Allison Owings has a great piece in the NY Times that is superficially about her reaction to the movie "Waitresss" (it seems she thinks it sucks). Ownings who wrote a book "Hey, Waitress! The USA From the Other Side of the Tray" has a lot to say about the job of waitressing and it's pleasures and indignities.
I can't speak to her observation that women servers have it tougher than men except to say that I'm sure it's true. But having been a waiter myself I could not agree more with the complaint by some of the women she interviewed that many customers behave as if they are "to the manor born" as soon as they find themselves in the presence of a server. And I've observed obnoxious condescending toward wait staff behavior from the back of the house too.
I used to be chef de cuisine at a restaurant that had three waiters who were cooling their heels in the US after having fled Poland following a crackdown on members of Solidarity (Solidarnosc). One was a medical doctor, another was a lawyer and the third was a cinematographer whose father had been a high ranking member of the the communist party and the director of the company that made Krakus Polish Ham -of all things. They were all exceptionally polite, articulate and professional guys but when Martha Stewart would come in (she was a frequent customer) they'd all come back into the kitchen in a panic because they could not bear her finger snapping and dismissive attitude. Even the manager hated to see her walk through the door.
Of course she's just one famous example of someone who treats waiters like chattel (And in all fairness she was always nice to me.) there were many other anonymous nobodies who were just as rude.
Here to Take Your Order (and Biting Their Tongues) - New York Times