Tonight, about 15 minutes before I was supposed to leave work I got a metaphorical kick to the face.
A few days ago at work, an overweight man plunked himself down in the chair across from the desk I was sitting at and let out a deep sigh. I asked if there was something I could help him with and he continued to tell me about how he's lost and gained weight numerous times.
"I tried Weight Watchers and gained it back..."
most people do because they are stuck on counting points and not learning about eating right.
"...I did the HCG and gained it all back..."
"... and I did the Atkins and felt really foggy and not myself the whole time..." Again duh. You need a certain amount of carbs to let your brain function correctly
"So I guess the only thing that really works is exercise eating well. It really sucks"
I then took an hour out of my day to talk with this gentleman about good calories, metabolism, burning fat versus burning carbs, why you can't cut out every carb, importance of getting up every once in a while, how to stay active, muscle versus fat weight, extracellular and intracellular water weight, BPA, DHA, cortisol everything! Yes, I did mention how we could help him with losing weight to keep it off which some were extra but most of them were free.
As he started to walk away I handed him a card and said "well if you have any questions or do decide you want to train, feel free to give me a call."
He looked at me goes "oh... you're a trainer."
Are you freaking kidding me, of course I'm a trainer! Most of the maintenance people don't have a degree and certifications in this stuff.
"I tell you what... if you let my son take you out I'll buy some training."
I laughed that off and reminded him that the ring on my left hand meant I was married and he left.
I've seen him around the club once or twice since then and politely said hello and asked how his way was going, etc.
Back to tonight.
I saw said gentleman signing a contract with another trainer, and it so happened I needed the computer next to them.
I totally kidding-ly looked over and... "what the heck man?"
And he continues with this.
"Look, you guys make commission off of personal training so you wouldn't honestly tell me someone else would work better with me. I get it, I'm a business man, but you just look at me and see a dollar sign. Also, I want someone who actually looks like they could help me. If I want to go dancing, I'll give you a call. But look Doll, don't take it personally."
And then he winked at me.
Now, here is what was going through my mind.
"Look, you guys make commission off of personal training no way! I have to make a living, too?! Well... I guess my name tag does say personal trainer so you wouldn't honestly tell me someone else would work better with me actually I would, and I have. I get it, I'm a business man, but you just look at me and see a dollar sign. Oh really? Because I'm pretty sure I went to school for four years, studied for a cert test, and only get paid for being here 1/3 of the time. Also, I want someone who actually looks like they could help me Oh NO you di'n't!! ALSO the MAJORITY of my clients are trying to lose 30+ pounds!!. If I want to go dancing, I'll give you a call. Sick. But look Doll, don't take it personally. Don't take it personally? Seriously? You just ripped me apart with out even knowing anything about me? Ouch!"
And this was my response.
Gaining composure to say this in the most polite way possible.
"Yes, we do make a commission. It's how we make our money the same way you need to make your own money. I have on a few occassions recommend that someone work with a different trainer because of their expertise. No I don't see you as a dollar sign, which is why I took time out of my day to speak with you about your health and concerns. This is what my degree is in and it legitimately is to help people, I'm sorry it's not free and that it is how I make a living. If you honestly believe that Michael can help you more than I can , then by all means work with him! But it makes me feel bad that you think I just look at you for your money." and I walked away.
Kick in the face.
He insulted my want to help others.
And he took a jab at my overly sensitive issue about my appearance.
It really sucks that personal trainers already have such a negative stereo type.