Breaking Up With My Gym

Last December I severed ties with the gym that I had been a member of since 2004, and it honestly felt like a bad breakup.  I had been feeling very dissatisfied with the gym ever since ownership and management changed hands in November of 2017. Members had to deal with constant construction and renovation, which meant that some areas would be closed off for extended periods of time. When equipment broke down, the management would leave the machines sitting in a state of disrepair. The management removed great equipment and replaced it with new, yet cheaply made items. I was also quite frustrated when the management decided to remove the prone leg curl machine, citing two different possible reasons:

1. Female members were getting upset about male members staring at their asses, or
2. The wrong machine (a second seated leg curl) was delivered, and the management decided to keep it.

Both explanations are completely lame. If the management was so concerned about men staring at the gluteal regions of the female members, then why would they keep the butt blaster machine? Another reason why the first explanation especially irked me is that the promotional video which constantly plays throughout the gym features a rather mannish Spin instructor who has several closeups featuring her sweat-laden, exposed, muscular decollete. I have always found this footage offensive, and I will always refer to the instructor as Miss Sweaty Boobs. It’s disgusting. And if the wrong machine was in fact delivered, then I would think the company from which they purchased the machine would take responsibility for the mistake and switch out the wrong machine with the correct one. It was bizarre trying to talk to staff members, not unlike speaking to a spineless, lying, cheating lover who can’t get his stories straight.

Another very frustrating thing which occurred was that though I had been paid up through the old owner for membership through 2022, the new owners decided not to honor that, instead telling me that they would be “generous” and honor membership through the end of 2018, provided I paid two “enhancement fees” of $25 each at different intervals during the year to keep the membership active. It didn’t matter that I had paid so much money up front to ensure that my membership would be paid for well in advance.

I honestly feel that NONE of the changes the new owner and management made were beneficial to members. The renovations to the facility are STILL NOT FINISHED! When I inquired about membership renewal, I was told what the monthly rate would be, which made me snicker because it was rather high. In addition, I was told that I would have to pay a $54 activation fee, yet another employee told me this would not be a new membership, but just a renewal. More lies in a toxic relationship were being fed to me. The last straw was when they ran my card for duplicate charges, yet wouldn’t issue a credit for the duplicate charge back to my card.

At that point it was time for me to break up.

I severed ties with the old gym, and signed up with two other gym groups. What’s funny is that the total charges for the two gyms I signed up with are less than the amount I would have paid at the old gym.  How’s that for a toxic relationship where I got stuck paying for a high maintenance partner?

I love the new gyms I work out at, and what’s even better is that both gyms are part of chains, meaning I can go to other locations when I am traveling. I can visit a network of over 400 clubs with one group, and over 80 clubs with the other. That sure beats going to ONE busted up, half-finished gym which only cares about money.

There was one final incident which really upset me, which occurred the day after Christmas. Keep in mind that my membership at the old gym was valid through December 31st, 2018. I went to the gym and worked out, and when I was on my final exercise for the day, the manager approached me and asked me what I was doing there. She stated that she was quite sure that my membership had expired on December 24th. She told me she was going to have to check my account. Fine. When she didn’t return, I knew that she realized her error, and was probably too embarrassed to admit that she was mistaken in her assumption.

Has anyone else dealt with a similar situation?

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Traveling By Air Has Gotten Ugly

You might want to think twice about booking a dream vacation ANYWHERE these days after all the recent mishaps with air travel.

Below are several links to news stories pertaining to airline passengers who in some fashion were mistreated or misinformed.

One woman was bumped from an overbooked Air Canada flight and missed a $10,000 Galapagos cruise which she had booked well in advance. Another passenger, traveling on United Airlines, flew to San Francisco International Airport when she believed she was flying to Paris. A third incident involved a family who deplaned after the parents were bullied into giving up the seat which they purchased for their two-year old.

Then there’s the woman who was denied restroom access while mid-flight, and the United employee who cancelled a traveler’s ticket after an argument ensued regarding fees on his checked bag. I have also included a link to the now famous story of the Vietnamese physician who was dragged off an overbooked United flight.

Even our furry friends aren’t safe while traveling these days, as evidenced by the story of the giant rabbit who sadly met his demise while on a United flight. He was then cremated by the airline without permission from the rabbit’s owner.

What in the world is happening with air travel?

http://www.msn.com/en-us/travel/news/appalling-woman-bumped-from-air-canada-flight-misses-dollar10000-galapagos-cruise/ar-BBA8pwh?li=BBmkt5R&ocid=spartanntp

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/united-airlines-passenger-who-thought-she-was-traveling-to-paris-lands-in-sfo/ar-BBAL8fc?li=BBmkt5R&ocid=spartandhp

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/brian-schear-delta-child-seat_us_590b1e49e4b05c397686c339?utr

http://www.businessinsider.com/united-passenger-dragged-off-police-2017-4

https://www.yahoo.com/beauty/mom-humiliated-united-airlines-denied-bathroom-access-215237924.html

http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/United-Agent-Cancels-Mans-Ticket-For-Taping-Her-421705223.html

United Reaches Resolution with Simon the Rabbit’s Breeder as Owners Seek Answers, Compensation in Animal’s Mysterious Death

Bringing Out The Bitch

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We all have limits on what we are willing to put up with before feelings of irritation and anger begin to bubble under the surface and threaten to spill over. Recently I have dealt with more individuals and customer service reps who apparently never learned manners from their parents, and who don’t seem to care when they get on my last nerve. Though I have manners and can be a study in calmness and patience, I can go from zero to bitch in a flash when someone rubs me the wrong way.

