Saturday, April 21, 2012

Should I stay or should I go?
On Friday I barely got up in time to help this woman who suffers from dizzy spells who came for a massage at Happy gym. Since she couldn't lie down to get the massage I mostly gave her a Bioenergy treatment and she was better almost instantly. I came home and went back to sleep until it was time for me teach again.

After my second class of the day at Happy Gym it was time to go back to Olympia Club, where everyone was hungover and woozy from the night of chaotic snobby merriment at the Disney Zumba castle. Up in the classroom, Francesco, another unhappy coworker who had just jumped ship for the even snobbier Ego Club, came by to say hi to me. I was trying to tell him that I would call him to catch up on his latest adventures because it was time for class to start when the giant body builder Luca came in. He told me that my boss Elena, whose smile has started to remind me more and more of that blandished by Cruella DeVille from 101 Dalmatians, needed to see me. Now. I knocked over my water bottle just barely missing the odious sign in sheet where you have to keep track of how many students came to you that day and the stereo system.

After a brief mop up I ran to Elena who had me sign yet another legal form in Italian that might as well have been in Cantonese for the amount of sense it made to me and who handed me my pay envelope. "By the way," I asked, "my class time was reduced after the first introductory lesson from one hour to forty five minutes, but I am getting paid the sixteen euros that you promised me, right?"  "Nope", she answered. "We paid you for forty five minutes like everybody else. And the form that you just signed has to do with what we then took out for taxes." "That is a problem," I said "How shall we resolve it?" she asked with a giant fitness teacher eating grin on her face. "I don't know . . . I guess you have to pay me more," I replied. "Hmmn. We'll talk about it on Monday," she said, knowing full well that she would make me wait for hours while she gives her endless tours of her fitness factory until it was time for me to teach like all the other times.

The lesson went better than expected. In addition to my client 007 and the kite surfing guy I had another young man and six women, including one of the young ladies who works at reception. I did all of the leg exercises as if we were surfers which made the whole thing seem less effeminate somehow. We got through the Michael Jackson number on the fumes of my enthusiasm alone.  On the rainy run from the car to the house, I remembered that I hadn't seen Elena's personal assistant at work today so I called her cell phone to tell her that I wanted a real appointment with Elena on Monday or else I would be resigning. She said she would make it so.

Just as I was about to head out with F to our friends' Cristina and Simon's house for an apertivo I realized that I had signed a contract with Olympia Club whose terms were a mystery to me. T did my hair and picked out my clothes so that I could fly through the night back to Happy gym where when of my coworkers who recently quit Olympia Club said she would tell me what I had signed. Needless to say it was raining again. She said that with the deductions I had been working all this time for about 9 euros an hour and that my contract was up in June in any case. I will probably never get Sala Zeus, the big class room at a good rush hour time because it is taken already, she noted, and the Sala Apollo is just sad. Poor Apollo.

It was weird to go under the walls of the city through the cobbled walkways with the sounds of my clicking boot heels the only sound like Cinderella underground. F was waiting for me at the top. I always think I'm about to get jumped or mugged in these instances but then I remember I'm not in New York anymore. We had a great dinner and stayed out till 1 AM with our new friends.





Right as I was about to fall asleep I jumped up to open the envelope from the Olympia Club to count how much money was in it. Inside the sopping wet envelope was a dry wad of cash. I had filled out my request form with the amount I thought I deserved and that is exactly what they had given me. Not even one deduction taken away. Did Elena say one thing and do another? Did the person who counted the money out not check the zillions of sign in sheets I had to sign to make sure that I worked all the time slots I said I did? Will she let me go on Monday or pay me more to have me stay? I don't know, but I have four hours of pilates training awaiting me at LIFE fitness and I haven't eaten yet. Stay tuned.

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