2005_07_askgift.jpgIn general, is it common practice in NYC to offer gifts if someone does you a favor? Specifically, a parking garage employee has offered to help me get a coveted parking spot in the garage in a few weeks. I don't know if she's just being nice or perhaps expects something in return. Which she certainly hasn't suggested in any way, but I can't imagine it would hurt my prospects. I'd be happy to oblige, but I don't want to be vulgar or insult the employee, and I don't know the etiquette or protocol for this, or even what the offering should be(cash? something edible?). And should I do it now or as thanks, after the favor is done?

For a good parking garage spot in New York City, you are expected to hand over your first-born child. Just kidding.

We think it's a lovely idea to offer a token of your appreciation when someone does you a favor - this scenario is not uncommon. In this case, our opinion is that a thank-you gift should be offered after the kind parking garage employee has secured your parking spot. If you give a gift beforehand and the spot never materializes, or if the parking attendant thinks you're trying to speed up the process with a bribe and feels insulted, that might not go so well.

Ask Gothamist frowns upon the idea of cash - we think a gift, or even a gift certificate, is more thoughtful and more personal. How about a gift certificate to a nearby restaurant, a block of tickets to the movies, or a gift basket with food or wine? We think edible gifts (maybe cookies or fancy chocolates?) are a good way to go.

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