Saturday, December 17, 2011

You're Not Breaking Up With Me! I'm Breaking Up With YOU!

For those of you out there like me, who have ever wondered how you could possibly get out of going to the gym with your boyfriend and instead sit on the couch eating chocolates you brought back from Canada while watching Glee re-runs, I have the solution.  Write a letter of complaint.  Who knew it was a sure-fire way of getting yourself booted from your gym and having your membership revoked?  Not this gal!  The following is the e-mail communication between Dustin Buckthal, the owner of The Front climbing gym, and myself. 


 I'm told these e-mails go straight to you so I'll address my complaint to you.  I've waited 24 hours to even write this to give me time to chill out but I'm still pissed as hell.   Last night was the second time I've tried to work out using your treadmill only to have the breaker trip and get jerked abruptly off the treadmill.  The first time it happened, someone downstairs was notified who said they'd take care of it.  I waited a little longer than 10 minutes before I thought "fuck this" and left. 

 Last night, all three treadmills were in use again and the breaker tripped, startling the hell out of all three of us.  This time I waited until they started up again.  Less than 5 minutes into my run, it happened again.  Now I'm pissed and ready to go.  My friend I carpooled with wasn't.  He convinced me to stay and he got on the bike instead of the treadmill to avoid it happening again.  I was able to get a consistent 15 minutes of running in before someone else hopped onto the third treadmill.  I was not about to get jerked off the damn thing for a third time in one night so I gave up and read City Weekly while fuming and waited for my friend. 

  I pay $60/month to a gym where I can't even use the equipment?  Are you fucking kidding me?  Last night was the second time I wasted my evening and my gas by going to your gym and left feeling like I wanted to punch a baby.  I go there to help alleviate my stress.  Not CAUSE it.  With the days getting shorter there's only going to be more and more people wanting to use the treadmills.In keeping with my schedule, I'm supposed to go there tomorrow night for cardio.  I'm not wasting my time again but now what?  Jog in place in my living room while watching Maury Povich reruns and cursing the fact I don't have cable?  Or run outside and risk a hefty hospital bill after the inevitable frostbite ensues?   I can't afford a hefty hospital bill and I can't afford two separate gym memberships.  One for climbing and one for cardio.   I live less than 5 minutes from Rockreation.  I don't want a membership to Rockreation.  I like The Front.  I like the atmosphere.  I love your staff.  They really are the best.  I like climbing here but please.  For the love of everything American and holy.  Fix your shit!


Wow. You definitely do need a stress relief, but I don't think running is going to do it.
The problem is power.  We're running another circuit to the treadmills on Friday.
You might consider raising issues you have earlier so they don't effect you so greatly. It's really not good for your health otherwise.  We also offer great yoga classes, at no extra charge.  Perhaps that would help.


Your ability to deflect the real issue (i.e. your power problem) and make it my issue (keeping in good health)is astounding.  Not only that, you didn’t even use the word “effect” properly. (Fyi… it should be ‘affect’ with an ‘a’).  May I suggest a language and grammar course for you?  Perhaps that would help.

In the meantime, I look forward to running on a properly working treadmill once you get your power problems under control.

Good day.

Really? Criticizing my grammar is your response?  Aren’t you too old to be swearing in emails like that?  I think you’d be happier elsewhere. There is always going to be issues at the gym, and I don’t really care to put up with such aggressive complaints.  It’s not good for my health.  I’ll go ahead and cancel your membership for you, starting Dec 10th.


As a business owner I would think you are tough-skinned enough to handle complaints.  Nothing about my complaint was aggressive, I didn’t come in physically swinging bats at you, I simply wrote up an email outlining the frustrations that many of your customers were experiencing, not just me.  It seems you would, as a business owner, be appreciative that I took the time to voice my complaint so you could be aware of your customer’s concerns.  It sounds as though you heard my complaint and are taking steps to rectify the power problem.  You are to be commended for that.  As previously noted, I don’t want a membership at another gym so I would prefer my current membership be left as it is.  I only wanted the power problem resolved, which you are in the process of resolving so it seems we both have a win/win.  You have happy, paying customers, and we both have our good health.


Italics.  Odd. 
I’m a business owner that appreciates feedback, but has no patience for disrespect.  Perhaps you should come in to the gym and read that email to me, and tell me how it sounds then. 
The problem was scheduled for resolution far before your irate email.
Rockreation is a fine gym, conveniently located for you, and perhaps they’ll do a better job at keeping your blood pressure below 230.

Hi Dustin,

I find it odd that you find italics odd.  That particular typography style has been around for quite some time.  I would think you've seen it before now.  Perhaps if I had drawn some figures in the dirt with a stick while grunting?  I do apologize for getting all crazy and changing up the typeface on you like that.  I'll try to be more consistent in the future.  But that's neither here nor there, as I wanted to let you know what I find REALLY odd.

I find it bizarrely odd that you would extend an invitation to meet you at the gym to read over one of my e-mails, and then not even have the decent courtesy to show up.  That's just bad form Dusty.  Even from you.  Perhaps once you return to town?

I'm available most nights other than Mondays or Wednesdays.  Those nights are set aside for my LARPing team.  The game master has insisted on more realistic weapons for the next battle.  You would not BELIEVE the difficulty and skill level involved in creating a spiked skull mace out of foam.  It's quite the commitment.

Anyhoo, looking forward to meeting with you upon your return.

Safe travels!

