After my less than flattering review of Hot Schedules I feel like I need to say something nice. I am in general a pretty optimistic person. After sitting here and writing 2500 words on why I dislike Hot Schedules, I need to cleanse my pallet. I never intended for this to turn into “review week” on the blog I might as well balance out my last two posts with some things that I do like.
None of this is sponsored. No one pays me for these opinions. These are the actual tools that after 15 years as a server I find work best for me. I am constantly looking for products that allow me to do my job more effectively. I feel each of these do so and would benefit you as well.
Epic “Rialto” Wine Key: I have used over a hundred wine keys over the years. I have owned some very pricey ones and have had mixed results. Of all of the wine keys I have owned, none have ever made me fall in love like the Rialto. I bought it at a liquor store on the way to work about three years ago after forgetting mine at home. It has been my everyday wine key since.
While plastic wine keys tend to break fairly easily, this one has never given me any problems. The plastic only conceals a metal body. The one crack mine does have after years of use, in no way prevents it from functioning well. The separate dual levers work far better than any “double jointed” corkscrew I have owned in the past. The knife is short enough to manipulate, but long enough to prevent slippage. The coated handle provides a sure grip.
My love for this tool is best demonstrated by the fact that I carry two wine keys with me most all of the time. The Rialto is for me. The other is to loan to a coworker who forgot theirs. If I were to lose mine, I would go buy another before I would switch to any of the others I own as a back up. These are available through a variety of online vendors and I see them in grocery stores and wine shops frequently for under $10.
Reebok “Time & A Half III” Shoes: Having a comfortable pair of work shoes is incredibly important. It can mean having the energy to pick up one more table at the end of a long night or one more shift at the end of a long week. While I am aware of this, I hate shopping for shoes and breaking in a new pair. This is why I wear my shoes until they have no life left in them. I bought these shoes in January and after working in them every shift they show no sign of wearing out.
Soft padding feels nice in the store, but that dissipates after a few weeks. What really matters is solid arch support. Not only does the Time & A Half III provide that, but they have actually eliminated an arch problem I thought I had to live with forever. They are firm, hold up well, and even the laces looked perfect until a couple weeks ago. Their slip resistant sole is better than anything I have ever owned. My only complaint is that they do not make a more formal looking equivalent. As long as your restaurant will allow you to wear these, I highly recommend picking up a pair.
While I love both of those products, I saved the best for last.
Money Clamp “Geneva” Wallet: Over the years I have tried any number of systems for keeping my money straight at work. I have kept it in books, wallets, money clips, and rolled in my pocket. The latter was always what I went back to because I never found any of those methods sufficiently secure to warrant the hassle of using them. That is until I started using the money clamp. On the surface it looks like a money clip, but it is actually the evolution of the money clip.
A gadget-loving friend of mine has been singing the praises of this wallet for years. I was skeptical and never saw how the benefits justified the price. After years of hearing him sing the praises of it, he gave me one about six months ago. I have to admit I was wrong. The money clamp is awesome.
Unlike most money clips, the money clamp not only holds money, but also has a wallet in the center for any important cards. It is compact, but holds tightly rolls of money far thicker than the clip itself. I have used this on shifts were I had a great deal of cash and never had a problem. This has held over 50 bills at once without breaking or losing its grip. It is a far more secure and convenient method of keeping cash easily accessible than I have ever used in the past.
I wrote months ago about how we are all salespeople. I also mentioned my penchant to eagerly advocate the things I enjoy. Each of these products earns my unpaid endorsement. I think they would all make a server’s shift go more smoothly. We are all looking for a way to make our jobs easier. These are three ways that I have found to do so.
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