One of my buddies is on leave from the Army before hitting the sandbox, so, we decided to send him off the only way you should ever send someone who is going to be half a world away looking at sand for a year. We went to his favorite bar, we drank, we fed our friend shots, and 5 of us ended up closing down the bar.
We decided that we were hungry, and that our now not so coherent sandbox bound friend needed to eat if only to tame the massive hangover he was due for. This was a Good Idea, right up until we decided that since this was his send off, we should let our friend choose the destination. Tip: Never let the drunkest person in the room call the shots. So, those of us that could drive drove those us that couldn't to the local Waffle House.
Every 4 person booth in the place was dirty. Not occupied, just dirty. I, being the only female in the group and quite used to playing the mother rule for my silly male friends, requested that one of the tables be cleaned off for us. Which earned me a dirty look and a "there's plenty of clean tables." Now, for those that have never had the pleasure of dining in a Waffle House, there is no "back". There's a counter that faces the kitchen/food prep area, which is entirely open to view, and you can see every table in the place from anywhere in the restaraunt. At this time of night, there was one waitress and one cook, which is pretty typical. I don't know that you really needed that little description, but I like to paint a picture.
So, we're drunk, and not all that picky. We grab a couple of chairs, and somehow manage to seat all of us around one of the 2 person booths. Two of us on one side in the bench, one guy on the other side in the bench, and two guys sitting on chairs at the end. It wasn't ideal but it worked. Our waitress came by to take our drink orders, then shortly thereafter took our food orders. We waited. And we waited some more.
She comes back with the food.
Problem #1 - None of us have drinks.
Problem #2 - My toast is missing
Problem #3 - Kurt's toast is missing
Problem #4 - Joe's "smothered and covered" hashbrowns (onions, chili and cheese) had one piece of onion on the top, no chili, and no cheese.
Problem #5 - Stan's hashbrowns are missing.
So, I started with the most obvious issue, the drinks. When the waitress left to get them I surveyed everyone to find out who was missing what. When she came back I let her know everything that was missing or incorrect. Now, with her reaction of sighing and rolling her eyes you would have thought we were all yelling and screaming at once with what was wrong - which in retrospect, I should have let happen, but the guys were all sitting quietly and paitently. They know better than to act like jackasses when I'm around. Hehe. I had to repeat myself at least three times. Tell me how hard "We're missing two sides of white toast and a side of hashbrowns, and Joe wanted his hashbrowns *points to hashbrowns with the sad little lonely onion on top* smothered and covered" is to comprehend. Her first answer was "those hashbrowns ARE smothered and covered!" Now, even if she didn't know the small menu at all whatsoever, how does the term "smothered and covered" imply one piece of onion, and nothing else?
We started eating, and the missing hashbrowns and correct "smothered and covered" hashbrowns made a reasonably quick appearance. The missing toast was still AWOL. Drinks were empty. I had to walk up to the counter to get our waitresses attention despite the fact that the counter was about three steps from our table. Anytime a drink went empty I had to get back up and physically hand her the glass it was in to get her to refill it.
Since we all were sharing a small table, it was cramped with all of our dishes. Our waitress made no move to clear used plates. I ended up stacking them all up myself and setting them on the table behind us that was already dirty. Since I've been a server myself, it was done in the same way I'd pick up plates if I was serving - I condensed everything that was on our table into two reasonable, stable stacks of dishes.
Our toast came at some point. By that time, I had almost finished my meal, and didn't touch mine. Our not so coherent sandbox bound friend ended up dumping what little was left on his plate into his lap since he was on the edge of the table. Our waitress saw this, and made no move to offer napkins, a towel, or anything else to help with cleanup. Normally I'm the kind of person that cleans up after myself (as I was doing with the plates - I could have just tossed them on the dirty table not paying attention to how they were arranged) but at this point I was just so fed up that whatever ended up on the floor stayed there.
I didn't pay the bill, but I know the person who did left a good tip because that's just how he is.
I've had rude service, slow service, I've been ignored, and I've had the wrong food served to me. However, I think this is the first time I experienced a combination of all of the above. Especially in a place so small it's impossible for your server to pull a "dissapearing act". She ignored us while being all of 5 feet away - possibly a new bad_service record.
Needless to say, for night two, we opted for Denny's.