Public interactions have their own set of rules. Reasonable requests that are asked politely should be honored, within reason.
But Redditor gotmymasters was asked to do something simple and refused. The original poster (OP) felt it was an unreasonable request and didn’t want to move.
The person who asked and her friends commented that OP was “a jerk” for refusing as they walked off. This got OP wondering if they should have gone about things differently or maybe even done as requested.
To figure it out, OP asked the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit about what went down.
Why would OP think they did something wrong?
“AITA for not giving up my treadmill for three friends who wanted to use three of them right next to each other”
It sounds like a reasonable request.
“To put things in to perspective my uni’s gym gym has 8 treadmills. There are two together at one end of the gym and the rest are all in their own line. However in the line of six the second and the five treadmill are out of order”
“I was on a treadmill at the gym today when a woman approached me and said ‘hey I need that treadmill’. I was on third treadmill in the row.”
“When the woman said this I noticed two other women getting on the fourth and fifth treadmills and every other treadmill was free so it wasn’t like I was jogging a machine or anything.”
“So I said, ‘uh why? There are open treadmills…’ she replied ‘yeah but YOU are on the one next to my friends.’”
“I replied, ‘and?’ And she said ‘I came here to work out with my friends. I’m not going to be on a treadmill that isn’t next to my friends, so I’m asking that you please move to a different treadmill so I can be with my friends’”
“I replied, ‘and I’m Declining to move’ The woman then said, ‘but like you said there are other machines open so like you can move to another one, I don’t see why you are making this an issue.’”
“So I said , ‘you are the one making this an issue. I’m in the middle of my workout and have no obligation to move. I was here first and I said no. I’m not moving.’”
“The woman said to her friends, ‘this isr worth it, I’m leaving.’ The other women stopped their work out and got off the treadmill and started to follow their friend.”
“One of them looked back at me said to the other, ‘wow what a jerk’”
“I don’t think I was being rude or unreadable. Was i?”
OP didn’t think they should have to move. There were other treadmills available and they were in the middle of their workout. But the woman reacted to badly, OP is questioning.
On Reddit, the users of the board judged OP for not giving up their treadmill when asked by another gym goer by including one of the following in their response:
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
While the gym goer gave her reasons to ask OP to move, OP had no obligation to comply. The woman could have been nicer in how she asked too.
OP was in the middle of their workout. The woman could have waited or just used another machine.
The board agreed that OP had no reason to honor the request if they didn’t want to.
“NTA at all. She didn’t ask nicely at all. She demanded. The entitlement is huge. If she tries this again, report her to the folks at the gym.” – panic_bread
“Yeah seriously, if she had come up and said ‘hey sorry to bother you, but I was wondering if we could swap places, cos I’d really like to work out with my friends,’ then maybe OP would’ve been more inclined to agree.”
“OP still wouldn’t have been the AH to decline, but a little bit of politeness goes a hell of a long way. NTA.” – imamage_fightme
“Polite or not, its rude as hell to ask someone to stop their workout so you can walk with your friends. If she actually worked out, ever, she would know that.”
“Once you’re at that heart rate, to have to stop and move bc some random girls wants to walk with her friends… >:/ I would be mad and no matter how polite your were to me, I wouldn’t move.”
“She’s an AH for even asking. OP, NTA.” – SnooSketches4973
“Not an AH for asking at all. If she politely asked, and op refused, then neither would’ve been the asshole.”
“There’s nothing wrong with making a polite request” – sunsetskye_
“NTA- they are lucky there was even 3 available machines anywhere in the gym. It’s super rare to get to be with your friends at any gym I have ever been in.”
“But holy entitlement…. Like you would just stop mid workout to accommodate someone who can’t be 5 feet away from their friend” – bitchy_badger
“NTA. She may have ‘asked’ you to move, but the way she did it was very snotty and entitled. I’m willing to bet that if she had asked nicely you might have considered moving for her.”
“Even if you wouldn’t have thought about it (since you were in the middle of your workout), you still don’t have an obligation to move.” – Cali_Macchiato
There’s a lot that can be asked about this situation. Would OP have moved if the woman had been nicer about her request? Is there a suitable explanation for the woman?
But more than anything, people had to ask why she bothered asking in the first place. It’s a generally understood expectation at gyms that you let the person finish their workout on the equipment you want to use.
Maybe if they’re being excessive in its use, you might speak up, but you should give them a chance to finish first.
“I mean . . . who goes to the gym to be social with their friends on a treadmill? Cardio gets your heart rate up.”
“Kinda hard to catch up on gossip if you’re doing it right, because you’re breathing heavier and can’t carry on a conversation.”
“Even aside from that, it’s rude not to ask but demand an occupied machine. You wait, you come back later, or you find something else to do.”
“NTA” – SamW20910
“Also treadmills can be a little noisy and given the typical distance between them in most gyms I’ve been in they would likely have to talk quite loudly to carry their conversation and hogging 3 machines to jog and chat loudly (since op said the other two started jogging so if they were jogging) would not only leave 3 machines closed to other patrons for an indeterminate length of time.”
“It would also be annoying for other gym goers to potentially listen to. Especially in a university gym which likely isn’t nearly as large as other gyms since…ya know.”
“The gym isnt the primary part of an educational institution. Though ig it would depend just how big said uni is.”
“Since they wanted to go on 3 treadmills and just left rather than doing any other workouts anywhere else that tells me jogging was their only plan. And from my own university experience, my old uni gym placed time limits on machines to some degree so other people would have a chance to use them due to the limited amount of machines (especially when others were out of order).”
“So if someone wanted a treadmill and those 3 had been on them for a while and the others had wound up being filled, i can’t imagine how they’d react to being told they went over a time limit in place to allow other students use of facilities. Probably the same as they treated OP” – meliocoilean
“I was surprised I had to scroll down so far to see this. Treadmills are spaced pretty far apart even at all the small gyms I’ve been to – to give people space to dismount from them on either side – so three women on three adjacent treadmills would have to talk pretty loudly to keep up a conversation, disrupting everyone else in the gym.”
“I’m not a Silence-Please kind of gym person, but there’s a line!”
“Also…universities can absolutely have large gyms. Some have more than one!”
“I’ve worked at two D1 schools. Private U had a beautiful brand new sports complex with a multi-level gym that all of the students and faculty/staff could use, plus a few satellite gyms in some residence halls.”
“Big State U had 2-3 gigantic gyms plus several additional smaller gyms, athletic centers, training centers, pools, dance studios, etc. etc. scattered across campus.”
“It was kind of insane. (Now, my DIII undergrad college had a woeful fitness center.)” – roseofjuly
OP shouldn’t feel bad about refusing the woman’s request. It wasn’t reasonable, nor was it even asked politely.
If anything the woman should be ashamed for interrupting someone else’s workout just to be rude.