Take this oath when asked to watch people’s stuff at coffee shops
I, [your name here], do affirm that you, a fellow patron of this coffee shop, have asked me to “watch your stuff for a sec” while you use the lavatory.
You have chosen me, a brave modern-day knight with a history of watching people’s stuff with zero items lost or taken. You have chosen well.
Thus we hereby enter into the Social Contract Of Stuff-Watching, and I pledge my commitment as such:
I, [your name here], do solemnly swear to uphold the responsibility of watching your stuff, to the best of my abilities.
I swear to remain vigilant.
I swear to shoot intense glances at anyone coming anywhere near your table.
If a thief does storm in and grabs your stuff, I swear to shout, “Hey! What are you doing?! As Watcher of This Stuff, I recommend you cease!”
If the thief continues, I swear to say, “Dude, c’mon.”
If the thief continues and darts off with your belongings, I promise to throw my hands up and let out an exasperated sigh, “Well I tried!”
To be clear, I will not actually fight anyone who might come for your stuff. For all intents and purposes, my responsibility of “watching” your stuff begins and ends with me 1) being in close proximity to your stuff; and 2) demonstrating subtle physical cues to would-be thieves not to come near.
But, listen, if the rubber hits the road and it’s me vs. a thief, I’m not going to step up and do anything.
Nor should I, as doing so would mean taking my attention off of my stuff, leaving my stuff susceptible to purloiners.
Who would be there to watch my stuff during that situation? Exactly.
(The chances of this happening are minimal so it should not come to that. Let’s move on.)
I swear not to read your journal.
I swear to keep one eye on your belongings at all times and the other eye scanning the surrounding area for threats.
I swear not to misinterpret your request as a flirting move. Given past experiences it is clear it is not. Some people just really need to use the bathroom.
I take this oath as a person of sound body and mind. Although I just had a cold brew and am pretty wired now.
I consecrate this pledge to you with a smile and a “Yeah, sure I can watch your stuff, no problem.”
It is hereby declared on this day, [date here], and witnessed by [name of at least one barista here].
(your signature + printed name)
My stuff-watching responsibility begins now.
So yeah, uh, go do your thing.