Tuesday, June 18, 2013
I need to vent and for good reason, there were big changes at the gym recently. Last week, I received an email from the group exercise manager that there was going to be a cut to our salary as well as some class cancellations. I contacted the manager and asked her what was up. I had a feeling my Friday morning cycle class was on the chopping block because attendance had been low. We were told that the class cuts would be for the summer. The pay cut was permanent. Personally I consider that a crock. I've worked at this location for several years and not once was it necessary to cut classes for lower attendance during the summer. We always had people coming in for classes. Sure, a lot of people want to be outside. However, on really hot days, people go inside to workout because of the heat.
I told my regulars that my morning class had been cut and to keep an eye on the schedule because I was told other classes would be canceled too.
Why am I venting ? I knew one of my classes was canceled, but there was something I didn't know because I wasn't told. Yesterday at lunch time, I received an email from the group manager asking if I could teach a cycle on Wednesdays. I would be replacing an instructor who gave notice a couple of weeks ago. I said no because I didn't want to have to teach an intense double after being in work 8-5. Teaching back to back classes isn't easy. I'll do it once in a while to help out, but it's not something I want to do on a regular basis especially after working an 8-5 shift. It would mean a 12 hour day.
So, I finished up my day at work and headed to the gym to teach my regular Monday class. I teach a class on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. Which is another reason I didn't want to teach two classes on Wed. It would have meant teaching four classes in three days plus working full time. too much.
Okay... why am I ticked when I know all this ? This is what the manager DIDN'T tell me. They didn't tell me that they'd already updated the schedule with my name !! Hello I said NO I wasn't going to teach back to back classes. She's done this to me. She's changed my schedule without consulting me before. When I was laid off, that wasn't a big deal. Now that I'm working, there is only so much I can do.
Worse ? the cuts they talked about ? They cut over HALF the class schedule. The reason the manager put me down (without telling me) is because they canceled the Tuesday class I was teaching. Are these people insane ? I was told the reason they were cutting classes as well as our pay was because fewer people attend the gym in summer. Another instructor thought it was because membership was down and they were losing money.
NOPE. They are not losing money because I know membership is UP. I talked to the GM. They told me membership has been increasing. Well, not for long when the people who paid extra for classes find out that HALF their classes had been cut.
The fact is, the instructors have been putting up with pretty shabby treatment by the corporation that took over the gym. The stereo systems aren't working properly. We don't have working mics. The manager said that was our responsibility to bring our own mics. NO, it's the responsibility of the gym to provide working equipment for its employees to use. They don't seem to understand that if you want good instructors, you have to pay them a decent salary.
My personal feeling ? They are cutting instructor pay as well as classes to save money not because of lower membership. They're doing it because the corporation is buying more gyms. They're expanding and need the capital. This is what happened at Thanksgiving last year. They cancelled ALL classes for the entire week of Thanksgiving because they said no one would be coming to the gym. WRONG. The members were LIVID. What happened ? In December, they opened several more gyms.
Needless to say, all the instructors are upset. We've been treated badly and so have the members. Guess what ? FIVE instructors have already quit. And not only that, they've lost several members who've canceled their memberships because of their unprofessional behavior.
Will I quit ? Can't yet. Until I'm sure I have a permanent full time position, I need this money for the time being. So, I told my class that yes, I was going to continue teaching for at least the summer. I do enjoy teaching classes. I love my regulars. They are great people. I don't want to leave them out in the cold.
Several of my friends and family have said I should quit because this isn't a good gym to work for anymore. And I agree. I never liked this corporation. And don't even get me started with my opinion of the group exercise manager. They've been so clueless it's not funny. They have no idea how to properly manage a class schedule. Of course now, they don't have much of a schedule to manage. All the instructors are in open rebellion. The members are up and leaving and the corporation doesn't know what's all the fuss about. They feel this makes perfect business sense.
Talk about shooting themselves in the foot. If you PM me, I'll tell you which chain gym you need to AVOID because they won't treat you right.
On the plus side, the contract job I've been working is WONDERFUL. I work with great people. It gets busy, but it's not overly stressful. We get free food ! Basically, this company believes in treating its employees well. Which is more than I can say about the gym.
I am a bit out of sorts that my Friday morning cycle class was canceled. That was the very first class I taught there. I've been teaching that class for over seven years ! Going to be weird not teaching it. Will definitely miss it.