This happened a while ago, when my boyfriend was visiting me. We wanted to go somewhere close for dinner, so I suggested the neighborhood Applebee's which had opened a few months ago. It was a tad busy since it was Saturday night, but the host was a really nice guy who got us seated within 10-15 minutes, was cheerful and bid us adieu with a smile and "enjoy your dinner!" I think after him, we (the bf and I) both fell into the idea that the waitstaff would be equally accommodating. The section we were seated in wasn't particularly busy, pretty normal I'd say. About 4-5 tables small tables maybe?
We waited... and waited... and waited... for menus. Then our waitress came by, didn't greet us or introduce herself, just dropped the menus on the table and went on by. We were both like "WTF?" but let it go. In her defense, I think she was new because she was kind of nervous, but I still don't think it excuses all the stuff that happened. It didn't take us long to decide what to order, so when she came back, about 15 minutes after the menu drop-off, we were ready. This time she hastily said, "Hello, I'm your server, [insert her name here (it's been a while since this incident so I don't remember)]" She took our food orders and then ran off again before we ordered anything to drink. My bf and I looked at each other dumbfoundedly, and the next time she walked by, he waved her over and asked her to please take our drink order. She said, "Oh! Don't worry, I'll take it as soon as I bring your food." So we sat there thirsty and a little irritated, especially my bf, who is the kind of person who likes to be constantly drinking water.
When the food came, my pasta had that weird "skin" top that sets in when you leave it out for a while. The bf's steak was how he requested it, minus that he didn't ask for it at a cool temperature (wasn't cold yet, but was going to be pretty soon). We looked at each other and just decided it wasn't worth it to ask for replacements because we'd probably have to wait ANOTHER half hour for them. The waitress forgot about the drinks again, but we caught her before she ran off and asked for them. She looked flustered but came back with them about halfway through the meal. As she gave us the drinks, she actually asked us if we wanted the bill yet.
That was the first (and so far only time) anyone has suggested the bill to me when it's quite obvious the meal isn't over yet. We said "No," quite decidedly. She returned about three times to ask about whether we wanted the bill yet, constantly interrupting our conversation- and never once asked us if we wanted refills, if the food was okay or if we would like the dessert menu (yes I know it's not a requirement, but imo it's good customer service). Finally we got sick of her asking about the bill, so the second we finished the food we got it. That was the only thing that came out in prompt time. We were going to leave her without a tip, but the bf thought it would be funnier to leave her a single penny.
On the way out, we talked to the host, who apologized. We said we didn't want anything, and was just letting him know we weren't happy with the service. The bf handed him ten bucks because he was the only good service we got there, and we'd really liked his attitude a lot. As we left, I saw the waitress pick up the penny and stare at it. :P