A loyal reader wrote and asked, “What items should a good waiter carry with them at all times?”
Since many reading this blog are getting their jobs outsourced to China and may end up doing what I do (Heavens forefend!), I’ve decided to share a little of my hard earned wisdom.
Gear to be carried on your person (or close by)
1. Cheap ballpoint pens. Every waiter should carry at least three; one for signing checks, one for writing down orders, and the other for fellow servers to borrow and never return. Don’t bother bringing a nice pen to work. The customers will only steal them. Alternate uses are, but not limited too:
a. Taking down a hot chick’s phone number.
b. Emergency tracheotomy tube
c. Weapon (Think the Bourne Identity)
2. Wine opener. Not those expensive pieces of shit people get as wedding presents from Williams Sonoma. A $5 dollar waiter’s helper from the liquor store will do. Has a myriad of uses:
a. Opens wine bottles
b. Pops open beer bottles
c. Punches holes in olive oil cans
d. Cuts open boxes
e. Cleans under fingernails
f. Slashes car tires of customers/owner (I never did this but I know someone who did)
g. Also comes in handy as a weapon. Think what that a corkscrew could do to a person!
3. Table crumber. Also a multipurpose tool:
a. Cleans crumbs off table.
b. Tongue depressor in a pinch
c. Scrapes dogshit or gum off your shoe
d. Also doubles as a nifty weapon. Good for poking soft body parts.
(Gee do you detect a pattern here?)
4. Pepper Mill
a. Would you like fresh ground pepper? How I hate saying that! Makes me feel like Adam Sandler.
b. Doubles as a club
5. Gum. Keeps your breath minty fresh and covers up the fact you’ve been drinking on the job.
6. Narcotizing substance of your choice. Waiters can be a walking pharmacy. I’ve seen servers with:
b. Hip flask of booze
c. Leftover Vicodan from the dentist. Percodan is also reallllly nice.
d. Prozac – should be in the water.
f.. Advil, Tylenol, Alleve, Oxycontin
7. Latex gloves. Now most waiters don’t carry this but I do. It’s a habit leftover from my days working in a psychiatric hospital. You never knew what bodily secretions you’d encounter. (You know vomit, blood, semen, urine, feces, spinal fluid) Well, the same holds true for a restaurant.
8. Reading glasses. A nice touch for the blind customers.
9. Cell Phone. I hate them but most waiters have one. Good for:
a. Calling home
b. Calling 911
c. Calling a cab
d. Calling your agent (Loser!)
e. Calling your therapist
f. Calling your bookie
g. Calling your dealer
h. Using built in camera to video coworkers banging in the linen closet
10. Distractions. Something to keep you occupied when it’s slow:
a. A good book or magazine
b. Gameboy, Etch a Sketch, Darts (not recommended)
c. I have a wireless enabled PDA. I hop on the free neighborhood wifi network, check my email, update this blog, and, of course, look at porn.
11. Dupe pad. Some uses are:
a. To write down orders
b. For writing down hot chick’s number
c. Doodling unflattering caricatures of customers
12. Matches for:
a. Lighting birthday candles
b. Lighting cigarettes/cigars
c. Cover the foul stench in the employee bathroom if you or someone else had Mexican the night before.
d. Burning the fucking place down. (Use dupe pad soaked in Bacardi 151 as a starter)
Gear to be stored in locker:
1. Additional narcotizing substances
2. Extra shirt and tie. In case you get splattered with food or aforementioned bodily substances.
3. Extra socks. Helps ward off “swamp foot.”
4. Talcum powder. When you’re walking all day you might get “the chafe.”
5. Preparation H. Standing all day gives you hemorrhoids. I get them the size of golf balls.
7. Hand sanitizer. (In case you touch something gross)
9. Condoms (You might actually get lucky with the hot chick)
10. Extra weapons (Pens, scrapers, wine openers)
11. Copies of all applicable labor laws.
12. Resignation letter pre printed and signed. Insert date when needed.
13. Firearm where permitted by law
This list is by no means an exhaustive one. Feel free to email or post additional items you think might come in handy.
Aren’t you glad you asked?
an extra pair of shoes and/or socks for when the BOH yells “WATER!!” and you’re not paying attention.
Just an arbitrary thought.
Actually, the best remedy I’ve found for customers NOT stealing your pen is if you get one with a lot of personality. One that’s fuzzy or has something big & obnoxious on it like a troll or a peacock feather.
1. They feel too conspicuous trying to steal it
2. They notice it & never ‘accidentally’ stick it in their pocket/purse when they’re done.
3. They feel the need to comment on it when you come back for the check.
haha @ Ripley
I had a big, obnoxious purple pen once when I waitressed. People didn’t steal it, it was awesome. But. There was this guy who came in on a semi regular basis, a business man, and he and I always had a joking kind of thing. It was fun. Then, one day, he asked me if it vibrated. In front of his collegues. Too far, man, too far.
It was retired that night.
I loved this list. Pens are very good weapons. I would know.
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I’m late in on this, but I love it. My boyfriend’s been a bartender for six years and explained to me the other day that he keeps, in his locker; five shirts (so he doesn’t have to bring a new one to work every day and can take them all home and wash them on his days off), fresh socks, work shoes, a bottle of rum, a new bottle of coca cola, speed, weed, a spare lighter, condoms, a razor, shaving foam, a toothbrush and toothpaste (for when he hasn’t gone home the night before) and lsd for emergencies in his locker at all times.
I’ve found that one of those mini lint rollers are useful to have with you… I have two cats and an all-back work uniform.
This isn’t just a great list, it was ENTERTAINING to read it.
Thank you kind sir for this list that made me laugh.