Gym Etiquette When The Rugrats Are There

by admin on November 20, 2014

I’d like some advice here.

I started going to a local gym regularly about 6 months ago. I like the gym except for one thing: kids uncontrollably running around. The gym has a daycare from 8a – 6p so after it closes, it’s a zoo around there. I’ve been on the rowing machine and had a child run by inches away from me. I thought I was going to hit him. When I go to the bouldering room to go climbing, there are kids running around in there. It’s a small, converted racquetball court where people can climb and fall onto thick mats if necessary. When kids are running around, it’s very unsafe. Sometimes older kids will use it as a hangout space. I’ve alerted gym staff and they take care of it once you tell them but as soon as they walk away, it’s crazy again. The response I get is that there isn’t enough staff to watch everything.

One particular time I went into the bouldering room and said “excuse me” as I walked through the door since people were loitering around the door and this woman yelled, “I will as soon as I check on my kid! She fell! How rude!” First, her kid (about 15 years old) probably fell because she wasn’t being careful and wasn’t wearing appropriate shoes. Second, there was no way I could have seen that she was down through a thick, brick wall. She continued to talk to her kid saying, “I’m sorry but that rude woman came in.” As I put on my shoes, she looks at me and says, “Oh, you have special shoes.” I said, “Yes, climbing shoes” and pointed to the sign listing the rules of the room, “They’re required.” She rolled her eyes, collected her kid, and walked out.

What’s my role here? Should I be telling these kids to be careful and not run around the equipment? Should I just keep alerting gym staff, which is getting to be every visit? I don’t want to get yelled at by some parent for chiding someone’s kid but this is almost ridiculous. I feel like I’m working out in a daycare. I have kids myself and I would not allow them to run amok in a gym around dangerous equipment. 1024-14


I worked at a health club in my early 20’s and have been a member of a few more over then years.  The type of accidents that can occur on weight equipment can be somewhat gruesome (crushed fingers, dislocations) so children under 13 were never allowed past the lobby doors into those areas.   Swim times for youth were strictly regulated and to use a racquet ball court required reserving it.  Clearly staff cannot be everywhere but the places I’ve gone to, the members are vigilant to enforce the rules.    You appear to belong to a “club” that allows teenagers to use all the equipment areas (a YMCA perhaps?) and if that bothers you, you’ll need to vote with your feet and go elsewhere because you are swimming against the current trying to change that gym culture.


The Never Ending Funeral Procession

by admin on November 18, 2014

I know it is considered rude to cut into a funeral procession, but isn’t it also rude for members of a funeral procession to refuse to allow a car to pass through? I live in a busy suburban area near a cluster of three large cemeteries of different faiths. We see funeral processions fairly often in the area and at least one of the cemeteries often accommodates very large funerals. As I was passing through the area recently, we were stopped at a traffic signal by the motorcycle attendant to allow a procession to turn right onto the road I was traveling on, leading to the entrance of the cemetery several blocks further on the right. There were at least 100 cars in the group and regular traffic was stopped at the intersection for six or seven green light cycles. Quite a number of cars backed up on my side of the intersection waiting for the procession to pass through.

Once the last car in the procession had turned right and cleared the intersection, the motorcycle opened it up and the accumulated traffic was able to cross. This is a well-used boulevard passing through residential neighborhoods on both sides, two lanes in each direction with a planted median in the middle. The cemetery was on the right side of the road a couple of blocks further up with a driveway leading up to the gate. The procession became backed up entering the cemetery, and as a result a large number of cars were waiting in the right lane of the road in order to turn right into the cemetery The back-up stretched for several blocks and was blocking the residential avenues on the right. At each avenue, the pavement is painted “Keep Clear” so that stopped vehicles on the larger road don’t block those that must enter and exit the smaller residential avenues. That’s a pretty standard road marking in this area as our rush hour traffic often gets gridlocked. This is exactly what happened here. One car in the general traffic wanted to turn right from the road into the neighborhood, but there was no opening between the cars in the funeral procession. He signaled that he wanted to turn right but the funeral procession cars crept up to close any possible gaps. As the procession moved forward slowly as cars ahead were entering the cemetery, each car moved up as close as possible to keep this car from being able to turn right onto the avenue. Because he was stopped in the left lane trying unsuccessfully to turn right, all of the traffic that had been stopped earlier by the procession was now stopped up behind him.

