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“[Ginsberg's] poignant, gently written stories of waitressing are metaphors for life.”  —Dallas Morning News

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

Part memoir, part social commentary, part guide to how to behave when dining out, Debra Ginsberg's book takes readers on her twenty-year 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.

Colorful, insightful, and often irreverent, Ginsberg's stories truly capture the spirit of the universal things she's learned about human nature, interpersonal relationships, the frightening things that go on in the kitchen, romantic hopes dashed and rebuilt, and all of the frustrating and funny moments in this life. Waiting is for everyone who has had to wait for their life to begin—only to realize, suddenly, that they're living it.

About the Author

Debra Ginsberg is the author of Waiting: The True Confessions of a Waitress and Raising Blaze: Bringing Up an Extraordinary Son in an Ordinary World. A graduate of Reed College, she is a contributor to NPR's All Things Considered and the San Diego Union-Tribune "Books" section.

Praise For…

“Ginsberg…has told an attractive story about coping with a life that has been different than what she expected.”
New York Times Book Review

"[Ginsberg's] poignant, gently written stories of waitressing are metaphors for life."
Dallas Morning News

"Funny and ultimately satisfying."
Entertainment Weekly

"[Ginsberg] tells the story with enough honesty and wry humor to connect with other people—especially women."
Detroit Free Press

"[Ginsburg's] triumph, in this book, is that she shows us how the beautiful and the base coexist."

"A knowing memoir...[Ginsberg] is great on dining-room debacles she's endured."
Seattle Times

"A lively and insightful look into restaurants. . . . Ginsberg is a charming and talented writer."
San Francisco Chronicle

"A lively, often funny tale."

"As this account shows, there's a lot of life in the waiting game."
Business Week

"Conveys the unpredictability and humanity of this humble but essential work."
Publisher's Weekly

"Ginsberg got her education in restaurants, and she doles it out just right in this entertaining account."

"Ginsberg not only shares delicious stories...but also dishes out advice that will make you laugh."
USA Weekend

"Hilarious. . . colorful."
Hartford Courant

"This book is more than a saga about workplace woes. . . Ginsberg relives her personal struggle, waiting for her life to 'happen.'"
Lisa Ko, author of The Leavers

"[A] wonderful book. It was worth waiting for."
New Orleans Times-Picayune
Product Details
ISBN: 9780060932817
ISBN-10: 0060932813
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Publication Date: July 31st, 2001
Pages: 320
Language: English