“Weren’t you just here,” she blurted out with a look of disdain.
Oddly enough, no one seemed to have noticed. I was too consumed with looking for my water bottle. I found it in the locker room. Nothing of what transpired hit me until I got back in the car and drove off. That’s when I starting replaying what had just happened.
No matter how hard I tried, I could not recall seeing the woman anywhere in the gym. I chalked it off as an innocuous incident until I recanted my experience with two of my colleagues. Both were adamant that I should complain to the gym manager because the woman was obviously prejudice towards me.
It would have been easy to follow their suggestion and label the incident as racial in nature, but I did not feel that it was, and formed the following hypothesis.
I mentioned earlier that I had interrupted a group training session. As I looked back over my encounters in gym on that day, aside from the woman on the hack squat machine, the other woman who had made the statement on captain’s chair was elderly. So, I had to conclude that she had to be a member of that training session.
Which meant that she had to have seen me when I interrupted the group. She must have had an adverse reaction to my interruption, and overcome by trepidation, followed my movements throughout the gym, unbeknownst to me.
Perhaps seeing me leave assuaged her fears, and my impromptu return, seized her, and caused her to blurt out, “weren’t you just here!”
As to why no one noticed that too could easily be explained. I was not near her. So, no onlooker would have thought her distress was attributed to me. The gym was noisy. The attendants to my recollection had their backs turned to her. The incident passed in a flash. Perhaps my non reaction to her statement led to the incident going unnoticed.
Now I enlist your help and welcome your comments as to your understanding of the incident . . .
Was this an innocuous statement, uttered by someone overcome by fear or am I jaded by always looking on the positive side of things, and should have taken offense as my colleagues suggested, to what amounted to a prejudice query?