Monday, May 7, 2012

Awkward Massages - Part I

I blame it on Groupon. For those of you unfamiliar, Groupon is a discount voucher website that offers all kinds of things we can't live without for at minimum 50% off. For those of you really unfamiliar, I'm a sucker for a discount. And on top of this, they send a daily email enticing you to partake of these discounts. Recently, I was sucked in by the following:

Sit back & relax with a 1-Hour Full Body Aroma Massage with or without Mani-Pedi including Colour starting from AED 85

85 Dirham (AED) is about $23! A full hour massage AND a manicure AND a pedicure for $23?! What right-minded girl wouldn't sign up for that deal? So, of course, I did.

I made the appointment after 2 phone calls to the establishment, a lot of yelling in Arabic and finally a Filipina who spoke enough English to take my details. Hmmm, starting to wonder if this was a good idea, but hey, language barriers are just part of the adventure, right?

I arrived on a Saturday at 1:00pm ready to spend the afternoon being pampered. I was greeted warmly and asked for my Groupon voucher and then asked to wait. There were 4 women in the salon, and I later understood that 3 were employees (I think one may have been the owner) and one customer getting her hair colored. After a few minutes, I was shown to a very, very small room with one of those plastic accordion things for a door - not very private and didn't at all minimize the racket coming from the salon. I got undressed and on the table for the massage.

The Filipina came into the room and told me she would be doing my treatment today. She was very nice and got started without any fuss. The fuss was coming from the other side of the 'door'. Apparently, something wasn't to the customer's liking so there was a lot of yelling and arguing happening literally right outside the massage closet. Not exactly the tranquil atmosphere I was hoping for. To make matters worse, my therapist (word used very lightly) had to go and help sort out the mess ... THREE DIFFERENT TIMES! Each time she came back and said, "sorry madam, I give you more minutes, so sorry." Yeah, not as sorry as I was becoming for buying that Groupon.

Now I'm the only customer in the salon, and aside from the TV blaring (all in Arabic), things quieted down slightly ... until my therapist started whispering to me. She started telling me how horrible it was to work there, how the owner was okay, but the other hair stylist was awful to her and very lazy. Ummmm, seriously? I didn't know what to say and certainly had no intention of getting involved so just mumbled a few oh, hmmm, that's awfuls hoping she'd stop talking! Well, eventually she did, told me to get dressed and now it was time for my manicure and pedicure. It was now almost 2:30pm and I think I felt less relaxed than when I arrived.

I should have bolted. I'd gotten my 23 dollars worth and should have cut and run, but for whatever reason, I followed the same woman over to the mani-pedi area. Another hour and a half and I left with one of the worst mani-pedis I've ever received. The good news is that the pedicure itself wasn't too bad - just took forever. But I don't think this woman has any training in actual nail polish application. It was smeared, uneven and all over my skin. Really bad job. And while this is going on, the 'mean' hair stylist was cracking her gum, adjusting her really ill fitting tight jeans and sending texts while the owner changed the TV channel every 3 minutes. 90 minutes of this awkwardness!

I finally left  around 4pm not feeling the least bit relaxed and making a pledge not to fall for any more Groupon deals. (you did see the part I in the title, right? ... stay tuned)

1 comment:

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