THIS WEEK'S SPECIAL,
This review is from: Waiter Rant: Thanks for the Tip--Confessions of a Cynical Waiter (Hardcover)Aptly titled Waiter Rant
Is a book many can't
Bear to put down once begun
As it's true and great fun.
Why couldn't I put Waiter Rant down after reading a few pages? Because he started by serving great dish - although economists say that the restaurant business is a bellwether of the nation's economic health. Our author sees it differently: "... I think it's a bellwether of America's mental health as well. And let me tell you, 20 percent of the American dining public are socially maladjusted psychopaths. We should start putting Prozac in the Perrier."
Unfortunately for this waiter (Steve Dublanica who is no longer anonymous thanks to book tours) much of that 20 percentile found its way to his tables. It's more than entertaining to discover how he handled or mishandled the grouses, the souses, and the patently dishonest.
But, how did a nice guy find himself in such a fix? He started out to become a priest. After attending a college seminary, he became disenchanted by "an imperfect system." Following college graduation with a major in psychiatry he worked for a drug-rehabilitation facility where he again met disillusionment when all the bugs in the health care system were discovered - insurance fraud, restraining patients against their will, etc. What to do to pay the rent and buy groceries? His brother worked as a waiter and found a job for Steve. Thus, it all began.
As time passed he realized that what he witnessed each day as customers dined and drank were snapshots of their lives - either pretty or ugly but always revealing. Steve began to write about what he saw each day on his blog waiterrant.net. The blog eventually garnered a huge audience, won the 2006 "Best Writing in a Weblog" Bloggie award, and caught the attention of book publishers.
Of course, this didn't happen overnight. What Steve thought was a stop gap job turned into 7 years at the Bistro, owned by Fluvio, an irrational dictator so ruled by paranoid anxiety that he installed hidden cameras in order to keep an eye on his staff in the dining room, kitchen, front sidewalk, and even the back alley where they went for a smoke.
Steve's recollections of his customers are priceless, both heart warming and hilarious. His revelations about what goes on in a restaurant's kitchen aren't always appetizing. What goes on in a restaurant's rest room? Totally shocking!
Waiter Rant is this year's special. Enjoy and be very, very kind to your waiters.
- Gail Cooke