All I got was his phone number-- how to thank him?
February 12, 2013 7:03 PM   Subscribe

What generic thank-you gift (between $10-20) can I give to someone working in SF when the only contact information I have is their iPhone number?

My purse was recently stolen (I'm fine-- it was a kid snatching an unattended bag on impulse) and the thief abandoned my wallet in a construction area. A 45- or 50-y/o-ish construction worker went out of his way to contact me and return it. Due to my own issues, I didn't make it easy for him, but he tracked me down-- woohoo! THANK YOU, KIND SIR!

Aside from paying it forward when I find other people's lost stuff in the future, I'd like to give him a token thank you for all the effort he went through. However, I didn't have any cash when I connected with him, and now the only contact info I have is his iPhone number. Cash would have been awkward anyway-- I'm young enough to be his daughter. I suppose I could do an iTunes card, but that seems fraught with the same issue. But this guy really did go out of his way, so I'd like to do something nice for him.

The only other thing I know about him is that he has an adult son, because he said something like, "Sure, my son is always losing his wallet." I also know that although his current job is in downtown San Francisco near the Powell BART station, he does not live in the city, and I don't know how long this construction project will keep him in SF (he is some type of contractor but I don't know the duration of his gig).

Any good ideas on ways to thank this man for his kindness?
posted by samthemander to Grab Bag (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
iTunes gift card is way better than cash, and appreciated for apps, etc. Alcohol - like a small bottle of good whiskey? Chocolates? I think any kind of gesture will be appreciated, really.

If you're interested in getting more information about your good samaritan, however, check out, which is a working, legit, and free reverse-lookup phone service.
posted by suedehead at 7:10 PM on February 12, 2013 [5 favorites]

Walk by the construction site, call the number for the main office. Explain your dilemma. Ask if they can give you his business address (I assume he's a subcontractor?) OR ask if you send a package to the site, can they pass it on.

Make sure you are upfront with them about. Your contact info (mobile number) so they know you aren't a creepy stalker;))

I think a $15 gift card to starbucks or whatever with a polite note is best.
posted by jbenben at 7:11 PM on February 12, 2013

I know you do not need to have a physical card for gift certificates. I was given a print out with a code as a Christmas present and it worked just fine on the site. I don't see any reason why you couldn't text him the gift code.
posted by Young Kullervo at 7:11 PM on February 12, 2013 [3 favorites]

By the way, if he has a kid himself, he likely understands your caution about the exchange of the wallet. That part was OK!!
posted by jbenben at 7:12 PM on February 12, 2013

Texting a gift code is AWESOME!

Technology moves so fast, I had no idea this was a thing that is possible:))
posted by jbenben at 7:13 PM on February 12, 2013

Thanks all! I think I'm going to go low-tech-- I'll drop off a card at the concierge desk at the nearby mall, then text him and tell him I left something there for him. I'll include a Starbucks gift card in the note. :)
posted by samthemander at 9:06 PM on February 12, 2013

Is the mall next door? Because I really wouldn't make a big trip to a mall to pick up a note. The point is to make it easy on him. Text a gift card number or drop it by his workplace and leave it with the front desk.
posted by barnone at 6:16 AM on February 13, 2013 [2 favorites]

You have thanked him. He did a good thing and needs no more reward than that.
posted by Carol Anne at 6:39 AM on February 13, 2013

The construction project is on a corner of the mall so that should make pick-up easy. There isn't really a construction office that's publicly accessible (that I'm aware of) but that would be my first choice otherwise.

Thanks again everyone!
posted by samthemander at 10:18 AM on February 13, 2013

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