A Conversation In The Fifth Circle Of Hell AKA The MVP Sportsplex Center

Since I started this blog, I have tried very hard to use it for the Power Of Good. Words are powerful, and I like to think that my willingness to be awkwardly honest about my life and struggles does something GOOD. You know, maybe someone connects or laughs or feels a little less alone. Every once in a while, though, a girl has got to bitch. And that’s this blog.

Now, I’ve had many uncomfortable run-ins with the management at MVP Sporting Center. The last was the supremely condescending and offensive manager who was so rude to me that I almost cried. (He has tight curly hair and wears khaki pants that look like he's picked them off his floor for the sixth time.) Then there was the last four times I’ve gone in. They’ve stopped me at the door with a ‘problem’ with my account. It’s a little embarrassing to get stopped at the door. It’s sorta like you’re being accused of stealing. What was the problem with my account? They showed it wasn’t up to date, but it was up to date since I updated it with my credit card, only no one seemed to believe me, even when they looked at the updated credit card number in their system.

Today was the worst when the petite blonde manager on duty looked for me and approached me WHILE I WAS WORKING OUT. She wanted my phone number and my account and I said “I (huff) will (puff) talk to (gasp) you later.”

Here then is our conversation. I will call the lovely flower Britani, because she looked like a Britani. The setting of our conversation? HELL. Or, okay, a tiny office at the MVP.


BRITANI: Well the problem is that you don’t have an account here.

ME: Yes I do. I’ve been coming here for a year.

BRITANI: But you’re not in the system. Where did you sign up?

ME: At your downtown location. I paid a year in advance, and then gave you my credit card to charge me monthly.

BRITANI: Oh, you can’t come here if you registered at the downtown location.

ME: Yes I can. In fact, I’ve been coming here for a year.

BRITANI: Yeah, but then we’d have to charge you more.

ME: You did. And I paid it. FOR A YEAR.

BRITANI: But you’re not in the system.

ME: You guys gave me a card three weeks ago. And took my picture. And I’VE BEEN COMING HERE FOR A YEAR.

(I show her my card. She pulls up my account.)

BRITANI: Oh. I guess you have an account. But it says here that your account isn’t active.

ME: Yes, because I paid a year in advance. When the year was up, I gave you my credit card to charge me monthly like everyone else. See that number there that you have saved in your system? In the account that you don’t have? There’s my number. Three managers in a row told me that they’d update the account and that’s it not a problem.

BRITANI: Who did you talk to?

ME: What do you mean? I don’t know. I talked to three really unhelpful managers who clearly didn’t fix the problem.

BRITANI: Yeah, but did you talk to BRIAN?

ME: Who is BRIAN?

BRITANI: See, you probably talked to one of us young ones. You know, we’re the managers who are just out of college and we can’t do this stuff or fix it and we probably just forgot to update your account or forgot to tell someone. It happens A LOT. Now if you’d talked to BRIAN…

ME: You’re a manager and you can’t help with this?

BRITANI: I’m not authorized.

(Here I had to do some deep breathing while I tried to understand just WHAT she could authorize as a MANAGER. And if a MANAGER can't do this, who can? God? And I also wanted to say, “So because you’re young and just out of college, it means you can’t handle this job but it’s okay? WHERE DID YOU GO TO SCHOOL? WHO TAUGHT YOU?”)

ME: Honestly, right now, I don’t want to talk to BRIAN. I’m sick of being stopped every time I come in here and accused of not having a membership when I have a membership and have paid for everything AND given you my credit card.

BRITANI: But you’re not AUTHORIZED. You haven’t PAID.

ME: I haven’t PAID because you guys haven’t UPDATED my ACCOUNT. In fact, erase my credit card. I’m done here. There are lots of other options. I’ll go somewhere else. You don’t seem to want my business.

BRITANI: No, we want you. I’ll just ask BRIAN and he’ll update it or something. And like charge you for all the time you haven’t been charged.

ME: No. Erase my card.

BRITANI: I’m sorry. I can’t do that. But we won’t charge you until I talk to…

ME: BRIAN? Yes. I get it. No. Don’t charge me. I. Am. Done. Here. In fact, I’m going to cancel my credit card.

BRITANI: Why would you do that?

ME: Because I don’t trust you.

BRITANI: Now that’s just being hurtful.

(I laughed a little here. It was a funny line. I couldn’t help it.)

ME: Yeah. Well. I don’t trust you. I’ve trusted you—and I’m using the general ‘you’ here, not the specific ‘you’—I’ve trusted you the last four times I’ve come in to update my account and you haven’t. You’ve accused me of lying and manipulating THE SYSTEM. You’ve told me I don’t exist in your system. I don’t mean to hurt your feelings SPECIFICALLY, but clearly, you don’t want my business. I’ll cancel the card. My account doesn’t exist anyway as your four managers have told me over and over again. And I know this doesn’t matter to you, that you don’t care personally, but you guys have a really shitty way of treating your customers. Your MEMBERS. Please make a note for BRIAN.


And thus, I have now shared with you the infuriating experience at the MVP on Burton in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Actually, this is for the Power of Good. Maybe some of you will reconsider joining there. The customer service MANAGERS are all twenty-something college graduates with no skill sets at all except looking lithe and pert—and they’re okay with that. I’m not.


I’m becoming a bitter old man. It’s okay. I’ll just walk around the block and get my exercise the old-fashioned way.