~ honest. sincere. embarrassing. funny. with a healthy dose of sarcasm. ~

Saturday, March 3

Showing Appreciation or My Long Overdue Y rant.

I was reminded this week about all the reasons I hated working at the YMCA. While it sounds like such a great place to work - I left after 4 years only liking 2 things about it; the years I got to enjoy bringing Tim to work with me (saving money and babysitter hassles) and the members that I got to know. Nothing else. I hated everything else about the job. When you walk into the Y you can immediately feel the unhappiness of the staff. They are rude, snarky, unfriendly and act superior with a 'it's not my job' mentality on everything.....and it gets a little old when you work along side them. I have spoken to so many members lately who are cancelling their memberships because of the poor service and attitude of the staff. It's sad, because the Y is supposed to be such an integral part of every community - and I think our community is lacking because of the poor service. It is a beautiful new building -- but lacks in every other area.

Which brings me to my story on why I was reminded of all the nasty feelings this week:

Garnet and I were preparing to do our taxes and we had recieved all of our T4's - except from the Y. I called a few weeks ago and asked if it would be possible to get it - but she flatly stated that she does them all at the same time and they are available on Feb. 28. Ok, that was fine - I then asked if she could put mine down at the desk to be picked up and not mail it out. I double checked that my address and information was right (it took me 5 tries to change it last year when we moved) and that she had the right person by my middle initial (there is another staff with the same name that has recieved my pay and other information on occasion). We were set. I asked very clearly; "So it will be there for me to pick it up on the 28th?" ....."Yes."

Was that clear to you? It was clear to me. Apparently, it wasn't clear enough for her.

I called to see if it was at the desk to be picked up. The snarky desk clerk scoffed out her answers "Yep, it's here." When I came to the desk to pick it up and asked one of the desk clerks that I actually like she said "Oh, I thought they weren't going to be ready until tomorrow?" The snarky one beside her rolled her eyes and spat out "We have to wait for tomorrow, but hers is here." I stood there speechless, and shook my head.

It turned out that the envelope that was waiting for me was an old pay stub for the other staff member with the same name. So I went up to speak to the woman in accounting. I was met with the same attitude up there. She sighed as if I was really annoying her. And then she stated how much work it was and that she didn't even have them printed out yet.

They would be ready tomorrow.

It didn't matter that I had every right to have my T4 that day. Legally the employer must have them sent to the employee by the 28th of February. I even double checked on the Government of Canada site -- and found out that there is actually a monetary penalty if they are not ready by that day. Instead I was being treated like an obnoxious child -- and given the sob story of how much work they are. She does them every year -- if she has this difficult of time doing them, maybe she should start earlier next year. That is her job.

When I went back the next day I was met once again with the other name on the T4 envelope! I once again had to go up and once again was met with a short, rude answer; "It's at the desk."

"No, I am Jessica M. like I told you - that T4 is for Jessica L."

She immediately went red. "I'm sure you told me L."

No apology. It must have been my fault. That's right.

I left there completely disgusted.

Then I went to my current job yesterday. And was overcome with a new appreciation for my boss and my co-workers. I could sit here and name all of the amazing things that they have done and wouldn't even bring to light how amazing they are; working around my schedule, encouraging and teaching when I don't have clue what I'm doing, Christmas dinner at a fancy restaurant, gift cards for dinner and shopping for Christmas and my Birthday. It goes on and on. My boss was a stay at home mom for over 10 years and then decided that she wanted to own a business. She is still a Mom type of confidant and understands that family is first. She just came back from a trip to Peurto Rico and brought homemade cookies in for me to munch on and then handed me these;

Her thoughtfulness is overwhelming and I have come to this conclusion;

In all 4 years of employment at the Y - not once did I ever feel appreciated or any positive feelings from any of the staff. I tried at the beginning to make a postive change in the room that I worked. I tried to make it a safe, fun environment and was met with a brick wall everytime I asked for something new. There was a lot of money coming in -- but our room never saw any of it go back towards improving the member's or the staff's experience. I made minimum wage when I started there -- and I made minimum wage when I left. Meanwhile, the CEO's dollar signs in his eyes were apparent in every monthly letter he wrote; "More members, more members!" I listened to the members complaints and tried to be their voice to my bosses. It never worked. I was given empty promises, shown little empathy and treated like that annoying, obnoxious child. Soon, I gave up and became another apathetic employee -- like everyone else. Now, I have cancelled my membership like so many other members that I listened to. Tim is done his swimming lessons and I have recieved my last T4 from them. I am done with that place.
I will appreciate this job and these wonderful women that I work with - gifts aside - there is an underlying sentiment of appreciation and teamwork that I will never take for granted. Because I've seen what happens when they aren't there.


shawna said...

that sounds like a horrible Y. i used to work for one in a suburb of vancouver and had pretty much the opposit experience. i LOVED every minute of my job there (it was a temporary 4 month summer job) and i'd go in when i wasn't working to work out or get massages there all the time. the staff were all friendly to everyone (staff and members). if i hadn't moved to australia at the end of that summer i would have tried to get a permanent position there.

Jer said...

Good coworkers can make such a huge difference. Having seen both sides (in the same workplace), I can only agree with you on basically all points. :)

Anonymous said...

I won't even comment about this post. I don't think I even want to go there. You want a gym that everyone knows your name and treats you with respect and the staff is bending over backwards to help you? It's called Ironworks and your husband probably gets a corporate discount there, mine does, we should talk.

Anonymous said...

oh that was hilarious! guess what word was part of the word verification when I sent that last post...job!!

Jessi said...

where have you been??? i was hoping this post would bring you back into my comments, and evoke some of your thoughts on the subject!! ;) yes, we should talk.