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January 13, 2009 12:45 PM   Subscribe

Appropriate gift for a volunteer computer techie with fantastic interpersonal skills?

Over the past 3 years my sister's boyfriend has been very generous with his time, patience, tech support, and minor computer repairs (former job, now a side gig). He recently spent several hours helping me research and purchase a laptop, followed up with me to see how it went, and when he came over for dinner yesterday offered to 'set it up'.

Not only did he go through the basics with me, without being asked he did several other things he knew would be helpful while I made dinner for all of us (networked our home computers, linked to work accounts for research I do at home, and several other tasks I'm not quite certain how to explain ;) )

I have the two of them over for dinner fairly often, but I'd like to show my appreciation specifically to him- we aren't particularly close, but he's been dating my sister for 3 years (they're planning on getting engaged after June convocation) and I'm very fond of him. Patient, kind, even-tempered, enjoys doing things for other people- all of this was done with no influence from my sister. He has declined to be paid for his time, and tends to appreciate thoughtful gifts more than things with specific monetary value (like gift certificates).

I'm planning on also writing a note, but what would be a great "thanks for everything, particularly the past few days" gift (max $50) to show my appreciation?.
posted by variella to Human Relations (7 answers total)
 
Nerds love novelty and whimsy. Got to this site, and browse through the items. One of them will hit you over the head with an "OMG! This was made for the guy!"
posted by Slap*Happy at 1:02 PM on January 13, 2009


Some nerds also love booze. Is he a drinker? Find out if he has a favorite sort of liquor and get him a high-end bottle. That's what I'd appreciate, were I in his place.

Also food. I expect he saw your cooking for him as an even trade, but nice treat-type food items would be welcome.
posted by BigLankyBastard at 1:25 PM on January 13, 2009


When I do this for friends and family, I am always pleased to accept payment in beer, especially beer I haven't tried before.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 1:47 PM on January 13, 2009


How about a gift certificate to a nice restaurant for him and your sister? Gift certificate to amazon.com or another bookstore?
posted by sararah at 2:03 PM on January 13, 2009


Invite him over for dinner/take him out for dinner/for a drink/to a movie/etc. and don't ask any questions at all about anything related to computers.

That's what I would like. But then again, it sounds like he sincerely enjoys helping you with the computer stuff, while I work with computers all day and I get sick of even looking at them after a while. Still, I don't know why he wouldn't enjoy one of the things I suggested or anything else anyone so far has suggested.
posted by dubitable at 3:44 PM on January 13, 2009


I strongly discourage a gift certificate. You can't monetize his time so get something without a dollar figure printed on it. He spent, in the last visit alone, several hours and you've got a $50 budget .... I'm going to guess he's declining that you pay for his time because you either can't afford to pay for his time, or if you could you would be embarrassed or amused to discover that you just paid him more than your computer is worth.

Food or booze. Or both.

(Or, something of an equally un-monetizeable nature that he's lacking. What's your superhero skill that he's lacking in but can't afford to pay you to do?)
posted by devbrain at 4:03 PM on January 13, 2009


Thanks to Slap*Happy for the awesome suggestion! I ended up ordering him this shirt from ThinkGeek- I think he'll love it.
posted by variella at 4:38 PM on January 13, 2009


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