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Keep the Change: A Clueless Tipper's Quest to Become the Guru of the Gratuity
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Keep the Change: A Clueless Tipper's Quest to Become the Guru of the Gratuity

3.52 of 5 stars 3.52  ·  rating details  ·  590 ratings  ·  113 reviews
Tipping is huge in America. Almost everyone leaves at least one tip every day. More than five million American workers depend on them, and we spend $66 billion on tips each year. And everyone recognizes that queasy feeling - in bars and restaurants, barbershops and beauty parlors, hotels and strip clubs, and everywhere else - when the check arrives or the tip jar looms. Om ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published November 2nd 2010 by Ecco Press (first published August 1st 2010)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,100)
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Petra X
By the end of this book I was amazed, outraged and bewildered by the fact that everyone in America seems to think they should be tipped automatically. That all business owners think they should pay x-15 and the general public can pay for high-priced services +15 (or 20) directly to the staff. Why am I paying the staff you employ to perform certain services for them performing them? Why does a restaurant employ waiters if not to take orders and serve them? Why should they be paid twice? I was nev ...more
I thought I was picking up a little how-to title about tipping. Little did I know the book would take me through the 5 stages of grief.

Denial: No. He *cannot* be starting out a book about tipping with a lap dance.

Anger: If he doesn’t stop talking about his first book, and how it was so successful that it landed him this sweet gig flying around the country on an expense account, I’m going to throw the cd out the car window.

Bargaining: Please, please, just tell me how much to tip. I’ll finish read
Mar 05, 2015 Jim rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Jim by: Petra X
This book had all the potential to be a really dull read. Dublanica (in spite of his smug, smarmy, smartass attitude that made me want to kick him in the liver) has managed to make the mundane interesting by actually going out and rubbing shoulders with the people in professions that depend on tips for a living. in the case of the strippers, a little bit more than shoulders got rubbed. Hard to take, I'm sure, but one must suffer for his art. No doubt the suffering was eased by the fact that his ...more
Brian Saul
The guy who wrote this, author of "Waiter Rant" , must have used up every dime he made on that NY Times Best Seller in order to do the research for this one. I never considered myself a Cheap Charlie, but according to what he comes up with in "Keep the Change" I must big one of the biggest tightwads on earth! I don't tip at McDonald's, as do those described in this book (but then, I don't even GO to McDonald's much less eat there).

He does cover the gamut of service providers fairly well:
This seminary student turned waiter turned blogger turned author set out to become “the Guru of the Gratuity.” I thought that his first book, Waiter Rant, was a fun, light read, better than I was expecting, so I was happy to give this one a try.

I'm a self-serve kinda gal living in a self-serve kinda community so I don't have a lot of tipping angst. Still, there are those occasions when I don't know if I should tip or how much I should tip. I thought that looking through a former waiter's eyes wo
I was ready to smack the author about 10 pages in. The subject is no doubt fascinating, and I did learn some interesting things here and there. However, I had two big problems with this book. The author's writing style was incredibly distracting from the topic. He was trying to be a smart ass, but he wasn't any good at it (clearly, he should have consulted me). He seemed to think he was clever to use examples like going to a strip club and describing the lap dance he received (and presumably tip ...more
I won this book on an Ecco Books giveaway on Facebook .

A solid, three-and-a-half star book. It's a very quick and interesting read. The author has a down-to-earth, conversational writing style. He explores tipping in many different professions--from movers and delivery people (think furniture and food) to barista and bar tenders; from beauty workers and bathroom attendants to sex workers and concierges . And, of course, restaurant wait staff. Much of the information I will never use (if I ever f
Ever feel clueless about tipping? Who gets a tip and who doesn’t? How much should you leave? Lately it seems like tip jars are popping up everywhere, creating tipping anxiety for a large number of Americans. I include myself in that group. I know to give my hair stylist, waiter, tax driver and bartender a tip, but what about the barrista or the fast food worker? How about the guy at the car wash, or my auto mechanic? And how much do I give the delivery person? What do I do about the holidays? Wh ...more

Tipping. It's so confusing and this book aims to shed some light into the mystery.

