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Today started off well. I got myself up at 6 a.m. to try to get my body used to getting up early again. I did great. I think it has to be the energy from working out so much. Today I spent an hour and half in the gym, got a mani/pedi, and went tanning. Things started spiraling after that. I was going to audition for a show and all my sheet music got lost. I went to the music store and all they had was the movie version of the show I use for auditioning so I bought it. I decided not to go audition because I wasn’t prepared, I couldn’t go to the call back night, and I got an email from my college stating they haven’t heard anything from the place I am supposed to intern at. Lovely since the semester starts the 18th and I am clueless.  Thankfully a professor of mine has been awesome but it’s so annoying!  In addition there was so much traffic on the way home, it took me a half hour to get home from a spot that usually takes 10 minutes. This all has made me so cranky. 

There has also been all these other things coming to fruition. I realized so much stuff in these 5 days that not many know about. This deals with what I blogged two days ago. Is it weird that this is all I have been thinking about? Should it be a recurring thought or no? Sucks when the thoughts  occur on a consistent basis.  It’s one of those very peculiar situations. I’m not into quests and I am not a chess player. I’m one for consistent fun in whatever capacity as opposed to giving stuff a whirl just to do it. I NEVER thought I would give so much thought (not in a skeptical, doubting, or negative way) to something like this.  I don’t know. . . How much can someone insert themselves into situations and then get nothing in return?  I believe in being altruistic  to an extent. When you start banging your head against the wall, when you know it’s falling on deaf ears, and when the crickets start chirping on the other end, you have to ask yourself, is it worth it to try so hard? I mean if someone isn’t trying as hard as you are, is there really anything there? No patience for untrue people. A frined of  mine that I hadn’t seen in two years was telling me a story about an individual she really cared about. She went above and beyond and got taken advantage of.  She couldn’t take it anymore and stopped talking to the person. You could tell when she was telling the story that she was hurt by it.  How many times can one get a cartoon jackass head on their shoulders before the epiphany occurs? A lot to think about . . .

Here’s my mood right now. This is a song I listened to over and over again when my father passed away but the words right now are still so fitting for everything going on in my life one way or another. I still don’t feel whole or know who I am. I guess in reality I still am Broken in some capacity. :


Happy Labor Day World! Hope everyone had a nice weekend! The hubby and I ordered new wedding rings this weekend. Finally we are going to match! I can’t believe I start classes again tomorrow. I don’t know if I am ready for the harder part of the journey. Speaking of the journey, let’s get back to it.

It was March 14, 2009 – Praxis Test day. It was literally only a month and a half since my father died. I woke up early, had breakfast, and drove down to the University I am attending now with my husband to take my exam. My body had not been able to come down off the stress yet. I kissed my husband goodbye when he dropped me off at the front of the building. I entered the building and got in line with the other test takers. As I was waiting to go into the auditorium, I got two text messages – one was from my husband wishing me luck and telling me he loves me and the other was from my best friends, Melissa and Frank. They told me they were thinking of me, wished me luck, told me they loved me, and to remember I had a little extra help this time around. They meant my dad was with me. I absolutely prayed for his help and to get me through.

I took my seat and broke the seal when the proctors told us to. I had two hours to finish 120 questions based on all things English related or so I thought. Some of the questions had absolutely nothing to do with teaching English. Isn’t that funny? Two hours for 120 questions? REALLY? It takes several minutes to answer just one question. In some cases, you have to read a paragraph to answer the questions, yet they expect you to take only a minute to answer each question. It’s just absurd to me that it’s mandatory to take a test in order for you to get your teaching certification. Some people are horrible test takers but brilliant in the classroom. It’s just like when you want to obtain a Master’s Degree. What the hell does the GREs and Analogy Test have to do with you wanting to better yourself in a field that has nothing to do with anything that’s actually on the exams? In my opinion, it’s all a bit of nonsense. Just sayin . . .

