*to Hanlon's razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.
Κυνόσαργες

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

A shower! Just a fucking shower!

Why is it so much to ask for bicycle commuting to get a shower?  It makes me think it's about social-conditioning: you shall own a car, you shall get fat, or you shall exercise in only the ways that suck your time and money.  This is not a post on making do without a shower after cycling to work, because it is all a bodge.  No, this is a rant.



It's a rant that I am putting it on both my active blogs, because it is about sport, and the fact that people are fucking stupid.  More so, school principals and sento and gym owners

In three elementary schools in Toronto's suburbs, and three 'international'* elementary schools in Tokyo and its suburbs, I have had exactly ONE where getting cleaned up was not an ordeal.  Another where it was reasonable: no shower in any building, but an unused bathroom with a big sink.  Bit of math for you: six schools minus one with a shower I could use, and one without a shower, leaves how many with showers I could not use?  Two-thirds!  Please tell me why a school is built with a shower for staff - no, two-thirds are - but the principals have ordained showers be used for storage, or put off limits because the principal does not see the need.  And please tell me who made a fucking principal god?  He, or so often she, is just another sycophantic civil-servant looking for a better pay-grade, or the private-industry version of same, not someone any better than the teachers.  More often worse.  Do they get off making decisions that do them little benefit, but inconvenience others greatly?  Well yes, probably.

Reminds me of what I said at a party, in front of my wife and three teachers, when someone who knew no better asked me why I was not interested in becoming a principal:
"Integrity."
The teachers laughed hard, so others asked for an explanation.

If that were the end of it...  For Tokyo I thought, 'fine, but at least I can find a sento or gym that opens early.'  Wrong.  Japanese bathe of evenings (which explains J-men's morning greasiness) so sento do not open of mornings.  Well, how about gyms?  The public ones open past nine, because J-civil-servants follow 'the rules' of a nine o'clock opening for public institutions.  I cannot blame them.  If they came two hours earlier, their boss would still make them work past sunset.  And the private gyms?  Fuck...

Private gyms only exist to rip people off as close to illegal as won't get owners jailed (any country).  First, they expect you to pay and not come.  Second, they expect you to commit to year-long contracts, and charge a one-time 'membership fee', for which I can think of no reasonable explanation - except theft.  Japan, as Japan does, takes it to another level: at Gold's Japan** you have to sign up on their credit card in order to join paying for less than a year up-front, along with the initial 'membership fee'.  I don't need more than one credit card to manage, thanks, and since the JACCS card happens to be from the same corporation as owns rights to 'Gold's' in Japan, you can gag on my unit.  I am not Japanese enough a customer to take that shafting un-lubed.

For my purposes, looks like I have to take the fucking morning cattle-car, run home some evenings, and schlepp clothes back and forth again.  For principals, looks like you have lost any chance I'll do aught for you that isn't only in my best interests, or the kids'.  For gyms, look for takings elsewhere.

Addendum, 12/10/09:  'Internet Cafe'!  500y total to enter and get my shower, and the soap and shampoo is included.  Another 100y or so for a towel.  Shows how old I am that I did not think of this.

*In other words, schools where parents pay for English education from teachers in Japan for just several years, with no job security, thus little investment in the school.  Did I mention the majority of the kids and their parents are not 'international': Japanese?
**The only private gym near where I work...

9 comments:

  1. I never really had to worry about needing a shower at work, but I hear you on the gyms. I remember wanting to join one and after doing some research learning that I would basically have to pay $100 a month and would have limited hours and days (they make you choose like Monday/Tues/Thurs packages or crap like that). So I decided I would just use weights at home and jog until I returned to the States, because damn.

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  2. Can you use the shower in the gym at school?

    You'd think having a shower for staff would be a good idea. If I was going out after work, I'd love to have a shower esp in the Japan summer!

    Though the few times I have exercised in my lunch break and used the work shower, it has felt wrong. Being naked at work!

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    1. "Can you use the shower in the gym at school?"

      I was going to make exactly the same joke myself. Looks like you beat me to it.

      Showers in the gym! Hooh boy...

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    2. Somehow makes me think of a Canadian classic. NSFW: http://video.cattrallarchives.com/view/167/porkys-film-scene-1/

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  3. I tried to comment but it got borked...FUUuuUUUUck!!

    ANywayz..

    I built my own gym (bought ghetto steel weights) and walked away from that fucking prick wanting to tax me for being new...called it a "New Kaiken" or some shit like that...ontop of the way too expensive fee.

    Oh..
    Oh yeah...

    FUCK YOU GYM EXTORTIONIST MAN!!!!!

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  4. This post reminds me of Kamo's latest one in that there is so much resistance to people actually making the most of what they already have.

    I once worked at a place with a shower. The man who was in charge didn't want anyone to use it because...he was in charge. No, it wasn't the Bates Motel.



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  5. I'm not a gym guy... Used to have free weights and a heavy bag plus some other cool stuff in my garage for working out back home, but obviously this isn't an option in Japan, so now I just run like a sonofabitch, do push-ups and sit-ups, and until recently, did Krav Maga. Sorry, guess I didn't have much to add in the way of the shower bit...

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  6. Thanks for all the comments, and sorry for the delay on letting them appear. Been a busy week at the new 'international school'.

    'Blue Shoe', I am with you. Looks like I will be running home to get my miles, as soon as this heat breaks. God... Should start using the climbing holds for pull-ups that I bought, and doing my old sit-up/push-up routine.

    'kathrynoh', "naked at work" is all fun until it ends in tears of one of the parties involved.

    'Chris', is it a setting at my end that messed up your first post? Wouldn't want that to be my fault, so let me know.

    'Will', quite right. How is it we allow ungenerous people rights over anything?

    'Billy', that's as much as I have done, as I stopped Karate and Aikido ages ago. AT Aikido we had a friend in our gym doing 'Krav Maga', of the 'chosen people', and as immature as it was, we couldn't help asking how the 'Jew-do' was going. Now that I look at it on Wikipedia, it looks cool!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krav_Maga

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  7. This place I worked with and the last place both had deals through the health insurance where you could do casual visits to the gym for a reasonable price, about 500 yen. If we wanna get onto shite, then the local pool needs a good shiteing, with its 1hr 50min sessions and 40 min breaks inbetween. Too bad if you want to go for a swim at 6:30pm after work, because that would entail swimming for 20 mins, getting out and having to get changed and then waiting in the foyer for 40 mins until the next session starts and paying admission again! WTF!

    Thankfully I am only a few minutes walk from work, so I can usually sneak in a ride after work. It's getting dark pretty early now which makes things difficult, but I bought a Nightrider headlight, which is amazingly bright and good enough to go up and down mountains of a nighttime. There is also a flashing function like on most lights, but the intensity is similar to a strafe disco light, stopping cars in their tracks. Most recommended.

    If I ever did live far away, I would love to ride my road bike to work everyday, but the shower thing is a headache. You need a bike riding principal, a guy I go riding with is the principal of a middle school, so they are out there.

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