young woman in car with pens


‘I buy these with my own money’: Server calls out customers who steal her pens

‘You can stiff me. You can cuss me out. Just don’t take my pens.’


Melody Heald


A server went viral on TikTok after calling out customers who steal her pens, which she supplies on her own dime.

The video features user Lilly (@neutral.m11lfhotel) sitting in her car wearing her work uniform as she recounts her story to her 258,000 followers.

After only getting four hours of sleep and a 14-hour shift ahead of her, Lilly says she reached into her apron and realized all her pens were stolen.

“When your server gives you a pen to write the tip and sign the thingy, do not take their pen,” she says. “Do not take their pen.”

She says she drops between $30-$45 on pens each month because she wants “nice pens” for her and her customers to use. However, customers repeatedly stealing her pens leads this cost to be a recurring charge, she says.

“That’s just basic courtesy,” she argues.

Lilly notes that she’s previously had customers who didn’t tip on a $200 check—and then they stole her pen.

“You can stiff me. You can cuss me out. Just don’t take my pens cause I buy these with my own money,” she concludes, revealing a brand new package of pens.

@neutral.m11lfhotel #serverlife #servertiktok ♬ original sound – Lilly

The video has been viewed over 25,000 times as of Tuesday, with many flabbergasted that Lilly’s employer doesn’t provide pens.

“Wow that’s actually really unfortunate they don’t supply the pens,” one viewer wrote.

“It blows my mind that your restaurants in the states don’t supply your pens,” a second agreed.

“Bit weird that in the states yall supply this stuff yourself, like anywhere else, the restaurant usually supplys it for the workers,” a third concurred.

Others suggested Lilly give customers lower quality pens, keeping the good ones for herself to prevent them being stolen.

“Don’t give clicky pens to tables. I only gave pens with caps and I kept the cap!! People don’t want a pen with no cap, it’ll dry out,” one person advised.

“lmao that’s a mistake I’m a server and I give them the worst pens as long as you can read the tip ( and yes they steal the shitty pens),” a second stated.

Some shared other ways to prevent pen theft.

“I have a friend who takes blue painter tape and writes her name on the pen lol,” one said.

“Tape flowers to the end that’s what I’ve done. I work in rentals and people walk off with my pens every few hours I went through a pack every day,” a second stated.

“Also make sure to tell ur customers to return your pen! sometimes ppl just dip w/o it. i’ve had servers ask for their pens back:) (accident),” a third suggested.

The Daily Dot reached out to Lilly via TikTok comment.

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