In any case,  this test was a lot harder than the other two I had taken years ago. As a side note, they raised the score to pass to 162. The first two times I had taken the test, you only needed a 155. I guessed on a lot of the questions. It got to point where I had such a weird feeling. I was on auto pilot. I felt like I was having an out-of-body experience and someone else was doing the work for me. When I was finished, I didn’t have a good feeling. My husband was waiting for me in the hall of the building outside the auditorium. He asked how I did. I gave him the raspberries and said, “Forget it! This one was the hardest one out of the three of them.” Now we played the waiting game for the score. If I remember correctly, I think the scores were going to be available in four weeks. Relieved that the test was over, the focus went back to the bankruptcy which was the following week. What was going to happen when I actually had time to sit and digest everything that had happened starting with my father? At this point, I didn’t know because my mind was on court and what our trustee was going to do in regards to our case. I can’t imagine that our petition for Chapter 7 would be denied. We never made a profit in the 2.5 years we owned the gym, I had lost my job and was on unemployment. He had to rule in our favor. Stay tuned!


During the week we lost Tweetie, we shut down the franchise. Another domino down. We had met with our bankruptcy counsel and had the petition filed. This was our third attorney. She was a very get the job done and matter of fact individual. She advised us not to notify our employees, clients, or landlord we were filing bankruptcy and shutting the business down. She wanted us to just put a note in the window or have the locks changed. While I agreed with not notifying the landlord, I didn’t agree with not notifying the clients. We set a date of February 6, 2009 to shut the doors for good. I typed up a letter and mailed them out to all the clients on a Friday. I also contacted all the employees and said we were going to have a meeting Saturday after we closed at noon. By the time we got to the gym Saturday morning, all the employees had already found out because the first thing some of the clients did when they got their letters was of course call “Devri” and complain. When my husband and I explained our personal situation, how we couldn’t do it anymore, how the corporation was of no help, how our attorney advised us to not even give notice and how losing my father put a lot in perspective, “Devri” responded with a VERY selfish comment. But what else was new . . . This woman had the audacity to say to us “I wish you would have told me this the other day. My husband is in Italy. I purposely didn’t go because there wasn’t anyone to work. I sacrificed the trip. I could be in Italy right now.” ARE YOU KIDDING ME? My response? “Um well, I just lost my father so no disrespect to you, but I really wasn’t thinking about people’s vacations.” Pardon my French, but what balls! To add to her character flaws, she had the nerve to steal supplies that WE purchased in addition to member folders in order to pass them out to those that wished to go to another facility. Her mentality that she ran the place continued even to the day we shut the doors. When the employees left and we realized what she did, my husband left an unpleasant voicemail on her cell phone. We called our attorney and told her what “Devri” did. Our attorney said we could have filed a police report. We decided against that because we still had to live in the next town over. We put a “Closed due to bankruptcy” sign on the door and left. That was the last time we ever saw the women’s fitness facility again. The albatross was slowing removing itself from our necks.

I had to have all the utilities turned off. Before I had the phone disconnected, I checked the voicemail. There were at least 6 on the machine. I only listened to one because I knew that these trust fund babies felt a sense of entitlement to know ahead of time and were only going to degrade us for doing what was in our best interest. God forbid!  The one voice mail from one of the clients said she didn’t appreciate how we did this. She said she understood why but that customers were loyal to us. Who was she kidding? The women’s loyalty was to “Devri” just like “Devri’s” loyalty was to them. They never participated in any of the promotions I had going on in terms of bringing in friends to workout or to try the circuit workout itself. It was social hour and time to get away from their husbands and be with the girls. They didn’t care if my husband and I were struggling. I think they expected us to stay open regardless.  

With all this going on, I had to make time to study for my Praxis exam which was taking place about 5 weeks after the closing of the gym. That’s all I focused on. I threw myself into studying and attending workshops for extra help. I had to keep myself busy to get my mind off everything else. During my study time, we received our letter from the court. The bankruptcy court date was a week after the Praxis. Can you see the domino pattern here?

