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SO disappointed in my gym!!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Advice would be welcome here. If you know me much on here, you know I am usually quite a positive person!

My gym has been great for me and hubby. We love it, great personal trainers, lots of equipment, clean, chill atmosphere, no one is intense, just regular people.

However, we signed up for a family membership due to the amazing price and the fact they put themselves out there as a family place.

Signed our 2 kids up for swim lessons - they both have high functioning autism and although we were pretty sure they'd be ok regardless, we made sure their interventionist or one of us could be there for every lesson just in case.

Well, each time has been an exercise in awful. First off, they do not have a family changeroom. This means that if I or the interventionist goes, it should be ok because our son is 10 and old enough to be in the men's changeroom. If my hubby goes, it's not good because our little girl is 7 - too old to go in the men's with dad, too young to be on her own in the ladies' changeroom.

We have tried various compromises. We brought our kids in their swimsuits and sent the girl through the changeroom on her own. That was apparently bad, we can't do that. We brought them in their swimsuits and asked a staff member to bring our girl though.

That was fine at the beginning of the lessons, but at the end on the pool deck, apparently this was not an acceptable solution as they don't always have staff (not true, there is always a female staff member up front).

We brought them with the interventionist, sent our son through to change on his own, and he walked into the pool naked (autism, remember?). This wasn't good, understandably, but here's what that led to.

Their solution? They have a tiny, poorly curtained off area on the pool deck, and they want us to come through a different door to the pool area, go over there and change together.

Now, I know some of you may not know autism particularly, but let's just say I would not be willing to give that a shot with the possibility of having that curtain whipped open by either of my lovely children at any time, having them dash off from behind the curtain and run around on the deck naked, etc.

This was explained to the pool staff but still they called me at home and spoke to me about this new protocol - I am the only one who does not go to the lessons with them, but they felt it was ok to talk to me specifically.

Finally, the next to last lesson our son hit his head fairly hard, hard enough to get a bump, and the pool staff did nothing about it, they just ignored him - had the interventionist not been there, it could have been very ugly with my son losing it all over everyone!

To be clear, there are 3 or 4 kids in this set of lessons and 1 instructor. Not sure how she didn't notice the injury but that's worrying.

oh and finally finally, today the interventionist said she went through the changerooms as did my son, on his own, there were no issues at all, lessons went great (and have every time by the way), and yet she was pulled aside at the end and told that she had to come through the other door and use the curtain to change.

Generally speaking, as you can see it's been a pretty awful experience. The real problem I have here, is that there was no attempt to work out a solution with us. The people who have spoken to us about this (all pool staff) have been overtly friendly, but not accommodating in any way, shape or form, in my opinion.

So I'm interested to know whether we are being completely unreasonable, or if we have a genuine grievance here.

I have liked the gym for the last few months but this may actually push me to move, the pool staff have made me feel so uncomfortable and my family so unwelcome.

rant over!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Man that is soooo rude!! No I don't think you are being unreasonable!! They are!! They shuld either have a family change room like most pools do near where I live or help out in the situation!! Not make it worse by expecting people to violate their privarcy by changing in public!! Behind a curtain! Man what are they thinking?? Would they like it if they had to change behind that curtain??? I'd report them for sure!! And I am not disabled...just mad at the situation!! emoticon
    1728 days ago
    I really appreciate your feedback. It's our local YMCA so yes, pretty big chain :)

    I personally tend to be too much of a people pleaser, and my hubby may go a bit too far in the other direction (or maybe I just worry too much!).

    I had intended to complain, for sure. First step is the manager, but yes, I will pursue it to the highest level, the papers, etc. if need be.

    It's not just for me - I can tell you that their pool is empty all the time - and now I can imagine why. It should be flocked with families but if this is how they 'accommodate' families I can see why no one goes there.

    It's frustrating to always have to be the agent of change - but you've really helped me to pinpoint the issue - accommodation doesn't mean inventing a solution that works for the facility - it means consultation with the individual to see what accommodation will work best between the facility and that individual.

    Defining it has really helped. thanks again!
    1729 days ago
    I don't think you are being unreasonable, no. I am disabled, and the problem I come up against is that people are very politically correct, they don't say anything I could take exception to or report them for. However they will not make the slightest effort to accommodate my needs. They do, in fact, make it clear that I am a nuisance and that my disability is not their problem.

    Is the gym part of a chain? I would complain long and loud, and I would also write to local newspapers. If it's not part of a chain but is privately owned, there's not much you can do about it except try to speak to the owner and see if they are prepared to instruct their staff to accommodate you.

    Hope you manage to sort something out.
    1729 days ago

    Comment edited on: 7/30/2013 4:52:50 PM
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