So this past weekend was absolutely beautiful. While I was getting into the summer spirit I realized that I still have not found a suitable gym to join. I’ve been to two, and neither one was someplace where I could really see myself going to two or three times a week. So I look online one more time at the Dutch yellow pages site and start calling.

Conversation with Gym Number 1:

“Hi, I was wondering if it’s possible to try your gym out for a day for free before joining?”

“Oh, so you haven’t been to our gym before?”

“No. I just want to come and work out today and try it out.”

“Well, if you haven’t been here before then you need to make an appointment and come between five and ten Monday through Friday to get the tour and meet the owner.”

“But I don’t want the tour, I just want to come and work out.”

“I’m sorry, I can’t let you do that.”

Now maybe I missed somethign here, but what the hell? Who is the customer here? Do you mean you can only accomodate new customers for five hours a day and only on the weekends, even though you are open from 9 until 11pm? How ridiculous is that?

So I found the address of another gym and just biked over there to check it out. I walk up to the desk and this is the conversation:

“Hi, I’d like to take a look at your weight room.”

“Are you interested in becoming a member.”

“I might be, I’d just like to take a look and see what you’ve got.”

“Well, if you want a tour we have to make an appointment for during the weeek…”

I don’t want a tour. I don’t want a lecture.  I don’t want to see your sauna or squash courts. I JUST WANT TO SEE THE WEIGHT ROOM!

This country has a serious problem with customer service.

And I still don’t have a gym.

Categories: Europe


Daniel · June 13, 2006 at 1:50 am

Japan has the some kind of customer service problems. In Japan when you go someplace as for something and then get the teeth sucking sound your screwed.

Go to a resturant here and tell them you don’t want any vegetables with your steak you will get the teeth sucking sound. This would mean you are going to have to take the vegetables. Even though you have no problem with paying the same amount and that you just don’t want to waste the food, the Japanese just won’t get it.

The examples go on

Jeff · June 13, 2006 at 6:06 am

I took a standardized teachers’ certification test on Saturday. Before getting into the overly formal and wildly pedantic “rules” of the testing session, she informed us that (a.) she isn’t good with names when reading them aloud, and (b.) she’s not good at writing on the chalkboard.

I came really close to saying, “That’s you’re whole job, jackass!”

Instead I turned to the sensitively bearded and ponytailed gentleman to my right and questioned (assuredly much too loudly) the vetting process for ETS proctors.

Then, afterward, I took myself out to breakfast, and I got cold eggs twice. Fucking Denny’s. I should have known better.

Every day I get closer to going all D-FENS on my immediate surroundings.

Brian · June 14, 2006 at 8:48 am

Wow. You have received much respect just for knowing that Michael Douglas’ character didn’t have a name in that movie other than “D-FENS”.

I love that movie but get creeped out every time I think about the inappropriately intimate close ups of the Nazi guy telling Douglas to give it to him.

I miss Denny’s. Just the entire concpet that there is a place I can go to hang out with the dregs of society at 3 in the morning and get a chicken fried steak and a chocolate shake at the same time… priceless.

I won’t bother congratulating you on the test because I’m sure you tear standardized tests apart like wet tissue paper.

Jeff · June 15, 2006 at 5:23 am

Am I safe in assuming that chicken fried steak is not exactly easy to find in Europe? What about barbecue? I have always considered jazz and barbecue to be the States’ gifts to the world, but I never had any substantiation on the presence abroad of grilled and smoked meats.

I remember reading something about a Yank abroad having a “cute” American accent, and it rang false to me. Is it true? Who’d want an American accent? (Unless Cajun, of course.)

The test… ouch. This was the social sciences certification test to teach high school social studies. I honestly don’t know if I passed it.

I consider myself a pretty smart guy. I know a little about a lot of things, and a lot about enough things to impress certain varieties of nerd. But I know as much about microeconomics as I do about typewriter repair (thank you very much, Rocco Columbo School for Women). Plus, I must have drawn the Islam/Africa prank section when it came to world history. It’s like I’m well-versed in six continents and four major religions, and those are the two vacancies.

Oh well. Going back to school on the other side of 30 kind of makes all the old age-22 stresses seem like petty idiocies.

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