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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

i need to vent...

flake on me once, shame on you. flake on me twice, shame on me. and unless i get an iron-clad guarantee, there's never going to be a third time...

i'm going to cut to the chase because what just happened is inexcusable.

the yoga center in redondo beach needs to get its act together.

last july, i drove all the way out to its studio in redondo beach to get a taste of the viniyoga style of yoga. the class was going to be taught by diane gilbert, the owner of the yoga center, who had personally been trained by gary kraftsow. and there was no reason why there wasn't going to be a 10:30am class that wednesday. after all, the website said so. even the voice mail said so. there really wasn't any reason why i would need to doubt what it said. or was there?

here's what i posted after that failed visit two months ago:

... when i walked into the studio at the appointed time, i was relieved to see that the class hadn't started yet; in fact, the previous class was just letting out. but when i told diane that i was there for her next class, she told me that due to a consistently low turnout, the 10:30 class had been cancelled! how could she do that, i asked, especially since BOTH the website and the recorded message said that there was supposed to be a 10:30 class?

she apologized and said that her web guy hadn't gotten around to changing their website and she hadn't gotten around to changing the phone message. she also said that she couldn't teach the class anyway because she had to get ready for her trip later that day. she did offer me a private class (although i'm not sure if it was a freebie or if she would have charged me for it), but i turned down the offer because the thought of my having to drive all the way out there AGAIN for that class was the last thing i wanted to do at the time. i rushed out of the place, knowing that i had to quickly scramble to find an alternate class. grrr... and once again, i didn't find one nearby. grrr...

so the yoga center failed on all three counts -- their phone information was wrong, their website information was wrong, and because the studio wasn't close to the freeway, i wasted time and gas (not to mention the money i fed the parking meter) on a class i couldn't even take! so am i ever going to go back to take a class? only if i can speak with a human and get confirmation that a listed class will take place!

so you'd think i would know better.

but no, i thought that it was just a fluke, and i told myself that i shouldn't hold a grudge against a place that just didn't get around to updating its information. people do make mistakes. and honestly, right after i told diane that the schedule on the studio voice mail was wrong, she corrected it by taking it off the recording completely (i suppose it's better to give no information than the wrong information).

so since i had to go to el segundo to drop off some paperwork this morning, i figured it was time to give the yoga center another shot. sure, it was farther south than where i needed to go, but i really wanted to find out what viniyoga was all about. the additional 8 mile drive, one-way, wasn't really that painful. at least by LA standards.

so once again, i called the studio phone line. "check the website for our schedule," it announced. fine. i checked the website. and as clear as day, it said:

9am – 10:15am Gentle Diane
10:30am – 12pm Level 1&2 Diane
4:30pm – 5:25pm Yoga for Girls Diane/Aimee
6pm – 7:25pm Level 1&2 Aimee

and as further insurance, i sent an email to diane, asking her for confirmation.

and that's when i should have started suspecting something, because i received no response.

but like an idiot, i drove down there anyway. the front door was locked, although the sign in the window said, in large letters, "WE'RE OPEN". so i assumed the previous class was in still session and no one was able to mind the store. but it was already 10:25; the previous class should have been leaving and the 10:30 class should have been arriving. but there was no activity. nada. i checked one of the printed schedules by the door, and except for a few teacher name changes, it matched what i read online.

then i spotted the small hastily scribbled sign taped on the door that said: "while diane's in india, all classes will be covered except for..." and even if the class i wanted to attend was NOT on that list, i was upset because i had specifically chosen that day and time because i wanted to take diane's class. you would think she would at least put that tidbit of information on her website. i mean, how hard can that be?

still wondering what was going on, i walked around to the side and looked in the classroom window. the room was empty. and through the window, i saw a handwritten sign posted by the door. it was the schedule of classes. and wouldn't you know it -- under "wednesday", it had only two classes listed: the 9am and the 6pm! there you have it. the 10:30am class didn't even exist! which seems to tell me that when diane cancelled it way back in JULY, she never took it off her @*#$% schedule -- both online AND printed versions!

... pardon me, but it's hard to maintain my yogic calm when i've allowed myself to have been misled a second time... especially when it was for the same wednesday 10:30am class! :(

and once again, i tried to quickly regroup and find another yoga class in the area, but none of the nearby studios had any classes until later that afternoon.

another waste of time. and gas. unless i'm offered restitution of some sort, i'm writing off the yoga center. sorry, diane. you may be too busy to deal with these things, but so am i.