I'm glad I've never had this conversation at the gym:
Brian Feuer, a hedge fund manager in New York, once sat next to a man in a spinning class at Equinox on the Upper East Side who "reeked," he recalled. "I said, 'Pal, you have got to wash your clothes.' He sniffed his armpit and said, 'I'm sorry, I'll come to class clean from now on.'"Because you never know when someone is going to react like the woman in this story:
Robert Katel, a copywriter and a member at Equinox on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, had been making his way through his usual workout when it came time to use a weight machine for his back and chest. Just as he approached, a woman scooted in first. After she had finished her first set, Mr. Katel asked her if he could do a set of his own while she rested. She refused.People have always been civil to me at the gym, but perhaps that's because it's in my office building and most of us know each other. The trouble is when you mix highly competitive people with the laws of supply and demand. See? I didn't even blame it on New York.
"After waiting while she did three sets, I asked how much longer she would be," Mr. Katel said. "She said, 'One more set,' but ordered me to go away. I did not, so she did extra sets, repeatedly telling me to leave."
When he held part of the machine to prevent her from continuing, he said, "she screamed as if she was being mugged." A manager intervened, allowing him to take his turn.