Communication is key in any relationship, be it personal or professional, and the manner in which you communicate sets the tone for that relationship. If you’re interested in someone on a dating app, which style of communication is more likely to get you a date? Sending an unsolicited pic of your genitals or sending a thoughtful compliment and/or question? That one was easy.
The same premise holds true for professional communication as well. Each business or professional will have their own preference for how they want you to contact them. You’ll usually find it on their contact page.
You might be asking why there aren’t hard and fast rules for which contact methods are best. That’s a fair question. The answer is simple: Some people hate talking on the phone, some hate email, and others hate texting. And, because many of us are a business of one, and because it’s our business, our preferences are the ones that matter. Hopefully you and your massage therapist have similar preferences. However, even if you do, you should be aware that there are times when one type of communication is better suited to a particular purpose than another.
I’ll leave it to your therapist to tell you what TO do, but I’m going to tell you what NOT to do.
What Not to Do
If you want to make sure that a massage therapist either ignores you or blocks your number, do one of these:
Text late at night – This is what pervs do when they’re looking for less-than-reputable services late at night. If you want to ask a question or two after our office has closed, you should check our website for the best way to contact us. We’ll usually tell you on the contact page. If you want to book an appointment and we have online scheduling, please use that.
Text without identifying yourself – Because of HIPAA, many of us do not keep client info in our phone’s contacts so your text doesn’t show up with a name, only a number. I hate to burst your bubble, but we don’t have all y’all’s phone numbers memorized. Nope, not even yours.
Text basic questions whose answers are on our Google listing and website, like our hours or address. – “What are your hours” is an indication that you’re either lazy or a perv. Giving you the benefit of the doubt, you could just be lazy. If you can’t or won’t look at our Google listing or website (or wherever you got our contact info), why should we think you’d actually read our policies, disclaimers, or other important information? People who are this lazy don’t thrill us. Far more likely, based on experience, is that you’re a perv. This question is used to fish for seedy hours because they’re looking for seedy services. We are even less thrilled with this bunch.
Text vague things like, “how are you?” – First, THIS is how you choose to begin a professional communication? Second, we’ll either ignore this if we don’t know who it’s from or we’ll text back a professional version of “Who’s this?”
Ask insulting (or dumb, or coded) questions like, “How much for a good massage?” – First, we always do our best. We don’t have one price point for a good massage but a second, cheaper price for a crappy one. Second, this question is often code asking for sexual favors. (“good massage” is often code for a specific method of ending a massage) We don’t play that game and we have zero patience for those who do. We also give zero F’s about hurting a pervs feelings by blocking the number this question comes from without replying.
Continue contacting us via a method we have asked you not to – If we tell you over and over that we don’t make appointments via text and you continue texting for an appointment, we will block you. If you can’t honor this simple boundary, what other boundaries are you going to push? We’re not interested in finding out.
Don’t use the online scheduler, if one is available – In general, texting is not the ideal way to make an appointment. Email is only slightly less clunky for the back and forth that’s often needed. If we have online scheduling, it’s safe to assume that we prefer everyone book their appointments that way. Obviously, if the scheduler isn’t working for some reason, your therapist wants to know so please contact them via their preferred method.
Leave an angry voicemail if we don’t answer the phone – If you call during business hours and we’re with a client or in the restroom, we won’t be answering the phone. If you call outside of our business hours, we also won’t be answering the phone. Please leave us a polite voicemail and we’ll get back to you just as soon as we can. Most of us strive to return calls the same, or early the next, business day
Repeatedly call and fail to leave a voicemail, then tell us you can never get ahold of us – The general rule in society at large is: No voicemail, no return call. How do we know you didn’t just butt dial us or were looking for an appointment within the next hour or two (good luck with that, by the way)? People fail to leave messages for any number of reasons. We’re not psychic. If you want us to call you back, you need to leave a voicemail.
All we ask is that you have respect for our policies, use good manners, show some common sense, and understand some of the filters we see and hear your texts, emails, and voicemails through. Oh yeah, and that you use the online scheduler, if one’s available. kthxbai