Dishwasher: One Man's Quest to Wash Dishes in All Fifty States

Dishwasher One Man s Quest to Wash Dishes in All Fifty States Dishwasher is the true story of a man on a mission to clean dirty dishes professionally in every state in America Part adventure part parody and part miraculous journey of self discovery it is the

  • Title: Dishwasher: One Man's Quest to Wash Dishes in All Fifty States
  • Author: Pete Jordan
  • ISBN: 9780061743344
  • Page: 258
  • Format: ebook
  • Dishwasher is the true story of a man on a mission to clean dirty dishes professionally in every state in America Part adventure, part parody, and part miraculous journey of self discovery, it is the unforgettable account of Pete Jordan s transformation from itinerant seeker into Dishwasher Pete unlikely folk hero, writer, publisher of his own cult zine, and the ultimaDishwasher is the true story of a man on a mission to clean dirty dishes professionally in every state in America Part adventure, part parody, and part miraculous journey of self discovery, it is the unforgettable account of Pete Jordan s transformation from itinerant seeker into Dishwasher Pete unlikely folk hero, writer, publisher of his own cult zine, and the ultimate professional dish dog and how he gave it all up for love.Includes an excerpt from Pete Jordan s new book In the City of Bikes.

    One thought on “Dishwasher: One Man's Quest to Wash Dishes in All Fifty States”

    1. People compare this work to Kerouac's On The Road. Or at least, a blurb on the back cover of this book makes the comparison. I understand why. Here's a guy who looks at the conventional expectations of our society, shrugs them off, and hits the road. In this case, he aims to be a dishwasher in all 50 states.I really wanted to like this book. The material was probably great as presented originally, in zine articles and pieces on the NPR radio show This American Life. The book is organized into vi [...]

    2. hmm. the book itself is written just fine - it's breezy and quick and goes well with a couple of beers on the back porch. it's just. look, we've all quit a job once or twice in our lives without giving the two weeks' notice, leaving people in the lurch, bla bla bla. it's a dick move, but it feels great and it leaves you with a fun story that will impress impressionable people and depress your depression-era grandparents. BUT! DUDE! if you do this with every job you take, in 33 states, for twelve [...]

    3. You would think working as a dishwasher for 10+ years (as the author did) would yield some great stories and a heaping pile of insight into the human condition, but there isn't anything like that to be found here. Every chapter is exactly the same. "I got a job washing dishes in ______ state then quit." Way to go. Here's a book deal.At many points while reading this book, I truly thought I'd really rather be washing dishes than reading this.

    4. man, i really wanted to like this book. i mean, i DID like this book for the first 100 pages or so--it's a highly readable account of one man's attempt to wash dishes in all 50 states, yet it's more of a meditation on the futility of working life & wage-slavery. cool, right? some parts even made me chuckle to myself.but as time went on, i got increasingly frustrated with dishwasher pete's adult-baby-ness. and if there's one thing i hate, it's an adult baby, especially adult baby men. he talk [...]

    5. Pete Jordan is no writer and, to his credit, never professes to be. He is a wanderer, a reader, a collector (of things and experiences), an activist and even a community organizer of sorts. The zine he created documenting his adventures as an itinerant dishwasher (aptly titled, as this book is, Dishwasher) seemed more of an attempt to create a community amidst dishwashers—a segment of the population that obviously is largely ignored—than to create any great literary achievement. Jordan even [...]

    6. Dishwasher Pete and I never ran in the same zine circles, but I read a few issues of Dishwasher; everybody read that zine. It was an exciting zine for a teenage girl like myself to read. Here was a guy who decided to take off and do his own thing. He did something that most people were afraid to do, that was entirely of his own invention. Dishwasher Pete's quest to wash dishes in all 50 states with no specific plan in mind was noble at best; a slight waste of time at worst.Now that I'm thirty-on [...]

    7. When I started this book, I wrote "I keep wondering when Pete will become a sympathetic protagonist. Right now he'she's kind of a dick." The answer is: Never. Never does Pete become a sympathetic protagonist. He flippantly uses the term "plongeur morality" to describe his unreliability, and, frankly, it's really unappealing. The ending of the book is terribly abrupt, and I grew weary of his "I worked this job until I got sick of it and then quit leaving people in the lurch. TEE HEE AREN'T I AWES [...]

