I like getting dirty… is that okay?

I remember one of my first interviews that I had. I’m rather… well, introverted at times and when I was younger it was even more so. When I first started interviewing they’d ask me, “Where do you want to work?” and I’d just answer back, “Ummm… wherever I’m not with people.” That’s how I got into the whole dog grooming thing. It was the only job you were off by yourself, doing your thing, but it turned out to be quite a lot of people work. You’d answer phones while holding onto the dog you were still working on so they wouldn’t leap off and choke themselves.

Certain dogs like to try to commit suicide at the groomer. I swear that is the point of it, because they will leap so many times off of that table when it’s at its highest, you drag them back, and then they wind up falling off the side all over again.

For my first interview (and the one I got hired on) there was a man and a woman interviewing.

I should not interview with men. In retrospect, I was a little too much with it.

Guy: This job requires you to get dirty a lot. (dog grooming, that is).

Me: I like getting dirty. I’m just a dirty girl.

Guy: Part of the uniform is wearing a smock.

Me: Do I have to wear anything underneath it?  (seriously… I said this).

I might have said a few other flirtatious things too. I thought he was kind of cute, and the woman there wasn’t exactly asking the questions so I was mainly just answering the questions he asked. I can’t believe I got hired for the job, looking back, with my horrible interview skills and my goofy answers to the questions. I showed up on my first day at work on the wrong day wearing the wrong clothes. My soon-to-be manager looked at me like I had two heads.

I don’t blame her, it was my mistake, and later on we laughed out about it. She’s still to this day one of my favorite managers I’ve ever had. I was definitely spoiled by her, and couldn’t ask for a better experience for having a manager. She was very understanding, never raised her voice at me, and always tried to get two sides of the situation. My first manager ever was kind, funny, and she was great to work with. If I thought I could survive dog grooming I would have stuck with it, but it’s more exhausting than massage… and that is saying a lot.

My interview skills have improved and I’ve learned it’s all about knowing about the game and how to play it so you win. It was still hard, even as I got better and more confident in myself, to get those second interviews. Plus, we have to give a free massage as part of the ‘technical’ within a review. They’ll almost always call you back so you can give a free massage to someone. And doing free massages leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Oh, and what was your worst interview? 

Hormones are a dangerous thing

Hormones make you want to crawl into a hole...

I have the cutest, sweetest, client who comes to see me and she used to see me more often but their financial fund kind of dried up. She’s just one of those people who you meet and you’re kind of like “You can’t be for real… I never knew someone like you could exist!” Just as sweet as marshmallow fluff,  and so we’ve gotten to know a little about each other over time. She’s one of those few clients I discuss a little of my life with her, and she does the same with me. The last time I was really concerned about her because she came in my room and started crying, and it truly did kind of break my heart.

When she told me why, it really broke and then tore my heart still beating onto the ground.

She and her husband are trying to have a baby. But, unfortunately, it’s not as easy as it is sounds. She has the same thing that I have: Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. I was diagnosed with it just when I was a teenager, I’ve been on birth control pills ever since. It’s where there are a ring of cysts encircling the ovaries. When they found out about it I had a cyst the size of my ovary, or bigger, that I continued to have for 2 years. Being put on birth control pills was rough, I went through different brands that made me physically sick and the patch which made me want to scratch my skin off and like it was burning my skin at the same time. I’ve gone off birth control (of course, before dating anyone) with no success. I can’t be regulated without it, I’ve tried and failed.

My client tried to get pregnant the natural way, but had to resort to hormone injections. And, they were just making it too much for her to handle that day. It makes you feel pregnant with all of the side effects and just really is like, what I would think, being dosed with steroids.

I want her to get pregnant so badly. I know she wants it so terribly, and I find it so heartbreaking. She’s only a client of mine, but since the last time I saw her I was worrying about her. She was so funny when she came in, she said she was craving Mexican food and Mexican music. She told me she thought maybe, possibly, she might just be pregnant. And I want her to be. I wish I could make it happen because you can see it in her face, and even feel it in her body she has been working so hard to make this work. My client would be such a wonderful mother since she is so sweet, and I could see her spoiling her little boy/girl like crazy.

My client even asked me, since she was really thinking maybe, possibly, she might be pregnant if the massage might hurt it. If I was early in my career I would scared to do it, because I don’t want to do anything to mess it up. But, massage can be done in any period of the pregnancy, and I’ve had tons of experience doing it from the first, second, and third trimester. We talked about her family this time, and her husband’s family, who she loves, is going to drive up from god knows where to get bring her craving for Mexican food home to her.