At least you admit you are crazy, but I missed the part when I told you I would wait indefinitely at the gym for you. I’m sorry you thought I would.  Unfortunately, being that it is the 10th, your membership is now terminated, and since you are not welcome at the gym, we won’t have the opportunity to have this reading.  No soup for you.  Enjoy Rockreation.

Dearest Dusty,

What’s this?  A minor semblance of a sense of humor trying to peek through?  No, that can’t be right.  You’ve already proven you don’t have one.  You are, however, to be commended.  Grudgingly so, but commended nonetheless.  Portraying yourself as a Nazi, possibly the most abhorred, despised, and loathsome people in the history of the world, was spot-on.  At first I found it to be a little harsher than necessary but after further consideration, realized you probably know yourself better than anyone. Who am I to argue with your own self assessment?  If you wish to be perceived as a gym Nazi.  So be it.

One can only assume it’s because of this personality flaw that you are so severely lacking when it comes to your customer service skills.  Your response to my original complaint was weak and your blatant disregard for the safety and well being of your clientele, alarming.  And so, in the spirit of Christmas, I’ve taken the liberty of composing an apology e-mail on your behalf.  All that is required of you is a signature.  In the event  you find this beyond your literary skill set ,a simple X will suffice.  Let’s begin, shall we?

Dear Revered Customer,

Thank you so much for bringing this to my attention.  While I was already aware of the problem before receiving your request for improvement, I had not taken the steps necessary to remedy the situation.  I will do so now. 

I am gratified to hear that no harm has come to you or others patronizing my gym as a result of my negligence.  In the future I will strive to make the gym as safe and enjoyable as possible for my customers.  I value your membership and as such would like to offer you a month free of charge. Nay, make that a year!

I hope that you will accept my token of apology and I look forward to any future suggestions you may have to offer.


The Gym Nazi

Thank you Dusty.  I accept.  Feel free to use this as a standard letter of apology in the unlikely event that you ever receive another complaint.

You’re welcome.

It’s been a few days and I have yet to hear back from him.  I can’t help but feel like he’s trying to break up with me.  Maybe I’m reading more into this than I should be.  He probably just needs another day…or two to cool off.  I feel like we really had something.  Maybe the letter he receives from the Better Business Bureau on my behalf will be just the sort of cue needed that will enable him to express his true feelings towards me.  *sigh*  Men.   


  1. I don't think your letter was out of line. I get worse from customers at my job every single day because of the high turnover rate, like that is my problem, I'm the new person. That guy needs to learn to address the issues at his gym. I worked at a gym for 3 years while in college and if something was broken, we'd have it repaired immediately or shut if off and put a sign that you can't use it. How would he have felt if the treadmill abruptly turned off, you were injured, and then you were suing him. Fix your shit, Dustin.

  2. He even looks like a douche. I'm submitting him to Urban Dictionary as the picture example.

  3. LOL "I've got a hand." "And you're gonna need it." Oh snap.

    Not an unreasonable issue to be complaining about and I agree - a business owner needs a way tougher skin than that. Good grief.

    Guaranteed you weren't the only person pissed off by this issue...just the only one who had the misfortune to complain.

    Clearly he has never had anything resembling customer service training in his life. Politely resolving an issue regardless of the customer's attitude and making the customer feel understood and respected is pretty basic.

  4. I kind of want to piss you off so we can get in our own email war. You are damn clever.

  5. Yeah, Dustin really needs to get his shit together, it seems.

  6. Wow, Dustin has the sense of humor of a Holocaust museum! LIghten up man!

  7. I. Love. Everything. About. This. AHMAZING. You are definitely my hero, and way to sock it to the man with the "affect"/"effect" thing.

  8. I can't believe he continued to respond. What an insecure little catheter bag. It's embarrassing for him to not learn what it means to be a business owner, and pathetic. The lack of professionalism alone seems to underlie an insecurity that would cripple him from being a productive manager. What a sad little ass-bag (the leftovers of an enema).

  9. I think he's hot for you. He's just trying to throw you off since he knows flirting with customers is a big no-no. He just wants you to go to another gym so there is not conflict of interest.

  10. If you or another customer had been hurt and were suing the company- you bet his ass he would be scrambling like Hell to make ammends.

    Love the apology letter! Funniest part about it? You can continue to smile and reply, keeping it going like a cat playing with a mouse, for as long as you want.

    He will reply. You know he will. Because he is such a douchewad, he just feels the need to get the last word in. He even looks like a prick and probably hasn't been laid in a really, Really, REALLY long time... Any bets he won't be getting any, any time soon either?

  11. Fix your shit... I love that. If I was going to get a tat, that's what it'd be.

  12. Jordan- That's one good thing about being the new girl, most things aren't your problem. :) This, however, is definitely his problem. And unless he was getting sued, he wouldn't give a crap. Fix your shit!

    Joshua- I love it! But can we make it dick-douche?

    Ixy- I learned my lesson. It's best to just suffer in silence and hope it gets resolved. Pfft. Who am I kidding? I couldn't keep my mouth shut if I were paid...with a yearly pass even!

    Wow- I think we could come to a mutually agreeable arrangement. And yeah, so clever I got myself kicked out of a gym.

  13. Dylan- In more ways than one.

    TriGirl- So it would seem. :) :) :) I feel like such a juvenile but ah well. I'm okay with it.

    Princess- Now THAT is funny.

    Alyx- Thank you, but I feel it necessary to point out that there is not actually an "H" in the spelling of amazing.
    I'm totally kidding. :)

    Pickleope- I don't think I will ever get used to your use of words. Seriously. And really, enema bag leftovers? Just ew.

