A sweaty confession: I use my cell phone in the gym.
No, of course I don't talk into it. Who does that with a cell phone? But it's useful to have around, just in case someone needs you to urgently think about something -- or if you need to know what's happening out there somewhere. Texting and e-mailing are silent.
Some gyms, it seems, are very cell phone-averse. At Planet Fitness in Boston, for example, there is a very strict anti-cell phone policy.
You can only use your gadget in the lobby. Once you're on the machines, pumping away, there is no tolerance of cell phone use.
This is something Tina Santoro Asmar discovered to her dismay.
As the Boston Herald reports, she says Planet Fitness dismissed her from its books after she took a call while she toned herself on the elliptical.
Asmar, 49, insists that the call was urgent and that the gym's manager was less than charming. She told the Herald:
I said I'd be off in a minute. He said, 'I said now.' His demeanor was very threatening. I said, 'Oh, please, please step away from me,' and he continued to say, 'No, I need you to hang up that phone now or I'm going to cancel your membership.'
Her description is passionately vivid, is it not?
You will be stunned into making an urgent call to your psychotherapist when I tell you that the gym doesn't quite call it the same way.
"This is a member that's had repeated issues and incidents with cell phone use. I can assure you that our manager would not be treating a member poorly. Her reaction, when she was approached in a professional way, was extremely unprofessional and rude and dismissive."
These were the words to the Herald of Brian Kablik, the franchise's co-owner. The customer, in this case, was wrong. At least, in his eyes. Though some might find it odd he would expect a customer would behave "professionally." Surely "in a human manner" would suffice.
It's odd how some people choose to blame the gadget, rather than the person.
Much of the problem with cell phones in public places is that people talk too loudly on them. There exist human beings who simply have no respect for or awareness of the reactions of others.
When it comes to gyms, though, some ban cell phones because they don't want certain customers (men) taking sneaky photographs of certain other customers (women).
It seems clear that, in this case, the gym's cell phone policy was overt. Signs were posted. This is a gym that seems to care about noise. It even has a no-grunting policy in its weights area. Which seems astonishingly civilized.
Asmar says she just wants an apology. I fear the gym may not call with one.