Usefulness equates productiveness

There is something about my work that gets me really frustrated. Weekends I am slammed, murdered somewhat with the physical work and I have to resurrect myself to do it all over again and then get a breather buffer day before I hop back into it. My weekday tends to be slow, much slower than my weekend so I have sporadic clients. I am a self-sufficient person and will keep myself busy with what needs to be done without you asking me. Just don’t punish me for what I don’t have control over, which is not having clients come in. It’s not like I’m sitting back there, twiddling my thumbs, complaining about how bored I am (which is what A LOT of people sometimes do).

I make the best out of a situation with what I’m given. Yet, it’s still not enough. I am still sent home.

There are many people who I can’t even count when they have gotten sent home. It’s like, impossible. But, me? Not so impossible, very probable. I feel actual anxiety waiting for them to track me down and say those dreaded words: “You can go home now.” What if I don’t want to go home? What if, since I’m part-time, nearly full-time, I need every hour I can get? And no, not breaking my hands/wrists/arms doing chair massages until I literally injure myself. I can’t do it without hurting like I can with a table, there is no oil, no leverage, no using my body. Just me squeezing my hands until they cry for mercy.

Yet, what I do besides the physical labor of me massaging I feel like is not seen as being productive enough in their eyes.

It’s just that I hate feeling like I’m not wanted, a burden, not beneficial if I don’t have clients. I understand you need to make money, but I also need to save my body. And massaging 24/7 is not “working smart.” It’s just very frustrating to be chased out of work like you are a witch and they running after you with burning stakes trying to get you the hell out of there. Oh well, it’s what they do, right? I’ll be working this weekend so I am already 90% or so booked so I can be alone in my room all day with my clients doing what I’m supposed to do.

In another life you were in my career

I swear sometimes the man was a massage therapist in another life. When he massages me it’s just as good, and sometimes even better, than a professional massaging me. I have massaged many, many women and one of the main complaints about their boyfriend, fiancée, husband, seems to be that they can’t massage at all. They are terrible at it, ranging from too hard, to too soft, to not giving a damn at all and basically doing a terrible job just to get out of it. This is why they come and see me, because I’m a professional, and know that massaging a muscle is not literally muscling your way into it, it’s much more than that. There’s a reason why we go through school, learn all those techniques, do Pathology, Ethics, as well as a number of other subjects.

But he is just so good. And the night before he even was talking about doing stretches and range of motion (R.O.M.) tests like a true professional.

The man was just taking a little too much pleasure in finding my worst spots and digging into them. I tried not to show pain, and attempted to cover my face so he couldn’t read it, but he was getting the worst muscles to work on and just working them like you wouldn’t believe. There were points in it I’d try to crawl away from him only to get him yelling at me, “Breathe! This will be better once we’re done. Just breathe! You call yourself a therapist?”

He was taking a little too much delight in it. If a certain spot I’d stay a little too poker faced he’d move to something else and I’d be hyperventilating and whimpering at the same time. The techniques he used on me weren’t his own and the torture spots were some he had learned from visiting his own massage therapist at the chiropractor. She seemed to just tell him to breathe through it while he was crying, so it seemed like he was taking revenge on his poor fiancée massage therapist, which would be me. I’m more of a relaxation massage with deeper techniques, so I had never done what he was trying out on me on any of my clients.

And, if my clients ask me to lay off the pressure, I ease up. The man just saw it as an opportunity yet again to tell me: “Breathe.” I probably needed the intense work on my pec minor (which is right around where the collar-bone is, right below it) but it was definitely not the normal deep shoulder massage he gives me where its strong pressure, and I don’t have to crawl away.

Then, he got all professional and sat up. He told me to stand up. Then, he held his elbows next to his sides and tried to move his arm over his head in the bent elbow position. Then, he showed me another stretch where you reach back with your arm. And, another one where you try to bring your shoulder blades so that they are touching. Each stretch I did wrong and he had to correct me, and eventually he gave up on teaching me. I’m about the worst person to be taught, I need to see it, hear it, feel it, and have all the senses included or else then it’s impossible for me to pick it up. I’m a very hard student. That’s why I understand when some of my clients may not get the stretches I tell them at first because I wouldn’t get it until after being shown fifteen times or so.

