Monday, June 19, 2006

Honestly, I don't really like to visit you. If you want to see me, you'll have to invite me.

Or, an open letter to my dentist.

I realized in January that I had not been to the dentist in awhile. I usually make it in somewhere around summer and somewhere around winter, and I couldn't recall whether I had been in the previous 3 months. I didn't think so. However, at the time I had other concerns, what with a sudden drop in appetite, homicidal tendencies, an impending 3-week vacation to Europe, nausea, narcolepsy, and various and sundry other little distractions.

"Any day now I'll get a reminder card in the mail for my next cleaning appointment."

Fast-forward to April. I was reading a copy of Pregnancy Sucks, and in the current month I was advised to see my dentist. Apparently, bleeding gums and gum disease are a particularly common concern around 2nd trimester. I have had no such symptoms, perhaps owing to the fact that I love to floss at every opportunity. Some people have woobies. I have Glide floss.

"I wonder whether they've forgotten about me, and I don't actually have an appointment scheduled."

Many business trips, lots of work meetings, lots of doctor's appointments later, I look at the calendar and realize that it is no longer winter. It is most decidedly summer. Still no visit to the dentist. I've seen more of my hairdresser than of my dentist this year. Although my gums are still healthy and normal-looking, I'm reading more and more about how the sky will fall if I go to full term without having seen a dentist.

This morning I called. They looked me up, and sure enough, no appointment scheduled. The receptionist told me, "Oh, yes, it has been awhile since we've seen you. You should come in every 6 months." Yeah. Thanks for that.

I have never, since the first appointment when I started seeing this dentist, explicitly made an appointment. I have told him of my fear of dental work, and that, if left to my own devices, I might never show up. I thought we had an understanding that, if they wanted me back in 6 months, they would have to schedule the appointment whether I asked them to or not. This system has worked for the past 6 years. Why has it failed now, when it seems more important than ever that I Get Me to a Dentistry?

So I have an appointment for July 19. One month from today. I hope I still have teeth by then.

In other news, the gym I used to teach aerobics for (I'm still on the sub list, but no longer teaching a weekly class) is finally going belly-up. I have long suspected that the whole company was a front for money-laundering, made even more suspicious by the fact that the suspected-drug-dealing-wheeler-and-dealer we bought our lovely house from was one of their investors. Starting about 6 months ago, the emails started to fly about how instructors weren't being paid, or the checks were bouncing. Since then, four of the 10 locations have mysteriously closed and all the equipment "disappeared" in the night. Imagine members' dismay when, arriving at 6am to take their favorite class, the doors are chained shut with little or no explanation and certainly no refunds.

Today I got this email from the interrim fitness coordinator:

Hey Gang,

My name is xxxx and yes, there still are instructors teaching at xxxgym-name-herexxx. Well, not at Waverly, Durham, or Spring Forest or Greensboro.

But .... the other clubs do need some help. All of our checks to this point have eventually cashed but it sometimes takes a few trips to the bank. To (xxxthe bank that the gym usesxxx).... get cash and then go to our own banks. That problem still exists.

I am assuming that July 1 is do or die day from what we have been told. But again, you all know who we are dealing with so I can't be sure of that info either.

Even with all that going on I am still trying to have a group fitness program. So .... not for xxxgym-name-herexxx but for the members and your fellow instructors that are teaching there I am asking for your help.

Is anyone interested in helping out once in awhile. I understand if you will not pick back up a regular class but would you be willing to cover a class when one of us is on vacation. As you can imagine there is no sub list. If someone can't teach a class the class is cancelled. I am trying to keep the website up to date but .......

Anyone interested in helping out your fellow instructors and the members whom we all love respond to this e-mail.

Can you say, "death throes?" I knew that you could!


PartnerInCrime said...

You just reminded me, I haven't seen my dentist since last August. They set up an appointment for me back in March, on a day when I was going to be out of town, so I cancelled and never rescheduled. Oops.
I also hate the dentist. I think I'll just get to flossin' and call it good until they harass me again.
Your gym sounds totally shady. Wow.

alphagal said...

Very shady. And it's sad, as they had HUGE membership, super-nice equipment, excellent facilities... and little-by-little, things started falling apart. The restrooms were left filthy for days at a time, equipment wouldn't get repaired, administrative errors were building up whether it was membership records being misfiled, paychecks being late... and each of the 10 gyms was "incorportated" as a separate business, with separate financial assets and records, but really it was all owned by the same group of people. Under a single franchise name.
When they outsourced the personal training to an equally shady company, I figured something was up.
If you see your gym starting to look crappier than it used to, it might be time to move on to greener pastures.

PartnerInCrime said...

I don't think we have to worry about that, since in our little hick town, there is only one gym. And it's a Christian gym. Seriously, Bible quotes on plaques hanging on the walls, the whole deal. I have no idea what Christianity has to do with treadmills and free weights, but there you have it.