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Jan 26, 2013 08:14 PM

Servers Holding My Glass By the Rim: Yuck!

Last night my partner and I dined in a highly-respected though not formal restaurant in San Diego. I noticed that our server held our red wine glasses by the top as she brought them over. I am a bit of a germaphobe but even my super laid back significant other was grossed out to see her hands touching our glasses like that. We didn't say anything. Not sure how I'll handle this in the future. But that is either a rookie mistake or a lapse in judgment.

How common is this in your neck of the woods? If grossed out by it, would you ignore or politely say something?

And please no "liife is filled with germs, lighten up" responses. I am wondering how to handle this.

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  1. I'd never paid much attention to it until a couple of weeks ago, but I wasn't sure if I really saw it right that the waitress set the water glasses down by holding the rim. It was one of those "did I see that?" moments. I did resolve to pay a bit more attention to it when I go out now. I'm going out to dinner with the folks tomorrow night, possibly the same place, so I'll keep an eye out this time.

    1. I have observed this sort of action often. Usually I politely ask whether or not I could please have a glass which the person has not touched the rim. My request has never been refused, and I usually watch the server while s/he returns to the side station for a fresh glass.

      1 Reply
      1. re: KarenDW

        Thank you for offering a diplomatic request. Next time, I will do that.

      2. germs completely aside -- it's just a ham-handed, boorish way to handle a wine glass, and it would make me seriously ponder the calibre of their training and of the wine list.

        If they can't teach their servers to handle wine glasses by the stems, they're not teaching them anything about the wine list, pairings, or how to open and pour, either.

        handling a water/soda glass by the rim is boorish, too.

        11 Replies
        1. re: sunshine842

          Ha! Yes I forgot to even mention how she should have handled the red wine glass by the stem.

          She was also touching cash which makes the idea even grosser.

          Kind of sidenote: At a cafe, a cook was spotted, wearing latex gloves, talking on his cell phone. REALLY?

          Ahhh feels good to vent.


          1. re: globocity

            I saw a sample lady who was wearing gloves sneeze into her right gloved hand about a month ago. I looked around to find my husband and there he was snagging a sample from her. I screamed over the dairy case for him to drop that sample - and had every man around me give me the hairy eyeball and "shrewy b*tch" look. Like I was trying to control his fat intake and deprive him of sample pleasures. I just did not want him to get sick.

            1. re: Sal Vanilla

              I've seen many posts referring to how people prepping food should always wear gloves to protect the customers. I've always tried to point out that it only protects the person wearing the gloves because who knows where that gloved hand has been.

              1. re: bobbert

                I agree! Why don't more people realize this? People put the gloved hand every place that they would put an ungloved hand!!!!

                1. re: sandylc

                  Even worse. Because the gloved hand is protected they're more likely to put it in places where they wouldn't put an unprotected hand.

                  1. re: bobbert

                    I think you are right. Sneeze into your nude hand and you notice the snot. With a glove, nope. Bleck. It is a stupid rule for them to have to wear them.

                2. re: bobbert

                  Ah yes, the magic gloves that stop all bugs & viruses. I've seen workers throw out the garbage and then set the table, all with the same magic gloves.

                  1. re: Leonardo

                    That doesn't mean that gloves are a bad idea, only that the proper protocol must be followed for them to be effective.

                      1. re: GH1618

                        I think I would prefer they simply wash their hands after a good nose picking or rear scratching. People do that ya know. Even the people that cook your food that you do not see.

                        I eat at home. : )

                  2. re: Sal Vanilla

                    I'm sorry but that made me really LOL. It's totally something I would do and I could see me getting the same eyeball.

              2. Talk to the manager on your way out the door, or leave a pointed note written on the back of the receipt. And make sure they understand you'll never be a customer again. That's what I do. You don't need to cause a scene, but you need to make whoever is in charge aware. It's beyond poor service. It's nauseating and dangerous to your health. Also against the law in any country where most people have shoes, electricity and flush toilets.

                10 Replies
                1. re: emu48

                  It's certainly not "dangerous to your health". And I'm guessing the likely response to such a note would be the server rolling their eyes, deciding you're a nutcase, and celebrating your promise not to return.

                  1. re: Exy00

                    Customers are not likely to drop dead from it, but it certainly is a way to spread viruses, and an avoidable one. Of course, a server with a communicable disease should be taking the day off, but you can't rely on that.

                    1. re: GH1618

                      ". . . Not drop dead from it." Let's avoid hyperbole. The nanovirus and flu virus are rampant. Have you had the former? It feels like you are on the brink of death. Sure we come into contact with germs e erywhere. But we should be smart about hygiene. And I certainly did not act smart by drinking out of that glass she touched.

                      1. re: globocity

                        (clears throat gently) nobody's had nanovirus, but plenty of people have had norovirus.

                        1. re: sunshine842

                          Damn! Just realized my error. Ha! Thank you.
                          Norovirus sucks. Nanovirus is what you get from an Apple device.

                          1. re: sunshine842

                            Haha, I was going to point that out.

                            The mechanism by which norovirus spreads is such that the most careful possible conveyance of glassware is not going to make any difference (it is highly, highly contagious via the production of huge quantities of aerosolized virus in the air).

                            Giving a customer a wineglass by the rim is poor service, to be sure, but it's not necessary to invent imaginary health risks.

                            1. re: Exy00

                              I respectfully disagree that it is just poor service.

                              Someone who handles money is transferring germs, quite egregiously and unnecessarily, by also placing their hands on customer's drinking glasses.

                              1. re: globocity

                                but I'll believe it as a statistically significant source of contamination when I see numbers actually linking wine-glass handling to illness. That wineglass isn't any more contaminated than any other hard surface you'll find in public.

                                In the meantime, it's just icky -- as well as bad manners and poor service.

                                1. re: sunshine842

                                  The rim of the glass gets touched by my mouth. I do not eat off a public table nor do I use silverware that touches a table. Yep, I am a germaphobe.

                          2. re: globocity

                            You are picking on the wrong person, I think. I am on the side of expecting servers to follow sanitary protocols in the handling of items brought to the table.