So You Want To Be A Waiter

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

Just a reminder about the use of the term “waiter”

For the new people who have arrived at the blog, I just want to say that I use the term waiter for both sexes.

Waitress can have certain connotations, negative and positive, but I think that waiter connotes more of an image of professionalism (unfairly or not). Yes, even that perception of an air of professionalism stems from sexism but if we make it a non-sexist word, which, in the English language it technically is as it can refer to either sex, we push that sexism to the back of the bus.

It does seem strange to talk about a waiter at a meat and three (where you rarely see a male waiting tables) and at Hooters (where you never see a male waiting tables and spinning hula hoops), but there ya go. Nothing in life is perfect. Perhaps, in the case of Hooters, we just stick with Hooters girl as they themselves do (proudly, I might add).

The more we roll everyone into one term, the more we create an air of professionalism for all. Of course, we run the risk of homogenization, but the distinction probably never should have been made in the first place. If you’re a female waiter and like being called “waitress”, more power to you. I’m not trying to demean the tradition. After all, the term can reflect a powerful image. That’s something that people can decide for themselves. If you are proud to be a waitress, more power to you.

Occasionally you might see me slip and use the term server. I actually use that in conversation a lot. And it’s far more prevalent in common usage. Nothing wrong with the term per se, especially if you’re trying to get away from sexism (far better than the calamitous “waitron” of years past), but I think it’s a little too close to servant for my taste. Still, it’s part of my lexicon and I might use it from time to time.

And yes, I have waitress tags. Just in case.

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