My lucky bamboo died.
Fuck you. No, no, truly. I would like to express to you, as well as the geniuses who run your organization, the extreme frustration that you’ve have caused me over the last five months. Were it not for the unbelievable yoga program (coupled with my gym crush on Marc McDonald), I would have packed my bags and headed back to Equinox. (Although, the snarling facade of my former trainer does keep me a safe distance.)
First of all, let’s have a quick chat about communication. As a veritable communications genius myself, I need to tell you the first and golden rule of marketing communications: communication. No. Fucking. Way. When you have something to relay to members of your internal or external audience, the most effective way to do that is to first and foremost do that. For example, if you consistently charge a members DEBIT CARD when you have explicitly told them that you will not be doing that, you should probably communicate to the accounting department that there has been an error. Don’t force said member to call sweet Donna from accounting and tell her all about how the Member Services people are backing over her with the proverbial bus. That’s just going to get nasty. And we know you wouldnt want that.
Communication is a dirty little word that actually entails two parts listening, one part engaging, and one part action. When you decide that your establishment is worth a sign up cost of nearly $1000 and then charge an additional $165 per month to the helpless beings to are forced to join your gym due to some unparalleled locational issues, you may want to consider showing them where some of that money goes. (And, I could be wrong, but I dont think it’s into your employee on boarding process, due to the fact that an employee misunderstanding led to my washing my body with MOUTHWASH last week. Funny, funny. If the shower amenities need subtitles, you’re going to have to suck it up and get on that. ) Could you explain to me, beloved Sports Club/LA how the weights in your fitness studio are so horrifying? I am quite certain that the free weights in prison are better taken care of than the bullshit that you supply. I dont think that walking those weights down Comm Ave like an imaginary puppy could cause them the damage that a bunch of cardio princesses have seemingly caused. I was at Target this weekend. They have weights. In case you’re having trouble finding them. Better yet, give Kristi DiScipio a ring over at Equinox and ask her for the magic method by which she keeps the weights so impeccable. Wait, what is that, Kristi? You have someone come in and take care of them? What does that even mean?
Sports Club/LA, it’s no secret that you have me by the downward dog. I’m forced to remain a member because the yoga studio is beyond compare. Wait, isn’t the yoga studio managed by someone different? How enlightening! I love George and Lily, Marc, Jen, Kelly, and Dave. I love seeing my gym buddies and buying an overpriced salmon lunch on Saturdays and talking about what a shithole the gym is. Did you know that, Sports Club/LA? The members actually sit in the cafe and commiserate about what a shithole the facilities are.
Lucky for you, a run in with Seal (singer and husband to “the Heidi”) on a treadmill last week was worth at least $75, and I’m willing to admit that the yoga and Dossas is worth at least another $75, so we’re square for April.
But here is the real kicker. The coup de grace. This incredible rant could have been entirely avoided if you’d just communicate.
Who in their right fucking mind cancels a yoga class on a Monday? A Monday, no less, where every person who comes to you after 6:00 PM is pissed to high hell about the fact that their company didn’t give them the fake Massachusetts holiday, Patriots Day. A day when everyone who comes in your doors is feeling particularly poor about themselves because they aren’t good enough to have run the 26.2 miles that the Kenyans did that morning. Who cancels yoga, on Marathon Monday, of Patriots Day, and doesnt tell anyone?
And dont fucking start with me about the sign. There are so many signs on that goddamn wellness desk that I wouldnt know if one of them told me that Jesus was teaching in the Fire Studio on Saturday.
Communication, Sports Club/LA, communication.
I recently went on a business trip to Atlanta. First, let’s cover the fact that the company finally trusted me enough to let me interface with clients on my own. I’m not going to hold my breath for another such trip, because, let’s face it, I’m a fucking ace in the hole for a lot of things, but I cannot seem to get my goddamn language in check. (Which reminds me: my mother called me this evening to discuss that very point. “Caroline, I just dont understand. Can you or can you not get through a sentence without using potty language?” Potty language? Are we being for serious?)
Second, let’s cover the details leading up to the big business trip.
Now, I know as well as anyone else that we are in a recession. Even if I were thinking about forgetting it, it seems to be the only thing that people want to talk about. Remember the days when a lull in conversation meant talking about a mutual friend whose ass had gotten fucking ginormous? Gone forever. Now when you realize you have nothing in common with someone, you talk about all the friends you know who have been laid off… and then make that frowny, head shaking face that says “that is so sad, but I really wish they would stop asking me if I have any leads.” Anyway, the recession is a top that is coming another day. The point of all this is that people are cutting corners, saving pennies, trying to make life cost a little less. Not me. I’m trying to save the human race and stimulate this bitch. Which leads me to how I ended up at the Doubletree hotel in Hotlanta. My new favorite place in the world.