    Mrs. Tuna- Ahhh I see! It's all coming together. I'm going to rush down to the gym right now to let him know it's alright for us to be together now! Actually...I wonder what his reaction would be. I've kind of always wanted to be on T.V. and the 5 o'clock news could be just the ticket!

    Pixie- I hope he replies. It was just getting fun. And yeah, I don't really see him getting much play any time soon. It's tough enough for us female gingers. I can only imagine the sexual duress of a male ginger trying to get it on. Just don't see it happening.

    B.B.- You made me snort. Thank you for that.

  14. This just proves how awesome you are.

    Oh and I agree with Joshua; the man even looks like a douche LOL!

  15. Hahahhaha I absolutely loved reading this exchange. As someone who is uncoordinated when there is not a power problem, I certainly wouldn't appreciate that gym.

    I don't think you were out of line, just clearly angry. However, I will admit that I snickered a little about his passive aggressive "free yoga classes" comment. As unprofessional as it was, I liked that he had a little bit of bite back. Made for a good read!

  16. Off topic VV Darling...
    Merry Christmas! May your stocking be filled with lots of berry colored lipsticks... wait a second... that's MY stocking! xoxo

  17. I'm embarrassed for you. I'm definitely Team Dustin on this one. Sorry.

    PS: Picking out other people's grammar mistakes really does not make you look smarter... It just makes you look immature and classless.

  18. Elizabeth- Joshua's pretty spot-on with most things...including this one. :)

    Gia- I hate to admit it, but I snickered as well. After calling him a few choice names, of course.

    C OC M- Merry Belated Christmas to you as well. I hope you received all the gorgeous lipsticks you can possibly endure.

    Amy- Apology accepted. We're all entitled to our matter how wrong they may be.

  19. You. are. awesome! I love your letters and Dusty is obviously a business moron.

  20. Wow, what a jackass. Dusty, not you, obviously. He absolutely should have been concerned about the safety of his clients! Instead, he had to be a snide dick intent on getting into an email war. I bet he's short. In the pants. Sorry you lost the membership you preferred.

  21. Jessica- Sadly, it was worth it. And I say sadly because this comment just shows how petty I can be myself.

  22. Sorry for the delayed response on this...

    Let me get this straight; you write a 400+ word grievance about wanting the power fixed to the treadmills at your gym. You rant about the experience with the treadmills leaving you wanting to hit babies, having to watch Maury Povich, and fearful of frostbite. Yet you expected a serious, business-like reply giving you a free year membership for your hardship. You don’t get that, and after a series of email-war exchanges, the owner cancels your membership, and now you feel this is the worst example of customer server ever experienced by mankind. That sum it up?

    Let me guess, in your little self-centered world, business owners are like whores; you’ve paid them for a service, now you’re entitled to belittle, mock, and abuse them in any fashion you’d like, and they just have to be ‘tough-skinned’ to take it?

    It looks like you get a reply from the owner, in less then an hour, stating the problem IS being fixed plus a little lip matching the absurdness of your original letter, and you focus NOT on the ‘it’s being fixed’ but that I’m ‘deflecting the issue’ – what the fuck… I said it was being fixed! In two days! And then you correct my grammar. Hmmm, nice touch – that’ll obtain some rightful respect!

    Look, you seem like a smart, intelligent (yet misdirected) individual. Yet you are clearly clueless on human nature.

    Here’s a tip; write a clear, concise and factual complaint letter, and you’ll be treated the same. Write something like you’re writing to your blog and you might receive any kind of a response… but, ‘for the love of everything American and holy’, accept what you dish out!

    I’m just trying to run a business, but I have to deal with petty, self-proclaimed assholes like you. Yeah, my original response should have ignored the frivolous color of your complaint, and I should have sucked-up to you sufficiently to meet your stature in society. But I didn’t. Take some responsibility for what you started.

    But, I’m guessing you’re thinking of some witty response to this. Fine. Write it. But then, please get back to your blog. I particularly enjoyed the one with close-up images of toilets with shit on them, and you asking the perpetrator to crap somewhere other than on your floor at the office. Priceless. You’ve found your calling; pictures of toilets with shit… but next time, put your head a little lower for that picture, and then flush…

  23. Whoah whoah!! Wait just one damn minute there Dusty!

    What are you saying? Are you seriously saying that I am NOT, in fact, getting that free year long membership???

    You were an only child, weren't you?

  24. Wow. And you truly are vapid...aren't you?

  25. @ Kudra... I personally think she is anything but vapid. I mean, this post was pretty stimulating AND challenging, and if you know the definition of vapid, you would know that it's exactly the opposite.

    I for one, enjoyed this email war, and am elated to see that Dustin searched you out and replied via the blog. I also appreciate that he took the time to blog stalk VV long enough to bring other posts into the conversation.

  26. Ouch. Nice touch. Deflect the conversation to… ‘you were an only child’ This is a good point, this explains he’s… he’s… wait, what does it explain? You’re saying all single children are somehow flawed. And this flaw that all single children have is?

    Look, I didn’t hear you explain or justify any of your actions; why a 400 word diatribe was appropriate, or why you decided to ignore the owners ‘it’s being fixed’ in his original email. You offered just a deflection (which interesting enough, was you’re complaint of his original response).

    I can only assume that a lack of justification means you have none. Admission by omission.

    Given that, you need to do the adult thing… which, and I’m sure will be a stretch for you, un-do this chain of blog, bulletin-board, Yelp! and God-only-knows places you’ve used as a soap box to air your insufferable injustice. Then write an apology.

