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  1. #1
    Registered User VashX80's Avatar
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    Legal Issues involved in a gym

    Hey guys, I'm writing a paper for my Business Law class and it has to do with legal issues involved in owning/operating a gym (such as liability).

    So far the only thing I've thought of is liability stuff and can't think of much beyond that. So I'm wondering if anyone knows of any other issues that I could write about under that topic? Any help would be appreciated.

    Thank you very much!
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  2. #2
    Your loss becomes my gain AngryLlama's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by VashX80 View Post
    Hey guys, I'm writing a paper for my Business Law class and it has to do with legal issues involved in owning/operating a gym (such as liability).

    So far the only thing I've thought of is liability stuff and can't think of much beyond that. So I'm wondering if anyone knows of any other issues that I could write about under that topic? Any help would be appreciated.

    Thank you very much!
    maybe someone deliberately spreading illnesses in a gym lol
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  3. #3
    Watch Me Shine Worldwide's Avatar
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    sexual harassment/sexual assault

    property theft

    physical assault

    ???
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  4. #4
    Bastard DualRectifier's Avatar
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    Well there is contract liability, such as liability on the lease, equipment financing, etc. There is also tort liability, such as negligence if someone gets hurt, or crime occurs on the premises.

    If the gym is a franchise, there a whole other area of liability under the franchisor/franchisee relationship.

    If you finance your memberships, and try to go after members who cancel for termination fees, you run into liquidated damages vs. special and actual damages, with potential countersuits for negligence, overselling memberships, etc.
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  5. #5
    Registered User VashX80's Avatar
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    wow thanks everyone! that should definitely be enough to get me finished. I just needed 1 or 2 more areas to look at and find cases on.
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  6. #6
    you can't see me animal2b's Avatar
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    i work in a gym and i can give you a few examples:

    1. a man faked being a health inspector to and gave us an "inspection" he returned an hour later with a legal pad full of scribbles and the date "10/6/68." His qualms were as insane as pubic hairs counted on toilet to how many tissues were left in a box, etc.

    2. gay guys pounding it out in the sauna.

    3. a happy couple getting frisky on the gym floor.

    4. a personal trainer who injures a client he trains for free in return for free coffee at starbucks.*

    * I should add he injured her accidentally. trainer wasn't certified yet, which was known throughout the club -- he took his exam, failed and was in the process of studying to take it again.
    Last edited by animal2b; 11-09-2008 at 05:57 PM.
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  7. #7
    everything burns GM54's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by VashX80 View Post
    Hey guys, I'm writing a paper for my Business Law class and it has to do with legal issues involved in owning/operating a gym (such as liability).

    So far the only thing I've thought of is liability stuff and can't think of much beyond that. So I'm wondering if anyone knows of any other issues that I could write about under that topic? Any help would be appreciated.

    Thank you very much!
    illegal performance enhancing drugs being circulated/dealt by members
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  8. #8
    Muscle Bound Monkey jckedup616's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by animal2b View Post
    i work in a gym and i can give you a few examples:


    2. gay guys pounding it out in the sauna.

    3. a happy couple getting frisky on the gym floor.
    there better a story behind all of this
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  9. #9
    you can't see me animal2b's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jckedup616 View Post
    there better a story behind all of this
    there's a story to no. 3. Care to hear it? Hear it you shall...

    I was dating this girl, we broke up because she had this very unique view on relationships, open marriages, etc. It was a mutual break up.

    She ends up meeting this other dude at the gym. They come in together, work out, leave together. Hug around me. Whole thing was uncomfortable, but I said nothing.

    One night, a trainer comes down and says,

    "We got a problem. Two members are like THIS CLOSE to f*cking."

    I assume he means sauna, b/c we've had men pounding it out in there before... but no. I'm wrong. The trainer says, "your girl and her new man are getting it on on the FLOOR!"

    The housekeeper comes down and tells me. Then a flock of members come down one by one to complain. The trainer is with a client, so he can't break it up. The housekeeper refuses to get involved which means I have to go up there and say something. Awkward.

