Can I just…? No!

I will admit it, yesterday was a rather rough day. Besides not meeting my retail goal, not selling to a single client the past two days, being completely booked, having someone steal a client from me to sell them retail (happens more often than you think) I was feeling like getting the hell out of there. I was at my limit, feeling worn, torn, under appreciated, and ready to run to my ‘weekend’ without working.

Then, it happens … I’m cleaning up, minding my own business, shutting things down, when I hear a voice.

First off, I thought I was alone, so lucky thing I wasn’t singing, or cursing at the sky, or anything like that. I turn around and see one of the front desk girls poking her head in my room. I’m not going to lie, she’s off the clock, on her day off, and my eyebrows probably raised and then turned into a scowl after she asked her question.

“Oh, wow, look at you, you’re open, you’re never open. I was just wondering, you know, if you had a minute, you could do like a 10 minute chair massage on me?” 

 Huh, hmmmm, I didn’t even think of my response. I just blurted it straight out, with eyebrows well-knit together in a what-the-hell-are-you-thinking look that said I am so done with this day! I basically said back to her what came to mind,

My shift was over like 50 minutes ago and I’m only here because I’m cleaning up, and then heading home. No, I’m sorry, I can’t do your chair massage because I’m over my shift.”

I don’t think she expected to be turned down, I don’t think she’d have it in me to do it. Yeah, I do, especially with a day where your mother comes in to get her hair done and says basically you are the worst daughter ever. Complains to everyone with an open ear how she just never massages you, and even though she does when you don’t tick her off, you don’t say anything good about her. You mainly complain about how she puts restrictions on what you say (Don’t talk about the man traveling, us moving, anything to do with him whatsoever) and later on tries to guilt you even further with the girl who is throwing your bachlorette party.

My mom tells me health issues with my friend who is throwing it and I don’t know how to react it. I know she’s pregnant, and her health isn’t the best, but she was the one who came to me to say her and a friend of mine are doing it. And my mother asked her if she still wanted to do the party, which she has asked many, many times to me.

If she didn’t want to do the party she wouldn’t offer. I’m done talking about it and if they want to do it, that’s fine, if they want to back out, that’s fine too. I didn’t ask for a party. I never once said to anyone, hey, why don’t you throw me a party? I don’t like anyone doing anything for me because I never want to owe that person a favor. Either way I’m getting baby gifts for my one friend and I bugged her to post an online registry because I need to get her gifts before I have to move. I’d rather do things for the people I care about just because I feel like it.

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100% booked all the way, baby!

For the past month it seems every single day I’ve been like 100% booked for each one of my shifts, even on the weekday. Now, I’m not complaining, mind you, because I’d rather be busy than doing stupid stuff to keep busy or rather than being sent home early.  I like being busy and massaging for my whole day, plus it’s just nice to be consistently busy so I’m not holding my breath all day waiting for the manager to say, “You can go home if you want to.”

Today was the first day I didn’t have to eat my lunch within 5-10 minutes and run back to the Spa to get my room set up again. I actually got to take my time and eat, which I definitely savored and enjoyed.

I get a break now which is helpful because my arms and my hands aren’t holding up that well to being so busy. My hands have started to ache when I’m massaging and they are cramping after I massage when I grab something. I’ve been having clients who need firm to deep pressure consistently and I’m noticing my body is screaming uncle!

Tomorrow is my glaucoma testing and we will see what they find out. I’m nervous and anxious, yet I just want to get this out-of-the-way. I will try to schedule the laser eye surgery to help with the pressure in my eyes after they do the testing.

Don’t assume I don’t have an education

I had a client yesterday who was a rare find for me to come across in my career… he was a talker. Now, I don’t mind talking, but pretty much 99.9% of my clients don’t like to talk during the treatment. Those who are in the .1% can talk about a wide range of things, yet you can group them into a couple of groups and they will fall into that.

Group A- I want to ask about your personal life

Group B- I want to talk about what’s going wrong in my life

Group C- I want to talk randomly about everything

I’d say a lot of my talkers want to talk about themselves, or if they are one who keeps on questioning about my own life, I will try to make the conversation be more about them. I don’t even like talking about my personal life to my co-workers, let alone a stranger I just met. The worst is when they get you to talk about your personal life and then start judging you. This drives me nuts, I just can’t stand people judging me especially when they absolutely don’t know me.

My guy yesterday was a definite talker. I haven’t come across a talker in a while, and with guys I find I’m not as much at ease talking to them as I am with my women clients. I’ve had some guy talkers have their conversations go into some weird places and it can make me uncomfortable. This is even rarer than coming across someone who wants to talk, but it’s happened before.

