I know there are some great front of the house people who make the chefs smile at the end of a brutal day. Then there are awful servers who make the kitchen staff angry.
One of the better waiters I knew was always happy to be at work. Or he did a very good job showing he did not want to be at work. He always smiled, he always talked up the food, he never needed to give big spiel. His essence was so convincing. Even though the place he worked never pleased me foodwise, I always enjoyed his table service. Sadly he died of a spontaneous heart attack.
The worst server was responsible for serving a party of ten featuring my mother on her birthday. I don't think she should get preferential treatment. But she does deserve service. It was a bill of close to five hundred dollars. She only tipped 40 bucks because she was furious.
I don't think it is so much to ask to clear the plates in a timely fashion. I do think it is entirely rude and inconsiderate to put a clean plate on the table and place dirty silverware back on the table to be used for the next course. How was she supposed enjoy birthday cake without silverware?