QUESTION: My colleague is in the hospital. Do I mail her a card from our department? Do I go to visit? Are there rules I should follow since we are work friends? Any ideas?
CALLIE’S ANSWER: Sending a card or flowers is a great idea! Do what you feel comfortable with.
LILLIE-BETH’S ANSWER: Almost any well-wishing gesture you make will be appreciated.
It depends on how close you are to your work friend whether you visit personally or organize a gift, flowers or a card from the entire office.
I am so thankful for all the support I received from current and former colleagues during a recent crisis — cards, visits and other gestures, large and small. All of their kind thoughts meant a lot, as I am sure yours will, too, whatever your actions are.
HELEN’S ANSWER: When someone is in the hospital, he is there for a reason, and so don’t feel like you have to visit, unless you are very close to that person. He may be having tests or doctor consults. Send a card or flowers from the department.
That way, the colleague knows everyone is thinking about her. One person could be designated to call or email from the entire group. Think how you might want to be treated if you were the one in the hospital. Would you want visitors? A card? Lots of flowers? Act accordingly.
GUEST’S ANSWER: Matt Price, The Oklahoman Features Editor: I would say it depends on how close you are.
If you are very close, by all means go. But for the majority of work friends, a card would be fine. Sending a card from the entire department is a good way to share your well-wishes.
When the patient is very tired or ill, you don’t have to go by the hospital to pass on your well-wishes. Sending a card, making a call, or even sending an email are ways to connect and let the person now that you care.
If you do visit, I’d check with a family member for information about visiting hours and when might be good to visit — likely you won’t be aware of what tests or procedures might be scheduled for your friend on any particular time or day. And plan on keeping the visit brief — 15 or 20 minutes would be about the maximum.
Callie Gordon is 20-something, Lillie-Beth Brinkman is in her 40s, and social columnist Helen Ford Wallace is 60-plus. To ask an etiquette question, email firstname.lastname@example.org.