    If not, then please explain why you think his actions warrant him loosing any customer other than you – I can only assume that was your intent when you made Yelp! and local climbing bulletin board entries criticizing the gym’s customer service.

    Your blog is one thing, but once you attempt to affect (is that the correct usage, bitch?) his income or his employees jobs by your frivolous, petty, actions, you’re crossed a line.

    A friend to business owners everywhere.

  27. Kudra- Is that a rhetorical question?

    Alyx- "...and if you know the definition of vapid..." You have no idea how much this made me laugh simply because I was thinking the same thing. Big hugs!!

    Anon- What's to explain or justify? The simple fact of the matter is, I wrote a letter of complaint and had my membership revoked for it.

    Perhaps I should have gone the cowardly route and sent it anonymously.

    Yelp and google reviews are in place for both good AND bad reviews. That's the whole purpose. So on that point we'll just have to agree to disagree mmmkay?

    Now then, how bout a rousing verse of Kumbaya? Yes??

  28. Oh, there is always a deflection isn’t there. Being anonymous is it this time. Excuse me, mowgli, that’s your real name? Your boy friend? Right (I’d guess you know definition of hypocrite, just can't quite see it in youself). Maybe I just don’t want you writing bad reviews of my business for simply standing up to you and your nonsense.

    Online reviews work only when the reviewer’s aren’t spoiled, petty, and vindictive – and report on a real experience. You got slapped for being a smart-ass. The online reviews were your only revenge.

    You explain this as; ‘I wrote a letter of complaint and had my membership revoked for it’. That’s your story! Had you wrote the complaint with such brevity we wouldn’t be having this exchange. You don’t remember the ‘punching babies’, ‘Maury Povich reruns’… ‘frostbite’, ‘for the love of everything American and holy’, ‘deflect the real issue’, the grammar lesson... No. How convenient. (if reality doesn’t make you perfect, your memory will)

    And finally, 'Kumbaya'. Holly mother of fuck… you really don’t get it do you. Just one big joke… The owner of this business does not deserve to lose a single customer (except you) over your contrived experience. (I’ll remind you, cause I see you have a ‘convenient’ memory… he said the treadmill was being fixed in his first response; you just wanted to be argumentative and clever, and he didn’t suck up to you in whatever expectation you had for your bitch).

    Your position and actions are indefensible.

    Un-do your wrong.

  29. Thank you 'Anonymous' for the reality check provided to the bloggess. The gym is a better place w/o such toxic people and those that support her pathetic "woe is me" diatribes; easy to judge when you only know half the story. I happen to know the owner of the Front quite well. No, he's not perfect, but he's running a climbing club, not a kiss-the customers-ass club. And way to go everyone for throwing the "if you were suing him for injury" line. It's people like you that are ruining society. Peace.

  30. Anon-
    Here’s the thing ding-a-ling. Anyone who actually thinks another person is really going to punch a baby, incur frostbite from running outdoors or worst of all, actually watch an episode of Maury Povich, (is that even still on?) doesn’t deserve a real response. However, since you’ve taken the time to get all riled up and figured out the correct spelling of “lose”, that deserves something, doesn’t it? Yes, I gave the gym bad reviews because that’s been my experience. Dusty was kind enough to provide the link to the e-mail string under my review. If anyone actually takes the time to read it and thinks Dustin’s responses were appropriate as a business owner, then he won’t be “loosing” any customers and has nothing to worry about. I could simply delete Dustin’s comments as well as yours or any others that are negative but what fun would that be? If I’m going to publicly make a complaint, anyone reading should be allowed to see both sides.
    And yes, my real name is Mowgli. Well done Murder She Wrote. Oh wait, did you finally discover sarcasm? Holly mother of fuck! So, I’m assuming that’s a no on the sing-a-long? *sigh* Should have known someone so humorless wouldn’t like music

  31. Agnes- Shalom. And may be be unto you.

  32. Not bad, you almost made it through an exchange without being condescending and patronizing. Almost.

    Never-the-less, I think we’re getting somewhere. Thanks for clarifying that your original complaint contained sarcasm. Just my point. And, here’s the stretch for you, sarcasm is not an appropriate way for an adult to write a complaint letter; and if you do use sarcasm, it’s possible you might receive some in return.

    Let’s just review the owner’s initial response after receiving your self-admitted sarcastic complaint:

    Wow. You definitely do need a stress relief, but I don't think running is going to do it.
    The problem is power. We're running another circuit to the treadmills on Friday.
    You might consider raising issues you have earlier so they don't effect you so greatly. It's really not good for your health otherwise. We also offer great yoga classes, at no extra charge. Perhaps that would help.

    Wow, you’re right. That is really disrespectful and he totally deflected the real issue. This guy is a total a-hole. (hint: that was sarcasm).

    (I’d guess that the owner has learned a lesson here; never attempt humor with a customer. I think in his last replay he admitted his response was probably inappropriate. btw, this is what adults do when they make a mistake, they admit the error)

    However, what happened next was you got your pretend world of blogs, where words have no consequence, confused with the real, adult world, were what we do and says has consequences. You continued to interact with the owner as if you were in your pretend blog-land; snappy comebacks, making fun of his grammar, his use of fonts. He got tried of it; probably had some adult business owner thing to do, like payroll, or his investors, or dealing with an employee. He thinks ‘ding’; I don’t have time to deal with this apparent lunatic. I told her it was being fixed. She didn’t accept it. She needs to go away; I have other things to do. See, he wasn't in blog-land.

