Second Course

I’m very happy to announce that I will be writing another book for Ecco! Titled At Your Service, I’ll be going “undercover” to investigate the dynamics of tipping across the service industry. And I won’t just be writing about waiters mind you, but nail technicians, maids, furniture movers, strippers, taxi drivers, bellhops, and everyone who counts on the erratic generosity of the American public to make ends meet.

Whenever possible, I will actually do the work these people perform. (Obviously not the stripper job – unless I get a good personal trainer.) I’ll share their burdens, suffer their indignities, learn their dreams, and describe how they screw with the people who forget to tip them. If you’ve ever worried about how much to tip the concierge at a fancy hotel, your doorman at Christmas, the hair colorist at the salon, or the bathroom attendant at the nightclub – this book will be for you!

I’d like to thank Dan Halpern and Emily Takoudes at Ecco for their continued faith in me.  My best wishes for your and Ecco’s continued success! These guys are on a roll! I’m also looking forward to working with the entire Ecco/Harper Collins team again! Many thanks to Rachel Elinsky, Michael McKenzie, Greg Mortimer, Jessica Purcell, Allison Saltzman, Luca Pioltelli, Renato Stanisic and everyone who helped make Waiter Rant a success! The next book will be twice as fun!

I would be remiss if I didn’t thank my agent, Farley Chase, of the Waxman Literary Agency for his enthusiasm, confidence, and expert guidance. Thanks again man! I’d also like to thank my Mother, Father, family, and friends for their continued support. Thank you Launa!

And, of course, I’d like to thank all the longtime readers of and the wonderful people who’ve bought my book. Without you guys none of this would be possible! THANK YOU!

138 thoughts on “Second Course”

  1. Tahavath says:

    Looking forward to it Steve. Enjoyed the first book. Read it in one sitting. Best of luck on the second.

  2. Steve Lyle says:



  3. Kumfoo Kim says:

    First post? Woohoo~!

    Congrats on the new book deal, Steve!

  4. Kumfoo Kim says:

    Oh…come on…

  5. calbear says:

    Good luck; it’s an interesting subject. I dated someone once who admonished me for tipping more than 15% to waiters or less than 30% to hair stylists. Somehow that seems a bit off….

  6. Markitect says:

    Congrats! Will you be blogging about these other jobs? Enquiring minds want to know!

  7. Stephanie says:

    Congrats! Can’t wait to ready it!

  8. J says:

    Hair stylists. I never know how much to tip them. That really is the worst problem for me when I’m not at a restaurant and need to leave a tip. How much do you give? What about to the tow truck driver? I never know. It would be easier if they just included it in the price.

  9. Tony says:

    The last actual “waiter rant” was…April 24? It’s too bad I started reading this blog after all the relevant content has run out!

  10. QueenOphelia says:

    Oh well…this blog was fun while it lasted.

  11. Alison C says:

    Will you still post here?

  12. Bob Dobbs says:

    That’s quite a gig, and congratulations.

  13. Shanna says:

    Great to hear! Congratulations!

    I finally managed to get my paws on a copy of Waiter Rant and I loved it! Definitely a great addition to my library. 🙂


  14. SunSpotBaby says:

    Too late – you can’t go “undercover” now!! We all know what you look like!!!

  15. VILE SMILES says:

    come to philly-surprisingly we are known for our generous tipping. and something else having to do with july 4th

  16. Bob says:

    Good luck with the valet gig if you do that. 4 years exp as a valet has made me a humble humble being.

    Sounds like an interesting read, good luck.

  17. DiamondDaveeO says:

    The Steve-train to MoneyTown just keeps chuggin along! Savour the flavor while it lasts my friend. If your undercover evidence gathering ever takes you near the Denver area, look me up and we’ll play “good cop/bad cop” with some of the dancing lovelies slaving away in some of the finer “gentlemens clubs” downtown. It’ll be an unsavory chore, I know, but someones gotta do it! Keep up the good work!!

  18. Zeph says:

    Congrats waiter. I loved the blog and liked the first book. I’m a little disappointed though that you’ve got this great insightful writing but your publishing company wants a book about tips because thats what sells. Seems to cheapen it all a little. Best of luck to you though. I’m sure I’ll buy it.

  19. David Hayes says:

    You should set up an Amazon Associate account
    ( the referal fees can be 15%

  20. Vaze says:

    It seems all your worries about things going wrong for you were unjust.

    The first book was awesome and I’m sure the second will be too.

    Just keep up the good work on here. I’ll go nuts if I don’t get some waiter stories soon…

  21. KC says:

    Look at tattoo artists! My husband does tattoos, and not everyone is aware that tips are the norm (the tattoo artist will not collect the total fee unless he/she owns the shop). He moans about it at least once a week.

