Three years ago, a colleague referred me to her dentist. He was close to our office, everyone in his practice was really nice, and my coworker was pretty sure she'd get a bottle of wine as a thank you for her referral.
I love my dentist. He's really nice, very calm and gentle, and his whole staff is pleasant and competent. At the beginning of the year, I referred a coworker of mine to him. I didn't get a bottle of wine. But when I went in for a cleaning a few weeks ago, the hygienist mentioned the referral and asked if I'd gotten flowers as a thank you gift.
At that point in the spring, my allergies were so bad that I was considering living the rest of my life in a bubble. I told her that I hadn't received a gift, but that flowers really weren't necessary. "Oh, how about a bottle of wine, then." I told her that would be wonderful, she made some notes to that effect in my chart, and I went back to the rest of my day.
I checked in with the receptionist in my office every day for two weeks about the delivery of that bottle of wine. It never appeared.
But on Saturday, I got a hand-written thank you note in the mail from my dentist. He appreciated my referral and wanted to thank me with a Starbucks card. Now, I rarely drink coffee, and I'd have really appreciated a bottle of wine (red, please, in case anybody's looking for gift ideas), but I thought this was an incredibly nice thing to do, especially given the current economic climate. He's a great dentist in an awesome practice and I'd have gladly passed along new patients without any gifts.
I've been carrying this card around all week, and today I needed a serious caffeine fix in order to get through a brutal staff meeting. I bought my caramel-flavored coffee beverage, and asked the clerk if she could give me the balance of the card. I figured it was probably about $10. Nope, it was $35. At the rate I'm going, that's almost a year's worth of free Starbucks. So can I buy anybody a cup of coffee?