It’s such a fine line to tread… I want to ask her if she is pregnant the next time I see her, but I will be so heartbroken again if it’s not true. I’m going to let her take the initiative, she knows I’m so rooting for her. If she comes back and says she’s pregnant, I don’t care if I’m in a Spa, I am going to leap for joy, make a ruckus, and I’m hugging her. It would definitely make my day to find that out! I feel like she’s meant to be a mother, and she’d make a wonderful one.

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.

Bitter is as bitter does

I know somebody who is super, duper bitter… and for good reason, I don’t blame them for it. And I’ve been raised to basically expect shit nothing and be super surprised, excited, and amazed when I get something more. But, I find it exhausting mentally and physically to work on extremely negative clients, who have a ‘woe is me’ attitude which is not helping them get past their body issues and probably making it worse. Even when I was single I tried to be happy and excited for people who met someone… all I ask is for the guy to treat them well and make them happy.

Okay, I’ll admit it, when girls get roses at work for Valentine’s Day and stuff I’d grumble when I was single. And maybe think about stealing a rose and putting it in my room and pretending someone gave it to me. “Oh, is that from your boyfriend?” “Oh… yeah.”

And when they got chocolates I’d want to steal a tiny bite and put it back in the box.

But, I didn’t, I was good, I just thought of it.

I also can’t stand it when people complain about being slow with services, then they get somewhat booked or really booked, and then complain about that. I am more than happy to be booked, no one bothers me when I have about 4-5 massages and I have just enough time to eat a lunch. Also, I don’t mind too much staying late for work either, I’m happy to be there, even if it’s in the morning and I am so not a morning person. That’s not to say I don’t get irked when my lunch becomes non-existent and I get 4 chair massages booked back-to-back… but that’s mainly because I cannot stand chair massages.

I can get being mad and angry at men for what you’ve been put through with the jaded person. For a long time I was the same way, but deep down I am a bit of a hopeless romantic. I love little cards, sweet text messages, candlelit dinners, cuddling, ect. I’m not very trusting and I don’t want to trust people. I want even less for people to know about my personal life if they know me, I think my managers sometimes don’t know what to think of me, how to predict me, because they know nothing about me. I’ve tasted what it’s like to be bitter and find it much better if I’m positive and I’m optimistic.

It takes a lot of energy for me to be mad at someone… especially if it’s the entire opposite gender. And, don’t get me wrong, I’ve growled at a few guys who have looked my way to scare them off (the man included). The person literally said they were jaded, and I know if I tried to discuss why it’d just get them heated, so I let them blow off steam. In due time the bitterness will wear off or be too much to be palpable.

Friday the 13th: Friday from Hell

This Friday was about one of the worst Fridays… ever. Now, Saturday it’s common knowledge it is going to be freaking nuts, but Friday was quite a piece of work.

One of the girl’s was doing a facial when the facial machine exploded, flooding water and glass all over the floor. She, of course, doesn’t know quite what to say and then is like, “Um, well, excuse me but I need to get another machine…” she finishes the facial with her feet in water and has to clean up afterwards. It was a mess.

One of my other co-workers, who is a friend of mine, was going to the laundry mat since our washer is broken and knelt down to grab some towels to put in the machine and her nose starts gushing blood. Poor thing freaks out, like I probably would, because she doesn’t get nose bleeds and is in a strange place where no one speaks English and she doesn’t know where anything is. She told me when she was telling me this story the first person she thought of to call to come get her was me. Luckily, it stopped and she was okay.

I started out my day with 1 massage ending up with 4 massages and 3 chair massages = 6 hours  of massaging. My first guy I had was in so much pain I could tell he was hurting before I met him. He wanted a good amount of pressure + stretching so this put more of a strain on my wrists then I wanted. The worst strain was doing a stoke I knew wasn’t working for my hands but I did it anyways so I was feeling sore after that. Another client walks in for a massage, my lunch got moved down to like 4pm, and the chair massages kicked my ass too. I just can’t use my body weight as much as I want during a chair massage.

I’m exhausted, everyone and anyone is pissy that day, my last massage decided to extend it and get a 90 min. massage. I come home, the man asks me how my day went, and I growl at him while I slink away to lay on the bed and go into a mini-coma.

Today was better, and I got mini cupcakes dropped off by the man at my work and that was such a cute little surprise and I was so happy. We’ve been watching Cupcake Wars and I always say how much I want a cupcake afterwards, and he tells me to get one, and I ask him doesn’t he know how cheap I am? So, that made my day, as well as me coming home to him and he had dinner all set up. It was candlelit and he had pork chops and potatoes, and ice wine to finish it off. The weekend is over, I got tomorrow off and I couldn’t be happier to have a day off.

