Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Shift Change at the Muscle Factory

We have a gym onsite at work, which is a great benefit. As work gets more hectic, I appreciate and need the midday break more and more, to the point where I hit the gym for at least four times a week. It's a great break and a healthy alternative to other stress-busting approaches, such as eating compulsively or repeatedly slamming my head into my cubicle wall, monitor, or co-workers

I made a mistake this week in my gym break, though, and went right at noon. This put me right in the middle of the winter lunch rush, caught between sweaty resolution-keepers and grumpy runners forced to hit the treadmill as I tried to work out my own issues. The crowding is exacerbated by the fact that our gym was carved out of a parking garage, and they could only afford to sacrifice two parking lanes. This makes for a long, narrow space that instantly doubles the size of any crowd.

Coming in a little after noon and leaving right at 1:00 put me in the middle of the shift change, as well. This phenomenon occurs when all of the guys who thought they were smart by coming in after the lunch hour collide with all of the guys who could only come in during their lunch hour, and they all mill around in the locker room. The actual locker space would just barely park a Hummer, so it can comfortably hold 5 guys, six if they're skinny (none of them are). During the shift change, at least twenty people were trying to share this space, half of them naked at any one time while the other half walked in circles, opening and closing locker doors in a vain attempt to find an empty one. Guys coming in from the showers tried to get to their lockers while the guys already at the lockers try to change without touching anything or anyone.

I haven't seen so many men who had nowhere they could comfortably look since "picture night" in childbirth class. Honestly, I might have preferred a birth canal enlarged to 20X scale to the horrors I was exposed to in there.

On the bright side, I now have great motivation to leave my desk by 11:30 every day.

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