I strolled into the gym last night, cheerfully introduced myself and said that there was a lock back there with my name on it that I had called to have held for me. The girl looks at the desk surface, in a drawer, frowns, and then pulls out a cardboard box. "Here are all of the locks," she said, "but none of them have any names on them."
I fished through the box full of both keyed locks and combination locks that either had their key or a combination attached to it. None of them were mine. I asked if there was another place they could be and she said there were no locks around with any names on them, and that there is a lost and found, but the locks usually go in this box. She explained that whenever a lock is found with its key or its combination, it is put in this box to be loaned out to anyone who forgets their lock on a particular day or just for free distribution. She had worked all day and the day before and had not seen my lock, so chances are it had been given out.
There are several other desks around the main room, so I went to what I believe is the main manager's office, explained my situation and asked if this could be the desk my lock was being held at. He looked surprised, nearly laughed, and said no, that all locks that they find go in to the free-game-lock box for public use. I asked him what the point of the girl who I called writing my name down was, if she was just going to give my property away to the next person who asked for it and he said he didn't know. He then said, "it doesn't matter if your name is on it or not, any lock we find we give away." So, I might as well have let someone steal it, I guess. "We can replace your lock. There are several in the box." No, you can't replace my lock, I said, but it is nice to know what your policy is. And I stormed out of his office.
I borrowed a stolen lock from the box and went on about my business fuming with rage, composing a letter in my head to everyone in my office. The gym is promoting themselves for another company-wide discount group membership thing this month and I was preparing to let everyone know that the gym not only is lenient towards theft but encourages their staff to steal from the members. I even considered canceling my membership. If this is how they are going to treat small possessions, what would happen if I left my wallet behind? Would they put it in the wallet box and let whoever asked for it take it?
About halfway through my routine, the counter girl comes up to me and hands me my lock. She said she had found it in a separate place that she hadn't looked in earlier and sure enough, my name was right there on it. She apologized profusely for the confusion, saying that she sympathized with my frustration, and understood that I expect a certain degree of service from the gym that they are obligated to provide. After a shower of thanks, she jokingly reminded me not to leave it behind again and went back to the desk.
As usual, the girl making shit hourly wages shines through with a devotion to customer satisfaction when the manager laughed at me for expecting his employees to keep their promises. I am composing a new letter in my head. A job done as well as she did deserves recognition.