I’ve been a server off and on since I was 18, and during that time I’ve experienced a variety of environments.
The small town sports bar, Buzzard Billy’s Flying Carp Cafe, “high-end family dining” at MiMi’s cafe and my current gig at a brew pub in downtown Des Moines, among others.
During all these experience there’s always been one question that has yet to get completely answered and usually leads to conversation and opposing views.
Is it acceptable to use the word “guys” at a table.
ie: When greeting a table can I say, “Hey guys how are you tonight?”
Some of you are probably like, “yes, duh why not“, others are probably thinking “GASP, NO! I will be an addressed as a lady” and still others are clueless.
Anyway. Here’s the deal.
Some women (and even their male counterparts on occasion) get offended when they’re referred to “guys”. Since, most people think of it as a term that is supposed to be for men.
Well, here’s a brief history lesson.
The word guy first began in England right around 1605. When “Guy Fawkes” the man who tried to blow up parliament was captured. After that, guy Fawkes day was created. The citizens of London would make effigies of guy fawkes to burn them, later shortened to guy, and that’s how it originally started.
So, technically, even men should get offended because it’s referring to something that you’re burning out of anger and hate.
Forward fast to 2011 and look it up in Webster, and you’ll see it also says that “Guys” is a term used for “a group of people regardless of sex”
So, that gets all the facts and stuff out-of-the-way.
Now, my opinion on it.
I think it’s A-OK to use. My long drawn out, too complicated thinking on it is this.
Women have been (and still are) fighting for equality. They want equal pay, benefits, respect etc as their male counterparts. Which, they should totally get.
But then, why would you turn around and expect your server to talk to you differently because you’re a lady.
I should note that I don’t use guys all the time. I do still do my best to use gender neutral words like “folks” or if it is a table of all women , I use the term ladies. But “guys” still slips out almost every time.
And on top of all that, your server has few more important things to worry about: getting your order correct, drinks, their other tables etc. Not, making sure they don’t call you a “guy”.
And while I’ve yet to have a table react badly to my vernacular, I have heard stories about people getting yelled at because they said “guys”.
And I’m not saying people who get upset over it are wrong, I’m just saying I think there are plenty worse things that could be said and done while you’re at a restaurant.
But I want your opinion.
Is it okay to use “guys”?
Lady readers-When a server says guys do you get upset or even notice it?
Man readers-What do you think? When you’re eating with your girlfriend and your server says “guys” do you notice?
Talk to me. I want to hear.