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  • 5 Things Guaranteed to P*ss Off Your Massage Therapist

    Mad massage therapist

    Everyone who’s ever worked with the public knows that people are not always on their best behavior. Heck, everyone who’s ever worked with anyone knows this. Every job and every profession has it’s own “fun” examples that happen with entirely too high a frequency. Here are a few from the massage profession.

    What Did I Do?!?

    There are some things that most clients never do, indeed would never dream of doing. Those who do them, however, are often repeat offenders. They may repeat the same transgression over and over or they may try their hand at each of them in turn. The more often someone does these, the less we like them. Please, I implore you, don’t do these things. We want to continue liking you.

    1. Canceling your appointment when you’re already late. Cancelation happens BEFORE your appointment time. Once you’re already late, you’re merely confirming your status as a no-show. We really hate no-shows; they mean we don’t get paid and another client didn’t have the opportunity to book that appointment time. We can’t even use our cancellation list to try to fill the appointment because even with a teleporter no one could get here on time to do a full session on. *Emergencies like being in a crash on your way to your appointment are obvious exceptions, and when that happens we aren’t angry, we  just hope you’re OK.
    2. Scheduling a standing appointment and then rescheduling or canceling on a regular basis. The point of a standing appointment is to guarantee that you get the day and time that works best for you at the frequency you want or need, like every Tuesday at 3. It also prevents anyone else from booking that time, because it’s reserved for you alone ad infinitum in the scheduling software. So when you cancel or reschedule we have to scramble to try to fill that time because it wasn’t on our weekly open appointment notice. Obviously things happen last minute, you’re going to take vacation, and emergencies arise; we understand that. But when it happens repeatedly it’s time to think about ditching the standing appointment and simply scheduling your next appointment while your checking out.
    3. Arriving late carrying a steaming hot Starbucks and claiming that you’re late because traffic was horrible. We weren’t born yesterday, you know. If we can see steam rising from the small sip hole in the lid, you didn’t grab this off your desk as you were leaving your office to come see us. This shows an utter lack of respect on your part for our time. But don’t expect your lack of respect to get you anywhere, because we’ll still end your session at it’s original time. We need to stay on schedule and we won’t keep the next client waiting because you stopped for coffee on the way to your appointment. I, for one, will be much more likely to forgive you (once) if you also bring me a steaming hot chai, but I’ll still end your appointment on time.
    4. Repeatedly asking us to work outside of our stated office hours. While you might wear some therapists down until they finally acquiesce, the rest of us will stop booking appointments with you because of your disrespect and rudeness. Yes. It’s rude to do this. (Do you do this with other healthcare providers, like OT, PT, Chiropractor, etc? Probably not.) While we probably won’t say “You’re fired” if you do this once or twice, the more often you ask the more likely we are to tell you that we don’t think we’re the best therapist for you because our office hours obviously don’t match your scheduling needs. Business hours are set for very specific reasons. For instance, I’ve been a night owl all my life and even when I had a job that started at 7am I was unable to reset my body clock, no matter what I did. Now that I set my own hours, I don’t generally see clients before 11am because I don’t give my best massage in the early morning. If 8am is the only time you are ever available to get massage, I’m really not the right therapist for you, even if your issues fall within one of my specialties.
    5. Asking for discounts that don’t exist. Some massage therapists don’t offer any discounts and some offer lots of opportunities to get discounted services. It’s OK to ask if they offer any kinds of discounts, but if they say no it’s rude to ask for one. If your therapist does offer discounts, those discounts are well thought out and have a purpose. They may offer a first-time client discount, a “sorry for the inconvenience” discount (e.g. if there’s road or building construction going on), an incentive discount to employees of a business as part of a wellness program, or various other discounts designed to attract new clients to their practice. They may also offer a discount if you purchase several sessions at a time, usually called a package or series. The bottom line is this: Go ahead and ask IF or what types of discounts might be available and how to take advantage of them, and then let it go. If you wouldn’t ask another business to give you a discount on their product or service because you’re running low on cash at the moment or because “it’s soooooo expensive”, don’t ask us.

    Alright, I think that’s enough to be getting on with. This isn’t intended to be an all-inclusive list, it’s just 5 of the most common things that people do that really p*ss us off.

    What do you think? Are we overly sensitive or too easily annoyed? Are we too strict? I’d like to hear your thoughts in the comments below.