Talented Bloggers: Waiter Rant
Blogging has really exploded since Blogger came onto the scene. Everyone blogs now. Even commercial websites are laid out in a format that resembles someon'e blog. You know the style: lots of white space, catchy letterhead design, neat columns and regularly updated news items on the home page. Amist the blogging clutter, a few talented writers inevitably stand out and get noticed.
I discovered a gem recently, call Waiter Rant (www.waiterrant.net)
Waiter Rant is a day-to-day journal of confessions and astute observations made by a certain head Waiter of a certain fancy New York bistro. Our mystery waiter's identity is always withheld and all names have been changed to protect the innocent. It's a very entertaining blog and it's no surprise. The Waiter is a personable writer who has a great eye for detail and a knack for embellishing his stories with just the right amount of colour and infusing them with a healthy shot of pathos (more on that later). And like a lot of readers out there, I've always wondered what goes on behind the scenes at those restaurants... the backroom banter, the politics and the thought processes of that friendly smile serving you that glass of wine. Plus, there always seems to be something interesting going on at the restaurant where Mr. Waiter works. If everything he says is to be believed, there is no shortage of yuppie prick customers whose behaviours range from saintly to the boorish and downright disgusting.
Waiter Rant is insanely popular, with each new post racking up dozens upon dozens of adoring reader comments. I spent a few days last week binging on the site. It's been around for over two years, so I have an immense backlog of material to plumb through.
Turns out I've pretty much my fill of waiter nightmare stories for the time being. I began to tire of writing when recurring themes began to stick out: 1.) The rich make for easy targets, and Waiter seems to take great pleasure in skewering them whenever the opportunity arises. I'm not a yuppy by a long shot, but it gets a bit much when he presumes to know so much about his customers. Yes, they may be rude and ridiculously drunk on their own sense of self-entitlement, but let's try to not dehumanize them so much, hm? 2.) THE PATHOS: Oh boy, as good as his writing his, the Waiter can't seem to resist imbuing every second yarn with a feel-good lesson on human suffering, loss, love, happiness, generosity... hey take your pick. Sure, I understand that's part of the power of good writing. I'm constantly amazed at how he takes fairly hum-drum daily situations and spins it in such a way that I HAVE to finish reading. But... there's not escaping it, he's a bit of a cheese monkey. Does everything have to have such gravity?
But that's just my rant. Maybe I'm just jealous of the guy's site and its popularity. Or maybe I'm just a very jaded, dude, bereft of even the simplest of human emotions. Check it out and decide for yourself.
EDIT: Hehehe... just burned off some time reading some of the older entries off the blog. Okay, it's a really entertaining piece of work and when the waiter hits his stride, combining his unique blend of insight, humour and pathos, it really does work. Some of his customers from Hell are so unbelievable, it's appalling to think people like this exist.