February 15, 2013
Darkness Descending (Again), Part 2

Caring Palms (and specifically me) has been under attack. The scope of the attack started small and then grew. What was said has had me questioning everything I do to the point that I was not very efficient. And although that has passed, the trauma at the time was huge.

I got a message from one of my competitors telling me that someone had complained to her about me. now, why someone would do that, I don’t know. This was followed up by a long diatribe about me and how I do bad work and have a bad reputation. As is usually the case with this person, there were no details, just claims that come out of the blue with no facts, basically nothing I can confirm or deny, or act on at all.

This was followed a month later by comments posted on a Facebook board under an ad I had posted warning people to stay away and offering to tell why under private message. That was followed by emails to the person that created the board calling me all kinds of names. They claim I have been inappropriate for as long as I have been here, and that they would be lodging a complaint to the Board of Massage.

Well, this started me doing some research through which I have proven that this person’s claims are nothing but lies. For instance‚Ķ

For massage sessions in 2012, 60% of the females returned. Of those that did not return, 73% tipped. That is a huge percentage there. Of those that had Reiki, 25% returned. Now, I know Reiki is more subjective than massage and that people are less likely to return for that. Of those that did not return, 73% tipped. For 2011, he numbers were a little lower. For massage sessions, 23% returned and 60% of those that did not return tipped. For Reiki sessions, 50% returned, and 83% of those that did not return tipped.

For Reiki classes, 50% came back for more. And my scores for Reiki students are posted on another page, but since I have been collecting student scores and comments (back in 2004), I have an overall rating no lower than 9.6 out of a maximum of 10.

According to the numbers, I am doing real well. If I was truly doing what this person claims I have been doing, the numbers would not be what they are. I can remember after my first year at the studio, I did a lot of statistics and my return rate was something like 5%. So I have come a long way, and things seem to be getting better. Where the comments said that people did not like my classes, or simply do not come back, well, numbers prove that to be incorrect. And massage is subjective. I can’t remember how many times I have had a massage and never gone back simply because I did not like the quality of the work. Not everyone likes what I do. But those that do keeps coming back, including the one lady that comes in every year on her birthday.

But even so, when one has to deal with the comments being put in public areas, it is hard to truly know what is right and not. Again, with no facts given, there is nothing to look at. But this did spur me to make some changes to be sure.

My paperwork has always said that if the subject was uncomfortable at any time during the session, they should say something, and I would change what I am doing. I made some minor changes so that some of the technical terms were explained. I also created a new form explaining in detail what happens in a massage session (I have always had one for Reiki sessions), and again telling the subject that they should say something if they are uncomfortable (and this means uncomfortable from massage movement or pain). I have always had forms for people should they elect to have sessions without draping explaining pretty much the same thing.

People coming in get a slew of papers to read and fill out, and these papers let them know that they have rights and can change the session at any time by opening their mouth. This is what I have always tried to maintain, educating the client so they know they can make changes at any time, and to know what to expect. Of course, no matter how much you tell some people, they still misunderstand. And when you tell them to read a form, they don’t, yet they sign it. (I’ve had people go through and sign every form on the clipboard even though I tell them to sign only the first three or four. They even sign the form that says they want to receive massage without draping... without reading it to see what it says. I at least catch those.)

The point is that I go way out of my way to make sure they know they are in control and that there are no surprises. So, if someone is complaining to my competition, why aren’t they complaining to me? My competition said that people think my classes are bad, so this person has applied to be a provider so people have an alternative to me. Hmm, the issue is that when this person came to me for classes, they had taken some Reiki classes, but I don’t think they were a Reiki master. I believe they got that from me.

So the one thread connecting all this is that this person is My Competition. I feel bad that this seems to be how some people feel they need to approach business, by getting rid of their competition through any means rather than just proving that they are better.

I don’t know. It is just a method I am not willing to go through to see my business be better. I guess I will just have to do what I have been doing, helping people to be better.