If anyone gave you a gift card this Christmas, leave work immediately — tell the boss you have rabies! Herpes! Anything — get yourself to that shop and use the card immediately. Even if you have to buy something at random — underpants, M&Ms — you must rid yourself of that plastic thing at once.
Remember what happened when Sharper Image went belly-up last February? There was that little matter of $25 million worth of gift cards the company simply refused to honor.
Now, with so many stores teetering on the brink, with even behemoths like Saks Fifth Avenue slashing prices to Kmart levels, there’s no telling who will be bankrupt next year, next week, even tomorrow! And then you know what you can do with your gift card? Put it with those statements you got last month from Madoff Securities International LLC.