Saturday, August 9, 2008

Book Review: Turning Tables

I recently finished "Turning Tables" by Heather and Rose MacDowell. If you have ever worked in a high-end restaurant where they treated their wait-staff like crap, this is the book to read. From the start you can tell the authors have paid their waitressing dues and everything their heroine goes through is so true. Reminds me of some hellish places I worked in Port Jefferson and Fire Island, New York.

The novel follows Erin who has lost her job at takes a waitressing job to pay the bills. The "soleful" moments of the book come towards the end. There is a scene where Erin applies for a marketing job and is told her time spent as a waitress is not relevant to the position, to which Erin processes in an articulate way how no matter what a person does, it is about knowing the people they are working with, about finding out who they are, what they want, about "creating a new marketing campaign ten times every night" and how as a waitress she has to market and be a sales person, as well as work with the other wait staff as a team, and that without their support, no one can succeed.

The real soleful moment comes (SPOILER ALERT) when she finally realizes that the owners/managers/chef who have made her life there a hell actually need her more then she needs them, that they are not doing her any favors.

And after nailing an extremely important table, she is complimented and told she's "inspired", but she realizes she is better off just walking away. And in walking away she reclaims herself, her talents and here gifts.

This is a good book. A fun read. In fact, I read the last 200 pages in one sitting.

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