Ask the Critic: What's Your Biggest Pet Peeve About Service?

There are so many things to nitpick about the waitstaff at a restaurant. (I should know -- I used to be a waitress myself.)

The server is overly friendly and overly talkative, as if you really just showed up to bask in the glow of his or her dazzling and loquacious personality.

Or, the server's just a jerk, or knows nothing about the menu.

And then there are the snotty hostesses who look you up and down, and seem annoyed that you're there to spend your hard-earned dough.

But I can handle different personalities most of the time. (I'm not even asking you to smile, but shit, is it really that hard?)

What I don't like at all is to simply be neglected. Just bring me my menu when I sit down. Keep my water glass filled. Let the wine flow. Check in to see how I'm doing. And if there's a problem in the kitchen that's out of your control, for heaven's sake, just tell me! Please don't disappear for the rest of the night, and then make me flag you down for the check.

Sometimes, I feel so deserted that I practically can hear the sound of crickets chirping.

So there you go. Just be present. Be my advocate for a good meal. "Take care" of me like you said you would, and I will be happy to tip accordingly.

Got a question for the critic? Email michele dot laudig at newtimes dot com

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