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.

The First Client

Like a typical female, I find myself often remembering all my firsts: first kiss, first love, first international chocolate, first day of massage school, first etc, etc…and of course my first outcall and client.

After I received my letter saying I was had passed my national exam (NCBTMB) I immediately began looking for clientele outside of the circle of friends and family. I had decided to try my hand at outcalls and mobile massages.

For the sake of privacy I shall nickname my first client “Bob”. It’s a completely appropriate name, you see: He was a plumber living in a quaint neighborhood/village in a place I’ll nickname “Fantasia”. He had the classic plumber in his late 40s beerbelly and long stringy hair that probably should have been kept short. The way people present themselves (cleanliness, clothing choices, hair color etc) is often the first thing I notice. With the decline of door-to-door salesmen and increase of face-time on computers and phones, people of today have forgotten the awkwardness of sitting outside of a complete stranger’s door. One does not know what to expect because voices often do not match the physical presence of a person.

I had just climbed up 4 flights of stairs carrying my table that was 3/4 my size (i’m vertically challenged). I took a moment to catch my breath as I checked the paperwork: I had the correct address, I memorized the client’s name, and was had my game face on. Just as I’m about to knock, the front door swings open and there is “Bob” standing stark naked at the front door: My first massage client.

A good massage school prepares the students for moments like this. I thank goodness that I attended a hippie school and immediately took hold of the situation (get your mind out of the gutter). I turned away and requested of him to put some sort of towel or shorts on. Again, thank goodness, he obliged.

My first client insisted that he watch football while he received his massage. I obliged. My very first client asked to not use draping because his “former therapist of 15 years didn’t make me use it.” Thank goodness Florida law requires draping (at least that’s what I said). He enjoyed his Swedish massage and immediately booked another appointment.

The next time I saw my first client, he met me downstairs to show me street parking. He managed to do all of this in his biking shorts. I’m shaking my head just thinking about it. At least he was wearing something this time right?

Anyway, that’s the story of my first client. By the way, I was only 20 years old at the time.

Don't answer the door wearing this.

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