Lit Gloss

Waiter Rant

By Liz Spikol
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 1 | Posted Aug. 20, 2008

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Raise your hand if you've ever waited tables, worked behind a counter, done food service at a cafeteria or bussed tables. You? All right. You too? Very good. And you, you, you and you? Wow--that's everyone! Now how many of you think it was a deeply significant act with societal implications? Okay, get out of my column; I don't like you. Nor do I like Waiter Rant. The book is by an anonymous New York City server who keeps a blog by the same name. (Wait, I see a few hands. Turning a blog into a 300-page book is worse than leaving a 10-percent tip, you say? Agreed.) The Waiter writes as though the implications of serving food are roughly akin to integrating a school district. But waiting tables isn't deep. It's a job. Sometimes it's fun, sometimes it's awful, sometimes you steal the pumpkin bread from the dessert tray and that makes it all worth it. (Not that I'd know.) The Waiter is a good writer, and his book begins promisingly when he talks about a difficult period in his work life. But once he becomes a career waiter, the back-of-the-house stories get tiresome, despite what the Waiter sees as a perilously fraught eating environment. In his preface, he writes: "Today waiters are expected to be food-allergy specialists, sommeliers, cell-phone-rule enforcers, eye candy, confessors, entertainers, mixologists, emergency medical techinicians, bouncers, receptionists, joke tellers, therapists, linguists, punching bags, psychics, protocol specialists, and amateur chefs." Here's one thing waiters aren't expected to be: writers. So put your hand down and shut up already.

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1. St said... on Sep 3, 2008 at 08:36AM

“Shut up and let him speak. Why should a waiter not try to better himself by becoming a writer? Bet it's about time to leave your desk and enjoy lunch. try not to be a bitch.”

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