  22. mike says:

    Awesome. Glad things are working out for you this way.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Nickel and Dimed, anyone?

  24. Bekah says:

    congratulations! look forward to it as well — although i hope your blogging days aren’t over either!

    I agree with Zeph, though. You have talent, not just interesting experience. Some of my favourite posts have been about non-waiter stuff. I hope that kind of content is still around, too. 🙂

    best of luck!

  25. Tee says:

    This is great, been enjoying your momentum. Nice work!

  26. Phoenix says:

    Well, I’m glad that you’re writing another book. Your first one rocked. But if I may say so, I wish it was on a different subject! Personally, I was really looking forward to reading your expose of your time in the seminary. Tipping is a horse that’s been beaten so thoroughly that its grandkids are dead. You yourself have devoted innumerable blog posts to it, not to mention an entire chapter in your book.

    As one of the most loaded subjects in the service industry, I understand the furor. But eventually, isn’t it just time to let the poor pony rest?

    I will rely on your witty style to make this subject interesting. I will still buy your book, Steve. But try to find a new angle, PLEASE.

  27. Dante says:

    Beware of the lure of money, Steve- it diminishes not enlightens the soul. You should write for yourself, your readers, and your muse not for your publishers’ greed.

  28. Anonymous says:


    Glad things are on the up for you.

  29. Lizzy says:

    Congratulations Steve! A second book! That’s awesome – we’re all really excited for you!

  30. Dante says:

    Beware of the lure of money, Steve- it diminishes not enlightens the soul. You should write for yourself, your muse, and for your readers not for a publishers’ greed.

  31. jtn says:

    If you haven’t read Barbara Ehrenreich’s book Nickel and Dimed, you may want to check it out and see what you can add to the table on this topic. She also has an interesting blog at
    Brothel by Alexis Albert is also an interesting take at looking at employees.
    Personally, I’d like to see a book with a more extended treatment of Hands to Work by Lynell Hancock. Specifically, Hands to Work looks at people barely scraping by and how the modern punitive welfare system works to undermine their success.
    As an academic who actually reads alot in this genre of literature, the more effective books tend to personalize subjects while drawing broader conclusions about larger social issues like inadequate education systems or social supports.
    Nickel and Dimed, while a good book and very close to what you are proposing, was grumbled about because its easy to live in someone else’s shoes with an emergency credit card.
    I think it would be very easy to walk down the road of cute stories about how people screw with food or orders when tipping is bad, but it is a much more effective book if you try to understand the pressures behind the need for the tips and what led them to these sorts of jobs in the first place.

  32. D says:

    I don’t think that we have to worry about our dear Waiter being lured in by money. The ill health effects that he’s managed to rack up from one book won’t last through 10 watered down versions of the first thing. Besides, it’s good to get a different look at other industries. Almost everyone knows about tipping waiters, but not about other places. I know I usually tip about 20-25% for my hair stylist and any other service industry, but I’m not sure what others do and would appreciate some insight on it. Keep up the good work, Steve!

  33. starr01 says:

    It seems like an interesting premise and the research for the book alone promises to yield us (the blog reader) with some good stories in the meantime….please?

  34. wolfshades says:

    Don’t forget to write about what kind of tip one should give to the attendant after receiving a high colonic. And whether one should wash one’s hands before or after giving him or her the cash.

    Important stuff to know.

  35. witchypoo says:

    I’m happy for your feet that you won’t be wait staff anymore, but sad that there are no new stories.
    Congratulations on your second book deal. Gotta love that!

  36. Aussie Ben says:

    Tipping hairstylists? Oh-em-gee-double-you-tee-eff!

    What next? Tipping traffic cops for giving you a ticket?

    I just don’t get it anymore. Waiters, sure, only because that’s just the way it is, thanks to someone thinking it was a good idea a very long time ago. But tipping someone for a service that you are already paying for? Nup.

    If I ever get to the states for a holiday I’ll be sure to bring an extra few thousand to cover tips.

  37. Ellen-Mary says:

    Good for you, Steve! That’s great. I look forward to it. What are your plans for the blog?

  38. Kelcut says:

    Congrats, Waiter! (Or should I now call you Author?)

    I’ll definitely buy the book and can’t wait to see what stories you have to share. I’m just not seeing you as a nail tech. 😉

  39. TVDinner says:

    I fear for you, Waiter. I fear you’ll become another Morgan Spurlock. Your book was good, but honey, you still have some growth to make as a writer. Why not do that rather than become a mockery of yourself? Write some detective stories, challenge yourself to write a novel…develop your talent while the developing is to be had.

  40. Mrs. Greg House says:

    Wow, I’m excited for the new book. Keep writing in the meantime though?

  41. Jennileerose says:

    You are including pizza delivery drivers right?

