Turn, Burn, Bye

I’m no longer working at Café Machiavelli. I’ve handed in my apron. I’ve taken my last order. Stick a fork in me, I’m done.

I realized it was time to go several weeks ago. For me, waiting tables had become like trying to jam a square peg into a round hole. I needed to free up time and energy to pursue other projects. Besides, the restaurant industry’s been good to me and I wanted to leave on a high note. And, even though it’s unlikely, I didn’t want Café Machiavelli to suffer any ill effects when my identity is revealed. The owner and chef were stand up guys who treated me right. They have my thanks and respect.

Have I quit waiting tables forever?  Probably. I don’t think too many restaurant owners will be eager to hire me after the book comes out! But never say never. Someone recently told me that quitting the restaurant business is like quitting smoking. You may think you’ve quit forever – but there’s always the possibility you’ll suffer a relapse. Maybe I could help pharmaceutical companies develop a patch that transmits a daily dose of aggravation, sexual harassment, unfair labor practices, excitement, boredom, high pressure, late night snacking, customer entitlement, nicotine, greasy staff meals, alcohol, sleeping late, and tooth decay though the skin. Slap that sucker on your arm and it’ll be like you never left!

I am not, however, quitting blogging. I will always post stories online as long as there are people who want to read them. Waiter Rant will evolve. Into what I have no idea – but I’m keeping all my options open. I hope you come along for the ride.

The next few weeks are going to be a very busy and exciting time for me. One chapter of my life is ending and a new one is beginning.  I want to thank all the people who’ve been with me on this journey – my family and friends; loved ones near and dear, my agent, editor, and publishers, my comrades in the restaurant agency, and, of course, all the wonderful readers who’ve patronized this blog for over four years! (That’s an eternity in internet time!) Without you, this book would never have become a reality.

That’s all for now. I’ll be back soon. Have a nice weekend and remember – tip 20%!

190 thoughts on “Turn, Burn, Bye”

  1. KarenL says:

    all the best, Waiter-

    I’m looking forward to the book & the reveal-

  2. Moshizzle says:

    On board and ready to ride.

  3. Tasha says:

    So thrilled for you. I’m on board!

  4. mr lim says:

    Good luck! I’ll gladly come along. 😀

  5. ~pege~ says:

    My very best to you and your next adventure in life. I’ve enjoyed your blog for years. Good luck, and let us know how you’re doing. We’re gonna miss you :(

  6. kathee says:

    congratulations on escaping, hopefully the siren’s call won’t draw you back into the business. if it does, perhaps you can open your own restaurant. 😉 can’t wait to get the book.

  7. Anonymous says:

    All the best, can’t wait to see where you are off to next

  8. Christina says:

    Waiter,
    You have a gift. Whatever you write about, many of us will be here to read and enjoy.

  9. John Smith says:

    All the best.
    Hope you continue posting.

  10. Sapph says:

    I agree with Christina – it isn’t just the fact that you write about the serving industry that draws us here, it is your writing style, your way of seeing things and conveying your perceptions which keeps us coming back. Whatever project you attempt, I think most of us will gladly go along for the ride.

    It isn’t what you write about Waiter, it is that you write to begin with.

  11. The Waitress says:

    You’re absolutely right that the restaurant business is much akin to a drug. And harder to give up because it pays! Perhaps you should establish a rehab program for recovering servers. 😉

    I wish you the best of luck in your new ventures and still can’t wait for the book.

  12. mnemonica says:

    Good luck, Waiter!

  13. Jillian says:

    Wow, Good luck Waiter – I’ve been reading your blog for quite some time now and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. Keep on blogging, I’m waiting eagerly for your book!

  14. Kymagic says:

    Good luck in wherever you end up! I’m glad to see that the blog will not die.

  15. CJ says:

    I’ll most likely follow your blog regardless of what you write about. It was your style that hooked me – not necessarily the content.

    Good Luck,

  16. thomas says:

    Waiters from the Netherlands salute you!

  17. beth says:

    Congratulations on getting out. I did years ago and I still get a thrill of being off on holidays, getting to go to parties like everyone else on Saturday night and of course, eating in restaurants instead of working in them.

    One last “waiter” blog about the look on Wilhelm’s face when he finds out all of his alcoholic ranting bullshit has been the entertainment of thousands around the world would be priceless.

    Good luck on the book sales and I can’t wait to pick up a copy.

  18. Mars says:

    Yes, the restaurant business is much akin to a drug. So far I’ve managed to stay away from the industry, even though I’ve been called by several former bosses to come and knock some sense in to new recruits. The pay is just not worth that headache.

    Waiters from South Florida wish you the best.

  19. Chris says:

    Good luck with this new phase of life Waiter, and I wish you all the best. To quote the Russians:
    “Das Fadanya” (To The End)

  20. Rico says:

    Good luck in your new career(s). I hope the book does well. Do keep up the blog; I enjoy your writing.

  21. Teach says:

    The very best, Waiter. This blog is more than an entertaining respite for more people than you probably know.

  22. Jessie says:

    I’ll read whatever you write about! Congrats on the book coming out!

  23. ian says:

    Best wishes from a looong time reader/lurker :-)

  24. Alison C says:

    Lots of Luck, Waiter!

