One thing that you should really know as a customer is that the pens that waiters leave you to sign credit card slips or lend you to write something down belong to the waiter. They buy them with their own money. Just because they leave them on the table for you, unfortunately does not mean that they are yours to take if you want.
I need to mention this because a lot of times I leave work with 4 pens missing and end up having to buy a whole new pack at the end of the week. I have to admit, it’s a bit annoying because those pens belong to me and people feel that they can just keep them for themselves. The restaurant does not provide the pens for their staff, so the money comes out of our pockets.
So please, on behalf of all wait staff…please do not steal our pens. And if you absolutely need a pen to keep, just ask.