    Blissfully you continue in blog-land, criticizing whatever flaw you can find; apparently unaware that you were talking to an adult human.

    Ok, are you sitting down. I understand you had a bad customer experience; when an adult takes a toy away from a child because they were misbehaving, the child has a bad experience. You had an unpleasant outcome; you didn’t get your way.

    Now, instead of rationally accepting that maybe you acted inappropriately, you do what any child would do; you return to your pretend world where your friends live and seek affirmation of your actions. Which I’m OK with.

    But then you published your ‘I had a bad experience’ on real-world review sites; where the reader expect that they are reading a review from an adult. And you make it palatable by condensing it to ‘The simple fact of the matter is, I wrote a letter of complaint and had my membership revoked for it.’ You left out some salient facts, and the readers might not wade thru all this crap on your blog find the real facts.

    Your goal was for him to lose customers because he reprimanded you and took away your toy. What you did was wrong. You need to un-do your wrong.

  33. Peace will be with me soon; I know you'll do the right thing.

  34. Wow Anon. As a business owner yourself, don't YOU have more important things to do like payroll, and deal with investors or employees?

  35. Anon- Your barrage of nonsense has really helped clear the fog and I see now how your opinion is the only correct point of view. Which naturally leaves me no choice but to “do the right thing”. So here’s what I propose. I’ll apologize for saying Dusty is a petty little man, if you’ll apologize for subjecting me to your repeated slaughtering of the English language. Reading through to the end of one of your comments is an assault on the eyes. Although well done on cracking open the Thesaurus for “salient”. Also, I noticed you forgot to include what I can only assume is your term of endearment for me. After all, how will I know it’s really you? Feel free to add bitch in a postscript.

  36. Ash- This provides a bit of insight as to how well their business must be doing.

  37. AnomalisticAsh – Nope, nothing better. Vapid Vixen is my new project. (Although she appears to the definition of a hopeless cause. btw, the gym is not my business. Another false assumption of the Vix).

    Vixen – Ok, thanks for the feedback on my writing. Sorry to inform you that this is not news to me, nor particularly important, but I’ll work on it.

    Was that a real offer to apologize? Sounded a little disingenuous and sarcastic. His name is Dustin, not Dusty. More juvenile attempts to mock and deflect the discussion because you really can’t defend your position?

    I know; this is blog-land. Witty and clever is the raison d’etre. But, as you know, I’m not talking about blog-land, I want to talk about the real-world where adults live.

    I’m wondering if it's possible for you to have a coherent discussion? Or just more immature name calling? (You know, your style only reaffirms my previously stated opinion of your maturity level.)

    And finally, ‘term of endearment’? I’m a little confused; did I use the word ‘bitch’ improperly? The dictionary read: ‘a term of contempt applied to a woman, conveying a judgement that she or her behaviors are despicable, disagreeable’. I’ll have to apologize, if thru my poor writing skills, I gave you the impression your actions are anywhere near admirable and accurate.

    Looking forward to reading you latest assessment on my writing skills and more of your sarcastic comments used to avoid any hint of maturity.

    You know, it just occurred to me that Dustin never had a chance did he? Just the act of his initial reply, it really didn’t matter what the reply was, sucked him into this hell hole of meaningless, circular exchanges. He, like myself, were totally unprepared to communicate with someone whose only interest is to create a forum to ridicule others and demonstrate their own superiority.

    Does this blog-land persona spill over into your real life? Oh, maybe blog-land is to overcome some real-life issues. You know – kick the dog. Hmmm. I gotta stop this train of thought, pretty soon I might actually feel sorry for you. And then what fun would we have?

  38. Oh, did I miss your explanation why a 400+ word self-admitted sarcastic email is an appropriate way to write a business complaint letter? Could you enlighten us?

  39. Congratulations. You have officially bored me to death.

  40. Is it wrong that I'm totally picturing "Anonymous" as Comic Book Guy?

  41. Good Morning V. Ohhhh, I love the smell of boredom in the morning. And I bet you’re bored. Once your target becomes immune to your insults, you really don’t have much to contribute. Do you?

    You have no direct answer to why a 400+ word sarcastic email is appropriate in business communications. Do you?

    You can’t explain why ‘… The problem is power. We're running another circuit to the treadmills on Friday.’ is deflecting the issue. Can you?

    Over the years, I’ve had to work with bullies like you. Yes, bully. You lured him into a fight simply to ridicule him and prove your superiority.

    The thing with bullies is their ego won’t let them admit a mistake – particularly in front of their peers. They just look for some hole to hide in until they can find another victim.

    Again, I don’t care what happens in blog-land, where words have no consequent. But, you crossed over to the real-world and posted unjust reviews. You need to correct these.

    Oh, by the way, that’s not boredom you’re feeling. You’re just looking for a place to hide.

    Crystal – No comic books. (Was that indented to be some kind of insult? Didn’t work, but you’re hanging out in the right place. The V is very good at insults. I’m sure you can learn something from her.)

  42. Perhaps it's not boredom, Anon. Maybe she just wants you to shut the fuck up.

  43. AnomalisticAsh - Oh, I’m sure she does. I can imagine she’s feeling quite uncomfortable. And as soon as she undoes her wrong, believe me; I’m outta this shit hole.

    Since she appears to have gone mute, maybe you can help her answer my two questions.