I swear he was a massage therapist in another life of his. He’s too good at it and delights a little too much in finding those ‘goody’ spots and just making you say Uncle and then diving in even deeper. To say the least I’m still sore today from it.

Jealousy is a Green-Eyed Temptress

I’ve been a jealous person since I was a kid. Now, it seems like I have another thing thrown into the mix of my envious nature. The other thing is the fact that I have to be the best at my career. Once upon a time I wasn’t a perfectionist. I didn’t even care about what my grades were, as long as they were passing that’s all I cared about. I’d get occasional Ds in school and mostly Cs, but never was I an A student. Then I hit college and suddenly everything changed.

I got my first few A grades in college and then kept getting more. I suddenly got a taste for being the best. And, like a strange addiction, I wanted more and more. Just being okay wasn’t good enough any more. Luckily enough, I got a late start with being a perfectionist. Unfortunately, I seem to be making up for that late start.

I’m slightly obsessed with it, especially when it comes to retail. High monthly retail numbers are very important for me to get raises. Even paid vacation is based on our monthly retail average. I like have to be the best at it. Which, brings on this whole jealousy being a green-eyed temptress thing, because I wasn’t seen as being the best. I’ve been busting my butt on those stupid numbers for the past 3 months, and have successfully beaten my set average each one of those months.

Yet, still, I feel like I’m not recognized for it. As if I’m held at such high standards that it’s not much of a deal. And, the thing is, it is a huge deal! I see maybe 50-60 clients a month, if not more. To get an average of $10 I’d have to sell $500-$600 worth of retail. People don’t like buying retail from massage therapists… I don’t blame them. Hair stylists get to send you home with shampoo, conditioner, and about 50 different products that you can use to style your hair. You can duplicate what they did in the Salon if you wanted to (though, if you ask me, it never turns out the same outside of the Salon).

Retail for massage therapists is tough. Period.

But, I don’t let this stop me. I push myself even though the odds are stacked against me. I laugh in the face of reality and try to educate my clients on the products I know will help them outside of the massage. I’m beating the goals set in front of me, and every month that retail goal looks like a mountain I have to climb. I don’t know if I have the endurance and perseverance to make it to the top. And, even more than that, go beyond the peak staring at me.

I’ve done it, yet I’m still not the best. The numbers are good, but another person did better than me. I’m angry at myself for jealousy tempting me and winning. I just want to be happy for that person doing it for herself, and kicking retails butt. The envy is still there, swelling inside of me, threatening to explode. I’m taking it hard, feeling like I didn’t do enough, as if I haven’t been my best. The feeling is one of letting myself down, because I’ve ended up having my standards higher than anyone else.

I just don’t know why I do this and feel like I haven’t accomplished enough? When, in reality, I’ve done everything I can possibly do and give my all to each and every massage. What else can I ask from myself? I guess just to be okay and realize that what I do is good enough. And, to keep a reminder that I’m only human and to take it easy.

Goodbyes aren’t my thing

I’m not a fan of saying goodbye to anyone. I’m even worse at keeping in contact with people, which means… I don’t keep in contact with people I knew before. It’s just so much easier to fall out of touch. I’m not afraid to admit I’m a loner and that’s the way I’ve been since I was a 5-year-old up until now. It’s easier to distance myself from people and not put myself out there. It’s part of the reason why I was so mean to my fiancée when I first met him, because somehow I didn’t want to fall for him.

And, well, you know how that turned out for me. I saw him the second night, couldn’t contain my goofy smile, and ended up giving him my phone number on the 3rd night after we met. Another day later we were on our first date, and I knew I was head over heels even with that first date. I never was a believer in love at first sight but when it actually happened to me I couldn’t even deny it. The moment I met him I was smitten, and that had never happened to me before and definitely scared me. I’ve had to fight myself especially in the beginning not to not push him away, because this is what I always did.

