Sign of the times

2011

It's sad sign of the times that greeting card manufacturer, Hallmark, has launched a range of cards intended to cheer up someone who has just lost their job.

Interviewed on NPR, Hallmark's Derek McCracken said that the cards were intended to give out the message that a job loss is temporary and that it doesn't define the person

He added that the decision to introduce cards followed requests from customers was spurred by requests from consumers who to show support for friends and family members who had lost their jobs.

The six-card range contains messages such as "Don't think of it as losing your job, think of it as a time-out between stupid bosses." But of course the real issue is the economic reality that they reflect, with the most recent figures from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics suggesting that some 16.2 per cent of Americans – that's almost 50 million people - are either unemployed or underemployed.

As Hallmark themselves admit, the cards are "a reflection of the times".

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