01 02 03 Prone to Wander: Enhancement? 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33



This morning I walked into the gym and scanned my gym card into the scanner.

“Diinnng dooooonnnng”  it said, as it always does.
“Uh ma’aam,” the lady at the front desk said. She was probably about 20 years old and pretty. Long dark hair, dark eyes and obviously worked out after she got off work.

I looked at her.

“The system says you owe 39 dollars. Did you not pay last month’s membership fee?”

“Uhh..that can't be right,” I said “I paid for a whole year in full. I think I joined back in December or January.”

“Yes…” she said looking at the computer…January 21st is when you joined. Did you change credit cards or something?”

“What do you mean?” I replied, rather harshly. I just wanted to work out so I could go home and take a nap.

“I mean, sometimes if you change credit cards and the system tries to bill you, then it will come back and charge an extra fee.”

“I just said that when I signed up I paid for the year in full. I don’t pay a monthly payment.”

She looked confused and I was irritated. I wanted to jump on the elliptical and listen to the new music I had just downloaded to my iPod.

“I will check with my manager. Just go ahead and work out and I will let you know before you leave,” she said with a smile as she scribbled my name down on a sheet of paper.

As soon as I jumped on the elliptical and hooked up my iPod I began to wonder what the 39-dollar fee was about. After all, I HAD signed up for one year and paid in full.

Oh no. What if they said that it was really only a six month membership and they had lied about the one year and now I owed them money and if I wanted to keep coming I had to pay them more.  No, that can't be true. I had paid them for a whole year. I distinctly remember talking with the person who had signed me up. We had talked for about 45 minutes before we had even gotten around to talking about signing up for the gym membership. I had paperwork to show for it. At home…somewhere. Could I find it if I needed to? What if they decided I was not “in shape enough” after six months of using their facility so they were charging me? (See how my mind gets out of control)

The whole time I was working out on the elliptical all I could think about was what in the world that 39 dollar fee was about…what what what????
I had set the elliptical for 40 minutes, but after 30 I could no longer take it anymore. I jumped off, cleaned the machine off and marched to the front desk, sweaty and panting.

“Did you ask your manager about the fee?” I asked the aforementioned girl at the desk.

“Yes, it was an enhancement fee.” She replied nonchalantly.

“A what?” I asked, confused.

“An enhancement fee.” She said again. “After six months of membership an enhancement fee is charged to your account.”

“So…” I stumbled for words....”I need enhanced....and you’re charging me to become more enhanced.”

She giggled. “No, it’s like for equipment and stuff. That you use while working out. After six months you are charged with the fee.”

I was dumfounded. “Well, I wasn’t told about this when I signed up. (Or was I? I would have remembered such a thing I would hope

“Well, I didn’t know about this fee and I don’t even have my purse with me.”

“It’s OK. You can pay next time when you come in.”

I just looked at her.

“Ummm, ok.”

Then I walked out, shaking my head. 

I mean, my gym membership wasn’t much…I think it averaged out to be less than 20 dollars a month, which is good for a gym membership. But…what the heck is an enhancement fee? Just another moneymaker I guess.


Tomorrow morning I am going to the gym again…

And if I have to pay an extra fee, I am sure as heck going to get "enhanced!" 

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