Home Coffee shop Ask Amy: Can my husband and I give our favorite servers a financial gift?

Ask Amy: Can my husband and I give our favorite servers a financial gift?


These two ladies are hardworking and lovely.

We would like to give them each a financial gift of around $500, but my husband is afraid that if we do that, the word will spread to the other coffee shop employees and we will make ourselves targets for anyone who needs the money. We can’t do that for everyone. How can we handle the offering of these two freebies without making ourselves look like “soft touches” to someone else in need of the money? We need your help on this one.

Dinners: I like your instincts, but I wonder if your concern is misplaced. The biggest danger here could be that the recipients of your bounty will feel uncomfortable accepting, which will affect the dynamics of your favorite place.

If you have developed a personal connection with these women, you can approach them and ask for their home address in order to send them a card.

For the first recipient, attach a note that you would like to sponsor their daughter’s school trip to Washington. For the second, say that you would like to congratulate her for her hard work and that you hope your donation will help defray some of her tuition.

In your notes, say, “We hope you keep this gift private. We only ask that one day, if you have the chance, you can pay it to someone else.

There are also ways to give anonymously. (Do an internet search.)

Anonymous giving is a high caliber form of generosity, and it would also help you to continue drinking your coffee at your favorite place, knowing that you are a most virtuous tip.

dear Amy: I wonder if you know of marriage retreats that are supposed to offer a concentrated three-day format to immerse yourself in and tackle all the issues affecting a poor marriage.

These can be very expensive, ranging from $4,000 to $12,000, not including transportation, accommodation, and meals.

Are they worth it? Do you have any experience or recommendations?

Curious: I have no personal experience with marriage retreats (or “relationship intensives”, as they are sometimes called).

I don’t see a big downside to leaving home to fully focus on a relationship, although I think a lot of wisdom can also be gleaned from intentionally spending time with couples who have successful long-term relationships and learning the different ways they negotiate their way to solutions.

I believe the main usefulness of a marriage retreat could actually be that the decision to attend a marriage retreat together helps demonstrate to each spouse that their partner is committed to trying to improve the relationship. Then, when you are around other similarly engaged couples guided by various communication exercises, the atmosphere can become conducive to healing and change.

If it works in the longer term, that would obviously be extremely valuable. Learning to communicate in a new way can completely change a relationship.

If you can afford to try one of these retreats, do your research thoroughly before committing to going. Going into debt to attend an expensive workshop will only magnify your problems.

Attending longer-term marriage counseling can also be helpful, and if you haven’t tried it yet, it could be a good place to start.

dear Amy: “loving husband“His wife wanted to start a new business. He mentions that, among his wife’s many strengths, “being a natural entrepreneur is not one of them.”

I believe the couple would benefit from the free assistance of their local Score.

Goal (score.org) is a Small Business Administration resource partner with the nation’s largest network of volunteer mentors and business experts.

Mentor: In this period of economic and personal “unsubscription”, the help and advice offered by Score are invaluable.

Applicants can be matched with volunteer mentors by entering their postal code on its website.

Congratulations on what you and other volunteer mentors are doing for budding entrepreneurs.

©2022 by Amy Dickinson distributed by Tribune Content Agency