What’s Wrong with People?

Individually, the following could be thought of as just a bunch of minor annoyances. But taken together, I think they paint a picture of a more serious problem – some people are just ignorant, and don’t think about anyone but themselves.

  • I was in the middle of doing my workout at Planet Fitness, and I noticed a guy take a couple dumbbells off the rack and bring them over to the mats where he used them for a few minutes. When he was finished, he just left the dumbbells right next to where he was and walked over to the treadmills to start his cardio workout. Did he assume that the dumbbells would magically find their way back to the rack?
  • After I finished my workout, I stopped in the bathroom on my way out. Big mistake. I went to the urinal, and lo and behold, someone had decided to spit his two pieces of gum into the urinal (at least I’m hoping it was just one person with two pieces of gum; I’d hate to think that there were two individuals at the gym with so little class). There was a trash can less than 15 feet away that could have been used. Now someone is going to have to clean that up, but they really shouldn’t have to.
  • I then went to wash my hands at the sink, and I spotted something I don’t think I’ve ever seen before. Someone had left several pieces of orange peel in the sink! I was shocked at how lazy and obnoxious someone needs to be to do something like that.

All of the above happened in the span of perhaps just 15 minutes. But if I were to project such behavior out over the course of a full day, it’s unconscionable to think about how much havoc these individuals could wreak while they are still awake.

This is not a complaint against Planet Fitness. I love my Planet Fitness, and the people that work there do a great job keeping the place clean and orderly. But they can’t keep up with the obnoxious behavior of a few of its members every second of the day.

It reminds me of the post I wrote about Jay Wright, Villanova’s men’s basketball coach. In that post, I tell the story of how Jay was walking across campus with a group of his assistants, and he stopped to pick up a candy wrapper that was laying on the sidewalk.

Jay’s behavior is the exact opposite of the behavior I witnessed at Planet Fitness. (In case you were wondering, I did not pull a Jay and remove the gum from the urinal or the orange peels from the sink.)

I’m pretty sure that picking up stray candy wrappers is not in Jay’s job description, but it’s probably little things like that which help to explain why he is so successful as a coach.

So next time you’re tempted to spit your gum in the urinal, or to leave your orange peels in the sink, or to not put the dumbbells back on the rack, stop for a moment and ask yourself,

What would Jay do?

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Jim Borden

Accounting Prof. at Villanova; happily married for 30+ years; father of 3 outstanding young men; vegan; interests: fitness, creativity, education, blogging, social media.

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