I felt very gym stalked this afternoon. I was minding my own business on the elliptical (I loathe the elliptical, but after 2 knee surgeries, my knees just can’t take running every day), in a row of 12 ellipticals, all of which were empty.

And this chick picked the one next to mine. Which is fine. A little weird when there were so many other available options (I generally avoid taking a machine next to someone else if I can avoid it – it seems a little aggressive to me), but whatever. To each his own.

HOWEVER, she then proceeded to get on her cell phone (in clear violation of gym rules, mind you) and chat the whole time (all whilst maintaining a strenuous level 2 pace – rolls eyes). Loudly. Granted, I had my iPod, but I shouldn’t have to deafen myself to tone out her conversation. And, if she was going to break gym rules and catch up with friends while “working out,” why pick the machine directly next to pretty much the only other person in the gym???

The really weird thing was that I was almost done when she came over, so I only had to put up with Chatty Kathy for about 15 minutes, (I thought about saying something, but decided I wasn’t in a confrontational mood), but the minute I got off my machine, she got off hers as well and then left the gym. It was strange.

I mean, what’s the etiquette here? If you say something to these people, then you are being the confrontational bitch who can’t just suck it up and live and let live (there are rules for a reason people! you are not that special!). If you ask a trainer to enforce the rules, then not only do you have to interrupt your workout, but you also look like you’re stuck in elementary school and need to tattle instead of being a grown up and dealing with it yourself (and you become that patron to the gym staff which is always awesome). So advice is needed people.* I’ve been noticing this blatant disregard of the no cellphone policy more and more and it drives me absolutely insane. The usual offenders seem to be women in their early 30s decked out in matchy-matchy designer gym gear who seem never seem to break a sweat and are thus able to carry out full conversations with no trouble while on the elliptical/stair machine/treadmill.

*Note also that I am generally mistaken for being a teenager particularly when all the college kids are home and milling around the gym so my request that Chatty Kathy put her cellphone away would likely not be treated as a request from a peer.

Oh, and there is always tons of attitude here because it’s not just a gym, but it’s a tennis/pool/health club so some of the members like to act all entitled and bitchy to show how special they are for being able to spend the money to join said club. A lot of my brother’s friends work there and some of the members are horrible to them, treating them like the “help.”** One of the guys went to lift after his shift ended (which he was fully entitled to do, not only because when you work there, you get a membership, but because his family also belongs and has belonged forever) and a member took a picture of him doing so and went and complained to management that the “help” was using the facilities. The part that amuses me is that the worst offenders seem to be young parents which is awesome considering that in about 10-12 years they are going to want their little darlings to get summer jobs and what better place for said little darlings to work, but the club? It’s just good karma to, you know, be a decent, nice person, but if that’s not motivation enough, these people should remember that what goes around, comes around is a bitch and is best avoided.

**I also know of what I speak because in college during the summers I waitressed and bartended at another members-only facility. One time a woman at the club that I was serving started telling me that her son was just so smart and so wonderful and that he got into Miami of Ohio for college and that “people do call it an Ivy of the Midwest, but you know, sweetie, not everyone can go to the best schools.” She followed that up by asking if (not where) I went to college. I told her that I was about to graduate from George.town, but that she was right, not everyone can go to the best schools. Normally I don’t play the G-town card, because frankly I don’t care and I also know that the rankings are really very arbitrary and that someone’s education from a state school is likely just as good as mine (and cheaper!), but that’s not how the rest of the world rolls, so I WON.

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