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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 . . .

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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 . . .