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Waiting : the True Confessions of a Waitress…
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Waiting : the True Confessions of a Waitress (original 2000; edition 2001)

by Debra Ginsberg

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5571226,619 (3.48)5
Member:rhian_of_oz
Title:Waiting : the True Confessions of a Waitress
Authors:Debra Ginsberg
Info:Harper Collins (2001), Hardcover
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Waiting: The True Confessions of a Waitress by Debra Ginsberg (2000)

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Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
Quick, easy and fun read. There's some glaring grammar errors, missing words and strange spellings [eyebrow raising, considering her previous work as an editor...]. Otherwise, a very lovingly composed book about an industry we are all extremely familiar with - though maybe not as much as we thought ;) ( )
  tealightful | Sep 24, 2013 |
A good chunk of her waiting occurred in Portland, OR, so it was interesting to read her view of her coworkers and places of employment. Always fun to learn about a facet (in this case, of eating out) that gets overlooked/taken for granted (the servers). ( )
  EhEh | Apr 3, 2013 |
"There are three kinds of waitresses," Garry Shandling used to say, "the good, the bad ... and the kind I always get." In her memoir "Waiting: The True Confessions of a Waitress," Debra Ginsberg suggests there are actually just two kinds: those who accept that this is their life and just get on with making a living (you can usually find these at Bob Evans and most family restaurants) and those who wait on customers while they wait for their real lives to begin (the kind you are more likely to find at Applebees, Cheddars and similar restaurants).

For two decades, Ginsberg was a waitress of the second kind. Her whole family was in the restaurant business, and so, beginning as a teenager, she worked in her father's restaurants and various others, mostly in Oregon and California. She believed her true calling was to become a writer, but she wrote very little and after her son was born and she became a single mother, she wrote nothing at all. Serving drinks and dinners to other people paid the bills.

Eventually she realized that waiting tables provided all the material she needed for her to end her other wait and start writing. The resultant book, published in 2000, provides fascinating reading for anyone who either serves food in a restaurant or eats it. She tells some interesting and often hilarious stories, reveals what goes on behind the scenes (who knew a restaurant could be such a sexual hothouse?) and even critiques several movies, such as "Five Easy Pieces" and "As Good as It Gets," that have waitresses as important characters.

Ginsberg has since written two more memoirs and a novel, but writing is a tough way to make a living and she realizes that at some point she may be forced to go back to waiting ... and waiting. ( )
  hardlyhardy | Dec 10, 2012 |
It's a solid confessional food-book.
  omnia_mutantur | Dec 14, 2011 |
Read the book in early January 2011. Entertaining memoir, quick read about a topic that interests me. ( )
  SymphonySil | Jan 22, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060932813, Paperback)

In a truly just world, everyone would have to wait tables for at least six months, just to know what it's like. Failing that, we have writer-waiter Debra Ginsberg's tasty memoir to remind us about life on the other side of those swinging doors. Horror stories? After 20 years of serving other people's food, she's got 'em--and being handed a drunk's vomit-soaked napkins certainly fits the bill. But even though she expresses the usual frustrations with bad tippers and control freaks, in the long run Ginsberg is anything but bitter. In fact, she recently left her publishing job to return to waiting tables, hooked on the freedom, spare time, and ready cash the lifestyle provides. Of course, there are other perks too. Sex thrives in the close quarters and steamy atmosphere of a typical restaurant (not to mention with the high-drama personalities who work there). Fans of Kitchen Confidential will be relieved to know there's as much bad behavior among the floor staff as there is in the back of the house. As in that book, Ginsberg also relates some eyebrow-raising tales about what can happen before your food gets to your table. (The moral here: "It really does pay to be nice to your server.") But Waiting is far more than just a sexual soap opera or a cautionary guide for dining out; it's also the story of one woman's coming of age, most of which just happens to take place while she's wearing an apron. During her tenure as a waitress, Ginsberg thrives as a single mother and comes into her own as a writer--and waiting (as she suggestively calls it) helps her do both. Most of us (including waiters) think of the profession as a stopgap, not a career, but what happens on the way to somewhere else, Ginsberg writes, is every bit as important as the final destination: "Perhaps the most valuable lesson I'd learned was that the act of waiting itself is an active one. That period of time between the anticipation and the beginning of life's events is when everything really happens--the time when actual living occurs." --Mary Park

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:28 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

"Part memoir, part social commentary, part guide to how to behave when dining out, Debra Ginsberg's book takes readers on her twenty-year journey as a waitress at a soap-operatic Italian restaurant, an exclusive five-star dining club, the dingiest of diners, and more. While chronicling her evolution as a writer, Ginsberg takes a behind-the-scenes look at restaurant life--revealing that yes, when pushed, a server will spit in food, and, no, that's not really decaf you're getting--and how most people in this business are in a constant state of waiting to do something else" -- back cover.A portrait of life behind the swinging tin-plated doors of a restaurant explores the diners, Italian family eateries, and five-star restaurants that employed the author over her twenty years as a waitress.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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