    If not, I was wondering - you appear to be her only supporter left, (if there are more out there, please speak up, I’d like to hear from you also) maybe you can explain something for me.

    V is clearly intelligent, witty, and very clever (particularly in her ability to ridicule and deflect a conversation). But she’s a bully. She picks on people only to humiliate, belittle and abuse them.

    Why do you support this behavior? If you were to witness someone being bullied in real-life, would you encourage it, laugh at the target, what? What makes it occurring in a blog any different?

  44. If you have a problem with bullying, you should also have a problem with harassment. You are, for all intensive purposes harassing VV. And while I can't answer your questions, because I am not VV, I can tell you that your behavior is just as immature as you deem hers is.
    If you witnessed someone being harassed in real life, would you encourage it?
    Harassment covers a wide range of behaviors of an offensive nature. It is commonly understood as behavior intended to disturb or upset, and it is characteristically repetitive.
    Your constant barrage of whining is unnerving, I can only hope you don’t corner people like this in real life and pester them to do as you bid.
    You disagree with the way she handled the situation, we get it. Now go back to your online forums and chats where perhaps your repetitive yapping will yield some results for you.
    You won't get them here.

  45. Crystal- That made me laugh. Now each of his posts must be read in that voice.

    Anon- Your idiocy really has no bounds, does it? When did I insinuate you're Dusty or that you ran a gym? But now that you mention it... Pay attention! And please, start paying attention to what you're actually writing. Do you even look at what you're typing? It's deplorably naive for you to think simple grammar and spelling are not "particularly important". Are you TRYING to portray yourself as uneducated and ignorant?

    What is with your fixation on the 400+ word count? Does it matter how many words I use in an e-mail and please tell me you didn't actually take the time to figure that out.

    Are you really so obtuse that you felt the need to explain "term of endearment" to me? Funny that you should mention name calling as it seems you're projecting with this particular accusation. Other than calling him petty, which is an adjective by the way, I don't recall any name calling on my part. You, on the other hand, have not chosen to refrain.

    I think you mentioned wondering how getting the power fixed is deflecting the issue. You are beyond ridiculous if you're failing to see that that was not what I was referring to.

    As much fun as this has been cringing my way through each of your poorly composed comments, I've realized you have absolutely nothing to offer. You don't understand sarcasm, you've not posted anything original since your first comment, and you're irrelevant.

    I've had better mental stimulation getting a cavity filled at the dentist than from attempting to communicate with you. You're mentally impotent and I can't fathom having any further reason to bother with you.

    In case you're not catching on to what I'm trying to say, you're a total fucking idiot and a waste of time.

    Looks like you can put me down for name calling after all.

  46. Ash- Good things come in small packages and pack a powerful punch. You make me happy.

  47. AnomalisticAsh - You have a good point. But this is cyber-world, I really can’t take her to the principal’s office or call her mother, now can I?

    If you review my first post, you’ll see I asked to explain her position and correct her wrong. Her explanation was: “The simple fact of the matter is, I wrote a letter of complaint and had my membership revoked for it.” Her denial. This is clearly an absurd over simplification if you’ve bothered to read the details. Then, in her typical style, she attacks me as a coward and mocked my opinion with an offer to sing Kumbaya.

    She wanted a fight… again. I gave it to her. I’m not particularly proud of my actions, nor do I want to do this. But how do you stop an online bully? (That’s not a rhetorical question) And, I’m only repetitive because she refuses to answer my direct questions to simply provide a serious explanation why a 400+ word sarcastic… and how he deflected … (sorry, being repetitive again).

    But, to answer your question; yes, I’d do whatever in my power, including harassment, to stop someone from abusing another human. And you?

    However, I believe you’ve confused harassment with persistence: “persisting, especially in spite of opposition, obstacles, discouragement”.

    Your post chastised me for my actions; I didn’t see any comment about V’s. Can I assume you don’t disapprove of her behavior and treatment of the gym owner? (or other subjects in her blog).

    V – Oh, I see you crawled out from under your rock. Feel better?

  48. I feel like my use of harassment was correct.
    And I find it interesting that you are using harassment to thwart bullying.
    You are doing the same thing to her that you reprimand her for doing to someone else. Doesn't that make you sort of a hypocrite? And how DO you stop online an online bully? By meeting their bullying with more bullying? You sure do have a funny way of doing things.
    You say you don’t like doing this, so don’t. Your “help” is not needed here. Dustin has obviously been able to let it go, you should too. I can’t see how a business owner like you doesn’t have better, more pressing things to do than write however many word diatribes on how you think someone hurt someone else’s feelings and now you’re mad and want them to apologize.
    Regardless of how VV wrote her letter of complaint, Dustin should have taken the high road and written back with a kindly worded response. He didn’t need to suck up, but he didn’t need to mock her either, and anyone who has worked in a customer service environment would know that.
    I am sure if he hadn’t responded the way he did, this whole thing would never have happened, and you would be off harassing some other blogger.
    May I suggest that you find a better outlet for your blog induced anger? Perhaps instead of spending all your time waiting for VV's next witty response, you should put your energy into something more productive, like volunteering, or knitting, or running your business, which I hope is more successful than this “project” of yours.

  49. V – Wow, I am really in your head, aren’t I? I can see your personal battle between guilt and your ego is killing you. Alright, I admit I’m wrong, I clearly under estimated any level of rational, adult behavior on your part. Actually, I’m now a little worried you’re going to blow a gasket and do something truly juvenile. Tell you what. You move your last post, Jan 31, 11:00am, (by the way, it was very good) up to the beginning of this, so that it is the first thing a visitor reads, and I’ll consider my job here done. OK?

