The Weekly Open Thread Is NOT Your Server

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You're at a busy restaurant, and the server brings your sandwich and fries to the table. He/she is gone before you realize there's no ketchup (or for you highfalutin' types, aioli, or perhaps house-made tomato confit).

Do you wait till your server reappears to ask for said condiment?

Do you snag the first employee (server, busser, host whatever) who comes by, and ask him/her for your condiment?

Or perhaps there's an acceptable time-to-aggravation factor — if your server doesn't show up in say, three minutes, you'll ask anyone for what you need?

I'm generally a low-maintenance restaurant customer (or so I like to think, anyway) — patient, good tipper, not overly demanding. But if I want cream in my coffee, or curried-kumquat catsup for my pommes frites, and my server hasn't surfaced in a minute or two, I'll generally ask anyone (politely, natch) for the item in question, before the food or beverage gets cold. I've had dining companions sometimes say, "Uh, that's not our server," and I respond, "Yeah, I know. So?"

And typically, the restaurant employee gladly obliges me. But I do get the occasional, "I'm not your server, but I'll tell them," which I find a little passive-aggressive.

Thoughts? Any restaurant workers reading this? If so, please chime in on how such situations are handled/perceived.

What else ya got?

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