I don't know what to get them...
October 1, 2007 11:09 AM   Subscribe

Help me decide on a gift.

I have to take an exam for my job in December. It is notoriously difficult to pass and I have been struggling with some of the concepts. My work friend, who happens to have remained close to one of his former university professors, mentioned it to the professor. The professor then told my friend that I could come and sit in on one of his university courses (for free), which happens to cover the same subject matter that I am struggling with.

I have been to a few of the courses and have found them to be very helpful. Professor has shown great concern that I am understanding the concepts, has offered to sit down and explain anything to me that I struggle with and has even visited the website to obtain the actual exams of past sittings of my test to see what kind of stuff I need to know. He has even emailed me practice questions and told Work Friend that he needs to check my answers! Work Friend has also offered to give me any help that I need as he has taken the exam before.

This exam is very important to my career (I will get a promotion if I pass) and I am obviously very grateful to both Professor and Work Friend for their kindness. What can I get them that would be appropriate? As they spend a lot of time together socially, I thought of getting a gift certificate for a nice restaurant for them to go to with their spouses but don't know how I would present something like that.

They are both dedicating a lot of time and energy to helping me and I would like to get something a bit more than a card to express how much it really means to me. Thanks.
posted by triggerfinger to Human Relations (4 answers total)
for professor, a handwritten note of thanks and perhaps a donation to an educational charity relating to his field in his name.

for work friend, a dinner out (if you spend time together socially outside of work) or a nice bottle of wine or his liquor of choice.
posted by thinkingwoman at 11:40 AM on October 1, 2007

The first thing that pops into my head is an excellent wine or chocolate, either separately or to share. Perhaps you could get them the restaurant gift certificate and present it in a card with the bottle, making sure it covers the restaurant's corkage fee?
posted by crinklebat at 11:41 AM on October 1, 2007

The professor may well not be able to accept a gift from a student, or at least may have to declare it and get permission to keep it. So a nice letter may be the right mark. If you really want to do more, then a gift to Work Friend with a suggestion that he shares it with the professor might work around the limitations.

If you are not a formal student, that might look worse for him -- using university resources for private "payment".
posted by Idcoytco at 1:19 PM on October 1, 2007

Why not take them both to a really nice dinner?
posted by zia at 4:54 PM on October 1, 2007

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