A fortnight ago a young man on work placement finished working with us. As this was a work placement, he was working for no pay, but he worked the same hours and just as hard as the temps who were being paid.
Normally we dont do anything special for people who just work for a few weeks, apart from thank them for their work and maybe a card. Considering this guy was unpaid and helped out with a big project, we (previous mamager and my colleagues) thought he deserved a bit more. I should also note that the job we hired the temps to do was long and monotonous.
So we bought a thank you card and passed round a collection envelope. (There are less than 10 of us in the team so we didn't get much but thought the sentiment could count too). There was one person who hadn't signed the card before this guy's last day. He was running one of our training courses (for said project) at the trainign centre down the road. I sent him an email in the morning asking him if he could pop back at lunch or anytime to sign the card. (just for context, my colleague guy doesn't eat or go out to lunch). just before noon, I got an email from my colleaue with an attachemnt but no message or subject. When I opened the attachement, it was handwritten message that my colleauge had scanned an email me. I wasn't sure if I was supposed to glue it to the card or just leave it as an insert for the card?? neither option seemed appealing.
I showed it to my former manager who now sits next to me as he was organising the card and collection. he could see my monitor from my desk. Just like me, he didn't know what to say. As it turned out, another colleague who was going out to lunch agreed to take the card for the other colleague to sign.
When colleague 2 brought the card back from lunch he commented that collegaue 1 was complaining that he had only met the placement guy 1 or 2 times. Now, what colleague 1 was forgetting was that placement guy was working on our (mine and colleage 1) subset of the big project. Without placement guy, we would be halfway through instead of nearly finished! Other people had the same amount of contact with placement guy but they gladly contributed because he had worked so hard. (including the new manager who had never even met placement guy since she returned to work)
Given the situation was the scanned greeting tacky, as if to say "I can't be bothered (or I'm to busy) to walk a few metres down the road to sign a card" or is it innovative e.g. "time is tight so a scanned greeting is better than nothing "