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His Opinion Carries No Weights, Part 2

, , , , | Working | November 5, 2020

I am doing an internship for a few months. I am living in quite a poor area and going to a very local gym. During my first days at the gym, I ask the coach there what the barbell weight is, as it doesn’t look like a standard fifteen or twenty kg.

Me: “Hey, how heavy is this barbell?”

Coach: “Oh, we don’t know; we don’t have a scale.”

I’m a bit confused because there is one just at the entrance.

Me: “What about that one there? It doesn’t work?”

Coach: “Oh, yes, it does, but not for that.”

Me: *Confused* “Why?”

Coach: “Because it’s only for humans.”

Me: “But…”

This was Manila; I didn’t speak English fluently, and neither did the coach, so I didn’t argue anymore, but he seemed rather confused when I weighed myself and then myself AND the barbell.

His Opinion Carries No Weights

You Have To Use Your Brain Periodically

, , , , | Working | October 26, 2020

I am working the front desk at a gym. For reference, I am a twenty-six-year-old female and my manager is male and twenty-four years old. A female member approaches us.

Member: *In a lower voice* “Hi there. I’m super embarrassed, but my period just started and I’m not prepared and don’t have any change on me. Can you help me out?”

Me: *Lowered voice* “Absolutely! Don’t worry about it; it happens all the time. Let me grab someone to get the key to the dispenser in the locker room.”

My coworker who is also a female walks up and I ask her for the key. My manager overhears.

Manager: “The what? What’s going on? What dispenser?”

Me: “There’s a dispenser in the women’s locker room that has tampons and pads.”

Manager: “Oh, we don’t have one of those in the mens’.”

All three of us look at him blankly.

My coworker is able to help the member out, and after they leave, my manager comes back up to me.

Manager: “Well, that was a really weird request, wasn’t it?”

Me: “No, not really.”

Calories And Money To Burn

, , , , , , | Learning | October 24, 2020

In our younger days, my husband and I sign up for a “boot camp” fitness class. This class is pretty intense and fairly expensive; if memory serves, it costs $300 per person for ten classes.

At the start of the first class, our instructor does a quick roll-call. She frowns and comments:

Instructor: “Hmm, [Classmate] isn’t here. That’s a shame; attending the first class is pretty crucial, because I go over some important techniques. Oh, well. I’ll call her later and see what happened.”

At the start of the second class, [Classmate] is once again a no-show. Someone asks [Instructor] if she’d gotten hold of her.

Instructor: “Oh, yeah. She told me that she got super busy and was unable to make that first class, but she swore she’d be here today. I reminded her that she’d spent $300 and asked if another class time would fit her schedule better, but she said no.”

Third class, still no [Classmate].  

Fourth class, ditto. And so it went. She never did show up, despite [Instructor] bending over backward to try to accommodate her. [Classmate] always had an excuse: “I got busy,” “I forgot,” “I got stuck in traffic,” etc.

[Instructor] even offered to refund some of her money, because she felt bad for taking it and not providing anything in return. [Classmate] indignantly refused this offer.

Classmate: *Defensively* “I’m going to come! I just keep having bad luck!”

As for my husband and me, we enjoyed the class so much, we signed up again for the next session. So did [Classmate]. And you can probably guess what happened.

I guess some folks just have money to burn!

Tic-ing Along Nicely Until You Came Along, Part 2

, , , , , , | Friendly | September 25, 2020

This takes place right at the start of the current health crisis, after everyone is mostly aware of it, but right before the CDC officially declares it as such. My gym has a set of five arc trainers — think elliptical machines, but not — and I pop in for a quick workout on my lunch break. There are two women at each end of the row, so I settle on the machine between them, leaving an empty machine between us on either side. Even without social distancing, taking the machine right next to someone when others are free is just weird.

An important note: I suffer from Tourette’s Syndrome, and one of my — currently unfortunate — tics is a sharp exhalation which could be taken as a cough, if you squint, and pretty constant sniffling. These tics get a bit more aggressive when I’m under stress, such as during intense cardio.

