There are about half a billion articles out there on how to be a good waitress. Smile, be friendly, make eye contact, yada yada yada. But not nearly as many on how to be a good customer. And there are quite a few people out there who could really benefit from a few guidelines.
1. Don't ignore the big ol' sign reading Hostess will seat you. The hostess gets paid to take you to a table and hand you a couple of menus. Go and seat yourself, and you'll find out what it means to have to wait. You will be the last table I go to, and probably get a bit of attitude.
2. Don't bring in your own food or drinks. If the sign on the door saying "no outside food or drinks" wasn't a big enough hint, think about the fact that we make money from selling you food, not from letting you take up our table to eat the lunch you brought from home. And if we ask you to put away your Starbucks, don't pitch a fit big enough to rival Paris.
3. Remember you will actually have to speak to your waitress. This means more than grunting and pointing at your menu. If you don't want to talk to anyone, go to your local Sheetz where all you have to do is push a button to order.
4. Realize waitresses are human beings. I am not a dog, nor a servant. This means you do not whistle to get my attention, grab my arm, or snap your fingers at me. Manners will get you a long way, namely decent service.
5. Do not hit on me. Lines like, "I'll take a waitress with nothing on it," or "Are you on the menu today?" do not impress me. Whether your old enough to be my grandfather or too young to have even hit puberty, keep your overused lines for someone who may actually care.
If we could just get everyone to follow these simple guidelines, waitressing would be so much less stressful, and I wouldn't come home thinking I should have spit in someone's food (not that I ever really would). Maybe my urge to up and smack the next person who seemed to have skipped manners week in Kindergarten would even go away.