On The Business of Joining A Gym
It's been a long time since I had to endure any significant sales communication without any recourse. Oh I've had Indian phone service salesmen come to my door, of course, but I simply say no three times in a row and it's allright. But finding a new gym is another matter entirely.
The first time, months ago, I was invited to enter into the sales dance when the front desk folk point blank refused to tell me how much it is to do weights in their weight room for three months. Oh no, I had to have a needs assessment. So I refused to submit to their protracted sales pitch.
Then this second time, yesterday evening, I was pretty keen and highly motivated to go to the actual gym. The front desk folk were absolutely lovely and I was willing to wait for a coach (salesperson) to become free.
Mica, the saleswoman, asked me about my goals. I answered in as general and impersonal a style as I could without sounding evasive or dishonest.
Then she asked me what kind of "package" I was after. Oh dear, I thought, here we go. But I restrained my urge to simply ask her how much the weight room costs for three months and can I please look at it. No, I thought, be polite.
But it was really annoying. Whenever I hedged she would ask for reasons. And several times when I said I didn't want an expensive additional service she pointed out the inconsistency with things I had said before, as if I had said them for any other reason than to get to her telling me the price and showing me the place. I felt annoyed that she pointed out my inconsistent story - it was like being interrogated by Good Cop, and I didn't want to have to tell her a story anyhow.
What annoyed me the most about the gym sales pitch I endured last night was the presumption on the saleswoman's part that our interests actually co-incided. I might simply be looking for something else than her employer offered, and frankly I was more interested in a mutual search for the best place for the best price for the nicest gym nearest my house than my long term goals concening my physical body.
Her fake interest in my goals reflected the fake answers I gave her, I suppose. She wanted to score a sale and I wanted to score a nice gym, but I don't think our interests co-incide unfortunately. The pool at the gym is tiny, and much of the pleasure of a gym lies in the lap swimming as a meditative way of getting in the zone. The gym is gender divided, men hidden upstairs, women down a little ramp near the front desk. They charge extra to use the Nautilus exercise equipment, because they have a "group trainer" there who (annoyingly) rings you up if you don't come for a week.
One note of interest: Mica said that Nautilus equipment was found to be more effective for less effort at building muscle. The resistance is through the entire length of the movement, allowing fewer sets of repetitions to produce the same result. Verrry interesting, but when I googled this factlet it came up with nothing exciting. Pity.
So I am still looking for a gym, with a nice long lap pool, and now preferably with Nautilus equipment as well I suppose!
Oh, and the saleswoman told me to make another date later today when I said I wouldn't decide immediately to join, in several hours. I'm going to ring her and tell her the pool's too small. I wonder if I should test her fake helpfulness out by asking her to recommend other gyms with longer lap pools? We will see.