  25. Lori says:

    Waiter,
    I’ll miss the restaurant stories, but I have a feeling you could write a story about your experience at the laundromat and it would be great. You do have a gift. I’ll be back…often. Thanks for the entertainment! Can’t wait for the book.

  26. Kat says:

    Congratulations!

  27. Lee says:

    I’m so happy you are finally getting to the dessert tray. Good luck Waiter. I just know your book is going to be a smash hit.

  28. Laura says:

    One of the best days of my life was the day I suddenly realized I’d moved far enough vocationally from waiting tables that I wasn’t going to have to do it anymore.

  29. s west says:

    Good luck

  30. Michelle S. says:

    Congratulations and Good Luck! I’ll be back to check up on you and your new adventures!

  31. TexMel says:

    Honey, you’re fabulous! Best of luck to you, although I know you’re not going to need it! Since I “discovered” you only fairly recently, now I get to go back to the beginning and read all of your posts. I see an exciting life ahead of you, so buckle up–it’s going to be a hell of a ride! Kiss, kiss….

  32. Sid Leavitt says:

    You’ve been a favorite of ours at Readers and Writers Blog for a long time. Wherever you go, we’ll be with you.

    And for all you’ve done so far, many thanks.

  33. MHA says:

    Waiter, your respect for (most of) the people you work with has always been obvious, and you’re really doing right by the folks at Café Machiavelli by stepping out now.

    I’m really looking forward to reading the book, and reading more of the blog! Best of luck with the next few weeks… and try to remember to take some time to sit back and enjoy it. :-)

  34. Bruno V says:

    Congratulations, good luck, and I look forward to seeing posts about any future ventures.

  35. AridZoner says:

    Waiter, I mean Ex-Waiter,

    I was wondering what would happen when you eventually moved on from serving. I’m very pleased to see that you’ll continue blogging. With a little bit of redesign this site could easily become Writer Rant!

    Although your restaurant based blogs were what drew me here, it was your wry observations on life that kept me coming back. I hope that you have no reason to stop sharing those through this venue.

  36. TC says:

    I also used to work in restaurants/Food(10+ years) and I also have been out of it, and at some level I also admit at times te siren call is strong…I mean who can resist the lure of easy money(when you walk out at night with at least $100 in your pocket, you feel like a low level drug dealer).
    And i got pulled in and hooked on your writing style, very open and direct.

  37. Eccentric says:

    Congrats Waiter! I plan on buying your book when it comes out. Keep up the wonderful work!

  38. trsh says:

    Best of luck, Waiter! Like others have said – came here for the stories about waiting, loved what you had to stay, and i’ll be sticking around to hear more, regardless the topic. Oh, and buying your book of course :) Thanks again for all the entertainment you’ve given over the years.

  39. mur says:

    Good luck in the next adventure! I’ve got your book on pre-order, so it should be here soon.

    The blog will evolve, just as you have evolved. Thanks for including your readers along the way.

  40. Rachel says:

    Congratulations Waiter! This has been a long time coming and I am very happy for you. I can’t wait to finally see pictures (I hope?) of what you look like. Best of wishes to you and cannot wait to read about all of your new adventures : )

  41. Marcheline says:

    Rock on.

  42. espletts says:

    Congratulations! I wish you luck on whatever you decide to do in the future! You deserve happiness in anything you do. So take care, grab life by the horns and enjoy the ride!

  43. DABCT says:

    I know many ex-waiters (me included) and am always interested to see how the transition works. I’ll keep reading, you keep writing. Sounds like a good deal, congrats.

  44. Anita says:

    Yay! I’m so excited for you. 4 yrs is a long time and I’ve enjoyed every one of your bloggings. Can’t wait for the book to debut.

  45. LauraT says:

    You will excel no matter what you do. Have fun and keep us all posted!

  46. Carroll says:

    All of the above. And of course you *could* just change the blog title to “Writer Rant”…

    (sorry — couldn’t resist :-) )

    Ever so happy for your success, Waiter. You’ve given such pleasure to so many readers over the years — it’s high time you got to bask on your laurels for a while!

  47. Donfield says:

    Best of luck to you, and if you haven’t hit 40 yet, you’ll find the adventure is just beginning.

  48. Rusty says:

    I predict some jackass will bitch about this within oh… 25 more replies.

  49. T says:

    I can’t help but feel a bit sad, but I’m really excited for you. I have the 29th marked on my calendar with a series of exclamation marks and I will be checking my mail 😀

    Writing is exciting!

  50. Dr. Electro says:

    Best wishes and good luck, no matter what you decide to do. Come visit my blog in your newfound spare time. You might find some free amusement there.

  51. Anthony says:

    I have been following you for the last year and have to say you and your blog have gotten me thru some pretty rough times in this business!! I have much respect and admiration for you and your experiences, you have been an inspiration to me and made me feel like I am not the only crazy one out there! I mean that in the utmost of respect!! We all feel like we are crazy at times but you have made us all feel sane to know that there are others that feel and go through the same things it has been an honor to read your writtings. Best of luck in all you do!

  52. Mizburd says:

    Good to know you’ve left Cafe Machiavelli, better to know you left on good terms. Restaurant work isn’t “you” anymore and you’ve moved on. Can’t wait for the book and the big reveal! Best to you.

  53. lawrie taylor says:

    Good luck in all your future endeavors!!!

