Mistake I MAY have made in getting rid of a problem causing gym member

Mistake I may have made in getting rid of a problem causing gym member

I woke early one morning by a phone call from my gym manager saying i needed to come in soon and call this lady about a guy that scared her really bad the night before.

I got to the gym and called her and she began to tell me about what she called a “perv” she had seen the night before in the gym while working out , but she said she knew the guy through her dad that owned a business a few years before and this guy worked for her dad.

she said this guy used to always act like a perv and when he saw her in the gym he started harassing her and cussing to her about sex and other things, i should tell you that we are a christian gym, not pushy, but people know we don’t allow cussing in there. we just have a few christian symbols around and prayer boxes. so this guy knew better

then she said she went to the gym locker room to get her clothes and leave because she had enough of his asking her to go out and get drinks after she told him repeatedly she was married.

when she came out of the gym locker room and started to walk for the door, he yelled her name across the gym and while he was laying on a bench, he grabbed his private through his shorts and shook it at her.

I have a camera system and reviewed it and saw him talking to her but couldnt see him grab himself, but he was laying on the bench like she said, but the angle of the benches view was blocked by a cable machine.

my manager then told me about two more women he said were harassed by this man. he kept asking them out and they had to tell him many times that they were married and his response was to tell them “married people need to eat too”.

It didn’t look like this guy was getting the hint did it?

We’ll I talked to my wife and she agreed that if he was doing that then the only choice we had was to cancel his membership and refund some of his money.

Here’s where i MAY have made a mistake by jumping the gun before i called the other women involved to get their story.

Before i called him i asked my wife what i needed to say because i’m not very diplomatic with words.

Here’s what the conversation would have sounded like from my mind to my mouth:

Hi *****, i have had women telling me your hounding them like its spring break in high school, and they say your a pervert. I’m canceling your membership and refunding your last months dues, don’t come back or you’ll be arrested, bye.

Now here’s what the conversation sounded like from my wife’s mouth then from mine:

Hi *******, this is ****** at the gym. I hate to have to make this call, but i have had quite a few complaints from women members saying your harassing them and frankly, they are kind of fearful because your coming on too strong. I have no choice but to cancel your membership and refund your last months dues. I really don’t want to do this but have no choice, i hope you understand, i know you probably didn’t realize that you were doing it, I’m sure you were trying to be nice but it was taken wrong, but i cant have someone in here that uses foul language and makes gesture like that, it sends a bad message to our members that that’s acceptable, I’m very sorry, i wish you the best.

Doesn’t that sound better?

He was very apologetic about the incident, and got very emotional, but accepted the outcome graciously.

Then the mistake MAY have happened. One of the ladies that my manager told me accused the guy of hitting on called my wife and said the guys friend called her and asked if he offended her in any way by asking her out. She told my wife that he did ask her out but after she told him she was married he respected her and never mentioned it again.

My manager told me a different story, he said the lady said he wouldn’t quit bothering her. Then there was one more lady my gym manager said he saw the guy approach and he said something to her and she got off the bike she was on and left the gym.

I didn’t talk to the third lady, my manager said he didn’t know her name and hasn’t seen her since that incident.

The guys workout partner came in that afternoon and wanted to talk with me and my wife. he said he wanted to cancel because his friend was his workout partner and he was going to have to go with him to another gym, and he wanted to tell us that he was there the night before when the incident happened.

He said there was two sides to this story, which i pretty much knew but with two other ladies having issues also, it confirmed what needed to be done, or did it?

He said he didn’t think we knew it but the woman and the guy actually had a affair going on a few years back and the guy was trying to ask her out because he thought they might hook back up. he said the woman didn’t seem offended at all, she was joking back with him. he said the guy does act like a teenager about women sometimes, but it wasn’t like she said it was.

I told him if the guy would have done this outside the  gym it would be of no concern to me, but he did it in the gym, and i couldn’t have him doing stuff like and talking like that in my gym.

He understood, but he cancelled anyway, and i had to write a $450 refund check because he paid up front, i could have told him no and made him honor his contract, but i cant do that to anyone. Never make someone stay or pay for a service they don’t want in a case like this, they’ll talk bad about you and you WILL lose business i promise.

Then there’s 2 more members that joined because of him and they now will quit they said. so after talking to the other lady that said she wasn’t offended like my ,manager said, i now believe the first woman may have exaggerated a lot to get back at an old flame, and i think this because she left out the key piece of evidence that they had an affair, and she said that he was always a pervert from the time she met him, but she had an affair with him anyway. It doesn’t add up.

He was, in the end hitting on all the women in the gym it seems. I believe i did the right thing, but just as with George W Bush’s decisions, i guess history will have to decide if i did the right thing. I just guess i’ll have to hope mine turns out to be the Ronald Regan Decisions.

The point of this true story. Wait and interview all persons involved before making any rash decisions.

Shannon Cook can be reached at shannoncook902@gmail.com

To learn how to open a 24 hour fitness center, build and start a gym from scratch, manage a gym, and fitness center marketing, check out my book at www.how2ownagym.com

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