Let's review the evidence:
At the downtown location you only need to deal with the occasional "Special Needs" member. (My definition of "Special Needs": anyone that causes an exasperated sigh to escape from the lips in my mind repeatedly) This can range from the mild "help, I need assistance with adjusting the bench, even though you've shown me 500 times in the last week" to the extreme "Hello, how do you like my gel-encrusted shiny mullet? And don't you think I look sexy in tight men's boxers with a hole in the crotch? Or do I look hotter with a weight belt that I flap my no-shirt wearing lumpy large belly over?"
These things used to make me think I'd seen it all. But little did I know what lay in store for me at HW suburbia!!
Special Needs Member #1- "I'm about 56, I actually have great muscle tone, but I have to ruin things by wearing a 1980's throw back leotard thong with black tights underneathe, my hair in a pony-tail on top of my head, and I make an obnoxious "sheeeeeeeeeeewwwwww" sound with each repetition. Oh and at any moment I may offer to show you my plastic surgery scars-- totally unsolicited! And I work out very late at night and you get to wait for me to leave, even after you've given me the subtle hint of turning off the lights."
Special Needs Member #2- "I come right from the office and have the most convenient system ever! I wear a skirt with pantyhose each day so when I arrive at the gym, all I need to do is remove my skirt, remove my shirt, and change my shoes! I feel completely confident walking on the treadmill in my pantyhose with no underwear underneathe and my regular bra in which with each and every step my pancake-style saggy breasts flop in separate directions. This is because I'm wearing a regular bra without even an underwire. And I sometimes work out very late at night and you get to wait for me to leave, even after you've given me the subtle hint of turning off the lights."
Special Needs Member #3: "I'm a seemingly cute little old lady, but don't let me fool you! I actually have a compulsive cleaning disorder in which I walk around the club with the disinfectant spray bottles, muttering to myself that 'no one cleans the handles' while haphazardly spraying everything in sight. You know I've done a great job when a trainer (me) goes to pick up 2 or 3 dumbells at once to use with a client and they fall to the floor due to soaking wet handles. I take great delight when said-trainer's brand-new client thinks her trainer has coordination issues as she stumbles around trying to recover the weights and trips over a flat bench in the process. And I work out very late at night and you get to wait for me to leave, even after you've given me the subtle hint of turning off the lights."
Special Needs Member #4: "I'm a different breed altogether, really. See, I've actually been given a written warning that if I continue with some of the elements of my behavior, my membership will be terminated. I have a lot of fun habits, where oh where shall I begin? I suppose I will start with my obnoxious tendency to bother trainers while they're with clients. I ask the dumbest questions, too! And I have no regard for the fact that these members are paying for their trainer's time, I'm all that matters! You'll be able to tell me apart from the rest whenever I'm there because I wear a lot of clothing and clip my own personal fan onto my treadmill. I like to refer to this fan as my "wind." If I forget my "wind," I will gesture wildly until I get it and turn it on. Also, not only do I work out very late at night and you get to wait for me to leave, even after you've given me the subtle hint of turning off the lights, I then proceed to the locker room where I will get in the shower or simply wash my clothes in the shower, stark naked. Management usually has to escort me out. Hee hee- I've even been found just sitting in the elevator without it going anywhere!"
Special Needs Member #5: "I'm a crotchety old bag who's been going to HW since it opened. I have a gray 'fro even though I'm white and like to wear gigantic headphones. I think I can sometimes intercept alien conversations with them, they are like satellites right on my head! Nothing brings me more joy than bringing in a TV Guide and demanding that the Fitness Staff change the channels on the TVs. Guess what?? I don't even watch it! I like to have it tuned into my headphones. But watch out!! If I'm all the way across the gym and you change that channel for another member, I will be right back, TV Guide in hand. Don't even test me because I absolutely will. AND I'll even "accidentally" shove you in the back when you're not looking-- I'll even push other members, too! And I work out very late at night and you get to wait for me to leave, even after you've given me the subtle hint of turning off the lights."
There are many, many more scenarios that I can map out, but I will graciously spare you the eye sore. But know this: if you are "Special Needs" and work out at my club, you will not go unnoticed. I will identify you to my clients, I tell them your worst habits, I will even put an "Out of Order" sign on your favorite equipment if I see you coming. But best of all, when you ask me for any special favors, I will respond with a flat, valley-girl-esque sounding, "Uh, we don't do that here..."
Admit it, nothing drives you more insane (than you already are) than my telling you "no..." You know it does. In fact, it does to the point that you'll fill out comment cards with complaints, but can never figure out who your oppressor is because I conveniently don't wear a name tag while you're there. Or, better yet, I will often be donning the name tags of past employees such as "Antonella," "Karni," "Dinah," "Yashi," "Nikki," "Debra," etc.
Feel my wrath, Special Needs Members!!!