  54. Hannah-Moon says:

    Will you post a pic and a name when you come out in NYC? For those of us no where near NYC?

  55. Joe C says:

    Take a bow, waiter. you’ve earned it. Go in peace, and I hope you never have to serve again.

    ~Joe

  56. Jen says:

    The best of luck to you! I have been following this blog for a long time, and have always found your writing extremely engaging and interesting. I hope life goes well!

  57. Rocketflyer says:

    “…..Come along for the ride……”

    Hell yes, Waiter/Writer, we’ll be along with you.

    “As one door closes, another opens.” Hermetic saying.

    I am awaiting delivery of my book, which I will gleefully read, while my coffee is in a Waiterrant mug. 😉

    Best to you, Waiter!!

  58. indycitygirl says:

    I have been out of the biz for five years now and there isnt a day I dont miss it.I think once in ,never out.Good luck and I look forward to your future postings and all the best to you

  59. Jay says:

    5 years in the future:

    “You call this lemon chicken?! I USED to be a WAITER! I WROTE A BOOK about it! DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?!!”

    (’cause you know it could happen…) 😉

  60. Larry R says:

    Waiter,

    Congratulations on the book – its an achievement that many (including me) hope to realize, but few do. Best of luck in whatever comes after the book, though I’d hate to see your writing talent lie fallow if you decided to, for example, open a restaurant. I’ll be at the opening in NYC next Tuesday to help cheer your on.

    my best,

    -lr

  61. F* says:

    Congrats Waiter, much love!! Sounds like you’ve got amazing opportunities- don’t let them go to waste. Can’t wait for the book :)

    Blog on!

    (PS. I second the name “Writer Rant” ;p)

  62. **cincygal** says:

    Congrats and good luck Waiter! I hung up my apron this past April after 13yrs of service and I’ve never been happier. Sundays and Holidays off?! Oh, sweet freedom! Money is tight sometimes, but every time I’m tempted to go back and “just pick up a couple of shifts”, I remind myself of why I left this soul sucking industry and that I vowed never to return. I get my fix by going to a busy place and feeling that familiar high as the adrenaline kicks in to keep you out of the weeds. It’s like a sixth sense. That and hearing stories from my friends who are still in the trenches. Thanks for keeping us entertained!!

  63. gailsie says:

    Best of luck, dearest Waiter. I’ve enjoyed reading your entries these past couple of years, and I eagerly look forward to reading your book.
    Mwah.xxx

  64. SGT Mac says:

    waiter, i’ve never commented before, but i felt this was worth speaking up for. having waited myself, i know what you’ve endured (after all, its why i started reading). thing is, you stuck with it longer than i could have ever. personally i couldn’t deal with the bullshit any longer myself and chose instead to join the army (which is full of its own aggravations, but i digress).

    anywho, for most people quitting in the middle of a recession is financial suicide, but i know your book is going to be HUGE!!! enjoy the success that’ll come with it; know you earned it and best of luck to you with whatever you endeavor next. i hope you’ll choose to drag your fans along with you.

  65. NYC Waiter/Actor says:

    I’m right there with you, my friend. Looking forward to meeting you in person at the book signing. Thanks for the many years of “Thank God, someone else understands my job” moments. See you soon. Keep the faith, man!

  66. WVKay says:

    Thank you for your excellent writing. That’s what I come here for. Good luck with your book and good luck with the rest of your life. I’m on your side.

  67. norm says:

    lycka til

  68. ashley says:

    good luck in all that you pursue. i’ll definitely be along for the ride. you’re a fantastic writer, a rare trait among bloggers!

  69. Tee Poole says:

    Good luck! What a great ride it’s been for you, and for the rest of us who’ve followed.

    Changing times. I’ve got an identity re-write of my own to do. (http://www.adventurejournalist.com/2008/06/05/eulogy-for-the-open-road)

  70. Catharine says:

    Because of you, Waiter, I always tip 20%. Period.

    I’m excited, jealous and proud to have known you were when you were… well… Waiter….

    I’m looking forward to reading the book. Hopefully, there’ll be a Kindle version soon.

    Good luck, ex-Waiter. (XWaiter?)

    ~C~

  71. Diane says:

    I will always be on board Waiter. I can’t wait to see the book!! And I wish that you were doing other book signings, maybe closer to my home. We will just have to wait and see!!

  72. bethanythemartian says:

    I kind of thought this might be coming- it’s hard to publish a book with any kind of anonymity (as Stephen King learned the hard way) and even if you tried to keep your identity secret it would come out.

    But I’ve been told you’re not truly a pizza delivery person unless you quit and come back. Particularly if you say “screw this, I’m never doing this again.” That almost guarantees you’ll be back at it- and I think the same is true for waiters.

    Enjoy your success and I look forward to your book.

  73. starr01 says:

    Congratulations and I am so glad you will continue to post. There are a lot of blogs out there but not all of them are worth reading. Yours however is worth checking daily :)

  74. Teresa says:

    Right on starr01! I check this blog everyday too. I am thrilled when something new to read comes up on the screen. Keep on writing for us Waiter!

  75. Donna says:

    Congratulations, best wishes, and thank you for this fantastic blog, Waiter. I will continue to read for as long as you continue to write.

