So You Want To Be A Waiter

The best book on waiting tables that you have never read – yet

Daily Archives: May 12, 2009

New link added –

10 years old and proud of it!  Should be on everyone’s reading list.

And this is a good time to remind everyone that my use of the term waiter is used in a non-gender-specific way. As for bitterwaitress – “The choice to use the feminine term “waitress” stems from a tongue-in-cheek reaction to the nascent and prevailing use of the term “actor” for people in the theatre irrespective of gender”

Right on sister!

It’s funny how English only retains vestiges of gender in nouns, unlike languages like French or German, where every noun is either masculine, feminine or neuter. Obviously, since those languages don’t have just 1 “you” or “the” like we do and need gender to help tie in the case of the word as well, it’s very important to distinguish between genders in order to figure out whether the noun is a subject, direct object indirect object or the like  (we use position of the word instead – “The boy bit the dog” has a much different meaning than “The dog bit the boy”, whereas, in German, boy and dog can either be in front or at the end and you know who the subject is by how the article “the” is formed). My point is, we aren’t totally consistent with the practice of feminizing “masculine” words (or vice versa). Who ever heard of a lawyress for instance?

For more dry grammatical info on this subject, you can see a page from the arcane 1874 treatise 

An English grammar

 By Eduard Adolf Ferdinand Maetzner, Clair James Grece


You’ve just got to page back and read the Translator’s Preface. This book was written by a German professor in Berlin and apparently, even the translator thinks that “The German is the modern classical tongue”. He dissed French and other romance languages  as “the debris of Latin” and English as “from the debris of Romance and of a decayed and decapitated German idiom”. Now, speaking as someone whose only second language *is* German, and recognizing a lot of English-esque words in Plattdeutsch (the low “vulgar” German dialect/language spoken in Northern Germany and along the Western border) and, recognizing the rather slipshod nature of English in general (all of those strange hononyms and inconsistencies like this one), we kicked your ass in the two World Wars, Herr Professor Doktor! We don’t need 6 stinking different “the’s” to tell us whether the dog bit the boy and I’ll call you Du instead of Sie all I want to. What are you going to do, sic Frau Professor Doktor Maetzner on me?

Seriously, on this site, it’s waiter for everyone even though I use server a lot. Oh yeah, it’s always guest instead of customer. Every waiter should get in the mindset of calling them that.  I think it makes a difference in mindset that is helpful to the pocketbook.