So, thinking about one of the estheticians leaving I’m trying to think of what I can say for goodbye. If I should take her out for a private going away thing, but I’m not sure what to do.

I’ve gotten better with pushing myself to try to be closer to the people I care about. I took one of my little esthetician buddies out for her birthday and we had ourselves a fabulous time. I’m already planning to take another one of my spa gals out to her favorite restaurant to eat for her birthday as well ( in February, which is lot of time to plan and save!). I haven’t told the February birthday girl what I’ve got planned for her, but I’m thinking I’ll keep it a surprise.

Now, with the gal who is leaving, she asked me if I’d come to visit her. I said yeah, I would, yet failed to mention how nervous I am about getting time off for my wedding/honeymoon and once I’m done with that in 2012 all of my time off will be used up. No matter how many years I’ve been there they only like to give a total of five days off a year. And especially hate giving two days off in a row to you. Even if those days you are lucky to even get 2 clients in a day.

The esthetician who is leaving has been a huge help when I’ve worked with her. I hate asking for help at my work, but lots of times she’ll already be there giving me a hand. We’ve had arguments, and butting of heads.  She’s actually the gal I went to her baby shower for and get her a Mommy Survival Kit and somethings for the baby, of course. And, where they played ‘Pin the Sperm on the Egg’:

She is, of course, a mom, so I can’t just take her after work and do something. I’ve got to plan it out, and she and I hardly see each other because the shifts we work together I’m so busy that I hardly have enough time to get out of my massage cave and see the light of day. These are all excuses, I know, but I’m not sure what I want to do. I kind of want to write her a card, because I’m better in the written word rather than spoken, saying how I feel and everything. Give her a little goodbye gift too. I always knew she was going to leave, just didn’t know when, but I don’t know quite what to do.

Goodbyes just aren’t my thing. I generally avoid them, and I don’t know what we should do if I decide I do want to take her out. I’m a little stumped and conflicted about the whole thing, to tell ya the truth. I think I got a good gift for her, and a handmade card I did, but besides that, not too sure about anything else.

Weekend Work Woes

After every Saturday I work I wonder quite how I survived it. Fridays sometimes stir this thought in me, but Saturdays are when I just wonder how much vodka I can drink to help ease the pain and get me to stop replaying situations in my head. Of course, the man won’t let me go crazy with that so instead he gets me some ribs from my favorite place and massages me even though I never do massage him. Which, I feel bad about, but I kinda think that my arms want to abandon me after the weekend if they could.

This Saturday was no different, though worse.

We have this situation where we have to rotate rooms which means more likely that we get behind because we have clients scheduled and if someone shows up late, and we still take them, we always take them if they show up late, then the timing is all off. This happened and I had to ask one of the estheticians to help me with changing over my room, which then another client yelled at me since she walked in and the person who was supposed to be out of my room wasn’t. It was an accident, but she was very upset, so I apologized only to get more bitching out by said client.

At one point, I clamped my mouth, basically said for her to have herself a grand day, turned on my toe to get to work changing over my room because obviously I was behind. It wasn’t my fault, yet it wasn’t going to change the chaos I had to deal with. Another repeat client of mine was asking up at the front why I was running behind so the manager came back to tell her about the situation and that it wasn’t my fault that I was running behind. She then discusses to me when I get in the room how she doesn’t want to be late for her hair appointment and set her behind.

I think about this. I worry about this. I don’t need a client telling me that I need to worry about this. I need to get you in, do what I need to do, and do my own form of damage control because I am left to my own devices on how to catch up. This added much more stress to me when I couldn’t even eat my food during my lunch. Ten minutes left I started pacing because my next client was there, the one client who was in my room who wasn’t mine wasn’t out, so I was left there to wait and pace.

I did six and a half hours of massaging. Luckily this was with varying degrees of pressure, from light, to medium, to a couple of firm, and I still feel the effects of it today. Even though I’ve been putting myself on a strict thing of being lazy and re-cooperating from yesterday. I’m so over-done, nothing quite upsets me or gets me as riled up as disappointing people, or not giving my all, or just the plain fact of being late and having my clients be upset about that. Even if I couldn’t help it, it still hits me. At times I’m satisfied that I’m hidden in a dark room all day, so co-workers can’t badger me about how things are going.

