Waiter Rant by Steve Dublanica
By Sara Gorelick
Anyone who has ever donned an apron or dropped a check on a table will enjoy Waiter Rant, an honest and comical look into the all guts and no glory universe that is the restaurant.
Author Steve Dublanica, aka The Waiter, takes no prisoners in his ode to this world. He says, “It was a look into a world I knew. Most people don’t know what happens behind the scenes. It’s all nice on the outside but very different on the inside, like the backstage of a play.”
All sorts of scenarios play themselves out every day in the dining room thanks to a variety of guests; from the patronizing parent to the wannabe foodie. In calling out every kind of tipper (all your favorites are in there, – the Verbal Tipper, Sugar Daddy, Former Waiter and the Whore) Dublanica leaves the reader to decide what sort of mark they themselves leave on the staff.
Waiter Rant regales with the everyday stories of working in the biz – generosity and gratuity, formidable bathroom conditions and hygiene, and even the not-so-rare account of what happens when your customer is more naughty than nice.
With tips on how to tip, advice on days to avoid eating out (i.e. New Year’s, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day), and how to be the perfect patron, Dublanica’s Waiter Rant is for more than those who maneuver the restaurant business daily; it is a fitting read for anyone in any industry who works to please a client and get a job done. And everyone should have that waiting experience for a year, says Dublanica, who emphasizes that it teaches so much about people.
“If you ask me, Valentine’s Day is one of the biggest scams going. Guys still paying off the baubles they bought wives and girlfriends at Christmas and Hanukkah are frightened by Madison Avenue into believing their sweethearts will transform into frigid harpies if they don’t shell out for some jewelry and round-trip tickets to an exotic island. Smelling blood in the water, restaurants replace their regular menus with “special menus” that give price gouging a good name. The foods many kitchens prepare on that holiday are often items they make only a couple of times a year. If your chef hasn’t had the practice of making the same dish day in and day out, your entrée’s, probably going to taste like rubber osso buco. If you’ve ever had a crappy meal on Saint Valentine’s Day, you know I’m right.”- Page 70, The Box of Chocolates Saint
“Somehow, as I’ve done on countless nights before, I pull my s**t together, stuff my anger and sadness into a secure mental compartment, and smile. My waiter armor will just have to make it through another night. Within half an hour my entire section is seated, cocktailed, specialed, and busy eating their appetizers. There’s a tender mercy to waiting tables. You can get so engrossed in what you are doing that you almost forget your troubles. I feel like I’m relaxing inside my brain while my body does all the work. For a few small minutes I find solace in going through the motions of a job I know how to do so well. Of course, the peace doesn’t last.” – Page 262, The Demons