Jerome Foster funex79 at SLONET.ORG
Fri Jan 26 17:05:24 UTC 2001

Melissa ignores, not only the sexism of busboy but probably also its ageism
since there's a good probability that the busboy is older than she is and
most likely not a "boy."

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, January 26, 2001 8:16 AM
Subject: Re: Waitron

> Date:          Thu, 25 Jan 2001 21:57:18 -0500
> From:          Jane Parker <jpparker at ISERV.NET>
> Subject:       Re: Waitron
> When I lived in Minneapolis MN in the mid-'80 the term waitron was
commonly used
> instead of waiter/waitress in the want ads and by the waitrons themselves.
> People laughed at me (even some linguistic professors) when I went to
> in IN.  I have not seen or heard it used since.  Is anyone else familiar
> this term?    I think is was sort of a gender neutral combo of waitress
> automaton.
> Jane P Parker
> I recall reading an anecdote in some local (NYC) source, probably in
> the mid 1980s.
> [Recreated:]  The writer goes into a restaurant, takes a table that
> hasn't been red up since the last customer.  A female appears,
> announces "I'm Melissa, and I'll be your waitron tonight."
> "Waitron?"  "Yes.  Waitress and waiter are sexist terms.  The busboy
> will clean your table right away."
> The point to the anecdote, to the extent that it had one, is that her
> consciousness was not raised sufficiently to keep her from using the
> sex-bound term "busboy".  I believe that I now see the word
> "wait-person" on cards in restaurant windows notifying the world of a
> job-opening.  The gophers, in introducing themselves, tend to say
> "I'll be your server."
> "red up" appears in homage to my connections in Elizabeth, Pa.

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