Friday, March 24, 2006

Getting Screwed Without Being Asked

There's a sauna up the street from my office that I've been visiting for two years. I used to like going there because they were such nice people and I could just pay for a sauna or get a massage or facial and use the sauna for free. I got a great massage there when I had a kung fu injury last year, and I've gotten facials that left my pores as empty as the day I was born.

I hurt my shoulder in my pole class over a week ago, but I thought it was just a cramp and it would go away after being treated with ice packs. When I woke up yesterday morning, I was in great pain so I decided to get a massage after work. I checked out a couple places, and the sauna place had the lowest rate for a thirty minute massage. I called them and scheduled it for 3:00 PM.

When I got there, I prepaid for my massage. The desk was being attended by one of the owners, and he got my name right and the time allotted to my rub. I showered, sweated, cooled off, sweated, showered, and my masseuse came to get me. She came in looking for Samantha, but I corrected her. (She was the one who did all my facials before.) Strangely, I didn't suspect that more than my name had been miscommunicated to her.

She worked the hell out of my shoulder. It's still sore today, but the injury was a couple weeks old. It felt better after the massage. She did my entire back (to make both sides even), then moved on to my neck and scalp. At this point, I stopped being relaxed. I thought, 'Gosh, this should probably end any minute because it's probably been thirty minutes by now.' I said things like, "Wow, I feel a lot better," and "That was great" from time to time just to test the waters to see what time it was. She did my arms, my legs, my feet, had me flip, my hands, my neck, my chest (no nipples), my face and my scalp again. 'This is the longest thirty minutes I've spent other than the times I waited in the truck for my dad when we'd stop by someone's house to drop something off and he'd go in and have a drink and get high.'

I walk out and it's 4:00 PM. I was in there for an hour! I didn't ask for a longer massage, and no on interrupted to tell her my time was up. No one asked me if I wanted to go ahead and get an hour because I had so much tension in my shoulder. I got the the front desk and grabbed a gratuity envelope. The front desk girl (not the cool owner but a real wench of a girl) said, "So that was an hour massage" as she looked at her price sheets. I said, "Yes, but I prepaid for thirty minutes." Her: "But you were in there for an hour. I guess you can pay the difference [instead of paying for a second thirty minute massage]."

I threw a twenty on the counter. I was PISSED! I don't have that kind of money to throw around when people do their jobs incorrectly and don't pay some damn attention to their appointment books. I'm an artist. I could use that $20 for half a tank of gas or some organic salad mix or another pair of Levi's at Wal Mart. And they didn't even ask me if they could screw me into spending more money. If someone had just asked, I probably would be more willing to return to the establishment. You don't feel up a girl without asking first, and you don't rub someone into paying $20 more without asking first.


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