I have been a member of the Superior Douglas County Family YMCA since January 2003. Over these 10 years, I heard countless examples and incidents of how the facilitys executive director abuses his authority. However, witnessing this firsthand was appalling. In October 2011, I emailed the executive director, Michael Kraft, about three housekeeping issues. These issues were basically about filthy carpets, fans, and towels in the mens locker room. He decided to ignore me email and the issues continued on and even got worse. In December 2012, I emailed him again wondering why these issues havent been taken care of. This time he responded with 5 words: Come in to see me. I stopped by his office on Friday December 14, 2012 hoping to discuss these issues and how to resolve them. To much of my surprise, Mr. Kraft started threatening me in a very condescending tone to unilaterally terminate my familys membership if I bring these issues up. [continued below]....
..... However, he was kind enough to refer me to his competitors (i.e. Anytime Fitness and the Duluth YMCA). As a professor of management and marketing, I found this refreshing!
At this point, I couldnt care less about the filthy carpets, dirty fans, scummy lockers, moldy vents, smelly toilets and urinals, and used towels all over the floor. I was more concerned about my three children held hostages by Mr. Kraft to twist my arm and silence me from bringing up his sloppy job. We live a couple of blocks from the Y and my kids enjoy walking or taking their bikes to the facility. I understand that they are not Christians and he probably feels that they dont belong or deserve to go to the Y. But depriving them for this joy and from going to their Y is immoral to say the least.
I understand that this is the YMCA (not a country club). But having a clean facility is not a tall request. The facilitys top management should be more committed to cleanliness and customer service. Threatening paying customers (who are essentially paying Mr. Krafts salary) should be a relic from the past. My family and I feel threatened and intimidated. I dont believe we should be penalized for requesting to breathe clean air and have a sanitary environment. Mr. Kraft should focus on getting his act together and doing his job instead of threatening his customers and talking down to them.