    The girl is straddling the dude and they're sucking face, hot and sweaty, etc. Members are all uncomfortable and bothered. I tell them to knock it off, dude makes a snotty comment,

    "Hey, you know what yoga is, right? Well, this is yoga."

    I tell the girl later what she did was down right disrespectful and insulting to me. She didn't get it b/c of her whacky stance on relationships. "It's just two people who care about each other sharing an intimate moment!" That's what she said. Anyway, I believe the girl really had no idea how offensive what she did was.

    But, the legal issue -- members were very upset. Some wanted to quit their memberships. One guy said, "If I knew it was this kinda gym, I woulda brought condoms."

    Another member suggested we sell the tapes to a porn company. The GM watched the tapes the next day and was torn -- cancel their memberships or just give them a stern talking to? He chose the stern lecture b/c of the economy -- members are quitting left and right to save money, so we need every member we can get, I suppose.

    Long story short, the legal ramifications could be if they had gone all the way and started pounding it out on the floor. Members e-mailed management, etc. Surely some would have sued if they went all the way.

    And no, misc, I don't have the tapes. Sorry.

    Oh -- and the kicker, her new boyfriend is a big shot patent attorney.
    Last edited by animal2b; 11-09-2008 at 06:12 PM.
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  10. #10
    Not anymore Rinkamd's Avatar
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    Discrimination (sex, racial)
    I REPresent back.

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  11. #11
    USMC Officer Candidate jco81's Avatar
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    1. people stealing equiptment.

    2. mr. angry rampage

    3. disease

    4. sexual harrassment in locker rooms, or elsewhere

    5. insurance (fire, flood, etc.)
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  12. #12
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    Do you mean guys going in there lifting more than they can, destroying their backs, then trying to sue a gym? Don't think it works that way.

    I mean your unsupervised and no one is making you lift more than you can, no gym employee anyways.
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  13. #13
    you can't see me animal2b's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jco81 View Post
    1. people stealing equiptment.
    Someone stole one 110 pound dumbbell over two years ago. We never replaced it, so now there's just one 110 pound DB.

    Another time, a member was getting into the shower, left his stuff on the bench and when he came out it was gone. Everyone started ****ting b/c they thought other members don't steal, so it had to be a guest. But there were no guesses that day.

    So, they implemented a higher day rate for non-members to deter thieves. Doesn't make sense, right? A member had stolen from another member and they were wasting time trying to make sure thieves couldn't get in?

    Anyway, the member lost everything. His Armani suit, his fancy shoes, a Rolex watch, his wallet full of fancy credit cards, etc. He was pissed, but then again... don't leave your **** on a bench in a locker room.

    Another member left a Brietling watch in a locker without a lock on it. The cops arrived and when they found out he didn't have a lock on the locker, they laughed at him and essentially called him a moron. The guy was foreign and said he didn't think American's stole from one another.

    One dude put his keys in an empty locker and then said that someone put a lock on it. He was confident it was either that locker... or the one right above it... both had locks on them. I suggested he ask all the men in the gym (there were only six) if they had taken either locker. But he said no, he was confident it was the bottom locker. So he broke the lock off and sure enough, he had the wrong locker. So he broke the other one, took his keys and LEFT.

    The two members flipped their **** when they found out he broke their locks.
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  14. #14
    you can't see me animal2b's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by GYRO View Post
    illegal performance enhancing drugs being circulated/dealt by members
    One trainer asked another employee to leave steroids in a brown paper bag in the laundry room. Didn't happen.
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  15. #15
    Registered User VashX80's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by animal2b View Post
    i work in a gym and i can give you a few examples:

    1. a man faked being a health inspector to and gave us an "inspection" he returned an hour later with a legal pad full of scribbles and the date "10/6/68." His qualms were as insane as pubic hairs counted on toilet to how many tissues were left in a box, etc.

    2. gay guys pounding it out in the sauna.

    3. a happy couple getting frisky on the gym floor.

