Don’t screw the crew. Enough said.
On this one, personal trainers can be the biggest boofheads of the lot.
Sometimes we boofheads need saving alright – from venereal disease. From the unemployment queue.
Ahhh, the DAILY hotbed of scandal that is tucked under the front desk of a gym. Believe me – instead of those ‘butter-wouldn’t-melt’ faces. No matter how much “it’s no one else’s business”, don’t kid yourself out of a job. It’s already everybody’s business. (If ‘shoulds’ determined how it actually is, everyone ‘should’ be healthy and we ‘should’ be working desk jobs.). Don’t kid yourself you’re discreet either – it ain’t enough to pass the eyes and ears of four thousand people who all know who you are. Nothing makes for stickier social media situations for the gym as a business, than the sexual pastime of their staff.
Much as I’m all for the gym floor as entertainment, these situations are pretty much human wreckages. Truly, after ten years it gets boring seeing this same dumb mistake over and over again. The spectacle of a staff romance on the in the gym is like sucking on sherbet-y soap opera candy for that yummy mummy on the leg press. (15 reps can only hold her attention for so long). Since Jerry Springer went off the air, nothing distracts from afternoon carb cravings like a buff roid-raging drug dealer, standing over the trainer that’s dating his ex-girlfriend (the yoga teacher). You can’t back-bend far enough to get outta that one.
Ladies of the club? First, crying in Lycra looks wierd. Second, your ‘barefoot runner’ manager may still not exactly sprint to get in the middle of that drug dealer and your new flame. Third, the bitchy text message that goes astray – and to a p.t. client instead – is gonna have you cringing so bad, you are gonna look like some He-Man’s battle-cat.
It’s good to share things with colleagues. But it quickly gets out of hand. Team building ain’t meant to be based on STD testing! The short and sweet charms of the skank working in the creche will cost ya. There is no such thing as an oblique comment on Facebook when it comes to where you are parking your sneakers.
Newbie trainers, be warned: any workplace has Christmas parties that are ‘high-risk’ events. However, the newer – and more glamorous – a club, the bigger the Christmas party bar tab will be. The more recent your qualification,the more likely you are to be intoxicated by your new ‘fitness rock-star’ status. Combine that with the bar tab and you will not get rid of your swinger manager, if she thinks she has a shot. (I promise, if she can’t get you into a devil’s threesome, her old man will try to steal your afterparty ‘cheat’ McNuggets. Sore losers!)
Now to the clients.
Flirting can be useful in building a client base. Female trainers will bat their eyelash extensions and take your cash. A brilliant – and stunning – saleswoman I know owns two work shirts – the loose size for training women, the tight size for training men. Hey, it’s MTV/Channel V/video clip world now. Transaction-based. It’s also worth stopping to think: we work in a health industry that is based on a ‘facilitating relationship’. No we’re not counsellors but my Lord, how often have p.t.’s felt like one??? The things people will tell you whilst lifting heavy stuff… These are vulnerable folks. Nobody gets much out of your Italian stallion routine if you’re always cancelling the direct debit of a sobbing lass.
It’s not all one-sided. Resisting client crushes is a real problem, when you’re not busy exploiting them. Phone calls, text messages and emails…these women know where you (practically) live. Their gifts upset wives and girlfriends…even if it’s an 18carat gold chain that they can borrow. Female p.t.’s can be flooded with muscleman admirers working the wicked ways of a drug-laden libido. For these guys, the gym is not only home, work, health and social outlet: it’s a Wal-Mart of one nighters. Plus the ‘double standard’ women complain about exists. There is a loss of respect amongst colleagues when you sleep with someone who injects horse steroids. Did he buy you dinner first, and did you have to nail his shoes on to go to the restaurant?
Look, the fact we get chased for having a club shirt on our back (and the muscle to fill it) doesn’t make not screwing the crew any less our responsibility. The consequences can be serious. Yes, I once thought it was all hilariously hot scandal, separations, and love triangles being punched out in the foyer. Broken hearted bodybuilders casting looks at brunette bombshells, like King Kong longed for Fay Wray. But suddenly… there are humiliated husbands committing suicide. And small town vengence packs making it mighty dangerous to be a man in a club logo shirt.
Give yourself some focus. None of us need to be dealing with this stuff when training is our stress outlet, as well as our income. If you want to last, keep those front doors holy and leave the lovin’ outside on your way in.Or? Learn the hard way. But check the phone book for other places to work and train first.
Weight lifting has it’s own set of ettiquette for the gym floor (‘working in’, etc.): an instructor needs a code of ethics. A bad rep is one thing you can’t lift. So be careful what you pick up.