So, there I am, about ten minutes into my sweat, just blissfully watching Netflix on my tablet and getting my workout in, when I notice from the corner of my eye that the woman on my right is looking at me, her lips are moving, and she’s giving me the evil eye. I take my right earpiece out.

Me: “Sorry, what? Were you talking to me? I had my headphones in.”

Woman #1: “You need to leave.”

Me: “Sorry?”

Woman #1: “You need to leave if you’re sick. You’re coughing and sniffling and I’m not comfortable with you being here.”

Me: “Oh! Sorry, no, I’m not sick. I have Tourette’s. That’s not a cough; it’s just a really sharp breathing out and sniffling. Those are my tics.”

Woman #1: “No, you’re sick, and you’re touching your face and the equipment, and you need to go.”

Me: “Um… No. I told you, it’s not symptoms; it’s just my Tourette’s. It’s fine. I’m going back to my show now.”

With that, I put my earpiece back in and resume my workout. I can tell the woman is still talking, but I ignore her and keep at it. A few minutes later, she gets off her machine and walks over to the woman on my left. They talk for a couple of minutes, and [Woman #1] walks off to the other side of the cardio area. I figure that is the end of it.

But then, I realize that [Woman #2] is doing the same thing: glaring at me and talking. Already knowing I am going to regret it, I take my left earpiece out.

Me: “Sorry? Couldn’t hear you. Headset.”

Woman #2: “I know you say you have Tourette’s, but how do I know that?”

Me: “Um… why would I lie about that?”

Woman #2: “You could be a vector for the disease! I’m not comfortable with you being here, and you need to leave.”

Me: “Okay, but again, I’m not. I have Tourette’s. I’m just trying to get a workout in. I’m sorry you’re not comfortable, but honestly, that sounds like a you problem.”

Woman #2: “Well, I just think you need to leave if you’re going to be sweating and touching your face and touching the equipment!”

Me: “Okay, noted, but I’m not leaving. I’m going to finish my workout now. Please leave me alone.”

Woman #2: “Well, then, I’m going to leave, and I’m going to talk to the manager so they know why I’m leaving!”

Me: “You do that.”

I proceeded to put my earpiece back in. [Woman #2] stopped her workout and went across the room to join [Woman #1] — it’s worth noting that neither woman bothered to wipe down the equipment they were using, either — where they continued to shoot me dirty looks and talk among themselves.

I finished my workout, showered, and went to leave. Both women were still there, and I could see [Woman #2] continuing to glare when she realized I was still there. Fed up, I stopped at the front desk and asked for the manager. Fortunately, the manager there knew me well enough by sight and presence to know about my Tourette’s. Unfortunately, they weren’t available at the moment to talk, but I explained the situation to the desk worker and mentioned that the women would probably complain about me later. He promised to pass it along to the manager and told me I wasn’t doing anything wrong.

I admit, in a moment of childish pique, I did look over at [Woman #2] and give a cheerful finger-wave before I left.

Seriously, I get that our current health situation is serious, but you don’t know someone’s health condition better than they do. At least these two didn’t claim to be nurses, unlike the first time it happened.

Tic-ing Along Nicely Until You Came Along

You Can’t Mask It With Charm

, , , , | Right | September 4, 2020

With the new mandated mask order, most people have been understanding that they still need to wear a mask while in the gym and working out. We have a number of signs posted, as well.

I am at the front desk greeting members when a member walks in without a mask. 

Me: “Hi, welcome in! Before you come in, do you happen to have your mask with you?”

Member: “Oh, do I need one?”

Me: “Yes, you do.”

Member: *Smiling* “I don’t have one.”

Me: “With the new order, it is mandatory, so you will need one if you are going to be staying.”

I’m about to tell him I have some for sale but he cuts me off.

Member: *Still smiling* “But I don’t have one.”

Me: “Well, I can sell you a disposable one for $1, a face shield for $5, or a reusable mask for $10.”

Member: *Frowns* “I have one in my car.”

He wasn’t rude, but I definitely got the feeling that he knew the mask was mandatory and was trying to charm his way out of wearing one. Once he realized I was not going to let it slide, all of sudden, he now had one.