New from the perpetually robust New York Times Wealth Gap/Are You Kidding Me section, we have a sweet little story about a company that offers services like "booking your workout classes for you" ($350 per month; a bargain!) and "coming to your house at 5 AM and making you get dressed for your workout" ($100 per shameful event; also a bargain), thus serving the terribly neglected demographic of Rich People Whose Ideal Level of Human Functionality Is Sort of "Fancy Seven-Year-Old Who Just Likes It Better When Mommy Is Around."
The Strength In Numbers (SIN) fitness concierge service employs 20 people to carry out the harrowing emotional labor of pretending that this whole healthy-wittle-pwince-and-pwincess scenario is totally chill and fun and okay. You can imagine an assistant all like: "Do we need to have new clothes waiting at the Flywheel studio after our class is done? We do? Awesome. Do we need a green juice too? Love it. Do we want a workout buddy? Amazing, I know how frustrating it was that last time when you couldn't totally see the instructor, and that's really not fair to you. Do we want to bring our measuring tape for the locker room after? Absolutely. Now just uh, we're gonna have to uh, get our cute little butts out of bed because it's 6:35 and the car is waiting and we've had Kelly holding those bikes for us for two hours :)"
You can really hire SIN to do all of that for you: they'll pack your clothes ($25), get you a juice ($25), work out next to you so you don't feel so overwhelmed by the fact of your own human incompetence and loneliness ($100), measure you afterwards (they don't say if this is extra), hold your place at the studio (also $?), and handle your car service for this important, once-in-a-lifetime fitness event ($25 plus cost of the ride).
The Times story is written with the sort of agonizing, barely restrained patience that I imagine must be the lifeblood of this company, whose clientele is necessarily the type of person who is stressed out by the 30-second process of creating an online account at a workout studio, and who needs to do Bikram in private sessions only because (and I quote) "the smell issue, and my clients don't want to deal with 60 people sweating on them."
Sure! I too would rather spend most of my life in the equivalent of a sensory deprivation tank full of compliments and loose blood diamonds, but I don't have the cash :( Maybe I will finally take action on starting my Full Baby Concierge Service, in which I will show up at rich people's houses to pat their backs and put them in the bathtub and feed them weensy little num-nums when lifting that fork is just too stressful.
Here's the best two paragraphs from the piece:
A recent day on the job for Ms. Martin included her sprinting the third of a mile from Barry's to the Nike store on Fifth Avenue to pick up a lime-green tank top — the "lime green" part was important — for a client who was grumpy because her housekeeper had misplaced hers. "The whole locker room knew she was upset," Ms. Martin said. (The client had rejected potential replacements for sale at Barry's because she didn't like the fit.)
"My job is not to leave people with any little excuse not to work out," Ms. Martin, smiling, said of the shirt episode. In an hour's conversation, she actually never stopped smiling, even when discussing a car accident her freshman year of high school that left her with a titanium rod in her left femur.
And there, my loves, is America.
Image via Shutterstock.