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View Full Version : Today is a sad day at Corals (Long story warning!!)



rick316
03-31-2006, 06:27 AM
Seven years ago,I went into the gym to work-out after a long day at work.I asked,in a rather 'off' manner if there were any vacancies going.Half way thru my workout,Andrea (the Gym Manager at the time) came over and asked me when I could start.I was employed,without seeing a CV,without having to prove what info I knew,in fact without anything at all."Start on Monday (it was Friday).That was as a gym instructor.

Three years later,having shown no inclination to teach classes,Andrea offered me the opportunity to take part in a course so I could teach Tae-Bo-like classes.The course was paid for me (which was not the done thing).To help my confidence,she also gave me a cycle class.

She was promoted to Club Manager and in turn she promoted me to Gym Manager.I continued to teach both classes,she would congratulate me when I'd sell out a class or something similar.After a year or so,she became pregnant and suggested that I co-run the club with the Reception Manager.I'd go on to do that for 8 months,very succesfully.

It's been three years that I've been the Gym Manager,I've also taken over the Studio Co-Ordinator's role when she chose to stay off to be a full time mum and continue to just teach classes (very well).

Her cycle classes have never been the thing that training manuals are made from (in fact they do pretty much everything we are taught not to do).However,they get bums in seats and the participants love it - karaoke,making some noise,technically un-sound - the whole nine yards.As I said the participants loved it.However,over the last 6 months,as the gym membership base has moved towards a more senior age group in the mornings,a handful have been complaining of the "noise",for 45 minutes.

I asked her if she could tone the overall volume down just a little bit for a couple of classes,just to try and stop the complaints,to keep the members happy.
Today was her last class,she decided she'd had enough of the whining and whinging and it wasn't worth it.

I rode the class kind of out of respect to her as I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing today,if it wasn't for her.I'd still be packing furniture in a sweatbox factory,hating every second.
After the class,in the changing room,the older members asked me if she'd quit,to which i acknowledged.Then they asked if it was due to the complaints,I said "yes".They then laughed out loud,right at me,revelling in there success.They had succeded in stopping a class,restricting a person from earning a wage and were happy about it.
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My point is this,those classes where they do 'CI',if the participants like it and it doesn't hurt us,does it really matter?Is the world gonna fall of it's axis.
I don't think so.
I just know I've had a big hand in removing the most instrumental person in my professional career from the timetable for a bunch of @%$holes who don't really give a c#@*.
I genuinely feel sick to my stomach.

britspin
03-31-2006, 06:55 AM
So Rick, I am guessing you are getting a loud, inyerface, techno playing bootcamp style instructor in to replace.
Odd tho' we have an over 50s tennis group at our place & they are THE most obnoxious bunch you could hope to meet, now I am closer to 50 than I'd like to be, but our mantra is 'If I am like that when I get to their age...shoot me', everyone hates Tuesday mornings, arguments abound, if you do a favour..it becomes expected next week, god forbid anyone dares to book a court when they are on, and if we put the prices up...
Anyhow, don't beat yourself up, she could have changed, you gave her the means & opportunity, which as a manager is your role, she declined to take it & let them win. You could have done no more.
Unpleasant folk are just that, they have to live with themselves.

rick316
03-31-2006, 07:08 AM
So Rick, I am guessing you are getting a loud, inyerface, techno playing bootcamp style instructor in to replace.


Thanks for those words Keith,much appreciated.

There's an old saying that you may have heard of,it goes something like this.... "Be careful what you ask for,'coz you just might get it."An alternative is "Better the devil you know..." Guess who's covering next week:rolleyes:

britspin
03-31-2006, 07:10 AM
An a big HA to them.

rick316
03-31-2006, 07:13 AM
Something like that.

I've been meaning to compilment you on being so close to the big 300,it's just round the corner.;)

britspin
03-31-2006, 07:52 AM
Cheers mate...shame most of them are irreverent, irrelevant and generally not displaying how good I really am, on or off the bike, in sickness and in health, in everything I do.
There thats set the record straight...modestly.

britspin
03-31-2006, 07:53 AM
Nice picture by the way...I was going to post this in the picture thread but here I won't get flamed for sexism I hope,...weak in the presence of beauty.

Robert
03-31-2006, 07:58 AM
That sucks big time, Rick - there's a whole heap of expletives I could use to describes these whingers but I guess you can think of enough of them to get the picture!

But, as Keith says, don't beat yourself up about it - you tried your best to keep everyone happy and it's difficult to have to choose between upsetting a set of clients and an instructor.

I've also been asked by a manager to turn it down because a bloke at the far end of the gym couldn't hear his iPod while bouncing like an elephant on the treadmill. I did turn it down as I was only covering for another instructor but the class wanted me to tell the bloke where to stick his iPod. So I very gradually, song by song, turned up slightly until the volume level was the same. Didn't get a complaint, so I guess he got used to the volume.

There's no excuse for gloating like that, though - if it were me (and I'm not the manager) I'd whack up the volume on full and direct the class using only hand signals :D That would teach them to show some respect...:mad:

han-grrl
03-31-2006, 05:44 PM
...its unfortunate that the masses got what they wanted for a class they weren't even taking (is that what i am understanding?)

