I wanted to test Jake’s intelligence:
“Let me ask you a question Jake, since you understand the importance of eating frequent meals to maintain a base insulin level—how many quality protein meals do you think a man can eat with $9.28 a day in these United States?”
“What does this have to do with the FWO?”
“It’s a hypothetical question, of importance of the same level of parables you teach to the team when it comes to motivating them to sell.”
“For fucks sake Reggie, what’s going on?”
“I am currently training 20 client hours per week at an average rate of $30 per client given my commission level. That’s $600 per week without taxes—assuming taxes, let’s say about $450.”
“So—look at my check.”
I showed Jake the bi-weekly check and it read $258.64
“This is why I asked you how well do you think I would eat because $258.64 divided by 14 days amounts to about $9.28 per day, which would probably buy me a chipotle burrito and some guac.”
“I told you that there is a back-log and they will pay you the rest of your redeemed hours in arrears.”
“From the looks of what we have here, the company is almost a month behind and finally paying me my first two weeks’ pay; and therefore I should expect to see my second two weeks’ pay two weeks from now—is that right?”
“How do you expect me to perform at my best when my pay does not reflect my client base? I have to compete with everyone else on less.”
“Jesus Christ Reggie!”
“He is good, isn’t He?”
“What’s the second issue?”
“The First Time Workouts.”
“What about them?”
“Dude, you’ve been giving me only the FOB [Fresh Off the Boat] customers and then you keep pestering me about increasing my sales levels—“
“Whoa, hold on, watch your language—you do realize I’m Asian—“
“Yeah, and my pop was from Belize. The point is they are only concerned with joining the gym as cheap as possible. They can’t afford a trainer, they are just meeting me as a formality and you know it. You give all the qualified FWO to Brian and Pierre!”
“Yes, but their more experienced than you—and their chances of closing are much better. They also have a higher sales level than you—“
“Which is exactly why you should give them to me, because I can compete on price. I don’t have to sell the client the highest package to get their business, and I still have the fundamentals to train them properly. NASM is a top-of-the-line cert. I didn’t get it being no dummy.”
“Yes, that’s true, but we like them to sell higher packages—and they have more experience—“
A silence ensued between Jake and I to which I just resolved to say “fuck it, I’m looking for another job” to myself, and decided to milk whatever I could from the experience at Baileys.
“Okay, that’s it. I have a profitable FWO in a few minutes. I have nothing else except to tell you that this situation is a sour deal.”
As I made my way to the door, Jake called me.
“Hey Reggie—sometimes when life gives you lemons, you gotta make lemonade.”
“Hey Jake—eevery yellow drink in a cup aint lemonade.”
I liked the way Jake liked to draw on the fact that he was biologically Asian, although it’s obvious that he was adopted—aside from the fumanchu sans mustache and shoulder length hair that he sometimes puts in a scrunchie—with a last name like ‘Winters’ he was about as Asian as apple pie and ball park franks. As I made my way down the corridor to meet with my “prospective” clients, my hip buzzed. I flipped my phone open to look at a message from Dianne:
“Hi! How’s my very own personal trainer doing J ?”
I decided to take a few minutes to text her back.
“Hey baybay, gettin’ ready to do the First Time Workout consultation—nothing new, they’ll probably work out and then balk at the prices—even though I offer the lowest price.”
“Oh, that’s too bad—now that I come to think of it, we never had a first time workout—or not in the abstract sense lol”
“Haha yeah, that’s because I “prospected” you off of the elliptical. I went out, hustled and won you over.”
“So you came, you saw, and you conquered?”
“Lol, naw, more like, I saw, I conqured, and you came, and came, and came….LMAO”
“Haha very funny mister—what you doing tonight?”
“After I get out nothing really”
“Wanna go to Macaroni Grille?”
“You mean that restaurant over by the riverside? I would love to babe, but they’ve been fuckin’ up my money lately and I don’t want to sit there and order a water on the rocks.”
“Oh, don’t worry about it babe—momma will take care of you—as long as you’re a good boy—come get me around, say, 7ish?”
“Uh—are you sure?”
“Lemme double-check my workouts to make sure I don’t have anything scheduled at that time.”
“Okay, let me know J “
After I flipped my phone back closed, I thought for a moment about going out with Suzanne in public. Not because of our age differences, because I thought it would look totally cool to have middle-America post MILF Hunter, Seeker and Finder, to see me out with her—a hot stunning MILF. I might stoke their wildest dreams of the MILF vs BBC. Although I liked the attention, I was concerned that going out with her might bring with it extra expectations from her—and the prospect of her trying to define us/emotionally bind me. I already knew that I had nothing else going around 7, but I was stalling to make sure I really wanted to do it. I probably would, since I had nothing else, but I wanted my right, my options, and to let her know that she can’t just call me up and expect me to jump—to expect to monopolize my time.
My friend Frijoles and I came up with the term “intermediary” which he called “mid-range” or “mid-age” at first, but I refined it to be more of a noun than adjective. An “intermediary” is a single in his late twenties to mid-thirties who appears socially acceptable dating a woman in her early twenties or a woman in her late thirties to early forties. We coined this term after a guy we knew who ended up fucking a mom and her daughter. Unlike mainstream upper-middle American women, who wait until “last call” to have their children, lower-income Americans and Latinas, most often first generation, usually get pregnant in their late teens to early twenties. So it wasn’t uncommon for us to encounter moms and their daughters hanging out together in bars and clubs.
