Thursday, March 17, 2011

Is being practical considered being heartless, insensitive and cruel?

I am always surprised at how my fellow countrymen will drop everything and anything at a drop of a hat to attend to a funeral. I have seen similar articles in the local blogsphere and can relate to the frustration they experienced after my experience earlier on this week. This is with regard to the trainer who died under mysteriously tragic circumstances at the gym. A person I respected immensely and had a high regard for. Though, I would not call him a close friend.
In addition to the shock of hearing of his death what I found shocking was that the staff had just closed up the gym on Sunday when they heard of the demise of Dinuk and gone to extend their support to the bereaved family. Even more shocking was that the management had supported the action and also gone the extra mile of deciding to close the gym for a further two days. Of course none of the clients were informed of this arbitrary decision and some of them discovered the hard way – after they arrived for their work out.
Now I think this boy is a great guy and a wonderful human being who as a senior instructor at the gym deserves a lot of respect. But firstly isn’t closing an organization going a bit too far. Especially for three days. Closing a company as a mark of respect is something I have seen done only for founders. And that too only for just one day.
What is worse is it is only the clients who suffer due to this move since as far as the gym is concerned they are not losing any money. One could argue that they are actually saving money as the cost of electricity and contract labor pay are reduced. Unless of course they decide to extend all the memberships by an extra two days. But I doubt they will do that. When I protested about this to a couple of people they looked at me absolutely horrified as if I was some axe murderer who was suggesting killing his own mother? And that made me shut up as I realized my position was completely contradictory to theirs. I must say I have new respect for the other trainers at the gym because their income would have been severely affected by the closure as they earn substantial amounts via personal training fees. But these poor boys did not mind the sacrifice. And neither did those who operate the little café. But still the question remains was what these guys did right?
Now I work for a service organization myself and one thing I know is that you don’t let down your clients. Whatever the circumstances, the show must go on. And I can proudly say we have walked the talk. One of our colleagues passed away sometime back and there were no mess ups. Everyone took turns to attend to the funeral according to a plan and made sure a skeleton crew always remained to ensure that all our clients work was carried out smoothly. No one felt that this was a bad thing because they knew we had to earn money and it was this money which enabled us to pay the complete cost of this boy’s funeral. But my recent experiences have made me question my values? Have I become a heartless practical SOB? Do tell me what you think?

1 comment:

Jack Point said...

I think closing the gym for 2 days is too much.

Closing for a day may be acceptable.

The big issue is that they failed to inform clients. They should have closed on one day and kept the clients notified. They could have given the majority of the staff leave and left a skeleton staff back.

Complaining about anything other than the lack of notice however would not go down well. The best approach would have been to have a quiet word with the management and register your displeasure, rather than complaining out loud.