    4. a personal trainer who injures a client he trains for free in return for free coffee at starbucks.*

    * I should add he injured her accidentally. trainer wasn't certified yet, which was known throughout the club -- he took his exam, failed and was in the process of studying to take it again.
    Wow. I work in a gym too but **** like that never happens... That I know of anyway... The gayest thing I've walked in on was a older guy (50s or so) naked with one leg up on the counter using the blow dryer on the nether regions. He does it a lot. And takes his time. I'll walk in and turn right back out and come back a few minutes later thinking he'll be done so I can now go about picking up towels and such, but no. He's still havin a good ole time.
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    you can't see me animal2b's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by VashX80 View Post
    Wow. I work in a gym too but **** like that never happens... That I know of anyway... The gayest thing I've walked in on was a older guy (50s or so) naked with one leg up on the counter using the blow dryer on the nether regions. He does it a lot. And takes his time. I'll walk in and turn right back out and come back a few minutes later thinking he'll be done so I can now go about picking up towels and such, but no. He's still havin a good ole time.
    Where's your gym? Our location has 2500 members, so **** is bound to go down.

    I walked in on two guys pounding out in the sauna once. I was actually going to get some paper towels (next to the sauna) and I heard one of those grunts where you know you should run away... but it's like a car accident, you just gotta look. I glanced. And saw doggy style poundage in the sauna. I yelled and ran.

    Anyway -- it really depends on where and what your gym is. Strict body builder gyms will attract less nuts. And our gym is in the heart of DC, so there's a lot of folks coming through. Our gym is one of those goody goody gyms that offer "something for everyone!" so it attracts far more loonies.

    We even started putting FLOWERS up at the front desk. FLOWERS? Are you f*cking... sorry, I got so heated when I saw the flowers though. I almost yelled at my manager. I just put the vase under the desk during my shift so no one has to see that crap.

    Your story reminds me of this member we have. We call him Captain Morgan because he always has one leg up on a bench while he either talks to a poor soul who happens to be sitting on same said bench or towel drying his goodies.
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  17. #17
    Registered User VashX80's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by animal2b View Post
    Someone stole one 110 pound dumbbell over two years ago. We never replaced it, so now there's just one 110 pound DB.

    Another time, a member was getting into the shower, left his stuff on the bench and when he came out it was gone. Everyone started ****ting b/c they thought other members don't steal, so it had to be a guest. But there were no guesses that day.

    So, they implemented a higher day rate for non-members to deter thieves. Doesn't make sense, right? A member had stolen from another member and they were wasting time trying to make sure thieves couldn't get in?

    Anyway, the member lost everything. His Armani suit, his fancy shoes, a Rolex watch, his wallet full of fancy credit cards, etc. He was pissed, but then again... don't leave your **** on a bench in a locker room.

    Another member left a Brietling watch in a locker without a lock on it. The cops arrived and when they found out he didn't have a lock on the locker, they laughed at him and essentially called him a moron. The guy was foreign and said he didn't think American's stole from one another.

    One dude put his keys in an empty locker and then said that someone put a lock on it. He was confident it was either that locker... or the one right above it... both had locks on them. I suggested he ask all the men in the gym (there were only six) if they had taken either locker. But he said no, he was confident it was the bottom locker. So he broke the lock off and sure enough, he had the wrong locker. So he broke the other one, took his keys and LEFT.

    The two members flipped their **** when they found out he broke their locks.
    Now this kind of stuff I've seen. Someone came in and took a flat head screw driver and used it to pry open locked lockers (put pressure on until the metal lock inside just bends and the locker comes open) and did it to everyone's locker and some guy had all his stuff stolen. We even had a bunch of SWAT cops in the gym at the time. They were pretty pissed. We had camera footage of who we thought it was at the front desk (guest) but they never found him.
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    Originally Posted by VashX80 View Post
    Now this kind of stuff I've seen. Someone came in and took a flat head screw driver and used it to pry open locked lockers (put pressure on until the metal lock inside just bends and the locker comes open) and did it to everyone's locker and some guy had all his stuff stolen. We even had a bunch of SWAT cops in the gym at the time. They were pretty pissed. We had camera footage of who we thought it was at the front desk (guest) but they never found him.
    two good ones:

    1. A van pulls up outside of one of our NYC locations and six dudes in plumber outfits come in with heavy duty bags saying that corporate sent them out to fix a water main pipe under the mens locker room. It would take about an hour and would involve lots of construction and noise, so please close down the locker room.

