I'm guilty

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by Sylo, Sep 3, 2008.

  1. Sylo

    Sylo Purple Belt

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    Hey.

    Wanted to get some opinions on a dilemma.

    I started going back to my old school about 5 months ago. I went for the first month (right after having a baby) and then the whole sleep deprivation thing, and constantly needing to care for my son, came into play and kept me away. I got a bill for the 2nd month. I paid the first month. I Haven't gone since then. Now that things are getting better. I want to continue. I was on a 12 month contract, so my time is not expired yet. I still have about 5-6 months to go. I got 1 friendly reminder from my instructor about missing class, and then I got no bills or anything. During this time, I was so busy and stressed with everything going on. I failed to pay for my lessons, since I wasn't getting a bill to remind me (I know this is not acceptable). Anyway, I'm wanting to go back. I put a check for 2 months lessons in the mail this morning. I'm planning on calling him after work to see what he says. But if you were my instructor, and I told you the same thing I just wrote. Would you insist that I pay up to current immediately before I am able to return, or would you allow me to return with the understanding that I would pay double until I'm paid up to current? I don't mind doing it either way, but I would love to be able to come back and pay it back as I go.. as I can't afford to pay a lump sum right now.

    thoughts?
     
  2. 7starmarc

    7starmarc Green Belt

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    Personally, I'd sit down with my instructor and talk the situation over. Many, many people underestimate the demands of a new (presumably first) child in the household. The physical and emotional demands are extreme at times, not to mention the physiological issues. Did your physician even OK you to resume martial arts training one month post-partum? Situations will vary, but I've run across those who wouldn't advise such until at least 6 weeks, if not later.

    Most contracts have clauses for exemptions, etc. In many cases, post-partum issues as well as infant care issues may qualify.

    Bottom line, don't go around in the dark or guess what your instructor will say, talk to him/her about your situation and what is best. Before doing that, consider talking to you doctor as well, although at 5-6 months out should not have any restrictions anymore.
     
  3. Sylo

    Sylo Purple Belt

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    maybe I should have been more clear. Now I feel like an idiot.

    I'm actually a guy, and although arnold did it in that one movie. I think it would be terribly difficult for me to have a baby. I was actually saying, that I became a father at the time. My wife had the baby. Although there were complications, and some issues that caused tons and tons and tons of stress. My son spent 2 months in the hospital because he was 10 weeks premature. So he's not at the level of a normal 9 month old. I do alot of the night duty, when he wakes up and I get very little sleep. (or did) Everything has calmed down now. So I have the time, and the "mindset" to do it.

    Sorry, I didn't clarify that.
     
  4. theletch1

    theletch1 Grandmaster

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    Kudos to you for remaining by your wifes side! That alone says alot about you. Regardless of wether you're a mother or father the advice that 7Star gave should still hold. Contract or not, your instructor is still a human being and since you thought enough of him to want to go back is presumably a stand up guy. Talk to him, explain the situation, explain that you really want to learn and he might just restore a little bit of faith in your fellow man. Best of luck.
     
  5. 7starmarc

    7starmarc Green Belt

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    LOL

    Anyways, forget about the post-partum stuff then...:D

    The other parts still hold true, though. I know I underestimated the toll fatherhood would take on my health and well-being, not to mention my time and attention to extra things like working out, etc. After our first, I had almost no time or energy for any kind of exercise -- it was all I could do to stay productive at work and get home to keep my wife sane.
     
  6. Pacificshore

    Pacificshore Purple Belt

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    Not sure what your instructor would do, but I know what I would do, and that would be glad to have you back at training first and foremost, and then worry about the lil stuff like paying later ;)
     
  7. Sylo

    Sylo Purple Belt

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    So, I talked to my instructor a little while ago.

    I told him that I had mailed him some of the balance already.
    He told me, that If I went ahead and payed 1 more month, that I could go ahead and return and start back up. I owed a bit more than I thought. I think that sounds pretty fair.
     
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  8. theletch1

    theletch1 Grandmaster

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    If you're happy with the outcome then it's very fair, indeed. Good luck in your training and keep us posted on how it's going.
     
  9. jarrod

    jarrod Senior Master

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    don't use contracts, but if i did i think i'd offer deferments. in other words, if three months into your contract you disappear for a legitimate reason (new baby, new house, new job, back to school, inury, sick relative...i.e., having a life outside of the dojo) when you resume you would have nine months remaining on your contract. i don't see why anyone has to pay for a service they're not using. but i'm not a rich man, either.

    jf
     
  10. BLACK LION

    BLACK LION Black Belt

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    well.... if you were not there to utilize training,"contract" or not it does not matter.... its not a cable bill or car pymnt and if its not a money machine then your instructor should be very understanding and should respond with "dont worry about it, just come train and we will work out he money thing later"... any place that has to lock you in for at least a year always raises flags for me becuase it is that way for a reason.... money not martial arts
     
  11. Imua Kuntao

    Imua Kuntao Green Belt

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    I do not like or use contracts, however I am still business minded. Under those circumstances i would say ok, lets amend the contact and start over, or cancel the old contract and do another starting over. There was a lack of communication on both sides I feel, and a do over seems to be able to remedy the situation for both parties.
     
