Sunday, January 9, 2011

Non-Fiction Ninth--Waiting: The True Confessions of a Waitress by Debra Ginsberg

Book: Waiting: The True Confessions of a Waitress by Debra Ginsberg

Series: Nope! A memoir

Extras? No

Published: 2001

Plot (Goodreads):
A veteran waitress dishes up a spicy and robust account of life as it really exists behind kitchen doors.

Part memoir, part social commentary, part guide to how to behave when dining out, Debra Ginsberg's book takes readers on her twentyyear journey as a waitress at a soap-operatic Italian restaurant, an exclusive five-star dining club, the dingiest of diners, and more. While chronicling her evolution as a writer, Ginsberg takes a behind-the-scenes look at restaurant life-revealing that yes, when pushed, a server will spit in food, and, no, that's not really decaf you're getting-and how most people in this business are in a constant state of waiting to do something else.

My four-sentence or less take on the plot: Debra was a server for most of her life, working in everything from a family-run pizza place to a five-star dining club. She experiences extreme highs (good money, great tips, dating a Chef, the trill of working a perfect shift) and lows (a shift where everything goes wrong, restaurants that just can't get traffic, and, above all,being treated as absolute dirt by your customers). If you ever waited tables or wanted to do so, this is the book for you.

Rating: 6

What worked: Debra writes a good story. She has lots of funny anecdotes about her customers and has great insight about what makes a customer/chef/server tick.

What didn't: The book is pretty ordinary. I expected a lot more personal stories than there actually were--the book wasn't very long and didn't have much of a wrap up. I expected more...of something. I've read similar stories (Waiter Rant by Steve Dublanica comes to mind) that are better. I think it's probably better if you've worked in the food industry and can nod along.

Would I recommend the book to someone who hates non-fiction? I don't know. If they worked in the service industry, than probably. Otherwise, I don't think this is the book to turn you.

Have you ever read this book? Were you blown away? Is the movie similar?

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