Saturday, May 26, 2012

Red Flag Confusion

I have learned my lesson. 

 I will never again get a massage at a "spa" located between Food Lion and a nail shop at a strip mall. 

Oh, the red flags were plentiful. The reason I went to the "spa" was that I got a 20% "spa" discount when I paid $45 for Linda's fake nails at the nail store next door.  (The nails fell off within a week.) On top of that, when I called to make an appointment, the number was disconnected. 

But because Kimmy had never had a massage before, and there was a big sign over the door that said "15% off all massages", we chose to ignore those red flags.

The third red flag appeared when we stopped at the "spa" to make an appointment.

There was a woman behind the counter (let's call her " Shanchakita"), who turned out to be our massage therapist. Shanchakita told us we had our choice of appointments. 

We decided to have lunch and then come back. 

At lunch Kimmy asked, "Do you think it's weird that they have no appointments scheduled today?"  

"Nah," I said, my blinders working overtime. "It's probably because their phone is disconnected." 

Since Shanchakita was the only massage therapist at the "spa", we had to take turns. Kimmy went first. While I waited for her, I shopped at the Food Lion next door, and then filled out my "spa" paperwork. 

At the top of the form were several drawings of bodies from different angles, with instructions to circle my problem areas. I circled left front shoulder. The form also asked if I was ticklish anywhere, and I noted that I had ticklish toes. 

Then Kimmy came out, looking somewhat troubled. I whispered to her, "How was it?" She said, "I guess it was okay." 

I entered the massage room. But for the first 5 minutes of my massage, Shanchakita used only one hand. CRAP, I thought! How'd I get a one-handed masseuse?   Kimmy should have warned me!

Her second hand then joined the effort, and I tried my best to enjoy it. But my mind wandered back to its mysterious absence. What her other hand was doing during those 5 minutes? Texting? Combing her hair? Oh, I how I hoped she wasn't picking her nose. 

The massage wasn't horrible. Until she got to my toes. Apparently she hadn't read my form. 

I turned over, waiting in anticipation of her to getting to my sore shoulder. Legs...arms...fingers... Then, "Your hour's up, Miss Lou."  

I could not believe it.  But I got dressed and went to the counter to pay her. I hadn't done the math, but I expected the total to be about $100. 

Shanchakita said, "That will be $150."  What? Even if the massages were full price (which they weren't), it would only be $120.

"How does that work?" I asked, not wanting to insult Shanchakita's intelligence. "Aren't they $60 each before the discount?" 

"Yes," she said. "That will be $115."  

Clearly, Shanchakita was not a member of her high school Math club. 

"20% of $60 is $12. So the first massage would be $48, right?" Shanchakita looked at me suspiciously, not sure about my crazy calculations. "And 15% of $60 is $9. So the second massage would be $51, right?"  

Shanchakita nodded, very slowly. I added, "$48 plus $51 equals $99."

"So we owe $99."

 I gave Shanchakita my credit card and she swiped it. She then looked blankly at me and said, "It doesn't work." 

 "That's because your phone was cut off!" I told her. Then I regained my manners and said, "Should I pay at the nail place?" 

So we took a big gulp of oxygen and entered the nail solon, with its noxious vapors. Their phone had not been cut off, so I paid the $99 (plus a pity tip). 

Yeah, the red flags were all around me. 

I should never have gotten that massage. 

But then again, it is unlikely that, as a result of this experience, Kimmy will be spending her hard-earned money on expensive massages.

I'm a stinkin' Parental Genius!

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