DH and I went out to eat.
Normally I hate eating at restaurants--I feel trapped at my table and unable to get what I need. If you drop a fork, you have to stop eating until you can figure out where your waiter is, and you can't focus on your meal because you have to keep watching so you don't miss that slim opportunity to get her/his attention.
If you're thirsty, you have to wait for your waiter to happen by again.
Tonight we realized that the waitress forgot to bring his beer. Since I was the one facing the room, I was going to have to watch for the waitress (whom I couldn't see anywhere in the room) and get her attention.
I thought about sitting there w/ my arm raised, like in a classroom. But that was awkward and stupid looking.
So I got up and went to the wait-station/cashier spot in the middle of the room and approached another waitress entirely.
"Excuse me, our waitress is off doing some other part of her job, and we've realized she forgot my husband's beer. Would you help us get that drink?"
She asked what it was he'd ordered, and I said, "I know she wrote it on her slip, but I don't remember what it was he said. I'm sure she knows, when you find he, she'll tell you."
And I went back to my seat. In a little bit, here came our waitress w/ his beer.
I've decided, that's how I'm going to act in the future. If I'm out of water, or want a refill, or I drop my fork, if I can't see my waiter immediately, I'm going to get up and go get any waiter I see and say, "We need some help, and our waiter is busy somewhere. Would you be sure we get what we need?"
That waiter can figure out whether the best thing to do is to hand me a fork themselves or to find *my* waiter wherever it is her/his job has taken her/him, to have her/him handle it. I don't care which, and I'm willing to wait a short bit for them to figure it out.
But never again will I sit there trying to both enjoy my dinner AND scan the room for my waiter.
Oh, and we tipped 20%. She did enough other things well, so we didn't hold this against her.