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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

what i've been up to

Oh, like YOU care. Too bad. I'ma tell you anyway.

I started a new part time massage job at a place I will not name, but which I fondly (so far) refer to as the Evil Empire. That is to say, it's at one of those chain-type places that are driving the lil guys outta business (like a more zen WalMart) and driving down the wages for massage therapists in general.  Leading me to digression #1: if you get a really cheap massage (or any kind of personal service, really: facial, waxing, etc) either because it's at a franchise kinda place or because it's a groupon, PLEASE tip generously if your experience is in any way satisfactory. Um, and in cash if at all possible.  The reason it's cheap is not because the owners aren't trying to make lotsa money or because they're skimping on the amenities***, it's because they're paying the people performing the service crap.

Why work for crap pay?  Two part answer. One, that's where the jobs are, especially the more entry-level jobs. Two, because that's where the customers are. I'm not sure people who haven't worked in the spa business are aware--I certainly never thought of it before massage school--but your MT or esthetician is only paid when they're actually performing a treatment/service.  So, $15 + gratuity per massage hr for 4 or 5 hours a shift is preferable to making $40 + gratuity per massage hour if you're only getting one client a shift and spending the rest of the time sitting around unpaid, waiting for business.  Well, Andrea, you say, if you get $15/hr and then a $15 tip, that's $30/hr. That's not gonna make anyone rich, but it's a living wage. Um, well, yeah, except NO ONE can physically do 40 hours of massage a week. 20-25 hours of massage a week is a pretty heavy schedule. So divide that $30 in half and your therapist is back to making about $15/hr.  Just some things to think about if you or your child is considering massage school.  On the plus side, it can be very emotionally rewarding. That's better than eating, right?

Where was I? Oh, yeah, don't be a cheap bastard. Tip nicely if you are happy.

The upshot of the above is that what else Andrea is doing right now is attempting to find a second (well, third really) part time job not massaging people.  No one cares that I have my CPT, lemme tell you.  I shoulda been nicer, i.e. sucked up to that woman at my gym who yells at me for squatting barefoot 'cause she sure as hell wouldn't give me a job. But that's another in my long series of bad life decisions. I was never very good at sucking up to people (NO?!!??) and, believe me, I wish it were not so.  But anyways, things are in the works. Future updates will be available.

But to bring this back on-topic, my new massage job is three evenings per week and it is seriously screwing up both my workout schedule and my eating.  I get into work at 2:30 or 3:30 or 4:30, depending on the day, having eaten somewhere between 600-900 calories, which would be my usual at that point in the day, and then maybe depending on how my schedule goes, I get a 200 calorie snack in. Which means I'm home at 10 or 11 needing to eat another 1000 calories or so.  Which, obviously, I don't usually make it.  Being at work, and actually working, during what is my regular dinner time is screwing me all up.  I'm not hungry when I get to work, so I don't want to stuff more food in before I start, but I don't see another solution.  Suggestions from those of you with non-traditional work schedules happily accepted!  Right now, I'm just eating below maintenance on those days I work and making up (most of) the calories on days I don't.  If only I were trying to diet right now, this would totally be a dream****!


***Actually, I had a groupon massage just last week at a local place where, um, the amenities? No chair in the room for the client, no place to put my clothes. No clock in the room for the therapist, so she had to keep checking her phone to see where we were at time-wise.  And a face cradle the therapist warned me was a little wonky.  Plus, they were right by the commuter rail tracks and it was rush hour, so the room shook a few times, lulz.

****Actually, when I graduated massage school and was working doing massage half-time, plus my non-massage job, I easily dropped 10 pounds over say three months for exactly the same reason. Which was fine, because massage school had made me, ahem, outgrow all my pants.


  1. you are so funny... I had to come here from Cranky Fitness just based on your name.
    I feel your massage therapist pain. I did massage for years. I couldn't bring myself to work in a place for just the reasons you mention. I guess I wasn't committed enough. I finally got outcall clients and charged enough for that... eventually it was such a drag that there was just no way I could get paid enough to do it.
    now I'm in between... I may start doing it again on a smaller scale just having people come to me.
    I do tip very well whenever I've gone to a place.
    I have no tools to give you tips on how to get more calories in as I'm at the opposite end of the spectrum. I'd say protein bars of the highest quality you can find to eat between clients.

  2. Hmm, I guess my meal staples--big ass salads w/ canned salmon, eggwhite/veggie scrambles, protein + grilled veggies etc are not exactly portable. I suspect in your position, trying to grab a few bites between clients, I'd be doing a few token raw veggies in dip, a few bites of leftover chicken, and then overcompensating like crazy with trail mix--of which I can eat about 7,000 calories in a matter of seconds.

    Coincidentally, I just got a massage today, a monthly treat, and I am almost speechless with gratitude. The guy I go to undercharges and overdelivers for the pricey tourist area that I live in, so I always tip generously, and I can not believe he can do what he does for client after client without wanting to shoot himself. I so admire you massage people; my wife and I try to trade even simple shoulder rubs and we both give up after a few minutes. Labor intensive and, for me, kinda tedious. Just know some of your clients think you walk on water, probably even some of the clueless under-tippers.

    (On the other hand, the longer we go to our guy the more he feels comfortable with us and the more he f--cking TALKS. And TALKS and TALKS. Monosyllabic responses do not dissuade him. But his magic hands are worth it.)

  3. Welcome, tree peters, LMT! :-)

    Crabby, I'm a really tactile person (srsly, despite my malevolence, I'm a hugger) so touching people and feeling them respond to my touch is...rewarding? Sometimes fun.

    I will say to you the same thing I said to a friend who mentioned she'd get more massages but the "nature music" kinda freaks her out and was astounded when I told her it was okay to ask the therapist to, y'know, turn that shit off: it's YOUR massage. It's perfectly okay to politely say to your magic hands guy that, while you enjoy chatting with him, today you really need to zone out. He should be getting the clue from the monosyllabic responses but if he doesn't, it's not rude to say.

    Thanks for the eating suggestions, guys. I've been bringing a big bottle of water with me that I suck down immediately upon leaving work and it occurs to me that I should be bringing something portable and snacky to eat on the commute home, just to get me ahead of the game and not have to get in *all* the calories when I walk in the door.

    I'm finding crackers are my friends. I can eat those effortlessly when I'm exhausted and when it's so hot I don't wanna eat. Not that they have any nutritional value, but as long as I've gotten my protein in and had a fruit or vegetable or two, as a vehicle just to get in calories, I don't much mind the empty carbs.