Kirkus Review

Here’s the Kirkus Review for my upcoming book!


June 1, 2008

The Waiter

WAITER RANT: Thanks for the Tip—Confessions of a Cynical Waiter

A popular blogger offers behind-the-scenes tales about working the front of the house.

After defecting from seminary and losing his subsequent job, the author took a temporary position as a server in an upscale New York restaurant. Six or seven years later, much to his own surprise, he was still waiting tables and anonymously recording his experiences at In the casual, confessional tone of a seasoned blogger, The Waiter tells of corruption, intrigue, drug abuse, heated romance and of course tips, weaving it all into a humorously detailed memoir. Restaurant work can be emotionally toxic and brutalizing, he reveals. Living outside the nine-to-five world’s boundaries warped and changed him and his fellow servers. Holidays became a source of stress, not joy, and accepting a friend’s Friday night dinner invitation amounted to sacrificing hundreds of dollars in unearned pay. Worst of all were the bad customers, many of whom exhibited an astonishing level of self-absorption and entitlement. Required to endure abuse with a smile, many waiters unsurprisingly blew their night’s tips on drinks after hours. Still, the life of a server wasn’t all groveling and bingeing; some learned, as The Waiter did, to wield subtle, psychological control over even the most recalcitrant customers. He’s good on psychological analysis too: His taxonomy of tippers comes complete with shrewd assessments of their various motivations, such as the mistaken assumption of “the verbal tipper” that heaping on praise will make up for a shoddy tip. The author began to relish the intimate glimpses he got into diners’ personal lives, and underneath his hard-earned cynicism he seems justifiably proud of his progress in a difficult job.

A heartfelt, irreverent look at the underbelly of fine dining.


Kirkus Review — 50 Comments

  1. It will be released one day after my 73rd birthday, so I guess that’s what I’ll be giving myself.
    I hope there’s a lot more to it than just reprinting your old blog entries.

  2. Fantastic review Waiter – I’ve been in on the Pre-Ordering list on Amazon for awhile now (since you announced the book).

    Congratulations; it just makes me want to read it more! :-)

  3. Heartfelt . . . irreverent . . . cynicism. . . humorous.’

    Yeah, that sounds about right.

    Definitely not ‘toxic . . . brutalizing . . . groveling . . . bingeing.’ (Wellll, most of the time!)

    Guess I’ll have to buy a copy to see about ‘heated romance,’ though.

  4. When are you going to stop advertizing yourself and you book, and start blogging again? I prefer to have my reasdership earned through solid prose than conived thorugh repeated advertisements masquerading as blog entries.

  5. I have to laugh at House – if I had a book, I’d spend all my time advertising between posts! I mean, it’s money and possible income… let’s be realistic here.
    Amusing ;)
    Can’t wait to read the book!

  6. House,

    When are you going to learn that if you don’t like the content of a blog you should stop reading it? I prefer to read comments that are thoughtful and proofread, rather than whiney and poorly spelled.

  7. Eeeeeeeeeeee! How wonderful! We are all so happy for you and can’t wait for the book to come out. You speak for SO many…

    Love you, Waiter!

  8. Hooray! I can’t wait for the book! Since I have gone and gotten a “straight job” it is fun to read your stuff. I never worked in fine dining (except for bartending day bar at one for six weeks) but you know, customers are the same demanding, petulant bitches no matter where the establishment! I miss some of my regulars and wonder how their lives turned out. I always hope for them the best.

  9. grats Waiter i await my books shipping date from Amazon

    looks like the reviewer should reread the book tho since verbal tippers do not verbally tip to make up for the crap tip rather they KNOW they tipped for shit and thus to lessen their GUILT.

  10. I just wish the reviewer could write as well as you!

    Still, the life of a server wasn’t all groveling and bingeing; some learned, as The Waiter did, to wield subtle, psychological control over even the most recalcitrant customers.

    You groveling and bingeing dude, you!

  11. Congratulations on the review.
    I think it nicely sums up what you’ve been trying to tell the world. Except now it is in a pretty bound up version :) May the royalties flow your way

  12. Congrats! Wishing you great success with your book. Oh, and the people who complain about lack of blogging ect., I don’t think they realize that bloggers aren’t blogging to entertain THEM daily. That bloggers have lives.

  13. Congrats, Waiter, that’s the kind of review every author wants. May your days be blissful, may you out-earn your advance, and may your income from sales rival JKR.

    Let me know when the movie comes out….

  14. Ah, just like House6, I eagerly await news of a film based on your book! Congratulations on the great review. I am going to go pre-order my copy now.

  15. Wait a minute, there’s a guy who’s 72 here that reads your blog and isn’t afraid to admit it? Well waiter, there goes all your street cred, if you had any to begin with ;-0. Grats on all the good publicity, hopefully your book will shine light on others to think before they go out to eat, making sure they can afford to tip us hard-workers out before dining out.

  16. Terrific review, old boy. It clearly states exactly why I read your blog. Add in the fact that I can identify with it all and you have my full attention.

    Please don’t stop yet.

  17. Congrats! I don’t know if you need to hear it from us, since you congratulate yourself so much, but perhaps that it is a sign that you really do need to hear it from us?

  18. So, I’ve been reading your “Rant” for a few years now… and loving it. I had to post (first time) to say I just pre-ordered your book on the instruction of my boyfriend, who has been listening to me read choice entries to him all this time. When he found out you had a book coming out, he insisted we get it. Best of luck with sales, though I’m sure you won’t need it. Also, cool that Anthony Bourdain wrote a blurb for the front.

  19. Congrats! I will buy mine full-price at Borders so you earn out quicker. I hope Oprah gets ahold of you and this book does for you what Kitchen Confidential did for Anthony Bourdain. And you can quit your GD day gig and write for a living, which is another brand of hell, but sounds a lot more glamorous.
    Let us pray now to the Gods of Media Frenzy!

  20. Pingback: Normison.

  21. Видел что-то подобное в англоязычном инете, в Русскоязычном интернете про такое как-то не особо часто посты увидишь.

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