Waitress Solves the Missing Pen Problem

Every server knows the importance of a good pen while waiting tables. Sometimes you find that perfect writing instrument that glides across the paper as easily as a warm knife slices through Velveeta. It quickly becomes your favorite pen, that one you won’t let customers use because it means too much to you and you can’t bear the thought of someone “accidentally” walking off with it. So it stays in your apron, only for your own personal use. But then one day, you don’t have any other pens in your apron and your customer needs to sign a credit card receipt. You consider walking to the sidestand to find another one, but you quickly decide to let them use your favorite pen, vowing to keep your eye on it so it doesn’t disappear. Five minutes later, it’s as gone as any originality or humor on this very blog you are reading.

What can you do? Well, a server named Sarah Bardell knew what to do. She works at Native Grill and Wings in Tucson, Arizona and she figured out a way to make sure she never has to give a customer her favorite pen and that’s by having plenty of other pens very near by. It may also make her the best co-worker in the world. She went to Amazon and ordered a box of 500 pens! Yes, they are misprinted pens, probably ones that were ordered by a company and showed up with a typo on them, but who cares? They write! And when one of them grows legs and walks away, you won’t give a shit because there are literally 499 other ones. All this for $36. That’s seven cents a pen, people! Sarah is an actual genius.

This is not an ad for whoever it is that’s selling misprinted pens on Amazon, but I gotta give you the link. If you work someplace with even just 11 other servers, the twelve of you can each chip in three bucks and have pens forever. Or, if you’re super generous like Sarah, you can just order them for your restaurant and let everyone thing you are angel in an apron.

Actual photo of the 500 pens Sarah ordered.

I wait tables and bitch about it on my blog, The Bitchy Waiter.

9 thoughts on “Waitress Solves the Missing Pen Problem

  1. The last restaurant i worked at required as to use our branded pens when having guests sign checks. I always kept a few of my own just in case, but it was a pain in the ass. People tend to steal them (as mentioned above) for souvenirs. I’m grateful that I made my way out of the industry 10 months ago. Woo.

  2. I went to the county business expo literally only to get the freebie pens. Told people I’d advertise for them, went home with two big plastic bags of them!

  3. My husband asks the casino for a box of pens every time we stop by there. They get free advertising and we get free pens!!

  4. My personal solution is to not give customers the click pens. I give them the stick pens without the cap. Even the biggest cleptos wont steal those…

  5. Check with hotels too – especially ones that have recently rebranded. All hotels (franchised ones) are required to have pens and notepads in the rooms and since they are rebranding they can’t use these anymore. It also wouldn’t hurt to check with the ones that aren’t rebranding as they might just like the advertising opportunity.

  6. I used to just go to local banks, insurance agency’s ect. basically anywhere that sold something and say hey Im a waiter at so n so. People steal my pens all the time wouldnt you like your name to be on that own they steal. Most times I walked out with at least a handful sometimes a whole box.

  7. We have…. I mean, HAD pens with our Brewery’s name on it and our customers constantly take them as souvenirs. Guess what’s no longer on our order forms and guess who only has 4 pens to make it through the day. Yeah.

  8. I really like this. It’s not some sappy, forced-heartwarming, “You’re going to cry tears of joy when you see what THIS server did for her co-workers!” phony clickbait thing – It’s just neat to see some cool little gestures like this happen in the middle of all kinds of global garbage. I mean, she could have kept them all to herself and nobody would blame her or be any the wiser.

    5/5 stars

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