Just for the record, I don't think I've ever been rude to a waiter, but what is a customer to do if ill-treated by a waiter, oh you lenient ones? I had this one waitress once who, three times within 10 minutes came to ask me if I was done with my plate of gnocchi, each time interrupting a conversation. I suppose I should have let her take my plate the first time so as not to bother her. PS: I was a waitress in a relatively upscale restaurant while in college. But what you describe is clearly different from what the OP stated were some of the "waiters' worst" (introducing himself by his first name is one of the "worst" things a waiter could do - really?; daring to ask if you have any questions on the menu is a "worst?"; insulting you (and, presumably, past generations of your family) by referring to you as "folks" is unconscionable?). In your situation, I think I would have politely, but firmly informed the waitress (probably on the second time) that I was still eating and that I would let her know when I was finished. I'm also not trying to say that I act like a doormat in a restaurant. Here are some things that bother me: - food comes prepared other than the way I requested it (i.e. well done instead of medium; with the rice side instead of potatoes; etc.) - in this case, I may send the food back or I may not - it depends on how important the mistake is to me, but I still expect my order to be correct (note, if I elect not to send back the item or if I send it back and it comes out correctly the second time, this will not affect my tip) - the service is unreasonably slow (hey, I'm hungry) or fast (hey, I'm not in that much of a rush - I don't need to see dessert menus while I'm still working on my salad) - the waiter is snotty - I had one experience where my wife and I were dining with a group of friends - one of our friends asked for some changes to an item on the menu (e.g. "could I have that side instead of this one?", etc.) - the waiter was very huffy when taking her order - he then turned to my wife to take her order and said something like, "I hope you're not going to be a lot of trouble, too." At this point I asked him whether he was still expecting a full tip. That basically stopped him in his tracks. - if a part of the table is served and a part is left waiting for longer than 2 or 3 minutes - this is annoying and awkward for the diners ("no, please, go ahead - it's getting cold") - once, at a wedding, half our table was served while the rest of us were left waiting for 10 minutes - I finally had to flag down a member of the wait staff and request that the remainder of the table be served (of course, the wedding reception was held on a college campus and the servers were students and not a professional wait staff - also, as this was a wedding, the meal itself was free) Even with the above, it would take an awful lot for me to decide to lower my standard tip if the food and service were generally good (the snotty waiter was my breaking point - I think we left 10%). On the other hand, unless I get truly exceptional service, I'm not going to over-tip either. Perhaps the service in continental Europe is so head and shoulders above anything we backwards colonists can get here in the States that my eyes would be open to an entirely new (oops, I mean old) and different world. Unfortunately, I haven't yet had the pleasure of visiting continental Europe (a freely admitted shortcoming of mine), so I can't say for certain.