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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

3.9 out of 5 stars 67 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, November 2, 2010
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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
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Ecco (November 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061787280
  • ASIN: B0057DCSIC
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,585,814 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
His first book was really enjoyable, an inside look at a professional waiter.

This book is an entertaining look at the tipping across many professions. Some of the information was useful on people that I didn't think much about tipping, and some background on how some professions get paid coming and going. The author still has an entertaining writing style, and some humorous stories. The HUGE difference it is isn't his knowledge, it is asking others what they should be tipped. What do you think a bartender / masseuse / doorman is going to say when asked about tipping??? "Yes, I think you should tip people in my profession every time and you should tip them a LOT."

This is not rocket science. There is very little challenging the opinion that you should tip your Blackjack dealer, housekeeper, doorman x amount. I think some of the guidelines are crap. I don't need to tip 5 times as much on a $100 bottle of wine as a $20 bottle. I don't tip my masseuse except at Christmas (a double payment then). She is the owner and my "tip" is being a regular customer. I don't feel the need to tip my housekeeper in my hotel unless I am staying with the family for a few days. If I followed all the advice on everyone I should tip, I would have empty pockets at every turn when I am on vacation. I would prefer a more critical "pro and con" look at each category of tipping.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you want to know how things ARE regarding tipping, this is a great resource. Doesn't mean this is how things should be, though. Some expected tips are justified, not all. Tip your server? Sure. Tip the dealer at a casino? Really? Does anybody not see the obvious conflict of interest here? The explanations offered regarding disputes only serve to explain why this should not be allowed.

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.
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