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To wonder if this work situation can improve

(17 Posts)
Ellabella1234 Thu 12-Oct-17 05:13:33

I work at a sports club which recently changed ownership. The new owners are Asian and while the wife speaks enough English to be basically understood, the husband speaks no English.

Under the old owner, staff were allowed to use the facilities free of charge. Pros are given a discounted rate, and were able to cancel court time with 48 hours notice with no penalty.

The new owners were patrons of the club for a year prior to buying it and so saw the staff using the facilities either off shift or during shifts when it was very quiet (at certain times of the day we were almost totally empty).

Since buying, they have indicated that staff have to pay to use the facilities. No discount has been offered. They are pushing staff to get more business in and set up programs to do so. Their children take lessons through 2 of the pros, and they allow these pros to book and cancel facilities often without paying.

They told us in the beginning that all the pros had to pay full price for the full year if they cancelled any of their contracted time, and we have to charge 2 of the pros full price while the favoured 2 are cancelling facilities left right and centre and still getting the pro rate.

This puts us staff in a bad position and every one is on edge. I already run 4 drop in events a week which take up a lot of time and energy to keep customers playing competitively and coming back and this takes a lot of organization from home or outside of my shift hours.

I am constantly answering emails and calls in my own time for people who want me to set them up or cancel and I have to find replacements. I usually give people a free sub if they are replacing someone as they are doing me a favour. The new owners are unhappy with this and seem to be treating me as though I'm cheating them when this happens. When I've subbed (only once in 2 months) they brought it up with my manager.

I currently charge the club for 2 hours per week for the work I do from home and they are unhappy with this. They told my manager that all work I charge for has,to be done at the club. This is absolutely impossible.

I also run tournaments around 20 weekends a year. They have told me they want me to do more, and I said I can't really as I have a family who also want me at weekends. This set them really on edge and they complained to my manager. The other staff are older and phone staff member left at the time of the sale. The other staff are not willing to take on more tournaments (have no experience in doing them).

More in next post......

Ellabella1234 Thu 12-Oct-17 05:19:13

Sorry, phone,nearly out of battery and didn't want to lose my essay above.

One staff member left, not phone staff...

Anyway, this used to be such a happy and fulfilling job. Now I have a feeling of dread going to work daily. They have great ideas and we are bringing in more work but the stress is awful. it feels like all the staff are backbiting each other to scurry favour. No one is using the facilities and everyone is miserable.

I want them to be fair with the pros, allow us to use the facilities again and allow us to keep being nice to our customers making them happy and keeping them coming back. Phone about to die , back soon

Ellabella1234 Thu 12-Oct-17 06:11:35

One of the favoured pros has also put me in a bad position. One of the programs I run is at the same time as a class he runs. I had people coming for my program which could not take place without me and 10 minutes beforehand, this pro told my manager that I had to go and help in his class and that the new owners had said so.

I had to cancel my people which I was so upset about I had to get my manager to call them as,I was feeling close to a panic attack. They were understandably upset and I may have lost one or two for good from my program

It turned out that the owners had not said anything about me helping this pro. One of his helpers threatened to cancel at short notice so this pro felt so comfortable in his position that he lied to me and my manager to get me to drop my people and get my help in his class

(He tried to get me to help previously,again with no notice saying someone must have forgotten to tell me. I just said no that time as again was busy with my group).

When the owners arrived my manager asked them if they had authorised it, and they laughed and said no, and in fact that pro should pay me for that time and I shouldn't claim it from them.

I feel so angry. My manager is very supportive of me and the other staff but is also finding their manner difficult as he is unable to treat people consistently and has so much less say than he did previously.

The owners are nice family people and I think have good ideas but are getting into very bad habits with the favouritism and stinginess and unsound business ways.

E.g I was using all the facilities for a tournament (prebooked)and they insisted I give up a section so they could play with their friends, making my day longer and keeping players waiting longer than necessary.

Customers can see the change in mood at the club and I'm concerned about losing our good reputation.

I am posting in case anyone has good ideas but mainly to get my feelings out. I've been snappy and horrible around my family today especially and can't stop thinking about work.

Please don't discuss what type of sport it is as I don't want it to be too identifying. I've dropped a clue unintentionally in my first post. The sport isn't important, just the circs around the teething troubles with the new,owners

Crunchymum Thu 12-Oct-17 06:50:43

Despite your 3 very long posts, I fail to see what the new owners being Asian has to do with anything?????

