I just finished reading Waiter Rant by Steve Dublanica, which was an instant New York Times Best Seller when it was released a couple years ago. The book, written by a seminary-drop-out-later-laid-off-psychiatric-worker who ended up waiting tables in his 30s, was born out of an anonymous blog he started in 2004, WaiterRant.net.
If he set out to never make you look at dining at a restaurant the same ever again, he succeeds. There were parts that were slow, but his writing is honest. His perspective also has some interesting insight. Here’s one of my favorite passages:
“I turn and look at the table behind me. The girl has tears in her eyes. The boy’s holding her hand. For the thousandth time I marvel how much people reveal about themselves inside a restaurant. I shouldn’t be surprised. When people are stuffing their faces, they often let their guard down. Eating is a primal activity that triggers an array of emotional responses. Think of all the arguments that erupt around family dinner tables. Food and the human condition are inextricably linked. Because of this, waiters often get to see the unpleasant sides of people. Yet, amid all the petulance, anger, and entitlement, the occasional crumb of human grace falls from the table. I look at the boy and girl. They need their privacy. This is an important moment. Do not disturb. I walk away.”
He leaves you with a better understanding of what goes on behind-the-scenes and the politics of a restaurant. And yes, waiters do spit in food — or play floor hockey with the burger you returned to the kitchen for the third time before they warm it up and serve it to you once again. Don’t be difficult, people.
“Waiter Rant” is available on Amazon.com.