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Keep the Change: A Clueless Tipper's Quest to Become the Guru of the Gratuity Hardcover – Bargain Price, November 2, 2010
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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.
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
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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.
The author is clearly very passionate about this topic, but maybe a little too passionate. There are times that his entitlement mentality peeks through in his writing. For example: When someone talks about retribution for lousy tippers, he won't come right out and approve, but you still get an underlying sense of approval. This soured me on what is an otherwise outstanding book.
"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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The good: you'll learn all kinds of entertaining trivia about tipping across a dozen industries.
The bad: it's a catalogue of interviews with little or no critical... Read more
I've almost always been a reasonably good tipper, but after reading this book, I'm upping my game. I had little knowledge how essential tipping well is to those who work for tips... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Cynthia Engquistcindy
Funny well written and informative. If you liked easier rant you will love this.Published 12 months ago by Jessica
Interesting how tipping came about and who receives one and what is expected.Published 12 months ago by KlassyKat
I am hep to the tip. I usually tip 18 to 25%, but now thanks to Mr. Dublanica, I know what to do in all situations. Thanks!!! Everyone should read this book.Published 13 months ago by Robert Gallant
The book contains information about any tradesman or professional you might ever consider tipping, including perhaps, a few that you had never considered tipping. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Miller.