Get a $50 gift card for $45? What’s the catch?


Ok, is this not like making money for free? I spend $45 and get a bonus $5…for free? Thats almost a 10% return on my money! Bank accounts don’t give that kind of return. In all seriousness though,This begs the question, should I not just buy them all?  Why are more people not taking advantage of these deals? What’s the catch?

Safeway seems to have some deal like this several times throughout the year, and lately I’m starting to see these offers showing up in my inbox! I can get gas at Canadian Tire and I can get $50 Canadian Tire gift card for $45. Then I get 5 cents on the litre (there’s pretty much 4 litres in a gallon) which is more “free money”. I can use that Canadian Tire Money to get cleaning supplies and paint for my house. I’m not good with math, but this sounds like a way to live! Maybe I should do a documentary about me trying to live off of Canadian Tire gift cards for a month…

I’ve recently started looking at a program called “Lyoness” and it’s one of those multi level marketing (MLM) things but there’s no inventory. It’s all about the gift cards. I figure, if I can angle this right, I’ll be getting $5 off per $50 I spent AND then an additional 2% through this Lyoness thing. I’m going to check out a couple of the meetings before I start dedicating any time to it. Time is the only thing I have that I can’t get more of right?

Out Of Office? Needs more clever…

I’m bored of my out off office (OOO) replies. They’re always so stodgy and “professional”. Time to spice it up!!! Here are some ideas…

1. Put the choice back into the hands of the sender:

…I’m going to experiment with something new. I’m going to leave the decision in your hands:

  • If your email truly is urgent and you need a response while I’m out, resend it with “INTERRUPT” at the beginning of the subject line and I’ll aim to reply quickly.
  • If you think someone else might be able to help you, feel free to email

Otherwise, I’ll respond when I return…

2. Just get rid of EVERYTHING that came in during your OOO time:

I’m on holiday and will be bulk deleting all emails on my return without reading any. If it’s important, re-send it on [date].

Outlook has a cool “delay deliver” function that would work great! Theoretically, if it’s that big of a deal, it’ll still be “fresh” when you get back.

3. Be nerdy. Use some sort of internet, movie or video game reference! Some people will get it and love you for it, others may be confused. Here’s a couple examples:

BackToTheFuture: If you’re reading this, Doc Brown was unable to make the train hit 88 miles per hour, and I’m stuck in 1885. I won’t be able to respond to emails until 9ish on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2015.

Portal: Cave Johnson here, I’ve got good news and bad news for you. Bad news is that [NAME] is out of the office until [date].

Good news is that you can direct your emails to [] while she’s out. We’ve also replaced [name] with our new Aperture Science Personality Constructs to take care of everything for her. We’ve been personally promised by our scientists that this construct is nearly 47% less likely to cause your peripherals to catch fire! I suppose the second bit of bad news here is that there’s a pretty good chance this might go wrong.

Anyway good luck! 

Computer/Internet: Error 404: [NAME] Not Found
I am out of the office.  I will be returning to work on [date].

4.. Use an alternative to email!

I’m not in the office right now but if it’s important – Skype me! 


If you’re really advneturous you could get them to tweet the issue to you with #Interupt[Names]Vacation. There’s no way to tell if that person has actually gotten the tweet but at least it’s using some social network and makes it public…on the other hand maybe it’s letting everyone know you’re gone and yoru house should be robbed.

Some quick tips for writing a good OOO:


  • Keep it brief. No one likes a wallof text (unless it’s about Doc Emmett Brown or Cave Johnson).
  • Dates, how long you’re gone. Not much more annoying than receiving the same email every day your’e gone.
  • Don’t rub it in or be insulting. They might even sign you up for some junk e-mail out of revenge.
  • Show personality! Be creative. Let them know you’re trapped in the car with shrieking children. Create some mystery: “I’m on a secret mission so I can’t tell you my whereabouts without risking your safety.”
  • Spell check and typos. Read it three or four times. Seriously, yuo wont lives down thase spleling miss steaks!!