Thursday, March 3, 2011

Sucker's Remorse

They installed a salad bar at the grocery store across from my office a few weeks ago.  I often stop at the store before work because coming straight to the office from dropping The Boy off at school gets me here about 45 minutes early.  It's a good opportunity to pick up this or that without making myself late for anything else.  It seems that ANYTHING I add in to my schedule at this point is at the expense of someone or something else.

I've often wished that they would open the salad bar in the morning so that I could have a nice salad for lunch without actually having to venture out of my office at lunch time.  It's cold out and if I'm not writing this I'm reading others' blogs, exploring the Cheezburger network or participating in some other culturally and educationally bankrupt internet activity.

Well yesterday morning I stopped to pick up frozen lunches and milk to keep at work, and I noticed that the salad bar was open.  Yay!  They read my mind!  Wait, can they hear me thinking this??

But there were no tongs or spoons with which to move the veggies from their recessed, refrigerated, previously covered bins into my eagerly waiting plastic container. 

I went to the prepared foods counter which is near to the salad bar and said "Excuse me.  There are no tongs or anything" and was rewarded with a gruff "fine we'll take care of it" from the grocery store equivalent of your typical hairnet-equipped lunch lady.  I said thank you as sweetly as I knew how and I waited.  She lumbered into the back and loudly announced that there was a customer at the salad bar who needed tongs and spoons.  A sweet young gentleman came out, followed by the lunch lady, and apologized for not having readied the salad bar.  He said that it's not "technically open" and that he had only uncovered it so that he could empty out the previous day's leftovers and ready it for the scheduled opening at 10 am.  I thanked him and started to move along.

Then the lunch lady said "I can give you some tongs if you want".  I said "No, it's ok, thanks".  She says "You sure?  Here you go" and she's holding tongs out to me. 

I asked the nice young gentleman if the bar had been covered all night and he assured me that it had.

What could I do? (don't answer that).

So I took the tongs and started to assemble my salad.  Upon closer inspection it was clear that these really were last night's leftovers and, while they had been refrigerated and covered, they they were looking pretty sad.  I tried to pick and choose items that looked less than disgusting (because isn't "less than disgusting" what we all hope for in a meal?) and couldn't really put together a salad that I thought would seem even remotely edible four hours later.

But they were watching me.

I considered closing up the container, smiling and saying thank you, and then stashing it elsewhere in the store...but this would leave my mess for some other innocent store employee to clean up or, worse, would come to the attention of the lunch lady who would later stick pins into a fat, redheaded voodoo doll.

It took some serious screwing up of determination for me to sheepishly walk up to the counter and say "I'm really sorry.  It just doesn't look good so I'm going to pass.  Sorry...again.  Have a good day!"

My apologies, and my handing over of my partially made salad, were met with cold stares from both the previously polite young man and the lunch lady.

I slunk away in shame.

Given my reaction to this situation, it should come to no surprise that I fell for high pressure sales at the Personal Training Department at my gym.

Yes folks, I've seen the error of my ways and I will be cancelling my training contract this evening, 48 hours into the 72 hour window during which I can cancel without penalty.

Talking to The Boss yesterday, I told him that I signed up for 12 months but that Chris told me that I could cancel after two.  He urged me to take a very close look at my contract (which I totally should have done in the first place rather than being a trusting doofus) because, while it's a decent facility in a great location with reasonable membership prices, he has had less than positive experiences with regard to the integrity of the PT sales staff.

Sho'nuf, when I got home I pulled out my contract and I can cancel.....if I have a documented medical condition that prohibits me from exercising or if I move more than 25 miles from any Urban Active facility.


So I sat down to pay bills and work on my budget and allocate to which debtors I want to divvy up my impending tax refund in the hopes that I'd discover a few thousand extra dollars stashed between the electric bill and gas bill, and I came to the conclusion that I had no business even committing to two months of this expense, much less twelve.  I have to cancel.  End of story.

So tonight I'll go over there with my contract in hand, try not to make eye contact, and tell them that I need to cancel. 