Through all this, there was one positive. My best friend was pregnant for the first time with her daughter – My God daughter.


At this point with the garbage the Corporation was pulling, there wasn’t any way we could survive keeping this business open. The bank wouldn’t refinance our business loan, we were getting no help from the corporation, I had lost my job, and the only money coming in on my end was from unemployment. We had no choice. We had to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy and shut the franchise down. We had to file two separate bankruptcy cases – personal and business because we made personal guarantees on the franchise and the loan. Honestly we had no idea we had made a personal guarantee. We were counting on our small business consultant to be just that – our consultant and let us know what we were getting into. As I stated a few posts up, he dropped us after the meeting we had behind his back with Kevin about prepays. The first attorney never cared. She just wanted to make the firm money. Our second attorney we hired kept saying we didn’t have enough evidence or money to file a lawsuit. There was no other way out of this. We contacted a bankruptcy attorney and started the ball rolling with the corporation to shut down the franchise. Of course the corporation wasn’t returning phone calls at first with our attorney. They were trying to bleed us just a little bit more. After we received the necessary paperwork from the franchise, we filled it out, made copies of all our debts, and prepared it for the attorney.

During this time, the New York Giants had made the playoffs. This was 2009 meaning season ending 2008. The year before they had won the Superbowl. We are season ticket holders. My husband and I split the season with my father and my brothers. One thing about our family is that we are HUGE New York Giants fans. My father never went to a playoff game. His big thing he always said was he wanted to go to a playoff game before he died. It was on his bucket list. My father and I went to the playoff game vs the Eagles on January 11, 2009. Incidentally, my father had recovered pretty well from the heart attack and hospital visits. They had put a stent in, he was working out, taking his meds, and eating right. He even lost 20 pounds. Out of nowhere, he started falling into old patterns – Drinking wine every night, smoking his cigars, not going for follow-up blood work and he stopped going to the gym where he was being monitored. He chose to play racquetball instead with my uncle. Should a heart patient be playing racquetball? 

While we were on our way to our bankruptcy attorney’s office on January 22, 2009, my husband’s cell phone rang. The next thing I knew he was pulling up a side street not far from our attorney’s office. He parked the car and just kept saying,”Ok. Ok. Ok.” He grabbed my hand and squeezed it and started breathing heavy. I thought something happen to his mom who lives out in Illinois who is in her late 70s. My husband hung up the phone, looked at me, and said, “Your dad is gone.” I asked what he meant by that. He told me that the phone call he received was from my father’s best friend Dave telling him that my father passed away. My half brother who has P.D.D. (Pervasive Development Disorder) found him dead in his recliner when he got home from school. Dave didn’t want my husband to tell me right away. He wanted my husband to lie to me and say he was really sick because he thought I would lose my mind. My father’s group wanted to say when we got to his house that he got really sick and just didn’t make it. Of course my husband wasn’t going to lie to me. In any case, I was in disbelief! How could this have happened? The cardiologist said he was doing great. My heart was pounding in my chest. I texted my friends and called my mother at work.  Even though my parents were divorced and my father remarried and had two sons with my stepmother, my mother never stopped caring about him. She started yelling NO and started to cry. We turned the car around, called our bankruptcy attorney, told her what happened and we had to reschedule. My father’s friends kept calling my husband to find out where we were because individuals came to take my father’s body out of the house. My stepmother wouldn’t let them take him until we arrived to say our goodbyes. We were probably about 45 minutes away. I couldn’t wrap my brain around this.

When we arrived to my father’s house, family and friends were on the porch of my father’s house. My uncle (my dad’s half brother) approached me, hugged me, and said he was laying on the floor and it looked like he was sleeping. My husband took my hand and we went into the house. My dad’s lifeless body was in sweatpants and a t-shirt on the floor. My stepgrandmother was on one couch and my stepmother was standing up with friends. They all exited the room so my husband and I could have a moment alone with him. I stood with my arms wrapped tightly around my husband and we both talked to my father. As much as I wanted to kneel down and kiss his head or get closer, I just couldn’t. (I’m actually crying as I am typing this because I am reliving it all over again). 

