Holiday gift giving just isnt what it used to be. Mostly because they have our cash hijacked once we spend it… Even if it is a gift!

itunes gift card

itunes gift card (Photo credit: 401(K) 2012)

 

I was having a conversation tonight with a couple of friends about gifts and gift cards as well as exchanges and returns.  After about 5 minutes of discussing the gift card industry and things associated with it (Specifically a gift card i received for christmas early this year.  This was a gift card that came with a gift receipt.)   We started to realize that there was Zero, 0, Zilch. Non, Nada reason for one to be included with the card.

Then we started to realize that with the implementation of Gift Receipts, even if paid for with cash, one can ever only get store credit or an exchange.  With the gift receipt we can never prove that cash was spent on the item because they so graciously leave off form of payment so they can force you to contain the money within their company or store.

Once a gift card is purchased, the money has to go to the store.  You can not change your mind and get any kind of refund anymore.  People used to pay with checks and if you wanted to return something, and you paid by check, they would return to you cash.  Since checks are practically antiquated, the only way to get your money back is to have the original receipt and within that first 7 days, you can free your money in what ever form that you chose to pay with.

Then we started to think about how many BILLION$ and BILLION$ of dollar$ that are floating out there in our wallets, our pockets, the dumpster, the sidewalk, the cushions of the couch etc.  with a small remainder of credit on that very gift card that will NEVER be used.  Just think about the amount of money that is generated on that odd remainder!  That is technically our money still.  But it is already with the company so they really are making a double double double profit.  Profit from the initial gift card purchase and then the mark ups when spent on the items and then the unspent remainder.  All benefiting the company and the company alone.

I remember years back when we didnt like something that we got, we could go back with the tags in place within the seven days and we could get some money.  Nordstrom did this for MANY MANY years to many returners (and scammers) appreciation.

Now i think about how much money is going one way never to be able to come back if it is something we dont want these days.

Now I  can definitely see the benefit of these gift card trading (buy and sell) sites as well as places like ebay and amazon to be able to resell your brand new perfectly unused unwanted item to retrieve some cash said item.

All in all, they are fleecing us dry by the looks of it in a lot of ways, that are less obvious than higher interest rates and inflation.  There are the fees and the 1 way money flow… out of our pockets & into theirs.  It is pretty scandalous and we dont even see it or realize it happening or at least the bigger impact of what these policies truly mean for them stealing our money.

So on this year of gift giving… Do your loved ones a favor… Just give them CASH for godsake!  It is a different time than it used to be.  It is no longer seen as lazy or tacky to give cash.  It is only what we work our whole lives for!  Cash=freedom so you are actually giving them the feeling of freedom when cash is given!

People are not judged by how much they spend, but on what they spend. Give your loved one the right to chose where that hard earned money should be spent.  That way, A. the change stays with them and B. they will have a receipt showing that they paid cash incase they change their mind when they get home.  The bottom line is you are at least giving the windfall to the one you are giving to and not some financial corporation for them to take over the free world with!

Plus.. Cash is pretty!

Why this generation’s yuppies suck so much more than the generation that was around first in the 1980’s….

  I was down on my main shopping street this morning shopping at a little childrens consignment store that also have womens clothes in the back.  There were 2 couples inside shopping with each of their one child.  They were SO LAME!  The husband was like a nerd finally getting to go to the science fair he was following his wife and child around like a dog looking for a snack saying things like… “oh honey, do we need to get her some rain boots?  I know she has snow boots, but not rain boots.”  …I live in San Francisco, what on earth would you do buying snow boots for a one year old?   They were also totally unaware of anyone else shopping in the store.  I was in the corner looking at a rack and stepped backwards 1 step and stepped on the guy.  PERSONAL SPACE?  MEAN ANYTHING TO YOU?  Not to mention, he was just blocking me in back in the womens clothing section.  Go wait outside for godsake!  This place is tiny and you are following your wife and child around like you are leashed to them.  I heard probably close to 20 “honey”‘s.  It was really pissing me off!  So much to the point that i turned around and gave them a look of pure disgust. 

By now you might be saying to yourself…  Boy, this girl has a really bad attitude problem or …It doesn’t sound to me like they are doing anything wrong other than shopping.  Both are probably true, but there is more to this than that.

 

I am becoming so angry with the selling out of San Francisco that it is becoming true hatred of these stupid people that have bought out our town.  They think that they are so fricking cool living the awesome young startup life.  The thing that they are totally ignorant about is the fact that a family or long term resident was probably made homeless thanks to them.  They march into this city and say “Ooh!  It is so cute and pretty!”  “it has such a cool style and the people here are all so… well… affluent and mostly white with some asians in there too.  Phew!

What makes this round of yuppies different than the original yuppies of the 80’s?  A LOT!  You see, the yuppies in the 80’s were a direct rebellion of the hippies of the 70’s.   They took everything that was associated with hippies and did the opposite.  What was really earthy became really glitzy.  While it was cool to recycle in the 70’s (clothing especially!) in the 80’s it was new or nothing!  And in the 70’s, thanks to the vietnam war, you never could have gotten away with flaunting one’s wealth like became popular with the 80’s yuppie generation.  

This round’s yuppies are not about flaunting their wealth, but instead, quietly judging and feeling oh so important.  This generation of yuppies are the ones that have been listening to the media’s fear campaigns for the last 20 years and actually bought that load of crap.  Now they walk around in life absolutely terrified of ANYTHING that they think will splatter bright red paint on their precious white picket fence.  

So, now, YUPPIE = NIMBY.  They are the “not in my back yard” types that are thinking that as long as they keep their bubble of protection safely secured around them, then all is well.  They do not even think to look and see if they are stealing someone elses dream in order to fulfill their own.  They do not understand that it is diversity that has made this town so beautiful not the South of Market lofts.  They dont realize that the town that they think that they bought into, they are actually part of the process which is destroying it.  Not to mention all of the people’s community’s that have been here for generations.  They just think about what a deal they got on that 1million dollar 1 bedroom flat that they bought out of city held auction that was a victim of foreclosure.  Not that 3 generations of people lived in that foreclosed unit for 45 years before the twats bought it.  

Now the new yuppies dig in their heels and proclaim that this is their neighborhood and they refuse to allow anything to possibly bring their property value down or be a possible risk for lowering the quality of the neighborhood.  May that be a venue that plays live music or a pot club.  

These people do not think with the mentality that being an individual is what makes this world so beautiful.  They think that they all should be buying a Prius and that the only color to paint a house is one of 20 shades of sand.  They are ruled by fear and fear alone.  They havent seen strife, they havent ever had to give up their creature comforts and they think that they are VERY important people.

This leaves me with a little vomit in the base of my throat.  These people do not know shit!  They just came in and took over… Just like the Spaniards and the White man.  So, i suppose that this is nothing new.  But i bet we feel all a similar feeling of invisible loss.  And sometimes visible loss.  

This is for me, mostly the loss of a collective soul that has been what drew people to San Francisco.  My ancestors were the Levi’s family who helped build this town back in the 1800’s.  It is amazing that after living here for 18 years, if I have to move, i have to look outside the city because the rents are so fricking high.  The town that i have actively been a part of and has been a part of me AND my ancestors help build! has been sold out… and mostly not even to people from this state let alone this country.  It just makes me really depressed. 

So, if you see me around the city and i have a foul scowl on my face and you hear me saying bad words like gentrification and sell out and nimby, know why.  It goes deeper than me just being a bitch.  I am being a bitch with something to lose!