The Table is In!!

Hip hop hooray!

After many weeks of struggling to order a massage table, my goal has been accomplished. And this morning, the sun shone through my window and woke me with good spirits. A foreign number appeared on my phone, followed by a voice speaking Korean. Which I know nothing of. After much babbling on both of our parts, he said ‘ahhh. no english.’ and i said ‘ahhh no korean. err, hangul, or whatever’ and then he continued to babble and I hung up because it was useless. My manager called on my behalf and informed me a large package was awaiting me downstairs. There it was. A giant box with my soul’s purpose within it. It was waayyyy too heavy to lift so i had to slide it to the elevator and across the entire building to my apartment. Then, with the ferocity of child on a Christmas present, I tore that bitch open. Out came my beautiful new massage table. It was quite heavy. I opened it up and it came with more little gifts!! It’s like Hanukkah early! Not one gift, but many gifts!! I had a headrest, arm sling, arm rests for the side of the table, and the gift I least expected… a carrying case. OH JOY!!!! Only thing missing is a car to get me from here to there with it. 

But it’s here. And I am going to start my side-business again. Regaining my peace of mind in this country of Khaos. I welcome back my massage abilities.

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My First REAL Korea Massage

This was an actual massage I gave! Not just a 5 minute backrub.

One of my neighbors was moving out last weekend and had a bunch of stuff to sell. But since moving here is expensive and payday is another month away, we bartered a little bit. I got a bunch of her stuff for an hour massage. I won’t tell you what I got, but let’s say my kitchen is happy.

Other than Thai massage, I have not done massage on the floor. I prefer not to because it’s not good for my body or the client’s. There is typically no facerest causing the person to have to crane their neck to one side and the other constantly. I feel it defeats the purpose of the massage.

 

Anyway, I have several yoga mats. One average one, one thick one, and a random eggshell type. I put the regular down first, followed by the eggshell, and then the thick one. I put a blanket down over it and the client was able to lay on a cushioned mat. At the time I didn’t have a facerest still so we used a mini pillow but she still had to keep her head turned to the side. Since then, I have purchased a nice thick ‘neck pillow’ (think of what you use on a plane) and its use as a face rest is perfect.

The massage was smooth I think. Not my best since I wasn’t accustomed to being on the floor, but i was able to give good pressure and flow.

I’m hoping to offer my service to other foreign teachers/workers in my area and earn an extra won or two.

Thank you, S.A. C for letting me work on you and experiment for a bit!! And thanks for helping my house get cozy! Good luck on your new adventures, your engagement, and travels! xoxo

The Mechanic’s Terminology

A friend of mine put a tiny dent into my car back on a popular summer holiday. He sent me to a mechanic friend of his to get it fixed. This mechanic was a big Italian (possibly) New York kinda guy. *You know… the giant gold cross necklace with fat fingers and creeping eyes* While waiting for a response from my friend on whether to go through with the $500 charge (obviously a rip off) the man and I were talking. He had seen my massage table and asked if that’s what I do. Instead of lying, I said ‘yea. I do outcalls.’ He said he could give me a bigger discount on the car if I gave him a  massage. I’m open to barter and trades so I said ‘Sure. Give me a call.’ Clearly, it had been before 10am since I gave him my card (aka I wasn’t awake yet). I also may have been thinking, “By the time this guy calls, I’ll be out of the country.” My friend ended up not wanting to pay $500 to fix a dent smaller than my fist (duh) so I left.

A few days ago I got a call from The Mechanic. He goes on about how his back hurts from his job and how Massage Envy doesn’t provide the massages he wants when he wants it and how he’s stressed and needs some stress relief. *BING* Flag  is up. Stress relief can mean two very different things in the massage world. It could mean ‘I have a lot of stress and I’d like to relax please’ or ‘I have a very specific location that I hold stress particularly south of my stomach and north of my thighs’. For some reason though (maybe the previously mentioned creeping eyes) stress relief sounded not quite right. But because it wasn’t blatant I had to keep going with my intake. I asked what time length he was looking for… 30? 60? 90? He responded with ‘Wow. Yea 90 minutes would be great.’ I said ‘ok! Just so you know, a 90 minute massage will cost $100’ and he responds with ‘Yea $100. $200. Whatever’ (((((???? okayyyyyy….))))) *BING* Flag turns orange – something doesn’t seem right with $100, $200, whatever.
My warning flag’s color change prompted me to explain what areas of the body I work on in a 90 minute massage. He said ‘yea uh huh okay’ a few times and responded with ‘Well is there any other therapeutic extras you offer? You know for stress relief?’ *Bing Bing Bing* Warning Warning. My flag is now red. Code red. Hooker nail polish red. ‘I usually offer hot stone massage or aromatherapy, sir. But those upgrades are currently unavailable’. “ookay” says he.

