Counter Culture in Library Journal

Counter Culture: The American Coffee Shop Waitress by Candacy A. Taylor is also reviewed in the July 15, 2009 issue of Library Journal:

“Photographer, cultural critic, and erstwhile waitress Taylor traveled
through 43 U.S. cities collecting stories from career diner waitresses for
this respectful, celebratory collection of oral histories and photographs.
Nearly every page features a portrait or on-the-job action shot of one of
Taylor’s 57 interviewees, and each chapter ends with several waitresses’
reflections—some funny, some poignant—on their lives, careers, and
customers. In between, Taylor explores the history of diners, issues of
power in the workplace, the daunting variety and volume of work, and how
and why some women continue in this physically challenging, disrespected
occupation for decades, with no thought of, let alone desire for,
retirement. Many of these self-termed “lifers” do surprisingly well
financially and have tremendous job satisfaction, thanks to years of
developing the customer care techniques—and genuine affection for their
regulars and workplaces—that result in plum shifts and good tips, and
thanks also to the organizational skills and no-nonsense attitude that
allow them to thrive in their niche. Taylor offers these women,
many in their sixties, seventies, and eighties, and perhaps the last of
their kind, a well-deserved tribute. Recommended for all who love human
interest stories or interesting characters.”—Janet Ingraham Dwyer

Counter Culture in Library Journal