I went to a local Denny's type restaurant Friday night after work. I don't get done at work on Fridays until after 10 pm, so I was there pretty late. It was sorta busy - not too bad, but I noticed my sever was working several tables.
I was seated and given a glass of water, then waited about 10 minutes for the server to come back and take my order. I had to flag her down, because she had taken the orders of customers who were seated after I was, but who seemed to know what they wanted right away. She apologized for the wait, I gave her my order, she left, fine. I am not sure how long my order took to get to my table, but I know I made three trips to the salad bar before I got my sandwich. I was hungry! Someone else brought my food to my table.
She brought my check after quite some time, and in that time I decided I'd like to have a milkshake as well, which was a huge mistake. It took at least 15 minutes to get the shake, and she again apologized for the wait. It was one of those dealies where they give you a glass and the contents of the metal mixing cup - I was kind of annoyed to find that the mixing cup had less than half an inch of milkshake in it (normally it's about half or maybe one third full), but whatever.
I finished my shake, and waited. And waited. And waited, for my new check. It quickly became clear to me that the server had completely forgotten I was even there, so I went up to the front to pay. The cashier asked me for my check and I told him I didn't have one, so he looked up my ticket on the computer. When the server saw me up front, probably not looking too happy, she came up to the front, gave the cashier my ticket, and apologized profusely for forgetting. "I swear I thought I gave this to you, I'm so sorry!" she said. She hovered around the register until I left.
I left a 10% tip - I have only ever left less than 20% once in my life before this. I am not sure if I was being unreasonable or not. On one hand, they were clearly rather busy, and I saw my server working a bunch of tables. She was also aware that she was behind and apologized for it. On another hand, I can only put up with "I'm sooooo sorry you had to wait" so many times before I get sick of it. And I think I was shorted on my milkshake. It's pretty clear, either way, that I was merely an afterthought to my server, for whatever reason. I am not sure if this is complaint-to-the-manager worthy or not, but I also feel bad leaving a shitty tip and not explaining why. I dunno.