Therapeutic meaning therapy. Meaning something maybe out of balance or injured and needs repairing. In this case, The Mechanic used an excellent term to refer to an inappropriate action. Sneaky… but I’m smarter than that, douche.

I proceeded anyway (again, not quite post-coffee time). “May I have an address where the massage will take place?” ‘Uh.. I’m at a friend’s house so I’ll text it to you.’ “Okay, can you give me a general area so I know how to calculate the gas cost please?’ He tells me that part of town. “I’ll see you at 4:30, Mechanic?” ‘Yea. 4 sounds great. See you then. But call before, I want to make sure I’m awake and ready for you.’

He sends me a text with the address and, go figure, the address does not exist. The zip code is correct but the street (in all various blvds, st, rd, pl, ave, etc) does not exist. After my coffee and the review of the alarms ringing and flags waving in my face I realized I needed to cancel that massage. So I called to no answer. To no voicemail. I would think that a businessman would have a voicemail. Or anyone that has a cell phone ever. So I did the most unprofessional thing I could think of… I cancelled via text. My responses were ‘bbbkffpprrr. z. fjklf’ followed by ‘message right.’ followed by ‘flkjrjrrbkfflazzzz’ and again ‘too late’. I had a voicemail with no missed call that was 3 minutes of nothingness. Sorry Mr. Mechanic. But not really.

New Massage Technique: Serenade?

This is a story from a few years back while I was working out in Hawai’i.

I had been referred to a private client by someone who I know longer remember. This client happened to be VP of a particularly prominent shoe brand. As always, I turned the music on prior to setting up so the client can decide if it was what they wanted to relax to. My choice that session was “standards.” Sweet ballads by Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Doris Day, Frank Sinatra, etc. You know… classics. VP asks me how I came to listen to these old singers and I told him I had no idea. I like the music, it reminds me of days that I never lived (in this life). I told him it inspired me to sing and Ella Fitzgerald was my musical preference.
He made a proposition I have still not had matched. He offered me twice the agreed upon rate, if I would ‘serenade’ him to sleep while I gave a massage. I recall agreeing of course. My first (and only) paid singing gig?!  While massaging? Throw in some ballet and I could be on America’s Got Talent!
Like most of my clients, he was passed out within the first 10 (of 90) minutes. At some point I think I went from singing to humming and he actually awoke and said humming was not part of the contract. Ha!!! Amazing. He was asleep and woke up when I stopped singing. ((Good thing I didn’t get caught having stopped the massage – jk. I would never))

Nice guy in a great big cabin in northern west Maui. I never got a bad vibe from him and he followed through with his end of the bargain. If I could make that a new style of massage..  ahhh c’est la vie.

Shit your DAD asks for via Facebook!

This following conversation actually transpired via Facebook (and, as always, for privacy purposes the name of the jerk has been changed):

**”Burt” is the father of a friend of mine “Sam” who I began attending school with in pre-K. Sam’s mother (and wife of ‘Burt) taught me in sunday school. I know this family from my interaction with the religious community.**

  • June 19, 2010

    Burt

    • hey Shannon where can someone go to get a massage from you?

  • June 19, 2010

    Shannon 

    • there are a couple options. i conduct my business out of wherever you are. i offer a mobile massage service. however, if that’s not something you are comfortable with, i’m available at the Citrus Club downtown by request. The price is the same, but i dont get the full pay. It’s $75 there and when i come to you for an hour of swedish massage. if you’d like to call me my number is ***-***-****

  • June 19, 2010

    Burt

    • ok sounds good.So you dont work out of a studio?Is a Sweedish massage relaxation full body?

      *using the phrase ‘full body’ is a red flag for me, which is probably why I didn’t respond to him 2 years ago*

  • March 9,2012

    Burt

    • are you available possibly this weekend for a massage?

