Complaint: Subject: Formal complaint against an internal policy and abuse of power Date: January 22, 2018 Sir: On January 11, 2018, at approximately 11:45 in the morning, I had just left the menu2019s locker room to enter the exercise room of the Westfield, Massachusetts YMCA. As I walked into this room, I found four men talking about Martin Luther Kingu2019s federal holiday scheduled for the following Monday. There was no vulgarism or anything I perceived as u201cinappropriateu201d or u201cwrong,u201d either in their behavior or in their discussion of this topic. It was clean! A few moments after my arrival in this room, however, I became aware a YMCA employee, a woman with the name of u201cSueu201d or u201cSusan,u201d had reprimanded one of the men, a retired teacher in his early 70u2019s, for talking about an u201cinappropriate subjectu201d and talking too loud. Then she walked out of the room to re-enter her office directly across the exercise room. The man was obviously annoyed by her behavior and said so before leaving the exercise room. The other men were confused or frustrated; and then one other man also left the room. Within a few minutes I struck up a conversation with a retired police officer, a man in his late 60u2019s. I am in my early 70u2019s. We have known each other for quite some time and frequently talk about our military experiences and television documentaries on warfare. This time it was our recent experiences with a series of documentaries on Hitleru2019s Death Squads on the Military History Channel. We talked about seeing pictures of thousands of death bodies in the death camps and the prosecution of the n**i officers responsible for them in an international court immediately after the Second World War in Germany. About the time I reported these documentaries were gruesome for me to watch and, if I am not careful, I said, I might very well have some nightmares on the subject when, to my surprise, a women approached me to complain of the u201cinappropriateu201d subject-matter. She did not approve of my talking about it. A little annoyed, too, I responded, u201cThatu2019s too bad,u201d and walked out of the room to go back to the menu2019s locker room to go home without finishing my routine. While walking down the stairwell leading into the locker room, I remember thinking about the way the woman had spoken to me and, particularly, her facial expressions and pattern of speech. She was struggling with problems of low self-esteem and an inferiority complex, and it was clear she was afraid of men. Immediately, as I walked into the locker room, I found several men either dressing or un-dressing. One of them was an employee of YMCA. I mentioned my recent experience with a woman who had disapproved of the topic in my conversation with men in the exercise room. One of them, the employee, asked me if she were blond. I responded, u201cYes.u201d Then he described her physical appearance and approximate age. It was the same person. He responded with laughter, along with two other men, u201cWe are familiar with her. She is always complaining about something.u201d Within the hour after going home I received a telephone call from a woman in the YMCA. Speaking very fast and loud, without stopping long time to listen to me, she gave me hell for discussing such an u201cinappropriateu201d subject, though she obviously did not know what I had been discussing at the time. She had relied upon the complainantu2019s description. I tried to tell her nothing was wrong or inappropriate about me or the subject-matter; however, she would not stop long enough to hear me out. She kept talking over me. Angry, I hung up on her in response to her dishonesty and incompetence on this issue of controversy, as well as her incompetence in social communications. She has got to learn to listen! And to talk to people properly! It was well within my legal rights to talk about anything. It was then I put u201ctwo and two togetheru201d to realize the blond woman was using the YMCAu2019s policy to avoid unpleasant experiences in the building in her complaints about men and their conversations. This policy had empowered her over men, perhaps the only time she would have such power over a man and, for a short duration, it would elevate her self-esteem. I have seen many people do such things. On the following morning, I went down to the YMCA to close down my account and membership. When I had arrived home, I found a telephone message waiting for me. It was the same woman who had called me earlier. This time she had wanted us to talk in order to u201cget on the same pageu201d with each other. I did not respond. I had enough of her. Her motive was obvious: She wanted to give me a lesson on the appropriate subjects between men in the exercise room. The topics we discussed are none of her business and she should possess enough life-experience to recognize a womanu2019s ulterior motives behind a complaint against a man, if there is one; and there was one in this instance.
Tags: Cultural Centers, Health Clubs & Gyms, Sports Facilities
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