“Waiting”! A Terrific Memoir Of An Under-Appreciated Profession! Time To Tip Better!

“Waiting…The True Confessions Of A Waitress”

I just finished a great memoir. The Amazon description is short and sweet:

A veteran waitress dishes up a spicy and robust account of life as it really exists behind kitchen doors.

Career Waitress Debra Ginsberg told the story of her life, and her profession, with candy, honesty and wit.

But this terrific autobiography is much more than that – it’s a look inside the mind of a woman who was a “Career Waitress” – something she said no one could ever understand…here is an excerpt:

“In my experience, I’ve noticed that waiting on tables is one of two things that almost everyone thinks they can do. The other is writing. Perhaps its no accident that there is only letter of difference tweet waiter and writer.”

Here is her other point about how society feels about the job:

“A general societal attitude toward waiting on tables was outlined for me a few years ago on the game show Family Feud. The question was ‘what occupation would you least like your wife to have?’ The number one answer, gleaned from a variety of husbands, one assumes, was ‘waitress.’ Not stripper mind you, or prostitute. Waitress.”

Amazon goes on to describe the book this way:

Part memoir, part social commentary, part guide to how to behave when dining out, Debra Ginsberg’s book takes readers on her twentyyear journey as a waitress at a soap-operatic Italian restaurant, an exclusive five-star dining club, the dingiest of diners, and more. While chronicling her evolution as a writer, Ginsberg takes a behind-the-scenes look at restaurant life-revealing that yes, when pushed, a server will spit in food, and, no, that’s not really decaf you’re getting-and how most people in this business are in a constant state of waiting to do something else.

Throughout the memoir, the Author talks about wanting to write, but “Waiting” was her first published effort, in 2001. Since then, she has published two other memoirs as well as four novels!

Her second memoir was “Raising Blaze: A Mother and Son’s Long, Strange Journey Into Autism” – which chronicled her longtime struggle to get her son the education he was entitled to. He was born during the narrative of “Waiting”, so in many ways this book is a sequel….

Bravo to Ginsberg for her unflinching look at an dramatically under-appreciated profession!

Recently, my wife and I saw the terrific new musical “Waitress” on Broadway – based upon the hit film of the same name:

The film tells the story of a Waitress who makes pies – pies with a lot of wacky names that are taken from events in her life, like this one:

Here is a look at the recipes from the film:


Let me know if you’ve ever served others, and how it impacted your life!

Categories: Books / Media, cookbooks, Cult Movies, Food, Memoirs, Movies, Music, New York, Pop Culture, Recipes, Restaurants

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15 replies

  1. Adding to the TBR! Thank you!

  2. Sounds like a great memoir! I had a lot of fun waiting tables, except for the actual job part of it. Great people, and it taught me good lessons about food prep., serving, and patience!

  3. I love memoirs that are also social commentary. Adding this one to my list!

    • It’s good…and to reiterate, she really digs into society’s disdain for the profession…sadly, NO respect for what is such a difficult job…she’s a great writer and mixes enough of her personal struggles in to give you a well-balanced picture…

  4. I have thought that I should have sent my kids into some kind of food service just for the experience they would get. I crossed paths with it myself with a couple of college jobs and agree with several above that this would have been a great idea. Thanks for this pointer John.

  5. Thank you for the book share. I am always looking for a new read and it sounds interesting.

    I personally have never worked in food service, I know that I would not be good at it. I have witnessed some rude customers and wonder how the server was able to maintain professionalism! I have worked in retail and that has its own challenges.

    Anyway, great post. Thanks for sharing.

  6. I have always looked back on my waitressing days as an important milestone in my life. I learned so many adult life lessons during that time.

  7. Everyone should be required to work in food service at some point. If every teenager worked at least one food service and one retail job before going out into their adult life, we’d have fewer asshole customers (not none, because there’s no saving some people, but fewer.)

  8. Before we met, my wife Julie worked as a part-time waitress, to help make ends meet when bringing up her children. But she only worked at big functions, and her memories of the job are mostly good ones.
    Best wishes, Pete.

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