    AnomalisticAsh – thank you for a logical and coherent response… and minimizing your personal attack on me (this is not sarcasm).

    First, I don’t believe, nor have I stated, the owner is without error. Yes, this could have been stopped at many points along the way. But the initial complaint set the tone of the interactions. And I now firmly believe V, after being a victim of her blog-land style, wanted to start a forum to demonstrate her superiority and belittle the gym owner – bully him. She got slapped when he terminated her membership – which is within his rights.

    Now, here is the ONLY part I am truly interest in; she (and possibly her boy friend) wrote abbreviated reviews on public forums stating she wrote a complaint and was terminated for it. This is NOT true – she was terminated because she was a smart-ass (read degrade and mock) to the owner. I want her to fix these reviews. That’s it! (and if you dispute this, lets ask Dustin why he terminated her membership)

    But, in the absence of undoing her posts, I needed to discredit her as fair and impartial reviewer. (It wasn’t that hard, she does it to herself, she is truly an angry person who needs professional help)

    And it’s persistence – with technique…

    All this bullying stuff is only an observation of her behavior to support my assertion she was abusive to the owner – which she continues to demonstrate with ease by attempting to degrade, attack, mock, and ridicule me. (I’m surprised other adults actually tolerate yet alone support this).

    Second, you explained how my response is inappropriate to address her bullying (that’s fair), but you failed to tell me how I should approach it. (Oh, yeah, you said go away). You admit she’s a bully; you just don’t want to confront it. Well, as you can see, your support only led to another, another, what, how would you describe her last tirade – adult, rational, logical, thoughtful?

    Her bullying will only stop when she loses support from her peers - like you. But, I really don’t care what happens in blog-land, but she should learn to behave like an adult in the real-world… and fix her inaccurate posts.

    Oh, one more. … I hate bullies. Once I realized what she was doing, I just wanted to fuck with her head. Mission accomplished.

  50. Oh snap Anon! You are so tough. You got her so good! Let us all cower at your keyboard.

  51. I'm a brand new reader, so I’m not a blogger who is on VV’s side just to support a friend. I just want to say that I completely understood the humor in the original email to the owner.

    I honestly believe VV was trying to lighten the mood and her upset by being funny. May have been a little out there as far as a letter of complaint, but many people use sarcasm as a form of "funny." I also honestly believe that she had every right to be upset, and every right to complain. I can see where swearing might have been offensive to some, but not so offensive as to disregard the original complaint. Being jerked off of the treadmill is dangerous! It didn't happen just once, and it didn't happen to just one person! At my gym, we have several older people who exercise and use the treadmills - also, several people with canes and serious leg problems. They are trying to strengthen their legs walking on the treadmill as suggested by physical therapists. Had one of them been on a treadmill that jerked to a stop unexpectedly, they would most likely have fallen, and been seriously injured! My gosh I would think the owner would appreciate having such a dangerous situation being brought to his attention – not only avoiding an injury but also avoiding a potential lawsuit!

    Even if Dustin didn’t appreciate her attempt at diffusing the situation with a little silliness, he should have definitely responded better!

    I believe all that VV was looking for was a quick - "Thanks for letting me know, sorry you were startled, thank goodness you didn't get hurt. We'll take care of the matter." Based on her original email, I didn’t get the vibe that she was looking for ass kissing. Or a free membership - I took all of those comments as facetious. I would assume most people would?

    Personally, I felt that Dustin's response was pretty off putting. His response came out mean spirited and flippant. He did respond to the complaint, but only while insulting VV in the process. It was obvious to me that he revoked her membership to upset her and to feel powerful.

    As far as the complaint on Yelp, I’m guessing that it went that far only because the owner terminated her membership. I could almost guarantee she would never have resorted to a review on Yelp had he just handled the situation better. In fact, maybe that would have lead VV to put a POSITIVE review on Yelp because of the good customer service. Obviously, he terminated her because he didn’t like her attitude. Is termination due to sarcasm in the contract that I assumed VV signed when she got her original membership? I would have been upset at being terminated for such a petty reason, and I would also have put my experience on Yelp or something similar to let potential members decide if that is the atmosphere they really want to be in. Those things are there for honest opinions and true experiences. VV wrote her honest opinion and true experience – as was her right.

    And for the “anon” commenter, wow. Lighten up. Unless of course, you are Dustin, as I suspect, because you sure sound exactly like him. If you’re just a random lurker coming on here to spew your opinion on something you have no stake in, at the very least have the guts to put your name on your tirade. I have a hard time believing that you'll be able to harass VV into submission with your comments. So good luck with that.

    If I were a person looking at various gyms to join and I read this whole exchange, I would be appalled at the owner, and embarrassed for him. It would have completely affected my decision, and I would 100% choose another place to spend my money.

  52. Jessee – thank you for the civility of your comments.

    The issue is not with the treadmills. I agree with you completely, the owner agreed - it was scheduled to be repaired before V submitted her initial complaint.

    My point about V’s initial complain is that a lengthy, sarcastic email complaint is not appropriate for business communications. Why, because humor or sarcasm can be misinterpreted – as it was. When I read Dustin’s initial replay, I read nothing but him communicating that it is being fixed, an alternative activity for her, and asking her to submit her feedback sooner… and possibly a vain attempt to play off of V’s initial humorous/sarcastic email. (Our interpretations of this are so different it is like we’re reading two different emails).

