SITUATION #1: I've been to two different restaurants this week. Tuesday night was a bit nicer of a sit down place, but not overly fancy. I went with three friends, and we got drinks and an appetizer before ordering our entrees, which the server said would take about 30 minutes to come out. No big deal, especially if we know up front.
It wasn't overly busy in the restaurant, which gave our server ample opportunity to check in on us. Which she did. Over and over and over. I barely got a few sips of my water down before it was refilled, and the second we were done putting the last bite of appetizer in our mouth, our appetizer plates were whisked away.
I get checking in on your tables, but literally every three minutes? It got to the point where it was almost comical and certainly interrupted our conversations.
SITUATION #2: I went to lunch today and all I wanted was the soup and salad bar. Didn't need a lot of attention from a server, other than to get a drink refilled. Which took forever. I'm trying not to sound like a snob, but not that hard, right? I made the joke that if I slurped loudly at the bottom of my cup, the server would magically appear. And wouldn't you know...
My point here is this: which would you rather have? An over attentive server, or one that forgets you're there? I don't get the former very often, but I found myself very annoyed by it. And how do you tip? I like to think my baseline is 20%, and then move it 5% either way based on the service. Fair?