Dear Robin: Should I Confront The Rude Man At The Gym?
Friday, October 10, 2014
There is a guy at my gym who leaves sweat all over the machines when he gets off them. I noticed him about a month ago (I think he's new) and now I am grossed out by him every day. He sweats a lot and does nothing to wipe the machines down even though there are towels and sanitizing wipes all over the gym.
My husband says to leave it alone or complain to management, but I want to confront this guy so he knows that other gym patrons are watching him and being disgusted by his behavior.
I know you are a spitfire like me, so what would you do?
I am indeed a spitfire, and one who was in your exact same predicament roughly a year ago. The difference between your situation and mine is that I complained to management first and watched as they did nothing to rectify the behavior of my hyperhydrosis-afflicted cardio nemesis. I knew I must take things into my own hands.
I summoned my nerve in a fit of PMS-induced rage that was exacerbated by watching this creep leave 12 gallons of his body water all over the bike that I was waiting for on a crowded morning. When he dismounted and simply walked away, I lost it.
"Hey now!" I said with a cheerful chirp that bordered on a schreech. "I thought I'd bring you a towel and point something out to you. You see those silver canisters all over the gym? Those have disinfecting wipes in them.
"Between this gift towel I am bequeathing to you (at this point I placed the towel in his sweaty, filthy hand) and those sanitizing wipey-thingies, you have many options for cleaning the equipment after your workout. Are you new here? Nice to meet you!"
Two things happened next.
First, this fine gentleman instructed me to perform a lewd act upon myself that sounded interesting but physically challenging, to say the least. Perhaps if I did more yoga...but I digress.
Next, he called me a name which led me to believe he thought I was a canine of the female variety.
For several months he and I exchanged nasty looks at the gym until he suddenly disappeared. I believe he either switched his workout time because I intimidated him so or that he was finally arrested for being a nonrecyling SUV-driving serial killer and torturer of puppies.
Oh no, look at the time! I've made this all about me - sorry.
What I meant to say was an emphatic "yes!"
Yes, you should confront this man and do so in a very public manner. People have no damn shame anymore and it's time to start calling out the cretins when their behavior is unacceptable.
Feel free to use my script, or you could be a bit less snarky and just pull him aside to tell him that gym rules require he wipe down the equipment when he finishes using it and that his neglect to do so is troublesome to you and the other gym members.
If his behavior does not change, complain to management and do so in an annoyingly regular way, such as a daily vaguely threatening email with photos of the wet equipment attached. I'm sure management would not be happy to hear you are considering talking to the State Board of Health about the club's refusal to conform to very standard policies and procedures on keeping the place sanitary.
Let me know what happens!
I had a very brief relationship 18 months ago while separated, but my wife and I reunited, moved on from it and are happy. My ex-girlfriend just posted on Facebook that she is considering buying a house on the same street where I live with my wife.
She often posts messages on Facebook that seem to be directed towards me and I'll be honest - sometimes I get angry and tell her what I think of this passive-aggressive crap. But this is different, and I think she is going too far.
How can I convince this stalker not to buy a house on my street? My wife is going to lose it if this happens.
I can't tell you how to convince her NOT to buy the house on your street, but I can instruct you on ensuring she does: react to this "news" and communicate with her about the posting. After all, the attention you are giving her is exactly what she seeks.
To seal the deal and guarantee the ex and her sharp knife collection move in next door, demand she not buy the house.
You need to get the hell off Facebook, or at least block your former flame so you can't see what she posts and she will be similarly prohibited from viewing your content. Your viewing of her postings tells me you are either still attached to her or you enjoy anxiety.
It's time to do some navel gazing about why you think you need to remain "friendly" with this woman, because it's not "stalking" if you enjoy it.
As my good buddy Confucious once said, “He who searches for evil, must first look at his own reflection.”
Every time you engage with your ex she gets a piece of you and even if the interaction is negative, for her it's better than not communicating with you at all. She sounds like a wee bit of a bunny boiler, but I blame you, too, because you are still in contact with her. Attention is equivalent to oxygen for a spurned lover who refuses to move on from a relationship, so stop handing her the tank and focus on your wife instead.
My advice? Cease all communication with this woman and don't worry about where she decides to buy a house because I'd bet my last $47 (and I think I'm about down to that) she isn't buying on your street if she never hears from you again.
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