I have a fair amount of sympathy for new waitstaff, but that sympathy wanders off the more and more it seems to me that incompetence is standing between me and any chance of food. My timing was admittedly bad. I arrived with a group of twenty or so were leaving, two-thirds of the restaurant's table space departing all at once. They were bundled up; so was I, although I took off my shawl and started to unbundle.
The host thought i was with them. I explained I wasn't, I'd only just arrived. She misunderstood, and tried to give me a bill, asking if I'd signed it yet. Then she offered me a different bill instead. I hadn't eaten yet. She slowly clued in. "Would you like to place a takeout order?" I really didn't want to - I wanted to eat there. Eventually, she seated me.
Happily, my actual waitress was extremely competent, when she arrived and saved my drink from near-certain oblivion. The experienced staff explained what dishes were which to the host. I ate my salad.
Then the host came over and asked if I'd like anything else. "I'm waiting for my next course", I replied. She left to talk to the newly-arrived waiter who was eating dinner. He promptly got up, dashed to the cash register, and brought me my bill. "I'm waiting for my next course." I told him. He apologized. From there, it was finally smooth sailing. At the end, I had the delight of having my waitress happily gush about what a wonderful customer I'd been, the least work all night in a hectic evening. I went away content, back into the swirl of glitter gusting sideways through the night.