02 July 2010

Why I Don't Appreciate Membership Appreciation Day

When I came to work out yesterday, I was unpleasantly surprised by the swarm of people at the check-in desk. Yesterday, it turns out, was Member Appreciation Day - AND they advertised a free workout (which would probably explain why there was a gentleman in kickboxing class wearing jeans and Birkenstocks. I’m still amazed his shoes didn’t fly off during each set of roundhouse kicks.)

The gym I go to hosts such an Appreciation Day once a month. As of yet, I have not been able to figure out which day so as to avoid the gym at all costs. You see, Member Appreciation Day should be a good thing. But it’s not.

On Appreciation Day, the gym is always packed with vendors – local salons or banks, dentists or chiropractors, salesmen peddling those protein shakes and power bars, area businesses trying to drum up more traffic. The gym is laid out such that there is barely enough room for two people to pass in front of the cycling machines. So what happens when you add an 8-foot table and pushy salespeople? A traffic jam. Yuck.

On Appreciation Day, it seems as though everyone who hasn’t been using their membership decides to come back and workout – at the same time. This means the classes are more crowded, the machines are mostly full, and there’s a waiting line for the ellipticals! It’s not that I don’t like people, I promise. It’s just that when you’re all sweaty (and probably smelly) and everyone else is too, the last thing you want to be is up close and personal with anyone around you. Besides, I like myself some generous personal space.

The bottom line is that I don’t feel appreciated on Member Appreciation Day. Give me a free bottle of water. Start offering towel service. Continue to keep the gym clean and well-maintained. Hire instructors that actually show up on time for class. Offer me a free month of membership. These are the types of things that will keep me coming back. Pack the gym with pushy salespeople and newbies who hog the machines? You might as well push me out the door.

1 comment:

Haley Dilling said...

Great thoughts, Jessica - you're right about what appreciating customers should really mean. Your sis-in-law Katie shared this post with me.