a thing given willingly to someone without payment; a present.
synonyms: present, donation, offering, contribution, handout, presentation, bestowal, largesse, alms, charity, bonus, award, premium, bounty, boon, favour, bequest, legacy, inheritance, settlement, subsidy, grant, endowment, benefaction;
Once upon a time, when I first started working at a Customer Service Call Centre for a bank, there would be incentives for meeting sales targets. If you made X number of sales in a month, you’d get $ vouchers or even an actual physical gift. I once won a kettle BBQ set and then there was a slew of €20-€50 movie vouchers, or pre-paid supermarket cards valued the same.
Then the economic climate changed. Suddenly, gone were these little motivational boosters and incentives. They were replaced by this concept instead:
If you meet your sales targets for the month, you will be eligible to ENTER INTO A LUCKY DRAW to win a prize.
So, instead of everyone who met the target getting a prize, now they would have to jump through more hoops just to win ONE prize. Do the math – instead of giving away a paltry sum of $50 to 100 deserving people each month i.e (a total of $5000), the bank would now only need to give away $50 to 1 “lucky” person each month. A quick and instant savings of $4950. Small wonder profits were up.
That’s just one way how big banks cut costs. They make their staff work hard for little or no reward. And they also love to change people’s job descriptions, so that you end up doing 2 people’s jobs and only get paid 1 salary. Clever, eh?
In the old days, not so long ago actually, store loyalty cards would give customers actual Freebies to reward their loyalty. Now, however, the same cost-cutting/profit-increasing tactic has seeped over. Now loyal customers get “Buy 1 Get 1 Half Price” (see, not even Get 1 Free anymore). Or, worse, “Spend $80 a week for 4 weeks and get $20 back”. Or “Spend $150 in one shop and get 15% off!”
Which looks good only on paper. You’d be thinking, wow, get $20 back, or wow, get 15% off…but remember you’d have had to spend $320 in the first instance and $150 in the second, in order to even qualify. And we’re not talking about discounts here.
I don’t have the money to be splashing out on groceries so wantonly every week. That’s why I always disregard these offers. “A Gift For You!” scream their headlines. Well, I’m sorry, but a Gift should be given with no strings attached, not with terms & conditions attached to it.
What has our world come to??? Shocking, just shocking.
When I blog about giving away things, I mean it. I Abandon my Art around town just so it makes someone’s day. I sometimes give away backgrounds, textures, bokeh effects, or even prints, just for the practice of giving away something, so someone can say they actually got something for Free. That, I feel, should be the true spirit of giving. I’m not after fame or fortune, I don’t even care if no one knows who I am or what I do.
I must be nuts.
You don’t get nuthin’ for nuthin’, goes the old saying. Well, here in Australia, even nothing costs you money…see image below. This was taken at my local railway station just the other day. Alright, they probably ran out of stock within 5 minutes of putting up this sign, but still it makes for food for thought:
Caption this: (multiple choice)
A. Only in Australia do you have to pay $1 to buy absolutely Nothing
B. Nothing costs $1 in Australia
C. What can you get for $1 in Australia? Nothing!
D. All of the above
Or E. Priceless