January 12, 2005

I did something today I should have done a long time ago. I joined a gym. Now that in itself was not so mentionable or strange. The person I had to deal with was another matter, and it was very scary.

Now, I really don't believe in stereotypes. But, there is always a reason for stereotypes to exist. My friend in Ireland tells me that most socializing there exists in a pub or some such, and that is where the stereotype of the Irish being big drinkers comes from. 

Well, you know what they say about people that work in a gym? They say that they barely have enough brains to blow up a volleyball. Well, I never truly believed it, but after dealing with this girl that signed me up, I have changed my mind.

I had some initial issues as their advertising says “$35 for the first 12 months then $9.99 a month after that.” It doesn't say "$35 per month" which is what they charge. I know how careful I have to be with my advertising. However, after explaining to this girl, she still didn't have a clue as to the difference. 

I didn't want to cause an issue, and I did want to work out there as it is the closest place to my shop, so I didn't push the issue. With the closeness, I can go there on my way home and not lose any travel time.

As I was reading the contract that I was signing (yes, I do that), I came across the phrase "I can cancel the contract if I die, or become disabled..." I looked at the girl and said, "So I can cancel this contract if I die." Her reply was "yes." I looked at her again and said "So if I die, I can come in and cancel this contract." She said "That's correct." Ooookay. Frankly, I think if I died, I'd have more important things to do than canceling the contract. (I think the last thing I would want to do would be haunt the gym until they got the hint.) J

So, after I signed the contract, she told me that she needed to charge me for two weeks immediately. I asked her why, and she told me "because I have to charge you two weeks."

I again asked why and was told "because I do." I asked a third time and was told "because it's two weeks until." Ooookay. 

I couldn't stop there, so I asked "two weeks until what?" "Because it's two weeks until." Okay, it was starting to get to me. Here I am trying to find out why I am getting charged certain fees and what they are, and the person can't give me an answer (although I really believe that she thought she knew the answer and that what she was giving me was sufficient). (I may be somewhat psychic, but not that much.) I finally got perturbed enough to respond loudly in clipped tones "two... weeks... until... what?!" She replied with "the beginning of the month." Okay. Finally.

It was now obvious that they do their billing at the top of each month and that they needed me to pay for the time until then. It would have been so much easier if she just could have said that. 

Now, I generally have an even temper, and can deal with a lot before getting angry or upset, but sometimes I just can't deal with people who are hired to do a job and literally have no clue about the job they do, or how to talk to people. I'm sure that this girl had no idea why I was upset. She also had no idea about the product she was selling. 

When I told this story to someone, they told me "What do you expect? She works in a gym." Well, she was cute, buxom, and looked healthy. She obviously didn't get the job based on her intelligence or communication skills. But I really never would have assumed that she was stupid because she worked for a gym. That type of stereotyping doesn't cross my mind.

But what I find scary is that she is a human being living in this world. I can't even imagine how she can function. But then again she may have smarts in other things. But there are people that are functionally unintelligent living today. I mean, this hurt. It made me feel like a rocket scientist, which I can assure you I am not, nor am I even close to it. I mean it was like watching the movie "Clueless". 

I know, the world survives by its diversity. If everyone was the same, it would be boring.