Harrisburg native James Adams is the author of "Waffle Street: The Confession and Rehabilitation of a Financier" (Sourced Media Books, August 2011, 288 pages)
Adams was laid off from his high-profile job as a mortgage company exec in 2009, and,
"it dawned on me that people of means shouldn’t let themselves be rewarded by the State for their participation in creating the biggest financial disaster in eighty years." he states on the book's website. He tried to get a job at McDonald's but the competition was too stiff. Adams ended up taking the graveyard shift (a grueling 9 a.m. to 7 a.m. gig) as a server at a Waffle House - a 24 hour diner chain of sorts.
The lessons he learned while slinging hash at the Waffle House were more than Adams anticipated. He wrote on a Dec. 2011 guest post for blogger Cole Jones, "I began writing Waffle Street: The Confession and Rehabilitation of a Financier with the thought that readers jaded by the financial crisis would enjoy a fish-out-of-water narrative chronicling a financier’s attempt to work at an “honest job” for a change. And indeed, serving customers after last call provided one humorous story after another. Given the venue and my assigned shift, I anticipated as much. What I didn’t expect, however, was the number of lessons about money and banking that Edward and my customers would teach me."
Read an excerpt called Friday Night at Waffle House.
Watch the YouTube trailer for "Waffle Street" here.
Here's the publisher's description of "Waffle Street":
In the wake of the worst financial turmoil since the Great Depression, millions of Americans have spent the past year asking how the economy actually works. Thankfully, the answers have finally arrived – in a most unconventional form.
After spending two years in the midst of the housing market hurricane, Jimmy Adams was laid off from a hedge fund in early 2009. Wearied by eight years in the bond market and disillusioned by the financial services profession, he decides to get an “honest job” for a change. Before he knows what hit him, Jimmy finds himself waiting on tables of barflies at his local Waffle House.
Many colorful characters soon emerge: man-hungry female patrons, a stonemason who carves his own teeth, and a man seeking refuge from the ghost in his apartment. Amidst the glorious chaos of the night shift, the 24-hour diner affords a bevy of comedic experiences as the author struggles to ingratiate himself with a motley crew of waiters and cooks. Unexpectedly, the restaurant also becomes a font of insight into financial markets and the human condition.
In a uniquely hilarious and thought-provoking narrative, Waffle Street unravels the enigmas of money, banking, economics, and grits once and for all. As they laugh heartily at the author’s expense, readers will develop a profound appreciation for the first principle of economics: there really is no such thing as a free lunch.
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James "Jimmy" Adams earned the Chartered Financial Analyst designation and an MBA in Finance. He cut his teeth in the investment management industry as an analyst at Protective Life Insurance Co., where he assisted in the credit evaluation and relative value analysis of an $8 billion corporate bond portfolio. After three years at Protective, Adams joined Jefferson-Pilot Financial. In early 2006, he entered the mortgage bond market as a vice president in the product management group of a $30 billion money management firm.
After three "harrowing years in the mortgage market maelstrom," Adams sought refuge working for a Waffle House for six months. Per his bio on the Waffle Street website, he prefers his eggs over easy and his hashbrowns “all the way.” Originally from Harrisburg, Adams resides in Durham, N.C.