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Sometimes it doesn’t matter how beautiful the night is, the deliciousness of the food or the elegance of the restaurant–your dining evening can still be ruined by one annoying waiter. Oftentimes the success of your meal depends on the server, and below are eight surefire ways your waiter can ruin an otherwise great meal.

8) Not Checking In On You Enough

You know the type–your phantom waiter is annoyingly absent, leaving you forced to suck on melting ice cubes from your empty glass and tear into your steak with your bare hands because you can’t wait around any longer for your server to bring you a serrated knife. At the end of the meal you receive the customary stink-eye from your waiter because you left him little to no tip for his lack of service, and you contemplate stabbing him before you realize that all you’ve got is a butter knife.

7) Checking In On You Too Much

It’s hard deciding what’s worse, a neglectful waiter or a smothering one. Every three minutes your server skitters over to your table and chirps, “Need a refill? More bread? How is everything? Is it too warm in here? I can turn up the air conditioning! Would you like me to softly serenade you while you dine?” Your server is pretty much one step away from licking his thumb and wiping schmutz off your face.

6) Being Overly Enthusiastic

There’s something about an overly enthusiastic waiter that can knock your meal down a peg or two. You could be having the best risotto you’ve ever had the pleasure of cramming down your throat, but as soon as your server says “Is everything tasting delicious?”, you want to respond with “It’s okay” out of spite. That pleasant cocktail you ordered is suddenly too tart after the waiter gushes about how it’s her “absolute favorite” and is “so divine.” And that starry, clear sky with the big bright moon? That nightscape can go eff itself once your server has proclaimed it the most beautiful evening in the history of ever.

5) Not Knowing the Menu

It’s exasperating whenever you get stuck with the dud reject waiter who doesn’t know what’s on the menu, can’t remember the specials, and couldn’t recommend a dish if you held a crème brulee torch to his head. When you ask him what he recommends, he typically responds with several “um”s and eventually reads down the list as if he heard you say, “Here, read this out loud for me just to confirm its existence.” After politely sitting through “Well, there’s steak…um, we also have tilapia…chicken…,” you end up cutting him off and curtly making a decision out of fear that his stupidity is contagious.

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