So, I went to the gym this morning. A friend waved me over and the treadmill next to her was empty. As I started to put my stuff down, I noticed a couple paper towels and a water bottle. I asked my friend, “Hey, are you sure there’s no one using this treadmill?” She said, “No, I think they left, they’ve been gone for a long time.” So, I picked up the paper towels, (ew) and the water bottle and carried them to the trash. I went back to the treadmill and as I started it, I noticed a head set still hooked up, left by this other person. I moved it to the treadmill next to me, thinking, maybe they got sick and left in a hurry.
Well, maybe 10 seconds later this woman marched up to the treadmill and said, “What do you think you are doing?” I was mortified. I told her I was sorry and that my friend and I assumed incorrectly that she was gone. She said, “Where is my drink?” I told her I had thrown it out. She called me “unbelievable” (very loudly) and told me to retrieve it. I dug through the trash for her water bottle (which was empty by the way), all the while apologizing profusely. She made a scene with her comments calling me rude and asking the people around us if there aren’t enough treadmills in this gym that I had to take hers, all the while not wanting to hear my truly sincere apologies.
My friend apologized to her as well, saying it was her fault because she thought this woman had left. This woman huffed and puffed and parked herself in the treadmill right next to me. Like seriously, Right next to me! As she continued to mumble under her breath I looked at my friend, told her I was done. I couldn’t work out next to this woman even though I was in the “No Judgment Zone.”
I had offended her but I had tried my best to make it right and I had apologized numerous times.
The moral of this story is, first of all, try your hardest not to offend anyone. Try not to be an inconvenience to anyone.
BUT, if you are the one who is offended, PLEASE accept apologies when they are offered. Be gracious, even when hurt or inconvenienced. Would I have been mad had that happened to me? Of course, but I don’t think I would have berated the person who offended me. I think I would have been more embarrassed then mad and I probably would have left my stinky empty water bottle in the trash but I would have definitely accepted the apology if offered.
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”