The folks accompanying me on this trip sent me an itinerary on Monday afternoon detailing flights, hotel reservations, contact numbers, etc., so that I could make my own travel arrangements. (Business trips? Check. Personal assistant? Not a fat kid’s chance at the prom.) I looked at the flights: departing Boston at 6AM. Immediately I realized that I had made a mistake. I didn’t want the face-to-face client contact. SIX AM? What the fuck time does that mean you get to the airport? Is it open that early? Negative. Fortunately I was able to have a chat with the powers that be and in the end it really didnt seem necessary for me to be anywhere that early.
After I booked my flights on the world’s worst airline: AirTran, I needed to book my room with the gang. We could all stay together and carpool and stuff. It would be so convenient for getting to the shoots in the morning, and getting home at night.
Or not. The gang booked a room at the Super 8. The Super 8.
Look. I get it. We’re a bunch of nobodies. We’re no one’s CEO, CMO, CFO, COO. We ain’t got no Cs anywhere in our titles, so okay. We wont book a suite at the Ritz. But we also don’t have bend-over-the-spooge-covered-mattress-and-get-roach-raped-by-the-infested-sheets in our title.
I’m sure that in certain parts of the continental US there are Super 8 Motels that are lovely. I’m sure that the Super 8 takes pride in their standards for cleanliness, and the amount of chlorine that they use in their quarter-operated Jacuzzi to keep it sterile, but I just don’t care. I didn’t dream of my wedding day as a little girl growing up. I dreamed of expense accounts and business trips. And while some girls were thinking about multitiered fondant-covered cakes and Vera Wang, I was imagining those long days on the road, staying in hotel beds and watching B movies on demand. Not in any of those fuck-Barbies-I’m-going0to-rule-the-world day dreams was I knocking heads together all day and then kicking up my heels at the Super 8. There were always elevators in my day dreams. Never did I drive up. Ever.
The problem is that there is no more efficient way to alienate friends and piss off your boss than let them know that you’re too good for the gang’s hotel. “Really, Caroline? You too good to get fired too?”
Sensitive, sensitive stuff. I stared at my computer screen for a solid twenty minutes thinking about how to take on the situation. I even googled the Super 8. I checked out the on-site photos. I closed my eyes and willed myself into the room. I mentally looked for a free hair dryer. Shampoo. Mini body lotion. I looked for a clock radio. I couldn’t do it. I couldnt put myself in the room.
And then I remembered.
The people I work with think I’m obsessed with working out.
You cannot work out at the Super 8.
You know where you can work out? At the Precor sponsored gym at the Doubletree hotel in Druid Hills.
I booked it. And then I waited to get fired. Which didn’t happen.
What’s funny is that the Doubletree isn’t exactly the Four Seasons either. And it wasn’t that I was looking to stay there. (Well, kind of. But I also know that the recession has flooded the market with people who are much better at my job than I am and I don’t want to stand at a job fair telling anyone the hilarious story of how I got canned…) I just didn’t want to be at the Super 8. They don’t charge enough per night to convince me that they can afford to clean and wash sheets after every client. Anyone ever heard of overhead??
But the point of all this is to say that while I may have been dreaming of the Four Seasons, my heart was captured by the Doubletree Hotel. Did you know that the Doubletree gives you a WARM CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE when you arrive? That’s right. I couldnt have been happier if they gave me a little pink sorry-you’re-alone-for-three-nights dildo. It came out of a warming drawer. They didn’t phone it in with a Chips Ahoy. They gave me a cookie that was warm. And soft. And made me forget about the guilt I had about my gang… at the Super 8.
And there was a gym. (Which I used THREE TIMES because I felt like if I didn’t that karma would turn me into a quadriplegic. I did, after all, convince the universe that I was FORCED to stay at the Doubletree because of my work out habits.) There were little TVs on all the cardio machines. I watched shows about people being murdered in the Bronx while I sweat out the stress of my day of knocking heads.
There was a bed that felt like millions of tiny angels sacrificing their bodies for my own comfort.
There was a free hair dryer. And little shampoos sponsored by Neutrogena. Oh! Neutrogena! I recognize your brand!
I was so overwhelmed with the Doubltree that I didn’t even turn on the TV. I was so taken with its charms that I didn’t even check for B movies. Or look at the breakfast menu.
And when I set the alarm on the clock radio, I sent out a happy thought to that little girl I used to be.
Fuck weddings. Grow up and stay at the Doubletree on business trips.