Michael Giles Jr., director of recreation services at Iowa State University, was working at another university at the time, but he still remembers the day a swimmer came out of the pool locker room sans swim trunks. "He completely forgot to put on his bathing suit," Giles wrote in his entry for the Athletic Business "Clueless Contest," in which readers were asked to share stories about those crazy things people do at athletic, fitness and recreation facilities. "Wish I could have recorded the radio communication between our lifeguard and building supervisor. The gentleman figured it out shortly after getting into the water and went back into the locker room to put on his suit. He then returned to finish his swim."
Giles is one of five "Clueless Contest" winners. We recently asked readers to take inspiration from Rob & Barry's blog post about so-called clueless customers, and entries arrived from college and municipal recreation professionals, high school athletic directors and fitness center supervisors. The winners, chosen by AB editors, each will receive free registration to the 2011 Athletic Business Conference.
Here are the other four winning entries:
McMinnville (Tenn.) Parks and Recreation recently started a new indoor cycling class. The excitement and participation in the program has been wonderful. I couldn't help but laugh when a lady showed up for classes and was so confused. She asked if we were going to ride the bikes in a circle around the gymnasium. She said she just could not figure out how we were going to have a 40-minute class of riding in a circle in the gym. Wouldn't we get dizzy?Kristie SandersWellness Program AdministratorMcMinnville Parks and RecreationMcMinnville, Tenn.
A few years ago we had a lady come to an adult softball game. As she was parking, she hit a parked car and caused some serious damage. The only problem (other than hitting the car) was she did it by the concessions stand and an extra-duty police officer. Thinking no one had seen the accident, she tried to flee by car. The officer ran to his patrol car and stopped her. She claimed she didn't hit "any car" and told the police officer to "prove it." The hit and run, leaving the scene of an accident, open container in the car and DUI added up to a hefty fine and loss of license. She did her sobriety test in front of all her co-workers coming to the game and was arrested. Needless to say, they played one short. Barry SimpsonDirector, Grace Center for AthleticsSt. Mary's High SchoolColorado Springs, Colo.
An elderly member, convinced of its healing properties, routinely showered with a bottle of vinegar in the women's locker room. Apparently, she had a marginal sense of smell, because the vinegar fumes caused other women to flee the locker room with their eyes watering - and the smell of vinegar remained present throughout the 115,000-square-foot facility for several hours. Although we requested she continue her vinegar showers at home, throughout her membership, staff periodically got a whiff of vinegar wafting through the building… Cathy LisowskiCardiopulmonary Rehabilitation & Clinical Services SupervisorThe Summit Medical Fitness CenterKalispell, Mont.
We've had the hanging-upside-down-from-a-pull-up-bar trick, and the member was going to quit after we informed him that was an exercise we do not permit at our facility. And then there was the individual doing shoulder presses while walking on the treadmill. We caught him within seconds after he began exercising - but not before he dropped a weight and it shot off the back of the treadmill. Fortunately, in both instances, the only things hurt were the members' egos.Craig DavicFitness Supervisor University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Hamot Wellness CenterErie, Pa.