Monday, October 15, 2012


South Side Seattle
Airplanes screaming overhead
Plum blossoms blooming

When the summer began, I worked at the airport, as I had for the last two and a half years.
Then that ended.
I started working with a small clinic in Georgetown.
Yesterday, that ended.
Massage is a strange business. Those of us who are doing the work tend to be of a particular mindset. To say that many massage therapists are a bit flakey is not an unfair generalization. Not all of us, of course, but enough to lend credence to the cliche. And so, we tend to need help with the business aspect of running a business. Scheduling, billing, maintaining supplies and clean sheets and clean space... a thousand and one little things that are all very important, but are easily overlooked.
Often, it is easier to let someone else do that, so we can focus on the art and science and practice of massage.
The downside to that is that relying on someone else to do the business work, means losing control over the business. It means, not setting ones own prices, schedule, priorities. It means being answerable to someone other than the clients one sees, everyday. If a person has a question, rather than asking the therapist directly, they can (and often do) bring it to "management". And if the management is not an especially adept business person, problems can arise.
It is a job, for everyone involved. If the management is doing their half, things run smoothly. Concerns are addressed in a reasonable manner, supplies and schedules are kept an maintained. Bills gets paid, therapists get paid, everyone works and everyone benefits.
And when management falls down on the job, it is the therapist who suffers. Lack of supplies, changes of schedule or pricing or client expectations, increases in rent or decrease in pay. A thousand and one little things that can go wrong, and in the short term at least, the clients and the therapists are the ones dealing with the consequences.
Well, no more. One thing I have learned this summer is that I do not want to work for anyone but me. I can handle the extra work of maintaining my own  schedule, of renting a space (in a location to be determined, but Ballard is looking good right about now), paying rent and keeping supplies and maintaing client lists and schedules and everything I have yet to learn.
I am not going to pretend I will not make mistakes. I will not say I will never have to apologize to a client. But I can say this, that I will always do my best to make things right, when I am wrong. I will never deliberately do wrong by anyone I work on, and I will maintain the highest standards of professionalism.
Besides, how hard can it be, really?

1 comment:

  1. "management is not an especially adept business person"

    HA HA HA HA!

    That is the understatement of the year :-)