Leave your issues at home

There are some people who do not know how a spa/relaxation area/retreat for 1-1 1/2 hours works. Here is a nice little list of pet peeves of mine, though I could come up with so many more. In the end, there aren’t too many things that actually bug me when I massage, the main one which kind of gets to me is twitching/adjusting yourself the entire time. I can feel when someone isn’t relaxing and I find it harder to relax myself, and if I relax during a massage it’s easier on my body to do it.

Please don’t twitch/adjust yourself for the whole hour

I don’t know what’s going on with you. I don’t know if it’s an inability for you to relax, you’re not happy with me, or just that you’re getting so congested that you can’t breathe and this is driving you nuts… I mainly just go back to it being me. I can feel when you aren’t relaxed. I can feel when you’re just there thinking about your day vs. you actually taking this time to let go, breathe, and really reboot yourself for the first time in 6 months, a year, ect.

Please, PLEASE do not bring your phone/planner into my room

It’s bad enough someone brings their cell phone/planner into my room, it’s even worse when I’m massaging them and they answer it. This is the time to relax, Joe, Jane, Shane, can wait to talk to you for an hour or an hour and a half. Don’t worry, the world will not self implode if you do not check out your facebook status or return that text message… I promise.

Don’t wear that hard to take off jewlery when you know you’re getting a massage

You know you’re getting a massage so why would you have that tinsy, tiny clasp necklace on that you know you can’t get off by yourself and I’m not going to stand there and not help you as you fumble and screw with it. FYI- after a massage is also even worse to try and put these things on, I’m surprised I can. Just leave it at home.

Please don’t moan the entire time

Nothing quite gets me moments from laughing out loud or just plain being creeped out than having a moaner. They just won’t stop the entire massage and one of my first massages on a guy was that he was a moaner. I was super creeped out and massaged him from a distance straining my back since I wanted to keep space between us and I prayed for it to be over with. If you keep it going the entire time nowadays I’ll probably just start laughing.

Looking at me is unnecessary and creepy during the massage

There is a reason why I have a little eye pillow to cover your eyes when you flip over face up. I cannot stand people watching me massage, and you hate to look at them as they look at you, because there’s that awkward moment of, “umm, well, maybe you should just close your eyes/look away.” I’ve had some people actually sit up on the table to watch me at their feet, so, I stop that with the little warmed eye pillow and breathe a sigh of relief that I won’t be watched.

Don’t kick the dog

 Finally, don’t do the “kick the dog” syndrome of attacking me for life’s problems. There is no reason for you to treat someone badly just because you’re having a bad day. Save your anger for a fluffy stuffed toy when you come home and beat the crap out of that, don’t verbally beat me just because I’m there.  That goes for outside of the spa/salon realm though, just try and be nice to people even if it is a super crappy day. Karma will smile upon you and so will the person helping you.

A waste of money or not?

I struggle with the idea of going back to school to get my Bachelor’s. I love college, enjoy learning more and getting an education, but I don’t have the money for it and find that when I interview for jobs, every single one of them never even look at my Associate’s I got. Especially with this profession it seems they want to make sure I’m licensed, I’m covered with liability insurance, and I have some helpful continuing ed with massage. Do I know sports massage? Hot stone? Prenatal? Thai massage? The Associate’s would be placed back inside of my folder quickly and I’d bring out the necessary paperwork.

Getting an education isn’t a waste of money, I do believe that. Educating yourself and learning more about the world around you and taking classes was one of my favorite things when I was a student. But, when that bill comes out of my paycheck and my folks are no longer helping me out with it… I’m stuck. Let alone, even in college, I didn’t know what to major in. I ended up getting an Associate’s Degree in General Studies. If I did have a degree I’d want one that would be versatile enough to be used in a number of situations and would be helpful for what I was doing.

I still don’t know what I’d major in. Something useful, right? I know how much college costs but it feels almost to me that the Bachelor’s has become the Associate’s, and the Master’s has become the Bachelor’s. I’ve heard from a lot of people after getting their Bachelor degree that they can’t use it toward the field, or even seem to get their foot in the job door.

I’d hate to be $20,000 or more in debt with a Bachelor’s, and it turns out to be just another piece of paper. To me, it means so much more with my associate degree and to have it.

I have that itch to go back to school … and that is an expensive itch to scratch. I’m hoping I might get financial aid when the time is right, but if I can’t, I don’t think I can do it. It’s something I’ve thought about since I graduated college. I graduated from college about the same time I graduated from massage school, and it was just so weird not to be a student. You whine about homework and teachers, but when you don’t have it you tend to miss it. Or, at least, I certainly did.