Frank, the new General Manager, called the entire staff together for an emergency meeting. The yoga studio, where we were planning to have this great meeting, was occupied with ... you know, a yoga class. The spin room was the only place where there was enough room for the entire staff.
So, as we sat on spin bikes, Frank explained that he'd defend his staff, build his team, and continue Kent's legacy.
We were all ... relieved and surprised. Kent didn't like Frank one bit. He thought he was a pushover, remember? But here he was talking about standing up to Corporate and their bullshit policies. He was not going to be a micromanaging asshole who handed out paperwork and told us to memorize gimmicky acronyms.
And then he handed out some paperwork. With some gimmicky acronyms.
SEE The Guest!
- Eye contact
BE A CHAMP!
- Create members for life
- Hire, develop, and empower a highly qualified and diverse team
- Actively engage in our local community
- Make The Gym the best in the business!!
- Profit, so that we may pursue our mission
As we sat on our spin bikes, it was obvious that he was all talk. We already hated him. And then, as he climbed off his spin bike, he clutched the papers in his hands and said, "Fuck these papers! I'm not about that!"
And we loved Frank again. This brought us to the new "No Chair Policy." Not in his gym! Not on his watch. Forcing employees to stand in one spot for eights hours was ludicrous, especially coming from the fitness industry. Frank had a compromise: Desk personnel would stand during peak hours and sit during off peak hours, only standing when a guest entered the facility.
Furthermore, he said if anyone from Corporate ever came in and questioned the chair at the front desk, he were to tell them, "Frank said I could sit!"
After the meeting, a personal trainer cornered Frank with a list of complaints about the sales consultants. They were stealing and pocketing money. They were racist and anti-Semitic. They had schemes. And one of them might even be committing credit card fraud. So, Frank called Kent to ask if these rumors were true. Kent said he knew about everything—except the fraud—and let a lot of it slide, because they were good sales people when it came to legitimate sales.
You could literally see Frank's skin crawl. Corporate might have let that behavior slide with Kent, but that sort of behavior would get Frank fired. He called the sales team into his office and told them he'd heard about their shady behavior and would watch them closely, but they said that wasn't necessary, because they quit, leaving Frank to contemplate his next move.
Suddenly, Frank wasn't only our new general manager, but he was the only sales consultant.
Luckily, there was one more new hire coming in—Allie—a fitness manager. She'd relieve some of the burden from Frank in terms of sales. But after thinking about his predicament, Frank wasn't so turned off to the idea of being GM and sales consultant—double salary!
I liked Frank right off the bat and decided to lend him a hand, working together to maximize his output as GM while also making sure he was able to sign up new members. I'd tell prospective members that Frank was busy, but if they wanted to workout for free, they could leave their ID with me and retrieve it from Frank when they were done.
This plan worked nicely and things were really coming together at The Gym ... until a man entered the gym about two months into Frank's tenure. I stood up from my chair and greeted him.
"What the fuck is this?" He asked.
I figured he must have been someone from Corporate and asked who he was. He shot back his name and I looked at him, clueless. He shot back his job title: Regional Manager.
And then, remembering those five critical words spoken in the spin room staff meeting, I said, "Frank said I could sit!"
The red-faced Regional Manager marched upstairs quicker than I could grab the phone to warn Frank. He proceeded to yell at Frank for two hours—his booming voice so loud I could hear every word of the verbal beatdown all the way downstairs (sitting comfortably in my chair).
After the RM stormed out, Frank called the front desk from his office. There was a brief pause before he sighed and spoke.
"Can you ... please put the chair in the closet?"
Just like that, Frank had been broken. And the RM changed the rules when he discovered Frank was acting as a sales consultant: If the GM makes a sale—no commission.
When the law school students who worked part time at the desk got word that the chair was gone and studying was prohbited, they quit, en masse. Like, boom. We're out. Mic drop.