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Jul 18, 2009 08:10 PM

Broken wine glass

My friend tripped and fell against a table and broke another customer's wine glass due to the lady having her purse out in the aisle and the uneven brick surface. Not thinking about it we went back to our table. Shortly, the customer that was at the table whose glass was broken came to our table asking us to make it right. That she wanted us to buy her a glass of wine. Of course we did but now I think the lady was a little bold. What is the correct etiquette? Thanks!!

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  1. If I was the server I would have had the house replace her glass of wine. The owner I sure was thankful that he was not sued for the uneven surface and unsafe walking conditions. It was only a glass of wine. The lady should of replaced it herself if the server did not do the right thing. But upon confrontation the trippee did the right than and did not push the point.

    8 Replies
    1. re: duck833

      I agree, the house should have taken care of it, and then made sure that the aisles were walkable for guests and servers.

      1. re: duck833

        Yeah, the house should have paid for it. Definitely. It's just one of those things that you do. However, if the house did not pay for it for whatever reason, the friend who knocked over the glass should have offered to pay for another glass. And the lady should have refused. But the friend should have insisted. After all, he/she was the direct cause of the breakage. Polite does not necessarily mean fair. Etiquette can be so silly sometimes.

        1. re: hilltowner

          Hey folks, you are all nicer than me - no mention of the purse? No one should leave a purse or anything else in a pathway, just as no one should leave luggage in the aisle of an airliner. It's all about safety and common courtesy. Most restaurants' pathways between tables are very narrow, coupled with tablecloths, chairs, table legs, etc., that will further hinder one's ability to see any potential obstacles. Anyone who brings in something to a restaurant - purse, bags, presents - anything - should have the decency to assure that they don't become hazards to others. My wife downsizes her regular purse to her "restaurant" purse specifically for this reason. I think the general sense of entitlement coupled with the prevailing mindset of lacking personal responsibility that so many Americans have nowadays is reprehensible.

          1. re: bulavinaka

            The whole incident could have been prevented by this:

            My wife loves these things so much she's constantly buying them for her friends. Women in restaurants are always asking her where she got it.

            1. re: BobB

              Ah, the purse hook. My wife has a dozen, or so, and gives them as favors. They work great, and usually last for some time, before the swivle gives out.

              Now, a "proper" restaurant should have a stool for ladies' purses, and these should be placed out of any walkway.


              1. re: Bill Hunt

                But if every restaurant was a "proper" restaurant of the type to price things like purse stools into their cost structure, most people wouldn't be able to afford to eat out...


                Here's something I think everyone can agree on--we ladies should watch our purses very carefully. I now find myself scanning back through my last several dinners out to make sure that I was keeping it appropriately out of the aisle. I have no desire to cause injury to others or to lose out on a perfectly good glass of wine.

                1. re: planetjess

                  Obviously, you caught my joke. Well, maybe only half a joke.

                  I understand the problem. I often have my briefcase, and have to make sure that it's out of the way, will not interfer with the servers, my guests, or other patrons. It's also too heavy to use one of my wife's little "hangers."

                  I'm at a loss for which restaurant this was, but one recently handed out the little purse hangers. Nice touch.

                  Also, the "chef's counters" at several restaurants have hooks below, to help the ladies out. L'Atelier and Alan Wong's both do, as well as some others. Another nice touch.


            2. re: bulavinaka

              Lighting can also be part of the issue, particularly for anyone with low vision.

        2. A little bold? The woman must have had an enormous pair of solid brass ... eh, never mind.

          She's the one who left her purse in the aisle. Had she put it where it belonged (in her lap, under her table, over the back of her chair, the options are limitless) your friend would not have stumbled over it.

          If successfully laying a trap for strangers entitles you to drink for free, I'm going to start carrying banana peels in my pockets whenever I go out.

          2 Replies
          1. re: alanbarnes

            seriously. i can't imagine purse-lady had that kind of misguided nerve.

            people will never cease to amaze.

            1. re: alanbarnes

              I have a feeling it might not have been her first and only glass of wine, if you get my drift.

            2. lucky some poor server didn't go down in a hail of chilled martini glasses and hot buffalo china. . .

              1. Bold indeed. Did purse lady even ask if your friend was ok ? By her carelessness, she could have caused serious injury to someone, and her first thought was replacing the wine that was the result of that carelessness. Sheesh.

                Even if you assume that she didn't know her purse had fallen over / into the aisle or something, what kind of person's next thought is to get their wine comped ? Perhaps in the interest of keeping the peace, the restaurant could have brought another glass of wine when they came to clear away the glass, but the purse lady really should have chalked this one up to "I should have known better not to put that there".

                Purse lady is lucky this didn't result in something worse than a glass of wine being broken : aka hot liquids / dishes spilled, people falling on table corners / brick floors.

                1 Reply
                1. re: im_nomad

                  I'm sometimes a little clumsy, so I'd have offered Ms. Brass-B*lls another glass of wine as soon as I'd gotten up and dusted myself off.

                  An attentive server would do an end-run around this, bringing the wine and charging no one for it. That being said, it appears as if Ms. B-B jumped the gun. The correct thing for her to do would be to ask a member of staff to be interlocutor. It's not her place to make the demand she did of you. In fact, good news or bad, it's the staff's job to interact with patrons.

                2. I think that unless your friend actually tripped over the lady's purse/it was unquestionably the cause of the fall, I would have expected your friend to offer to replace the glass of wine before leaving the table as a polite gesture. If, however, the lady's purse really was the underlying cause, when she came over to demand a replacement, I would have sweetly replied "certainly; could you just jot down your contact details? Your purse tripped my friend, you see, and we'd like to get her ankle/neck/elbow checked out before settling on what you can do for us."

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: planetjess


                    love that one. but that's me! if purse lady caused me to trip like that, i don't think i would've just walked away when i knocked her glass of wine.