Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Confession of a Massage Therapist

A spa is not a "massage parlor"

The most common question massage therapists get asked is whether we are propositioned. Being a professional, I usually give a vague answer and move on. The truth is, it happens all the time. Las Vegas is a place where people feel they can disregard boundaries, but if you get a massage in a spa at a major hotel, rest assured your therapist is not a prostitute. The insinuation is a huge insult. That hasn't stopped people from making offers ("I'll give you $100 to finish me off"), exposing or even touching themselves, or grabbing me. If you do anything along these lines, realize that everyone on the hotel staff will know about it before you've left the spa, that your massage will come to an abrupt, unhappy ending--and yes, you will pay for the full hour!

Hygiene, hygiene, hygiene
We are happy to massage you after you've spent two hours in the gym...once you've showered. If you have something contagious, such as athlete's foot, disclose it up front. Likewise, it is never OK to come in for a massage in the throes of the flu. Your body aches and a massage sounds heavenly, but it's wrong to expose your therapist and other guests to a disease. We are paid a commission for each massage, and when we're sick, we have no income. And FYI: Your flu symptoms will feel much worse in the hours following a massage.

Common courtesy
You're sharing the facilities with others, so shut off your cell phone. And due to the revolting behavior we sometimes witness, it needs to be said: Don't be disgusting. I'll skip the graphic details, but suffice it to say guests have done things in the showers and the whirlpool that are so unsanitary it's necessary to shut them down. A classy spa doesn't guarantee classy clients.

Tips are not comped
Hotels offer high rollers complimentary gifts, or comps, in the form of casino credits, rides in hotel limos, meals, and spa treatments. The comp covers the service, not gratuities. Tips are a big part of our income, and it baffles us when comped guests fail to tip. What's $20 when you've just had a $100 massage at no cost? (The standard tip is around 20 percent, preferably in cash or casino chips, and you can put it in an envelope at check-out or hand it directly to us, whichever you prefer. Tipping with a credit card is typically fine, but some spas add tips to our paychecks and deduct taxes.) Beware that some spas automatically add a gratuity to non-comped guest bills. The spa should disclose this when your appointment is booked and again upon check-in. However, if you really appreciate the work (say, the migraine that's been plaguing you disappears) give a little extra. Only part of the automatic gratuity makes it into my hands; the rest is spread among changing room attendants and the concierge.

When we say deep...
Many guests, men in particular, don't think a woman can give a good deep-tissue massage. They'll even cause a stink when there's no male therapist available. Big mistake. That female therapist will likely go to the extreme and give you a painfully deep massage. (We know what hurts.) The guest usually whines that the pressure is too much-or is too macho to admit it, and spends what should be a blissful hour in wretched discomfort. For that matter, guests who try to direct their therapist's every move will likely end up disappointed. Have faith that your therapist is qualified to know what needs work and what doesn't.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Got a call from 509-362-9996?

Report it and help to identify who and why is calling from this number.

We got 3 calls from this number on our office land line numbers and 2 numbers on our voip based numbers at work. We can only hear voice recording in Spanish at the other line and based on what I found out over the net, its saying something like "You've won a cruise trip to Cancun" or something to that effect.
I also got a call on my mobile a few minutes later and even my Onesuite voip number wasn't spared.

Because I was curious and furious, I Googled the number and voila! Hundreds of results showed up within the past 24 hours. People were complaining that their numbers are registered under the "No call list" or National Registry. People got the same call on their mobile phones too which we all know aren't listed online or atleast it's more difficult to access than a regular landline.

Anyways I think whoever is doing this has some kind of program that dials random numbers and then fish for someone who will call them back. As a result they will have a list of valid numbers (landline and mobile) that they can sell or use again in the future.

The number has an area code of 509 (Washington state) and using a phone number look up it says its in Spokane, WA or they're only using virtual numbers and can be anywhere (say India) in the world.

I think FCC should do something about this because for the past 24 hours, this spammer has been calling thousands of numbers across the US whether your number is listed under the no call list or not.

Here's some Google results where people complains about getting a call from this number.


Kobe Bryant made history with 61 points at MSG

NEW YORK — Kobe Bryant broke the current Madison Square Garden record with 61 points, and the Los Angeles Lakers looked plenty potent without Andrew Bynum in a 126-117 victory over the New York Knicks on Monday night.

Bryant teased and pleased a sold-out crowd that took turns booing him and saluting him with "MVP!" chants during an electrifying performance. He passed Michael Jordan's opponent record of 55 points at the present building, known as "Garden IV," when he hit three free throws with 3:56 remaining, then bettered Bernard King's mark of 60, set on Christmas Day 1984, with two more foul shots with 2:33 to play.

Bryant, who also finished with the highest-scoring game in the NBA this season, left to a loud ovation after the 24th 50-point game of his career. It was also his fifth 40-point game here.

Pau Gasol added 31 points and 14 rebounds in the Lakers' first game since losing Bynum, their starting center, for eight to 12 weeks with a torn medial collateral ligament in his right knee. They'll be fine without him if Bryant plays the way he did Monday, going 19-of-31 with an array of tough jumpers, powerful drives to the basket and perfect foul shooting. He also hit all 20 free throws.

It was the greatest scoring night in Garden history. Jordan had 55 points in 1995, and Bernard King had 60 in 1984 and now Bryant passes everyone with 61. Now, LeBron comes to the Garden on Wednesday night with the Cleveland Cavaliers, but he doesn’t have the stomach for such single-minded shooting nights. James always wanted to be more Magic than Michael. Only Jordan did it three games into his comeback from a year and a half in minor league baseball, and Phil Jackson remembered, “He wasn’t really totally himself as a player. We just stuck him in the post that night.”

Bryant has become a better teammate, a better team player, but his core is unchanged: Ultimately, he goes it alone. As well as anyone since Jordan, he creates high drama and elevates himself to reach it. He started scoring fast and never stopped. The Knicks were props. They looked as liable to ask him for his autograph as they did try to defend him.