“For the past five years, I have been using the (very small!) exercise room in my apartment complex every day after work. It’s an important part of my routine. A couple of weeks ago, a new girl started coming into the exercise room shortly after I start my workout (it’s a little crowded, but no problem).
Last week, she started coming in just a few minutes before I get there. She puts her TV show on (very loudly), uses the machine I always use, and when I walk in at my usual time, I must use an old machine I don’t like and watch her horrible show.
I have lived here longer and feel I have earned my time in the gym, and she is being sneaky by coming in just before I do. I cannot come in earlier since I get there as soon as I get off work.
I’m tempted to exert my seniority! I feel wronged, even though I know it’s not my personal gym. Is there anything I can do when I feel snubbed like this? — Worked Up (Not Out) In Ohio”
Dear Worked Up,
I’ll refer you to the adage of “First Come, First Served”. Meaning, obviously, that whoever gets there first gets to decide what machine they use and what is watched on the TV. Get there earlier and you’ll be able to work out how you want. Or go at a different time altogether! Otherwise, you’re SOL and need to suck it up.