Monday, August 11, 2014

1368 Fitness Center, Sprint Cars, Reverse Customer Service

Awhile back, we joined the YMCA. Fine outfit.  Lovely people.  Good facilities.  Nice swimming pool and even a warmed bounce around pool for those of us of a certain age who do or tried to do underwater exercises.

But eventually the trip became a nuisance.  Drive a few miles.  Check in.  Change. Shower.  Exercise and or swim, shower again, change and drive back.

After awhile we just stopped going.  Some time goes by and we join a private club that’s closer to home.  Same kind of nice people and everything else… except no pool.

But after awhile, that got to be a chore, too.

And we rationalize.

Just remember, Jim Fixx, the guy who started the jogging movement died of a heart attack after his morning run.  He was 52.

We remember.
We also remember what riding a bicycle, even a stationary bike can feel like to your knees and your… um… hemorrhoids.

And what a “dead lift” can do to your back.

And the people who never wiped down the machines after using them.

Now a friend from the Jersey Shore has figured out something smart.

He’s joined a health club that’s in a hospital.

What a great idea.

You fall off the treadmill or have a heart attack among the free weights and you’re right there where you can get treatment.

Not only that, but you save time because you don’t have to call 911, all you have to do is say the magic words “Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.”

The emergency people will be there in a heartbeat.  First, saving lives is their jobs.  And also, if they’re too slow, think about the headline: “Man dies of heart failure at hospital fitness center.”  Or “Hospital treadmill crushes elderly jogger.”

Or Dr. Oz does a segment on germs you find on those exercise machines.

Terrible way to attract customers and patients.  The friend isn’t elderly, but he’s working toward it.

But even with good service, the hospital faces a quandary.

How do you make up what you don’t charge for an ambulance ride … because there IS no ambulance ride?

They have to hope that the health club and the emergency room are not on the same floor.

That way they can charge you for the gurney ride to the elevator and then the elevator ride to the E.R.  And maybe they can slip you a couple of extra $50 aspirin tablets.

--Sprint cars in the news a lot lately, especially as Tony Stewart’s terrible track record for causing death, injury and pileups in small venues in small locales.  Hotheads on the track are as common in this “sport” as they were in Hockey a decade ago.  But unlike in a hockey fight, drivers are not using sticks, they’re using high powered machinery… cars with vertical wings that look like they might fly off the track as their drivers fly off the handle.

--When you finally reach a live body at customer service, start the conversation by saying “this call may be recorded for quality assurance and training.” That’ll throw them off script before they utter a word.  Or this: “your answer is very important to us, please wait for the next available customer…” and follow by humming an off-tune melody.

I’m Wes Richards.  My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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© WJR 2014

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