The Early Word
The first reviews are in for Keep the Change! Take a look!
“I’m not sure what the proper etiquette is for tipping authors, but we should all give a nice bonus to Steve Dublanica for writing such a funny and surprising book on this oft-overlooked part of everyday life”
A.J. Jacobs – Author of the New York Times Bestsellers The Year of Living Biblically and My Life as an Experiment. Thanks for the blurb A.J.!
September 1, 2010
The author of Waiter Rant (2008) follows up with this similarly energetic insider’s look at tipping.
During his nine years as a waiter, Dublanica started an anonymous blog, waiterrant.net, which led to the publication of his eponymous bestseller. After revealing his identity—and crusading, in the style of an angry stand-up comic, against bad customers—he now turns his attention (and heckling) to bad tippers. By traveling around the country talking to workers in various service industries, from strippers to chauffeurs, he simultaneously educates himself and readers. Tipping, he qualifies upfront, is “an informal economy within a formal one,” a charge that often feels superfluous. But the numbers speak for themselves. It’s estimated, writes Dublanica, “that all the tipped workers in the United States pull down somewhere between $53.1 and 66.6 billion a year in gratuities.” More than half of this goes to waiters, which is fitting considering that the word “tip” translates into “drink money” or something similar in at least ten languages. After discussing what you should leave for servers, Dublanica moves on to, among others, hotel doormen (“just about everything calls for a simple single or two”), coffee baristas (“a dollar a drink,” an interview notes, “just like a bartender”) and hair dressers and aestheticians (“everyone at a salon should get tipped 15-20 percent for the service they provide”). That same percentage, he’s told by a Papa John’s employee, should be tipped to delivery people: “Fifteen to twenty percent of the bill or the cost of a gallon of gas—whatever’s higher.” Workers in all sectors concur that the worst kind of people are “exact-changers”—i.e., those who proffer barely enough to cover the cost of what they’re buying and say, “Keep the change.” As in Waiter Rant, Dublanica makes a point of detailing the ways in which poorly tipped employees may seek revenge.
A hilariously uncensored etiquette diatribe.
September 13, 2010
The concept of gratuity is the subject of this second book from the unmasked author of Waiter Rant and, like his first, has its own lad-lit charms and contrivances. Opening with a broad and light cultural history of tipping, the book then delves briefly into the tip’s primary restaurant industry role before moving on to its impact in lesser known and often neglected businesses by examining their gratuity-related transactions. There’s enough raw, self-deprecating autobiography to keep the anthropological enterprise comic; in addition, the author steps in the shoes of those in various industries and discloses the hidden codes of parking valets, Starbucks “tip jars,” and the beauty industry. Dublanica breaks down a dizzying variety of service-related exchanges along with the inner worlds of casino dealers and sex-trade workers (in fact, there’s an awful lot about Vegas) and even provides a couple of tip-helpful appendixes
November 1, 2010
Dublanica, Steve (Author) Nov 2010. 320 p. Ecco, hardcover, $24.99. (9780061787287). 395.5. For four years Dublanica authored the blog Waiter Rant, chronicling the frustrations of an anonymous waiter working in an upscale New York restaurant. In 2008 he went public with his bestselling book Waiter Rant, unmasking annoying foodies, bad tippers, and the bad behavior of restaurant staff. Gratuities were one of the hottest, most talked-about subjects of that book, so Dublanica ran with it. A short history of the custom reveals that tipping was a particularly European practice that we took to new heights in the U.S. Dublanica shines light on those awkward tipping situations that we all face at one time or another: tip the parking valet when he takes your car, delivers it, or both? How much and in what fashion do you tip your hotel maid? And what about “tip creep,” those ubiquitous tip jars that are springing up in every coffee shop and fast-food restaurant these days? Dublanica offers tips on how to tip hairstylists, car-wash attendants, auto mechanics, deliverymen, and more, including the joint where tipping rules: the strip club. Valuable information is interspersed with amusing anecdotes and interviews. — David Siegfried