I have never waited tables so I can’t say that I know what its like, but after reading this I have a pretty good idea. And you know what? Its not much different from working in retail, which is what I do. Dealing with the public as a service professional is a trip!!
Being a waiter was not what Dublanica set out to do. He chose to live the life of a cleric and went to seminary for that purpose. When he became disillusioned with that he finished college and became a psychiatric worker. The company he worked for went out of business and his brother, already a waiter, helped him get a job to tide him over until he could find something in his field. He wound up staying in the profession for years.
This book started out as a blog with the same name that Dublanica started to let people know the true behind the scenes adventures in an upscale restaurant. The jockeying for power among the waitstaff, what really happens in the kitchen, the dedication of the undocumented workers who keep the place running. And lets not forget the customers. The rich, entitled customers who will stop at nothing to get what they want. I could relate way too much.
On the personal side, Dublanica deftly relates the toll that servicing the public can take on your personal life (and your person). Staying in a career way longer than you should have. Seeing your peers and friends move further along in life and salary. (Making 1/3 of what your friends make can be a bummer on your social life, let me tell you.) Reading the part near the end when he has finally had enough did a number on my mood for many days afterward.
I recommend it for anyone who has ever worked, eaten in , or driven by a restaurant. The tips at the end on how to conduct yourself as a patron is priceless. Stop sniffing the corks people! That is pretentious and doesn’t prove anything about the wine! Oh, and do waiters really spit in your food? Read the book and find out.