Bucket List: The Napkin Number

Napkin-NoteThere’s something I’ve only seen in movies that I’ve always wanted to try, and on Friday I checked it off my bucket list.

The movie trope is when one person writes a number (typically a salary offer or some sum of money in exchange for a service) on a napkin, places it face-down on the table, and slides it over to the other person to consider.

I love this because it’s such a cinematic thing to do. There’s no reason to write down the number (unless maybe if you don’t want anyone else nearby to know what it is). It’s just something that happens in movies because it looks good on camera.

It’s hard to explain the exact situation in which this happened on Friday, but basically it was a joke. I was discussing jobs and careers with a good friend, and I made him a “job offer” to work at Stonemaier.

It occurred to me at the last second that I had paper and pencil on hand (we had already received the bill), so I stopped talking and wrote down the number: “$8/hour”

I flipped it over, slid it across the table, and waited for the response.

My friend carefully considered the offer before countering with an offer of his own: “$7.50/hour…plus tips.”

I could have considered $7.50, but tips? That could add up to hundreds of cents! I’m trying to run a business here. So unfortunately I had to reject his offer.

This was my first napkin offer, but I hope it’s not the last. It’s just too much fun.

Have you ever made someone an offer via a napkin?

3 thoughts on “Bucket List: The Napkin Number”

  1. I’ve never done this exactly, although one time I did write “your zipper is open” on a napkin, and then as coolly as possible handed it to a guy in a bar and walked away, just cuz I felt bad that, well, he was all out there for the world to see, and he’d seriously made a bad underwear choice that day. I felt quite the humanitarian.

    • Sandra: That’s awesome! You save a person from embarrassment. I’m also impressed that you were able to identify his underwear choice through the fly. I like the idea of using the napkin to save someone from embarrassment as you did (or if they have something in their teeth, food on their face, etc.).

  2. Offer, no, but I have been told about a raise over a napkin from our cafeteria. Like you, I think my boss just wanted to say he did it.


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