Oddly enough, it was only after leaving the office setting behind that I began to feel I understood its customs. So many petty squabbles could have been avoided, so many lunches might have gone uninterrupted, so many football pools—no, I was always going to lose the football pools. But one thing I have a great handle on now is the awkward business of what to write in a get-well card for a co-worker you barely know. Read on for several secret tricks.
First off, you should take this opportunity to find out just what the hell is wrong with your fellow employee. “Dear [Co-Worker]: Is it terminal cancer? Love, [Your Name],” is a surefire winner—it makes you sound genuinely interested and concerned. This is also a great chance to passive-aggressively let the sick party know that you are picking up their slack: “Guess I’m in charge of that daily 11:30 memo while you’re in the ICU. You’re very welcome!”
What else? Make sure to sign your name like your autograph will be worth something one day, long after they’ve thrown the card out. If you really have never met the person before, be completely honest: “Who are you again? I’m the guy who sits by the dead plant. Anyway, enjoy surgery!” For extra points, cross out or make corrections to the insipid poem printed on the inside. Finally, fold the card in on itself and seal it with hot wax before anyone else can sign. Ta-dah! You care.