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Re: Running Behind Schedule


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Re: When the Provider is Running Behind Schedule


I contacted a visiting masseur yesterday morning about scheduling an appointment for 8:00 last night. Said masseur responded shortly thereafter, and said that time was fine, but to text him 30 minutes before to tell him I was on my way.


At 7:30, I texted him saying I was on my way, but might possibly be 5 minutes late due to thunderstorm that was in full swing. I also communicated that since I might possibly be running late that I wouldn't expect my massage to go past 9:00. I ended up arriving 5 minutes early and texted that I had arrived. I received a reply immediately to wait 15 minutes. At the 20 minute mark I received another text saying his client wanted to take a shower so it would be a few more minutes. I replied saying, I'd be heading home. I also said, if he was running behind schedule he should have communicated that to me ahead of time.


His response was, he didn't want to be rude to the client that was already there, and he didn't think I would like it if he had to text someone during my session. If a client is running late, and thereby disrupts the next appointment, then I feel he's being rude to the person who ends up waiting.


This went back and forth for a few texts when I just responded that no one was going to win this argument. He offered me a discount to come back, but my desire for a massage was completely gone by then.


Just needed a forum to vent and to urge service providers that communication is key for a satisfied client. Will I ever hire this guy in the future - absolutely not. I also realize that as a client it is my responsibility to be on time for any appointment I book and to be cognizant of others who might have appointments after me.

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In this case, I think that masseur was handling the situation the best way that he could, and he was in a lose-lose situation no matter what he did. His previous client was the real problem; he showed up late and then asked to take a shower, thereby using up even more extra time.


The best thing the masseur could have done was turned away the first client when he showed up late, but, that probably wouldn't have been taken very well. He could have told the client that he would have to forego the shower, but that probably wouldn't go over too well, either. When you say "communication is key for a satisfied client," I think you're suggesting that he should have texted you after the late client arrived, when he realized that he would be running late for your appointment, but I think almost everyone here would agree that it would never be acceptable for a masseur to be texting during a massage.


It's also possible that the masseur schedules his time too tightly, and didn't leave any time between appointments, but we don't really know that; we don't know how late the previous client was.


So, in the end, yes, I think you were treated rudely, and you have every right to be angry. However, I think it was the previous client who was rude, and that's where your angry energy should be directed. As a person who is obsessively punctual, I myself join you in cursing all of the chronically tardy people of the world who cause all kinds of irritation, frustration and annoyance to the rest of us. Karma will get them, eventually.

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I'm not reading in the first post that the previous client was definitely late. I think the dcguy20 was simply making the point that the previous client was running late as in running into the masseur's next scheduled appointment. Maybe that occurred because he arrived late, or maybe the client was simply taking his time showering, or maybe the masseur was simply overly generous with his time for that client, or maybe the masseur began that client's appointment late, too. Who knows?


I think the big problem is that a massage therapist should never schedule clients literally back-to-back like that unless one is working in a business-like environment with a waiting room and an expectation that the massage will be strictly therapeutic. What's so difficult about allowing 15 to 30 minutes between clients? Surely the masseur wants to change sheets on the table, wash his hands (and maybe other parts of his body), have a drink of water, check voicemail and/or email, etc.


As to how I would have handled the situation, if I were able to stay later than 9:00 then I would have asked the masseur if he had another client scheduled immediately after my appointment. If not, then I would have gone through with the appointment -- starting late and ending late. If the masseur hesitated at all in answering the question, I would have assumed that he had yet another client scheduled back to back and I would have done what the OP did.

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Thanks, guys. I definitely appreciate the feedback. The thing that ticked me off (besides the lateness), was that the masseur said he didn't want to be rude to the client that was already there, whereas, I was the one who was on time and being made to wait because all communication was done after the fact. I would have been fine with a text saying he was running late and would I mind coming at 8:30 instead.


I agree, it seems like the appointments were scheduled too close together (another one of my pet peeves).

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DCguy20, I think your message saying that you'll be probably late because of a storm was misleading for the masseur. Especially if you ended up arriving early.


Try to put yourself in the shoes of the previous client who was taking a shower - nobody wants to be rushed out the door.


However, I understand both parties and think that the masseur tried his best to satisfy both clients the best possible way he could at that given time. Unfortunately in the end you were the one who was disadvantaged.


Personally, I would have taken him up on his offer for a discount and making amendments. It shows good and positive attitude.

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