    They did.

    The guys came in, one dude hit a jackhammer on the floor for like 10 minutes while another went from locker to locker snipping off locks with a bolt cutter. They cleared out the mens locker room in less than 20 minutes and by the time any staff got down to check, the guys were gone.

    And their big heavy duffle bags? Filled with newspaper when they came in. Filled with wallets, expensive clothes, credit cards, etc. when they left.

    2. One of our front desk staff went upstairs to go to the bathroom. He saw a member put his wallet in a locker and didn't put a lock on it. So he opens the locker, finds $200 cash and takes it.

    The member says his money is gone and he saw the front desk guy walk past a few seconds after he left the locker room.

    The GM asks the front desk guy. he denies it. The GM watches the tape and discovers the employee opening the locker, taking the money, putting it in his pocket and then leaving.

    The employee says that he was simply looking for a cigarette lighter and thought perhaps the guy had one in his locker. Police are called, the cop sits down with the front desk guy and says,

    "We can do two things. You can deny it, the member will press charges and you will go to jail. Or you can give him the money and we can forget all of this."

    the employee says fine and hands back over the cash. And then, the cop makes the employee call his mother and tell her what he just did. HAH!
    WOOOO!

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    working at a gym was the best....
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    Originally Posted by animal2b View Post
    Where's your gym? Our location has 2500 members, so **** is bound to go down.

    I walked in on two guys pounding out in the sauna once. I was actually going to get some paper towels (next to the sauna) and I heard one of those grunts where you know you should run away... but it's like a car accident, you just gotta look. I glanced. And saw doggy style poundage in the sauna. I yelled and ran.

    Anyway -- it really depends on where and what your gym is. Strict body builder gyms will attract less nuts. And our gym is in the heart of DC, so there's a lot of folks coming through. Our gym is one of those goody goody gyms that offer "something for everyone!" so it attracts far more loonies.

    We even started putting FLOWERS up at the front desk. FLOWERS? Are you f*cking... sorry, I got so heated when I saw the flowers though. I almost yelled at my manager. I just put the vase under the desk during my shift so no one has to see that crap.

    Your story reminds me of this member we have. We call him Captain Morgan because he always has one leg up on a bench while he either talks to a poor soul who happens to be sitting on same said bench or towel drying his goodies.
    Its in Alexandria, LA (I dont mind giving that out). *I removed the name of the gym in case its a bad thing to have it on here*. We have I think about 2000 members now from what I understand. Its the same as your gym as far as image. So we do get loonies but they keep it to themselves most of the time, or we kick them out before they have a chance to scare too many people. Our location isn't anything like yours though so its still way different. I can't imagine walking in on that, but the story still made me LOL.

    And yeah we have lots of plants. They serve no purpose except to give me something else to clean (dust gets EVERYWHERE. Takes maybe half a day for stuff to look dusty again. And the owners are seriously OCD so we have to dust even the plant leaves.)
    Last edited by VashX80; 11-09-2008 at 07:54 PM. Reason: thought it best to removed the specific gym
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    Originally Posted by VashX80 View Post
    Its in Alexandria, LA (I dont mind giving that out). Premier Athletic Club. We have a site somewhere. We have I think about 2000 members now from what I understand. Its the same as your gym as far as image. So we do get loonies but they keep it to themselves most of the time, or we kick them out before they have a chance to scare too many people. Our location isn't anything like yours though so its still way different. I can't imagine walking in on that, but the story still made me LOL.

    And yeah we have lots of plants. They serve no purpose except to give me something else to clean (dust gets EVERYWHERE. Takes maybe half a day for stuff to look dusty again. And the owners are seriously OCD so we have to dust even the plant leaves.)
    A member recently complained that our housekeeping staff never cleans the actual equipment. They just clean the windows and vacuum the floors. She said when she went to other locations, there were housekeepers dusting the weights and cleaning the treadmills, etc.