    On another note, as you’re finishing up with the restaurant business.. I am just beginning. A few days ago I accepted a job at my local Italian restaurant. Wish me luck!

  76. nickle says:

    “patch that transmits a daily dose of aggravation, sexual harassment, unfair labor practices, excitement, boredom, high pressure, late night snacking, customer entitlement, nicotine, greasy staff meals, alcohol, sleeping late, and tooth decay though the skin. Slap that sucker on your arm and it’ll be like you never left!”

    I don’t think the patch will tip worth a **** guess I’ll just go and take care of my damn tables.

    Your writing is outstanding and I’ll keep reading, please keep posting. ‘half a million people can’t be wrong’

    I’m drunk and you rock.
    thanks

  77. Fe says:

    It will be odd to actually have a name to put to the ‘voice’, Waiter. Even with your book in front of me, I’ll probably still think of you as Waiter. :)

    Write about whatever floats your boat, Waiter, we’ll read it. My great-uncle always told me never to worry about the hills I would cross in life. For every low there is a high and for ever down there is an up.

  78. Kristin says:

    Congratulations Waiter. I have thoroughly enjoyed the tales you have told. God why did I not think of this 14 years ago when I was serving the multitude of people that I encountered. You have brilliantly expressed emotions and situations that we have all experienced. I cannot wait to see your next chapter… mine has been prolific. The service industry has been the best thing I ever experienced and I wist that everyone did their own stint. Good luck and Godspeed Waiter.

  79. lurker says:

    I’m glad for you that you’re moving on. It seems that you’re ready for it, and it also seems like the best think for your bosses.

    I hope you continue to entertain us with your writing, and I’m really curious to see what the subject matter of your posts evolves into. The interesting thing about your job is that it brought you in contact with a strange, new slice of humanity each day. The genius of this blog was the way your brief observations of these people resulted in profound realizations about the human experience. I hope you find other ways to continue to do this, because the observations you make are always well worth reading.

  80. Glutton For Punishment says:

    Congratulations, Waiter! I’ve enjoyed reading your blog for quite some time now, and you should know that I have become a much better tipper because of you. I’m a more reasonable restaurant customer overall, actually.

    So, you can pat yourself on the back. I look forward to your book!

  81. Aysh says:

    I can’t wait for your new dissemination on waiterrant :) I hope it brings you much more success in life :)

  82. nr says:

    “One last “waiter” blog about the look on Wilhelm’s [sic] face when he finds out all of his alcoholic ranting bullshit has been the entertainment of thousands around the world would be priceless.”

    Yup. No question. I’d LOVE to hear about Willem de Borracho’s reaction when he hears the news 😉 lol

    Surely you could talk to Jose et al and give us a juicy update? Please? lol

  83. Martin says:

    I’ve never commented before, but your blog’s been one of my favorites for years. Congratulations and best wishes on the next phase of your life!

  84. Shanna says:

    Can I give you a hug when you sign my book next week? I love you waiter! You’re fantastic and if you stop blogging I’ll feel like one of the last few good parts of the internet will be gone :( I don’t think I can handle that.

  85. heather (errantdreams) says:

    I have no doubt that whatever you tell stories about, they’ll be good ones. ‘Waiter Rant’ is a great read, written by an obviously good writer and storyteller, not just someone who happened to collect a bunch of good stories. Now that the book is actually coming out, I’ll have to pimp it in my blog and re-link to my review from several weeks back. :)

  86. Emery in Maui in Virginia says:

    Hmm. Methinks Waiter had better keep the anonymity thing going, so he can continue to write about the next stage in his life in the same way! Juuussst in case.

  87. Anonymous says:

    Good for you-I worked in a restaurant by default-I know someone who leased one and she brought me in to work for her at first on paperwork. Some of my favorite memories:
    The waitresses were treated like dirt-the previous owner said he was going to write a book about him and the wait staff called “Me and the Mindless Wonders”. This lovely view of the waitstaff (all women-men weren’t allowed to waiter) was handed down from the owners to the kitchen staff. The cooks could do no wrong, and they had their favorite bussers and dishwashers and the waitstaff was not allowed to ask for help from those guys either. The cooks needed their help. Waitresses were lazy sacks of shit who didn’t need help. I ‘graduated’ to helping on the floor of the restaurant and was called a ‘manager’ though I was just some glorified secretary. When delivering an appetizer of hot wings (I wasn’t normally a waitress) I asked the chef what sauce they served with hot wings and his reply to me was “What kind of FUCKING MANAGER doesn’t know what to serve with the hot wings?”. and he refused to help me. Nice huh? They served taco salads and they pre-made the shells and left them, uncovered, for days sometimes, on trays- Just blow on them gently to remove any dead gnats and dust before filling them. I can’t believe I continued to work there after some of the crap I dealt with-incompetence, tax bills, drunken and hung over staff, no schedule, snide and egotistical cooks. I will never work at a restaurant again.

  88. Michael says:

    Good for you. I wonder if there is any reason for me to return here though. No, it’s not a complaint. I’ll just miss the weekly dose of ‘true’ waiter rant. Guess that will not happen without a waiter.

  89. Cindy Z says:

    Good luck waiter! Looking forward to seeing what comes next!