To be continued  . . .


You may ask why we didn’t phone the Franchise corporation duiring all this. We did. They did NOTHING to help. It was more or less a “Too bad so sad” situation. They did not want to hear you weren’t making any money. They didn’t care. As long as they were EFTing your advertising fees and franchise fees every month, to hell with the owners who are making them this money.

My specific franchise went through 3 different local directors. We never even had one of them come to the franchise until 2.5 years into it. The woman wasn’t even our state director. She was the Connecticut director. She had never driven a NJ U-turn before and called our gym in hysterics.

At the same time, the company was coming out with digitalized equipment that would have cost franchisees $5,000.00 plus a fee every month. This company was money hungry. Anyway, when the Connecticut director showed up, I had my best employee out on the floor doing her thing while the director watched clients to see if we trained them with proper form. When the gym closed for the day, my husband and I sat down with this woman. Of course the first thing she tried to do was get us to buy the new equipment. We were like “Yeah um with what?” She got into the “You have to spend money to make money” garbage. How can one spend what one does not have? The corporation’s philosophy I was finding out from other owners was do what you have to do to get money and keep your business afloat. If that meant a home equity loan or draining your savings, so be it. If you had to borrow it, beg, steal, lie, or more or less prostitute yourself, you better do it. If owners’ franchises didn’t make money, the Corporation franchise fee goes down.  In addition, they charged this ridiculous advertising fee every month. Where the hell was the advertising? If you saw one commercial every few months that was a lot.  During this meeting with the Connecticut director, she was explaining how we should give away two month memberships with a  guest pass. She wrote down some notes and said she was going to have our regular state director come up with a game plan and that we would be getting a phone call to help us. We NEVER received a phone call. Membership just kept declining. I even tried giving away almost 100 free 2 month memberships to women in the local school district. They enjoyed the free two months but when their gift certificates expired, none of them joined. It was hopeless.

At this point, we started looking into shutting the franchise down. Oh my God you can’t even imagine what the corporation puts you through. If you break your franchise agreement, they charge you a $10,000 penalty plus all your back franchise and advertising fees for the remainder of your agreement. If you refused to pay them, a lien would be placed on your property or in our case whatever we owned. I found that if this was placed on us and we bought a house in the future, a lien would be placed on future property. The only way out of paying them their money and be totally free of this albatross was to file bankruptcy. During these discussions, higher ups kept trying to talk me into selling the gym for a penny. I’m sorry. You want me to incur lawyer fees for a transaction to sell the franchise for a penny so that the corporation keeps making money while I’m losing my shirt? As they say on ESPN, “COME ON MAN!” This is supposed to be a franchise based on religious individuals? You must be joking! Doesn’t it say in the Bible to “Beware of a wolf in sheep’s clothing?”


After that phone call I was beyond livid. We went back up to the bank. I started raising my voice to “Barbara” and telling her what the Assistant Director of the SBA said. It was one of those “Uh Uh” moments. She reverted back to how the business isnt making any money. At that point, all I heard was noise – think of the teacher voice on Charlie Brown. That was a dead end obvioulsy.