...having worked in a club with older adults, yes they can be picky about certain things...

...working as a trainer or instructor does mean wearing different hats, sometimes you are calm and soothing instructor and sometimes its its bootcamp...the fact is, your instructor friend, sounds like a really good instructor, should try to keep more of an open mind about her music and style with ANY crowd. we are in the service industry, and that means meeting the needs of the clients.

...and yes for 45 minutes the members could have tolerated it...two sides to everything...

veespin
03-31-2006, 06:50 PM
we are in the service industry, and that means meeting the needs of the clients.


Up to a point.

Admitted, it's the paying customer wot provides us with a paycheck but I'm starting to get very leery of this "the customer is always right" mentality.. Might work with the check-out person at K-Marts but, lets face it....if the customer was knowledgable and reasonable enough to be (almost) always right, these issues would never happen.

The way I see it, every time we dismiss stories like Rick's with a "we're in a service industry" it's one step closer to us getting rogered by some random complainer.

Funny....just a few days ago, the area group fitness director of our gym chain sent out a mass e-mail regarding this issue. We have classes called "Silver Sneakers" where Old Wrinklies get to go and indulge their pretensions to athleticism. All very nice if it saves on the Medicare prescription costs. However, they've apparently been a tad disappointed when they go to other classes and haven't been fawned over and welcomed like the valued clients they perceive themselves to be. Who's surprised? Talk about whiners and moaners.

I welcome the oldsters to my class (being something of one myself) but, geez, do they expect a lot. Turn the A/C down, the music's too loud, this seat's hurting my (scrawny, geriatric, ole ) butt etc. etc. Bad enough they vote down the school budget repeatedly.....now they want to spoil everyone's else's fun...and livelyhood....in the gym.

Remind them, Rick.....one less taxpayer to fund their retirement. When they're stuck on a 6 month + waiting list for their hip replacement, they know where to point the finger of blame!

Vivienne

Pink
03-31-2006, 08:34 PM
Rick, I understand how lousy you must feel. I'd feel the same way. I have had a hard time accepting the fact that we cannot please everyone. Half the room wants the fans on, half are cold. Music is too loud, music is not loud enough. On and on it goes. However, I do draw the line at CI movements. I figure they are CI for a reason, so safety cannot be compromised. Like Britspin said, your co-worker had the opportunity to try and find a happy medium so you can't hold yourself responsible for the fact that she chose not to.

But I know that it's one thing to know something intellectually, and quite another to accept it emotionally. Hopefully, your friend will wind up in a place that fits her style better.

raptor
03-31-2006, 11:28 PM
Send 'em to my class. I'll whip 'em into shape.

Only the worthy should pedal a bike.

Lynn

Pink
04-01-2006, 07:19 AM
OK, Lynn, be on the watch for UPS, I'm shipping you a few. Be careful of Bev, she's been known to bite.

han-grrl
04-01-2006, 09:55 AM
...as for the older adults, yep they're picky. they want things a certain way, and won't soften a blow when they don't like something. change it or else kind of attitude. Its one of those things well, you kind of have to get used to in a club environment.

part of the club environment is conflict resolution, many of us young folk get too much on the defensive if someone doesn't like something that we do. face it, we won't make everyone happy all of the time.

It isn't about dismissing the situation Vee, its about learning how to process and deal with complaints and issues as they come up. As trainers we need to be able to have certain things roll off our backs, just because someone doesn't like our style, doesn't mean that somehow we are bad people. And just because someone complains, doesn't mean we should get into defensive mode. We need to learn to "be the bigger person" so to speak and being professional 100% of the time.

I'm not saying to compromise beliefs or even your style of teaching. If someone feels they absolutely cannot change, well so be it. Then they have to accept that they may be limited as to where they will teach. Not every one will like our style, and when not everyone equals many many members, well, that is when it becomes a problem.

anyway it does absolutely suck when people feel that their beliefs or style have been compromised, all i am saying is that we should LEARN from each others experiences, and think about some possible positive ways to deal with this kind of situation in the future.




Up to a point.

Admitted, it's the paying customer wot provides us with a paycheck but I'm starting to get very leery of this "the customer is always right" mentality.. Might work with the check-out person at K-Marts but, lets face it....if the customer was knowledgable and reasonable enough to be (almost) always right, these issues would never happen.

The way I see it, every time we dismiss stories like Rick's with a "we're in a service industry" it's one step closer to us getting rogered by some random complainer.

Vivienne

Robert
04-03-2006, 05:31 AM
I always try to take the line between the two views (customer always right vs. ignore them).

For example, when it comes to those wanting to turn off the air con, I make sure I don't turn it on until just before the class starts - they're usually warmed up by the end of the first track and always by the second. If there's still somebody complaining, then I point out that without the air con they can faint and even in extremis fall into a coma. In other words, it's too bloomin' dangerous and will compromise the gym's health and safety status and nullify my insurance. So that's a NO then... :D

Same with, e.g., CI moves - if they're harmless, go ahead, you ain't gonna get fitter but at least you won't kill yourself. If at risk of injury, I'll point it out and try to educate but, if they carry on doing it, it's a free country and I'm covered as I warned them. Sometimes, the customer just THINKS thy're always right...:rolleyes: