Workplace Etiquette question -- death in my coworkers' family

eff

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Jan 26, 2006
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My manager has set up an informal fund to contribute to funeral expenses etc. after a death in my coworker's family(without his knowledge yet). We are not particularly close, but maintain a friendly working relationship, and I really want to help in any way I can as I know this is a devastating loss for him. I work remotely so I would have to send a check via the mail. Our manager's manger is collecting everything and will be providing the money to my coworker next week. My question is, should I include a card? My first instinct is that it seems in poor taste to give a sympathy card with money in it, but I'm not sure what else to do as I am not there to give cash, and giving just a check with no card doesn't seem right either. Should I make out the check to the manager so he can cash it and include my cash in the overall fund, or make out the check directly to my coworker and include it in a card?
 
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redney

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Apr 21, 2006
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Send the check to the manager and mail a separate card to the co-worker. Address the card to the co-worker's business mailing address.
 

natalie78

Did you die?
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May 6, 2008
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I would send the check to the manager and skip the individual sympathy card. Ask the manager to sign your name to whatever office card is being sent to your coworker and leave it at that.
 

eff

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Jan 26, 2006
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My immediate manager mentioned making the check out directly to my coworker... in that case, would it be appropriate to send just the check?
 

redney

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Apr 21, 2006
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My immediate manager mentioned making the check out directly to my coworker... in that case, would it be appropriate to send just the check?
IMO it might seem odd if the bereaved employee receives an envelope with only a check inside. There is nothing wrong with buying a sympathy card too. It's a simple gesture but may mean a lot to the bereaved.
 

bakeacookie

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Nov 2, 2008
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Make the check to the coworker and send it in a sympathy card.
That's how we do it at my place. Usually the whole department signs the card, but it's okay if you personally send one. It's the gesture of sympathy that matters most during a time like this.
 
Jun 8, 2006
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Make the check to the coworker and send it in a sympathy card.
That's how we do it at my place. Usually the whole department signs the card, but it's okay if you personally send one. It's the gesture of sympathy that matters most during a time like this.
You don't have to be close to a co-worker to send a sympathy card. That is perhaps the most basic level of etiquette. People are forgetting these things. The card doesn't have to gush--that isn't the point. I always have mixed feelings about money collections during bereavement, but we did that at my workplace also. Sometimes people need the money. Whether you give money to the larger pool and send the card separately, that is up to you. You could also enclose the money in the sympathy card. I would not just send a check in the mail. Strange and impersonal.
However....
I don't like combining the two things, but that is just me, because even if I would contribute something to a collection, I would not want to draw attention to that, because it is not about me. To join in collectively suggests solidarity and cohesiveness with a group. That is also important in a different way. But do send a card.

On a personal note:when my father died, I remember the notes and cards that I received from all my colleagues. It meant more than you could possibly know.