    However, I do not see any reason for V to attack him with her reply. I did not read a ‘deflect’ – he said it was being fixed. (Despite Vs sarcasm, I believe the subject of her complain was the treadmills.) And why is it appropriate to correct his grammar and suggest a language course? (If you read Vs blog, or her comments to me, this aggression and anger is a very common theme for her; but not appropriate for a business communication).

    But, this is still not my point. Dustin’s response is very clear. He didn’t like the personal attack criticizing his grammar, or for the aggressive tone of her response. And, it is for this he terminated her membership.

    I can even agree with you that is not a great ‘customer service’ response. But it is very clear from Dustin’s replies; the treadmills are being fixed, and I’m cancelling your membership because of your aggressive response. I believe these are the facts of the events.

    My issue is, (my apologies to everyone for being repetitive) V wrote reviews on public forums stating/implying that the treadmills were not/have not been fixed, and she was terminated because she simply complained. This is not true.

    Her membership was terminated, and I don’t care if we don’t agree with his decision, because she insulted him. And the treadmills are/were scheduled to be fixed.

    She should fix her reviews because they are untrue.

    I would also agree with you, V’s post to the public forum went only that far because she was terminated. But I can almost guarantee that she would not have been terminated had she written a concise, factual complaint and not insulted the owner.

    She knows this was wrong, else why would she simplified and distorted the facts of the public post to make it palatable?

    I believe a factual post would be something along the lines of “I wrote a 400+ word sarcastic complaint about the mis-functioning treadmills (you’re welcome to elaborate on the treadmills as much as you want), and then I insulted the owner’s intelligence. The treadmills were repaired, but he terminated my membership. If you’re looking for someplace to be sarcastic and insulting to the staff, this gym is not for you.”

  53. Anon is not me. I don’t have that kind of time, usually don’t have the option, and don’t have the mentality to hide. I’m in the public eye often. You all know my full name. I prefer to take ownership of my comments.

    I’ve found it interesting reading this blog and this one:, and how we can surround ourselves with generally like-minded people. Jesse – is that why you think Anon is me? Because his opinion differs then most here? Anon is a friend, just like you are to VV. And just the same, Anon likely saw me being berated – “insecure little catheter bag”, “looks like a douche”, “douchwad”, “dick-douche”, (crowd losing creativity….), and decided to pipe in. First matching the incivility of the “discussion”, and then bringing it to where it seems to now be some sort of civility. And, neither of us would have known about it or really cared about this blog or the comments until E2 posted it on the blog linked above, at which point it left VVs own blog world, and entered the "real world". At that point, I felt I had to say something.

    Yes, I terminated her membership because I felt she was overly rude to me. Not because of the first letter, but because of her responses, which were more personal. I love to hear criticism on how to make my businesses better. It shows that people care about the business. In my (in part sarcastic) response, I acknowledged the treadmill problem and stated it was being resolved. And, it was, two days later, as scheduled. But, I don’t feel like I need to put up with being berated or personally attacked. Any letter that starts with “Dustin, I’m told these emails go straight to you….” followed by a string of obscenities, I’m probably going to take a bit personally. Fine, I should be thicker skinned because I’m a business owner. Business owners are held to a higher standard then the rest. I can be terrible at customer service. I know this. That’s why I don’t work the desk anymore. My comment of “No soup for you” was really making fun of myself for being like the Soup Nazi on Seinfeld. But, the humor was lost in the fog of war.

    On the humor note… Jessee – I don’t believe it’s fair for her letter to me to be considered humor, but my response to be considered rude and a total disregard for safety. It’s a double-standard, but, we already have all acknowledged this – Business owners are expected to meet perfection under all circumstances – with employees, with vendors, with customers, and when they are not, its acceptable to personally attack them; “douche, insecure little catheter bag”, etc. The rest, are allowed to be human and are provided a range of acceptable actions. Perhaps if I was a reader of her blog, I’d understand her humor and that she was “lightening the mood”. But, I’m not. So I didn’t. Perhaps if she knew me more, she’d find humor in my response. But, she didn’t. Again, with Jesse’s logic of VV diffusing the situation with a little silliness, wasn’t I then just doing the same?

    Although, turns out she does know me a bit more then she leads on, as I employed “E2” for a year or so in another venture of mine. I would hope that he agrees that I treated him with nothing but respect during and after our time working together (and, BTW, because of this past relationship, he has a discounted membership at the gym). Perhaps this is why she felt it acceptable to write that tone of an email to me and I would understand the humor. She knows about me. But, I don’t know her.

    So, hopefully we’ve all got our points out in this cluster. Anon has surely made his. VV has hers. We’ve made it out of the ignorant, superficial, juvenile, personal attacking start of this discussion, and into real ideas. Let’s leave it at that, and bring the same civility into the real world. I promise to respond with more softness and tact to future complaints, regardless of the tone. VV – in the real world, will you the same? Will the rest of you?

    Yes, Kumbaya.

  54. WOW - This ANON person sure has some issues. His writing looks very similar to the owners hmmmmm could be or one of his cronies trying to do the dirty work. Actually I could only read two postings. Sounds like someone who has no life or really any connections to society in general. Who would have thunk that this would still be going on almost two months after it happened. Obviously the ninja hit a raw nerve somewhere.

  55. Dusty is a douchebag. I have never disliked a gym owner that I've never met so much.

    If something is always going to be broken at his gym, that's called a piece of shit gym, and we do things like give bad reviews to that kind of thing. I wish I went there so I could cancel my membership.