  12. Sylo

    Sylo Purple Belt

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    I agree..

    in defense of my instructor. He sort of has to use them. We come from a very poverty/welfare driven part of the country. There are alot of people here, that think of my instructor as cheap babysitting, as his dues are still cheaper than most daycares. Parents put their kids in, and a month later pull them out when they don't need a daycare anymore. He'd never be able to pay his bills that way. His rates are the lowest of anyone in this region. Everyone else is about 3x as expensive. His contract does have a "life changing" clause. For things that would interfere. But, if you sign up for 6 months and then you decide video games are more important. You still have to pay whether you go or not. If it weren't for the nature of where we live. I have no doubt he would have no contracts. But maybe 1-100 people that come through his school now.. MIGHT make it to 1st degree. Everyone else will quit after yellow.

    My instructor is yearning for students who WANT to learn the art. All he ever gets are people just spot filling, or filling holes in their day. Most aren't that interested. He looks for people like me, who actually research martial arts, watch videos of different martial related stuff, and who has a genuine interest to learn. I feel he's been very fair, and I don't mind the contracts. As long as nothing out of the ordinary comes up.
     
  13. tko4u

    tko4u 2nd Black Belt

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    The main thing I can tell you is to talk to your instructor, tell him whats going on. Communication is ALWAYS the best option. If he knows whats going on, he might be more sympathetic. Be honest, open, and up front. If you tell him the truth, he should understand, because in the end, it doesnt matter what any of us think, at the end of the day, its up to him. Good luck! hope it goes well:)
     
  14. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    Or he's simply trying to be sure that he can stay in business for ALL of the students. I think it's pretty noteworthy that he apparently didn't put the account into collections, or do other pretty sleazy things that are purely about making money. When the student returned, the teacher worked with them on the payments and allowed them to return to class.

    I'm not a fan of contracts, especially without various escape clauses -- but I recognize that they are a reality of the business side of many commercial martial arts schools. But that doesn't mean a contract is inherently bad or wrong -- or can't be paired with high quality training.

    Oh... and a contract, whether you use the services or not, remains a legal obligation. If you don't cancel the cable bill, you're still obligated to pay it even if you never turn the tv on. If you join a gym, you pay the fees, whether or not you workout. And, if you join a martial arts school and sign a contract -- a person of character will pay that bill, like any other, whether or not they attend the classes.
     
  15. Sylo

    Sylo Purple Belt

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    This is kinda how I was looking at it.

    If he said "Don't worry about it" to everyone who ever decided to break the contract. He would have been out of business a long time ago. He's very lenient about alot of stuff.. Like gear. He'll just give it to you on good faith if you don't have the money right then. He knows you'll pay it back, even though tons don't and he never says anything about that. But yeah, I feel like I owe the money regardless of whether I was in the class. It was my choice not to go.. I could have called him when I knew I wasn't going to be making it for a while, but I didn't. Because it was a week by week thing. I'd say to myself "I'll just skip today and by next week I'll feel better" and the next week I'd do the same thing. I'm going to go up there and pay the other 50 today so I can get back to business.
     
  16. jarrod

    jarrod Senior Master

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    by no means was i ripping on your instructor or people who use contracts. i just think they should be avoided when possible. i recognize that sometimes it's not possible.

    jf
     
  17. celtic_crippler

    celtic_crippler Senior Master

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    If I were your instructor I would not....could not...in good concious demand money for classes you did not attend.

    You had a baby...missing class is understandable. I would only charge you for classes you attended...but that's me.

    Unfortunatley...you must deal with the school you attend and the instructor there along with their policy.
     
  18. Sylo

    Sylo Purple Belt

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    I see your from GA as well..
    what part?
     
  19. tshadowchaser

    tshadowchaser Sr. Grandmaster

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    As you have talked with your instructor already and he has said that you can come back why not go back. If you still owe some on the bill perhaps you can work out something with him to pay as you go.
    If you want to study then go back to that school or find a different one to go to.
    Personally I think he should understand the circumstances but that again is a personal thought and I am not him.
     
  20. Sylo

    Sylo Purple Belt

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    Lol.. I am going back Monday. He sent me a bill today for what I just paid, and my next payment. He's working with me. I'll be back in full force monday.
     

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