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Hey, Waitress!: The USA from the Other Side of the Tray: Book by Alison Owings

Hey, Waitress!: The USA from the Other Side of the Tray

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ISBN: 9780520217508    Publisher: University of California Press Year of publishing: 2002     Format:  Hardback No of Pages: 334        Language: English
Most of us have sat across the tray from a waitress, but how many of us know what really is going on from her side? "Hey, Waitress!" aims to tell us. Containing lively, personal portraits of waitresses...Read more
Most of us have sat across the tray from a waitress, but how many of us know what really is going on from her side? "Hey, Waitress!" aims to tell us. Containing lively, personal portraits of waitresses from many different walks of life, this book shows the intimate, illuminating and often shocking behind-the-scenes stories of waitresses' daily shifts and daily lives. Alison Owings travelled the country - from border to border and coast to coast - to hear firsthand what waitresses think about their lives, their work and their world. Part journalism and part oral history, "Hey, Waitress!" introduces an eclectic cast of characters: a 95-year-old Baltimore woman who may have been the oldest living waitress; a Staten Island firebrand labouring at a Pizza Hut; a well-to-do runaway housewife; a Native American proud of her financial independence; a college student loving her diner more than her studies; a Cajun grandmother of 22; and many others. The book also offers vivid slices of American history.
The stories describe the famous sit-in at the Woolworth's counter in Greensboro, North Carolina, which helped spark the civil rights movement; early struggles for waitress unions; and battles against sexually discriminatory hiring in restaurants. An accessible means of breaking down stereotypes, this book reveals American waitresses in all their complexity and individuality, and may be responsible for changing the way we order, tip and, most of all, behave in restaurants.
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About the author: Alison Owings
Alison Owings is a freelance writer and the author of "Frauen: German Women Recall the Third Reich "(1993).

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Review:
Welcome to the real world of table service. Alison Owings delves deeply and perceptively into the too-often out-of-view lifestyle of the female server. Hard working women tell their own stories in...Read more
Welcome to the real world of table service. Alison Owings delves deeply and perceptively into the too-often out-of-view lifestyle of the female server. Hard working women tell their own stories in their own voices and as anthropology-as oral history-it's a comprehensive and thoroughly enjoyable work that will bring cheer and enlightenment to both those inside and outside the restaurant business."-Anthony Bourdain, author of Kitchen Confidential Alison Owings is a freelance writer and the author of Frauen: German Women Recall the Third Reich (1993).
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