The gym isn’t even an oasis for normality. You would think a place so bland and boring as a center to improve your overall health & fitness would lack in the “weird shit is happening” category. Well , no. Not in the slightest. Mainly due to my own vices but also a lot to do with the vast majority of weirdos that attend the gym regularly. The list is as goes and should be relatively familiar:
1. The person you see there always. It doesn’t matter what time you go, what day, they are there…working out.. ALWAYS. (you again…wtf? how are you always here?)
2. The overly competitive person to your right. (listen, if you pump it up to level 13 lords knows I’m going 14, …don’t look over here)
3. The overly muscly but just on the top half guy who bench presses and then walks around a lot (have you forgotten about your legs? how do they support your massive upper body? and why are you walking around so much, the same shit is still going on over here..)
4. The lady that is always changing in front of your locker (wtf how are you always changing? is there a time when you are just dressed? and why in front of my locker? there is no one here and ample space to continue your changing charade elsewhere…)
All these people exist with out fail at my gym and I keep a mental note of them as I walk in. Like today….I say “Why, hello” to Mrs. swipe-in-card-lady <swipe/swipe> Don’ mind if I do walk in being that I am a gym member (no bigs) . By the way I never walk to the gym in my sneakers…its weird I spent $200 on these fance sneakers and refuse to wear them on public walks cause I am convinced they are the equivalent of disco platforms. I feel ginormous in them so I walk to the gym in flip flops or flat(ter) shoes and change into my gym sneakers once I’m there. Its just my thing, whateves. So I’m walking pass Hello Mrs. Lady to the women’s locker room to claim my locker #029, there are approximately 300 other lockers but Ive grown a liking to this one in particular so when its taken… I’M FUCKIN’ PISSED OFF. Nah its not that big of a deal I just grab another one but if it just so happens when I come back down the person is there who snagged it, I will give her the stink eye. And she will have no fucking idea why. Anywhos, I’m at my locker to change out of my “walk to the gym shoes” into “my gym shoes” (quotes weren’t needed there because they actually are my gym shoes, but you get my drift). And I scurry up the stairs so nobody gives me the “damn shes tall, oh.. but look at her massive sneakers” look and jump on the 3rd elliptical (yes, I also enjoy my one and only elliptical, if someones on it I get thrown for a loop and go home) Anywhos I’m on and were off….and I start to survey the scene and tick the boxes.
Yup there’s that guy….he always wears the grey singlet with his work boots and he is always here, always. CHECK. What does he actually do for work? and what does he do here? there are only so many machines in this place. They should have some kind of rule where you cant be there for more than 4 hours otherwise loitering laws come into play. I’m pretty sure this is where this guy hangs out, “Hey yo Pete, what you doin’ tonight?” “Yea just hitting the gym” “Cool man.” “Yea well you wanna do something?” “Nah man I’m at the gym.”
Next on the list, ahh yes….whats this? a fellow ellipticall-er pumping up the levels like she’s paid for it. Look I can swish my arms like this….swish swish and even back pedal..I know it looks weird but I can do it and really fast too. I can even take my arms off the arm things, look no hands…no bigs… (Later suckkaaahh). I’m pretty sure I won the elliptical race as well as the race of time. Or no race at all because she was probably just working out normally and didn’t even notice my insane increasing of levels, backwards elliptical row or the no hands finale.
Once she gets off, feeling pretty defeated I’m sure… focus goes back to my surroundings. YES. the man with giant upper body and the wee little bittle legs is amongst us. CHECK. Its like watching a Cyclops of sorts you don’t look at him straight on but the giant eye is just so effing distracting. Of course there he is in his element, bench pressing like all hell (please no more you don’t need to work out your arms anymore, look! your legs.. they are looking toothpick-like and vulnerable do something with them). Immediately after his bench press his arms flail off and up and he begins the weight lifters walk around. Kind of like someone who has to pee but is taking the really long way to the bathroom he grazes along each section of the gym looking like a silver back gorilla (with small legs) and then shoots off back to the arm machine. Just plain weird. I just want to hold his face like the fat kid in Billy Madison and say “Pleassseee no moorrreee arrms.”
