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Keep the Change: A Clueless Tipper's Quest to Become the Guru of the Gratuity Hardcover – November 2, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Ecco; First Edition edition (November 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061787280
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061787287
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.8 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #735,584 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

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. (Nov.) (c)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

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 best-selling 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

More About the Author

A seminary dropout-cum-mental-health-care worker, The Waiter, Steve Dublanica, waited his first table at age thirty-one. In 2004, he started his wildly popular blog, WaiterRant.net, eventually winning the 2006 Bloggie Award for Best Writing of a Weblog. He has been interviewed by media outlets nationwide, including The Oprah Winfrey Show and Today, as a voice for many of the two million waiters in the United States. The Waiter lives in the New York metropolitan area with his joint-custody dog, Buster, and is at work on his second book.

Customer Reviews

We tip not because we want to but because we have to, and that a good relationship and experience do not make.
Abe Krieger
I recommend this book for a good inside look at tipping in the service industry told by people who have experienced the work.
Leslie
Thanks a ton Steve for writing this book, in my opinion you're two for two now, and I eagerly anticipate the next one.
Landon Orr

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Damian Forsythe on September 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover
"Keep the Change" offers many interesting, perhaps unique looks behind the scenes in various service industries, especially as they relate to tipping, and for this, it's a good read. However, what's lacking is a critical examination of the subject and the tenets of Dublanica's thesis that, well, you should tip all these various people exactly what they want, which you should know even if they don't tell you, and, if you don't, well, it's likely you have poor relationships in general and certainly don't understand how they work. It's quite a proposition.

Dublanica covers several, though certainly not all, service industries, including valets, bartenders, strippers, masseurs, cabbies, hotel workers, and, of course, waiters. In addition to interviews, he occasionally moonlights at these jobs, or at least observes them in their environment. Not only does this allow him to write off lap dances as research, it gives the book its meat, the many human interest stories. You'll learn about girls who serve fetishists in a sex dungeon in LA, and all the truly strange stuff in that world. You'll hear about the cab driver in Vegas and the two, totally broke kids who force him to let them off a few blocks from their destination, because otherwise their $10 won't cover both the fare and the tip. (He offers to take them anyway, but they insist). You'll learn about bathroom attendants, and why at least one of them does what she does. And, of course, you hear the Vegas stripper tales. These are what's best about the book: they let you see employees as people and understand their economic situation.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Tina on November 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I fell in love with this author's first book and thought it was hilarious. It is always truly amazing to me to see just how "the real" work actually operates and I love getting all these "hush" "hush" inside secrets about trades that I know nothing about - such as the waitress/waiter profession.

In Keep the Change, the author tackles a similar subject, but with a wider view - instead of it being about (mostly) his own experiences, he broadens his horizons to include the world of tipping in general with some interesting anecdotes that are quite engrossing.

In fact, that is what I truly enjoy reading when I find myself with this type of book and, unfortunately, at times, the author manages to make his book sound more like some kind of dissertation paper on the subject matter - instead of relying on a good old formula that worked so well in the first book.

Where the first book made me feel like a voyeur, privy to some great stories, this second one makes me feel as though I am reading a research paper. This is not to say that there aren't some great tidbits, but overall, I have to admit to being a bit disappointed with this one.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Larry R on February 16, 2011
Format: Hardcover
As a fan of both the Waiterrant book and blog, I was looking forward to this one. And the book is, in fact, well-executed fact-filled encyclopedia of tipping: its history, and current trends. But Keep the Change lacks the human, narrative style that makes the author's earlier work so enjoyable. When he lapses into stories, the book works best. But when he's reciting facts, it seems like he's just... well, reciting facts.

I'm still looking forward to whatever Steve does next. But I'm really hoping its a work of straight fiction. His occasional flirts in that direction on waiterrant.net were very enjoyable; given the freedom of a full-length novel who knows how high he might soar.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By H. Au on May 20, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I'm going to keep this short. Unlike many of the other reviewers here, I have not read his first book "Waiter Rant." So I am unable to draw any comparisons between the two books.

"Keep The Change" provides quite an unique reading experience as it explores the hazy boundaries of "tipping." Who do you tip? How much should you tip? Why should you tip a certain amount? This book explains a lot of semi-objective explanations on who, how, and when to tip - like the Blackjack dealers and the hotel maids. But semi-objective is true. Throughout much of the book Dublanica really just, in a nutshell, travels all over America to interview random wage-workers who happens to work for tips and is willing to grant him an interview or a day at work with them...

In fact, I can sum this entire book in one sentence: If you receive service from someone who gets tips for a living - tip them - else you would run the chance of getting stiffed in service or revenge taken out on you. That's all there really is from this book. Oh, and let's not forget the collection of semi-objective list of how much you're supposed to tip for each profession. If anything, this part can be attached in the appendix as a little chart - Beauty Salon - 15-20%... Baristas 50˘/joe... Sex workers - 20%... etc...

All in all, this book is nothing more than a collection of interviews of wage-workers. If you're reading it just to learn about how much you should tip people of each profession, it would help to just skim entire book for Arabic numerals with the percent sign next to it. This book is somewhat interesting in the first couple chapters, as it deals with the general history of tipping, but gradually loses momentum about 6 chapters (of 13) in.
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