Last Wednesday night, as I do on most Wednesday nights, I went to the gym/health club that's situated in my apartment complex. And, as I always do, I got out my membership card and handed it to the gal behind the front counter.
She: Your card has expired.
Me: Come again?
She. Your membership card has expired. It's no longer valid.
Me: I just used it yesterday. When did it expire? Today?
She (after checking the computer): October 11, 2009!
Me: What?? It expired in October? But I've been coming here almost every day and you never told me it has expired!
She: Well, the card is no longer valid.
Me: OK, but I don't have any money with me tonight to renew, but can bring it tomorrow. In the meantime, can I go in and exercise tonight?
At this point she directed me to a nice lady who had been hovering off to the side watching and listening to the exchange. Apparently she's the manager, although in the 3 years I've been a member there I'd never seen her. I explained me situation to her, highlighting the fact that for 6 months (except for the 2 months I was on crutches, of course) I'd been showing the gals behind the desk my card and that THEY never caught that it had expired.
We took a seat at one of the tables in the lobby and she went over the membership options for me, trying real hard to talk me into the 3 year membership. I finally settled on the 16 month membership, and she went over all the wonderful benefits I will receive.
Now I must say here that this nice lady is not from around here, and thus speaks her Chinese with an accent that made it difficult for me to understand the details of what she was saying. I was fairly sure, however that she was telling me my membership was for 16 months and that I'm entitled to 5 or 6 free sessions with a personal trainer. The other stuff I didn't catch, but just let slide.
I signed all the papers, promised that I'd bring the money by at noon the next day, and she let me go on up to exercise.
This week she's called me a couple of times and asked me to stop in her office to see her the next time I'm in, but the next two times I went she wasn't there.
Today, when I walked into the lobby of the gym, she was there to greet me.
She: Oh, there you are! Come over here and choose a bicycle.
Me: Come again?
She: Choose a bicycle. The membership plan you signed up for includes a free bicycle. Do you want the black one or the blue one?
So that's what she's been trying to tell me for the past week…..that I need to come in and select my free bicycle!
Now I have a brand new blue bicycle, all because I've been using an expired membership card for six months. Go figure.