  42. Under Sundog says:


    I’m a long-time reader. I loved your first book, and I’m sure your next book will be just as fun and enlightening. But I hope you wont let them suck you into being a one-note author. Occasionally you’d post fiction on your blog in the past, and I thought it was really good.

    Thoughts from the peanut gallery,
    Under Sundog

  43. rusalina says:

    No, thank you, for all the great stories, the book and the upcoming one! Please don’t stop writing the blog, though~

  44. Andrea says:

    Please dont stop posting here! I truly enjoy your postings waiter related or not……please dont leave us behind!

  45. Cosmo's Human says:

    Steve…I just finished reading your book last night. It was very interesting. I am hoping you are feeling better after your surgery. As for tipping, I have the owner of the hair salon do my hair, she does everything except wash the hair, and I tip the girl who does the washing. My mother always told me that one never tips the owner of the salon. I hope that is still correct. Otherwise I feel shit-faced. I always tip 20% at the nail salon. I tip 20% for meals, more if the services is excellent. But here in the Cleveland area, we don’t have the dining establishments you have in NYC. The food and services were much better in Las Vegas, which I frequent. Now that’s a place where people need tips to survive. Good luck on the personal trainer…I’d stuff a $20 in your g-string!

  46. proto says:

    Ack, haven’t finished the first one yet. No worries, have a wonderful time in your new mini-careers.

  47. Steve says:

    Congrats Waiter! Just finished Waiter Rant (in under 48 hours…it was fantastic) and am looking forward to your next book!

  48. Griffyn says:

    No matter how much you talk about tipping, no matter how ingrained tipping is in your culture, no matter how much you claim to be dependent on tipping to make ends meet, I still have the same mindset: To demand a tip is flat-out deceit.

    I can walk into a store and purchase something for which I’m told IN WRITING (eg. on the menu) will be the price, with nothing to indicate to me that it is in fact not the actual price, that I will then be charged (in some cases) tax, and then be expected to also add on some random extra amount to stop the employee I’m dealing with from chasing me down the street like a mugger, demanding more cash.

    It’s deceit, and I won’t stand for it.

    Why don’t all advertised prices in advertisments, tickets and menus include tax and ‘tip’ so that there is no confusion? Because the restaurant/store/whatever is engaging in deceit to offer what appears to be a low, low price – when in fact they have no intention of selling their food/merchandise/whatever for their advertised price.

    In my country, this practice – false advertising – is entirely illegal. Thank goodness.

  49. fy says:

    So, what’s going to happen to this blog? Will we get stories from your undercover venture?

  50. tasha says:

    Ugh, the whining, as if blog readers are entitled to ANYTHING.

    I’ve enjoyed your blog, whether it has run it’s course or not. I’m thinking that’s up to you.

    Nonetheless, I’m just really really happy for you, and for your success. You’ve earned it. 🙂

  51. Miss Cellania says:

    We’re supposed to tip furniture movers? Is that before or after we haggle over the actual price for the service?

  52. anon says:

    miss the blog…not so sure about the concept for the new book…or that your talents will be best put to use by writing it as opposed to something else…time will tell…hope your health is getting better…had the gall bladder thing myself and it was MUCH better after the surgery

  53. Tina says:

    Congratulations on your next book. It should be an interesting read.

    Please, please tell people about tipping the Concierge. People seem to be clueless when it comes them.

    Having worked at a 5 star hotel in Chicago, there were times we would receive requests that seemed totally ridiculas, and never receiving a tip from these jokers.

    The worst ones were usually the CEO’s, or VP’s of corporations. They would have their assistants call and request the impossible, because he is so and so of a large corporation, only to get nothing.

    Some people just need a clue and you are the guy to do it. Thanks in advance for all the people in the service business that need a voice. Okay, so much for my rant.

  54. Sgt Mac says:

    Will you continue blogging about these new job experiences here like you did when you waiting?

  55. lisette says:

    so…good news for you and us but did you have your surgery?

  56. chandler says:

    dude, your destiny is to revive noir. when will you embrace it?

  57. DrKoob says:

    You do what you need to do, even it means putting off what you want to do so you can do things…like eat. Yes, I would love to see you revive noir and I bet you would love to do that too but like I said, you need to eat.
    And when you get the chance, look into cruise ships. Other than restaurants, no industry lives on tips more than the cruise industry.


  58. Food Service Ninja says:

    Aussie Ben-you tip a stylist because unless they own the place they either pay a “chair fee” per week to the salon owner or they pay a sizeable percentage of the fee for service to the salon owner. It can also be a subtle way to let the stylist know what you think about the ‘do if your not confrontational.

    Dante-wait ’til Waiter starts writing poorly before you bemoan his selling out. It is a natural extention of what he already done.

    Kinda of a Tipping for the Masses where he learns about differing tipped professions like Mike does on Dirty Jobs.