I'm sure I will involuntarily apologize profusely.  It's a form of tourettes I tellya.

I'm going to have to revamp my schedule but my plan is to attend two "Urban Iron" classes per week.  There's one at 10 am on Saturdays (admittedly FAR preferable to my 8:30 PT appointment) which will be no problem at all, but the other two are at 5:30 Monday and Wednesday.  Currently I work out on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so some shuffling will be required, which involves the schedules of The Man and The Ex, in order to get there either Monday or Wednesday.  

Have I mentioned....shit?

Tonight after I weasel out of my contract I'm going to try to do the full circuit (I at least learned that strength training is as important as cardio) and then spend as much time as possible on the elliptical with my e-book.

Right now I'm reading "The Pleasure of My Company" by Steve Martin.  I've seen Steve Martin books at the bookstore and thought, isn't that funny, an author with the same name as the commedian.  Did you know it's the same guy??  This book is VERY's about a guy with...I guess he has OCD.  It's very strange on the heels of Portia de Rossi's book.  A bit too mujch mental illness in my reading lately I guess.  But I'm a couple hundred pages in so I may as well continue and just make sure the next book I read is a nice, healthy murder mystery.

One thing that happens when we reach 40 or so years of age is that post-exercise pain takes longer to set in.  Where I used to be sore the day after a workout, now it takes 48 hours.  Today my legs are SCREAMING.  And I wonder if it's the workout or the voodoo doll.

Today's Lunch:  Amy's Macaroni and Soy Cheese.  The best part is the over-cooked burned on crunchy cheese around the edges.  I wonder what would happen if I cooked it like five times as long as it calls for?  Would it become one chunk of the yummy crunchy cheese? 


  1. YES! The longer you cook the mac and cheese the more crusty sides you get. I know this from years of experience--too much experience.

    SO FUNNY about the salad bar. I had and exacting experience. I found an amazing salad bar at a place near work. Great but no TONGS! I asked and asked for tongs and either nobody spoke English or nobody cared that I had to get to work on time. I ended up using two small soup containers together as tongs. I am resourceful, I'll give myself that!

  2. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that stuff!!!

  3. That must've been hard for you, the whole thanks but no thanks to the gross salad thing. But I'm proud of you for not just giving in to the desire to not cause a stir - because a gross salad certainly isn't worth it!

    I had no idea that gyms had such CRAZY contracts! That's kind of absurd. Then again, I bet a lot of people sign up for things, change their minds and then disappear. I'm not sure how I'd handle that if I were a gym. Were you able to get out of the contract?

    I read that Steve Martin book sometime when I worked at the library in New Orleans. I remember thinking the same thing as you, odd that there's an author with the same name as the comedian. I enjoyed the book!

  4. My gym is questionable. I mean it's huge and not overrun with kids and in a great location for me but they also have an F rating with the BBB and neither Denny nor I trust any of the trainers farther than we could throw them.

    I sat down with the trainer last night & argued with him for about 15 minutes to convince him that I needed to cancel. He was far less than gracious about it. I then had to send written cancellation notification, certified mail, to the headquarters in Kentucky. It had to be postmarked today so I did it at lunch. Of course they already took first & last month from my checking account, and the're telling me it could take up to 30 days to get the refund. Great.

    So far I like the book. I thought I lost my e-reader (there will be an upcomng blog entry about that ordeal) and of course I was distrought over the prospect of losing such an expensive piece of equipment, but secondly I was all "Wait!!! How will I finish my book!!!"

  5. okay yeah, I totally get the F rating. Sheesh! that's a pretty lousy cancellation policy. I've learned that having an easy to navigate return policy in my 'business' is crucial. But I guess you don't get repeat buyers the same way at gyms as with my dresses!

  6. WOW! I cancel at the Y all the time and no questions asked. No questions asked either when I restart or renig on my cancellation. I'm in that place now; canceled but paid up until the 15th. Think I'll jump back on the membership tho and there are no initiation fees if one is with Kaiser Permanent.

    Hey! I mentioned you in my blog' positively and under am assumed name. It's a good thing!