Life of a mobile therapist

When I was told by my social media manager Sonia that I have been bringing a spa by car service to you for 14 years it made me reflect on the customer/guests we had supplied our services to, and the mobile therapists who had contributed to making people happy and relaxed, many of these wonderful therapists are still with me.  Others moved on to start up their own businesses, concentrate on family or just changed jobs, the latter due to the events of 2020 and 2021 forced career changes for many.

Our job is a happy one, we deal with people in a relaxed atmosphere feeling they have time off from the hamster wheel of life to enjoy two or three days with friends and family.  It’s a wonderful mood to walk into and we feel part of the occasion even if we are there to do a job.

Occasionally we get unexpected bookings by well-known people.   I had the opportunity to give Ben Fogel a facial while he was staying at a large manor house in Suffolk over a New Year many years ago.  It was a bit of surprise coming literally face-to-face with a person off the telly.  Also, when I was providing wedding services, hairdresser Michelle and I were booked by a Game of Thrones actress for her wedding hair and make-up at a wedding venue in Norfolk.  It gives you a little buzz when this happens.  Especially an actress from a huge TV series as the GoT. A lot of ‘got any gossip questions’ were asked.

Over the 14 years we have stories about our life on the road. These little accounts after a job are discussed when therapists report back. All reports are positive which is reflected by our customer feedback. But, offering a service on the road and us turning up looking unflustered, smiling faces and ready to go doesn’t always appear to be the case with events that can happen before or on the way to the job.

We have to confess that our professional organisational skills sometimes go a bit awry when our head is full of the day and our car contents haven’t gone through the check list.  Therapist Tia arriving at a client’s house ready for a massage session and missing a vital piece of equipment… the massage couch!  I left my entire bag of products in storage and had to go back to get them. It was a ‘having a word with yourself ‘moment for being sloppy on the way back home to collect these.  Luckily both our clients were not far from destination product and equipment pick-up and were sympathetic to us for the life of being a mobile therapist when we leave our brains at home.  There was a time when I got out my manicure box to load in the car as I was doing a manicure and pedicure treatments and left it by the side of the car then drove off to do the job, a job which was 25 miles away (eek!).  Lady Luck stepped in the shape of the other therapist I was working with having her manicure equipment in the car …. phew!

Most of the ‘oh no’ moments are when we can’t find a venue.  On occasions, if the property is in a secluded area the group does put out signals, such as balloons at the entrance, which is a massive help. However,  many venues in the countryside are virtually off grid, or at least the postcode of the venue doesn’t match where you end up, which therapist Wendy experienced recently.  Her panic set in as the start time for the booking had passed and she’s driving around trying to locate the accommodation and the guest wasn’t picking up her call (poor signal).  Luckily, being in the correct area she was flagged down by one of the booking group out on the hunt for their therapist.  In the time of panic when you can’t reach anyone for directions the next plan is to stop someone on a little country lane and ask a passer-by, it sometimes turns out the folk from around here are not from around here as they too are on their holidays.  We do eventually end up finding the venue, but takes a little while for us to compose ourselves before we get cracking and then to get lost in calming spa music sending us into our world of massage.

A  funny, (but not so funny story at the time) happened to therapist Chrissy and I with a confirmed a booking for a family group at an address supplied by the host of the booking. The information was double checked the week prior to the booking date.  It was an early Sunday morning start, and we arrived before the start time to set-up to be ready for the job.  After much banging on the door of The Mill House it was eventually answered by a man with bedhead in his dressing gown with the rest of his group in the same state standing behind him. They didn’t understand why two therapists had woken them up so early on a Sunday morning.  After explaining to them why we were there they thought they  were getting a surprise addition to their weekend. He then informed us they were a group staying for a painting weekend and no one in the group had the same name as our booking. Many apologies given and off we went confused with a lot of head scratching to discuss what to do next as we were unable to get a response from the client’s mobile number (no network signal). 

 We waited in the car thinking we might have to go home, then 20 minutes later we got the ‘where are you call’ (the host managed to use the accommodation providers landline).  It turned out we should have been at The Mill House in Aylsham (Broads, Norfolk) which is 25 miles from The Mill House in Wells next the Sea (Seaside, North Norfolk).  Stressed and wired by me driving like Jeremy Clarkson in a reasonably priced car we arrived 30 minutes later.  The client was full of apologies, made us lots of cuppas and at the end of the booking gave us a gesture of good will for the cause of a stressful start to their booking.

After doing this job for 14 years I’d like to think I have pre-empted all possible challenging situations that might occur, only to have that feeling of OMG panic again recently with a booking host calling me asking if I was still coming to do the booking that morning for a group of 14 hens.  After checking, I found the booking was made, paid and confirmed for the following week. It appears the hen party organiser forgot to let me know they had changed the date of their stay. As the saying goes ‘Expect the Unexpected’.

As you can imagine there are many other stories we have of being a therapist, on the road or in the salon, maybe I’ll share these with you some other time.

Jane x.