Dishwasher: One Man’s Quest To Wash Dishes in Fifty States by Pete Jordan (3 out of 5)


At one time or another, we’ve all been at a crossroads where our occupations/careers/jobs/paychecks are concerned. Or, we just can’t seem to settle in no matter what we do, at least comfortably. This is a fun book to read, especially if you’ve ever been there, or if you’re hitting a milestone and thinking, “Maybe there’s another way”. Not to be a bummer, folks, but often, what you do is what you’re going to be doing years from now. In my line of work, well, who knows if there will be bookstores in 15 years? Or 5? I like to think there are still enough people to make sure bookstores do NOT go away, but the reality paints a grimmer picture. I keep fighting! Anyway, tomorrow is 15 years I’ve been selling books. Anyway, this is where my line of thought has been lining up lately, and I pick up this book. We have a current feature at the store: “Why haven’t you read these awesome books?” (I did NOT think of that name, I had something with alliteration but was voted down by uncomfortable silence). Each of the staff has a shelf with their favorite books of ALL TIME. Mine is a challenge, because I probably could have filled up the whole thing myself, but I had to keep it to one shelf. Andrew had this on his shelf. I had a real shitty week this week, and this was probably one of the only books I was able to finish and enjoy. The one I threw out is tomorrow’s post, worry not!

Pete Jordan sifts from one dishwashing job to another, finally finding one that sticks with him. Then he decides to embark on the adventure of a lifetime- washing dishes in all fifty states! You may be thinking to yourself, “What a strange idea”. I admit, I was a little puzzled. Then I bought it (Andrew has great taste in books. He’s usually the person I trust most on nonfiction titles) and began reading it. And was hooked. And laughing. You would never think that listening to the right kind of music improves your speed, dishwashing method, and mood- but you find out from Pete just how jazz helps that process along. Pete begins a zine (remember those?) called Dishwasher; it begins to build and becomes a cult classic. He continues on his journey through the fifty states, developing a reputation as the ultimate “dish dog”.

OK. Quit laughing and shaking your head. Seriously. This book is not going to bring you a revelation that will change your life. It will, however, give you a different perspective on this strange little journey called life. Pete’s a funny guy and very humble. I’m willing to bet we all know a “Dishwasher Pete”. I’m willing to bet that someone will pick up this book during a time when their own life is a little bit of a not-so-fun tilt-a-whirl ride, and it will liven things up a bit. And that’s exactly what it did for me. Great job, Pete Jordan. I raise my dish to you!

~ by generationgbooks on October 4, 2015.

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