As a professional twenty-something woman, I do not earn as much as my male peers. I work just as hard, probably even harder, since the guys in my office are always slacking and goofing off. But of course, my hard work isn’t ever recognized. My boss calls me in, only to tell me that Tim or Jeff or Consuelo messed up a report and that the team is counting on me again to fix the mess.
It drives me nuts! I want to scream sometimes. But of course, I just smile, take the report to my desk, and begin editing the mess that has been made of it. All the while, no one else in the office does much. Lip service is all I ever get. People praising my hard work. But what I really want is to have each of the guys up on those carnival attractions where contestants throw a softball to soak the clown. I dream of this.
Has my boss ever offered me higher pay? No. The best they offer is free Chinese if I stay late fixing other people’s messes. And, they don’t even go to the good restaurant, just the cheapie place on 7th Avenue. I can’t stand it. It’s so unfair. If I stay past eight, I get a limo ride back to Brooklyn. Wow. Like that makes up for underpaying me.
I am actually all about healing and living a balanced life. I enjoy yoga class. I love massages. But how can I afford all this on my meager salary? My apartment in Park Slope eats up more than two-thirds of my salary. So with what’s left, I have to buy new work clothes, pay for the train, and eat lunch. Savings? Nope. Not this girl.
So how can I afford massage therapy? The truth is, I really can’t. I did find a partial solution: When I stay at my parents’ house back in Bridgewater in New Jersey, I get in-home massages. Of course, that seems very expensive, but the company I found called Mountainside Onsite Massages always seems to have a coupon if I ask. Sometimes my parents even pay. They know I can’t seem to save. They are proud of me for making it on my own, but at 31, I should not have so much gray hair and it worries them.
Women’s massage is really not so new, but I do think more men than women partake of this luxury. I get in-home massages almost once a month. The masseuse travels to my parents’ home. I just sit there and wait. I don’t have to drive. I so love on demand massage. Uber, not so much. I’ve had bad experiences maybe 50 percent of the time.
Afterwards, I feel like a new person when the massage is done. It’s totally worth it. But without the coupons, it just wouldn’t be possible at all. The thing is, you have to ask. The regular price is too steep for me, worth it or not.
I was lucky enough to have told the concierge the first time I called for an appointment that the price was way out of my range. My Dad said he would pay, because I took the PATH train home that Friday night crying all the way. I earned a Masters for this? My job was nothing but stress, and I really wanted out. Now, three years later, I’m still there, still no raise, but at least I found a way to cope.
When the lady on the other end of the phone had told me the price I was blunt. “I’m going to have a nervous breakdown,” I explained. I told her that my Dad was paying, and explained how sad it was that a 31 year old woman couldn’t afford a massage. I was about to hang up, but I was sluggish from depression and lethargy. It’s great that I didn’t because the woman told me that they had special limited coupons that she could apply.
Since that time, that’s what I do every time I call. The discounts vary, but it never costs me the full price. I swear that if i could afford it, I would pay the full amount. But I do want to have ten dollars left over for a tip for the therapist. My parents still splurge for me. But only sometimes. They’re both retired now, and my mooching younger brothers still live at home. So I feel bad and just try to save on lunches by making my boss buy me lunch. It’s the least he can do. I do more work than the other three people in my department combined. So I do deserve something in return. If it’s not going to be a raise or better hours, at least it can be Wendy’s or something quick from the Chinese place.