Months passed and our financial situation got worse. We got a phone call from our realtor. She told us she had a local woman interested in the gym and wanted to know if I could drop her off an extra key and some paperwork. Unlike “Kevin” I  provided a REAL member number list. A little background on this prospective buyer – Think Jersey Shore (tv show) looking with a British accent, what guys would call a “bangin bod,” long nails polished, a lot of makeup, VERY rich and possibly an entire bottle of perfume.  We will call her “Lizzy.” Early on our attorney called her a “tire kicker” and that is exactly what she turned out to be. She kept us on the hook for nine months. Every phone call, whether we spoke to her or her husband, they wanted more and more information and more time. The last phone call we received from them they wanted us to wait longer because they wanted to refinance their house to get extra money for the purchase. Can you even believe it? People this is my life. You can’t make this up. WHY ME? She told us they needed two months and that they wanted us to hold membership steady at the number it was at which at that point I think was about 185 members. We held steady for the two months and never heard from them. Membership started declining even more again due to members losing their jobs or what have you. When we called to get a status update and told her we had the membership steady for two months and never heard from her and how membership declined more, there was dead silence on the other end of the phone. After the silence, she again asked us to wait longer. We gave her a deadline and said if we didn’t hear from her we would have to shut the gym down because we just couldn’t do it on our end anymore.

In addition to the stress of a failing business and a strained marriage, my father was in and out of the hospital from a heart attack, additional chest pains, getting a stent put in, and bleeding. Could it possibly have gotten any worse? It did. I had a pet cockatiel for 14 years. She fell off her perch and started twitching her head. We took her to the vet and the poor bird was a nervous wreck shaking. Not sure if you know anything about cockateils but they get very attached to their owners and don’t like being in strange places. The vet gave us antibiotics that had to be administered with an eye dropper like tool. I hate vets. No offense to any out there. It’s just I have friends that have many animals and every time they took their pets to vets, it wasn’t long after that the pets passed away. My bird was never 100% again but she was ok for a while.

“Lizzy”, my father, and my bird situations happened from the end of 2007 on through almost the end of 2008. Again I said it couldn’t get any worse. Yet another domino fell. On Novemebr 15, 2008 I received a phone call from my full-time job telling me they were laying people off due to the lack of work because of the floundering economy. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? This is happening again NOW?  While I was still working for the company, our department was taken over by a young woman, who honestly had no clue about what we did in this specific aspect. My old boss got a promotion and went to another department. A few times this new woman suggested stuff and it was like “uh yeah we already were doing that.” Anyone that is a woman and works for a woman knows how catty some of them can be especially if they feel threatened because you actually know more than they do and they are supposed to be the boss. In any case, I was once again being layed off in the midst of a failing business. Thank God for unemployment. It was at that time my husband and I had a long talk and said we had enough. That’s when we decided we weren’t waiting for the tire kicker anymore and to now more than ever get control over this.

On the same day I lost my job, I registered for the Praxis II Exam to become an English Teacher. My test was scheduled for a Saturday in March 2009. Years ago when I wasn’t really into the profession I took the test twice because I was working at the first company in another department where I was getting up at 3 a.m. and I needed to get out because it was killing me.  The two times I took the test I didn’t get the score I needed. When I took the test the first two times, I was still at that “I deserve- wooo is me” phase so I really didn’t care if I passed it or not.


Had orientation today at Kean University for my upcoming one day a week internship. I got a GREAT Supervisor. He seems very cool, very laid back, and eager to help. THANK GOD! The last thing I needed was some stuffy suit! I am a nervous wreck as it is!