They aren’t going. They aren’t going great, good, or mediocre. I am managing as best as I can the situation, this day, and this moment. Do not try to tease me, because I may just bite you. There are times when I’m in a mood to deal with people giving me crap, and there are times where I am fighting myself not to throw that stuff right back in your face.

I am a pleasant person, giving, loving, caring, and most of all I am a hard worker who will try to, at all times when she is at work, give 100% and more to her clients. To not do that is a disappointment upon myself and I take it hard, harder than anything you could do or say to me.

I know that I need to remind myself that I am human. There are days I will be my strongest, there are days this career will give me a smile I go home with, there are other days where I will drive home like a zombie. My eyes will barely be open, my arms and hands hurt just from gripping the steering wheel and you’ll catch me driving one-handed to give an arm a break and switching back and forth. This career allows me to meet so many different people from so many different walks of life. It’s just some of those people aren’t understanding, and some of those people will yell at you for a mistake you didn’t even make.

You take what they throw at you. You wish you didn’t have to take it, you wish you could fight back, but you bow your head, move on, switch over that room, put a smile on your face, extend your arm, and take the next person back. You massage in silence, hoping they enjoy it, trying to read them, and having this eternal battle not to think about every possible thing going on in your head.

More money, more problems

My brother has this thing about interviewing for jobs which is kind of funny. It’s definitely uniquely him too, because while I may interview and I have no idea except maybe they liked me, but probably not, he has this overconfidence. He finishes up with an interview, and you’ll call him up, and he’ll be so excited and basically say, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, they loved me! I’ll be hired next week, it went perfect, of course, it’s me!” I can’t even count how many times he’s done this because I think it’s been after every single interview. He is just brimming with confidence and is so sure he has got it.  Now, how many of those jobs actually did hire him?

Ummm… not so many…

But, he recently had a job interview and was very excited about possibly being hired for it. He was, as me and my mother call it, twitterpated. My brother seems to have this wanderlust, it’s always greener, kind of outlook for things. While, with me, I’m a very loyal person and like to stick where I’m at. My brother for the longest time talked about leaving where we live to live someplace else for many years, which is not okay with me, because I need to have him around. If he had to eventually relocate I would understand, but I’d still want him to be here.

I just found out that he did get the job that he interviewed for. Supposedly, he will be making more money than his last job, but it will definitely have a lot more responsibilities. I thought that with his job that he had currently that he seemed to be not exactly happy, he was definitely more content than any of his other jobs. I’m just hoping he will be as happy as he can be with the new working situation.

If I just did my career for the money, and the money alone, I’d be long gone from it. If all that mattered to me was to make the most money, massage would be the last thing I’d go after. Maybe you can make a lot when you have your own spa, and you are a one woman show, but even then I’m not sure. I’d think the overhead might catch up with you even if the money goes straight to your pocket, a lot would come out of your pocket to keep your own business going. To say it’d be tempting to have your own hours, not have your lunch disappear from your shift, have control of when, where, what, is very true. I’m also realistic that there are cons and pros to it.

This career is what I do because I have a passion for it. A definite love for it. I have pride, confidence, and an ability in what I do that makes me cocky, yet also quite happy in it. When my clients leave and I can see there’s a change in them, a lightness in their step, it definitely makes what I do special and unique. Sometimes, some people leave and they never quite relaxed. It’s not my fault, I tried my darndest, gave my all, and that’s all you can ask with each session, and each client I have.

Organized to a fault?

Yes, I’ve been a little MIA lately, I’m getting ready for a trip with the man which is coming up next week. So, you won’t be hearing from me even longer since I won’t have my handy dandy lap top with me and no connection to the internet besides his phone with internet access.

I am extremely organized. I put every thing little thing down in my life in a notebook that is handwritten or the notebook option with my lap top. I write down every single cent of what I’ve bought with both cash and credit. I write down my bills from month to month too, even if each month is basically the same thing. So, when do you get over-organized? When is organized just plain you going off the deep end and borderline O.C.D? I sometimes can’t stop thinking about something until I write it down so I remember it, and when I am able to do that it’s like finally getting to an itch I couldn’t scratch.

