Aug 25 2010

And they thought eliminating the position would save money…

I was one of five corporate level fitness faculty members for a company with a significant presence in nine different states. Our responsibilities included, but were not limited to, teaching the basic fundamentals of personal training, facilitating personal training certification workshops, leading a workshop on the company’s fitness policies and procedures, all of which were two or three day events, in addition to overseeing certain aspects of the fitness departments of all of the clubs within the region.

I was the epitome of a successful teacher, especially since the company would hire anybody with a pulse that the club managers thought had what it took to be successful, I had people in my classes that knew absolutely nothing about the human body. That was one of the perks of the job because, while I refer to myself as a teacher, I must relay my favorite quote from Socrates: “I cannot teach anybody anything. I can only make them think,” I got to form the foundation of a new train of thought; and I had no trouble making the learning process fun. In fact, here I am 13-months later and still in contact with several of the people I had in my classes. So, on second day back from two weeks of vacation and I’m doing a site visit with my immediate supervisor when he gets a page and informs me that he has a conference call at 12 and I should come in 15 minutes later.

I enter the office, close the door and make myself comfortable. Next thing I know, the two HR reps on the line inform me that due to the [workings of the Obama agenda], they were eliminating the position of fitness faculty to reduce company expenditures. My last day on salary was two weeks to the so I guess that was them giving me two-weeks notice.

As for my responsibilities, they were added to those of the person that taught the “business” aspect of the business to sales people and GMs. The first question from my mouth was, “What does he know about fitness?” Their response… “He has seven personal training certifications.” I responded with “What does that tell me about his knowledge of the human body?” They were positive that those certifications made him an expert, but, as most are aware, all a PT certification tells you is they know how to study the way (insert your choice of any PT cert here) wants you to know how the body works to fulfill THEIR objectives in the way that THEY dictate when it should be your client telling you their objectives so that you can fulfill them based upon your knowledge of how this magnificent machine works. I was pissed, especially I’ve forgotten more since grad school than he’ll ever know, and I let them know it, but what’s done is done. By the way, to supplement my point, he resigned from his new responsibilities just a few weeks into the mission. So because I’m still unemployed, I’ve returned to school for a PhD and they are still losing market share!

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This post was submitted by Sheik Yerbouti.