Back to “Rachel” and her husband’s lawsuit against “Kevin.” After heading towards a court date, “Rachel” and her husband
hired a private investigator to check on several of “Kevin’s” dealings. Turns out the couple that bought TWO gyms from “Kevin” were taken for over $400,000 on their deals. Same pattern as with all of us but thank GOD we didn’t spend that much money. There were also other issues as well that we weren’t privy to. The private invesigator tracked down all of “Kevin’s” former employees and looked into his back dealings. He was even looking into whether “Kevin” really had a baby son that died. Can you imagine if that was a lie and he used the same story with all of us? What an absolute DISGRACE! When it got back to “Kevin” about the hiring of the PI, he settled quickly with “Rachel” and her husband. The one thing that was thought about and that was being looked into with “Kevin” was why did he separate himself with so many layers on the gym businesses? The answer was to protect his license. IF he really was sending patients to the fitness facility for treatment as I had said in a few posts ago, he would have been in A LOT of trouble. Needless to say, the private investigator scared the hell out of him and the call to settle with “Rachel” and her husband was within a week them hiring the P.I. They got their deposit back and “Kevin” dropped his lawsuit against them for Breach of Contract. During all of this we contacted “Phil” because we thought about suing him too. Why didn’t he catch any of this? I don’t even think he looked at “Kevin’s” income tax returns.  It was obvious now why “Devri’s” accountant was against her buying the place. Her attitude through all this was not to get her involved because she would have a panic attack on the stand and that she didn’t know anything. COME ON! You worked for the guy all those years and you are gonna tell me you knew NOTHING? She probably did and used the panick attack as an excuse. Regardless of what she wanted, she would have been called if we had gone forward.

My husband and I obviously stopped going to “Kevin” in the chiropractic sense the minute we closed on the gym. After a while he sent us a “final” bill which was ridiculous. While the amount was small, he had given us a fixed rate at the office and then turned around and billed us for the balance. He also insisted that monies we got back from the insurance company were to be signed over to him. We tried to file a complaint with the Sheriff’s Department but he covered all his tracks and made the insurance fraud look legit.  The man is and always will be a crook and a snake. I don’t know who he had cooking his books but what a conartist and fraud. According to our second attorney we had no case with either situation. I’ll never understand that. He probably said that because he knew we didn’t have the money for a long drawn out court battle.

The whole situation with “Rachel” and her husband went on from about September 2006 through Novemebr 2007. We unfortuantely lost touch with them. I still have their contact information but I don’t know if they really want to hear from my husband and I. If they did, they probably would have contacted us.


Hello there world! Hope you had a great day! Had a work out with my trainer today and it was a butt kickin as always! Tomorrow I have orientation at Kean University for my preprofessional one day a week internship at a local high school starting Sept 8. I am hoping to have you all caught up by then! Now back to the journey. . .

Things started to spiral more and more out of control. As we spiraled, I found out “Rachel” and her husband were having issues of their own. It turns out their closing on one of “Kevin’s” gyms never happened.  Apparently “Kevin” pulled the same exact thing on them. In addition, he did the same thing to another couple who bought TWO of his gyms. Can you imagine buying two gyms from “Kevin” and being in double trouble? In case you haven’t figured it out, Kevin was not only a chiropracter, he had owned 5 or 6 of these women’s gyms. He pulled the same exact fraudulant scheme on every one of us – except “Rachel” and her husband were smart and savvy enough to check member numbers the day of the closing and not  close on the deal. On the day of “Rachel” and her husband’s closing, “Rachel’s” husband went into the gym without “Kevin’s” permission to check the membership numbers. Turns out same thing! There were about 30-35+ members less than “Kevin” had said! When “Rachel’s” husband called “Kevin,” “Kevin” tried to insist they couldn’t back out of the deal and he had no control over people deciding to drop their memberships yada yada yada. “Kevin” said he was going to sue them for breach of contract. What happened was “Kevin” FINALLY got caught. Up until now he thought he was this business genius that made all this money and would take advantage of people for greed, but the rat finally got caught cornered in the cage and he was squirming. That’s when the court case started. “Rachel” and her husband wanted their deposit back and any monies that were put into the gym prior to closing – i.e. lawyers fees etc. Of course “Kevin” was not going to give the money back. Are you kidding? “Rachel” and her husband countersued “Kevin.” “Kevin” tried to drag it out and negotiate but “Rachel” and her husband were determined to sue him for fraud. They tried to bring my husband and I in on it. We spoke to their attorney. We didn’t have the money it would cost to get involved so we said we just couldn’t do it. They said the case would be stronger with us involved and said we would be subpoenaed if we didn’t agree. We compromised and said we would write a letter stating what happened to us and there was no doubt what “Kevin” did to “Rachel” and her huband was definitely true. We explained everything in the letter – about the story he gave about his dead son, how we weren’t allowed in the gym at any time without him, the numbers being way off and so on. If only my husband and I went into the gym the morning of OUR closing and looked at the numbers, we wouldn’t be in the position we were in! And it only got worse . . .


