Whenever I have an less than stellar experience with a particular company, I always feel obligated to let the manager/owner know.  And since John’s (my ex-husband), there have been many times where I have been stuck as the “only parent available” and encountered some customer service that needed tweaking.  Let me start this off by saying that I love being a member of Planet Fitness here in Doylestown – it is a beautiful facility and you can’t beat the price.  But…a huge but….the experience I had on Thanksgiving morning deserves not only retraining of staff but a reinforcement of values by the CEO.

I walked in at 12:25 on Thanksgiving. As I saw the guy at the front desk and I prepared to comment about how I hoped they were walking short shifts to cover the holiday (so he could get home to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner).

  1.  Just as I walked in the front door I was greeted with a “don’t forget we close at 1pm.”  I’m not even sure there was a Happy Thanksgiving.
  2. I was stunned.
  3. There were no signs up all week.  (There was a sign that they had just put up that day in the bathroom)
  4. This is a 24/7 facility – in the iphone maps listing and google it clearly states “Open 24 hours.”
  5. My husband had dropped me off at the gym and I had no way to get home until he was done with his own workout.

When I questioned the guy at the front desk, the woman washing the windows turned around, and in a snobby, sing-songy, condescending, pathetic and very loud voice said:

“We are entitled to a Thanksgiving too.”

I sat stunned – was this woman actually insinuating that I didn’t think that the gym workers deserved a Thanksgiving?  Wait, did she actually just use that obnoxious entitled tone with me?  Was she insane?  Is this how you treat a client?

And here is the thing, .the window washing employee obviously decided that didn’t think she deserved a Thanksgiving…and decided to let me know it.  A few facts that need to be conveyed to her…

  1.  My daughter chose a job at Disney and would be working all day at Hollywood Studios- she doesn’t get Thanksgiving off – heck she doesn’t even get to see her family at all.  She was well aware of this fact when using her free will when accepting the job, much like the people who work at the gym – there are MANY jobs that require  working on Thanksgiving.  It is just part of accepting the job.
  2. The holidays are really hard for me – for many many reasons – for instance, since my divorce my parents do not talk to me (very religious).
  3. My two younger kids were having dinner with my my ex-husband’s family – oh wait – did I mention that my ex-husband passed away?  And his family (consisting of his father and his sister) treats me like crap – and they have no relationship with my kids – but, because of the way I have raised my children and out of obligation to their father,  they still go – and actually I insist since their grandfather  is old and it is the right thing to do.  And, since it is a holiday and they are missing their dad, more than likely they will come home crying.  So not only do I not get to spent the holiday with any of my children, when I finally see them they are crying.  Oh – and I gave them gas money for their trip.
  4. Point of fact – my ex-husband would LOVE to be working at the Planet Fitness front desk on Thanksgiving – rather than be dead.  A bit of perspective.
  5. So, needless to say, I was really looking forward to my workout in the “Judgement Free Zone” of my Planet Fitness.  I was going back to my house to cook a small meal for four, then wait for my children to arrive home completely depressed since they missed their dad.
  6. I still didn’t have a ride and it was freezing outside.

The window washer approached me as I was the on the elliptical to remind me that they were closing at 1pm and I confronted her about what she had said.  I told her she had no right to assume that I didn’t think she deserved a Thanksgiving.  I also explained that I don’t get a Thanksgiving with my own family because my children go to their grandfathers and usually come home crying since their dad is gone – that my own parents don’t talk to me because of their nutty religion.  I told her that she really insulted me.  I told her I gave my own staff the day off AND I had been up since 7am doing their work.  And her response:

“Well you are entitled to your opinion.”

Is she kidding me?  No, “hey, I’m really sorry.  That was rude.”  I am hoping she had  “humble pie”  on her Thanksgiving menu because she really needs a dose of it.

Honestly, I feel bad for this  woman who is so wrapped up in herself that she doesn’t have the ability to think past her own life and realize how lucky she is – and that maybe a client has the right to be shocked when a 24/7 club is actually not open.  She has no clue how to treat a person on a holiday.  Life isn’t about parades and turkeys for many of us – some of us deal with some very heavy stuff.  She had no idea that I could possibly be dealing with and nor did she care once I explained it.  Maybe she doesn’t really care that the workout we come to PF to enjoy goes far beyond her paycheck and can actually, more times than not, be a safe haven for some of us.

So after my 27 minutes sweating on the elliptical, I rushed out the door (3 minutes early and was not the last one to leave), and WALKED about a mile and half to my husband’s gym…freezing…on Thanksgiving.  And I was grateful beyond words for all that I have in my life.

I’m not going to make a big deal out of this – I didn’t shout out her rudeness on social media.  This blog post is not going to be publicized at all.  What I am going to do is quietly bark this complaint right up the company ladder as it is clear, in my opinion, that some retraining needs to go on with this poor employee so she realizes how horrible her comments were and demand that she start to realize that she needs to consider things from other people’s perspective…every single day.