Waiter Rant

Waiter Rant

Waiter Rant

review by:  Stephanie Jane Carter

Waiter Rant by Steve Dublanica

  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • ISBN-13: 9780061256691
  • 336pp

Waiter Rant, by Steve Dublanica, may not represent your specific experience in restaurants, but it will be difficult to make it through the book without at least one (I’m guessing many) moments where the reader, whether diner or waiter or cook, experiences the feeling that Dublanica may be working at a restaurant they know.  Based on a wildly popular blog by the same name as the book, the blog was written anonymously to protect Dublanica from getting into trouble with his restaurant and its patrons as he literally rants about his patrons and experiences as a waiter.  While that may be the reason for the preliminary anonymity, it also reflects the everyman aspect of the book and blog.   It isn’t completely about Dublanica’s experience; it is about a common experience.  This may constitute much of the entertainment in reading the book.

That said, peppered throughout Waiter Rant are Dublanica’s personal reflections on being a waiter, beginning with that first dizzy moment where one feels that being a waiter is being part of a wild, exciting, sarcastic club, and ending with a feeling of resentment and existentialist reflection on the past nine years.  This is the narrative that ties the book together.  Each experience he reports could easily be anyone’s experience.  But he quietly includes his own struggle with his role as excited newcomer, waiter, manager, and someone who wants something else.  It may be your feelings, or it may not.  This is where Dublanica lends himself to the book.  By the end of the book, I felt like he was someone I knew from the restaurant, an everyman and an individual.

One of the drawbacks of the book is that it feels very much like a blog.  There are plenty of typos and bad grammar, like a blog.  The flow of the book is not always not fluid.  A second drawback is that the reader often has the sense that Dublanica is holding back at the expense of “character” development.  In an interview, Dublanica says, “When I wrote my blog, I didn’t want to get fired, so I made quite a few changes. Say a big, fat bald man came in complaining about some nonsense. I might say it was a thin yuppie guy in a turtleneck…”  While the diner he pokes fun at could be anyone, many of Dublanica’s colleagues would immediately recognize their behavior and Dublanica’s portrayal of them, even if he changed their body type and clothing.  Many of his colleagues knew about the blog.  Perhaps because of that, the reader gets a sense that Dublanica is holding back.

Dublanica may skimp on details to save his butt.  On the other hand, the thing that Dublanica does not hold back on is himself and that, along with the feeling of enduring a common experience,  makes is it an interesting book to read. Waiter Rant is a quick, easy, fun book to read.  Summer is not quite over yet and there is still time to spend a day at the pool enjoying Waiter Rant.  And, the softback version just came out!

Related:

Economy takes a Bite Out of Tips for Waitstaff

The Restaurant in Waiter Rant is Revealed

Interview with Steve Dublanica

The Blog!  www.waiterrant.net

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One Response to “Waiter Rant”

  1. August 2009 | Southern Food and Beverage Museum Says:

    […] Waiter Rant […]

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