Bally Total Fitness / HOUSTON, we have a problem.
Where the hell should I begin? Considering my name is completely irrelevant to half the co-workers and officials of Bally Houston Texas, I suppose it's best to leave that out.
If you still experiencing difficulty lowering one of your eyebrows, allow me to provide some assistance. I'm a ex employee of this questionable company. Whoever you are, I deeply applaud your patience to read this entirely but please be careful. If you are sensitive to corruption and easily angered by unethical/illegal sales practices, cease reading immediately because I'm about to spill all the lurid details that's infesting this business.
For first time visitors, grant me the privilege to explain why this company is very financially unstable at the moment. One key word can pretty much sum this up entirely. Contradiction.
Pretend that you're an employee working at the front desk and some fat member of the club suffering from a new aggressive mutated form of the swine flu goes absolutely berserk by creating a scene and refuses to leave because the swimming pool is under repairs. What should you do? Do you call the police or don't call the police?
Let's go with the first option where you contact the proper authorities to plan the immediate removal of hostile guests or members by calling the cops. By calling the police for this matter, here is what management will specifically say to you. Ready?
They'll simply say, "Look. Calling the cops for something like this was completely unnecessary. Had you possessed the proper skills you needed to utilize in this situation, you could have very easily prevented this incident from occurring in the first place. Because you lack discipline and training, you blew this whole thing way out of proportion and escalating the problem even further by calling the cops."
So you respond by asking, "But Sir, how did I made things worse by calling the police?"
They'll say, "Well, think about it! What happens if a new guest arrives at the gym looking to sign up for a membership but instead she's greeted by police sirens wailing and numerous officers wrestling some crazy lady to the ground? How do you think this new customer is going to react? Of course she's going to flip out and assume we're operating in a war zone. Do you think she's going to sign for a membership now? Not only will this potential member run away but she'll tell all her friends not to join Bally's as well. So by calling the police, you could actually make us lose business today!"
Let's try the other option where we don't call the police and try our best to resolve this issue personally without the proper authorities.
By not calling the police, you'll now be confronted by the same superiors asking, "What are you waiting for!? That's why they make the numbers so easy to remember. NINE...ONE...ONE!!! And the fact that the phone is so conveniently right in front of you is no coincidence either! Call the COPS! If this crazy member can be reasoned with, don't you think WE would've tried that already?
By not calling the police, you're blowing this way out of proportion.
Think about it. What happens if a new guest arrives looking for a gym membership? They're going to freak out and wonder who's in charge here and why isn't anyone calling the police. These potential clients will not only walk out as quickly as they came but they'll also spread the word that Bally's is incompetent when dealing with intolerable members. So by not calling the police, you actually made us lose business today."
Get the picture yet?
It doesn't really matter which option you decide to take. They'll say one thing or the other. It makes no utter difference whether the cops are called or not. Based on the management I had, you're screwed regardless.
Let's try a more interesting example. For instance, a member requests to change the house music from country to rap or vice versa. What will you do? Change the music or not change the music? Ready?
Suppose you change the music to satisfy member requests. Management will confront you and say, "What happens if the instant you change the music station, five bodybuilders the size of king kong hops off their equipment and tells you to change it back? You gonna run back there and mess with it again? How many times? Look, not everyone here likes the same type of music. That's why our sensible members have the common decency to bring their i-pods. You change one station to please someone but there's a hefty price to that equation which is you'll easily anger the ones who's already listening to the station you just switched out. You gonna run back and forth all day changing tunes for every member we have? Is that what we pay you for? Leave the station as it is! Tell anyone who requests changes that our stations are done by satellite and we CAN'T change it.
Here's what happens if you DON'T change the music and members report your poor customer service skills to corporate. Now management will say, "Look, you can't lie to members and say we can't change the station when we clearly done it before. If they want to watch a different program or listen to another tune, it's your job to make certain that these requests are fulfilled in a timely manner. We don't want to hear any complaints from members because if we do, it's telling us you're not conducting your job properly. If we hear complaints, you'll gonna hear from us."
Point taken once again but wait a second. Each point enforced by management naturally contradicts the very other. Interesting.
Picking up so far?
Here's my favorite example of all time. Pretend that you're a sales counselor and a new client has extreme difficulty with the price of the membership you just presented. You have two options at this point. Do you drop the membership to a lower price package or stand your ground firmly and convince that this is easily affordable. Do you drop the price or not? Ready?
Suppose you drop the price to finally make the sale. Here's how I got confronted by management. They'll say, "So you just dropped the price? Really? Eh, let me ask you something. Who's selling who here? Are you selling the clients or are they selling you? When you drop the price, you're not only hurting your own commission check but you're also hurting the club's membership value. If they can't afford a particular plan, it's your job to convince them how it's easily affordable. Sure, 40 bucks a month seems a lot but divide that among 30 days and you get $1.33. per day. Are you seriously trying to convince me that they can't pay $1.33 when they spend 10 times that amount on Starbucks and cigarettes in a single morning? You have to continuously break these prices down and support your arguments with common sense. Of course they want a cheaper price. Hey Einstein, who wouldn't? You can't just give in to customers like that because they are not in charge here. You are! Understand!?"
Let's explore what would unravel if we decide not to drop the price. By not dropping the price, management will now say, "You know something, I would actually prefer you sell a small membership than having no memberships at all. Basically, any sale no matter how low is always better than zero value. Wouldn't you agree? Why are you stubbornly not dropping the price when clearly there are many cheaper membership options available to choose from? Suppose you continue giving this guest a hard time and they leave? Is that what you want? Let say you win. What happens if she somehow does sign up at this expensive package and later finds out her neighbor bought something similar from us days earlier at a cheaper price? She'll storm right back to us with a complaint and cancel her membership thinking we lied to her! Right? Give her the price she's asking for and move on with the next client! You're complicating things and wasting time."
Get the whole picture now? For every possible incident regardless of its nature at Bally Total Fitness in Houston Texas, there are two different ways of obtaining a solution and each method is directly inverse to one another. Basically, everything they do or say is just a huge contradiction one after the other.
My management contradict themselves because they can't make up their minds and they can't make up their minds because they honestly don't know what they're doing. Everything they suggest or strictly enforce us to follow has a direct polar opposite lurking somewhere not too far behind completely canceling out what was "set in stone" earlier.
This is exactly why this company has faced bankruptcy on several occasions. They simply cannot make up their minds when it comes to policies. Let's do a quick recap. Call the police and don't call the police. Change the music and don't change the music. Drop the price and don't drop the price. CHRIST. WHICH IS IT!?
Why don't we finalize this in the form of simple mathematics. What is the direct inverse of a positive 2? I believe that would be a negative 2.
So what is 2-2? Zero. Zero income. Zero dollars. Zero profit. That's your bankruptcy.
You know what the sad thing is? All that I've mentioned here so far is only the tip of the iceberg. Stay tuned if you dare.
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