We got our menus and placed our drink orders, and started to decide what we'd like. Husband was rather quick, but I still was undecided. The server came back to deliver drinks and ask for our order, and we told her we'd need a few minutes. Then she came again to ask for our order after one minute had passed. Told her again, we still needed some time to decide. This repeated a few more times (after the span of literally a minute passing each time), and while I don't think this is bad_service really, as I can understand them wanting to get customers out ASAP to clear tables, it is just one layer of a multitude of things that went wrong this morning.
I was thinking about how good a sandwich would be, but couldn't seem to locate them on the menu. I thought maybe they were doing a reduced menu for the holiday, until I checked the husband's menu and realized mine was missing an entire section. Whoops! No big deal, we figured, but we wanted to inform them so another customer didn't get this incomplete menu. So, while I was still deciding (because I finally found the sandwiches in husband's menu) my husband told the server (who came by to check to see if we had decided) about the menu, how it was missing pages. The same server was very curt in her reply of: "Okaaaaaay?" As if to say, okay well what am I supposed to do about it? She didn't even offer to replace it (my husband, having anxiety, kind of babbled nervously after the "okaaaaaaay?" that we didn't need one but just wanted to make sure they knew about it, etc). She didn't even take the incomplete menu away, just said "Okay..." again, with the tone that implied: "I still don't know why you're telling me this...."
We exchanged weird looks as she rushed off to do other duties, but for the most part shrugged it off as just her being super busy.
When I had finally decided on what to order our server had stopped coming by (which is totally reasonable), so my husband raised his hand just to indicate we were ready. A simple head nod would've been enough, or even eye contact and we would have waited patiently for her to become available-- no rush, we are patient people, we weren't in a hurry to get anywhere today. Our server avoided all eye contact with us, so we waited patiently waiting for her to spot us, or give some indication that she'd seen us. Someone else had, someone who was helping out and running the till, and came over to check on us. We merely said we were ready to order, and the helper turned to tell our server (who was about five feet away doing something with coffee at the cutlery/coffee/napkin station) replied in a snotty/snappy tone, "Well I'm BUSY now so they're just going to have to wait!"
I was absolutely flabbergasted as was my husband and the helper told us she would find someone else and ran off. We exchanged looks and confirmed that neither of us in a hurry, or had said anything that could have indicated otherwise (because we were so shocked as to where the assumption had came from-- we wanted to make sure neither of us had thought the other was saying something of the like). I understand that the restaurant was busy, and as a server she was probably stressed, but I didn't appreciate the jump from indicating we were ready (because she had checked so frequently before) to being OMGSERVEUSNAO!
We got another server, and I guess the first server went on break or something, because we didn't see her for a bit. The second server was lovely, bubbly, energetic and full of smiles. She took our order, talked with us when bussing tables (not mandatory/expected but nice when servers put in the effort to be cheery), refilled coffee, remembered small details (like how I took lots of milk with my coffee, and then brought out lots with the refill), etc. We thought everything was going better until our old server brought out our food. (It still was, we were just temporarily filled with dread/worry at the return of our first server and her attitude).
Our old server was suddenly pleasant once again, but other than dropping off our food, and eventually our bill, didn't ask about refills or anything extra. So when we went to pay, we made sure the helper on the till knew wanted the second server to get the tip (and her, the helper, if she could accept tips). Helper said she would make sure to it got to the right person, and as we were paying, our first server came by and said, "It's okay... give it to (second server's name).. I don't really care."
Kind of made us go "bwuh?" as we wondered if she'd overheard us talking to helper.
Helper, which I suspect might have been a manager, told her that she had to do it and she (first server) knew why. It was then, second server looked like she was coming back from break, and looked worried, and helper (manager?) called them both over to talk about the tip (which I hope also included an explanation of why we'd specified, and/or why you shouldn't be snotty within hearing range of a customer).
So in the end, I guess, bad_service turned good? :)