So, we were talking and he was a Group A. Wanted to know everything about me and this profession. How many hours I needed for massage school, if I went to massage school, if I needed liability insurance, how many different massage techniques are out there, what are the differences between chiropractic massage and massage in a spa, can massage be covered by health insurance. Whatever you can think of to ask me about massage he probably asked me. Clients in general might be a little bit curious, and he was definitely way past just a couple of questions about my career.

Then, he made an assumption I hadn’t heard before. “So, you went straight from High School into Massage School.”

I corrected his assumption, I let him know that I was in both college and massage school at the same time. Not only was I doing both of these at the same time (while juggling being in massage school full time, basically 5 days a week at 8 hours a day) I finished both massage school and college at the same time, in the same month. He then asked me why I didn’t continue with college and finish my Bachelor’s. I told him the truth, I just didn’t want to be bogged down by $30,000 or more in debt with a degree I may, or may not, be able to use. While I’ve been using my massage degree and license since I finished school.

Everyone who comes across me in this career think that this is just something I’m doing until I can’t do it anymore. I know this is the route I am taking even if I don’t want to admit it. Massage is physically demanding and tough on my body. It’s just that in the end the love I have for this career makes it worth the physical exertion I put myself through, which is true especially on the weekends.

I don’t even have to say, “Boo!”

Just imagine me waiting to spook you from behind this...

We have this running gag between me and the girls. We really do like to scare each other back there and most of the time when I do scare one of my favorite girls it’s actually not on purpose.

I have the quietest shoes ever.

One of my favorite things is to scare the new girls we just hired by either A) sneaking up behind them B) dancing behind them or the never fails tactic of C) just being myself. It is a right of initiation for every newly hired employee to be put through my weirdness and hope to survive at the end of the day. My favorite is dancing behind them, which many a person has pleaded to me, “Sarah! Stop it, you are scaring the poor girl!” Come on, my mad dance moves are many things, but scary in not one of them.

The spa can be a lot of fun. We always creep up on each other, or throw ourselves out at the perfect moment to run into someone, or just lay down on the floor and wait for you to look down and be creeped out because you had no clue anyone was in your room. I believe our domain of the Salon is incredibly humorous since we take advantage of the low lighting and weird music.

Plus, lack of clients back there sometimes helps. And the fact that we have rooms and can close the door or have some privacy to scare properly.

There are two estheticians, both are my favorites at the Spa, who continually try to up the ante on scaring each other. There was a perfect example today where one of them went into the other’s room to steal some laundry and she kept on calling out, “Hey! I know you are hiding, come on out! You aren’t scaring me this time!” I finally ended up telling her that she need not be paranoid, the other girl was up at the front and was not lying there waiting for the perfect moment to grab her leg.

The Secret is… there is no secret

There was a class going on and I had to do a retail class with the instructor of it months and months ago. I was a beast in the class (not as much as I thought I was, but I thought I was pretty bad) because I’m not lying when I say I don’t buy stuff for myself. Retail isn’t exactly my thing when it comes down to my end of actually getting stuff for myself… except for the products we use at our Salon. That is the only thing I spend my money on, and a good amount of it, consistently. But, she ended up telling me our whole group of Spa Gals receiving her class basically made her want to drink herself to death afterwards. Yes, we were that bad.

We just have a hard time with retail, some departments more than others, and it is not going to be a simple solution to fix it. That’s why, when she kept on trying to corner me to find out my ‘secret’ to doing better at retail, I wouldn’t give her a straight answer.

The secret is… there is no secret.

But, what do you mean?? Come on, the lady said, I gotta have some kind of information to fend me off from your kind (massage therapists) when I try to tell them they can do better at retail. I don’t down play that it isn’t easy, this is a struggle for all of us every single new month when it is re-started. I have had 3 months of beating my goals so this puts tremendous pressure on me… I want to make it 4 months of it. I’m a perfectionist, and I want to be the best. Especially since our massage therapists did really great last month with our retail and goals, which I am quite proud of, though I have to up my ante.

If there was a great formula for getting my clients to listen, I’d be doing awesome every week instead of sweating it out every day I work. I try to do my best to listen to what they tell me about what is bothering them, if they are having a hard time falling asleep at night, all that, to find some solutions to what could possibly help them. I believe in the stuff I offer them because it’s my own little addiction and the only thing I spend my money on are the products we use. And, of course, food and all that but with everything I buy I try to restrict myself on it and watch what I spend stuff on… always.

Sometimes I wish I could do this career and just focus on the massage and all that. Not to have to worry about the extras, but I do try to look at it as a challenge. And nothing quite gets a perfectionist all riled up quite like a challenge to conquer.

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.