So we went to the T.G.I. Friday's in the theatre district. It was really busy; we had to wait about half an hour for a table, but that wasn't really a problem; they let us come in and wait at the bar instead of outside or in the foyer.
Finally, we were seated. It took the waitress about 10-15 minutes to get to us to take our drink orders, by which point we were already ready to order our food, so she took all the orders at once. I was the first one to order, and I let her know we would be paying separately. The restaurant was extremely noisy with the crowds of people and the music in the background, so we were all basically yelling our orders, while our waitress was speaking in a normal tone of voice and acting annoyed when we had to ask her to repeat herself. Also, one of my friends, K, tried to order a dessert along with her meal, and the waitress looked at her like she was an idiot and said "You order that later."
So after she left, we waited about another 10 minutes at least for our drinks, and another 15 after that for our food. Meanwhile, the waitress was doing this weird thing where she would just lean on the drink stand across the aisle from our table and just watch us. Once we had our food, we finished eating fairly quickly, because by this point we were starving, but the waitress made no move to collect our plates. She walked past our table several times to serve other tables, and at least once we saw her hanging out at the pay station chatting away with a coworker. Every time she came near our table she would not even look in our direction, and it seemed like she was walking extra fast to get past us, but I could have been imagining that.
Finally, she came by and took our dishes, K ordered dessert and I ordered a mudslide. The service was fairly timely on this part of the saga; someone else delivered K's cake a few minutes later, and our regular waitress brought my mudslide a few minutes after that. We waited another 15 minutes or so after that for her to bring the bill, which she gave to us on a single receipt. I was about to mention that we'd requested separate orders, until she whipped out a little calculator device, which we figured meant she was going to split up the order there at the table.
This next part is what really boggled my mind. We hadn't anticipated having to sort out the check, so we huddled around the check for a moment trying to figure out whose orders were what, and I guess the waitress got tired of waiting, because without saying a word to us, she put the calculator down on our table and just walked off. And, lo and behold, she disappeared for another 10 minutes.
When she got back, we had figured out whose was whose, and I started off, "I had the apple juice, the New York strip and the mudslide." The waitress looks at me and goes, "And what was the total on that?"
Why would you ask a customer what their total was? It would be so easy to lie. Plus, you've got your little calculator RIGHT THERE.
I was a bit taken aback, but K already had out the calculator on her cell phone and added up the total of my items, which I gave to the waitress, and she scanned my credit card and all went well after that. But, really? Isn't it part of your job to do the math? And if you didn't even check it yourself, how would you know that I hadn't cheated you?
With the slow service, I think a little of that is forgivable in a crowded restaurant, but I would have thought that, considering how long people were waiting for tables, they would be wanting to hurry us out of there to make room for more paying customers. Instead, it took us almost half an hour to get dessert and pay.