The book skips restaurants because that was served in an earlier book of his. Instead we jump into shoe-shiners, bathroom attendants, people who man (or should I the gender neutral word "human" as a verb?) the door, and taxi cab drivers. Steve even dives into the world of "escort services", gentleman clubs and even an S&M dungeon. So, if you ever wondered how much to tip at your local S&M club, you can ask
Jill Elizabeth
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.

A review copy of the book was provided free of cha
If you ever wanted to know who to tip and how much to tip them, this book is for you. The author goes through practically every industry where tips are commonplace and breaks it down on what exactly the worker does, how their hourly wage is less so that tips are considered into their total earnings, and how much to tip them.

He interviews workers and finds out what amount of a tip they expect for a service rendered, such as what is a good tip vs. a bad tip. He gets the inside scoop about the typ
Dec 27, 2010 Joy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone!
I read Steve's first book Waiter Rant last year and really enjoyed it but I like Keep the Change even more. It's well-written, informative, witty and entertaining with some good life lessons as well. For instance -

"Beauty workers can't fix who you are as a person. Beauty comes only when you accept who you are. When you accept the truth of yourself. It's a journey we all have to make. I'm still working on it."

"Any job doing is worth doing well."

"And as I've learned from bitter experience, you ca
My husband and I are always arguing over how to tip our waiter. I have always felt my husband to be entirely too generous, while I am much more stingy. No, he was never in the service industry. I was. Still, I see the amount of tip as being conditional upon our quality of service. My husband lays out an even 20% to everyone.

I certainly came out of this book with a much different attitude about tipping. I am now likely to be MUCH more generous than I ever have been before (and less argumentative
Tipping is part of American culture. This book provides an insightful view of people whose livelihood depends on the tips their customers provide. The author tackles this often contested and uncomfortable topic of who to tip, how much to tip, and how often to tip. The author took an interesting way to research for this book. He had interviewed tip-ees who work in Manhattan, New York, Florida, Oregon, and California. He adds his personal view through out.

The book starts out in a strip club, whic
I don't know if I learned everything I need to know about tipping from this book. I do know that a lot of people expect tips and a little more about the culture behind tipping, but I still don't know why we are expected to give tips in certain situations and not in others. The bottom line of this book seems to be--when in doubt--tip. Not very helpful.
Debra Daniels-zeller
This book is a great follow-up to Dublanica's first book, Waiter Rant. I love his style of writing and I learned a lot about tipping--who how much and how it can bring better service from people like car mechanics. I really liked the first section about Dublanca's journey into the world of tipping--the anxiety we feel about what to leave, tip creep with tip jars appearing everywhere from ice cream shops to bakeries and coffee shops and back to Starbucks where tip jars started. I found the histor ...more
Pr Latta
Red flags: this is not a "go to" how-to-tip reference book and there is gratuitous profanity. You won't find (well, occasionally) "in Keokuk tip the [...] $$." There are tables and apps for that. This entertaining, somewhat profane, book takes us into the busineses that get tipped. Not so much restaurants, which apparently was covered in Dublanica's first book, but those places where "creep" has occurred -- tip jars, unusual occupations, high end establishments, low end pay -- and introduces us ...more
Well written and thoughtful. I'm wasn't sure how I felt about tipping when I started the book and I'm still not sure... And I think that's a good thing. I would've been disappointed in a book that said "I've got all the answers."

Dublanica, as he did in his book, Waiter Rant, presents a perspective, fills in the chinks with hard data, and leaves you to do your own thinking. I have been taking a closer look at all of the places and forms in which tipping comes up in my daily life. And I think tha
Michael Giuliano
I'm really glad that I finally picked this up and read it, because it was the very worthy and capable sequel that Waiter Rant deserved.

