“WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT STATEMENT ALL ABOUT,” Jenny yelled. It was the first time she had ever raised her voice to any of us. There was shock on all the faces around the table at her reaction.
“We have done a lot of advertising that we were a ladies-exclusive gym. It was only a matter of time until someone decided to challenge that. It’s that just now is the time. Marcy also commented just the other day that the manufacture of the Marathoners was pressuring us to allow a broader test group to use them. Marcy has already agreed to one group for a complete weekend of nights.” I said.
“Do we want to spend a ton of money plus be a negative in the media for months? You know that is the next place they will make a statement if they haven’t already called them. We have too many other things in the works and a ton of negative publicity could destroy all of it,” I said.
“Judge Slaughter, be honest with me. Can we fight them in court and win?” I asked him.
“You might but it will take years and lots of money. All the big country clubs that were male exclusive have given up the fight” he replied.
“That’s what I’m saying. How long are you going to be on the Governors Task Force when the media confronts him at the next news conference? How long will I have a job at a liberal college when they get asked the same question? Is Frost Borough going to touch us with a ten foot pole when the crap hits the fan? What about the car rental and Jeanna’s Bank? Sooner or later the media will connect all the names together. Right or wrong they will all cut, duck and run” I said.
“There are a lot of things we can do to discourage male members and still be legal. 8AM to 8PM for ladies, 8PM to 8AM for men, they have equal hours and both are split up between day and night. Do the same thing for Saturday and Sunday,” I said. “We have a week let’s think about it and sort it out. If we had said flat out no the media would be here tomorrow.”
Jenny’s face was still red but she was calming down. Marcy and Lorrie both started to speak. Lorrie said, “It makes sense in a way if we can have two exclusive gyms. One lady’s and one men’s but will it fly?”
“BJ is right and she did buy us some time. Do you think they will be back tomorrow to see if they can get a tan?” Marcy asked.
Ching Lee said, “We had better make sure Wendy knows and does a refresher in the defensive training, I don’t think they will faze her a bit but she needs to be prepared. I’m sure Kim and Marsha can give her guidance.”
“Maybe we need to split her time so she can work in part of both groups. With her in those thongs she likes to wear there will be lines out to the highway as soon as the word gets around,” Vicky said. “How about adding a Brazilian style bikini area wax, shave or trim and nothing else for both? We have the massage room and the aid station, both with tables.”
“I think that takes a license and inspections,” I said. Then as an afterthought I added “Amy might have the license already for something like that, we can ask her and see if she wants to go in that direction.”
“At 25 or 50 a pop she could add a lot of cash flow,” Vicky said.
“Pop goes the weasel is the right word, all gooey and sticky,’ I replied.
The Judge, Jason and Dad all had their head in their hands turning red.
“Dad said, “This is too much information for me. I think it’s time for me to go,”
“Thanks guys for being here for backup. We will keep you informed,” I said.
After they left it was time for another family meeting while we were together.
“We need to discuss hiring employees, several of them. There is a lot of work to do between now and the first of February. I suspect that if this is the only job that Bob has right now that the second floor will move quickly and be available before then.
The car rental is most likely going to take three or four people, maybe more. Just the auditing and banking alone is going to be a full time job for one person. Then there are tags, registration, insurance and maintenance; that requires another person. Then add payroll for 200 people, workman’s comp, and quarterly reports that’s another person. Are we going to pay auditors 150 an hour for two or three people to do those things? I think not. Even if they have interns it will still be 50 plus an hour.
Then there has to be a coordinator to see that the right vehicles are in the right places and move them if needed, there are going to be special events that require dozens of extra cars in one area and then days later another. That person is going to have to keep a list of people that can ferry cars around. I don’t think it should be all that hard to do but still another person. More than likely there are dozens of house wives that we could enlist to ferry cars for extra spending money. Post the ad in the newsletter or on the wall or both.
We need to advertise, interview and get them in place for some real-time training. We need to find out for sure just how soon we are going to get some management control. Jeanna said May but we can’t wait until May and get it dumped cold turkey into our laps. We need some on the job training of our own. I am hoping that as soon as the offices are done we can start getting real time access to the data. You cannot allow any transition of ownership to affect the day to day operations of something that big.
I have not said a word about the Frost Borough thing yet. We are looking at least 4 possibly 6 full-time and 10 on-call part-time people with the same accounting scenario,” I said.
“We can not pull our trainers out of the gym to do these things. If we go to the night shift we are going to need even more in there,” I said. “I don’t want to lose focus in the gym that was started as our core business.
“And then you have sold 60 rape prevention/self defense seminars that have to be worked into the mix. Starting in the fall we are going to be one busy group of people,” I said.
I looked at Marcy, “Do you have 3 or 4 talented people in your class that haven’t secured positions that you want to offer jobs to? And I do mean talented not just friends. It may be easier to get a CPA to come in and get things started in the right direction with all the tax forms and train them to work in our system than it would be to get someone with 10 years experience that is set in their ways and works against our system.” I said.
“We are looking at spending some serious money here. If we can manage all the pieces we are going to be making a lot more money” I said. “Jeanna is putting up a lot of money to make this our family business; we have to make it work for her and us.”
All the faces in the room were on me and now they were all in deep thought. We talked about everything for another hour and a half before we called it an evening. These meetings were going to be an every night occurrence for a long time.
It was time to give the North six their evening pep talk and answer questions they may have. I had to remember to keep them moving along and focused. I still had not put everything I was going to do with them in to a plan yet.
What was that Jenny had said, “A master’s work is never done?”
I asked Lorrie and Vicky to go out side and verify that the APD did in fact leave. The North six were showered, dressed and ready to leave. I told them that the APD had been here and asking questions tonight and I thought we had everything straightened out.
“You have seen it on TV a million times; if they stop you or arrest you do not answer any questions without a lawyer and never, ever volunteer information. If you have to answer general questions like, ‘where have you been’, answer only the question and say nothing else. Put my number in your phone and if you need me for any reason call me. Always remember that we have an attorney on staff.”
I took Jenny aside and apologized for interrupting her in the meeting. I was truly sorry that I had stepped on her toes. I wanted no hard feelings among any of our group, let alone her.
Jenny said, “It was a good thing you did. For some reason it hit a raw nerve. I was getting ready to really blast into them without thinking. I need to apologize to all of you. I was out of line.”
“You were getting ready to say what we all wanted to say, and I saw it coming and tried to smooth it over before we went past the point of no return” I said.
EDIT by Alfmaister