One of my favorite shows is Reno911! One of my favorite movies is Reno911: Miami! This story has nothing to do with the show.
The first spa I worked in was not ideal, but as we all experience (well, most of us do), it takes time to get to the top. Not only was Spa Unrejuvinated my first spa but it was in Hawai’i back in 2007 or 2008.
I had been hired quite hastily and should have taken it for a sign but I was just excited to actually have work. I was to be hired as an ‘on call’ therapist, only coming in when there was an appointment and no therapist.
The owner of Spa Unrejuvinated (who was a not so nice lady and I, of course not having been hired by her, wouldn’t know this until later) calls me in for an hour long swedish massage. Yay! A client! I had been at the beach but lived near by so I quickly ran home and changed. I wore a black tshirt and black and white checked shorts with slippers (flip flops for those not into the Hawaiian lingo).
Side note: For those unfamiliar with the practices of massage, a therapist is supposed to meet the client and have them fill out their intake form. This form has current conditions, injuries, etc etc. It also gives the therapist an opportunity to get to know the client before going in for the hour long rub down.
(Continued story) I walk into Spa Unrejuvinated and there is the red headed, wild haired ((think Trelawney with red hair)) owner who I had not had the pleasure of meeting. She is dressed in a mou-mou and leaving a massage room with a large blanket. I quickly introduced myself and she informed me I was already late so the client was already on the table. Now, on a personal note, I don’t like to have clients on the table before I meet them because I like to adjust the height of the table according to the client’s size. She tells me the client is expecting an hour massage and “cannot be face down because he has very bad asthma.” Okay…… and? “And he was too warm in the blankets and flat sheet so I gave him a bath towel to use instead.”
RED FLAG #1 A client does not want to be draped.
So I nod and smile and head into the room. Lying on the table is a giant man with a stomach so big that the towel covering him is barely grazing the massage table itself. I confirm his condition and begin the massage. I start massaging what some would call a neck (and others would call the area between his head and shoulders). I do this in the beginning when I’m trying to think of my strategy for a longer massage with limited areas to work on. He requests that I work on his legs almost immediately. Since he was being draped by a mere bath towel, I didn’t bother moving the towel up any since it barely covered half his thigh. I worked on his feet and shins and moved on to the quadriceps. He made a feeble attempt to move his legs a little further apart, but considering his size compared to that of the table, he didn’t get far. I asked if he was uncomfortable and he responded by asking me to work higher up on his leg. So I do. “A little higher, miss”.
RED FLAG #2 Can you work on my upper thigh?
I worked a little higher but it was not high enough apparently. He persisted and I refused. I informed him that there was a limit on how high up one’s leg I will massage. He stayed quiet for a while and I continued the same pattern onto his other leg. In the way patterns work, he kept up his pattern on the other leg as well. I again politely informed him that I do not work on upper thighs. He tried to tell me that he rides bicycles and needed that work done. I refused and he asked me to work on his stomach.
(Insert throw-up face here)
His STOMACH??? That giant pile of hardened lard could have made Santa look anorexic! The abdominal region is a touchy area for many people. As a newer therapist, there are only a few different ways to massage a stomach. For me, I only knew one. I rubbed his belly clockwise, to encourage digestion I suppose (but it was too late for this guy). The table was a bit higher than I liked it to be, so his stomach was about where my ribs are (mind you, I’m 5’2″).
As I’m trying to put my mind into a happy place in this slightly uncomfortable situation, I begin to notice his hands are fidgety. Apparently he was trying to push his towel down a little further and a little further more. I asked him to refrain from moving the towel (or removing it!) and he informed me I was missing his “lower abs” and to “please, concentrate a little HARDER on those.”
RED FLAG #3 Pushing draping down and asking for “low low stomach” massage.
I was starting to get a little heated and asked him what his intentions were? And there… out of the towel below the mountain-belly comes a little $100 bill. Of course its crumpled up.
Ew. This is not happening. I close my eyes and open and its still real. Okay, now I’m fed up. I inform the man that this spa was not a whore house and that I did not go through years (actually only 6 months) of massage school to be offered $100 to do “Extra” services.
“Well I’m from Reno. And in Reno, we can get a lot for a hundred bucks!”
“Well, SIR, this ain’t Reno!” I told him that if he wanted that crap he’d have to look in the back of the Weekly for those kinds of massages.
What a lousy first day at this spa! I didn’t want to make a bad impression though so I took a moment and calmed down. I informed the man that he had two options. I was going to leave the room and either he gets dressed and leaves after paying in full (that should have been the only option) or he can stay on the table and when I come back in, dont say another word.
I stepped out and grabbed a quick sip of water all while my new bosslady is asking me why I left the room. I told her what happened and she said ‘well theres only a few minutes left of the massage so go finish it.” in-con-thievable!
I stepped back in the room and he apologized. I informed him the deal was he could finish the massage if he shut up right? I put a towel over his eyes and worked on his neck again. With only 2 minutes left in the massage, he propositioned me again and I dropped his head on the table and left. I went to the back room shaking with anger. After he left the
witch bosslady came back and said “He must have really liked your massage because he left you a twenty-five dollar tip!!” I looked at her like she was crazy and told her about what happened. She shook her flaming hair and said what a shame.
I returned to the room and removed the sheets (using gloves) and found that crumpled up $100. I put it in a plastic bag (using gloves) and sprayed it down with Lysol. I took it to the bank and deposited it, warning the teller to use gloves when handling the money.
*PS I stayed with that company for almost a year. More stories to come on that*