  90. Susan says:

    Best of luck!! I hope that life takes you where you really want to be. Bless you for this site(as a former bartender/waitress/grunt! Have fun with your new life :)

  91. Notmy Realname says:

    Best of wishes on this exciting new chapter in your life, Waiter–I’ve preordered your book and it will be the last of my summer reads before school resumes…hope you come to Key West on your book tour!

  92. Ava says:

    Well, it was bound to happen. I will miss waiterman, but am looking forward to meeting the new you.

    Best of everything.

    Ava

  93. mykl says:

    I am shocked, but I think we’ve all seen this coming for a while. I’m proud of you Waiter… congratulations! I am dying for your book to arrive in the mail. And I am dying to see where life takes you now. Dental Hygienist Rant, anyone?

  94. Haley says:

    I’ve been following your blog for almost a year and will miss hearing all your waiter stories! This is one of those rare places on the internet where I never feel like I’m wasting my time- you have a terrific sense of humor and have helped me learn a lot about polite behavior! :) Thanks for all you have done- I can’t wait to see what comes next!

  95. Chanel says:

    Congrats Waiter!!! Try not to relapse; it all feels worse when you go back!

  96. Janet Stotler says:

    Regarding Tips

    I tip as much as 50% but only when deserved. Many times I tip nothing and I am sure to let the manager know why not. I also let the manager know when I have been especially pleased.

    I expect a basic level of service. The waiter is being paid to provide that-take order and be sure food delivered is what is ordered. I expect a little more before I will tip at all. A nice smile and a friendly attitude, a feeling of being welcome at the establishment, not just one more dish to serve. A round of checking up to see if everything is ok and to see if we want dessert and a prompt bill if not.

    Not every waitperson deserves one and the idea that we all should do a knee jerk tip of 20% is nonsense. The standard used to be 10%. I don’t know how it got to 20%. Inflation I suppose. However, the meal prices have all gone up too, so the waitperson has already received a “raise” from that. If they think they should have a bigger one, they should go do something else! The rest of us don’t get raises to keep up with inflation with.

  97. oceanbug says:

    Good for you, but don’t put your eggs all in one basket! You never know…

  98. Aussie Ben says:

    Please try and keep fit, waiter. When I finished a 6-year stint washing windows and cleaning toilets at McDonalds (I know – very different from waiting tables), I put on 20kg in only a couple of years.

    Besides the poor diet, a job like that is actually a pretty good workout!

    All the best with your new chapter, Waiter!

  99. hsiang says:

    am very excited for you 😀
    all the best, waiter! or should i say ex-waiter? 😀

  100. Jetty says:

    haha, you quit?? is this a career move for your literature?? who’s the agent that told you to do so,huh?? i’m kidding,haha :) just keep on writing buddy! Cheers and Godspeed!

  101. Shanna says:

    I’m actually surprised you didn’t quit there sooner.

    Good luck with the future! And I know what you mean…I did fast food for 5 years and said I would never re-enter the food industry. But I’m heading to Culinary School in a month. I miss certain things about the food industry, so I guess I’m trying it again. *shrugs*

    Anyway…good luck!

  102. CJ says:

    YAY! I am soo happy for you!

  103. slag says:

    smooth. cant wait for whats next!

  104. ~Pat says:

    All the best waiter!

  105. Erin MJ says:

    Most heartfelt and warmly wished congratulations, Waiter.

    I always feel that I’m reading a fellow traveler when I read your posts. I look forward to seeing where your travels lead next.

  106. tipping point says:

    my initial reaction was: but of course you have to quit, you’ve got a book to swagger with. but reading on, the decision was a wise and fair move. indeed, with your anonymity out soon, expect animosity.

    all the best!

  107. Alana says:

    I think you have changed everyone’s perspective about the skill and dedication and extreme patience it takes to work behind an apron! Good luck with everything you do Sir! I am excited about travelling all the way from Alberta, Candada to New York on vacation. And luckily I will be at your book signing.
    Thank you for the good reads! Best wishes!

  108. The Fat Lady Sings says:

    I just wanted to wish you the best of luck. You sound excited – if a mite trepidatious. There are so many different phases to a life. If you don’t mind – I like to share a meditation I wrote a few years back. It speaks to the heart of your post: time and change.

    When I was in High School, every waking moment was one of desperation – we truly are manic in our teens; pinging between extremes – striving to achieve adulthood, comfortably ignorant of its accompanying restrictions and codifications. We think in terms of blissful immortality – the world literally is our oyster – so we suck it down carelessly, no notion of consequences – never, ever questioning. That’s it, really; we never question the important shit. Forever just seems, well, forever.

    If I were magic – if I could affect my world with a thought; would I return to the cool touch of summer fog? I can still see it, you know – rolling in from the sea; coming home late at night from Monterey – spooky skeins of back-lit mist tasting of artichokes and wet sand. Forever ago. So – exactly how long is eternity? When I was 15, eternity was reaching 30 – at 25, I could hardly imagine what 40 would look like. Now…..

    And along with age come the inevitable ‘what if’s’ – that defeatist game of self-flagellation – ‘I coulda been a contender, Ma’; if only, if only, if only………But that’s the crucible, isn’t it? The fulcrum of memory – Why didn’t I? – Why haven’t I? Back and forth, shifting between truth and the worms of self-deluding imagination.