This “intermediary” term came into my head when I was interviewing a pudgy Bolivian woman named “Maria” and her only daughter, Fatima, for their FWO. As I asked the questions regarding goals and occupation and such, to qualify them, Fatima kept looking through her smartphone with beautiful almond shaped eyes. She had one earphone in one ear and the other ear open and available for listening. Her leg was shaking as she sat there in the room with us, either because she was nervous, or because she couldn’t sit still and focus a fucking minute—something that is not uncommon in this ADD-ridden post-modern world.
I gotta admit that Fatima was a cutie, and that is why I absolutely love women with Inca in their bloodline—that type of Native blood that gives the woman half-closed slanted eyes looked absolutely orgasmic. Her lips were of medium thickness and a little pouty. She was a little on the chubby side, but since she was about 22, she didn’t hit the wall yet, and her chubbiness could be chalked up to baby fat that wasn’t burned off yet and the fast food of college life.
But her mother, although only 20 years older than her appeared as desolate. Her face was weather-worn and had deep crevices in it that appeared like dried-up riverbeds—like the ones on Mars where it was themed to be once filled with water. This must’ve represented Maria’s dismal life, a life once abundant and flowing with options, now parched as she hit the wall as hard as sledge-hammer wielding home-improvement contractor.
“So what are your goals?”
I asked Maria. .
“I want to lose weight, and take care of my daughter.”
She said looking over at her daughter as she was still ingrossed in her digital media.
“I see. What do you do for a living?”
“I bus tables at La Trattoria at night and work as a limpiadora (cleaner)in corporate buildings during the day.”
“What is your average day like?”
“Monday to Friday, I get up at five o’clock in the morning the get ready so I can drop off my daughter to her morning classes then go to work cleaning from seven in the morning ‘till five in the evening—“
Maria took a deep sigh and continued
“—then I pick up my daughter and drop her off, cook dinner and get ready for my night job on Wensday to Saturday I bus tables from seven o’clock at night until one in the morning, and on Sunday I work at the restaurant from 10 am to 7pm.”
I looked over at her daughter.
“And what about you?”
Fatima was still in a world of her own.
I said waving my hand in front of her to get her attention. She removed her other earbud and gave me a bright smile that lit up the room.
“Oh yeah! Whenever my mom can pick me up, I’ll come to the gym with her! Right mom?”
“Si miha (‘mi hija’ or my daughter).”
This is going to be a short conversation because I know exactly what is going on here. Her daughter is a blood-scuking little bitch.
“Maria, on your workout card it says you want to lose weight and get toned—but do you understand what that means?”
“Yeah, I want to get ready for summer.”
“How many days a week do you think you can dedicate to your fitness goals?”
“The only two days I can come in are Monday and Tuesday, but maybe I can come—“
“Mom, don’t forget I have to go to practice on Tuesday!”
Her daughter said interrupting her. Maria’s eyes looked glazed over. This is what happens when a woman pays for her hypergamy. It is not uncommon in the cultures of lower-income to working class folks for a woman to invest her youthful years in “Billy bad-asses” only to find themselves as single moms in their mature ages. And she was paying out of the asshole—in spades. I could tell because of the multiple jobs she works for having just one daughter—and that her daughter had a different last name than her, as evidenced on their FWO workout cards. I decided to cut this meeting short.
“Maria, based on your current circumstances, I don’t feel comfortable training you.”
“What? Why not?”
“One, because an alteration in body composition is congruent with muscular hypertrophy—and based on the analog of your daily routine, your body is in a ravenous catabolic state and not activating androgens essential for anabolic synthesis—”
They both stared at me with blank stares in their eyes as if Hannibal Lecter himself had performed a lobotomy on them. I loved hitting them with the sports science psychobabble.
“—in other words, you aren’t getting enough sleep, and your muscles need sleep to repair. Even if I put you through a comprehensive workout plan intense enough to burn the calories necessary for your transformation, it wouldn’t work because muscles grow in your sleep. Exercise is a form of stress, and if you want to start losing weight Maria, here’s some advice: get some sleep.”
“No, hold on one minute! You don’t have to train us, we don’t need you. This card says you have to work us out, at least once for free.”
Fatima said protesting. I looked at Maria, and her eyes were glazed.
“No, you hold on—miss thing. I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to. If I was your mom, I would make you ride the bus, get a job and pay rent. That way I could take care of myself more.”
“What the—who the hell do you think you are?”
“You came here for a ‘fitness consultation’. That doesn’t mean I’m gonna work you out.”
I looked at Maria.
“With all do respect Maria, if you don’t take care of yourself, it’s going to be all the more difficult to take care of your daughter. She looks like she is smart and able enough to take care of herself. My recommendation is for you to get more rest—“
Maria looked relieved that someone stood up to her spoiled brat of a daughter.
“—you can’t do that! You’re an asshole!”
“Fatima! Dios Mio! I’m sorry but—“
Maria said as I started to exit the room.
“—it’s alright Maria. And Fatima, this is America if you haven’t noticed. It’s a free country, and I can do what I want. Goodbye.”
“Mom, did you hear that? He’s a racist! Ooh he’s gonna lose his job! He’s gonna lose his job! He said this is ‘America’! He is so fired!! I’m gonna—“
“I’m gonna lose my job? What job?”
I laughed to myself as Fatima making her protested after I slammed the door behind me. I felt like I had achieved one of life’s pleasures—making a snob see proper perspective. As I made my exit and decided that a heavy carb-laden meal with Suzanne would be a good idea. I figured I would sip on some white wine and smear the glass with the sauce of chicken alfredo from my lips.