Learn, understand, then decide whether you accept or reject.
We all know about some stories about unpleasant experiences with waiters, and this book doesn't shy away from that.
I regularly visit various restaurants around town and have seen all sorts of service from terrible to amazing, and this audiobook helps make sense of the mindset of waiters and restaurant staff.
A little warning: some chapters are not for the squeamish and deals with medical emergencies, bodily fluids, insects and unpleasant kitchen staff revenge techniques.
I would skip the first two chapters, which give the backstory of how the author became a waiter. The rest of the book is fun and amusing, probably more so for people in the restaurant business and people who dine out often.
Kinda of a mindless read.
Miller was ok
It could have bee more interesting and less predictable,,
I liked this and it certainly gives some real insight into the restaurant world (ugly insight most of the time!) It also justifiably highlights the pretentiousness of people, their demands, rudeness, etc. It even gives 40 ways to be a good customer. But it noticeably includes very little about waitstaff conduct, and therefore, 40 ways to be a good waiter. I'm not one of the jerks (20% is my standard tip) but I've had plenty of pretentious, uninterested, inflexible servers. And yes, the few that have been really bad, I've stiffed them --sorry but that's how it goes! Also, there are a lot of other jobs (in a commercial laundry as a teenager was a great one) that are just as tiring, and filled with rotten management. So my sympathy runs thin at times. Aside from those aspects, it was entertaining. Just wish he'd been a bit more balanced.
I will recommend Audible to anyone who loves multi-tasking. I am able to learn while being active. It takes away my stress, totally!
This book wants me to meet the writer!
Excellent writing and amusing narration.
Literary graduate and published columnist turned glorified grease monkey.
This is a fantastic book! It is not a 9 hour whining session like some people may lead you to believe. It is thoroughly entertaining. The waiter is actually a brilliant writer. The only section I had trouble with was towards the end where he states that all waiters do is complain, which some people may think is a bit hypocritical. But I don't think of this book as a rant. I think of it more as a report of what goes on in the food industry. There is a tonne of invaluable behind-the-scenes stories that we really need to know. I don't think I'll treat wait staff any differently after reading it, maybe just tip more. But it is brilliantly written, very funny in most of the book, and the narrator has the perfect voice for this story, very well executed. This is a must read for any food show fans, especially fans of Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares.
I would listen to it all day if there was more of the same.
The book admirably narrated by Dan John Miller who brings it to life in all it's splendour. So much more than just a collection of waiter's anecdotes, it leads you into the intricacies of the food serving world, the delicate balance, power struggles and all aspects of the restaurant business.
" You're ready to do something when you're ready to do it. "
Most of the book takes place at a New York City restaurant named "The Bistro" (pretty generic, no?). The waiter gives us a composite picture of his life as the waiter by observing the mesh of interactions between the management, fellow workers, and customers. The good, the bad and the more than often ugly.
I enjoyed the psychological angle. I love the way the Waiter analyses his doings and feelings, manages his relationships with others, and draws a philosophical portrait of the waiter's trade. Most of which can be applied to other trades and people. I love how he balances his criticism with empathy for all and how he shares the truth about sanitation, poverty, relationships, self-confidence and bad customers. It's a tale of a man who chose an occupation out of despair and became excellent at it while preserving hope for the future by tuning out his passion.
" Cocooned inside our private dramas we often don't realize life is rolling by us like it should "
I read that a number of the weblog readers were disappointed by the book. I can't speak for them, but I've added the weblog to my blogroll since.
He's a waiter. He's really a writer. Refreshing. An engaging read (or listen).
These days I enjoy mostly SciFi and Techno Thrillers.
I found this book totally entertaining. The narrator does a very good job. He changes up tones to keep things interesting. Though trying to sound like a female at times was kind of funny. This book did open my eyes to some of what waiters go through when they pick this as a career path. I give this book all five stars without hesitation.
I was looking for funny accounts of crazy customers. And while it had a few, there was way too much autobiography of pre-waiter life and psycho babble. The author studied psychology and it's like that makes him an expert as to why his customers and coworkers act the way they do. He should have just stuck to one story after the next without overanalyzing it to death. When we did get actual customer stories, they were cute but not laugh out loud funny. I'd "read" this book if a friend loaned it to me, but I wouldn't recommend paying money for it.
I think that if the author read this book himself he would have put in more energy into the performance. This reader sounds like he is reading the back of a penut bag at the end of a long red-eye flight to Newark.
I listened to this book as a result of listening to "Heads in Beds". I enjoyed that book so much that I wanted to see what else, like this book, was out there. While both are about the lives of men in the service industry they couldn't be more different. I wanted to like this book more but it didn't work for me on a number of different levels.
First there was the tone. This author is a bit of a know it all and spends a lot of time lecturing and explaining everything from waiting tables to the meaning of life. He even explains his own cliché analogies. Exaggeration? Perhaps, but this book is the result of a blog - 'nuff said.
Second was the plot. I know that there may be no plot in these types of stories but for me a good memoire has some character arc that shows the character moving from one point to another. Heads in Beds does this well. The character starts naïve and good and eventually is corrupted by the hotel industry until ultimately it climaxes in a way that leads to change and rebirth. This story is woven behind the vignettes and is subtle and clever. This book just reads like the author’s personal journal. There is no real arc because the author already starts perfect (see my first point).
Third was the lack of entertainment and educational value. If there is no plot then I want at least some of this. I didn’t learn ANYTHING new about the restaurant industry - hard to believe about a so called rant. People have sex in the bathroom and illegal aliens work in the kitchen. Wow. I probably could have figured that out without having to work in the restaurant biz.
OK so I have been pretty tough of this guy. Is this book really that bad? No. It is entertaining enough to listen to as you mow your lawn or wash the dishes or snake the drain or whatever other task would be hell without some droning on about something in your head. I put this on the level of reality TV. This is “reality fiction” and just like its counterpart on TV it is not worth much but can be entertaining if you're only half engaged.
(Now watch this guy go out and become the next genre fiction mega author celeb)