Scandalous title right? No one in health care is allowed to say they’re in it for the money…we’re in it to help people, to make a difference, to give back.
Quite honestly all of that IS true. I LOVE that I get to help people feel better every day. I am completely fascinated by the human body and the study of anatomy which is why I’m constantly taking continuing education courses. I LOVE using my skills to relieve pain or increase range of motion. Without feeling overly confident I hope I do make a difference in people’s lives and provide them with at least an hour of peace in an otherwise busy life.
On any given day I will tell you quite confidently that I am truly lucky to be in my career.
But the reality is….this is my career. I have bills to pay, I have a dog to feed, I have a house to maintain. Within my career I have sheets and lotion to buy, courses to pay for and annual dues.
None of that happens if I don’t charge for my skills. I would love to help everyone for free just because I think massage is a fantastic way to take care of yourself. If I ever win the lottery it’s probably something I would consider. But no lottery winning has happened yet.
And so I charge for each appointment. And for the most part life runs along quite well and it all works out. But every once in awhile a client will no show or cancel last minute…and our budget gets a little tighter because of a decision beyond my control.
Think about it – you show up to work and your boss decides not to pay you for an hour…how would that go over?
It’s not a nice feeling.
I have always (and will always) tried to be understanding that sometimes life just gets in the way. Cars break down, people get sick, terrible things happen. But sometimes people just forgot, or decided their back felt better so they wouldn’t come in anymore. Sometimes I sit around hoping my client hasn’t been hurt only to learn they took their child to the mall and didn’t feel like calling me to cancel.
And so enters the cancellation/no show fee. There is a note in my booking e-mails and my office that states:
Your appointment time is scheduled just for you. As there is always a waiting list, please give us 24 hours notice of cancellations or you will be invoiced for your full appointment. Your notice will give someone else the opportunity to have your time. If you are late for your appointment, you will receive the balance of your time and be charged the full fee. Your courtesy in this matter will be appreciated.
I’ve heard all the arguments from clients against a cancellation fee, and I know every time I enforce it someone may choose not to return to me – just to avoid paying that fee. But the reality remains…this is my career. I need clients that show up and pay. And in return I do my best to provide massage therapy tailored to their needs, using all the skills I have learned. I like to think it evens out.
And so I would like to end by saying thank you to those of you that pay me to do something I love. Thank you for giving me more than 24 hours notice when your schedule won’t allow you to make it in for your appointment. And thank you for respecting my time (and career) when you miss your massage, I promise it will be easier when I win that lottery.