Waiter Rant

by Dublanica Aka the Waiter Steve, Steve Dublanica | Nonfiction | This book has not been rated.
ISBN: 0061256692 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingVekikiwing of London, Greater London United Kingdom on 4/22/2012
Buy from one of these Booksellers:
Amazon.com | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon IT | Bol.com
This book is in the wild! This Book is Currently in the Wild!
4 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingVekikiwing from London, Greater London United Kingdom on Sunday, April 22, 2012
Thanks for the Tip--Confessions of a Cynical Waiter

Picked up second hand

Journal Entry 2 by wingVekikiwing at London, Greater London United Kingdom on Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Released 6 yrs ago (6/6/2012 UTC) at London, Greater London United Kingdom


taken from the VBB and on it's way... sorry it's taken a while, I was held up getting this off to you because all the post offices have been closed for extra double bank holidays :( sorry!

Journal Entry 3 by wingAnnimanniwing at Espoo, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Monday, June 11, 2012
Received with warm thanks! And I thought it arrived fast, so no worries :) (I've plenty to read anyway...)

Journal Entry 4 by saarahoo at Helsinki, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Wednesday, August 10, 2016
Brought this home from meet, looked like it might be interesting.

Journal Entry 5 by saarahoo at Helsinki, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Sunday, July 15, 2018
Second time lucky! Didn't get very far the first time I started reading the book but it turned out rather interesting. The main theme in the book is the way waiters earn in USA, which is through tipping. They are in a way entrepenuers who are at the whim of their customers not being able to price their services themselves. This sets the whole tone of the book. Waiters do not have job security, no steady income, no benefits which usually come with a job. Their income does not even depend on how well they do their job as they can not price their labour themselves but are at the mercy of their customers. They decide what they pay and that does not have to have anything to do with the quality of service. And as the book points out, it often doesn't. It all of course affects the job satisfaction of waiters and also the way other people see waiters.

There's no tipping in Finland. Well, there are some tipping in places where tourists go but tipping is not expected in Finland. In fact, a friend of mine unsuccessfully tried to tip in a restaurant in Finland, the tip was returned to her. I hope the custom never reaches Finland. It's not about being stingy, it's about waiters being paid a living wage (not necessarily a very high one but a solid salary nevertheless) and service charge being included in the price. What other profession would be expected to live off tips? It's only a short step to tipping doctors and government officials in which case you could call it what it is, bribery.

Journal Entry 6 by saarahoo at Helsinki, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Released 5 mos ago (8/14/2018 UTC) at Helsinki, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland


Released at local meet today.

Journal Entry 7 by wingkirjakkowing at Helsinki, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Tuesday, August 14, 2018
I've read a chef's memoir and a busboy's memoir, so why not a waiter's?

Journal Entry 8 by wingkirjakkowing at Helsinki, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Wednesday, September 05, 2018
"Kitchen staff and waiters are like the Palestinians and Israelis - separate and distinct nationalities uncomfortably sharing the same volatile piece of real estate."
Well said, everybody get's the picture. But what a nightmare to work there! I have been blessed with wonderful workmates for over twenty years and going to work is a joy. I have also known the workmate from hell and if I could have figured out how to commit the perfect murder, she would have been dead long ago. As I didn't, I left the job.
Dangerous things, workmates [to be continued after work...].

Journal Entry 9 by wingkirjakkowing at Helsinki, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Wednesday, September 05, 2018
About dangerous co-workers... In July we had a violent murder in the small village of Söderkulla, where I work. A successful investment dealer was killed at his own house, execution-style. Small village where nothing ever happens, it was pretty much on everybody's lips. Unhappy investor? East-Mafia? Jelous ex-wife? Jelous ex-husband of a girlfriend? Drugs?
A week later police closed a street near where I live in Helsinki and tried to make an arrest from a flat. The man inside first fired through his closed apartment door and then killed himself. He was the murderer of this investment dealer, who was his ex-boss from a few years back... So be nice to the people you work with...

Pic: The house of the victim, with police tape still telling to keep off the crime scene.

