As I prepare for bed at night I take a look at the next day’s schedule. Tomorrow could be slow on the schedule, or it could be slammed, or it could be nice and spread out giving me ample time between clients to stretch out a bit and do some self-care. My clients can book online, and quite a few like to schedule last minute, so it is difficult to judge what tomorrow is actually going to be like. I have moments in my days just like yours, with some being funny, others being irritating, some fatigue, and maybe a little pain here and there. Some of you have asked to hear about a day in the life of a massage therapist, so I thought I would add the self-employed male bit because I get some humorous things that female therapists don’t get.
This could be my day…
Coming home last night after 10 pm I thought, “Oh no! I don’t think I have enough laundry done for all my clients tomorrow.” “Now I am going to be up for a while tonight washing sheets and such.”
I burst through the front door of the house and head straight for the laundry room. I catch sight of my wife in the master bedroom, reading a book. She tries to say hello, but I race past her to start doing laundry. I make it into the laundry room, flip the lights on and have three heaping baskets of clean sheets, towels, etc., staring me in the face. My wife had gotten home early that day and processed the laundry.
Me: “Thank God!”, I think to myself.
Me: *Steps back into the bedroom and waits for the wife to look at me* “I love you.”
Wife: “I know.”
Me: *rolls eyes*
My alarm wakes me up. I push down the feeling of staying in bed and roll out. Yes, you got me, I must be an autobot. I get my gear together and load it and all the laundry in the car. After breakfast, showering and the like are done, I open my phone and check calls and messages. I see a text from a client:
Client: “Hey, it’s been a while since my last massage and I am really hurting now! I would like to come in for a session tomorrow evening. Please let me know what you have.”
Me: “As of this moment, I could see you at 7 pm tomorrow, but people can book online, so please get back to me ASAP so no one else can take the spot if you want it.”
I send that text back and hop in the car, and drive to work down Broadway where there are at least two cars in each lane going 15 miles under the speed limit…all the way to the studio. I was cut off twice by people who thought they had enough time to pull out across both lanes of traffic while reading a text on their phone, or something similar because you can see the phones in their faces as they flick you off for honking at them. Get the hell off your phones and drive people, seriously.
I make it to the studio and get the space set up for my first client of the day. So far, today is comprised of a two-hour massage this morning, a three-hour massage right after that, and another three-hour massage later this evening. All of these sessions are deep tissue massages today. I put all the laundry in one of the other rooms, hoping I will have time in between sessions to fold it all and put it away before either of the other therapists get booked today.
My first client arrives on time and we walk into the massage room. After the greetings and some pleasantries are done:
Me: “What can I do for you today? You seem to be holding your left shoulder up quite high, and you appear to be slouching forward pretty far.”
Client: Yeah, my back is killing me, and I have a lot of pain in my shoulders and neck.”
Me: “So, you want me to focus on the muscles causing all of that for the two hours you scheduled today?”
Client: “Well, yes, and you can work on my glutes if you have time, as well as my right foot.”
I leave the room after giving instructions and go wash my hands. I knock on the door and am told to come in. After entering the room and making certain the client is comfortable, they say:
Client: “I forgot, my hamstrings and calves could really use some work too. And please do both of my feet.”
Me: “Ok, so I need to do…”
Client: “Oh, and my hands would be nice. My wrists have been hurting me too, like I have carpal tunnel or something.”
Me: “So, you want me to work on everything then?”
Client: “Hahaha! Yes, I guess that would have been easier to say from the beginning.”
I finish the massage, step out of the room and go wash my hands. While I wait for that client to dress and exit the room, I check my phone. Hmmm, no texts from that client this morning. I hope she gets back to me soon because I notice three people have booked sessions for tomorrow.
My first client leaves and the second one has sent word that they are running late. Great! Time to fold some laundry. The second client arrives, gets their three-hour massage and has gone. Still no word from the client via text about tomorrow at 7 pm.
The phone rings. I have no idea who it is, so the assumption is spam, but I answer anyway this time.
Me: “*Says business greeting* and ends with how may I help you?”
Client: “Hello. I found you on Google and wanted to ask how much you charge for a massage. I have had three surgeries and have a lot of pain going on right now.”
Me: “This would be your first visit, so it is the introductory rate for your first hour.”
Client: “Oh, you guys don’t do thirty minutes or anything like that?”
Me: “No sir, that is not even enough time to work on your back properly to deal with the pain levels you are talking about.”
Client: “Ok. So, um, no offense, but is it just dudes there?”
Me: (*laughing*) “No sir, I do have two female therapists if that would make you more comfortable?”
This client proceeds to apologize a number of times throughout the call. I reassure him every time that we male massage therapists get this kind of question all the time. After asking him some questions about his sleeping and working positions, what his surgeries were and whatnot, he says I sound knowledgeable and he wants to see me. We book his session.
Now we return you to your regularly scheduled laundry folding. Only sixteen sets of sheets, accompanying towels, hand towels., etc., to go!. I do get to eat meals during this day at some point, most of the time. There is still no word from the texting client this morning, even though I have seen a number of Facebook posts from them this day, as I head into the next three-hour session. I finish up and get the client out of the studio around 9:30 pm, checking my phone and see a text from the client this morning.
Client: “I will take the 7 pm time slot tomorrow. See you then! Thanks!”
Me: *after checking my schedule for the next day* “Someone booked that slot for tomorrow while I was in my previous massage session. What is the next day/time you are available?”
Client: “Why did it take you over three hours to reply to my text? I don’t know when my next available time is. I needed to see you tomorrow!”
Me: “I just finished a three-hour massage, which is why it took me over three hours to get back to you. I am sorry you do not get to come in tomorrow at the time you requested. I can show you how to use the online scheduling system so this does not happen again.”
Client: “No! I like your customer service better…I don’t want to go online.”
This kind of exchange happens in various forms throughout the year from multiple clients.