There are a number of headwaiters in the dining room. They are responsible for the smooth flow of service at the tables assigned to them as well as supervising the waiters and asst. waiters in their section. There is a lot of effort by the headwaiters that goes on behind the scenes that we as passengers do not see. The logistics of serving 1400+ passengers in the same time frame is an immense operation and is directed by the headwaiters. Every cruise I've been on, the headwaiter has made his or her presence known is some way or another. As far as pay goes all other employees make more money on a salary basis than waiters, asst. waiters and stateroom attendants who, because of "tradition", essentially rely on the passengers for their income. The wholesale stiffing of these people is why the cruise lines will eventually end the gratuity practice and up the fares accordingly. The only reason it hasn't happened yet it is "who wants to be the first" to do it and put yourself at a competitive disadvantage if the others don't follow.
pg. My comments were not directed at you. I apologize if you thought so. It's just after reading so many tipping or gratuity threads, I have come to understand this is a subject that very few modern cruisers truly understand. Before my Mar. cruise my most recent cruise was '93. Very few, if any, stiffed the staff in those days and passengers' requirements were much more conservative.