    Griffyn–> where the hell do I start??!?!? I thought by now I had heard every lame ass rationalization on why “I dont have to tip” or “tip properly” given the number of years I have served. You take the cake.

    Your justification is beyond stupid. You mention in your country false adverts are illegal. Dont know where your country is exactly but here in America it is too. thats why in advertisments for items on TV/newspapers on autos. Although its probably to avoid some douchebag like yourself from trying to say the tax is included in the price.

    I know from growing up in a retail business that our pricing wasnt required by law to include or for us to state pricing as +tax.

    Restaurants when booking private parties especially when custom menus will add the phrase plus tax and gratuity of XX% to avoid your whole argument from being played out by cheapskates and con artists.

    You be REALLY popular in my home state of Texas because you get really freaking upset about restaurant billing. Texas requires state and local sales tax to be included in the alcohol’s price BUT all the food is taxed as a separate line item.

    But hey Griffyn-enjoy that shit service you deserve because with your attitiude after a few visits to any place they will have your number and treat you accordingly.

  59. Waiter says:

    “Your destiny is to revive noir.” Wow! That’s a hell of a compliment – and one hell of a charge!

  60. MelC says:

    *finally* got the book and read in one sitting!! it was awesome, and i cant wait until the next one…got another job for you, how about dog grooming? yes, alot of times the big chains (petco and petsmart) dont want you to take tips, but if you are working on commision anyway (as it was when i was a bather) as a groomer, its really hard, if not impossible to *not* take tips. Plus, dogs are just FUN!! *lol*

  61. paskyhawk says:

    How much do you tip the surgeon after the gallbladder operation?


  62. salmonfly65 says:

    Finished the book over the weekend. Like many, wish I had been there from the beginning, but better late than never. Looking forward to your #2 (not in a BM kind of way). Best of luck with the journey. But please correct the typo on page 111 on the next printing of Waiter Rant.


  63. Beth says:

    I know you can’t write about everyone who gets a tip in this country. However, could you consider even just a little appendix on who should be tipped and who doesn’t? What I’m really asking is am I obliged to leave my change for the girls at Wetzel Preztel just because they have a jar out?
    P.S. Good Luck

  64. Jess says:

    Congrats Steve!

    Love your book. Even got the other half reading it too 🙂

  65. Anonymous says:

    fucking congrats man! great gig and well earned mate!

  66. Glenn says:

    Congratulations, Hope you are feeling ok with the Gall Bladder thing

  67. stef says:

    I really hope that you’ll be blogging about your experiences!

  68. Aris says:

    Why limit this to the USA? You should find out about tipping everywhere in the world – see why people from other countries are such “bad tippers” and understand where they come from.

  69. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like a cross between the first book and Nickled and Dimed. just saying.

  70. Siobbhan says:

    I’ve been a stylist/nail tech for the last 20 years. My experience has been that of my regular clients, working women tip significantly better than non-working women; most of whom are wealthy.

    I guess working women understand better the struggle to keep your head above water. Do waiters see the same pattern? I suspect that strippers see better tips as their clients imbibe more. 🙂

  71. mur says:

    Just wanted to add my congrats to your new book deal. I loved the first book and look forward to #2 (and #3, etc.)

    Gotta agree with your destiny being in noir, though. At least start thinking about it!

    I can only imagine the fun you are having right now (minus surgery, of course!)

  72. deejayess49 says:

    I’d been afraid of writing this over the past few months, but now I feel OK about it: A writer’s SECOND book is what the writer can make a living from. I hope this new book idea was your own, otherwise SOMEBODY (in publishing?) wants to see you still doing hard labor. Good luck and have fun.

  73. noznbook says:

    So you’re gonna be like the “Dirty Jobs” dude, Mike Rowe, but for the people who live for tips!! Cool!! Good luck!!

  74. Rob says:


  75. Anonymous says:

    I hope your going to cover tipping pizza delivery drivers

  76. Miranda says:

    Hi Mr. Manager. I finished reading your book last week, adored it, and passed it on to my younger waiter sister who can’t afford to buy her own copy. I felt compelled to applaud you on your book. As a recovering waitress myself, I’m inspired by your accomplishments. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself; you made me cry, laugh, huff, and look both kindly and with horror on my days slinging food. I look forward to reading your future works.

    Oh. And. Any of these people giving you crap for “selling out” are just jealous. You know that.

  77. La BellaDonna says:

    Congratulations! It’s so nice hearing of good fortune coming to the folks who’ve worked so hard to earn it. I found your blog courtesy of one of the readers over at Crazy Aunt Purl’s blog (, and am looking forward to reading your blog and your books.

