Life in the sauna at the gym, silence, phones, and lists of rules

I often warm up and dry off and stretch in the dry sauna at my gym. It feels so good.

Now some of the stretching I’m doing is physio stretching on my operated on knee. That bit doesn’t feel good. And I confess, I use my phone for physio. The clinic I go to has an app with all the stretching and mobility work I’m supposed to do and I also use the timer on my phone, no beeps though because I’m not a monster.

Enter two other women from my aquafit class. They sit down and started talking loudly about family members and then one says to the other, I hate people using their phones in here.

There’s only three of us in the room. Obviously it’s me. I’m the phone user but I’m puzzled why they didn’t just speak to me.

Next, same lady says let’s check the list of rules. I bet phones aren’t allowed in here. She puts on her glasses, complains about the size of the type, and walks up to the printed list of forbidden activities on the wall. I’m familiar with the list because I did actually read it. I am a rule following sort of person. The list includes shaving and changing. It also forbids taking photos. I think the inclusion of changing is odd but whatever. I also think it ought to include loud talking but it doesn’t. Notably phones aren’t forbidden.

The women read the list out loud and lament the lack of a rule against phone use. They could have just asked me to stop me using my phone. I would have said sure, though I might have also asked them to stop talking.

I mean I guess that was the weirdest thing about this non-encounter, not talking to me when it was just the three of us there.

What would you have done given that they never spoke to me? If you were me would you have said something?

And I get that you might agree that phone use ought to be forbidden. But it’s not.

Also, it’s rude to talk about people in their presence without talking to them.

I just kept using my phone until I was somewhat stretched and mostly dry and then left. But I’m still puzzled about whether or not I should have said something. What would you do?

A sauna

4 thoughts on “Life in the sauna at the gym, silence, phones, and lists of rules

  1. Aaargh…If you did speak up, they could have just said, “I wasn’t talking to you” (though it was obvious they were talking ABOUT you). Or maybe you’d have felt the need to explain how you were using your phone – and do you really need to justify yourself? It doesn’t sound like you were even talking on it. Best case scenario? Maybe speaking up would have led to a discussion of fitness and injury and rehab and a personal connection including an apology from them…What would I do? I would probably say nothing and agonize about it later, as you did.

  2. I dislike passive-aggressive behavior like they were doing. I would have addressed them civilly and directly: “If you’re wondering why I have my phone, it’s not to take pictures of other people. I am rehabbing an injury and I use an app that helps me track my progress [or whatever the app does]. I did check the list before I came in and I’m well-aware that phones are allowed in here. [Optional] If you have specific concerns, you can raise them with management, but I wish you would have just talked to me in the first place.”

    I hope you don’t run into those two again!

  3. Very passive aggressive behaviour on their part. It would have upset me. I may have said something about using it for physio and perhaps they could talk to me rather than to each other about it. Or maybe point out that if there were a ban on phones it would more than likely be about talking loudly on one, similar to talking loudly to each other, not quietly using it for physio. But, more than likely, I would have avoided confrontation, and stewed inside, so not sure.. But argh. Sorry they were jerks.

  4. Of course, I would’ve said something as —sadly—I’m hardwired that way. Like others have suggested I would’ve pointed out that I had checked the rules and it was allowed. I would’ve also explained why I was using it. The explanation wouldn’t be to justify it but to educate why. There could’ve been all kinds of reasons why.
    Also, it’s the height of rudeness to behave as they did. Why not simply ask you about the phone use if it bothers them. (Maybe they’re worried about photos?)

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