I like to write stuff down on Post-It notes… for myself. I recently went through some boxes of mine and wrote down exactly what was in them in a post-it note. The man also can be extremely organized, and two organized people joining together can sometimes bring some conflict. He likes things done the way he likes them to be done, I like things done my way or the highway. This follows me into work too, though I try not to let my stubborn/bull-headed ways rear its head with what I do. I like to do something that is my idea, that I came up with, and if someone suggests for me to do it and it’s not my idea I do put my heels in a little compared to being gung-ho if it’s what I came up with.

I do stuff without being asked to do them, I like being this way. I send off bills the day of when I get them, I like to have someone ask me to do something and have it already done. Of course, I prefer above all else just being busy. One massage after another so I’m doing what I love and I can’t be asked to do mundane little tasks cause’ I’m locked up in my room with my client and they can’t get to me.

My Mom is doing better, and I recently went to the doctor for a check-up appointment. They couldn’t find anything else wrong with her besides the beginning stages of cataracts that they’re just keep an eye on. The man is good, work hasn’t killed me, and I got a new nifty phone that is shiny and pretty. I can’t wait for my trip with him and have a little black dress picked out for the wedding as well as some cute cleavage revealing clothes for everyday wear.

Life in the fast lane

I’m a slow paced person who doesn’t mind when things get fast paced. Sometimes I just think that I’m a contradiction. People always think, outside of my field, that my job/career is extremely relaxing. That’s not exactly true, clients are late, other clients come on time, my lunch may disappear then reappear, and see people from all walks of life. The reasons for seeing me, for getting a massage, can be incredibly sad and even heartbreaking.

One poor lady was using the gift card for her mother. The gift card was bought almost two years ago, and her mother’s health declined and she was in the nursing home and could barely remember her own daughter. She felt incredibly guilty using her mother’s gift card, but unfortunately her mom couldn’t use it. Another client just had a baby, hadn’t cried since she had the baby and she was super stressed out with never breaking down since her child was born but visibly she was burnt out. The people who may be a bit snappy at me (which is actually pretty rare) I take with a grain of salt because I’m sure they’re going through a lot even if they don’t say it.

I’ve met women who were pregnant and now their babies are a year old, which definitely surprises me every time. I keep on thinking at oldest the baby would be 6 months, but no, it’s been an entire year. Somehow my mind can’t wrap around that it’s been that long.

The lane is about to get faster. Saturday is going to be ridiculous, I have to drive to work, drive to someplace else, then I have to drive back. I am not looking forward to it, especially since with the traffic I’m probably going to be late driving back and it’s all their idea. I’ve been asked to pick up hours because one of the therapists quit and now they have all these hours that need to be covered.

I don’t know what to tell them.

I’m a whore for money.

But, I can’t be THAT much of a whore for money, because ever since I got my lower back strain, and luckily healed from it, I am more than aware that extra hours = a possibility of injury and it’s inevitable I’m going to be pain. I’m definitely not permanently picking anything up, because I know it’s not for me. And I don’t need the extra money, I’m fine with money and I haven’t been sent home, which is actually rare not to get sent home at least once every week.

I don’t know what to tell them tomorrow, I’m really apprehensive about it. But, I’m trying not to think about it too much, easier said than done. I know that if I give them an inch they’re going to take a mile, and I don’t want to give them a mile.

Blog my Shortcomings

I’ve been reading a lot of blogs… a lot. And so, I’m getting a sort of complex because lots of these are freaking funny. And, don’t get me wrong, I’m pretty freaking hilarious but I’m more of that funny person because they make fun of themselves and do stupid shit (action) type of funny rather than (written) funny.Of course, I say funny stuff before/during a massage sometimes and get people to laugh, but it’s like that random, spontaneous stuff I don’t think about.