    As an aside on the economy and the nature of tipping, now that gas is so high and everyone’s strapped, I’ve had to increase my tips. Yes, sir, I have increased my tips. I’m not making any more money, but I know that the guy who brings me my pizza and the guy who takes me home in his cab live and die on the tips they get. I’ve had the pizza guy(s) ask, “Don’t you want any more change?” and I have tipped the cab driver out of my pocket because there’s a limit at our office on what we can tip (and no, I’m support staff, not an exec). I can tell from the reactions I get that this is apparently not what’s happening in general; among Regular Folks in our area, tip-giving seems to be taking a hit. My brother drove a cab for a while. I can’t fix the economy, but I can keep an eye on my neighbor during it.

  78. Hy says:


    I bought your book after my local mag did a review about it and I finished the whole book within the week. I love it!

    Although I come from a country (Singapore) where tipping is not common at all, and I’m not a fine diner myself, but I must say, your book is good. For anyone coming from any culture.

    It’s a neat read. And I’m glad I bought it so I’m really looking forward to the next book. No pressure though, good things are worth the wait ya? Awesome.


  79. ybmagpye says:

    People tip tow-truck drivers? Uh… I think I need a copy of your next book.

  80. BethanytheMartian says:

    That’s some really great news, Steve. I hope that goes well for you. I assume you’ll also be interviewing other tip receivers as well as doing their jobs. will you be traveling, or staying within NYC? Dying to know.

  81. Peggy says:

    Congratulations on the new assignment. What a great topic. It should be right up your alley, and I’m looking forward to reading more of your wonderful vignettes and character studies.

  82. RR says:

    Don’t forget to cover casinos. Everyone there accepts tips from valets to cocktail waitresses to card dealers to maitre’ds.

    Congrats on the new book; looking forward to it.

    Next, how about some fiction?

  83. JH says:

    What compels people to be total Debbie Downers and shit all over someone’s success? Good grief.

    Congrats, Waiter, on your second book deal! How exciting it must be to see that you may be able to parlay writing into your full-time career!!

  84. JH says:

    And as for Nickeld and Dimes…that book was not about tipping, it was about living on minimum wage, or a wage that is very close to it. Examining the tip-ee side of tipping is different.

  85. Suzanne says:

    Congratulations! I think that’s awesome. I really have to stop reading the comments now because people are going to continue to bitch about you not posting waiter stories or forgetting the people who got you here.

    I for one am extremely happy for you! I like you enough as a person, even though we have never met, to set aside my own need for my fix, and realize that change is constant. I wish you the very best of luck and can’t wait to read your new book!

    Oh, and Griffyn… You are a piece of work and I actually hope you continue to take this stand. I bet you even try to justify yourself in the restaurant and it makes me giggle. Keep up the great work Griffyn. I bet your food gets spit in all the time… and you deserve it.

  86. George says:

    Congratulations on the success of your first book – best of luck with your second! You have really have earned it.

    I believe you are a talented writer – and I hope that this second book is something that you will enjoy doing.

    Personally, I think some of your best work has not been about tipping and service, but instead your reflections on yourself and the people around you. I’m sure this will remain a theme in your new book, or at least I hope it will 😉

  87. Jackie says:

    I am looking forward to your new venture. Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich is good place to start your research. Hair salons are interesting places regarding tips. A place I used to go to looked for a tip for the shampoo girl (usually a girl, student) and the owner wanted to be tipped also. When she wasn’t tipped, she added on additional services which resulted in her getting what the customers wouldn’t voluntarily give her. Isn’t conditioner supposed to be used????? After a few years I left her salon because every visit cost something different. Then she stalked me by phone and I had to screen my calls.

    The nail salons are peculiar because you have to decide ahead of the full service what you are going to tip because you don’t want to dig around in your purse with fresh nails. How weird is that?!

    Please, please keep posting.

  88. Andrew says:

    Will you still be posting stories on your site here? I would hate for you to stop posting any good stories… it has been a while since you have posted one.

  89. soundrick says:

    You Rock. Finished Waiter Rant a couple of nights ago. A GOOD READ.

    Thanks and looking forward to the next one.

  90. Griffyn says:

    I don’t understand the wrath, or why my food should be spit into. I don’t mind paying $x.xx for my food, tax and service. It’s not the money people – it’s the situation where I can’t know before deciding to buy something, how much it will cost me. It’s totally unnerving to not know how much to tip or where to tip, or heck – even when to tip. Do I tip the guy who signed me into the hotel? The guy who carried my bags? How much do I fricken tip then? What’s my percentage? If I offer him $5 is he going to contact the hotel restaurant and have them spit in my food? Maybe I should offer him $20, perhaps for $50 he’ll tell the maid service to not steal anything from my room?

    If a restaurant advertised it’s prices as $20 for a dish and made me aware that it included tax and a 20% tip for the service in it – that would be fine. I can evalute before ordering whether or not I think that price is reasonable for that dish in that establishment.

