By David Cardone’s
Thank you Brent for thinking of the impacted club’s. I’m sure all clubs impacted by disasters have very similar stories.
It’s definitely trying times. Many of our displaced staff are front liners. It’s hard for us because we want to just write checks to make their world right again. But, the club also has to think of our long term viability because the flooding displaced 1000-1500 of our members. Many of which are still under water, over a week after the storm. It will be a year before many of these people are back in their homes. The club needs to be prepared to handle those losses.
It is humbling to see what front line people go through to have the privilege of working. They are critically important to our customer service chain. But, for many, the club is everything to them and they care more about us even though they may of lost everything.
Here are a couple stories about our staff:
I have an 18 year old front desk person. She is always here with a huge smile and does fantastic tours. She seemed very upset and pulled me aside the other day. She was very concerned because she only had on flip-flops to wear. She explained that her athletic shoes and all her other belongings were lost when her apartment flooded. In fact, all she had to wear were her staff shirts and a couple things. Her parents are both long-haul truckers and had to get there truck out of the area and on the road to make some money. They live check to check and couldn’t afford to lose the truck or time off the road. As an 18 year old, she had to stay here by herself to keep her job. She never lost her smile! While she worked that day, we went to the store and got her some shoes and changes of clothing.
Another staff member, an 82 year old group X instructor, lost her home. She’s worked here for 29 years and had a hip replacement two years ago. Her house flooded and she evacuated by boat. With her first trip back to the house, by boat, she made sure her husband saved her cassette tapes so she didn’t miss any of her senior group X classes. She immediately called my director to proclaim she was ready when we are.
This is just a couple people. There is many more. The most tragic situation for these people is that the water is still in there house after almost 10 days. It is expected to go down this afternoon or tomorrow as the Army COE closes down the retention dam release flows. At this time, the structures are technically condemned and should not be entered without hazmat suits. Many people are disregarding those dire warnings to try and salvage at least something. I have been told even things on the second floor are now covered with mold.
My club and our situation is no different than any other club in the destruction path. Customers are lost and the front line staff becomes the most vulnerable. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be insurance coverages that can cover this type of business interruption. The front line is truly a service business’s face. They represent all we try to create.
Prayers go out to all the other clubs that will have similar issues in Florida.