The hubby and I utilized our Optimum Rewards Card for free movie day at Clearview. We saw Inception. GREAT movie! I highly recommend it. Be prepared for one million dollar question at the end – Is he still dreaming?

In the last post I told you about all these women drinking the Koolaid down in Texas. Time to discuss when we took over the gym.

When I got home from training, we closed on the business. I had my husband’s power of attorney because he could not get off work. At the closing, “Kevin” was not there. He gave his attorney power of attorney. Every last cent he could get from us he did – for little things. Keep in mind we got a shady no collateral loan from one of “Phil’s” connections at a big name bank based our gym having 275 members and the income that would be generated from that number.

As soon as I got the keys to the gym I drove up there that day to get things going. The place needed to be deatiled clean, painted, new blinds etc. “Kevin” did nothing. When I got there, the manager who we will call “Devri” (more on her in a bit) said there was a message for me already about the water cooler needing to be serviced. When I called the individual back, he had explained how the cooler was supposed to be serviced five months prior but that “Kevin” said he was selling the gym and to “let the new owners deal with it.” This is when one of many domino effects took place. I spent the rest of my time that day meeting members and having them fill out surveys to see how I could have made the place better in addition to the cosmetic aspect. What I started to realize when I went through these women’s surveys was they all had a bond with “Devri.” Every survey said how wonderful she was, that I needed to give her a raise, so on and so forth. The horrible thing is that I never checked how many members we had until three days later. When I did check them, I didn’t even print it out. So stupid. The number was astonishing! The actual number of members was 245! Not 275 that we were told but 245! That was 30 less people! That number dwindled even more when all of “Kevin’s” chiropractic patients started dropping their memberships when we took over the gym. What he did was send his patients to the gym as therapy for their backs and to inflate the numbers! He must have told them once he sells to drop their memberships! We got that loan based on income generated from 275 members! We knew right there we had been had. There wasn’t anything we could do at that point. We didn’t have the money to sue him. He knew we didn’t have a lot of money when we bought from him. He hatched a plan for us in the way beginning. He looked at us as suckers. We got played. The lemon was ours and now we had to spend a lot of money immediately to try and generate memberships on our own. It started to put a strain on my husband and I not only financially but in the marital aspect as well.

I tried using strategies they taught us during training. I had my husband bring an easel from his school so I could display a picture board that was created by the art teacher at my husband’s job. It said, “COUNTDOWN TO A NEW PIECE OF EQUIPMENT.” It basically said we needed X amount more members to be able to buy a new piece of equipment. We hired a painter, we bought new blinds, we scrubbed the place from head to toe, we got a new computer and the list goes on. We even had to have the equipment serviced because “Kevin” wanted to leave that to the new owners as well.

Besides “Devri”, I had to clean house of old employees. The ones I did keep were high school and college kids who didn’t care diddly squat about doing their job or making money for us. They never took part in the promotions we set up. Neither did “Devri.” Little did I know that these women and “Devri” all became close friends and hung out when “Devri” was not at work. That was another pitfall because for the two years we owned this albatross, “Devri’s” loyalties were never to us. It was always to the women. There was never a client/employee relationship. She never tried to push them to get their friends to join. She had no interest in pushing the sales aspect of the business on them. She cared more about maintaining friendships with these women than doing her job as a manager to help turn a profit. In her mind, we were the owners and that was our job just as long as she got a paycheck. Did she ever come out and say all this verbally? No, but her actions spoke volumes. The problem was if we fired her, we lost the whole morning clientele because they were all her “cronies.” This whole thing had become a disaster. We never even met the landlord or the super in charge of the building. Everything was discussed over the phone or through mail. It was my own business and I couldn’t even call the shots. “Devri” claimed she could only work the morning shift which meant if I worked in the gym to cut down payroll it would have to be at night from 4 p.m. -8 p.m. She even tried to pull the whole “I can’t work the day before holidays” line because she had to cook. HELLO? So did I. She didn’t think it was right that I made her work so I, THE OWNER OF THE PLACE AND HER BOSS, can cook for my family for the holidays. We called “Devri” a princess even though she was a short chunky older woman. Her and her husband had money as did her morning client buddies.