    So what do you think? Do dreams survive the age of the dreamer? Moments happen – in which that dream hangs by a translucent thread. You don’t recognize it as such at the time; so – like as not – you allow that pivotal decision to pass you without acknowledgement. And then it’s gone – forever gone, never to be reclaimed; brushing by so quickly on such tiny little feet, you think you’ve imagined it. The thing is – at which point do you jettison those early dreams so they don’t haunt you with unrealized promises? When, exactly, do you forgive yourself for having been young?

    The Fat Lady Sings, November, 2005

    Carpe Diem, my friend.

  109. B.C. says:

    Hi Waiter! I have read your blog faithfully for years, and I have enjoyed every post. I can’t wait to read the book – and as someone who spent time as a hostess, waitress, busgirl, bartender, banquet person and all-around restaurant extraordinaire, some of your posts hit so close to home I felt like I was reading some of my own experiences.

    Good luck with your other ventures!

  110. Catherine McHenry says:

    Dear Waiter:

    May the best of your best become the worst of your future. (Slainte!) I look forward to the next blog, or the next book, or the next lecture tour (?). Like the adage about Marines, there are no ex-waitstaff, there are only the survivors. Thank you for writing the book my Mother told me 20 years ago to finish. I have enjoyed directing my readers to you and your voice will be sorely missed in the blogosphere.

    For your next project, I and several thousand other fans will simply wait–with smiling anticipation. Just remember to drink the tap water: you might need the sero-uptake inhibitors. *grin*

    Tchuss,
    /catherine

  111. meglena says:

    good luck with the new phase in your life! I hope all goes well and that you are happy and content with the choices you make.
    Looking forward to your book and to your posts!

  112. KenC says:

    All the best

  113. E says:

    Good luck with whatever may cross your path. I really enjoyed reading your blog. I hope to see a lot more of your writing in the future.

  114. Jenkins says:

    Good luck!

  115. manuel says:

    huzzah for the waiter! best of luck for the future…..

  116. SLP says:

    End of an era! Your blog has kept me very entertained over the past few years, and reminded me often of why I left NYC too. At my old job, they started blocking it because I was reading it too much! All the best with what comes next.

  117. Kim says:

    I have a feeling you will excel at all you do. Thanks for the laughs these last couple years. And good luck! I look forward to reading what you’re up to next.

  118. Kristi says:

    I don’t care what you’re writing…I’ll still be reading…congrats and good luck!!!

  119. Gav says:

    I have to say I’m really sorry to see you go, but thanks for the stories.

  120. Robin G. says:

    I figured that once your anonymous cover was blown, you’d be retiring from the restaurant business.

    I’m glad you’re moving on, though. Maintain forward momentum. Onward and upward!

  121. Marti says:

    Aw, so sad. But also, hey! Good on ya! I wish you luck in whatever you decide to pursue next.

  122. Brett L. says:

    Good luck, brother – you took your shot and ran with it! You have my deepest admiration and respect, and I wish you every kind of success.

  123. N says:

    Congratulations!
    It must feel so freeing to leave something and pursue the things you want. I always love your stories and I look forward to reading more of them, even if they are no related to waitering!

  124. Becky says:

    I for one will continue to read your blog. You have such a way with words, I feel like I am living the story when I read your work.

    Best of luck Waiter!

  125. Veronica says:

    Congrats on getting out! I cannot wait to read the book – I’m going to get copies for my waiter friends too! :)
    Best of luck!

  126. Anonymous says:

    Very nice. Good for you! I will always read your blog regardless of what it evolves into…

  127. Bodacia says:

    Congrats – good luck on the new ventures. It’s always nice to have restaurant to fall back on in a pinch, though.

    By the way, enjoyed reading the little blurb from your book in the latest ‘Reader’s Digest’.

  128. James says:

    I wish you every best on the next step in yr life.

    Yr fan,

    James

  129. Michelle says:

    Way to go Waiter!
    I’ve been a fan of your blog for 3 years and I can hardly wait to receive my copy of the book.
    All the best to you.

  130. Bob Dobbs says:

    Good luck out there, and keep blogging about whatever you do. Although I suspect that you will find some similarities between book signings and waiting! Would be interested to hear your perspective.

  131. Cisco says:

    I hope you have good attorneys at the publishing huose becasue there will be a few people who will say you’ve insulted and made them suffer because of the way you portray them. even though I know all names and places will probabaly be ficticoius….

    Good luck. can’t wait for the book and it’s sequel.

  132. pinoy says:

    wish you the best waiter! and i look forward to reading your next blog

  133. Cricket says:

    The problem is with quitting cold turkey. What you do is taper off: you go to working retail, then customer service with a corporation, then move on to the nice, air-conditioned office…

    I haven’t relapsed yet, but I’m still at the “retail” stage after a few years.

    Good luck, Waiter.

  134. Bob Dobbs says:

    Hey, maybe you could pitch a “Top Waiter” show to Bravo and be one of the ball-busting judges!

  135. JT says:

    Good luck with your future as a non-waiter, Waiter.

  136. Apollo says:

    Waiter, may the best of luck be with you in everything you do. And I wouldn’t worry about your viewers leaving you…we love you too much.

    -A person you don’t know and probably never will

  137. kcbelles says:

    Congrats, Waiter – I wish you well in whatever field you take on next. I’m almost sad, though, that your identity will be revealed. The allure and mysteriousness of “Waiter” has been fun.

