You know the moment you receive a gift card from someone, and you immediately crumble up the activation slip and throw it out? Here is a word of advice: keep it. I recently went to Outback Steak house and ran the $50.00 gift card my wife received for her birthday. We have never used the card, but when the server ran it, she let us know that the original balance was only $8.89. When we called the number on the back of the card the history said that it was activated in March of 2011 and used later that same month. Our gift card was purchased from a Publix store on September 15, 2012. I am in no way trashing Publix because I am sure it was either an honest mistake or some computer error. I am also not upset with Outback. The manager was nice and apologetic. It wasn’t his fault and must have been awkward. Here are a few words of advice to prevent this from happening to you. First, I suggest calling the number on the back of the card or going online to check the gift card balance before attempting to use it. Second, if an activation slip was given to you keep it so you have a reference point. Third, if you do get the short end of the stick with a gift card fiasco think of the positive. I got to eat a great meal with my beautiful pregnant wife and we got to add one more chapter to the ever-growing story book.