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    ARCHIMEDESII   136,238
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Big Changes at the Gym

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.

More later.

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.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MERRY_XMAS 6/22/2013 7:16AM

    When the companies forget about the human factor and focus on numbers, nothing works out in a good way. Respecting and taking care of your people (employees and customers) is the foundation of profit. It's the difference between managers and leaders.

I hope the contract job will be permanent since the working climate is much better and you'll be able to search for another gym to work.

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AANGEL3 6/19/2013 2:44PM

    I never trusted gyms. Like 24 HR Fitness, etc. I'd rather workout at home then go to a outside gym. Good thing I have the gym at work. True...not a lot of classes to chose from (only two in fact...yoga and a Fit Class). But better then dealing with a contract type gym.

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PATRICIAAK 6/19/2013 12:41AM

    You are right to be upset! I would be LIVID!
Do you have a contract that states what your pay is?
My guess is there is no union to come to bat for you.
To post a schedule without checking with the people that they're scheduling is so questionable. What about unavailability of the instructor (for any reason).
Hope your temporary job turns into something more permanent.
If I could accomplish it, I'd wave a magic wand and move you and your regulars to a gym that puts people above profits!

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SNOWYOGA 6/18/2013 3:08PM

    I'm really sorry to hear whats happening to you, but it just goes to show these days some people (I started to say all) don't seem to care how they treat others (make them feel or hurt them) as long as it works for them. And thank you for venting it helps for you to get it out and for us to support and also know they were not alone when we feel that we have also been wronged by people we trusted. I hope that you find another job and 1 that you enjoy! Have a good rest of your day emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CALENSARIEL 6/18/2013 10:24AM

    I find it so interesting to get a peek at the inside workings of gyms through your blogs. It just seems like none of them have good management skills nor a good grasp of their own business. Arn worked for TTM International Inc. and they were always SO on top of everything. Terrific to their employees. Even had profit sharing. It was, to me, the epitome of the perfect job. To him, too, which is why he was so devastated when the owner sold the business to a consortium in Puerto Rico (who has run it into the ground). Arn had worked there for 30 years.

Anyway, bide your time and when you have the full time job you want, then you can make a decision about the gym. You like it so much and are so knowledgeable I wouldn't wonder if you still wanted to work at one somewhere. But in the meantime, that really sucks. So are you going to acquiesce with their request and teach back to back classes? Now that they've cancelled others of your, I mean?

Comment edited on: 6/18/2013 10:25:09 AM

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CIRANDELLA 6/18/2013 8:21AM

    I just cannot BELIEVE they wanted you to work such an inhumane, back-to-back schedule! Even if you didn't have full-time employment, that would've been WAY too much to ask of any human being!

And I get so sick of Big Bidness always getting its nasty way in the workplace. I believe you're right: They're just buying up more gyms, and they want to use their employees as "slave labor" as one means to afford this. It's sickening...and yes, I will PM you to find out the name of the gym, so I can avoid it! Thanks, Karen...I'm grateful for your candor! - Susan

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SMILINGTREE 6/18/2013 6:08AM

    It seems like this is a problem with gyms in general. That industry is just crazy. I looked for something near my new job - I wanted some kind of class that started at 4:30 that would help me get in ST regularly. I couldn't find anything less than $200 a month - and that is NOT happening.

Good luck dealing with it. Maybe a better part time exercise job will come along so you can continue to enjoy teaching classes even after you are a full time employee!

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