How do you handle clients blowing their noses into gym towels or hands (and then gym towels)?
I'm the owner of a small fitness studio. Today I took one of my teams spin classes. During class, one of our clients started blowing his nose into his hand and towel (our towel). Then after class, wiped his bike and the floor with the towel. Beside almost getting sick, I was mad. He is a surgeon and should know better. I kept my cool and wrote him this email... Just a quick note to ask you not blow your nose into your hand or towel during class.
I've actually had complaints about this before, but today I saw it for myself.
As a health care provider, I'm sure you can understand my request. I understand the need to blow your nose during class. If you need more than a tissue, would you mind bringing in your own towel for blowing your nose specifically?
I'm sorry about making this an issue, but I feel it's my responsibility to make sure all clients are comfortable and avoid germs as much as possible. Thank you for understanding. I hope you don't find my email or request offensive. I appreciate your business and I love you at the studio.
Did I handle it correctly? What would you have done?
I think you handled it well except you don't need to be sorry because it is an issue!
Can you provide hand wipes? And hand disinfectant?
Can you post a sign asking clients to be considerate by paying attention to keeping their germs to themselves?
I had a hard time believing my eyes as I read your report. Never saw anything like it.
I think you handled it very professionally; I feel that you need to bring your husband on board as well since this client turned to him for corroboration that this was acceptable behavior. After all, your main concern is that this behavior stops, and if he needs to hear it from a guy, then that's sad but necessary.
I thought that issues like that were addressed in kindergarten ........
I would have to agree with Joanne. If you provide towels, then you should expect some use of a towel that you might not agree with....seen or unseen.
Perhaps you can use disposable gloves or advise your staff to use them when you collect the towels you provide for your clients. Whether or not one blows their nose, it is good practice to reduce the risk of contact of pathogens.
There are other pathogens that can be transmitted beyond what is carried in mucous like the MRSA virus. It is very common in fitness settings.
I probably would have been just as grossed out at you were, however, I would have not said anything.
P.S. It's pretty unbelievable that someone would blow their nose into their hands. Like Karin, I've NEVER seen that before.
This is very disturbing news, as this person is a surgeon, double yuck.
FYI: the Hepatitis C virus can live on a surface for up to two weeks, I have been told (not by a surgeon).
If you have a poster of rules posted, maybe you could post a sign of how to prevent spreading the flu and other germs. We do not use a spit bucket anymore; so, maybe he can use a handkerchief. We must all use our manners and change with the times.
See poster at: www.ecolab.com, search for poster, "Stop the Spread of Germs".
Does he not think he could be infecting the vulnerable ones? Pregnant, young and old, or recuperating from an illness or operation?
Take care of yourself.
For that reason, signs are put up to remind members about taking care of themselves and others during this season and doing their part to not spread germs around. Whether or not a member uses up a whole box of facial tissues during a class is irrelevant. They're not doing us any favor by "saving" on facial tissues. We buy supplies like that for members to use for a reason.
You did the right thing Traci. Whether or not he takes your message well should not be a concern for you at this point (that's his issue of how he wants to handle it). Better to be blunt with one member and resolve the issue quickly than to dance around it at the expense of other members at the gym. If you let things slide a bit, then things are only going to get worse for others. As they say, put out the small fires before they become big ones.
If tissues are not sturdy enough, maybe you could supply the disposable towels; a sturdy paper towel type item, a handiwipe. I hope you are able to nip this in the bud.