Saturday, November 3, 2018

The staff are not idots. But the patrons are.

Thursday I was all set to go to class in the evening, but life intervened. I'm really trying to get back to a regular schedule for the winter, so I told myself I'd definitely go this weekend.

This morning I was kind of ambivalent about going to class. Eventually I convinced myself to get ready and made it to the studio with enough time for a brief warmup. Barre was good, though it seemed a bit more challenging than usual. One of our regular classmates who takes barre on pointe came in just before we started, and I honestly think this instructor tailors her class based on who shows up; for example. a student on pointe pretty well guarantees more releves.

I didn't get as much sleep last night as I would have liked, and I burned a lot of energy during barre. Normally I recover during the break before centre, but today I was still feeling very tired when class started again. I walked through the explanation of the first combination with everyone else, and while it absorbed the sequence pretty well I just didn't feel up to continuing. I grabbed my bag, nodded to the instructor, and took an early exit.

Normally I'd consider this a partial waste of time, but not today. It was an unusually long barre and I felt like I got a good workout. I just felt like I'd run out of energy, and if I'd forced myself to continue I doubt I would have been very stable.

Maybe I'll go again tomorrow morning.

We now interrupt our regularly scheduled blog entry for a rant...

Because the patrons of a ballet studio are predominantly female, this facility has three large women's changing rooms and a large women's restroom. However, there is only one small men's dressing room adjacent to the even smaller men's restroom. The two men's rooms share a wall, and doors are literally next to each other. It's our tiny testosterone sanctuary.

Down the hall there is also a large, dedicated, family restroom that is also handicap-friendly. It is kept locked, but the front desk is happy to loan the key to anyone with a reason to use it.

We've had issues with fathers taking their girls into the men's dressing room and restroom. To address this they put up signs asking fathers not to take their girls into either the men's dressing room or men's restroom, and to use the family restroom instead.

Apparently sign-reading is a lost art, because while I was changing in the men's dressing room a young girl of maybe 5-7 years walked in, still dressed for class in her leotard and tights. She saw me, immediately turned around and scuttled back out. I heard a man's voice ask her, "What's wrong? Is there someone in there?"

What kind of a father sends his young daughter into the clearly-marked men's dressing room to change, but doesn't bother to check if it is in use first? Not that anyone I've ever met there would do her harm, but that had to be embarrassing for her. Fortunately I was still mostly dressed at the time.

He then told her, in an apologetic tone, "I guess you'll have to change in the women's dressing room by yourself then."

I understand that, for a young girl, going into a large room to change with strange women could be intimidating. Or maybe she still needed a bit of help getting dressed. Apparently his plan was to come in to help her change. But he had her go in first. How clueless can you get?

My helpful nature overrode my irritation and I called out politely, "Why don't you use the family restroom?". Somehow I managed to avoid adding " the signs say, you idiot!".

He replied, "Oh, yes! That's right. Thank you!"

Idiot. Brain-dead, clueless idiot.

On my way out I stopped at the front desk and explained what happened. I suggested that apparently the sign on the men's restroom door wasn't sufficient, and they might want to put another one on the men's dressing room door too. Even though the two doors are literally next to each other.

I could be wrong, but I believe that staffer was on her way to do exactly that as I left. Because this staffer is not an idiot. Despite coming to work Tuesday dressed as a unicorn.

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