Without their phones, gym employees are forced to make conversation. graphic by Emma Palmer

Collins Fitness Center churns out charismatic co-eds

See? You’d be charming too if you weren’t on your damn phone all day.

The Collins Fitness Center staff here on TU campus are reporting increased levels of charisma after working entire shifts without access to their phones. Student Services revealed this inexplicable statistic after a recent survey of work-study students.

One gym staffer, who wished to remain anonymous, had this to say: “With the same songs on rotation every week, the only way to cope without my Twitter account has been to have long discussions with my coworkers, something completely out of my comfort zone.” The staff member lamented their inability to respond to snaps, but did note that the combined impact of two hours of missed notifications that they received at the end of their shift “made [them] feel a little bit better about [their] social life.”

However, in spite of their complaints, the staff member’s testimony did line up with Student Services’ findings: “By the third hour, I feel capable of talking about anything, and that confidence has stuck with me in my daily life.”

Fraternity gossip across campus suggests an increased presence of Collins Fitness Center hoodies at parties, marking a surprising deviation from popular fashion. One brother, who will remain unnamed, recalled that “at first, I thought it was pretty odd to see a sweatshirt at our jersey party, but the more I talked to the guy, the more I came to see why gym staffing could be competitive, and found myself wanting to talk with him more. The whole thing was so strange, but he told me he had just gotten off a four hour shift, and since I enjoyed talking to him so much I let it slide.” After our interview, the aforementioned brother did confide that he hoped to see the employee at another event.

Fitness center employees have reported the increased necessity of good conversation. A long time employee bemoaned the alternative: the dreaded “silent shift.” Much as the name implies, this happens when two employees cannot collectively come to conversation. For a minimum of an hour, before they rotate, employees have reported sitting in close proximity to each other, staring in utter silence. While some would liken this to cruel and unusual punishment, the fitness staff have, with amazing resilience, adapted to this simply by forcing themselves to be more outgoing.

Collins Fitness Center management, when asked about the device policy, told us their rationale for banning phones. A lack of distractions, in their view, would allow employees to “perform life saving procedures” and “be vigilant in case of an accident,” but who knows their real reasons. Perhaps this subtle charisma training could be a complicated scheme to increase word of mouth staff recruitment? Or, more likely, Fitness Center management have made a hush-hush agreement with certain professors who detest cellular devices to slowly wean parts of the student body off of their phones. Wherever the truth may lay, one thing is for certain; their shifts aren’t getting any shorter.

Post Author: Victor Ruiz