The writers of the first two blogs took pains to protect their identities – which became more important as more and more people read their posts about their sex life (Girl) and obnoxious customers/the things you don’t know about that happen in restaurants (Waiter).
The writer of the third blog, however, regularly posted pictures of himself, and later himself and his girlfriend, stuffing their faces at various food spots around New York.
The first two blogs became so popular that they landed book deals. (They were both very well written too, I hasten to add). The Girl behind Girl with a one-track mind was outed shortly after her book was published, and the Waiter of Waiterrant shed his anonymity voluntarily as he embarked upon his publicity rounds.
I never considered at the time that I might get the opportunity to speak to one of these three bloggers, whom I had so admired and whose posts I had followed so doggedly. But in 2011, when I was scrounging for ideas for my first article for ACT Write magazine, Waiterrant came to mind.
And so it was that I spoke to Steve Dublanica about Waiter Rant: Thanks for the Tip–Confessions of a Cynical Waiter and the history and practice of gratuities, which formed the basis for his second book Keep the Change: A Clueless Tipper’s Quest to Become the Guru of the Gratuity.
And listen to a more fulsome version of the interview, where we discussed how tipping came about, whether you get better service if you tip and just how good Australians are at tipping in the US:
In case anyone was wondering – The Hungry Cabbie, who was then a taxi driver in NYC, also became famous after some stints on TV (including taking Anthony Bourdain around in an episode of No Reservations). He quit his job and took to running Famous Fat Dave’s Five Boroughs Eating Tour on the Wheels of Steel!
Article published in the June 2011 edition of ACTWrite magazine, by the ACT Writers Centre.
Interview broadcasted on ArtSound FM.
Interview date: 7 May 2011.