Sunday, February 17, 2008

unreasonable expectations.

We're another man down. The third massage therapist to leave since my arrival gave her two weeks' notice last week. When I came in, Stacy was looking for two new therapists. She got Yezzie and me... but has lost three since.

What is it? "There's so much stress!" From what, exactly? Pressure to perform a certain way? Too many clients? Not enough time off? What is it about working at this Spa that would be different at another, comparable establishment?

Whose expectations are unrealistic to the point that quitting is the only answer? Those of the employer, asking too much of us; or ours, thinking that the work would be much easier than it turned out to be... or could ever be in any similar position?

I gave seven massages on Saturday, plus a 15 minute add-on reflexology treatment (glorified foot massage). Over 24 hours later, I still feel like I need to wrap both wrists in ace bandages because they are so sore. I haven't slept well in several nights and I'm so exhausted that I could cry... if I had the energy to do so. And I have to do it all again at 10:30 in the morning. I've already looked at the schedule for next week - booked solid.

"It's just the Valentine's Day season," they say. What about last month? "Oh, that's the Christmas season, full of gift cards to be redeemed." So what's March? The season of somewhat warmer weather? Will every month have some exception as to why it's packed and unreasonably difficult? I can push myself to extremes, but only so far. Only so long. Only for occasional exceptions... not ones that turn into year-round habits. I hate getting to the end of the day... or starting the day... knowing that I simply don't have it in me to give the clients what they need... what they've paid for... to live up to the reputation of Best Spa in the Upstate.

I'm going to ask Stacy for an audience with her this week. I think it would make a world of difference if I were to have Mondays off, giving me two consecutive days of rest and only two consecutive days of work at a time. I'd still be working full time (30 hours for massage therapists) and Mondays are one of the least busy days of the week anyway - I wouldn't be as missed and I wouldn't be missing out on many financial opportunities. Plus it would open up my schedule to actually be able to go out of town, hh. I'd hate to make this change only to find that business slows down drastically after next week for the next eight months, y'know? Then again, I'd hate to go another month at this rate and hate my job so much that I too quit because I burned out on it after just three months....

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