Uncomfortable moment with an ex

I was in a café yesterday, having a coffee with my wife before we went on about our day. It was all quite pleasant until I went in to pay and there, sitting at a table with some other people, was an ex of mine. I saw her. She saw me. I started to smile a pleasant Hello when she quickly looked away. There was no question that our eyes had met and that we recognised each other, yet she just looked away. Blatantly ignoring me, choosing rudeness over politeness.

It wasn’t even a particularly acrimonious break-up. She got sick and was laid up with the flu and a throat infection for a couple of weeks. That’s what she told me, at least. She said she’d call me when she was feeling better. That call never came. I tried to call her a couple of times, but she must have been screening my calls as she never answered. I left a message a couple of times. I even considered calling from someone else’s phone so that she wouldn’t recognise the number. It would have given me a very satisfying, “Aha! Trying to avoid me, are you?” But that would have been petty and rather pointless. So I gave up.

It was guilt on her part, of course. She knew that she’d done the low and sneaky thing, not having the guts to face up to me and say, “I don’t want to do this any more.” The reason she didn’t want to do that, I think, is twofold. One, she was too chickenshit to be honest with me and, two, she was trying not to be honest with herself. She knew that she was weak and she wasn’t prepared to give me the opportunity of talking her out of it. Or even the opportunity to berate her for quitting on me.

It’s happened a few times and it always surprises me. In fact, it seems to happen that way more than any other way and I think it’s because these girls are always a little disgusted with themselves for giving up on something they were always trying to be so positive about. They know it’s wrong, so they sneak away rather than stand up and say, “I’ve changed my mind!” After all, in the long run, what do I care if they leave me?

There’s always plenty more Personal Training clients waiting for a spot to become free for them.

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4 thoughts on “Uncomfortable moment with an ex

  1. Excellent story, great surprise ending…… I’m wide-eyed, slack-mouthed and busy re-evaluating my concept of ‘personal training’!

    😉

  2. There is something wrong with society sometimes.

    ‘What do you think of your haircut, sir’ is generally answered by ‘Very nice, thanks’ instead of the ‘for f…’s sake, I’m not paying for that pile of s…’. Likewise in Resteraunts and with Personal Trainers.

    It’s important to tell people what we think, and why as otherwise they will never get better. Did you quit your training class because it was too hard, you didn’t like the instructors methods or he had bad breath? Finding out these things can be the key to getting and keeping clients in future.

    Perhaps keeping clients email addresses and sending them a survey if they have not been in a while … ‘I notice you have not been at training recently. Is that because….’ could be of value here. Don’t let them away without finding out the why of it.

    Perhaps some of them might even come back by getting a little reminder if you send it at an appropriate time of year!

  3. Actually, james and jane, it’s not necessary. From the outset it was just too hard for her, so she gave up. Lots of people think that by paying a Personal Trainer they will magically get fit. “I gave you good money! Make me fit! NOW!” When they realise it’s still up to them to work hard they freak out.So they slink away again. Others have left under similar circumstances and in those cases an enquiry might be enlightening. The truth is, people will, given the slightest chance, take the easy way out.

  4. I found writing my resignation email to my martial arts instructor very difficult. I could have just not turned up ever again, but if I had done that I would not have been able to look him (or any of my fellow students) in the eye again. As it was, he was very understanding of my problems (a killer combo of kids, health and work) and it’s always been great to see him whenever I’ve bumped into him on the street since.

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