Last Updated 02 Nov 2022

Being a Waiter Is Not Only a Discourse Community, but It Is Also Lots of Hard Work

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Waiters have a peculiar history. “The term waiter derived from the late fifteenth century; originally in reference to household servants in inns, and eating houses”(Etymology Dictionary). Alison Owings explained, “the first waiters that we know of were in the 1620’s; they were seen working in taverns serving spirits to the patrons their central purpose. However, on December 13, 1827, the first restaurant was opened in New York City; it was then that people discovered a new need for waiters, and they began working in the middle of the nineteenth century” (Owings). I chose to analyze this specific discourse because they are underappreciated, yet they play a valuable role in our society. Without waiters, people would not anyone to assist them in restaurants to serve; therefore, waiters are a necessity. Waffle House waitress, in particular, are a discourse because they have to join an industry that could change some aspects of their identity while learning new goals, two new languages, and order of operations.

The most efficient way for me to gather information from the waiters was to observe them. On October sixth I went to Waffle House early that morning to examine their waiters' Discourse while eating a delicious Texas Cheesesteak Melt. By watching them, I got plethora of information about their Discourse. Such as their language, job duty, intentions, how they interact with different customers, and if they genuinely enjoyed working at Waffle House. I inspected the waiters, by sitting at a table where I could view the whole restaurant. Then I would find a particular waiter I would observe, of course getting permission first. While examining them, I recorded the information in my journal.

Waiters have a multitude of goals. The primary purpose of the waiters at the Waffle House is to present the restaurant to their customers' in a marvelous way, so they can get more customers. By doing this, their buyers will advertise their establishment and tell other consumers about their service. Getting more customers means more money, and obtaining more money is their ultimate goal because their income is based solely on tips. Another purpose of people trying to be waiters is to put this job on their resume, so they can show their future employer that they a lot of experience working with other employees and satisfying their customers.

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When being compared to other restaurants like Buffalo Wild Wings and Olive Garden, Waffle House has the most complicated lexis. They use two methods to communicate with each other in their Discourse the mark system and oral commands. An anonymous author exclaimed, “the mark the plate method consists of ordinary kitchen utensils and condiments packets placed on a plate. The grill operators use this as a way of helping them remember an order, and the waitress makes sure everything is correct and in order” (“Waffle House Condiment Code”) Figure one shows an example of the mark the plate system. The author further explained the meaning of the condiments. “A jelly packet at the bottom of a plate signifies scrambled eggs, a pack of apple butter symbolizes raisin toast, a mustard condiment facing upwards means a pork chop, and a pat of butter is used to express how a customer wants their T-bone steak cooked” (“Waffle House Condiment Code”)

The waiters also give verbal commands to communicate with one another. Before giving an order a waitress will say mark first to warn the grill operator they are about to give an order. Afterward, a waiter will say pull which indicates get all the meat out for this individuals’ order. Drop the hashbrowns means… well drop the hashbrowns ; they are announced in a ring if not the griller will assume they are to be scattered. An essential piece of information that you should know about the meat and eggs are the names you call for a particular quantity. Bacon means three slices of bacon and one-half is two slices.

One sausage is two sausage patties, and one-half sausage is one sausage patty. One pork chop is two pork chops, and one-half pork chop is one chop. A single is one egg, order is two eggs, and three is triple eggs. Hashbrowns are called a plate, and double plate means large hashbrowns. A server does not have to state if a customer wants grits because all breakfast orders come with grits. An example of all this data is, mark order scrambled plate, this concludes the customer wants two scrambled eggs and some hashbrowns. Another illustration is mark triple scramble hold the grits. Which suggests, a customer wants three egg; without grits.

There are only two significant genres that a waitress has, and that is their notepad and their memory p. Most waiters need a journal to write down a customer's' order so they can avoid any confusions or miscommunications. A waitress notepad is sort of like their manual in a way. It tells them what a customer wants and does not want it also is a great way to keep up with all of their consumer's orders because they have to serve a myriad of tables. The notepad is not only helping them with getting through their day without any problems, but it is also helping them with their memory p. By constantly scribbling customers' order almost everyday they start to memorize more things. The restaurants' menu is also their genre because they have to memorize it because most customers' rely on recommendations. The menu is also a crucial thing to remember because most consumers ask a bunch of questions and you can answer all of their concerns without hesitation.

The waiters in this Discourse have a egalitarian membership. There is no such thing as the main waiter or the lead waiter. Yes, there are waiters who have been here for a long time, but at the end of the day they all get paid based of the customers’ tips. It will not take a long time to join this discourse just as long as you pay attention and learn there two lexis which should not take any longer than two weeks to learn. The newcomers are the waiters that are very timid and perky. They need a lot of help from the “old timers” because they do not know the system very well, but they will adjust with lots of practice. The “old timers” are usually the waiters who do not use a notepad they can remember a customer's’ order because they have been working for Waffle House for a long time. You can easily join this Discourse by applying online and attending your appointed job interview. Afterwards, it will not take long for you to get acquainted in this community.

Being a Waffle House waiter is not only a Discourse Community, but it is also lots of hard work. They not only have to learn two lexeis, but also memorize loads of information. Even though, they are underappreciated and underpaid they play a vital role in our society. Without them who would take or give you your order, clean your table, or address all of your needs and make sure you are having a great time; that is right no one because these things might seem minor right now but they are crucial.

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