    8. i'm kind of amazed at the bad reviews this book has gotten on the website. people are all, "i heard this guy on NPR & his story sounded interesting, but his book was a total bore!" it won't be surprising to people who know me that i knew about the dishwashing-in-all-fifty-states quest from "dishwasher" the zine. i won't claim to have read too many issues, because i was into riot grrrl when pete was publishing regularly, & our little zine scenes didn't have a lot of overlap. in fact, i w [...]

    9. Terrific book. Like when sampling one of the offerings of the few zinesters to get it in book form (Pagan Kennedy, Paul Lukas), you're getting a real phenomenon of as-lived reportage for your trade paperback time and money.I can't say more, because it's such a varied and surprising pleasure to read, chapter by chapter. Indie-rockers and Kerouac readers, et al actually travel the country through, which is a nice counter, particularly these days, to incurious-and-hostile types. (Remember the Dambu [...]

    10. This is the sort of book you almost have to be a directionless slacker to enjoy. This is the story of an obviously intelligent but incredibly lazy Gen Xer who decided to bum around the country washing dishes in all 50 states from the late 80's through 2001. He picked the dishwasher "profession" because it offered him free food, no customer interaction, and the ability to leave without notice whenever he felt like it. This is the story of a guy so pathetic and afraid of becoming useful that he do [...]

    11. I adored Pete Jordan's utter lack of ambition while achieving so much in this epic tale of a quest to wash dishes in all 50 states. For while he shirks all notions of the American Dream, aka moving up in the business to 'cook' or 'waiter', he spends a lot of his 'sitting on his ass' time reading great, classic novels or writing passages for his Zine, Dishwasher. I am all for the idea of self-improvement and self-awareness while not contributing too much to the rat race of the American working li [...]

    12. It was the summer of 1999. I was on the last day of my cross-country Printing Tour, in which I drove from West Coast to East, printing my zine at different letterpress printshops across the country. I stopped in Portland for the last leg of the tour, printing at the IPRC (which had two teeeeny Kelsey tabletop presses!) and staying for a week at the Quack House, a punk collective house in north Portland so named for the ducks that had once lived there. My former housemate had since moved in, and [...]

    13. If you know me well, you know that I'm compulsive about finishing books I start. There have been a precious few books I've put away w/out finishing, no matter how miserable I was during the process of reading them. Well, this book beat me just 50 pages in. I asked my husband (who managed to get 3/4 through before putting it down, though he's a chronic book-not-finisher), "Does this guy change any, or is he this big of an asshole all the way through?" Husband responded, "Nope, doesn't change." Th [...]

    14. Dishwasher follow “Dishwasher Pete” Jordan as he goes on a self-appointed quest to work as a dishwasher in all 50 states. It starts out with his humble beginnings in San Francisco, as Pete easily explains his general dislike of work and the annoyances of colleagues and customers. Pete has more id than anyone—while most people put up with crappy work, he just leaves. Since dishwashing is among the crappiest jobs, he can always find somewhere else that needs him.Jordan has several good stori [...]

    15. sorry npr but this book is super lame. man sets out to wash dishes in every state, doesnt actually complete the goal (ahhh spoilered bitch!) has some vaguely wacky adventures but not really, most of the time is just picking food boogers off his arm. there are potentially cool themese here - transience! organizing labor! forever living fifty dollars away from complete devastation! - but at no point does he dig fuckin deep and start expounding on it. this is just goofy anecdotes that are mostly th [...]

    16. Made me feel better about my own lack of ambition. He quits a lot of jobs, and it feels good to read about it. Imagine a supervisor trying to take advantage of you somehow, or just generally being a jerk. Then imagine having the freedom to never show up to your job again, without explanation.

    17. I worried, at first, that this was going to read like a how-to manual, but my fears were rendered totally unfounded just a few pages in.Why?Because Pete Jordan is an undersung labour hero, that's why!Case in point: "When I quit, I felt obligated to honor the memory of those pearl divers who'd passed through the pit before me. So I taped a piece of paper to the front of the [University of Wisconsin's] Memorial Union. On it, I'd written: On this spot in March 1972, fifteen dishwashers fought for w [...]