Journal Entry 10 by wingkirjakkowing at Helsinki, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Thursday, September 06, 2018
I've found a similarity between our very different professions; as a receptionist I tend not to find suitable appointments to people who already on the phone sound like a pain in the rectum area. If they ask our prices, I give them above normal estimates. Last year I actually told a man we recommend him to look for another vet as we won't take him anymore. He had made an appointment to show us a dog with 'either a tick or a wart'. He told me he had taken a day off from work because of it (!!?) and could come right away. We had the first available time five hours later. He murmured about having taken the day off. I said I was sorry, but that was our first available time. As luck would have it, we had an emergency coming in at the same time, so I called the man and tried to change his time for later in the same day. He said he was already on his way and he was in a hurry because he needed to continue right after us to fetch something from Helsinki (we are some 35 km outside Helsinki). I suggested he should skip us altogether, go to Helsinki and come the next day instead as his tick / wart was not in need of immediate attention. He asked where he could send his bill.
He wanted to know where to send his bill for taking a day off from work and not getting the promised appointment. Surely something for petrol as well (he was on his way to Helsinki and we were on route).
Our vet heard how my voice got angrier and angrier and said she could see his dog's problem when he had the appointment and the badly cut cat could wait those few minutes in the operating theatre as it was already sedated and not in pain.
I swore at the owner, told him to come right away and slammed the receiver in his ear. He came, cool as a cucumer, as if nothing had happened. I wrote him a big bill which he paid. Next week he wanted to make an appointment for the removal of the wart and then I told him he should look for another vet, because we cannot guarantee that we would be able to see his dog if another emergency arose. And we didn't like the way he had been threatening us with a bill even before he had set his foot at the clinic. That is not how one makes a working vet-client relationship. And he should know that emergencies come first and we would not have been liable to pay him anything, even if his appointment had been cancelled. And that I have never seen an owner refuse to give up his time for an emergency in the 30 years I have been in practice, let alone turning nasty towards us because of that. He tried to say something about taking the day off to come and show the dog to us and I snapped at him that I had been wondering already then what kind of an employer gives a day off because a tick or a wart (it was probably his day off anyhow, he just made an issue of it). Did he not think at all about the poor emergency case?
"I don't care what other patients you had, I had made an appointment."
I said that that is exactly why we are not seeing you anymore, you do not care about others. This time he slammed the receiver. He called back right away and said he had gotten bad service last week, I had been rude to him and slammed the receiver on him. I said that it is a perfect reason to look for another vet. Phew, was I angry.

Journal Entry 11 by wingkirjakkowing at Helsinki, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Thursday, September 06, 2018
Forgot to say that I remembered this man yesterday, when my old class-mate took her twenty-something daughter for a knee endoscopy at a public hospital. Their appointment for the procedure was at 6.30. am. Nothing by mouth for 12 h previously. She got into the operating theatre at 4.30. pm. They said to the mother that young girls often faint when they fast for long, not to worry if that happens. At 0.20. am. she was sent home, only to come back the day after as they could not find all the pieces of a knee support device she was getting loaned - perhaps the day shift would find it easier. This is how little human doctors value their patients' time. I hope the 'wart man' would get a taste of that medicine one fine day.

Journal Entry 12 by wingkirjakkowing at Helsinki, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Thursday, September 13, 2018
Like saarahoo said, we have a slightly different tipping culture in Finland, but I do remember already from childhood that when Dad took as to a restaurant he always calculated the "normal" tipping percent above the bill. Can't remember if it was eight or ten percent, but certainly not higher.
I have always thought it wrong that there are just a few professions which you are supposed to tip (waiters, travel guides and bus tour drivers + cabin cleaners in Cruise ships), no matter how they do their job. I seldom tip and only when I have received good service. C'mon, we save lives at work, waiters carry a plate to our table. I've been tipped once by a Russian client. Our clients bring flowers, chocolate, home made cakes, wine - and some bring religious publications... I have been taken to a long weekend in Paris by a female client whose boyfriend had just left her and she had won the trip for two. One client treated me and the vet for an evening in Moulin Rouge and a tour around Paris in 40-year-old Renaults, if we paid the for trip and accomodation ourselves. As luck would have it, the vet's brother had just gotten himself an apartment in Paris, so of course we went. I guess we must be doing something right, even if we do not get tips...
According to the writer, most waiters / waitresses do not get other wages than what they earn in tips. That sucks, but why they let themselves to be treated that way beats me. But what appauled me even more was that whenever our hero got good money, what did he do, save it for a rainy day? No way, he spent it in the same evening on booze and lapdancers. That does not make me want to tip a waiter ever again.
The writer was pro illegal aliens on the basis that people would not come to restaurants if the workers had to be paid better i.e. it would be more expensive to eat out. Baaaad excuse. As I pay taxes and our company pays taxes, I am very much against grey economy and people who live on social security because they do not want to work. Where as Americans without medical insurance can't afford to be sick, Finnish social security is too good; with low pay professions you earn about the same on the dole than you would if you worked, so it pays to be unemployed (and have all that free time, when you can do grey business, if you wish to have the best of both worlds).
Loved the chapter with Russell Crowe. We used to have a spitting image of young Tom Cruise as a client and I could not get one sensible word out of my mouth whenever he came. He must have thought I was a nitwit. But he, too, got older and fatter, so I was able to gain my senses and become the true professional I am :) .
I have read Kitchen Confidential years back and didn't like it at all. It seemed you could work at a restaurant only if you had a criminal or psychiatric record, lots of tattoos and you did drugs. The description of professional kitchens in general made you feel ill. I can still go to a restaurant having read this book. Well, not in the US, because I would not tip.

Journal Entry 13 by wingkirjakkowing at Pornainen, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Friday, September 14, 2018
Finished last night. The book will be released in some pub / restaurant in Devon or Cornwall where I will be heading next week.

Edit: Rush hour in New Forest.

Journal Entry 14 by wingkirjakkowing at The Trusty Servant in Minstead, Hampshire United Kingdom on Monday, September 17, 2018

Released 4 mos ago (9/17/2018 UTC) at The Trusty Servant in Minstead, Hampshire United Kingdom


On a bus tour heading to Devon and Cornwall we stopped at tiny Minstead, best known as the burial place of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Had my first ever fish and chips as it was our group's pre-ordered lunch at The Trusty Servant. Left the book on a windowsill next to some other books. Didn't tip as all was prepaid.

Are you sure you want to delete this item? It cannot be undone.