It might seem to make sense for him to just go around the block and try again, but because of the three large cemeteries on the street, going around this particular block is a very long drive. Since the procession was backed up and moving up just a car at a time, how would it have hurt to allow someone to cross though into their neighborhood? The motor vehicle code in my state is “Do not block or hinder a funeral procession. Vehicles taking part in a funeral procession have the right-of-way, and if you interfere, obstruct, or interrupt the funeral procession, you are subject to a citation.” But does that mean procession members have to be obstinate about it?

PS. I remember reading a submission in the archives about a funeral procession member who actually ran a vehicle off the road into a ditch to make a point. Really? 1117-14

While there are local codes defining the manner in which funeral processions are to be treated, I have yet to see laws which allow a funeral procession of cars to negate obedience to all other commonsense rules of the road.    Just because people are participants in a funeral procession does not mean they are entitled to flout the law by blocking an intersection when it is clearly designated not to do so.  The only time I’veseen this done is when a police officer stops all traffic and ushers the procession through an intersection.   However, the only remedy I can see available to you is to get a petition from the residents of the neighborhoods affected and appeal to your local elected officials to enforce the law or change to protect the rights of those living within the vicinity of the local cemeteries.


“It’s The Thought That Counts”

by admin on November 17, 2014

I was having a nice chat with a friend on the phone the other day. We don’t know each other very well, but see each other at parties maybe twice a year, and I really like her. Out of nowhere she said, “Do you have a teapot in the shape of a bird?” (she knows I’m a keen bird watcher).

I replied, “No I haven’t”, but I really wanted to add, “..and I wouldn’t want one. I hate that kind of thing!” But of course I didn’t. She sounded delighted and excited with my response, and said, “Ah, then wait till the next time I see you!”.

I’m sure you can see what’s coming. She’s been to a charity shop and found a cheap novelty teapot in the shape of a bird, remembered I like birds and bought it for me. Unfortunately I hate novelty nik-nacks of all kinds. I know some people love them, but I won’t have them in the house. I realize I sound ungrateful, but when she next comes round I’ll have to pretend to be delighted with the gift, so that she’ll be happy she bought it for me, then keep it for a couple of years in case she asks where it is, all the time hating the darned thing and resenting having to look after it.

This isn’t an unusual situation, I know. How could I have politely let her know on the phone that I don’t want this gift? And now how can I receive the gift in a way that let’s her know I like her, and appreciate the thought, but without opening the flood gates to more?

Any advice, gratefully received. 1103-14

I think you are missing the hidden jewel of your dilemma and are focusing on making a mountain from an ant hill.   There are lonely people in this world who would be thrilled that someone, anyone, would have been thinking of them in the midst of their daily life and then taken the extraordinary step of buying a gift the giver felt would be appreciated.  There is not one hint of malice, evil, selfishness or unkindness in what your friend has done that deserves your dread and hatred of the gift.

It may be a cliche to say that “it is the thought that counts” but you would do well to ponder this more fully.   From my perspective, you are entirely viewing this as to how it inconveniences you and focusing on the material.  As I get older, I have become less enamored with material possessions and more appreciative of acts of thoughtfulness and kindness from people.  But there are material possessions that are so intertwined with someone’s thoughtfulness and kindness that I cannot bear to part with them.  As I type I am looking at a small glass rose sitting right under my monitor.  I hate glass work and would never buy it for myself but someone dear gave that to me and every time I see it, I see love.

You can pitch the teapot in the trash as that is your prerogative as the gift recipient but I would suggest examining the potential of deepening this friendship with this person who thinks of you when she’s out shopping.  I read a lot of submitted stories to Ehell from lonely, sad people who cannot seem to find someone worthy of friendship and here you are with someone practically in your lap and you want advice on how to rid yourself of this problem.  There is no polite way to tell someone you do not want their gifts of thoughtfulness.


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Feel Good Friday – “All About That Bass”

by admin on November 14, 2014

Hmmm, some really good bass licks she does!


George Will: “The New American Entitlement” Is “To Go Through Life Without Being Offended”

November 12, 2014

This should be a topic that generates a lively discussion! During the media hullabaloo earlier this year regarding “Duck Dynasty” patriarch and reality TV star Phil Robertson’s church sermons on homosexuality which prompted TLC to suspend him from the show, political analyst George Will was asked by a viewer the following question: “In the context […]

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A Sticky Family Problem

November 11, 2014

I am currently living a family situation that is becoming tiring and cumbersome. Since I cannot intervene openly, for reasons that I will make clear later, I am asking advice on how to discreetly handle the situation with the people concerned. But I will tell the story in my own point of view. I understand […]

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