    How can a foreigner be expected to cope with all the unwritten rules on tipping when the locals don’t have all the answers? It’s crazy.

  91. meglena says:

    Great news! Congratulations, Waiter. I’m really happy things are going well with your career.
    Good luck with the new book

  92. similar book says:

    There is a similar book that was published about 10 years ago called 9 Lives – a woman took on 9 different jobs, (including stripper, rock band roadie, ad agency rep, housewife, factory line worker, etc.)
    Its a good read.

  93. db 345 dinerwaiter says:

    Can’t wait to NOT READ your next book,still reading WR still looking for a funny waiter story, dude go work in a diner and get the real scoop,DB. Anyways needless to say I have over two hundred pages of my own book. But I’m sure I’ll not be as lucky as you.YEAH LUCKY.

  94. Noah says:


    as a long-time blog reader as well as your book, I apologise for all the whiners about your lack of blogs. as with everything in life, things change, conditions change, but instead of lamenting the change, why can we not just be happy and grateful for having the experience, whatever it may be? Whiners go home. In this case, we’ve had a very nice blog for a few years to lighten our day and it’s been wonderful. Thank you for continuing to blog and keep us updated with your well-deserved success. Thank you.

  95. Jamie says:

    So……when can I preorder this one?

  96. tipping point says:

    tip, tip, tip. doesn’t anybody know how to do professional work anymore?

    how much tip would you be getting from ecco in this next venture?

    urgh, there goes commodification.

  97. emf says:


  98. Rose Royce says:

    On the edge of the Sonoran desert, where I presently reside, I have my mail delivered to a private mail box or PMB. The woman who works there is the only employee and when she has a crisis, which is rare, there is no one to take over for her it shuts down. The whole place is very tiny where she sells snacks, postal delivery stuff, etc; I don’t know who owns it but it’s not her. She has a tip jar on the counter. After having talked with her many times I believe she lives borderline poverty. I know she was walking a least a mile this Summer because her car needed repairs and she didn’t have the money. Are you going to contact people in remote places like that?

  99. Stephan says:

    Wow! You’re really on a roll…congratulations!

  100. Stephan says:

    Oh, and Gryffin, just because it isn’t written down on the menu, does not make it any less valid of a social norm to tip. Nowhere is it written that you should say “please” and “thank you,” but if you have ANY CLASS AT ALL, you know to do it. Sort of like tippping, you self-satisfied loser.

  101. carmen says:

    Very cool! Congratulations!

  102. Kum Hurray says:

    My name is Kum Hurray, I do everything fast, that why they call me Kum Hurray! Tip for you: don’t zip zipper until you finish pee, or hair get caught it hurt crazy! That all, thanks!

  103. Jo_the_1st says:

    is the world ready for the TRUTH Waiter? Can they handle it? oy, I hope so!
    don’t forget cleaning ladies, flower deliverers and hairstylists!

  104. Suzanne says:

    Griffyn – I almost felt bad for you there for a second.

    What you are failing to grasp is that people rely on tips for thier livelyhood. Whether you like it or not, whenther you agree with the practice or not, when you fail to tip someone what is appropriate, you are taking food off thier tables. Maybe taking food out of thier children’s mouths.

    Not to mention the whole “When in Rome” concept. You are in our country and it is not unreasonable to expect you to conform to our customs. If you are not sure what is appropriate to tip, ask. I do.

    In any event, its not the fact that you disagree with our gratuity system that makes me feel you deserve your food to be spit in. Its your overall crappy attitude.

    I’m curious about where you are from. I have a hunch about it, but I wonder if you would post it just to see if my hunch is correct.

  105. Jane says:

    Yeeeeehah! Huzzah!!
    I’m SO glad your publishers greenlit book #2.
    I’ve loved Waiter Rant for years…it’s exceedingly cool to see talent (and vast amounts of work) get rewarded!
    But take care of yourself out there, ok? Stay healthy, Writer Guy!

  106. Holly says:

    HAHAHA dinerwaiter, jealous much???

    With your writing style, I can see you’ll make a killing with your first book. 200+ pages, eh? 200 pages of run-on sentences and comma splices, bad spelling and poor grammar. I can’t wait.

  107. Dr. Electro says:

    I tip everybody. I overtip by habit. It doesn’t matter what the service is, if it’s performed by someone who makes less money than I do, I tip generously.

    I tipped the girl who cut my hair. I tipped the kid who mixed my latte and the kid who took my order. I tipped the salesclerk at Banana Republic. I tipped the whole crew at Fuddrucker’s. When you can afford to shop and eat out, you can afford to tip. So there, all you stingy-pantses who think it beneath you to tip!

    Can’t wait for the next book, Steve. I’m currently passing Waiter Rant around among the servers at my favorite eatery. This trend shall continue. I may even buy more copies!

