Buying for Valentine’s

14 February 2011
My usual pile of Valentine’s gifts and cards seems to be late arriving this morning, but I’m sure they must be on their way. Monday is surely the worst day for Valentine’s day – because people have to be extremely organised and send things on Friday – so I’m sure some may arrive tomorrow. Luckily, I am happily married, (to a purchaser, no less) and I have no need of surplus gifts actually (although it’s always nice). But it is my husband’s method of gift giving that has me most interested, for it is informed, to great effect, by his profession. I wonder if procurement professionals might also be the best present buyers? What do you think? I think it gives them a certain knack for the whole process. For example, such is his cleverness this year, that my husband has effectively outsourced the whole operation to me. This suits us both, as I can get what I wish, and not be given chrysanthemums from the garage at the last minute (not that he has ever done this more than once, on pain of death). Then there’s his keen eye for prices. He’s kindly suggested that buying lingerie is a gift for both of us, thus saving money. He stepped in to help me research buying online (unusually thoroughly) and we found something less expensive that I like better. Not trailing around the shops has also lowered the risk of the whole operation, the implementation costs and internal effort required. However, I’m suddenly having a crisis of confidence. Surely as a good supplier, I should provide him with some kind of gift also? Maybe something we could enjoy together, a trip to Paris from Lastminute.com? A wine-tasting or spa weekend? Just found Virgin Experience Days - maybe he’d like a flying lesson? Then there’s Tiffany’s of course… Ah, husband has just called, and on hearing my suggestions broke into a mild sweat. He has reminded me of the CIPS code of ethics. He is bound not to accept inducements or gifts in these situations, other than items of small value. He suggests a calendar.
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