Author Topic: Expressing sympathy to a professional?  (Read 2746 times)

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MorgnsGrl

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Expressing sympathy to a professional?
« on: December 14, 2012, 10:19:19 PM »
Our vet's office has been caring for our cats for 14+ years. Recently, one of the vets lost her beloved dog in a terrible, tragic accident that I'm sure will scar her for life. My heart is broken for her and I'd like to express my sympathy, but I only know her in her professional capacity and can only contact her through her work office. I'm reluctant to send her a sympathy card at the office, in part because if it were me I would hate to break down in tears at work. Does anyone have any ideas on how to get around this?

sweetonsno

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Re: Expressing sympathy to a professional?
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2012, 11:11:33 PM »
Ooh, tough one. Can you find her home address through the white pages? If not, you could come into the office and hand a card to the receptionist, explaining what it is, and ask that she not deliver it until the vet is headed home.

cicero

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Re: Expressing sympathy to a professional?
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2012, 05:14:56 AM »
Why not ask the receptionist where cards should be sent, or if it's OK to send it to the office?

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peach2play

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Re: Expressing sympathy to a professional?
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2012, 09:22:12 AM »
Absolutely send a card. I've sent cards to my vet for various things and I send them to the vet's office.  She's always got them and been appreciative. 

MorgnsGrl

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Re: Expressing sympathy to a professional?
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2012, 10:31:22 AM »
Ooh, tough one. Can you find her home address through the white pages? If not, you could come into the office and hand a card to the receptionist, explaining what it is, and ask that she not deliver it until the vet is headed home.

I did look for her home address but her name is a common one and I'm not sure which one she is.

What if I wrote "personal" in small letters on the back flap of the envelope, then sent it to the office? Would that be enough of a heads up that she would know not to open it at the office if she preferred not to?

redcat

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Re: Expressing sympathy to a professional?
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2012, 12:12:09 PM »
I think sending a card to her home would be verging on creepily inappropriate, no matter how kindly meant.  Better to send a card marked Personal to the office, or ask the receptionist if it's OK to write to the office.

Lynn2000

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Re: Expressing sympathy to a professional?
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2012, 09:52:15 PM »
I think asking the receptionist or someone else who works there would be the safe way to go. Something like, "I heard about the accident with Dr. Smith's dog. Do you think it would be alright if I left a card here for her? [Have it with you in case they say yes] Or do you think I should send it to her home instead?" [you could then ask for her address if they say to send it home]
~Lynn2000

Margo

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Re: Expressing sympathy to a professional?
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2012, 08:56:30 AM »
I would leave it at the office, marked 'personal' and let the receptionist know what it is. I think asking for her home address, or sending a card there, (if you don't know her socially well enough to aleady have it) would be a real mistake - it feels like trampling boundaries and can be very uncomfortable, even if, as in your case, it is well meant.

DaDancingPsych

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Re: Expressing sympathy to a professional?
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2012, 08:59:42 AM »
I agree, call and ask the receptionist. This is going to ensure that your sentiments are expressed appropriately. She may be able to tell you that she opens all mail, so those cards would be pulled and presented to the vet at an appropriate time. Or she may have an alternate address that the vet prefers these sent to. Or she may even advise you not to (although I personally find this slim.) I think it's worth a quick call.

HorseFreak

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Re: Expressing sympathy to a professional?
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2012, 09:57:45 AM »
I wouldn't even ask for a home address. Vets and other professionals have too many people already who think nothing of showing up at their front door to get free advice or for emergencies that can't be handled outside of the office.

Dropping a card off at the clinic or mailing it is fine. You can tell the receptionist what it's regarding if you drop it off and they can screen it that way for her.

Mr NiceGuy

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Re: Expressing sympathy to a professional?
« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2012, 04:23:57 PM »
We too have used the same vet for over a decade and it makes for an interesting relationship.  We're not friends outside of our professional relationship, but they take care of our beloved animals and have for nearly 15 years.  If I'd heard of something this tragic I would absolutely send a card, and I think it's very nice of you to do so.

I do echo that it should be dropped off at the office, to the receptionist, and marked 'Personal' whilst explaining to the receptionist what the card is and if they would mind passing it along at a good time, perhaps when the Dr. is headed home.

MorgnsGrl

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Re: Expressing sympathy to a professional?
« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2012, 04:48:34 PM »
We too have used the same vet for over a decade and it makes for an interesting relationship.  We're not friends outside of our professional relationship, but they take care of our beloved animals and have for nearly 15 years.  If I'd heard of something this tragic I would absolutely send a card, and I think it's very nice of you to do so.

I do echo that it should be dropped off at the office, to the receptionist, and marked 'Personal' whilst explaining to the receptionist what the card is and if they would mind passing it along at a good time, perhaps when the Dr. is headed home.

This is exactly what I ended up doing -- I dropped a card off at the office with the back of the envelope marked "personal" and told the receptionist I left it with that it was a sympathy card so she could pass it on at an appropriate time.

Mr NiceGuy

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Re: Expressing sympathy to a professional?
« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2012, 05:08:57 PM »
We too have used the same vet for over a decade and it makes for an interesting relationship.  We're not friends outside of our professional relationship, but they take care of our beloved animals and have for nearly 15 years.  If I'd heard of something this tragic I would absolutely send a card, and I think it's very nice of you to do so.

I do echo that it should be dropped off at the office, to the receptionist, and marked 'Personal' whilst explaining to the receptionist what the card is and if they would mind passing it along at a good time, perhaps when the Dr. is headed home.

This is exactly what I ended up doing -- I dropped a card off at the office with the back of the envelope marked "personal" and told the receptionist I left it with that it was a sympathy card so she could pass it on at an appropriate time.

Great minds!!  :-) 

I think that was really nice of you to do.

Raintree

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Re: Expressing sympathy to a professional?
« Reply #13 on: December 27, 2012, 11:25:50 PM »
Sounds exactly right to me. I see nothing wrong with a sympathy card for a professional.