I honestly think that there are many people who will assume that women are pushovers, so they are shocked when a confident and assertive woman stands her ground. The problem with a woman asserting herself is that she suddenly comes across as a bitch, even if she is in a position of authority which should afford her the right to speak with conviction. Though I have always been a pretty strong personality, I developed a thicker outer shell over the years because I was railroaded by so many people who took advantage of my generosity. It is a challenge to be a physician, because I automatically am placed in a position in which I have to deal with people’s maladies and complaints. Basically, this means that people come to me only because they have problems which need to be fixed, and because they are usually in pain or experiencing some type of discomfort, they may not be in the best of moods. Though I am empathetic and receptive to the needs of others, this doesn’t mean that I am some sort of pushover in other areas of my life.

Let’s face it: assertive equals bitchy for a lot of people, especially for women. God forbid if you disagree with someone and you are a woman, because all of a sudden you are a bitch. This seems to be the case in all scenarios, including personal relationships. You may be filled with resentment over something, but you also run the risk of appearing confrontational and bitchy if you decide to unload your thoughts and feelings about the situation to the person who is upsetting you. So much for the emancipation of women, because the social climate still reels in horror over an assertive woman.

I will always stand up for myself. If that makes me a bitch, then so be it.

No Such Thing As Impossible

Theres-ALWAYS-a-Solution-to-Your-Problem

I have always believed strongly in the expression, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way”. I proudly demonstrate this belief in everything I do, and don’t respond well to people who tell me that something can’t be done.

Several weeks ago, an air conditioning repair man was sent to our house to investigate the reason why our central A/C unit was not functioning properly. After an hour of inspecting the entire system, the repair man launched into an explanation of what was happening. Here’s how it all went down:

REPAIR MAN: “As you suspected, there IS a leak, but it is in a spot where it can’t be repaired.”

ME: “Well, that is completely unacceptable. Of COURSE there is a way to repair it. Now tell me HOW it can be repaired.”

– REPAIR MAN looks at ME with surprise and apprehension.

REPAIR MAN: “Okay, here’s what’s really happening. The leak is in a spot that is impossible to get to, so basically the entire coil must be replaced. I certainly don’t think the owner would be happy about having to replace the entire coil, since it is a big job and pretty costly.”

It is absolutely unacceptable to me to have someone tell me that a solution to a problem doesn’t exist. That is when I call bullshit. There MUST be a solution, especially when dealing with maintenance people or customer service. In the situation I described above, the A/C repair man’s assessment was influenced by the fact that he was intimidated by the owner. He knew there was a solution, but was reluctant to share it with me because his interests were with the management company and the owner of the property.

What blows my mind is that I have been in the middle of a number of situations this year in which I was told that no solution existed, and every time, I challenged the person making such a statement. And you know what? Every time a solution suddenly appeared out of nowhere to quell my rising ire. I will admit that when pushed, I can turn from zero to bitch in no time flat, but this isn’t about being bitchy. There is ALWAYS a solution.
keep-calm-there-is-always-a-solution-1

Customer Service?

bad-serviceI went into a store today to make an exchange for products which I had purchased, and explained that I could not locate the receipt. The proprietor was rude and abrupt with me, responding to me with such derision that I came VERY close to telling him where to stick it and storming out of the store. However, I maintained a calm demeanor and continued to listen to his rant. He agreed to give me store credit for the items which was approximately 30% of what I had originally paid for the items, which I reluctantly agreed to. What bothered me was that I am sure he is quite accustomed to bartering in his homeland, but this is not something that is commonly practiced here in the United States. If I had the time to go to another store branch and deal with a nicer person, I would have, but I had to get this errand checked off my list.

I began asking him what he had in the store, and of course his store selection was a complete joke. He kept trying to sell me things I did not need, even when I showed him a LIST of items I was low on! I finally found one essential item which they had in stock (big surprise, it was the store brand), and when I asked what the price was, I almost fell over in shock. I flat out told him I could get that item (which was a BASIC item) online for a mere fraction of what he was charging. When I said that, I could see that he became immediately suspicious about my purchases, doubting whether I had truly purchased items from the store (YES, I had). I am not a liar and I don’t appreciate being accused of lying. His expression told me enough. Once again I wanted to walk out of that store.

Apparently the proprietor I dealt with does not believe that this is true...

Apparently the proprietor I dealt with does not believe that this is true…


I then asked him if he had a specific brand name product and he immediately tried to turn me to a product from a different brand which was not comparable to what I was asking about. He ARGUED with me, telling me that what he had in the store was the very same thing. I mentioned ingredients from both products to reveal the stark difference, but he persisted with his hard-sell attitude. It was very clear that he was accustomed to dealing with customers who didn’t know the first thing about the products he carried, and that he relied on feeding them convincing yet erroneous sales pitches to get them to spend a bundle of money on items they did not need.

One thing is for sure: the only way I would EVER step into that particular store is if I had an event there. In that scenario, I would be pleasant and would probably enjoy the look of confusion and embarrassment which would wash over the proprietor’s face. That would almost be worth the loss of money from the jacked up store credit I got from returning products I purchased there!