Conversation with My Wife (178)

Give the Gift of Shared Kindness

Photo by Matt Collamer on Unsplash

As we’re waiting for our orders to be finished up at Subway:¹

DEB: You know what we should have brought?

ME: Um, our credit cards? I have mine.

DEB: No! Gail’s thing!

ME: Yes! Gail’s… um… thing… with the… um…

DEB: The above-and-beyond envelope!

ME: Oh! (realization strikes) Y’know, that would be perfect for right now, wouldn’t it?

The actual name is The Gift of Shared Kindness, by the way (GoSK).

The idea is that you have something on hand to give to someone for going above and beyond what would be expected. Or maybe they are having a bad day. Or maybe you are having a really good one. The point is, you have a little packet with some cash that you give to someone for whatever reason you like, to maybe make their day a little better.

From Gail’s Etsy site.

Actually, the idea (and packet) is even more subversive than that. The packet has a large card and envelope, plus three small cards (easy to fit in a pocket or purse, but ONLY IF YOU REMEMBER TO DO SO) that hold money. Put money in the small cards, put those in the big card (which explains how it all works so you don’t have to… although you might, depending on the recipient, because Gail’s dad took a little bit before he got the idea), and give the big card to someone as a gift. So they get to be kind, generous, and thoughtful without any out-of-pocket expenses, and some stranger you do not know and may never meet gets a spot of joy in their day.

So getting back to Subway: we had stopped for lunch while on the road, and found two teenagers running the shop. They were more than attentive; one double-checked me more than once about my wrap, to make sure he’d heard me right (all of us were masked, of course) and also because he wanted to make sure he was giving me the best product he could (and was I SURE I didn’t want that heated up?). His partner (and boss?—she ran the register, anyway) was just as nice with Deb. So this would have been the perfect opportunity to gift both (or each) with a GoSK token!

If we had not left them on the kitchen table at home.

So we settled for cash. (There’s no way to tip on a Subway credit card transaction. Why is that?)

What the inside of one of the small cards looks like. You can fill in your name on the blank line, or use “a happy customer” or something similar if you like anonymity.

DEB: Next time I’ll have one of those in my purse, Jackster.

ME: So we’ll just need to remember your purse.

We don’t, always, especially if I’m driving and Deb won’t need her license.

DEB: I hope Jeff and Dani liked theirs!

We used one of the small cards to anonymously² gift our associate pastor and his wife when they departed our church for a new one in New England. The sentiment in the card felt appropriate to the occasion and the recipients.

DEB: (after we get home) Hey! Know where these are going? (holding up the small cards) In the car. So we’ll have them. For next time. (disappears into garage)

¹For those not in the States, Subway is a chain of sandwich shops that let you specify exactly what you want in the sandwich as it is made in front of you. You can also get a wrap or a salad.

²You folks won’t tell, right? And nobody at our church reads my stuff, unless I have a link on Facebook.

Copyright ©2020 by Jack Herlocker. All rights reserved. Except for Gail’s stuff, obviously.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Jack Herlocker

Jack Herlocker


Husband & retiree. Developer, tech writer, & IT geek. I fill what’s empty, empty what’s full, and scratch where it itches. Occasionally do weird & goofy things.