By Pete Jordan
Dishwasher is the real tale of a guy on a challenge: to wash soiled dishes professionally in each country in the United States. half event, half parody, and half mind-blowing trip of self-discovery, it's the unforgettable account of Pete Jordan's transformation from itinerant seeker into "Dishwasher Pete"—unlikely folks hero, author, writer of his personal cult zine, and the last word specialist dish dog—and how he gave all of it up for love.
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Additional info for Dishwasher: One Man's Quest to Wash Dishes in All Fifty States (P.S.)
Monday morning, hung over, I dragged my sore body and aching head over to Perkins, managing to arrive only twenty minutes late. When I entered through the back door, the lone person in sight was a guy washing the dishes. He explained that, with my arrival, he was now the old dishwasher. Timmy handed me an apron and described the operation step by step. When the training ended five minutes later, Timmy embarked on his new prep cook job and I embarked on my new dishwasher job. From the pile of dirty dishes, I grabbed a couple of plates.
In it, Orwell recounted the couple of months he spent in Paris in the autumn of 1929 as a twentysix-year-old plongeur (that’s French talk for dishwasher). After all his money is stolen from his room, Orwell finds himself desperate for any kind of work. So his Russian buddy Boris lines up jobs for the two of them—dishwashing for Orwell, waiting tables for Boris—at a Russian restaurant that is to open in a couple weeks. In the meantime, Orwell takes on a one-day dish stint at a large five-star hotel.
Again he explained what to wash and where to put things once they were clean. This time, I concentrated. Waitresses—whose faces I couldn’t see, only their hands— would shove the dirty dishes through a waist-high hole in one wall. I was to wash the dishes and then shove them through a waist-high hole in another wall to the cooks— whose faces I also couldn’t see, just their hands. The only person ever in view was Timmy, who—content in his new position—whistled cheerfully as he chopped vegetables.
Dishwasher: One Man's Quest to Wash Dishes in All Fifty States (P.S.) by Pete Jordan