BIRTHDAY GIFT DILEMMAS

Another birthday present, one which had to be posted, was not quite complete. A voucher would add to the gift quite nicely, I thought. One store, a national chain, only one of two in our town, provided gift vouchers from the till receipt roll. I could see it getting thrown out with the paper waste. It was just a horrible scrap of paper. No way was I giving something looking like that!

Now you would think my next idea was a good one wouldn’t you. A book token that can be exchanged for a purchase in any bookshop in the land that participates in the scheme. “Oh there’s none left. They’re on order. The organisation is changing from card tokens to a plastic electronic card system. We should have them in a couple of weeks.” Yeah, tell me another one. I know this shop’s business patter. You wait and return, to find they still haven’t got what you wanted or ordered.

I was frustrated, bordering on annoyance. Over a cup of coffee and a good home made cheese scone, I considered my options. There weren’t very many. Although there was one more national chain store to try, it was by no means certain that they had gift vouchers in this branch. I rang sprog 300 miles away. Yes, a voucher could be purchased and sent direct by sprog, if I emailed the address etc. What a convoluted way to have to do things!

At the post office counter, I moaned about my experiences. “I think we sell vouchers”, said the counter clerk, disappearing as she spoke, into the back office and returning with the information. I bought one of their gift vouchers. It could be spent in many stores nationwide, the majority of which don’t exist where we live, but do trade where the birthday present was going. I unsealed the parcel and put in the plastic electronic card with its presentation envelope. The counter clerk offered to tape up my re-opened package.

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