    18. While no literary masterpiece, this book was a fun read, especially for fans of vagabond travel, minimalism, and voluntary simplicity. In the early 90s, Pete Jordan set a goal of washing dishes in all fifty states. Why dish washing? He was good at it, restaurants are always hiring dishwashers because of the high turnover rate, and there are no strings attached. He could get a job and leave it the same day if he didn't like it without having to worry about the future of his career. So, Pete gets [...]

    19. 270 pages of really, really interesting slices of Americana, which are ultimately failed by the lackluster ending. While the blurb claims Jordan ended his quest "for love", it reads more like, "eh, that one'll do, seeing as how she's not running away." It's that or he wanted health insurance after a bike crash. I'm not sure which. But if you overlook the ending, there are some beautifully descriptive and vivid glimpses of back-of-the-house restaurant life, where we're defining back-of-the-house [...]

    20. After Orwell's Down and Out in Paris and London, I was of course compelled to follow up and follow through with Jordan's Dishwasher. Not in the same class (of writing), but a good, engaging read, nevertheless.As a profession, plongeur leaves something to be desired. After all, who really wants to live breathe eat cold greasy water, have scaley red hands and aching feet? Oh, and did I mention the bus tub buffet, one of Jordan's employment criteria and written into the dishwasher contract at the U [...]

    21. What I liked: Rather than just recycle material from his Dishwasher zines, Jordan puts together a cohesive history of ten years of meandering travels and dishwashing adventures. His writing is funny and easy to read, although it does get a little repetitive at times and some of his digressions into dishwashing history didn't keep my attention. What I didn't like: Jordan ends his attempt to wash dishes at a Cracker Barrel in South Carolina. He sees some customers entering/exiting the restaurant a [...]

    22. I kept waiting for this guy to "get a life". Actually I knew that he would leave the dishwashing "profession" because before this book I had picked up Biking in Amsterdam which he wrote. I knew he had a degree in urban planning and that he appeared semi-normal in the first few chapters of Biking in Amsterdam (which I had begun and then gotten sidetracked in Dishwashing). Some part of me applauded Pete. He truly exemplified the road less traveled. Did I keep reading to see if he ever changed? Yes [...]

    23. I laughed my ass off with this book. Pete Jordan is a man who never desires to reach above the level of dishwasher--but that doesn't mean he has no ambitions. His storied of washing dishes, dishwashers in history, and just his travels around the world are hilarious. Even my doubting husband laughed out loud on the bus at the book. It's impossible to say what makes it so funny without giving away all the good parts.

    24. Veteran zinester Pete Jordan's been writing about his dishslinging adventures for years, and he's finally turned them into a book documenting his quest to wash dishes in every state. Sure, it's fun to rubberneck through pages of filth, bad bosses, and shitty drunk work ethic. If he hadn't wrapped up with an epiphany sparked by fatphobia, I might have given this another star, but screw that, even if it was a minor note.

    25. Entertaining? Yes. Much better than I initially thought a book about dishwashing would be. HOWEVERI am making a new rule. From now on, in order to publish a book about some crazy quest that you have undertaken, you MUST ACTUALLY COMPLETE YOUR ASSIGNED TASK. None of this half-assed quitting before reaching the goal and getting royalties anyway. Finish what you start people!

    26. I found this book so fascinating b/c Dishwasher Pete's life couldn't be more opposite from mine in a few ways:1. His passion for his profession2. His unapologetic (yet very selective) laziness3. His sense of freedom to drop everything a relocate on a whimYou certainly laugh a few times while reading this, and maybe even consider busting a few sudsybe.

    27. A good read, if a slightly random topic of a guy trying to wash dishes in all 50 states. It was interesting to see the culture in American restaurant kitchen and how dishwashers find their place at the bottom of the hierarchy. Very well written, it was a quick read and enjoyable.

    28. A fun reminder that you don't always have to take life too seriously. I enjoyed Pete's witty moments and anecdotes which are peppered by a few historical tidbits about the power of dishwashers united. A good walk down memory lane for some prior jobs I've had.

    29. I've been a fan of Dishwasher Pete for years. I've followed his adventures all over the country. This book is a great reaquaintance with his dish dog days. Pete is currently on a book signing tour! Check him out on a stop near you.

    30. Well if you are going to compare it to On the Road, I would much rather read Pete Jordan than Kerouac. Cheese and rice.

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