    Our fitness manager pitched a fit and told all of the trainers to start cleaning equipment when they had down time. They also pitched a fit and I gotta agree with them. Their job is to generate sales and get clients. Not clean. That's... that's... ya know... that's why we have housekeepers.

    ::slaps forehead:: our management team is like McCain and Palin.
    WOOOO!

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    Registered User VashX80's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by animal2b View Post
    two good ones:

    1. A van pulls up outside of one of our NYC locations and six dudes in plumber outfits come in with heavy duty bags saying that corporate sent them out to fix a water main pipe under the mens locker room. It would take about an hour and would involve lots of construction and noise, so please close down the locker room.

    They did.

    The guys came in, one dude hit a jackhammer on the floor for like 10 minutes while another went from locker to locker snipping off locks with a bolt cutter. They cleared out the mens locker room in less than 20 minutes and by the time any staff got down to check, the guys were gone.

    And their big heavy duffle bags? Filled with newspaper when they came in. Filled with wallets, expensive clothes, credit cards, etc. when they left.

    2. One of our front desk staff went upstairs to go to the bathroom. He saw a member put his wallet in a locker and didn't put a lock on it. So he opens the locker, finds $200 cash and takes it.

    The member says his money is gone and he saw the front desk guy walk past a few seconds after he left the locker room.

    The GM asks the front desk guy. he denies it. The GM watches the tape and discovers the employee opening the locker, taking the money, putting it in his pocket and then leaving.

    The employee says that he was simply looking for a cigarette lighter and thought perhaps the guy had one in his locker. Police are called, the cop sits down with the front desk guy and says,

    "We can do two things. You can deny it, the member will press charges and you will go to jail. Or you can give him the money and we can forget all of this."

    the employee says fine and hands back over the cash. And then, the cop makes the employee call his mother and tell her what he just did. HAH!
    Man thats terrible! We had this one kid working for us and he saw this black booksack behind the counter (belongs to another employee) and he asks the girl working with him who is belongs to. She says she doesn't know so he's like "well, its mine now" and takes it that night. The manager asks him the next day if he had seen a black backpack and he says no. They watched the camera and sure enough it showed him taking it. He brings it back the next day without telling anyone so that he can make it look like he found it. I'm a little sketchy on the details past this point, but I know when I was sitting there listening to him get fired he suddenly remembered taking it and says the girl handed it to him. Which was BS. And the booksack was emptied out by the way when he brought it back. Anyway, he still got fired.

    Another girl was fired for stealing but I don't know what happened with that. i was gone for a couple months taking care of my mother (knee replacement on both knees) and when I got back I heard about that.
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    Originally Posted by justHAMMED View Post
    Do you mean guys going in there lifting more than they can, destroying their backs, then trying to sue a gym? Don't think it works that way.

    I mean your unsupervised and no one is making you lift more than you can, no gym employee anyways.
    You should know that coffee is hot but that didnt stop a fat bitch from suing McDonalds.
    The two rules of life, never waste a hard on and never trust a fart.

    I'm impressed, and I'm not easily impressed. Oh wow, look, a blue car.
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    I just did a business law unit this past semester that dealt with exclusion clauses on gym premises.
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    I got a tort example for ya.

    Lets say someone is working out and they notice the plates on a dumbell are really loose, they tell one of the trainers who says they'll have it fixed, but no-one does anything about it.
    A week or two later someone goes to use that dumbell to do flat bench flies, when they have the dumbells up the plates start falling off the dumbell and land on the dudes face, causing him damage to his dat derre skull.
    -Knee Draggers-

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    Originally Posted by animal2b View Post
    A member recently complained that our housekeeping staff never cleans the actual equipment. They just clean the windows and vacuum the floors. She said when she went to other locations, there were housekeepers dusting the weights and cleaning the treadmills, etc.

    Our fitness manager pitched a fit and told all of the trainers to start cleaning equipment when they had down time. They also pitched a fit and I gotta agree with them. Their job is to generate sales and get clients. Not clean. That's... that's... ya know... that's why we have housekeepers.