More to come . . .


Sorry for on and off posts but my hubby has been sick. He starting to feel better now :-). Depending on how the hubby feels today, we are supposed to go friends’ annual end of the summer party and then to the Giants preseason game against the Steelers. We are season ticket holders and spilt the season with my brothers. Looking forward to the new stadium. I am one of those crazy female football fanatics! Trust me. What you would see of me is nothing like what you would see when I am at or watching a football game. Just call me one of the guys without the beer!

Last I mentioned we borrowed $10,000 from my father to give to the landlord as a 6 month security deposit. There were so many things that happened that were definitely signs from God or a higher power whatever your preference, but we ignored every one of them.  Did you ever hear that story of the man standing on the roof with the floods coming? He was initailly warned beforehand and told to evacuate but he didn’t heed the warning and said no no God would save him. The waters rose to a point where a boat came and told him to get in. He said no no God was going to save him. The floods got worse. Next a helicopter came and he was on the last part of the roof that was above water. The man said no no God was going to save him. The helicopter flew away. Meanwhile the house went under water and the guy drowned. When he got to the pearly gates, he asked Jesus why he didn’t come and save him. Jesus explained how he sent people to warn him, a boat, and a helicopter. The moral of the story sometimes we are being saved from a horrible situation when we don’t even know we are being saved. We are always looking for a big miracle or the big sign when it’s the little miracles or little signs that save us.

As time went on, things got more and more hectic. I was going to work in the department I hated but I still kept in touch with my old boss. She and I would IM throughout the day. Right before the closing on the franchise, she offered me a part-time job doing what I did when I received my promotion but working from home for the associate company. It was very convenient. I would be able to work from home doing the job I loved and if there was an emergency at my business, I could drive 10 minutes and be there or work the late afternoon shift at the business. We thought it was a win win situation so I quit my full-time job to work at the associate company part-time from home. Our small business consultant didn’t approve. It was this decision and one other big one that pushed “Phil” over the edge. Remember in the last post I mentioned how “Kevin” did not want to give us the money from the prepay memberships? Well my husband and I set up a meeting with “Kevin” at the gym to discuss this. We figued without the prepay memberships we would not have enough money in our business account to cover the beginnings of expenses. While LEGALLY all prepays were ours, we didn’t know that and thought this would take a legal battle which we really couldn’t afford so we agreed to split the prepay memberships with him. That knocked about $6,000 off the purchase price. We negotiated this into our Intent Letter. No one thought this was a smart move. Again what did we know? We had zero contact with our attorney who, if we did contact her, billed us for every email, every phone call, and every question. She even had the audacity to bill us for my husband doing her a favor. My husband dropped off documents to her. She billed us for my husband walking into the lobby and her walking out to receive the documents. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Our small business consultant wouldn’t get back to us quickly when “Kevin” wanted immediate decisions so we felt forced to make decisions on our own. “Kevin” knew that and that is why he did it because he knew we were emotional and would make the wrong decisions. He just LOVED to tell my husband how I wore my emotions on my sleeve and didn’t know how to “keep my cards close to my chest.” Anyone that knows me knows that I am not a game player. I say what I feel. I act how I act. You like it great. You dont? That’s great too! I am not manipulating, a liar, a cheat, or a sneak. Neither is my husband. This in turn is why we would never make good business owners.

To be continued . . .