Gold's Gym International, Inc Complaint - Poor Mgmt Practices at Gold's Gym, Needham Mass.
NEEDHAM, MASSACHUSETTS -- I was a member for a few years at the Gold's Gym franchise located in Needham, Mass. I went to the gym faithfully, and enjoyed working out there. I'm one of those who just went into the gym, worked my butt off in a workout, minded my own business, then left to go about my day. I'd been a member for years already when one day one of the people who manages the front surprised me by coming up to me. His attitude was cagey and evasive, and he said some unnamed person had complained about a "smelly t-shirt" I'd been wearing at some point one day. Thinking it bizarre and harmless, I nodded and went about my business, and he didn't speak to me again. I didn't think much of it because I shower every day and always wear fresh workout clothes to every workout. Also, I'd maintained the same level of hygiene as I'd always had, for years to that point, and no one had ever said anything to me before. Anyway, a few months go by. Then, one Monday morning last year, before work, I'm in their yoga room by myself doing a yoga workout. During my time in there, no one came in, I was totally alone. I estimate I was in there 7:45 to 8:15 or 8:20am, with the next class not scheduled until 9:00. I left, showered, and went off to work, not thinking anything of it.
The next day, I head in for a workout in the afternoon. One of the kids at the front desk stops me for a moment. I should say that though I'd had only a little interaction with him, I admit I didn't care for him too much, and I felt that something about me rubbed him the wrong way, though I've no idea what. He stops me and tells me, a paying customer, that I can no longer use the yoga room. I ask why not; his reply, in front of people at the front desk was, "the stench". He then told me that the previous day, the 9:00 yoga class had to move their class outside due to the odor I'd allegedly left behind when doing my yoga workout.
I'd thought about this. I'd always maintained the same level of hygiene, and had never had a problem at all. Why all of a sudden? And, I've been around my share of people who smelled quite bad, as we all have, I'm sure. To smell up a room so bad that people can't stand to be in there 40-45 minutes after you've left, you've really, really got to have poor hygiene, as in not washing for a month or so. If my hygiene really were that bad, I couldn't function at my job or in society! I thought about it, and decided that if that was the reputation I was getting, deserved or not, I could no longer pay to go to that gym. I can only think that the yoga room were so unclean that any small amount of body odor that I or anyone else had, got trapped in the filth in the room and got magnified. I'll also reiterate that no one was in the room when I worked out in there, and no one even poked their head in while I was there. How were they so sure it was me?
The next night, I went to the gym, canceled my membership, and went straight to another gym. I've been a member there for months now, the people are a lot friendlier and I've even taken some classes and taken up a great yoga practice there. I sweat quite a bit, as does everyone else, and absolutely no one has said anything to me. I've maintained the same hygiene levels as always. I can only think that I rubbed someone the wrong way at Gold's, though Lord knows how, and they cooked up some bizarre thing to get rid of me.
Another thing about Gold's---in the few months before I left, they actually came out with a rule banning nudity around the locker room!! Good luck enforcing that one! What's that about? And these of course were same-gender locker rooms.
Overall, I found most of the staff (there were a couple good ones) growing colder not just to me but to other clientele. They for some reason seemed quite stuck-up, and condescending. The place just seemed....like it had gotten weird, like I and some others there weren't good enough for some reason. I'd never felt that way at any gym I'd been to, I always just worked out, went about my business quietly and that was it. No problems. This place, I don't know what got into them. I didn't bother saying anything to the management there, because I knew they'd back up their employees, I was only one member, and who could maintain a straight face while talking about something so bizarre and embarrassing, whether true or not? Anyway, I don't know if other Gold's franchises are like this, but I'd recommend not joining the Gold's in Needham and instead seeking alternate gym arrangements.