Why I shouldn’t work with the public…

Before the post proper begins, we need two disclaimers.

  1. I am a very childish man – and I do realise that the current popular stereotype (when is the 3D version coming?) would suggest that whilst “childish” is an adjective it does very little to limit the scope of the noun “man”.
  2. I was asked not to write this post – but GofaDM will not be silenced!

Now, on with the motley!

Yesterday morning, I went for one of my periodic bouts of massage therapy in a vain (in at least two senses of the word) attempt to maintain my ageing body in some sort of fighting form.  It is also an attempt to delay the day on which I become a burden on the already over-stretched resources of the NHS.

The first order of business as a client is to disrobe to allow the therapist fairly full access to my flesh.  As I did this, I was struck – oddly for the first time – that my therapist rather obviously averted his (or her) gaze as my body was slowly revealed from the layers of clothing keeping the winter chill at bay.  Clearly, this was meant as a courtesy – to spare my blushes as my flesh was laid, quite literally, bare – but its absurdity suddenly became clear.  The instant after I stripped, I hopped up onto the cushioned bench (table?) provided and the therapist was forced to look upon my (almost) nakedness in order to apply his (or her) healing hands (and elbows) to render some basic repairs.

I also felt that this gaze-aversion could be taken as somewhat of an insult, surely my body was not so revolting that any viewer would attempt to minimise their exposure.  I like to imagine that I’m in pretty good shape for a man who will soon have to wave 47 goodbye – if not buff, then at least taupe or manila.  Were I of a less confident (née brazen) disposition, this “courtesy” could leave my delicate body-image crushed.  I found myself pondering (aloud) alternative approaches that could be taken.  Perhaps the therapist could watch the unveiling and make suitably appreciative comments as various areas where exposed – praising a well-turned ankle or finely honed acromion process?  This does after all count as complementary therapy (a pun that works better spoken or delivered by someone with poorer spelling).  OK, that isn’t really what I really thought.  What I actually said was that perhaps a well-timed wolf-whistle would be appropriate; or maybe just an exclamation of “Wow!”.  For the less well-honed physique, the therapist might require an arsenal of neutral but complimentary sounding phrases – such as those beloved of actor’s for use on a friends’ disastrous opening night:”Darling, what can I say?” might work – as but a single example.

I fear I then allowed my mind to wander and proposed that a well-prepared therapist would have suitable stripping music available to be played during the disrobement.  Make the process more of a feature of the session, rather than a mildly embarrassing aperitif.  I suppose the well-prepared client would bring his (or her) own music – something I have only just considered, but will now definitely be doing next time.

I have to say that none of my ideas were received with much approbation.  Most were considered inappropriate and likely to at best lose clients and at worst result in physical violence or a court case.  I found this a very disappointing response to what I still consider very valuable business development advice.  However, I fear the perceived quality of my advice may have been weakened by the fact that it reduced me (if no-one else} to tears of laughter.  My therapist was good enough to stare at me during some of my re-dressing process, but I didn’t feel his (or her) heart was fully in it – though I nonetheless enjoyed the attention!  When it came to time to pay for my therapy, I did feel the strange desire to stick the used twenties into a waist-band – which even I will admit was inappropriate and perhaps slightly confusing the relationship, but I think might encourage heavier tipping.

Given the above, I feel the title requires no further explanation and that I should continue in a b2b role – preferably conducted remotely using modern telecommunications technology

3 thoughts on “Why I shouldn’t work with the public…

  1. matathew says:

    I enjoyed this post — maybe this qualifies me, too, to describe myself as a childish man. I think, given your claim that the nature of this particular massage was quasi-medical, that I would have expected either (a) your undressing to take place behind a screen or in a cubicle, or (b) the masseur to pretend to wash his hands (or something) with his back to you, as a GP might. I don’t doubt the professionalism of the masseur (or masseuse), but I wouldn’t expect to be aware of a “gaze” in room with me. But, if that is the case, then “rather obviously averting his gaze” is clearly preferable to “rather obviously gazing attentively as I slowly unbuttoned my trousers and let them fall”. [By the way, I have been told not to post this comment, but Matathew will not be silenced!]

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