I was doing okay financially for a long time as a Massage Therapist, I was working on 35+ clients a week, and although I wasn’t paid well by the standards of the work being performed (worked at a chain massage place where the client pays $100 for the hour and the therapist sees only 20% of that) I was making due.
Recently, the chain that I worked at lost the manager to health reasons and they brought in a new person who wanted to bring in her own crew of therapists. Rules were being made that made no sense, but I kept going with it. As a male therapist, I have a harder time booking clients. So the addition of more male therapists started to clip into new clients I was able to continue building my clientele and filling my work schedule. As I started to see my appointments start to dip lower than what I was used to, I decided to reach out in the area to see if I could pick up more work. I found a small, private therapy office that was not in direct competition with the chain massage place I worked at and spoke to the owner, who was also a therapist, about picking up additional clients there. He thought I was a good match and hired me for a lot more money than I was currently making. Although the money was a lot better, and the new owner guaranteed he could get me fully booked as he had a plethora of clients, I balked at moving completely over. I decided I would adjust my time at the chain place and add additional time to the new one, trying to make sure I got as many clients as possible. I don’t like relying on others for my expenses and figured this would be the best of both worlds. There were other therapists at the chain studio that did the same so I didn’t see any issues forthcoming.
I was only at the new place a week when I received an e-mail from the chain studio owner, a person I had worked for more than 6 years mind you, and with whom I had a cordial relationship, letting me go because I had taken a job with another studio that was not in direct competition with his. At first, I thought this would be okay, the new studio had said he could fill my schedule, and as mentioned before, he was paying me nearly double what I was making before.
Well, it’s been 4 months now and he’s failed to fill one week with clients. There are some days I have one or two, while rare days, though more frequently than before, I have none. His studio is starting to fail, as he also has little to no clients on his table, and that guarantee is useless. I have embarked on career training to leave the massage world and am in the midst of getting my data analytics certification, so I’m hoping that this nightmare is about to end. I have never been so depressed about my financial matters since early in my Air Force days after getting married and my now ex-wife quitting her job and relying on my meager income to support us.
Currently, my situation is this, I live in a friend’s basement that I am building when there’s money for supplies. My current wife lives in the Philippines and we are waiting, and have been waiting for two years now, for her to get a visa to come here. During this ordeal, I now understand why there are so many illegals here because the legal way is ridiculous. I am the only financial support for her and my two step-children and although she is trying to obtain employment, they take one look at her paperwork and see that she will be leaving soon and figure it’s not worth it. So her financial hands are tied. I send her all the money I can muster to pay bills and she stays at home, never really going out because she understands that money is tight.
I have loaned money from those predatory programs in hopes that my bookings would increase, and alas, they have not and now I’m juggling more bills than my meager income can support. I like to think there is a light at the end of the tunnel and my pursuit of data analytics will be fruitful, but there is a lot of competition out there and my age doesn’t help me in that regard. My family cannot help me, I’ve asked, and I cannot further burden the friend that I live with, so I am seeking out help from anyone at this point. Anything helps, as I will use it to help my family survive until I can get my feet back under me. Thank you for taking the time to read all of this, there is plenty more to the story and I take full responsibility for my current situation. I keep thinking I would be okay right now if I didn’t look elsewhere for employment, the job was hard, but at least I had work.