    ::slaps forehead:: our management team is like McCain and Palin.

    lol! Yes I totally agree. The trainers have enough to do without having to clean constantly also. Most of our trainers stay busy except for maybe a few minutes here and there so they don't have the time to be cleaning anyway. And they aren't going to get paid any extra for extra work (they only make money off training fees, not an hourly wage also). Now if they rack their weights when they are done on something with a client... That would be nice.
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    Originally Posted by VashX80 View Post
    Man thats terrible! We had this one kid working for us and he saw this black booksack behind the counter (belongs to another employee) and he asks the girl working with him who is belongs to. She says she doesn't know so he's like "well, its mine now" and takes it that night. The manager asks him the next day if he had seen a black backpack and he says no. They watched the camera and sure enough it showed him taking it. He brings it back the next day without telling anyone so that he can make it look like he found it. I'm a little sketchy on the details past this point, but I know when I was sitting there listening to him get fired he suddenly remembered taking it and says the girl handed it to him. Which was BS. And the booksack was emptied out by the way when he brought it back. Anyway, he still got fired.

    Another girl was fired for stealing but I don't know what happened with that. i was gone for a couple months taking care of my mother (knee replacement on both knees) and when I got back I heard about that.
    So one of our sales consultants (the sneakiest of the bunch) found a CD wallet in the trainers office with no name on it. He took it. The trainer found out his CDs were missing, but said nothing.

    A few days later, the sales consultant was bragging to the SAME trainer that some idiot had left a CD wallet in the fitness office with no name on it -- so he took it! The trainer marched the sales dude into the office and told. The sales consultant brought back the CDs the next day and his argument for saving his ass was, "Hey, at least I returned them!"

    A woman lost her iPod in the gym. The same sales guy took her iPod. She came in looking for it and I said that the sales guy took it and that she should call him up before "something happens" ie: pawn shop, craigslist, etc.

    She calls him, he returns it and says, "you know, there's just been so much theft here recently that I decided to take it home with me so at least I knew it was in safe keeping." The woman was SO thankful and flattered that he was looking out for her belongings. Sheesh. That made me sick.

    Originally Posted by Michael~Diablo View Post
    I got a tort example for ya.

    Lets say someone is working out and they notice the plates on a dumbell are really loose, they tell one of the trainers who says they'll have it fixed, but no-one does anything about it.
    A week or two later someone goes to use that dumbell to do flat bench flies, when they have the dumbells up the plates start falling off the dumbell and land on the dudes face, causing him damage to his dat derre skull.
    This is actually a good one. One of our 40 pound DBs is quite loose and I've mentioned it god knows how many times to fitness managers, trainers and our GM. Just the other day -- almost a YEAR later -- I finally saw the DB sitting in his office. He was going to try and tighten it himself. Anyway, at least he was doing something about it.
    WOOOO!

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  28. #28
    Registered User VashX80's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Michael~Diablo View Post
    I got a tort example for ya.

    Lets say someone is working out and they notice the plates on a dumbell are really loose, they tell one of the trainers who says they'll have it fixed, but no-one does anything about it.
    A week or two later someone goes to use that dumbell to do flat bench flies, when they have the dumbells up the plates start falling off the dumbell and land on the dudes face, causing him damage to his dat derre skull.
    This actually happened to someone that used to work at my gym. At a different gym, he was doing Flat DB Bench with the 100's and on side came off and landed on his face. He's a pretty big roided out guy so he got up and literally threw the other end through a wall. It was a college gym. I refuse to use the DB's there because they really are all a hazard.
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    By the way, I've been working on the paper and I have to tell ya, I hate writing. *sigh*. Just want it to be over with.
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    Originally Posted by VashX80 View Post
    By the way, I've been working on the paper and I have to tell ya, I hate writing. *sigh*. Just want it to be over with.
    i wanna read the paper when you're done if that's cool.

    I love writing. It can be fun if you let the paper be fun. tell a story.
    WOOOO!

    Calluses: Mother Nature's Potato Scrubbers
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