Apparently, UK businesses are following the lead of their American cousins by following the corporate card trend.
We’re not just talking birthdays here. According to The Card & Gift Company, we’re talking cards to celebrate anniversaries of major contracts or marking recruitment milestones; one company has even requested cards to send to the employee of the month.
Andrew Gibson, managing director of The Card & Gift Company, says: “There is no doubt that we are following the US trend by becoming a more touchy-feely society and that is reflected in the growing demand for corporate greetings cards.
“We’ve all enjoyed sitcoms satirising corporate culture, such as The Office, but it seems as if certain elements of the environment depicted on these shows may be closer to the truth than we think.
“We’ve even heard of American companies motivating their workforce by sending cards congratulating staff on making target or being promoted.”
It gets worse. The Card & Gift Company also tells us that managing directors, line managers et al can, when using its service, choose from a “selection of handwriting styles most closely matching their own”. The company then sends the card with a first class stamp “so the receiver will never know it wasn’t sent personally”.
Oh it’s just so hideous.
Props to The Card & Gift Company for tapping into this market. Gibson and his co-founder, Chris Bradley, only launched the business late last year and while it’s not all based around pathetic bosses trying to endear themselves to their workforce, their PR team says it’s already the highest-ranking online retailer in the UK within the card and gift sector. The website registers around 2,500 hits a day and The Card & Gift Company has already tasted success in the US. Boys, I have to say the “selection of handwriting styles” is a stroke of genius.
Thankfully Caspian Publishing doesn’t send these sorts of cards. But I’d like to take this opportunity to issue a warning to my current employer (and any future employers):
Don’t ever send me a corporate card. You’re not going to make me feel all warm and squishy about you by sending me somthing to show you “remembered” my birthday or a major milestone in my career.
How’s about coming over to my desk and saying “Happy Birthday Catherine!” or “It’s been a year since that great article – just wanted to say congratulations and thank you again!”
In fact, why don’t you use the cash you would have spent on getting someone else to write me a "personalised" card to buy me a pint at the pub Or a Mars bar” You could even add it to my salary – I don’t mind.
Some things are best left in the States.
Note: The image is not an example of a card sent by The Card & Gift Company. It’s just an example of hilariously bad punctuation. Probably the type used by those bosses that send corporate cards.