Need Verbiage For Awkward Situation

Decorating By bethsk Updated 27 Aug 2010 , 6:30am by indydebi

bethsk Posted 26 Aug 2010 , 5:57pm
post #1 of 24

Hello Cake Experts,

A co-worker is dying of a terminal disease so he is taking early retirement and his last day of work is next Friday, Sept. 3. I am ordering a sheet cake today for his last day and am at a loss as to what to have written on it. Our HR Dept. is struggling with it so we'd love any suggestions!

Thank you,
Beth

23 replies
Texas_Rose Posted 26 Aug 2010 , 6:01pm
post #2 of 24

I think "We'll miss you" would be apppropriate.

sweetjan Posted 26 Aug 2010 , 6:11pm
post #3 of 24

"we love you"

deMuralist Posted 26 Aug 2010 , 6:14pm
post #4 of 24

decorate the heck out of it and skip the words

Herekittykitty Posted 26 Aug 2010 , 6:24pm
post #5 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by deMuralist

decorate the heck out of it and skip the words




Ditto.

Babs1964 Posted 26 Aug 2010 , 6:33pm
post #6 of 24

You could say
Friends are important to our lives & we have treasured your friendship...

CWR41 Posted 26 Aug 2010 , 6:43pm
post #7 of 24

Happy Retirement!

marion123 Posted 26 Aug 2010 , 6:51pm
post #8 of 24

I don't mean to be a jerk, but I would forget the whole cake idea.. He is leaving work cause he is dying.. Why would you want a cake to celebrate that?
To me, it is just to tacky and I hope that you will re-consider it.. It is just my opion and I don't mean to be a jerk..

Maybe instead of a cake, you can donate money in his name to his diease to help find a cure or if he has children or a grandchild maybe set up a fund for them or if he has a special park that he goes to, buy a bench w. his name on it.

carissa

mhcl Posted 26 Aug 2010 , 6:53pm
post #9 of 24

I've been around this situation more than I care to say and I agree with no writing on the cake and have it nicely decorated. Anything written on there can be made sad and it's just my opinion but they may not want to see it written on a cake. Good luck with your decision.

Texas_Rose Posted 26 Aug 2010 , 6:55pm
post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by marion123

I don't mean to be a jerk, but I would forget the whole cake idea.. He is leaving work cause he is dying.. Why would you want a cake to celebrate that?
To me, it is just to tacky and I hope that you will re-consider it.. It is just my opion and I don't mean to be a jerk..

Maybe instead of a cake, you can donate money in his name to his diease to help find a cure or if he has children or a grandchild maybe set up a fund for them or if he has a special park that he goes to, buy a bench w. his name on it.

carissa




I disagree...if everyone else gets a cake when they retire there, then he should have one too. The celebration is to thank him for the time he spent there and to show that he was important to the group.

If I were dying, I'd want to party on my way out.

dchockeyguy Posted 26 Aug 2010 , 7:22pm
post #11 of 24

I'm with "Happy Retirement" or "Best Wishes" I think "we'll miss you" sounds a little morbid given the circumstances of having a terminal illness.

JohnnyCakes1966 Posted 26 Aug 2010 , 7:24pm
post #12 of 24

I agree that not getting a cake at retirement (regardless of the reason) when everyone else does would only emphasize the fact that he's leaving because he's dying. If I were in that situation, I'd want to live the rest of my life with as many parties/celebrations...and cakes...as possible! (Words to live by, as every day is a day closer!)

I also agree with either no writing on the cake, or maybe say something like "Thanks for 18 years of service." (You did say it's a sheet cake, right? LOL) I'd stay away from "Happy Retirement" or "We'll Miss You" or "Good Luck"....those types of things.

If you're still unsure about celebrating or recognizing his retirement, it wouldn't hurt to ask him what he wants to do. Tell him that you, as a company, want to acknowledge him, but want to make sure he'd be OK with it.

Babs1964 Posted 26 Aug 2010 , 7:42pm
post #13 of 24

I personally think that ignoring what is happening is just as insulting, its like pretending the elephant isn't in the room. If you do a cake then maybe no words on it is ok, but saying Happy Retirement isn't the way to go either. If the person is a well liked co-worker then heartfelt words on the cake are ok & if they aren't someone that anyone is going to miss then maybe Best Wishes is more appropriate.

