the original kStyle blog.

Sunday, December 02, 2007


I got a call on Friday. A spa in a wealthy area has a backlog of shiatsu clients, but their practitioner had to move suddenly to Florida because of a family emergency. I met the owner the next day at 9 AM, did an audition treatment, walked out with a black shirt to wear when I start work the 15th. This is a chance to make good money. I would like that. For years I've felt like I was working my ass off for every last penny, not compensated enough.

So, I'll just start with Saturdays; and if it works out, and if the p/t nonprofit job comes through, I'll be able to quit Day Job, work more than one day at the spa, and still have time for my own practice (heretofore unprofitable).

I'm reeling. I was exhausted from the upheaval and the interview yesterday. I was catatonic on the couch from 2 PM onward.

The prospect of working at an upscale spa has certainly brought up some of my "stuff". I look scruffy compared to the other employees and certainly the owner, the Most Polished Woman of All. I've always thought of myself as charmingly earthy, but I suspect I'll need to apply some serious makeup to bring in the tips from the wealthy ladies.

And, how do I feel about being the money-leech at the side of the wealthy wives? Not sure.

I also have some latent prejudices against the upper classes. Will I be treated like the "help"? Are they spoiled, self-involved people, and will my treatments be reinforcing those tendencies? Most of all, will I morph into a little clone of the wealthy ladies, not unlike Cady in Mean Girls becoming the queen of the clique she set out to bring low? Or Andy in The Devil Wears Prada?

Ah hell, I should just let it go and allow myself not to work so damn hard at a job I don't like, give myself permission to make some money and enjoy it.



Blogger Narya said...

First: YAY!!

Second: Remember that YOU are also interviewing THEM. You may find that you really don't like the clients or environment, and this is a really low-risk way to find that out, in that you're not risking day job, p/t non-profit possibility, or your own practice to do this experiment.

Third: Do not apply makeup unless you want to do that. Be well-groomed, professional, etc.--which I"m sure you already are--but don't try to look like your clients. For one thing, you won't be comfortable. For another, some people WANT their "help" to look less-polished than they do. (A reprehensible attitude, but if it means bigger tips for you and you get to be yourself?)

Fourth: Don't assume they're all "wealthy wives" (though they may well be). They may have their own substantial incomes.

Fifth: You're not a money leech. You're providing a legitimate treatment. Rich people have blockages and issues, too! I doubt your treatments will reinforce (or "cure") any selfishness they may have.

Sixth: You're not going to turn into them, either. You don't have the money or the personality, and you probably don't want what they have, either, even as you probably wish you had the money some days (I'm projecting, there, and guessing, and could be wrong).

Seventh: Yay again! See what it does for you.

9:54 AM  
Blogger kStyle said...

Narya, thanks for the excellent encouragement and advice. Everything you wrote is helping me, but this especially struck my heart as true:

"you probably don't want what they have, either, even as you probably wish you had the money some days"

and, you're absolutely correct, I'm checking it out. It's not a commitment.

Thank you.

PS I'm reminded of a story we learned in my shiatsu training. It illustrates how too much excitement is bad for the Heart. A young man was chosen to be a minister to the emperor. When he arrived at the Forbidden City, his face was flushed, and he was bursting with happiness and excitement.

The court physician was from the same village as the new minister. He rushed to the young man and said, "Little brother, you must return home. I just received news that your father has died."

The young man rushed back to his village, to find his father alive and well. When he reached the palace again a few days later, he angrily asked the physician why he had lied and sent him home.

The physician replied, "You had excessive joy and excitement, and I could see that it was damaging your heart. Now you are calm again, and safe."

10:09 AM  
Blogger Narya said...

Yeah--and you and I seem to do a great job mitigating our own joy, don't we!

7:56 PM  
Blogger Larry Jones said...

Stop it! You're having some good luck -- enjoy it.

They may treat you like the "help," but that's their problem, and nothing you can control, so you needn't trouble yourself. You will go there with confidence, carry yourself with dignity and conduct your business professionally. They will be impressed, and in any case they will not have the power to define you or reduce you, except in their own minds, where it doesn't really matter.

And you're not a leech. You're a trained and skilled professional who must take care of herself first in order to be able to take care of others. The privileged can pay, and they will gladly, but I'm sure you'll make time for those who cannot.

PS: That court physician sounds like a jerk, playing God like that with the kid's time and emotions. Couldn't he have just whispered "Hey, your face is all red. Chill, dude."

8:12 PM  
Blogger kStyle said...

Thanks, Larry. Your directness is a help. You're cutting through my anxiety, and I truly appreciate it.


8:44 PM  
Blogger kStyle said...

PS Narya: we do share that special talent, it seems. Maybe a good new year resolution would be for us to try to get rid of it.

8:53 PM  
Blogger Narya said...

OTOH, we fulfill the role of the court physician, too, but without requiring someone to travel back and forth. (We do it in our heads, where the fares are cheap!)

8:28 AM  
Blogger kStyle said...

Well put.


6:28 PM  
Blogger Narya said...

on the other hand

6:56 AM  

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