  • March 11, 2012

    Shannon 

    • Hi Curt, I’m sorry I just got this message (i’m noticing that I’m not getting notifications for messages lately). I just got back to Tampa and I’ll be here for the first half of the week. I should be back next weekend however. Let me know if you’d like to book something for then.
      Have a great day

  • March 14, 2012

    Burt

    • Hi Shannon can you let me know the different types of massage that you do?THANKS

  • March 17, 2012

    Shannon 

    • I offer swedish (light to medium pressure), deep tissue (medium to firm pressure), and hot stone massage (swedish massage with hot stones incorporated into it)

  • March 17, 2012

    Burt

    • I go to a masseusse she does full body light pressure.I think its Sweedish.

  • March 18, 2012

    Shannon 

    • Light pressure is typically swedish. My “full body” consists of neck back shoulders arms hands legs feet and glute upon request

  • March 19, 2012

    Burt 

    • ok i get your point and thanks.While I really enjoy a really good massage I like full body where EVERY muscle is relaxed.

  • March 19, 2012

    Shannon 

    • great, please do not ever contact me again.

       

       

      ————

      This is not the first time someone’s father has contacted me about such nasty things. A different friend of mine’s (who i was already on egg shells with because her best friend’s husband made a move on me) father commented on several FB pictures of mine saying i looked ‘real good’ and even messaged me to let me know how ‘hot’ he thought I was.

      People, get your nasty dad’s under control.

Sorry, not in my scope!

Blackjack player:
“Can you adjust my back?”

Me: “Sorry it’s not in my scope of practice.”

Other (more wasted) blackjack player:
“What about happy endings?”

Me: “Also not in my scope of practice.”

(This is a great line for the therapist who doesn’t want to follow their instinct and be mean.)

Noni (pronounced Nah-nee)

My entire career as a massage therapist consisted of jumping from this job to that. But I’ve always been consistent about doing my outcalls. An outcall is having a private client call for a massage session at their location (hotel, home, apartment, business, etc). This is where the more sketchy clients come from. This is the part of the job many people get freaked out about. I have had my share of great private outcall clients and not so great.

FYI: I went by the nickname “Noni” out in Hawai’i (take the last few letters of Shannon and put an i at the end). It wasn’t a common name out there but it wasn’t uncommon either. And it was a lot easier for some locals than “Shannon”.

I stayed in an apartment complex in Hawai’i for a year or so and would post my business cards in the laundry area. Sometimes people would call for inquiries but not many took the bait. One of my clients was a Hawai’ian guy.
He was in construction and worked out often and stayed active. He called me asking for a sports massage. The first couple of massages went smooth. The third one was the charm.
After setting up the table, I excused myself to the restroom. As I always do, I told him to give me a shout when he was ready. I heard “Okay” and stepped out and there he was completely naked by the table. Before I even registered the complete nakedness I went back into the bathroom apologizing profusely. I thought he said “okay!”

I come back out when he confirmed he was on the table under the sheets and again apologized. He said no problem just a minor misunderstanding. The massage was only a 30 minute sports massage. It was going quite normal until it was time to turn over. Like a good therapist I hold the draping in a way to not expose the client in an uncomfortable manner. Somehow he snagged a bit of the sheet on the way up but it did not expose anything. As I sat down near his head to work on his neck/chest, he chose that moment to adjust the sheets to normal – giving me a peek of what I didn’t want to see (for a second time in a day).

I disregarded it and finished the massage. As I finished packing up the table he pulled out a joint and offered it to me. As tempting as it was, I try to keep that part of my professionalism away from recreation. For those who don’t get it.. i said no! (proud of me, mom?)
I charged $45 for the 30 minute sports massage. He said he only had $40. Feeling guilty for the exposure earlier I said don’t worry about it. As I pocketed the money, he muttered something:
Him: “since you blkjlfajsdflkasjdflk noni.”
Me: “huh?”
Him: “laskdjfalskdjflskdjfs noni”
Me: “I still don’t understand you”
Him: “alskjdflajsdlfkjs noni”
Me: “All I hear is you saying my name”
Him: “YOU SAW MINE! SHOW ME YOUR PUNANI!!”
Me: “What? No! That was an honest mistake! I thought you said you were ready! I’m not showing you my junk!”
Him: “I’ll give you another $20”
Me: “i thought you said you didn’t have enough for the massage? well keep your $20. i think you need to find a new therapist”.

And I left. He tried to call for another appointment and I “sweetly” told him that the type of massage he was looking for wasn’t what I offered. As I always did with “confused” clients, I referred him to the back of the Weekly.

 

For those who aren’t familiar with the term “punani” look it up in the urban dictionary.

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