Title: Waiter Rant: Thanks for the Tip – Confessions of a Cynical Waiter
Author: Steve Dublanica (formerly “The Waiter”)
Narrator: Dan John Miller
Publication Year: 2008
Pages: 336 (audio length: 9 hours 12 minutes)
Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir
Source: Audiobook version purchased from Audible.com
From the cover:
According to The Waiter, 80 percent of customers are nice people just looking for something to eat. The remaining 20 percent, however, are socially maladjusted psychopaths.
Eye-opening, outrageous, and unabashed — replete with tales of customer stupidity, arrogant misbehavior, and unseen tidbits of human grace in the most unlikely places — Waiter Rant presents the server’s unique point of view, revealing surefire secrets to getting good service, proper tipping etiquette, and ways to ensure that your waiter won’t spit on your food.
I’ve never worked as a proper waiter, but I have worked in food service before. (McDonalds job in high school, anyone?) And I’ve often been able to regale people with stories of what happens behind the scenes in the fast food industry, including things that you’ve heard about in rumours and things that you’d never even imagine.
And so, I could only imagine what kinds of stories this book would hold. A proper waiter, in a proper restaurant, where things are expected to go smoothly? (Because let’s face it … everybody kind of expects there to be something wrong in a McDonalds.) So I picked up Waiter Rant as some fun, light reading over my summer travels, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Waiter Rant began as a blog written about the author’s daily insights into working as a waiter in a high-end bistro in New York. Throughout the time chronicled in the book, his co-workers knew that he had the blog, but he was only askedtwice by customers whether he was “The Waiter”. (And only once found out, by a movie celebrity.) Eventually, he got a book deal, and while the book was originally published anonymously, he’s since revealed his name.
I found the book by turns amusing, outrageous, and poignant. There were definitely some doozies of customers talked about in the book, but there were also some shining moments where you could see why someone might like working as a waiter for their career. Even the “office politics” in the place were fun to read about. I can’t tell you how many times I was listening to the book and just thought, “wait, what? That can’t have happened!” Miller does a great job as the narrator, mixing just the right amount of wry sarcasm with straight storytelling to keep me entertained.
Overall, I’d definitely recommend Waiter Rant as a fun, light read. It isn’t anything fancy or intensely thought-provoking, but it’s a nice way to pass the time and learn a bit more about someone else’s job, one that you might normally overlook.