Saturday, September 18, 2010

new gym?

This morning, three unpleasant incidents happened in a row, on my way to 24 Hour Fitness.

First I parked my car and went next door to buy a locker padlock at Wal-Mart. The woman in front of me was a well-dressed lady with coiffed brown hair. She asked the cashier about the return policy. When she couldn't understand the cashier's response, she started being rude and repeating the question in a condescending tone.

Then it was my turn at the register. As I stepped up, she suddenly thrust out her purchases at arm's length, almost hitting me. She said to me, "You're in my personal space."

I said, "What?"

She said, "You've been pushing me in line, and coughing on my back." (I've had a cough for two weeks.)

We exchanged some more useless words, and then she took all her shopping bags and left.

I paid for my lock, and went next door to 24-hour Fitness. I entered the locker room and started to change. The locker room was nearly empty except for me, an older woman in green stretch pants next to me, and another woman blow-drying her hair in the adjoining room. After a minute, I noticed the woman next to me gyrating her hips in a strange manner. I looked over, and she was bent at the waist with her back arched, rotating her hips in a circle. It resembled a lap dance.

I finished changing into gym clothes, and went into the cardio area to use the stationary bike. A few minutes later, a man in his 50s walked over and mumbled something to me. I asked him to repeat it, and he said, "I bet you look real good on a bike outdoors!"

It is disturbing when people start unwelcome conversations during exercise, because you cannot easily walk away. So I said, "Thanks" and opened my book. He said, "No, thank YOU!"

He went to the drinking fountain. When he walked back toward me, I kept my eyes on the book. Then he said loudly to the air around me, "Boy, some people! They just think they're too good for everyone else!"

He walked away. I thought to myself that if instead of Wal-Mart and 24-hour Fitness, I had gone to Whole Foods and Equinox gym, these things wouldn't have happened.

Then I felt that perhaps that is a snooty thought.

But it is unpleasant to have so many distasteful interactions within 15 minutes.


Jeremy said...

Buy your stuff online and work out at home.

Piaw Na said...

Stop riding stationary bikes. :-)

Anonymous said...

Stop causing trouble, you!!!!

Anonymous said...

Was it an Asian guy?

Anonymous said...

I read sometime back that you cannot control the situation
but you can control your response.

I had a very unpleasant experience at an eat-out a couple of days
back...I gave the owner 100 bucks for my meal of 50 bucks. The owner
didn't have change and asked me to go get it myself. Trouble is, he
wouldn't return the 100 bucks I gave him...thinking I would run away and not come and pay him back I think!

I realize that people are a product of their past experiences in life;
which is why, the owner behaved so obnoxiously!

Adam Lasnik said...

Niniane, sorry to hear about your awful day and the cough.

I'm not sure that snootifying your venues would make your day better, though. I've seen no proof that wealth/privilege positive correlates with politeness or kindness or respect, and on some occasions, I've suspected that there's an inverse correlation.

Sure, I've seen some pretty cringeworthy behavior (and dress) at Walmart; there's a reason there's a "Peopleofwalmart" site and not a "Peopleoftraderjoes" site ;).

But I've encountered hugely obnoxious and odious (sometimes odoriferous) people at 4 star hotels, in the business class section on airlines, and so on.

Maybe I'll try my hand at a snobby suggestion though: move to another country. I found folks in Denmark, for instance, to be almost scarily kind and friendly. People in Brazil sure seemed to be a lot less wound-up and agitated than Americans. And so it goes.

Good luck ;)

x said...

That's annoying.

iPod + earbuds can reliably deter conversation. The only other way that has worked for me is to do exercises that intimidate most oglers (e.g. olympic lifts, pull-ups, dips)

Niniane said...

Yeah, I cannot do exercises that intimidate oglers, like pull-ups. I suppose I can do dips.

Jack-o-Lantern said...

I would say that almost everywhere in Europe would be better :)

In my town we have even a word (that is italian slang peculiar of my town) that is "tolasudolsa"

it means, take it easy and slowly.

may be it's the advantage of a mid sized town.

now let's see who can tell what town is ;) (should be easy thanks to google... eheh)

Anonymous said...

just pretend you don't understand English and smile. then curse in chinese while smiling. this is how we get back at these uni-lingual people.

Anonymous said...

Asian men are so rude to Asian women.

ArC said...

As I am not very good at de-escalation, if I were you I would have been sorely tempted to reply to the dude, "No, I just think I'm too good for you, Mr Creepy!"

... this is probably not my wisest moment and I am not saying that's what you should have done.

Anonymous said...

Walmart? Lie with dogs and don't be so surprised when you get fleas.

I disagree with the people saying the guy in his 50s was Asian. I think he was white, and when you didn't respond with a stereotypical "hee-hee-hee giggle giggle, "oh white man you so funny hee hee hee", act like a 5-year-old response, he got mad.

Justin K said...

That sounds like a bad day indeed. Did you have a chat with the manager at the gym? Perhaps they might have a word with him.

As for the mean lady, just feel grateful that she's probably living a shitty life with that sort of attitude and although you had to deal with her that afternoon, her entire life is probably one sad story.

Anonymous said...

dealing with the public always brings up issues for a variety of reasons. Anyone working in a position where they have to deal with the public be it a cashier, nurse, police person, etc.. have experiences many orders of magnitude more annoying than these. To me, the conclusion is a lot of people have stressful lives, a lot of it a result of a poor economic footing in society or having bad people around them or etc.....

The way I look at it, when this happens, I think about how grateful I am to have a good life and to not to have to behave like this; courtesy of my relatives who worked hard and sacrificed to give their kids a better life. Thank God I just enjoy my life vs. having to struggle through what my past relatives had to endure.

Plus... you are really beautiful, smart, young, fit. I don't attract as much attention cause I'm a lot uglier. :)

Anonymous said...

There are creeps in Equinox also, they just drive Porsches

keeperdesign said...

There's something to be said for a degree of snobbery now and then!