Don’t you love it when you learn something and are vastly entertained at the same time? I certainly do, and Steve Dublanica’s latest – Keep the Change – is my new favorite exemplar of this. The book, a follow-up to his 2008 hit Waiter Rant, is a fascinating exploration of the service industry and tipping. Read it – you’ll love it and I guarantee you will never look at a waiter, taxi driver, valet, or any other service worker the same way again…
The book opens with a trip to Vegas to learn about stripper tipping – and it only gets better from there. And just to cover this right up front, he does it in an entirely non- skeevy way, even though much of the tipping does border on – if not downright enter – some potentially skeeve-worthy territory. Because yes, his exploration of “personal services” tipping includes how to compensate strippers, prostitutes, dominatrixes (or is it dominatrices? who knows?), and phone sex operators for their time, as well as the more conventional waiters, bellhops, concierges, and cab drivers.
The history of tipping is oddly fascinating, as is the compensatory schemata for all the various service-providing professionals covered in the book. In fact, the information on how all these different jobs pay (or more accurately fail to pay) their practitioners is almost more interesting than the information on how we, the consuming public, are supposed to tip them. I was quite surprised to learn how many ridiculous ways employers screw service personnel out of minimum wage (and sometimes even out of the tips they actually manage to earn) – and once I had read through them all, I found myself a lot more sympathetic as far as tipping is concerned…
Dublanica’s writing style is conversational and extremely engaging. He pulls you right along with him on his tip-exploring adventures, and I dare you to not find him to be a fun companion.
A former corporate attorney and government relations/health policy executive, Jill-Elizabeth walked away from that world (well, skipped actually) and toward a more literary life (equally challenging, but infinitely more enjoyable). If you enjoyed this review, please visit her at Jill-Elizabeth.com, the official home of All Things Jill-Elizabeth – that is, all of the teehees, musings, rants, book reviews, writing exercises, and witticisms of her burgeoning writing career.
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Ecco. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.