  108. Emery in Maui in Virginia says:

    Heck, I’m so good I’ve even tipped a few cows! And one outhouse! But I didn’t *think* anyone was in it at the time.

  109. Daria says:

    Can we send you our book for an autograph?

  110. Melissa (mimi~) says:

    Yay, book two! I delivered pizza for 7 years and could tell you a little something about behind the scenes at pizza places. Oh boy.

    You can find me on on facebook and flickr.

  111. dew says:

    I see others have recommended that you read the “Nickel and Dimed On (Not) Getting By in America” by Barbara Ehrenreich

    However I think you will bring a different perspective to this important topic because you’re a man. I do not think you will experience the level of sexism women receive and the threat when working in jobs dependant on tips.

    BTW/ I just finished Waiter Rant, and I adored it. You’re a wonderful writer and parts are so poignant and heartbreaking.

    Congratulations on your well deserved success! You’re a really good writer and I enjoyed the book!

  112. Purple Dino Type says:

    After reading all the rave reviews left by your other blog readers, I broke down and ordered a copy of your book. I’m very excited to read it. I’m also interested in seeing how you changed your stories from a “blog” to a book format. They are very different styles of writing, both with their own challenges.
    Congrats on your assignment and book numero dos.
    Unlike others, I understand that your life is changing (for the better by the sounds of it) and I understand if you can’t keep up with the postings.
    “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans” –John Lennon

  113. kimmycat says:

    How about auto mechanics that don’t work at the dealerships?

  114. Mikefromtw says:

    Heard you on the radio show here in Denver the other night.

    I thought you would have a stronger NY accent but I guess not:)

  115. savannah says:

    good luck, sugar! you have style and grace, and i, sir, appreciate reading you! xox

  116. Jackson Frishman says:

    Wonderful, and congrats! You might consider looking at the outdoor guiding industry. Whitewater rafting guides like me really can’t make ends meet without tips, but half our passengers have no clue it’s a tipping industry. Some guides even get offered better tips if they’ll put their clients’ lives in danger, for instance flipping a raft or trying to summit a peak in bad conditions. On the other hand, we sometimes get zero tip after literally saving someone’s life. You could have a hell of a good on the river for a couple weeks!

  117. Jake Finch says:

    SOLD! I’m about through with Waiter Rant! I can’t put it down – even at work when I should be answering phone calls as a Purser/Guest Services Host on a top cruise line!

    P.S. Consider Pursers for the new book!

  118. Christine says:

    Does this mean you’re going to ignore your blog again?

  119. Bev says:

    I came to this blog after the book was written, so I missed all the good stuff (tho I have just downloaded it from to listen to when I drive, so maybe I’ll get it). But I hope that this new book inspires similar entries about tipping. I never know when/whom/how to tip other than waitpersons (to whom I usually give 20%, unless service was not good). some sort of guide–and horror stories along the way–would be very valuable.

    It’s too bad that we don’t just pay a decent wage and get away with tipping altogether, the way some other countries do! When you shop around to get the best bargain, but then are expected to tip way over the bargain price you’ve paid for a service, it’s hard to know what is a bargain and what is not, and in these tight financial times it’s a consideration for everyone (consumer as well as those who offer service)

  120. Aeva says:

    We love you too. 🙂

  121. Kum Hurray says:

    Hi, my name is Kum Hurray, I do everything fast, that why they call me Kum Hurray! Waiter eat more food that go fast through body like me, try burrito, but watch out for gas when hit big O time! That all, thanks!

  122. Lars says:

    I allways tip the stripper well 🙂

  123. Stoopid european says:

    “people aren’t aware they ought to tip… tatoo artists, whitewater rafting guides, bouncers, undertakers, circus-clowns, etc.”

    Maybe the fact that someone would like to be tipped isn’t really a criterion for tipping them? Or being badly paid, per se…. Doesn’t tipping have to do with the management informing customers that “service is not included”?

  124. Jessica says:

    I think you’re the right person to write this book.

    I don’t mind tipping for good service, but hate it when it’s expected.

  125. Charlotte says:

    Another book? Awesome!
    I was in Barnes & Noble yesterday and I saw your book. First I smiled because I was so excited about seeing it there, then I got kinda sad because I didn’t have the money for it. Maybe I’ll wait for it to be published in paperback.

  126. B says:

    So far, I’ve seen mentioned that ALL of these different workers are supposed to be tipped, both from Waiter’s book and from other people’s comments:

    – hotel maids
    – hair stylists
    – nail “technicians”
    – furniture movers
    – tow truck drivers (???)
    – taxi drivers
    – bellhops
    – tattoo artists
    – whitewater rafting guides
    – pizza delivery guys
    – auto mechanics (at private garages?)
    – cleaning ladies
    – flower delivery people

    And the list goes on and on…

    Then I see commenters blasting people like Griffyn, who rightly complains about being required to shell out extra money over and above the advertised price of a product or service.


