Waiter to the Rich and Shameless
A down-and-out musician chops off his hair to become a server at the top of the Hollywood food chain, discovering a cloistered world of money, fame, bad behavior and intrigue. Waiter to the Rich and Shameless is not just a peek into the secretive inner workings of a legendary 5-star restaurant; it is not just a celebrity tell-all or a scathing corporate analysis.
It is a top-tier waiter’s personal coming-of-age story, an intimate look into the complicated challenges of serving in the country’s most elite, Hollywood-centric dining room while fighting to maintain a sense of self and purpose.
Of the many millions of food service workers around the globe, only a tiny number ever ascend to a top-level position at a world-renowned restaurant catering to iconic celebrities, moguls and politicians. As one of those select few, Paul (“Pauli”) Hartford is the first waiter to open the door into a cloistered, coveted world of money, fame, bad behavior and intrigue. He peels back the veneer of civility and culture at the nation’s most preeminent celebrity hangout, the Cricket Room, in Beverly Hills, California.
He exposes the epic human foibles of its elite clientele, the dining room’s corrupt corporate culture, its clandestine culinary practices, and the heartbreaking struggles of its beleaguered waitstaff. This keenly-observed story also traverses Pauli’s ten-year evolution from a jaded, party-hungry rock musician who moonlights as a bartender, into a snobbish and pretentious waiter, and finally into a polished and sophisticated server who takes his job so seriously that it drives him to the brink of illness.
Pauli finds himself at first seduced by his famous guests’ glamour and self-indulgence, then accustomed to it, and finally appalled by it.
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wife wasn’t bad to look at either. I shook his hand and told him that I was a huge fan and that it was my greatest pleasure ever to have him at my bar. He was very humble and thanked me in his trademark Scouse accent, but was much more interested in regular everyday chitchat with his wife than chatting with me. They weren’t able to sit too long before other people noticed them so they had to be moved to a private table. I was sad to see him leave but psyched that I had had the brief opportunity to meet him.
I never charged for the drinks – are you kidding me? (Mr. P signed off on it.) It’s a Beatle for God’s sake! How many people can say they served a drink to a Beatle and his wife? – Hartford, Paul. Waiter to the Rich and Shameless: Confessions of a Five-Star Beverly Hills Server (p. 30). Hillhurst Literary.
My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don’t show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in.
If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?
Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?
But you have insulted the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court?
Are they not the ones who are slandering the noble name of him to whom you belong?
If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right.
But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. (James 2:1-9)
Reviewed Unto Righteousness
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