Wednesday, September 30, 2015

First World Problem of the Day

Early this morning I went to Planet Fitness to exercise. When I arrived, there was a guy practicing/tuning a trumpet. I didn't give it much thought but after 30 minutes I felt the need to say something about it. It was loud enough that the notes were sneaking through my headphones as I nearly blissfully listened to Spotify.

Should I say something? Or not? I don't know his situation. What if he's the owner? I'd definitely want to say something. What if he's just some guy down on his luck and living out of his car? I don't think I'd want to say anything. In the end, I figured the truth probably lied somewhere between the two extremes.

Do I talk to the employee about it? I don't know. Seems kind of cowardly. I wasn't looking to get anyone in trouble. This is the same employee who warned me when I joined not to listen to music so that others could hear it. I appreciated that. And yet, everyone could hear that trumpet. Very confusing. And when I say everyone, I mean the trumpet player, another person working out, the one employee, and me. It was 3am. Not many people there.

Perhaps it was best just to ask the trumpet player to play softer and explain that I could hear it through my headphones. I decided to do that, even though I know how nearly impossible it would be to play a trumpet softly. He was very nice about it. He stopped and then left.

I exercised for another 90 minutes, took a shower, and as I was walking out the door I decided to ask the employee what the story was. He said the guy lives in his car and he lets him play when there aren't many people around. He tends to do it once every few weeks.

Damn. That was one of the scenarios that actually went through my head before I complained.

Moral of the Story

Complaining about first world problems, especially to those with bigger problems, may end up making you feel like a schmuck.

Why did I do it? It rarely ends well. At best, a tiny violin should play. At worst, well, yeah. Been there, done that. Today!

Live and let live. I really try to live by that but every now and then I lose my way.


Stagflationary Mark said...

Just to be clear, the employee warned me not to play music so that others could hear it as I was signing up, not because I actually was playing music too loudly.

Stagflationary Mark said...

I was on a flight once sitting in business class. Across the aisle a small child was kicking the curtain in front of her. What she didn't know was that it was also the back of a first class passenger's seat.

From my vantage point, I could see that the first class passenger was getting kicked a lot. He was dressed in a nice suit. It was a long flight. He never once complained, to anyone.

I'd never seen anything like it. The guy's a hero to me. He really inspired me to never sweat the small stuff. It was a life changing moment. Seriously.

I lost my way today. I'll try to do better tomorrow. :)

Anonymous said...

Well, not sure if there's a good choice on this one. Allot depends on your own psychology. I would never have confronted the guy: primarily because I'm afraid of people, and the less they are like me more the more fear I have. (Playing a trumpet at 2am in a gym definitely puts the guy in the "not like me" category).

So, I wouldn't have said anything. Then the guy would have finished and perhaps thought to himself: boy, those people sure are a laid-back bunch, I like them. He wouldn't have known that for 90 minutes I'd been fantasizing about taking the trumpet and twisting it around his neck.

So, not sure you actually "lost your way". (I was informed, however, that your behavior in this matter will definitely be discussed before voting starts for the next Pope.)

Stagflationary Mark said...


Very amusing. I think you have a very good grasp of the situation. I tried to be very friendly. I generally don't confront people, and especially not late at night. I took a risk. Not that smart on my part.

It's funny. If he would have been playing actual songs I might have even enjoyed it. Random notes wasn't working for me though, in that fingernails on a chalkboard sort of way. He stopped just as I was finishing up on the recumbent bike. I thought I was past it. I was about two minutes on the treadmill and the trumpet started right back up again. Speaking of popes, I entered "Good God'" mode.

That said, I got a great workout during those first 30 minutes. My heart rate was way up and I was burning a lot more calories. Maybe I should have thanked him, lol. Sigh.

So anyway, I feel a bit guilty over it. However, one reason I like going at that hour is just how peaceful and relaxing it is. Well, until the trumpet shows up.

Perhaps it was payback for all the clown horn videos I have posted on my blog. Karma's a bitch. ;)