Whose Job Is It Anyway?

Question 1: When you fill in for another Pilates teacher and the gym asks you to take over the job, what’s the right thing to do?

Answer: Ultimately it’s up to the gym who teaches there, so if they want another teacher instead of the current one it’s their call; but it’s absolutely necessary for you to inform the Pilates teacher who asked you to cover of the request. Ditto if the gym asks for your business card. Give it to them, yes (it’s over-dramatic if you outright refuse to give them a card), but then inform the teacher who gave you the job that the gym asked for your card.

Question 2: If you say “yes” to cover another Pilates teacher regular class, whose responsibility is it find another teacher if you find that you can’t do the job?

Answer: It’s up to you to find a replacement. As soon as you say “yes” to cover a class, the class is essentially yours for that session. And as it’s yours for the session, the responsibility of finding a replacement if necessary is also yours.

What you don’t do - EVER - is throw the class back to the teacher who asked you to cover. Reputation is everything in this business, and I can tell you that I immediately cross anyone off my list who throws a job back to me when something more interesting or lucrative comes up for them. Such ‘professional’ standards are just not professional enough for me. When I pass on a class I want to do so with peace of mind, knowing that it will be done and not suddenly hurled back at me.

But what if the class was passed on to you by a Pilates teacher covering for someone else? Simple: the responsibility lies with whoever is currently set to teach the class. Each time the class is passed on, the responsibility is also passed on with it. So even if it’s ten teachers along, the responsibility is with that final (tenth) teacher. In other words whoever said “yes” to the class last holds the responsibility for that class.

Question 3: If you ask someone else to cover your regular Pilates class and suddenly find that you can do it after all, is it okay to take back the class for yourself?

While it’s your right to take your own job back, I think it’s very uncool to do so. Organising someone to cover for you is a verbal contract that you should honour. As I said, reputation is everything in this business and giving something then snatching it away is unacceptable in my opinion.

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Adopt a homeless animal instead - they all deserve a second chance

It's estimated that 130,000 dogs and 60,000 cats are killed every year in Australia because there are not enough homes for them all. And the global numbers amount to millions upon millions every single year.

Puppy mills are a major contributor to the terrible problem of overpopulation. Puppy mills are essentially 'dog factories' where dogs are forced to churn out litter after litter, with no thought for the welfare of the dogs and all thought for profit. The dogs live in appallingly dirty, cramped conditions all their lives, and when they no longer serve their purpose they're killed, dumped or sold to vivisection laboratories.

Petshops fit into the picture because puppy mills are generally where petshops get their animals from. Furthermore, having animals in shop windows encourages impulse purchases, and adding an animal to your family should be a conscious, careful decision - NOT one to be made while shoe shopping.

Breeders contribute enormously to the tragic statistics above too. And it doesn't matter whether they're professional breeders or backyard breeders, and whether they breed for profit or not, because while there are homeless animals sitting on death row in shelters, any and all animal breeding is utterly irresponsible.

Now, here's where you come in. You can either be part of the problem or part of the solution. You can either buy animals from puppy mills, petshops or breeders and be part of the problem. Or you can adopt from a shelter or rescue organisation and be part of the solution.

If I haven't convinced you, visit your local shelter to see the homeless animals. Let their innocent faces convince you that adopting is the only responsible choice to make.

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