All things new are not necessarily good. Today’s new and different was entirely in this category and if I had been in a cantankerous mood, the day would have been ruined. Instead, I was in a laissez faire mood and so nothing seemed to faze me much. Maybe, since I began the day as such a failure, it was easy to see that failure isn’t the end of the world.

Massage Envy opened up about 1.5 – 2 miles from my house. Their first day was last Friday, unless it was last Saturday. Before they were even open, I scheduled a massage. I know that “real” therapists look down on the ME people as less or not quite good enough. I’ve had the same person at ME as who used to have her own place and then came to my house for massages.

I have been getting massages for about 25 years and I know the difference between a good and bad massage. I know when it makes me feel better when it is over and what makes me wish I had not put this off for so long. There were rumors of ME opening in March and I kept waiting. I didn’t make an appointment at the place 20-25 minutes away (unless traffic is REALLY bad and then it is longer) because I hate driving in traffic and the whole hour more to get a massage is irritating on my day off.

So I waited. And waited. I made the appointment as soon as they opened their doors even though they weren’t really ready for business yet. I scheduled with the owner. I came home and told Dick that they were making appointments and he went up and scheduled a time, too. We both got tours as well. His appointment was earlier in the week. I asked this morning if he got a reminder call and he had. I had not. This was not a good sign.

I called and said I thought I had an appointment today at 10 AM with Jeremy. I only did if my name was somebody else and they were very sorry and a manager would get back to me and everybody was extremely sorry and there was sorriness everywhere. I explained that I didn’t need to talk to a manager, I needed to schedule a massage. They had another sports therapist with an opening at 10, although her previous client had been running late and it might be a few minutes after 10 before she could take me. That was fine.

Susan did a wonderful job and I can lift my arms over my head again without wincing. A lot of my issues stem from being an old fart who does CrossFit, sometimes with incorrect form. Some of the issue is from sheer overwork. And some of the issue is because it has been five or six weeks since my last massage. There was lots for her to work with and she did a great job.

There were only two people behind the desk and they were inexperienced (they have been open for just a handful of days) and everything was taking a really long time. And the phones kept ringing. And nothing seemed to be working correctly. I was not in a hurry. It would be okay.

The assistant manager could check me out. I wanted to schedule another appointment. Susan had told me she was currently working every other Friday and Saturday, so I was fairly sure she wouldn’t be there next Friday, but I did ask. I didn’t want to have an appointment in the middle of the afternoon on Saturday. She also works Mondays and Wednesdays. Did she have something on Wednesday, April 23? By golly, she did. I will get a massage after work.

ME had sent me an email about an extra 30 minutes for $10 during the month of April. They knew nothing about it. I got my email up on my phone to make sure it was April and not May and it was. So there was checking. I have a 90 minute massage scheduled. I will print out the email. But, I was not in a hurry. It was okay.

I had a pre-paid appointment but I wanted to leave a tip on my credit card. It took a lot of clicking through but we finally managed to find the right place and my credit card was swiped. “Thanks” stuff was said and the cheery young woman thought she was done. I asked if there wasn’t a credit card slip to sign. Whoopsie, yes there was and I was handed the receipt. I was charged both for the session and the tip and so the amount was wrong.

Dear, sweet Jesus. She didn’t know how to undo the charge. The co-owner didn’t know, either. We worried about this and tried many things for about ten minutes before I asked if they could just give me a gift card for the amount. Brilliant. We all sighed in relief. No one knew how to make that work within the computer system either. Damn.

Finally, the owner asked if he could just give me the money I had paid and he went and got his wallet. He gave me the money and I gave him back the tip for Susan. It took me over a half hour to check out. I was not in a hurry. It was okay.

This was all new and different. However, I could tell the women behind the counter were frazzled to the point of snapping and they simply didn’t know how to make the computers do what they were intending to do. I learned in this time that two of the desk workers had called in and so neither of the people there were used to working the desk and were doing the best they could. We all remained pleasant and cordial. And I left there bemused more than anything else.

Computers are our friends and they make everything easier … right up until they don’t. When you know what you want the damn machine to do and it steadfastly sits there like a rock, it is so annoying. Things that should be easy because humans can think outside the box, become difficult because computers are just boxes.

My plan had been to then go to Marshall’s and so even though it was later than expected, that’s what I did. I found not only ONE, but TWO bags of chocolate peanut butter coffee. I had one more cup worth here at home and I was going to be out and I love this coffee. And now I have more. Yesterday, I finished off the chocolate raspberry coffee and they had that, too.

I got a $98 jacket like I wear all the time in a color I don’t have that was in the clearance rack and in my size. It was $15. Then I found another pair of Capri length workout pants that had a $78 price tag on them and they were $14.99 (not from the clearance rack). I got a couple other odds and ends and came home happy and relaxed.

The entire ME experience was the same whether I was upset or bemused, but it sure was a lot less stressful – at least for me – by choosing to remain bemused. There is probably a lesson in there somewhere.

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