There's this lovely place in Boston called Joe's American Bar & Grill--definitely a touristy place, but the food is tasty. They have a brunch special, about $12-17 for a tasty entree and a breakfast drink (mimosa, bloody mary, bud light, or something else). Great deal, right? We had some excellent service there previously from one of the friendliest bartenders I've ever met, so we went back again one Sunday.
Our waiter comes by, and he takes our orders. He returns with two mimosas. And then abandons us completely.
A food runner brings us our food, and we have both finished our mimosas and are jonesing for something else to drink with our food. Mind you, our waiter is taking care of a large table of well-dressed older women, while I'm casually dressed and 21. Right, he's busy. It's Sunday brunch. He'll get to us, right?
Except he brings them their drinks, and we try to wave or make eye contact for ketchup and water. Nothing.
We continue eating and the women are served. At this point I'm mostly done eating and I want ketchup for my hash browns. He asks the women how their food is. He looks up, makes eye contact with me. Success! Except not. He whizzes to the back again.
We wait a few more minutes, hoping he'll remember us. No dice. Mind you, we've waited about a half-hour and have gotten literally NO attention from our waiter. At all.
So I go to the other waiters who are standing near the entrance to the kitchen, and ask for some water and ketchup. "I think he abandoned us." The waitresses who help us are completely sweet and speedy, and another woman takes out plates. Another one gave us the check. At this point, I'm thinking our waiter changed and we just got a bit lost in the shuffle--no problem there, I plan to tip the ladies well.
Except they weren't our waitresses. Our table apparently still belongs to Mr Professional Waiter Too Good For You. He returns to pick up our check in silence. He runs my card and returns it, still in silence. I notice there is a little survey at the bottom of the check, and I fill it out. Food four, drinks four, service one. Comments: our waiter visited our table twice. I still left a 15% tip, because I don't believe in not tipping--he has to tip out the bartender, busboys, and whatnot, and I don't want to stiff any of them.
The kicker? I told one of my friends (who is out of school, and a waiter himself) and he looked aghast. "Joe's? If you gave him a one, he's getting FIRED. I know some bartenders there. Joe takes those survey things very seriously."
So, hopefully our little table will at least have earned him a talking-to. I wrote on on our copy of the reciept, "Just because I'm not going to spend $100 per head and am under 40 doesn't mean I don't deserve service" and I wrapped it around the tip.