It starts out as a sort of dry and straightforward paper on the history and practice of tipping, but Dublanica slowly begins to insert his personal opinions, anecdotes, and theories surrounding the practice as the book goes on, making it feel a lot more personal and relatable. The adventures he goes on to learn more about tipping in various industries (in a wide
I snapped up this book after being constantly confused about what to tip people on my business trips. I enjoyed most of his tipping tips and especially thought he did a good job portraying the many service workers he came across. However, I didn't entirely agree with all of his tipping advice. I felt a little like the fact that he was tipping on the publisher's dime made him more inclined to drop a lot more money and be a lot harsher at those who don't match his big spending. And I've been there ...more
Reviewed on my blog: Escapism Through Books

Waiter Rant has been on my radar for a long time, but for some reason just never got around to picking it up. I waitressed for a period of about 3 months back when I was 16, and even from such a short amount of time, I had some crazy stories! I've worked directly with customers in a service industry in some way or another since then (until last July anyhow), so the premise of Waiter Rant and all that it entailed was appealing to me. Sharing experience s
Tim Jin
The author of this book used to be a waiter and wrote Waiter Rant, which is an excellent book also. As a former waiter, he is expecting to be tip every single time.

Keep the Change can be a little outrages. I personally don't feel that I should tip for every single services, like the mailman, but I also think that tipping should be given when service is needed.

For instant, I was at a high end restaurant with my caregiver and the waiter offered to give my staff a break and offered to help me with
A pretty good read on various areas where people tip and where you might not think to tip. The author talks to a variety of people, some of whom you might expect: waiters, taxi drivers, doormen, etc. as well as some you might not, pet groomers, prostitutes and card dealers. Overall it was pretty fascinating to see who are good tippers, who are bad, and what people do to get tipped, since so many people working in these industries survive on tips.

I found it somewhat frustrating that the author te
I read "Keep the Change," a follow up to Dublanca's first book "Waiter Rant" because I was very entertained the first time around. This work takes on a more investigative journalistic approach, which I found enjoyable and surprisingly informative. Discussing the economy of gratuity, Dublanca's quest to become a Tipping Guru took him to some of the seedier sides of our culture, exposing the both the necessity and etiquette of greasing the palms for those who provide services many often take for g ...more
Sean Goh
(with regard to learning about tipping) The truth hurts, but the lies will kill you - or get you bad service.

Tips are a reflection of microscopic relationships formed between staff and customer.
Tipping is all about relationships.

"Only connect! Only connect the prose and the passion, and both will be exalted, and human love will be seen at its height. Live in fragments no longer."
Tipping helps you connect with people, if only for a short while.
I read this book as part of a reading challenge for the category "a book written by a blogger".

I followed Waiter Rant years ago, just around the time the first book was coming out. When I needed to find another book written by a blogger, I was excited to jump on this one.

Dublanica's usual humor is found throughout these pages, though he also lapses into occasional brooding (which also seems normal for his writing). The latter drags the book down a bit, but I feel he makes up for it with the form
Douglas Larson
This is the second book by this author who is a former restaurant waiter. This book is better written than his first and reads more fluidly. For this book Dublanica traveled around the country researching each and every profession where tipping is considered the norm and presents stories about the people he intereviewed. I found it enjoyable and informative.

I did however, find myself challenging Dublanica's explanation of the etymology of the word "tip". I have believed for many years that the
Great book. It shed light into the world of tipping. I thought I was a pretty good tipper, however I learned that there are people I should be tipping and didn't! Now I know. I appreciated the insight into the bathroom attendants also. I always wondered if I needed to tip for them handing me a a paper towel. Now I know the protocol. I'm looking forward to reading waiter rant. I really enjoyed this book.
Great follow-up to "Waiter Rant". Quick and easy read, easily compartmentalized so you can put it down and read it in between other things. I found out there places I need to tip where I hadn't even thought of it and some places I need to up my tip (oops!). Gratefully, I found that there are a couple places where I over-tip, and that's ok. Enjoyable and instructing read.
Probably 3 and 1/2 stars. The concept was interesting and I learned a lot about who I haven't tipped and probably should. But it felt too focused on sex workers, as though the author wrote this whole book as an excuse to write off going to strip clubs, etc. but that might just be because those are industries I have no interest in. The writing was okay. Overall, not a bad book.
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The Waiter waited his first table at age thirty-one. In 2004 the author started his wildly popular blog,, winning the 2006 "Best Writing in a Weblog" Bloggie Award. He is interviewed regularly by major media as the voice for many of the two million waiters in the United States. The Waiter lives in the New York metropolitan area.
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