Three Strikes

This entry was posted by on Thursday, 7 September, 2006 at

Blogs are supposed to be places for rants, right? Well, I’m really annoyed, so here’s my rant.

My wife and I joined the local YMCA last April. We paid for a one-year family membership up front. I’ve been going to the Y every week or so, mostly to swim laps before work, occasionally to use the gym.

Strike 1: Three times over the last six months, I’ve shown up to swim, change into my swimsuit and towel, only to find the pool door locked. I get dressed again, come back out, and am told, “oops, the lifeguard just never showed up.” I finally filed a written complaint about this about two months ago, suggesting they hire a new lifeguard.

Strike 2: In August, we received a letter saying that our YMCA was going to close down, that they were selling the building next spring. The letter also said that this was a confirmation of a similar letter that had been sent out in March. Hm, that’s funny. So we signed up for a 1-year membership on April 29th, but as we forked over our wad of cash to the administrative folks at the desk, nobody bothered to tell us that the YMCA might not exist in a year? Seems a tad slimy, don’t you think? (Are we going to get a partial refund if they close before April 2007?)

Strike 3: I came to the Y to swim this morning. They swiped my membership card, and told me “Sorry, you have no membership.” I was dumbfounded, and told them that I had been coming for six months. According to their computers, however, the ID number on the card had expired in the year 2000. I told them, yes, I had briefly been a member of a different YMCA back in 2000, but that I had been using this ID just fine for six months. The woman insisted that the card must be six years old, despite the fact that the photo shows me wearing glasses I’ve only had for three years. I tried to point that out, and explain that the old ID number must have been accidentally placed on the card last April, and that the computer must have only just started noticing this fact. After 20 minutes of bickering, they finally located my wife in the system, then cut up my ID card and forced me to buy a new $7 card on the spot.

So finally, I went in, put on my swimsuit, and discovered the pool was locked. Again. No lifeguard.

So let me say this: I am REALLY GLAD that the New City YMCA (1515 N. Halsted, Chicago) is shutting down next spring. This the most mismanaged health center I have ever experienced. The national YMCA organization should definitely put their money into other YMCAs, and I pray the other YMCA’s don’t rehire whatever administrative imbiciles are running this place.