I could never write funny stories, or purposely try to have something be funny in written text, short stories especially, because I’d feel like that person really pushing a joke and all you hear is crickets and muffled coughing in response to your funny ‘act.’ There’s no doubt in my mind that some people get my kind of funny in real life, and if they don’t, then they’re missing that funny chip to get it and that’s their loss.

People are hilarious on here, h-i-l-a-r-i-o-u-s. And I find myself chuckling even though I’m alone. Have you ever tried that experiment to see how much you rely on other people to laugh? Watch a comedy by yourself and notice if you laugh less when there isn’t someone there to laugh with you. I was in a not-so-packed movie theater seeing the movie “Get Low” which was awesome, by the way, and there were a few of the parts where me and my mom were chuckling together but the other 5 people in the theater not as much. And that movie has Bill Murray in it… and he just got me to at least smile once I saw his character because, hey, it’s Bill Murray.

I find it’s not a good idea to compare yourself to other people. You’re your own person, and that’s the way it should be, but even I fall away to my shortcomings. I want to be the best, maybe not here cause’ I know I’m not the best, but especially with my career. I want to have the best numbers, have clients really love me, and if they don’t love me, then it’s kinda like that funny chip being missing with some people and it really is their loss. Now, don’t get me wrong, the smart side of me says that not every massage therapist will be perfect for every client… even me. Some will want trigger point, thai massage, who knows what, and every one of us have been trained differently so someone may fit you better. But, the conceited side of me says that just can’t be true.

Just like every blog is different and could be perfect for someone, but then maybe not fit for someone else. You may love a blog which has recipes that you can try at home, or you may be like me and be unable to even make a decent mac and cheese. Your voice is your voice, uniquely you, and your experiences separate you from everyone else. Yes, someone may experience something that you’re going through, but your reactions, and how you live through it will be special to each person every time.

Mind is like a battlefield

I’m a type of person who says a lot of shit that goes through their head and I don’t really put up a wall to stop it. Now, don’t confuse me with what I like to call a vomit brain, who is a person who says every single little thought in their head even if it’s inappropriate and mean. That type of person who tells you twenty things at once, some of it very personal, where you cock your head, look at them, go, “uh huh” verbally while you wonder how they can talk that fast without visibly breathing. And wonder if they just insulted you in the same breath of telling you about their cat with the hairball and fuzzy the dog who just ran away… or worse.

No, no, I’m that type of person who doesn’t really care what people think. Of course, every person who says this has a piece of them which certainly does care, which strives to make people like them, and which recoils at the thought of someone not liking them for no reason except for the fact that they don’t like you. But, I live my own way, I don’t and haven’t fallen into peer pressure basically my entire life (but really grade school through college I didn’t fall into pressure, the teens was harder). Girls at work want me to color my hair, that’s not happening, they want me to wear make-up, that’s also not happening, I just do stuff if I want to do it.

And I either like people, or I don’t. Generally speaking I like about everyone and anyone, but if I don’t like someone, there’s a reason for it. I do have to battle myself at times to put up those walls to stop what I might be thinking about. At times that’s impossible, I say it without thinking, smile, and people laugh at my antics. I get away with a lot because I make people laugh, thank god.

Giving out empty compliments is not my way. If I tell someone something I mean it. With working in a spa I could give compliments out like candy, but no thanks, I’d rather it be genuine every time and unexpected.

I’m extremely honest with my job and my career, to almost a fault. I will tell a manager I’m working with what’s up, though I will never, ever, tell someone if I’m tired, if my arms hurt, if my shoulder blades are in a terrible amount of pain, I just don’t want to have what I tell them to be used against me. ‘Oh, hey, yeah, you were tired a week ago how about you go home early?” Uh, how about… no thanks?” Clients will ask me what’s up with them and what they can do to improve themselves, and I will tell them the truth. If they take my advice is another story all together.

And when I’m massaging I try to clear my mind and just listen to their muscles, but that’s especially when my mind can be a battlefield. It can be bouncing around with thoughts of dinner, what I’m going to do after work, my next client, how many hours I have left, so many things at once. It’s hard not to think of things when the person you’re working on is quiet and all you have is the spa music and you.