Monday, November 15, 2010

Another Day In Paradise

99% of the time I love what I do for a living. Today fell into the 1% remainder that is pure hell. My clients run the  full spectrum of humanity pretty much. Thankfully, most of humanity knows how to behave themselves when going for a therapeutic massage. I admit, I have it better than some therapists. Middle-aged therapists have less trouble than younger ones generally speaking. I get dirty old men occasionally who make some lame comments but shut up pretty quickly. Today one of the front desk girls called me up in the break room to say she was booking me a walk-in who was giving off very strange vibes. Great. This can mean any number of things. Then she started telling me some of the things he had been telling her. For example, "I'm not straight but I'm not gay". ??????? Why would he even be discussing such a thing up at the front desk? Then there was just really off the wall stuff like "I have a PhD in Beeology". Huh????? So I go up to get him, dreading it each step of the way. He turns out to be in his early 60's, extremely large and reeking of smoke. I do my best to show nothing but confidence & that I'm in charge. I glance at his chart and see where they ask you what you're looking for in a therapist, he has written "open & spiritual". Fantastic. "Open" usually means...well.....waaaaaay open. Ya know what I mean? And then combined with "spiritual".....anybody's guess there! So I get him back to the room and the first thing out of his mouth to me is "Don't worry....I'm STD free". Well then. If that doesn't say it all I don't know what does. I ignore this comment and inquire as to what brought him here. He begins rambling about how he is falling apart, has not been taking good care of himself,  doesn't want any more pills, wants to "get in touch with himself again", etc. I do finally get him to show me some actual physical problems he's having, resulting from surgeries. Thank goodness, at least I have something to focus on besides his weirdness! So I go through the spiel about what he needs to do while I take his chart back upfront. I always make a big deal about not just telling men to get under the covers but actually hold the covers up to emphasize the "getting under them" part. It should be pretty obvious but I find too often that male clients either like to play dumb or really are just that dumb. You practically have to draw them a picture. And I told him to start out face down. I emphasized that too. He told me he had one request, he wanted to know if there was any way we could make the room cooler. I knew what he had in mind. He wanted there to be no covers on him! I told him no problem, I would turn the fan on. Then he wanted to know if I would be giving him a towel to cover with. This was AFTER I had instructed him to get under the covers. GOOD GRIEF! Seriously?! NO! Get under the damn covers (said more politely than that)!!! As I walked up to the front desk with his chart I even mentioned to another therapist that I'd probably find him face up and would be lucky if he was covered.  Well......I was right about the face up part. Of course. And though he was covered, he was covered at the barest minimum. I was pissed. He's laying there with the blanket thrown off and the sheet over his genitals only and about to fall off. First thing I did was to go over and increase the coverage of the sheet. Sorry dude. I am NOT working on you in that state. I don't even want to be in this tiny room with you for any amount of time as it is.

So finally I got to work on him. Not five seconds into things he comments that I must have lots of people who love me cause I have love in my hands. Yeah I don't make this stuff up folks. I swear I don't. And then a few minutes later he starts reciting Tennessee Williams stuff to me. Not sure what that was about! I spent a lot less time with him face up that I normally would. I desperately wanted to get him face down. I feel a lot more in control with a questionable client when they are face down. But I had to spend some time in his shoulder since that was where he was actually hurting. And there were moments there that were a little too close for comfort for me with him. And that made me sad. Because normally I love that feeling of "taking care of" and the way I feel the trust building and the relaxation that comes with that. But this was not like that at all. I did what I could, he said weird things like "you're helping me reconnect with my physical body". I guess coming from some clients that wouldn't sound so weird, but trust me with him it was just creepy!

Once I had him face down he finally got quiet and things proceeded pretty normally. In the end, nothing bad happened. Except that he purchased a years membership which means I haven't seen the last of him! And also he left me a tip that was just insulting considering the fact that he paid for his membership up front rather than the usual month to month payment plan. He had the money for that but left me a couple of bucks for a ninety minute session? And sadly I gave him my best, considering the situation anyway. I seem to not know how to blow someone off even when it's in my own best interest to do so. I'm too much of a people pleaser for my own good. Need to work on that! When I went back to clean up the room I realized how bad the smell had been too. I had to let the fan run during my break to air it out. Just gross. Mixture of BO, smoke & cheap cologne. I have now been informed that a lot more weird stuff was said upon his checkout at the front desk. I have yet to hear what was said. I can hardly wait. Ughhhhh.............

1 comment:

  1. Ok, your day beats mine HANDS DOWN. I give you my admiration for handling that as well as you did. I know I wouldn't have the patience for that weirdness!