As I prepare for my move to Lincoln Square, I am ridding my life of all of the unnecessary clothing, papers, and tchotchke crap that I have carried around for years from state to state, apartment to apartment. It is a process that I have aptly titled, "cutting the fat.” I like to think of it as part spiritual cleansing intended to help me start fresh with a new life, and part drawing a line in the sand signifying that I refuse to cart a bunch of crap to another apartment where it will sit in a box until I discover it in my next move. It’s probably time to toss the clothes from the nineties that--let’s face it--don’t fit anymore anyway.
In addition to finally throwing out old sweaters, pants, novelty key chains, and credit card offers from five years ago, I applied “cutting the fat” principles to my finances and decided to find a new gym. My current gym is an athletic club, which means it's super pricey and offers slightly better benefits, like unlimited towels, than say a Bally's.
The price of my gym used to be a non-issue. While employed at the agency, my monthly gym membership costs were partially subsidized. When I sat down to decide whether or not to leave the agency for a new opportunity, I made the old pro and con list. It looked something like this:
Pro: Subsidized gym membership
Con: long hours, less money, lots of travel, clients who suck, general feeling of despair as I walk into office each morning
It was a tough choice.
After footing the massive gym bill sans subsidy for a few months, it was clear that the fat needed to be cut. So, last week I told them that I was canceling my membership. They did the obligatory why are you leaving routine and acted like they were sad, as if I was an old friend who just told them I would no longer be a part of their lives. Then they had me sign a form, which served as my “30-day written notice” that I would be parting ways with the gym.
It requires advance written notice to quit a lot of things these days, like when you quit your job. That makes sense; your employer needs to look for someone to fill your position. Or if you rent and you want to terminate your lease, you give notice so the management company can advertise for another tenant.
But at my gym, I had paid for a month-to-month membership so I could, in theory, quit at any time. Do they need 30 days to find another member to replace me? Perhaps they will put an ad in the classifieds, "Over-priced gym seeks female in late twenties, must appreciate towel service and be willing to give up other luxuries in life to afford membership."
To be fair, the 30-day notice policy is something I was well aware of when I signed up for my membership. I'm not necessarily angry that the gym has this policy—all gyms do it—but rather, I’m just asking a question that, in my opinion, needs to be asked… again, “What is the point of the 30-day gym membership cancellation policy?” If you answered, “To screw you out of another month’s membership dues,” you are correct.