    NEWS FLASH: if you’re not earning enough money doing what you’re doing without expecting direct cash infusions from customers who are ALREADY paying for whatever they are purchasing, then THAT IS YOUR CLUE THAT YOU NEED A NEW JOB—ONE THAT PAYS A LIVING WAGE!

    As for people like Suzanne who told Griffyn that “What you are failing to grasp is that people rely on tips for thier livelyhood. Whether you like it or not, whenther you agree with the practice or not, when you fail to tip someone what is appropriate, you are taking food off thier tables. Maybe taking food out of thier children’s mouths” — Uh, no, Suzanne, WE are not taking the food off their table or out of their children’s mouths. That particular blame falls squarely on the shoulders of the PARENTS or caregivers with families who are choosing to remain in a poorly-paying job.

    It’s MY responsibility to pull in enough money to support my family without expecting others to literally donate to my cause.

    Why should I have to pay an additional cash gratuity for a cab ride or a manicure or a haircut or if a bellman carries my bag inside a hotel or a furniture mover carries my sofa off the truck or the cleaning lady vacuums my rug WHEN I AM ALREADY PAYING FOR ALL OF THESE SERVICES AND THEN AM EXPECTED TO PAY STILL MORE?!

    Griffyn is absolutely right. Costs that are advertised for services should be inclusive and cover EVERYTHING upfront, including any service charges. It should be the responsibility of the BUSINESS OWNER to pay the “service charge” (i.e. ‘gratuity’) to their workers out of their sales revenue. Customers EXPECT that the actual physical service provided by a worker is INCLUDED.

    I don’t know how this whole custom ever got started of forcing customers to pay workers extra cash bonuses at point-of-consumption, but it sucks and I’m tired of having to pay over and above what I am charged in menus, hotel room rates, hair salons, etc., etc., etc. I can’t even buy a frickin’ coffee anymore without having the tip jar on the counter being strategically positioned in-my-face. TO THE BARISTA BEHIND THE COUNTER: IF YOU’RE NOT MAKING ENOUGH WITH THE HOURLY WAGE YOU’RE BEING PAID, FIND ANOTHER JOB. MY COFFEE IS ALREADY EXPENSIVE ENOUGH AND IT’S YOUR EMPLOYER’S JOB TO PAY YOU, NOT MINE.

  127. Lauraaaa.(: says:

    Your name is steve?
    well,thats what people said.
    ( :

    damnnn,i thought maybe like,”joe,or nick,or something.

  128. Andrea says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever commented before, just because I never felt like I had anything to say. But I just finished reading your book.

    I’ve read through your archives a couple of times, and I read your book twice before I gave it back to the library. And I just want to say Thank You and Congratulations to you for your recent successes. I hope that the work you do will continue to be loved, especially by YOU.

    This might sound trite or silly, but I want you to know that your being willing to try this, despite the fears you had about failure, is honestly inspiring. Your story has been a big influence in my husband’s life, especially. I’d love to tell you the whole story, but it’s a long one. Suffice to say that you really have made a positive impact, more than you’ll ever know.

  129. genders says:

    I just wonder about “day spa” workers who are in fact private contractors. With an hour of electrolysis costing $65.00, surely the operator is receiving at least half. Or a full body wax topping out at $150. Need independent contractors be tipped, or are they in fact owners of their own businesses?

  130. Shieldmaiden96 says:

    Oh, baby. As an 18 year veteran of the moving industry and three different van lines, I can only say, steel toed shoes. And lift with your legs. And don’t let them put you on the downhill side of a triple dresser on your first day.

  131. CJW says:

    46 years behind the chair as a Hairstylist with 34 years of that as a Salon owner. I often wonder why a patron thinks the Salon owner shouldn’t get a tip? I don’t charge any more than one of my operators whom you freely tip … Possibly you think I don’t like money and gifts as well as those whom work for me.

    Oh well, maybe I’ll just raise your price or do a quicker less detailed service next time.

  132. CJW says:

    Or…… I become unavailable and transfer you to one of the girls

  133. KD says:

    Can’t wait for your new book! Waiter rant was the best book i’ve ever read. loved it.

  134. Nicole says:


    Just wanted to let you know that I love your book and have only recently been to your website. Good luck on the second book!

    P.S.- It’s people like you that make me feel better about being a waitress. It’s more than just handing over food to people with a fake smile saying, “Enjoy your meal!” It’s the little stories that come and go with each and every customer.

  135. Kris says:

    Ahahahaa this should be good. Sort of a mix of the tv shows “Dirtiest Jobs” and “30 Days”, but in literary form.

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  138. David says:

    Great book. Thank you for sharing.

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