    But as many above have written, it’s your view on life and the style in which you write about it that makes me come back again and again. So, whatever it is you choose to do, I hope it still involves writing. Good luck! See you at the bookstore!

  138. carmen says:

    Thankfully you are still blogging!!! I love the stories and I can’t wait to read your book!

  139. the other elle says:

    Been following you all these years, Waiter, so I guess I will follow you into whatever new adventures you care to share…

    Have ordered the book, of course, and wait with bated breath for all that is to come.

    Best wishes on your travels!

  140. Jessica says:

    Waiter – been reading your blog for a long time and have enjoyed every minute of it. I’m happy that you will continue to write.

    I wish you luck and look forward to meeting you at some future book signing.

  141. leslie says:

    Oh my.

    Will you join me for dinner out?

    On me.

    Santa Cruz, CA.

    Waiter, You deserve it!

  142. Dave Fried says:

    Congrats! Good luck in all your future endeavors!

  143. fireflygirl27 says:

    I just finished reading an excerpt of your book in Reader’s Digest. I will be purchasing my copy of your book as soon as i get some extra cash, sadly I am broke right now! Congrats on getting out of the business and I wish you success with the book!

  144. Nim says:

    I think I’m going to miss the time when you’re still anonymous writer. I’m a sucker for secrets. Haha! Anyway, good luck Waiter! Hmm, can we still call you Waiter next time after your name is revealed?

  145. UbiCaritas says:

    Oh, Waiter…
    Wow.
    I came across this blog two years ago. I’d been working in customer service for a couple of months, and was already burned out. I was wondering if I was the only person with the effin’ NUTS customers.
    Your blog was one of the first that I read and bookmarked. It’ll stay bookmarked, just to see what’ll happen. Thanks for the smiles, the laughs, and the occasional tears (see the post a few months ago about the “gourmet” pizza).
    And, by the by, I now work in a book store. Still customer service, still have crazy customers. But now I get to recommend your book to people. I’ve made certain that we have plenty of copies coming in because we must NOT run out. I’ve been talking it up like mad to my customers and coworkers, and we can’t WAIT!
    Oh, and I ALWAYS tip 20-30%. 😀

  146. Lizz Lowe says:

    Wow
    i have read you bloggs for a very long time
    even taken time to post comments on a few
    i thank you for not quitting writing because it sure as all hell keeps the world entertained.
    You point of veiw is amazing.
    Good for you on getting out of that job and on a new path of whatever comes next.
    It seems to be a good month for life change
    Lots of people around me have been changing their lives around in positive directions.
    Good luck waiter
    you rule

    lizz

  147. Kim says:

    Congrats! Maybe you could turn the tables and now write as the customer. Even though I waited tables almost 20 years ago each and every time I go to a restaurant I pick up on things I am sure others don’t since I have worked as a waitress.

  148. Ned says:

    Best of luck Waiter. I’m looking forward to “Rant” the Musical and maybe a movie deal. Good luck to you Sir. There is life after waiting tables. Enjoy.

  149. Vile Smiles says:

    yeah, i used to love the 30 hour weeks and not seeing daylight for a days at a time. you will miss the mindless gossip of who is sleeping with who but trust in that it is all for the better. I can’t wear my girlfriend’s pants to work anymore or don any eyeliner but it sure is nice to keep my money in the bank and not behind an electrical outlet. —-good luck

  150. Chris says:

    Hey – please check your RSS feed, I think it’s broken!

    I’ve followed your blog for years now because of your writing skill and your people-perception skills. I look forward to reading your writing, where-ever you are finding your material. Best of luck to you in pursuing your new projects!!

  151. Stephan says:

    Congratulations! And best of luck on any and all future endeavors! Been reading Waiter Rant for years now and I’ll certainly be checking back regularly to see what you’ll be blogging about in the future. Looking forward to whatever it may be 😉
    ST

  152. Al says:

    Best of luck. We’ll be here when you come back.

  153. The Ghost says:

    I think people who go to meet you post if they knew you 😉 AND if they recognize themselves from any stories /grin

    Salut, my fine friend! Have a prosperous journey!

  154. Dennis says:

    Waiter,

    Since you are about to decloak yourself anyway…how bout posting a picture of yourself on the blog for the faithful?

  155. Maleia says:

    I feel like I just got to know this and now it’s evolving! I am sad. But change can be good and I look forward to seeing what your future holds. Take care.

  156. Diana Barry Blythe says:

    Oh good, you are still here. By that entry’s title I thought you were saying goodbye to the blogosphere.

    I remember one or two of those entries of yours where you basically described what you saw as you walked down the street. I love those kinds of stories for some reason. The walking character could be anyone – a waiter, a kid, a dog, etc. It’s just a very universal thing to observe your world.

    I am looking forward to your future stories.

    – Diana Barry Blythe

  157. Snark Scribe says:

    Good luck on the next chapter of your life!

  158. Teo says:

    Good luck!

  159. Annah says:

    I wish you all the best. And I have to say as a fellow waiter (for the past 10 years), it really is a horrible addiction. I stopped for a few years, then one day just fell back into it.

    Can’t wait for the book, and good luck!

  160. yeah whatever says:

    “Have a nice weekend and remember – tip 20%!”

