MONTCLAIR, NJ—Only two weeks after signing up as an employee at Onward Health And Fitness, area resident Jennifer Lazar, initially enthusiastic about shedding excess debt in time for summer, has already lost interest in her "tedious" five-day work routine, sources reported Friday.
"I knew it was going to be tough and that it would take time to see any changes in my bank statement, but going to work day in and day out got old real fast," Lazar said.
Although Lazar, 25, started with zeal as a receptionist for the popular Montclair-area health club, pledging to "wake up early each morning and hit the gym's front desk right away," her enthusiasm quickly ebbed when the reality of the job's demanding regimen began to sink in.
"I don't know how the other people do it," said Lazar, who speculated that her coworkers must either be "ultra-disciplined," or lead less hectic lives. "By the time I get through the grocery shopping, take my cat to the vet, and make payments on my car, there either isn't enough time or I'm just too wiped out to even think about heading to the gym."
While Lazar started her first week "on the right foot," she decided to skip her fourth day of work, claiming that it had been months since she'd performed any service-related activity and didn't want to "overdo things at first." By the end of the second week, however, Lazar had completed only two six-hour work sessions.
"I planned to go in to work every day last week, I really did," Lazar said. "But for whatever reason, I just couldn't get motivated to leave the house."
Lazar has also cited recent rainy weather and heavy construction slowing traffic across town as reasons to stay home. "This has just been a bad month to start a new routine, what with all the other stuff I have going on," Lazar said. "Maybe I should just take the rest of the week off and start fresh first thing Monday morning."
On the few occasions in which Lazar managed to "squeeze in" an hour on the club's phones or photocopier machine, she said that the repetitive and unchallenging nature of the activities left her feeling unfulfilled and physically drained rather than energized and rejuvenated. "It's just the same mindless motions over and over," Lazar said. "I can do this stuff at home without having to drive 25 minutes out of my way."
Alex Driessen, a fellow front-desk clerk who personally trained Lazar in her first week, expressed no surprise at Lazar's excuse-making and lack of persistence.
"I've worked with a lot of people like Jennifer," Driessen said. "What people don't realize is that the key to on-the-job success is simply to show up every day."
Lazar admitted that her "carefree" years of inactivity, when it seemed like she could sit idly with no consequences, have finally caught up with her. Although concerned that her once-slim credit-card debt has been ballooning almost out of control over the past several years, Lazar said it's still not enough to get her to "hunker down" and change her habits.
While some people are able to achieve a sense of personal accomplishment and satisfaction by working, Lazar said it is just not for her.
"Maybe I can't help it—maybe it's genetic. Whatever it is, it's time I accepted myself for who I am, instead of always holding myself up to society's unrealistic standards," Lazar said.