help to facilitate the healing process and demonstrate that the company truly cared about them and their families. The look on many of the employee’s faces when they saw the cards on their desks when they returned to work was incredible. I truly feel that this small gesture provided joy to these individuals. I learned that business welcome cards can be used by any company to welcome an employee back to work after suffering a tragedy. My heart still aches for everyone affected by the tornadoes but we will come back stronger than ever.
The Gallery Collection has a long standing history of supporting our troops both at home and overseas. Today, we are proud to announce a donation of 40,000 greeting cards to Soldiers’ Angels for the troops that will be returning home from Iraq. We are especially honored to be making the announcement today, on the National Pearl Harbor Day of Remembrance, December 7th, 2011.
On October 21st, President Obama announced the end of The United States of America’s involvement in the war in Iraq. 40,000 troops will be coming home for the holidays, and The Gallery Collection is sending Soldiers’ Angels an equal number of cards for signing events, care packages and many other purposes to support our troops. We welcome our servicemen and women home gladly, and we are proud of their service to our nation.
While to many this issue is politically charged, what The Gallery Collection finds most important is the fact that after an 8 year involvement in Iraq, our troops will be returning home to family, friends, and all the people that have missed them and love them dearly. Some may feel we are bringing the troops home too early; others may feel as if the troops should have returned home years ago. But we can all agree that we will be happy to greet them when they come home.
The Gallery Collection has been working with Soldiers’ Angels since 2007, making numerous donations of greeting cards to help support them in their mission of “May No Soldier Go Unloved.” We are sincerely grateful to our troops, and pleased we can make such a large donation to welcome them home.