Chasey Posted 26 Aug 2010 , 7:45pm
post #14 of 24

I agree with the thank you for ____ years of service if he's been with the company a few years, kwim? Thanks for 2 years of service sounds a little too stingy! If he's "retiring" then perhaps he is older and has many years with that company. Focusing on what he did for the company would be easier than wording the cake to reflect his leaving, under these circumstances.

The whole party is going to be awkward IMO if co workers think about they dying aspect too much. I'm assuming he's retiring so he can go take care of his bucket list, be with family, etc. and not because he's too ill to continue? Just hoping the party can focus on some positives.

Whew, that's a tough one. icon_sad.gif

DebECakes Posted 26 Aug 2010 , 8:05pm
post #15 of 24

I've been a lurker on this wonderful site for quite some time. As I was always taught "you have two ears, two eyes, but only one mouth, use in proportion". So I have been busy learning as I am only a hobby baker.

However, I have to comment on the gentleman's point of view. I have watched family members leave this world through terminal illnesses and I, myself, have fallen very close to that situation as well. It is what it is. People are so uncomfortable with the situation and not knowing what to say sometimes don't say anything at all. During all my weeks in the hospital and following at home, I would have loved for everyone to treat me as "normal" - whatever that may mean to you. Staff would show me pictures of their kids and pets and I had a doctor bring me jokes (although I know he did that cause he knew how much it hurt to laugh silly guy).

I agree with previous posters that those I know and have since worked with would love to be treated like everyone else. Whatever the norm is for retirees is exactly what should be done for this gentleman. Why stress about if the wording is right - just decorate with something to make it personal to him.

Above all smile around him and be happy you were fortunate to have known him and spent time with him - and let him know that as well.

Debbie

jillmakescakes Posted 26 Aug 2010 , 10:33pm
post #16 of 24

if you want to add a little humor...

" ...because nobody wishes they had done more situps, but they always wish for more chocolate cake!!!"

Lita829 Posted 26 Aug 2010 , 10:39pm
post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by deMuralist

decorate the heck out of it and skip the words




Ditto

BeanCountingBaker Posted 26 Aug 2010 , 10:50pm
post #18 of 24

DebECakes

What a heartfelt and thoughtful post, thank you for sharing your perspective.

kger Posted 26 Aug 2010 , 11:47pm
post #19 of 24

Beth- Where are you located? How many people are in your company?

In choosing a sheet cake, I'm assuming you're planning to purchase at a supermarket or club warehouse, am I right? Ideally, you could contact a local custom baker to get a custom design, but even supermarkets like Safeway or Von's have some clever decor for you to choose from.

Going along with the "decorate the heck out of it and skip the words," I would find out his interests and try to get a cake that is unique to him. For example, if he's going to take a vacation to the beach, you could get a beach scene or theme. Or if he's into golf, you could find something golf-related, as opposed to just a big white sheet cake with shell border and a couple of roses. If you're going to get a cake, get a GOOD cake.

Deani Posted 26 Aug 2010 , 11:58pm
post #20 of 24

What about "A toast to ......." or "Auld Lang Syne" which basically means remember the good times.

cownsj Posted 27 Aug 2010 , 12:22am
post #21 of 24

I wholeheartedly agree with the notion of treating him as "normal" as possible in the situation. And for those who are feeling awkward and down, start telling them you are celebrating his life, his friendship, and all the good times, not the end of anything.

and heck, if you're anywhere near the northwest part of NJ, I'd be more than happy to help with a cake to customize it to him.

3GCakes Posted 27 Aug 2010 , 12:53am
post #22 of 24

What is he interested in?

Cars? A car cake. Fishing? A fishing cake.

Nothing more than his name on it, and something he likes to do/collect/is interested in.

pixiefuncakes Posted 27 Aug 2010 , 1:15am
post #23 of 24

I agree with those that say he should be treated normally, he has enough going on .......... I like the idea of thanking him, not just for years of service, but maybe a nice smile, a kind word, something along those lines.

It says a lot about you and the kind of baker you are to worry about wording, good for you.

indydebi Posted 27 Aug 2010 , 6:30am
post #24 of 24

I hate words on a cake. Pretty cheesy to me. We all know why we're at a party.

On the other side of the discussion, my sister is dying. She has less than a year to live. I got an email from her today entitled "Good News!" ..... she was given good news that she'll probably make it thru Christmas. 4 months. It's a lifetime.

With that background, she HATES it when people use a sympathy voice to talk to her; HATES it when they ask in a forlorn voice "how ya doin'?"; HATES it when people treat her like she's dying.

She's not dead yet. She doesn't want to be treated that way.

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