Dear Amy: I have been going to the same gym/spa for 15 years. I enjoy keeping my body and mind fit, but lately it has become intolerable to work out due to people planting themselves on a fitness machine and having an insignificant conversation on a cell phone.
I have spoken to the manager about this, but he told me there's nothing he can do about it. I totally disagree.
There is no reason someone needs to talk on a phone while exercising. Why can't this conversation be taken out to the hallway?
I feel this is rude and unfair to the other patrons who have come to the gym to work out, not to listen to a phone conversation.
Do you have any suggestions how I can get this practice to stop so I can enjoy my workouts again?
Sue in Northern New Jersey
Dear Sue: You might be more successful at tuning out this annoyance if you chose to wear ear buds. Lately it seems that anyone who isn't on a cell phone is plugged into some other form of media.
Please remember, however, that people have a right to park themselves on the gym equipment and have conversations (insignificant or otherwise) as long as they aren't violating the rules of the facility. (Some gyms request that patrons limit their time on equipment and have rules regarding cell phone usage; it doesn't sound as if yours does.)
If you absolutely can't bear this and you've already spoken to the manager and he told you he won't intervene, then it could be time for you to shop for a different gym.
Chores should be done right
Dear Amy: Regarding division of labor in the home, I am surprised at you for falling for the line, “I don't do chores because she wants it done her way.”
This is an old excuse used by people who are too sorry to bother to learn how to do something right. I have seen this in the home and the workplace. Usually it is used by men (and/or children) in reference to something that has traditionally been “women's work.”
Because women have traditionally maintained the home in most societies, somehow this work has been deemed to have no value and therefore to require no skill to complete it.
The idea that whoever is “pickiest” about a chore should be the one to do that chore is baloney.
If that were the case, no kid would ever do a single chore!
Many times doing a chore badly takes as much time as doing it right.
If you load the dishwasher and I end up having to scrape baked-on crud off the plates and wash them again, if you tell me you have cleaned the bathrooms and I find black gunk around the faucets and mold growing in the tub, then you haven't done the job.
If any woman used her husband's power tools and put them away by leaving them sitting around on the garage floor or waxed the car but didn't bother to buff it, her husband would be upset.
It isn't “my” work you are helping me with, it is the work of maintaining a home, and the whole family should be responsible for it.
As mom always said, “A job worth doing is worth doing well.”
Sick of Excuses in Fla.
Dear Sick: “Mom” was wise. And you make some excellent points.
Without question, every family member has a stake in the running of a household – and every family member should contribute to it.
But I often wonder if women value the work men do to help maintain homes and automobiles. Perhaps they've been blinded by the crud around the bathroom faucets.