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.

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Comparable

If anyone walked into the poker room before noon, they would ask themselves if they accidentally walked into a bingo hall instead. There are SO many old men there it is isn’t funny… or it is because old men can be funny.

Many of them are war veterans of this or that war. At least once a day I hear them say “I’m too old” or “My bones couldn’t handle a massage” or whatever. I know the excuses and I smile nicely and walk on.

Recently however, I had an influx of men who fought in ‘Nam. And they LOVE to tell me that they had a massage once… over in some asian country where the girls give REALLY GOOD massages.

Old men “I fought in ‘Nam. I was stationed at one point in Thailand. I definitely got massages there. They were only a few bucks too. Great massages”

Me “But I doubt we give the same type of massages”

Old men “No honey, I hope not! Haha. and if my wife ever found out…”

Thank you old men for comparing my massages to those of hookers in thailand.

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.

Nothing in life is free

As I walk around a pit with blackjack tables in it, I ask each table if they would like a massage. Typically they ask how much it is and either agree to get one or (most likely) do not.

Me: Massages for anyone here?

Fat Man in giant jean shorts: Are they free?

Me: No sir.

Fat Man in giant jean shorts: How about you give me a free one, pretty lady?

Me: Okay! Here’s the deal: I’ll give you a 5 minute free massage, but in exchange I want at least $10 in chips or cash… for free.

Fat Man in giant jean shorts: Okay, here’s a chip ($2.50).

Me: You want a one minute massage?
(massages are $2/minute)

Fat Man  in giant jean shorts: Yea, keep the change.
(what a sweetheart.)

O no he didn’t!

This is quite possibly one of the most embarrassing stories from my massage history (both for me and the client):

In Spa Unrejuvinated, I was booked solid for one whole day. Yay! I grabbed the client intake form with my name on it and called to “Mr So N So.” A black gentleman stood up and shook my hand. I introduced myself and the lady next to him stands up immediately and says  “Wait! I requested you! You’re Shannon, right?” Oops, our stupid-ass owner doesn’t know what a “request” is apparently so I switch the papers out and bring back “Mrs. So N So” (aka the wife of black gentleman). Mrs. So N So wanted a 75 min deep tissue massage and so I give it to her. And she LOVES it. She just can’t stop smiling and sighing, she even slept at some point. After the massage she just RAVES about me. I’m SO happy to have given her the massage she had been looking forward to. I have NO idea who told her I was good at what I do, but she said they told her correctly! And to show her appreciation she left me a $5 tip (on a $115 treatment!). Whatever, cheap-ass, she just enjoyed my massage and that’s all I can truly ask for.

The next day I get a “request” again and this time it’s Mr. So n So. His wife was so pleased with her massage that she sent the hubby to come get a 75 min deep tissue massage. The massage commences and he doesn’t really say much. He asks a question here and there about where I’m from and the typical “should i be talking?” questions. I had concentrated the majority of massage on his back since he had requested that. I provided 20 minutes or so to the supine (stomach-up) position. I’m working on his neck and I notice his eyes are open, well that’s a little strange because most people close their eyes. I offer him an eye cover and he declines. So I (feeling more uncomfortable than normal) move on to work on his arms and legs. I’m doing deep tissue on his quads and I notice he’s starting to shake. I ask if the pressure is too much and he says no, keep going. So I do…and then he starts shaking more violently.
I look up and immediately take a step back: He has the “O” face going on.
I had not even NOTICED that he had some excitement going on (you’d think I would considering I was on his LEG!!) probably because we had double blanketed them and it’s not easy to see the shifting unless he’s huge (obviously not, in this case).
((as a side note, in this spa we had specific draping policies and I wasnt even halfway up his thigh))

I stand shocked for a minute and Mr. So n So sighs in pleasure and then begins apologizing profusely:
“It’s just you’re so beautiful and I couldn’t help it. You’re so voluptuous.” WHAT!! I had to wear baggy black shirt with white shorts – how is that even remotely attractive!?
I explained that the massage had to end early because of his ‘issue’ and that he still had to pay in full. My advice to him was to go home and show his wife a good time and not come back or request me please. I also requested that he put the sheets into the laundry bin himself.

And in the faithful pattern following his wife’s, he left me $5 for that crap. Thank you Mr So n So.

Reno911!

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*

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