Dear Ms. Cards Etiquette
A colleague is in the hospital for surgery, and I’d like to give her a Get Well card, but I’m not sure what to say on it. Can you give me some suggestions?
Anxious in Arizona
Well Anxious, I’m sure your colleague will appreciate your thoughtfulness in getting her a card at all, so don’t put too much pressure on yourself! The first question is whether or not this is an individual or group/office card. If multiple people are going to be signing it, there’s no need to worry about writing a long note yourself. A simple sentence like, “I’m looking forward to seeing you back in the office,” or a phrase like, “Wishing you a fast recovery,” is sufficient. Everyone will add their own note, so you don’t want to take up more than your share of the room on the card! If you’re really phobic of making a Get Well faux pas, this would be the route to take.
If you’re wanting to send your colleague a more personal, one-on-one card, you’ll want to write a bit more, but there’s still no need to pen the great American novel on the card. If you know the recipient well enough (and you know they’ll appreciate it!), a little humor is sometimes just the thing to brighten someone’s day in the hospital. However, if your colleague is the serious sort or you’re not very close, it’s safer to stick with more formal sentiments. Here are a couple of example notes to use as a guideline:
For a colleague with a distinctive personality:
I just wanted to send you a little card to let you know we’re (I’m) thinking of you! Hope your surgery goes (went) well, and that your recovery is quick! The office isn’t the same without your (mention a habit of the colleague you remember them for), and it will be great to see you back at work again. Get well soon!
For a colleague with a desk plant or aquarium:
I just wanted to take a moment to wish you a speedy recovery, and let you know how things are going at the office. Your (plant/fish) have been looking a little lonely without you, but don’t worry, (Co-worker) has been doing a great job taking care of (it/them)! Glad to hear your surgery went well (We all hope your surgery goes well), and we can’t wait to see you back at the office again! Get well soon,Thinking of you,
Balloons, bouquets and stuffed animals are popular small gift items to include with get well cards, so if you think your colleague would appreciate something like that, feel free to pick something up to attach your card to as well! Although I know it might seem awkward to deal with a colleague’s illness or medical procedure, writing get well cards really isn’t as scary as it seems. I’m sure you’ll do just fine, Anxious!