It is time to leave now that my superfecta of familiar faces have shown up, done what they do best and there is no one on the machine next to me to competitively race against. I head downstairs back to the locker room and there she is….must be 40-45 years, short brown bob and changing in front of my locker. I’m just waiting for her to put on a costume of sorts because there is only so many times you can change in and out of gym clothes to casual wear and out again. I am hoping to limit the time of waiting amongst her until she is “fully clothed” which will never happen in my lifetime. So I decide to hit the steam room…I don’t tend to bring a change of clothes and because I thoroughly enjoy the steam room I typically decided to eff it and go in fully clothed. People mainly think I don’t understand the concept of the steam room which is fine…I’m perfectly happy chilling in my work out gear sweating up to wazoo. I do get the wtf look through the tempered glass every time a passer byer glances in. Fwark its hot in here, probably why most people go in naked.
I return a little while after sweating like a hostage to find that my locker is still “occupied” by changing lady numero uno. I decide I will just succumb to her antics and do the uncomfortable reach around to open my locker and take out all my stuff by hovering it carefully over her head. (how are you still here? changing? wtf, why?) I get my stuff together and change into to my now “walk home from the gym” shoes. It would be strange to show up and not see the regulars. I really do appreciate everyone in all their glory. Except for changing lady, she can jog on.
Living abroad has enabled me to explore the wonderful world of shitty jobs. I just finished up my masters degree so until I leave Sydney I’m trying to pack in as many occupations as humanly possible…well two jobs and I only work 3 days a week the others days I live a life of leisure and as a stay at home mom with no kids but cleans a shit load (mainly on Adderall). Anywhos, yesterday I had my first day filling in for a receptionist at a non-for profit that saves animals I FEEL SO SORRY for any receptionist and I am so lucky I only have to succumb to the berating nature of the general public once a week. Which is 8 hours too long.
I would like to start off by saying I was introduced to this job by the OHS officer, Sonya (Sonya- lady with purple hair off centered and cut in this angled bob with the spikey back, goth, she had the hefty black boots too, and shes also in her mid-50’s) telling me that I should never take the elevator with out my mobile phone. NEVER. Because 1 in 17 (yes, they had stats) would be stuck in the elevator for up to an hour. Also, when you need to call the emergency elevator people you need to address your elevator by the number below the level buttons not up high. Otherwise you would be telling them the wrong elevator and thus stuck for longer as they scowl the elevator bank. However, on a lighter note, she told me if I were to become stuck in between floors (which seems to be the preference among the staff) I would simply need to turn myself sideways and “shimmy” out. WHAT!? shouldn’t people not be working in this death trap? She also continued by pointing at an empty chair, “See that chair?” “That’s were Virginia sat… she went in the elevator one night, after hours (ooo risky move, Virginia) and was stuck in there for two hours.” ummmm where is Virginia now? and why are we talking about her like we lost her in battle?
After 30 minutes of elevator de-briefing I thought well if I get stuck..at least I will get over one of my worst fears of all time. And if I need to shimmy out, who doesn’t enjoy a good shimmy?
After the “intro” or elevator rules and exit plans I was left to my own vices. NO ONE TOLD ME ANYTHING. Except to answer the phones. After taking a few calls a guy named Mark came up to my desk and said I could transfer calls to him if I did not know the answers. For the next two hours every call was transferred to Mark. “Hello?” “Yes, whats that?” “One moment, I’ll just have to transfer you to Mark.” “Hello, you like orangutans?” “Great, me too.” “I’ll transfer you to Mark.”
After Mark was literally assaulted by calls, emotionally, psychically and sometimes even sexually, in steps Samantha (names are changed**because I think that’s what you have to do) Samantha said if Mark is busy I can transfer calls to her. Great, grand, wonderful two people on board to handle the inquiries of a national non-profit with 87 year olds calling to chat or complain about how we sent them stickers and return address labels that they hate. For the next two hours a tango of transfers to Mark ext. 224 or transfers to Samantha ext. 220 went on until it was time to leave. I can say I accomplished nothing except receiving a streamline of hilarious requests and bizarre statements that left me in hysterics. As follows:
Direct quotes from people calling in….
“We don’t want those ching-chongs cutting up animals for fur coats.”
“You cant just will nilly send out these pamphlets to make pensioners like me feel guilty about the tigers…”
“I am an animal lover, I have 3 cats, one is in the bed with me right now…..”
“CUSTOMER NUMBER 33808….CUSTOMER NUMBER 33808…..”
“Listen I heard in America they gas all the animals….can you look into that?”
Number of people stuck in the elevator today…. TOTAL: 2
I will continue to update…..as I’m sure shit will continue to be weird as hell… 🙂