I went to a big chain Italian restaurant, the one that does the unlimited soup/salad deal, for lunch one day. I actually frequent two other locations on my days off because I am addicted to one of their soups, but this particular day I was in another town, I had an hour in between meetings, and they were right down the street. I've easily gotten in and out of my usual location within a half hour of arriving, and it was well before the lunch rush (11:30 AM) so I thought I'd have no problem grabbing lunch and making my afternoon meeting.
When I walked in I told the hostess I was rather pressed for time -- this is something that in my experience at the other locations, they usually ask on lunch hour, so I was trying to be proactive about ensuring I'd be able to get out of there with enough time. She told me to tell my server. No problem -- except my server never came. There were two people behind me discussing their plans for karaoke that night, but I didn't know if they were assigned to my section, so I waited a bit. After I'd been there for about 10 minutes, two women were seated at the table across from mine. One of the girls talking about karaoke rushed up to them and immediately took their drink orders. I waved her down as soon as she was done and asked if she could find my server for me -- turns out she was my server. I told her, "I'm in a hurry," and gave her my drink & food order.
To her credit, she did apologize and bring my food out immediately...and then completely ignored me again. The restaurant was still fairly slow at that time but she was waiting on two other tables besides mine, to which she was very attentive, but she rushed right past me repeatedly unless I flagged her down. I had to ask her to bring me a refill on my soup, to bring me my check, and to pick up my check. I made it back to my meeting in time, but only just.
I'm not sure if she wrote me off from the beginning because I was a female dining alone (I know the stereotype about tipping -- I don't fit into that), or if she decided it wasn't worth trying to make up for having ignored me for over 10 minutes when I was first seated.
My receipt included a website to fill out a survey on my experience. I usually ignore those but I was so incensed over what has to have been the absolute worst service I have ever received to date, I filled it out. I was immediately contacted by the manager of that location and he sent me quite a generous gift card.
So, happy ending, at least. It paid for 3 lunches at my usual location. I don't plan to return to the other one.