Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Living Social Gone Wrong

When I became single and moved to my apartment last year, I discovered the wonderful world of Living Social Deals.  For those that don't know, Living Social, like Groupon, provides major discounts on food, adventures, vacations, clothing, jewelry, beauty treatments and so on.  Immediately, I was sucked into these fantastic deals.  I bought my skydiving ticket for half price.  I bought my ziplining tickets for half price.  I bought bowling tickets, which have now expired, because what was I thinking? And when I saw a One Hour Deep Tissue Massage for $30, I jumped on it and bought three vouchers.

So that I wasn't selfish, I decided to share my vouchers with my friends.  We could have a girls' day out, enjoying shopping, massages and margaritas together.  I called and scheduled our massages right away.  When I called, I found out the "spa" was on the other side of town (not in the best neighborhood), but shrugged it off.  Hey, it was only $30, what am I complaining about?

The day of our massages arrived, and my friend Heidi was unable to make it into town due to inclement weather, so it was just me and Brenda.  I picked her up and we drove over together.  We were thrilled about spending an entire hour relaxing.  As we followed our printed directions, we turned into a small, old corporate park.  I saw a sign for a spa and we pulled in.

When we walked in the door, we were in a small hallway with stairs in front of us and a door to the side.  Brenda says, "Oh God, what is that smell?  It stinks in here!".  The door was filthy and said, "Please knock".  We looked at each other in horror and I knocked.  A small Asian woman answer the door and said, "Can I help you?". I enthusiastically said, "Yes, we're here for our massages!".  She gave me a very bizarre look and said, "You have wrong place". 

We breathed a very heavy sigh of relief and got back in the car to look for the REAL massage place.  We drove to the back of the parking lot, around the back of a building, and THERE it was.  Whew, finally.  We went inside relieved to see a fairly clean and not so smelly hallway.

We entered the office and there was a very large man sitting behind a desk.  He was approximately 60 years old, 300 pounds, covered in tattoos up and down both arms, and reeked of cigarette smoke.  He greeted us and explained that all of his six children work for him and do the massages.  I dare not look at Brenda at this point.  If I did, I think she would have just gotten back in the car.  Lucky for her though, I had indicated that she required a woman to do her massage. 

A nice 28yr old girl popped in from the hallway and greeted Brenda with a big smile.  They walked toward a small, dimly lit room with a table.  I said, "Have fun! Relax!"

Personally, I had visions of a tall, strong, handsome man named Sven giving my massage, so I had indicated (beforehand) that I was just fine with a man doing my massage.  So, as this man is setting up the paperwork, he looked me up and down and said, "Oh, I will do you".  I think I may have gotten a little sick to my stomach here. 

I filled out my paperwork, explaining that my trouble area is my upper back and neck.  You know, I carry Eliah around all day.  So, we walked back to a large room with a warm table and serene music playing.  He left me alone to get undressed and lay on the table (face up he told me).  I had no idea what I was in for.

The man entered the room and uttered a little small talk.  Then he began the "rub down".  He explained that he doesn't really do "deep tissue", he likes to be gentle.  But all his friends told him he gives a great massage!  Didn't I buy a Deep Tissue massage voucher??

As he started rubbing my neck from underneath, he was explaining to me that some women prefer he do a "preventative breast massage" as part of the session.  I said, "Oh no thank you" in my most polite and uncomfortable way.  Then, as he worked on one of my arms, he pulled it high above my head so the sheet was dangerously close to breaking loose the contents underneath.  I didn't worry though, since I had another free hand to pull the sheet up higher, much to his dismay.

I tried to relax and listen to the music.  But every couple minutes I heard a loud cough and he would hack up some mucous, no doubt from the years of smoking. The unfortunate part was that the one time I opened my eyes, I discovered that he was using his hand to cover his mouth when he coughed....then put his hand right on me.

When I turned over on my stomach is when it got really...questionable.  He started at my feet.  After 10 minutes on one foot, I started to wonder what was going on back there.  After another 5 minutes with just one hand barely rubbing that same foot, I started to wonder what he was "really" doing back there.  Was he texting?  Was he doing other things??  I'm not even sure I want to know. 

It was so absurd that I actually started laughing to myself.  I tried to control it so that I wasn't violently shaking.  I didn't want him to think I was really enjoying that one-handed foot rub.

As he worked his way up, he was sure to offer the glute rub as a bonus option.  Again, I turned down the offer.  By the time he got to my back, he was only able to put in about five minutes of lightly shifting the hair pattern on my back and the time was up. 

He then left the room and I got dressed.  I wasn't sure if I was supposed to feel relaxed, violated or cheated. It was NOT a happy ending.  But I walked out of the room to discover that Brenda had a wonderful time and felt renewed, refreshed and relaxed.  At least one of us had a good time.

Needless to say, I never used that third voucher, and I don't ever buy the massage packages on Living Social anymore.  Life is like a Living Social massage, you never know what you're gonna get. 

1 comment:

  1. We have these lovely, very pretty ladies that come to the office to sell spa packages at "95% off the regular rates." You can get one item per visit, and they include things like a color/cut consultation, a cut, a color, manicure, 30 min massage. I purchased one of these once, because the spa HAD to be great based on the gorgeous ladies that are representing the spa, right? Not even! A friend and I each bought a package for $50 - great deal, right? We booked massages for our first visit -- arrived a little early to fill out paperwork, etc. Was told our person was on their way, would just be a few minutes. Well, 20 mins later, no massage person, one of the tattoo guys went to her house to find her, MIA. So, after 40 mins of waiting, no massages that day, and we couldn't use any other services, as they were booked...note, we were the only two customers there. My friend tried to book consult and cut for next appt...can only do one per visit. Who goes in for a consult and then returns for the cut???? Rest of services followed a similar pattern. I only used 3 of the many I was offered in the "package." Lesson learned -- a deal is too good to be true if it seems to be.