    Oh in other words – “pay my employer for your food and my service – then pay me AGAIN for it”

    How about lobbying for better wages instead of making customers pay not only for their food and service but also pay AGAIN through their tips.

    Lobby for a better minimum wage and stop expecting customers to do what your boss is supposed to do.

  161. Angie says:

    Great Job Waiter! Been reading your blog for a long time. No matter how bad the situation is you’ve never defamed or actually pin pointed specifics. You’re an all around great guy and you deserve the breaks. All the best to you & your career as a writer!

  162. Beth says:

    it’s been a while since i commented but i wanted to say that you are about to be on the today show…how awesome is that! congrats…can’t wait to read the book

  163. paul says:

    you made The Boston Globe this morning, page E1!
    now you are in the big time!

  164. Gaviota_mx says:

    Hola Waiter,

    Felicidades! I will keep reading you, as long as you have something to tell (write).

    How should we call you from now on?

  165. Dee says:

    Waiter, you mentioned your identity being revealed. Can you describe how, and when? I know you have a book signing, but that doesn’t help very much for the most of us who aren’t anywhere near NY.

    Thanks.

  166. dolores says:

    Hey waiter, your tagline should read — tip 20% or more.

    You cannot believe the cheapskates out there who rationalize their using the tipping dynamic from 1956, i.e., 15% as a good basis for tipping. They’re not poor, either. They’re just cheap.

    I have long stated that servers have one of the hardest jobs in the world, and am glad to find your blog.

    I think servers everywhere in the world should be unionized, have health benefits, and get an automatic 20% tip.

    Good luck with the book, I couldn’t do your job for all the money in the world.

  167. sam says:

    waiter, thanks so much for sharing your experiences with us. it has been fantastic. i look forward to your book, and wish you the best of luck in whatever you pursue.

  168. Stephan says:

    I never bother to respond to another poster, but as this seems to be your Last Hurrah–at least for now–I’ll make an exception.

    “yeah whatever,” you are a useless prick!

  169. Punk'n says:

    I just read in my local paper that you’re coming to our library when the book comes out! I can’t wait.

    -Erin in Kansas City
    (veteran waitress)

  170. Chris says:

    All the best, Waiter. I only found this blog a week ago, and have been trying to read the entire thing. Whatever you wind up doing, you will have one more faithful reader in me.

  171. Bill says:

    Just got an email that my audiobook just shipped.

  172. Jeanne says:

    My best to you, Waiter. Glad you’re going to keep on typing. I’ll be there. You have kept me so entertained! Am anxiously awaiting your book for my July birthday. :)

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  175. SunSpotBaby says:

    Well, I’ll always be checking in – I just LOVE your style of writing, so whatever you write will be a treat for me!!!

  176. TheInsaneWaiter` says:

    Run…

    As fast as you can! The owner of my restaurant recently figured out my blog, so far nothings come of it.

    If the GM finds out, well I might be fucked.

    Congrats and I’ll pick up the book naturally!

  177. jeff says:

    When your identity is revealed? Does this mean you’re going to let your cousin post in the comments again?

  178. Catherine says:

    But do I have to tip the 20% if they give me crappy service? :)

  179. Andy Kow says:

    I can’t wait to get my hands on your book. Wish you good luck in your adventures. :)

  180. zatka says:

    All the best waiter when u turn a page in ur life.
    I am dying to have ur book but nobody ships in India. Can u pls let me know when ur book will be available here?

  181. Lance says:

    I wish you all the best, Waiter. So much is just in store for you!

  182. jolly33 says:

    man, that’s fast, i started reading your blog in 2005 and have never left since. way to go waiter, congrats and good luck with everything!

  183. hot coffee girl says:

    Thank you for bringing us great reading. I was honored to appear in the Best CNF thing with you, and you continue to inspire me with your writing. Good luck, dear Waiter.

  184. Cathy says:

    Good luck, Waiter. Big week for you coming up. Big week for us because we finally get to know who you really are.

    I will always read whatever you write about.

  185. Clay says:

    Waiter, you writings have entertained me for years. I cannot wait to read the book, but don’t forget that some of your best material comes for real-life experiences. Make sure, whatever you do next, that you continue to surround yourself with interesting people. I’ve been able to do so living in an area of Atlanta were tatooed folks dine next to doctors and lawyers, and streetpeople are known by nicknames that describe their quirks.

    May the road rise to meet you, and may you earn countless millions from your writing.

  186. Caroldee says:

    Heard about this blog on Today show.. what’s next now.. becoming an author of another book?I do agree that without the experiences you cannot write what is true and interesting.
    You could be the annoymous “cab driver” or the
    “bus driver” Hope whatever it is you are happy doing it. : )

  187. Molly says:

    I’ve enjoyed your blog for a long time and was happy to pre-order the book as soon as I could. I got the book and read it all in a few hours unable to put it down except to fix lunch for my kids. Great stuff! I look forward to hearing and reading about your promo tour.

  188. Donna says:

    If you can’t stand everyday life, you can always become a truck driver. I drive big rigs and truckers have to be at least as abused as waiters…

    Saw you on GMA yesterday morning – you go, Waiter. Your blog often makes my day.

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  191. Maui says:

    IIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEENONONONONONONONONONONONONONONOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Half the fun is your yuppie customer criticism!!!!!!

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