I’m writing in response to the “Exercise Etiquette” column written by Dave Karimi last Tuesday. I’m currently one of the ARC member service attendants that Karimi writes about in this column, and would like to clear up a few misconceptions he has about our role in the fitness room.
First, our primary role of being stationed on the island in the fitness room is to alert a member service lead or building supervisor if there is an emergency, with the most common emergency being an injury.
Other duties that we attend to fall under two categories: assisting patrons and enforcing ARC policies.
Assisting patrons can mean anything from changing television channels (which apparently we need to work on), checking out squat pads, cleaning equipment, making known of broken equipmentinforming superiors of broken equipment, and, for those who wish to use occupied equipment, monitoring the time patrons are on one machine (cardio equipment has a 30-minute time limit when there are people waiting).
At one point, we did offer towels in the fitness room, but stopped this because it required the ARC employee to constantly revolve around the island, rather than being able to walk around and perform other duties. Also, it created another task of carting the towels back and forth to the laundry room to be washed, which made everyone less productive in other tasks they were attending to. If one needs to check out a grey workout towel, they can do so at the equipment room, which is right down the hall from the fitness room. The one item we do rent out in the fitness room is a squat pad, so feel free to approach the employee stationed in the fitness room to assist you if you so chose to rent one.
The second part of our job, enforcing ARC policies, is a bit more difficult that it may seem. Many patrons of the ARC are unaware of these policies and need to be reminded of them on a consistent basis. Some of these policies include wearing proper gym apparel (no cargo shorts, jeans or open toed shoes), re-racking weights when done with exercising (this is the patron’s responsibility, not the employee’s), not using chalk with weights;, keeping backpacks in the cubbies or lockers and not on the ground where they can become a tripping hazard; and many more policies which are outlined on a poster located on the front of the island in the fitness room. When we are “wandering aimlessly between exercise machines,” we are actually making ourselves available to patrons who may need assistance, as well as making sure all the policies are enforced.
Lastly, we rotate to a different station every hour, not every half hour as Karimi said in his column.
If Karimi wishes to apply for the job of member service attendant, he can do so online at the Aggie Job Link.
I hope this clears up some questions and misconceptions that had been brought up in the column. If anyone has any further questions, feel free to drop by the ARC and one of the employees will be happy to answer them for you.