1MrsRabbit Thu 12-Oct-17 07:04:03

Crunchymum Really? Even though the OP stated the husband doesn't speak English and the wife's English is poor? Would you have been less sarcastic if the OP merely stated try were foreign?!

2ndSopranos Thu 12-Oct-17 07:04:40

Agree crunchy: what has being Asian have to do with anything?

2ndSopranos Thu 12-Oct-17 07:07:23

Tbh rabbit their nationality has no bearing on anything.

RiotAndAlarum Thu 12-Oct-17 07:10:49

Do you have a contract with them about what you're able to book, cancellation policy, etc.? If yes, use that to enforce your terms. If not, ask to negotiate one, and then you will know whether it's worth staying.

I wonder if the new owners are just trying to drive the rest of you out, so tgere eill be enough guaranteed business for their favoured pros.

It sounds as though you're not employed by the club, but a service provider. Even if they don't owe you the duties of an employer (not unilaterally changing your contract, agreed level of compensation), that works the other way, too, and they can't tell you to do someone else's class and lose you money (if I've understood correctly that the students are paying you). Also, if you have no contract about clients and use of the facilities, you can't get in legal trouble for poaching clients and taking your tournament(s) with you.

Is there a competitor venue you could go to, with a more organised, better contracted setup? Beware that the management buyout of your own venue might mean trouble in the local market overall. The business buyers sound unprofessional, whrras an attractive and profitable business/ sector would have attracted an experienced buyout.

peachgreen Thu 12-Oct-17 07:11:44

Agreed @Crunchymum.

noblegiraffe Thu 12-Oct-17 07:12:44

How easy would it be to find another job?

coddiwomple Thu 12-Oct-17 07:31:41

The fact that the owners do not speak English fluently or at all is pretty relevant. hmm

You can mention the word "Asian" in a factual way you know, it is not an insult or a swear word. I actually find it very offensive when people make that sort of comment.

flumpybear Thu 12-Oct-17 07:45:31

Perhaps talk to your manager and tell him or her how this new lack of regime is affecting you and your work and find a solution - it may just be bedding in issues

chipscheeseandgravy Thu 12-Oct-17 07:51:48

If the owners English is poor outline your concerns to your manager or HR assuming there is one. Let them struggle with the language barrier.

Explain what work your doing at home, and how it’s difficult to only work during office hours;answering emails etc. Also bring up the issue with the pro who cancelled your session .

The change in policies is normal with new owners, unfortunately, I don’t think you can really do anything about the fact you don’t get discounts etc.

Having said all that, with everything you’ve mentioned, it may be easier to look elsewhere for another roll. I doubt things will get better.

peachgreen Thu 12-Oct-17 11:01:52

The fact that the owners do not speak English fluently or at all is pretty relevant.

How so? None of OP's problems with them appear to be as a result of language issues.

You can mention the word "Asian" in a factual way you know, it is not an insult or a swear word.

Yes, of course you can. But when it's a) not relevant to the conversation that follows and b) succeeded by a long list of negativity, it's going to cause raised eyebrows.

Ellabella1234 Thu 12-Oct-17 12:26:46

I do work for the club, paid hourly. The pros work for themselves paying for the facilities only.

I think there is a language barrier as sometimes orders get misconstrued.

I didn't think there was anything wrong with saying they were Asian as I would have said European or African. It is different to saying American or Australian. I do apologise if it came off badly. I do know that there are different work practices worldwide and I suppose I thought someone with experience of international employers may have insight.

I will check in during the day, just limited phone access so am not ignoring the thread.

It would be very difficult to get another job at the same pay, and I would have to look at a harsh cut. I have a media / web/ coding background but I love working with this sport and am training to become a pro.

allthgoodusernamesaretaken Thu 12-Oct-17 12:53:54

When I see detailed posts like this, I often wonder why people share so much detail on a public forum, where people could easily be recognised / identified

RiotAndAlarum Thu 12-Oct-17 15:23:05

Okay, if you do work for the club, is it zero hours or a contracted number of hours? I wonder if they're trying to cut their salary bill by funnelling the existing "business" to the pros and getting you to quit/ saying your job is redundant?

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