Would a local grocery store gift card be out of line here?

  • rnch

    Posts: 11524

    May 11, 2012 12:18 PM GMT
    I've been friends with a former co-worker for over 30 years; a very talented auto mechanic and electronic diagnostic technician. (LOL @ the fancy name if you want; but have you opened the hood of a new car lately?)

    This man cheerfully tackles the mechanical issues I cannot do anymore, at his house on his off from work days, charges me next to nothing or even nothing for work that i would had cheerfully paid whatever his price was to do.

    His wife is going thru cancer treatment, they have exhausted his pizzant insurance coverage from his employer, have 2 children in state colleges.

    Yesterday he did the yearly "top off" of adding freon in my car's Air conditioning system. As usual he balked when I offered payment for his time, use of his equipment and materials.

    I'm thinking of getting a $100.00 gift card certificate from the local grocery store chain that I have seen him and his wife shopping at and mail it to them via USPS priority mail; with a short note expressing my gratitude for his friendship and mechanical repairs.

    Wadduathunk?

    OK?

    tacky?

    excessive?

    Your opinions, please.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 11, 2012 12:31 PM GMT
    I think that would be quite appropriate and possibly needed during this time in their lives.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    May 11, 2012 12:32 PM GMT
    Do it... I think it is a fine gesture.!

    icon_biggrin.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 11, 2012 12:40 PM GMT
    First of all - very thoughtful of you! I think it's a great gesture personally.

    Maybe a Visa gift card would be better, only because it will allow them to buy whatever they might need or want ... (and I might be over thinking it, but there could be a message in a gift card for a food store that you're not trying to convey).

    But the gesture and the amount are great and generous, just as this guy has been with you.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 11, 2012 12:41 PM GMT
    rnch saidWadduathunk?

    OK?

    tacky?

    excessive?

    Your opinions, please.

    Yes, that could work. But my reservation is that it might be seen as a demeaning welfare gesture, being at a grocery store.

    An alternative might be a $100 gift card at a nice restaurant. A night on the town for the family they all could enjoy, that they probably don't get to do these days. We give our gay friends restaurant cards as gifts all the time, and they're all wealthier than we are! LOL!

    Another possibility is a gift card at a department store, like Target. (I abhor Walmart) They could get clothes for the kids, toys, maybe something for themselves. And stuff that's likely to last longer than a meal. But I do like the gift card idea, even a general purpose card like a Visa, as mentioned above. As compared to cash, which can be insulting.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 11, 2012 12:50 PM GMT
    It's a nice gesture, but its also a bit tacky, it's like giving cash, only less useful. Plus using gift vouchers to pay for groceries makes you feel cheap, you feel like everyone around you is thinking 'Oh, so you can't afford to pay for your own basic needs?'

    You should pick out/make a nice food hamper or gift basket yourself and send that through the mail. It looks much nicer and even though it's basically the same thing, it feels more personal.
  • Lanter

    Posts: 149

    May 11, 2012 1:24 PM GMT
    The problem with the credit card gift card idea is that the credit card companies usually charge fees. The last time I had to get one was for an online order that didn't take my card and the fee was 10%. They also give a strict time limit for the card to be used and then they start collecting a monthly fee. I would go with the Target or Walmart because the grocery store may be mis-interpreted. You can buy just about anything at Target or Walmart anyway. One other idea would be HomeDepot or Lowes. It sounds as though the guy is into DIY projects and who doesn't have a household project that needs to be done? Those kinds of problems are also usually one of the first to be put off when money gets tight and once complete usually benefit the whole household. One tactic I use in some situations is direct the gift toward the person's kids or family. This is what I usually give the salesman when buying cars.
  • mybud

    Posts: 11819

    May 11, 2012 1:29 PM GMT
    Dude...I think it's a great idea....flowers die...etc...I'm Spanish/French in our culture food relates to love...Keeping positive thoughts for your friend...
  • GWriter

    Posts: 1446

    May 11, 2012 1:35 PM GMT
    Nice gesture. I agree with Target or Walmart.
  • rnch

    Posts: 11524

    May 11, 2012 1:38 PM GMT
    Hmmmm....Wal-mart might be the one to give him and his wife, given their lifestyle and spending habits.

    Does anyone know if there is an expiration date on a wally card?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 11, 2012 2:08 PM GMT
    Don't Target and Walmart also have grocery sections? That'd be killing two birds with one stone without the "you can't afford to feed your family" implications of a local grocery store gift card.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 11, 2012 2:35 PM GMT
    rnch saidHmmmm....Wal-mart might be the one to give him and his wife, given their lifestyle and spending habits.

    Does anyone know if there is an expiration date on a wally card?


    No. There's not an expiration.

    I recently was cleaning out my wallet and found a couple of cards I bought for gas (because Wal-Mart gift cards get you an extra 3 cents off per gallon at their gas stations)... I always buy the gift cards for my own gas purchases, but end up with a remnant balance left.

    I found several with little balances and went to Wal-Mart and used them up. They still worked fine and some were a couple of years old.

  • Hothouse

    Posts: 2204

    May 11, 2012 3:10 PM GMT
    I think that's a great way to say thanks and I'm sure he can use it for something he and his family needs. Good man!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 11, 2012 3:10 PM GMT
    Very appropriate and honorable. Target is a good idea, but Walmart would mean giving your money to an anti-gay company.

    Mailing it to him along with a note would be a good idea also, so he will not feel so inclined to decline it.
  • LJay

    Posts: 11612

    May 11, 2012 3:26 PM GMT
    I think the grocery card is a great idea. You know they shop there and they will know their own needs and where the savings are. Carrying on routines when you are under stress can be a big help.
  • BlackBeltGuy

    Posts: 2609

    May 11, 2012 3:32 PM GMT
    Walmart or Target

    that is better

    : )
    my 3 cents