The Secret Sanctuary – Part 1

I looked at my schedule for the week.  Busy but not overbooked, the schedule looked
to be filled with regulars.  One good thing about being a massage therapist, if you’re good, you quickly develop a steady client base. A week of regulars meant that I’d really not have much unexpected work come in and that meant steady money.  I will never
complain about steady money.

There were three of us who worked at The Secret Sanctuary.  We had gone to massage school together and decided that we would open a massage shop/spa with a more esoteric focus.  It would take us longer to gain a steady client base but we would be doing what we really wanted to do with our schooling.

“Another Tuesday.” I sat at my desk and opened my e-mail.

“Hey guys!

I’m out sick today. I only have one appointment today. Pete, can
you take my 11am?  He’s pretty easy unless he asks for a deep
tissue session.  He plays football over at State and got referred
over to us by one of our regulars.




“Well, hell!” I thought to myself as I looked at my schedule, “Oh look, my calendar
got shifted so that I’m free from 11am to 2pm.  Thanks Kate…” I muttered out loud.

I was the de-facto office manager, which meant that my schedule was kept lighter so that
I could take care of things without having to juggle clients and work weekends.

Liz said out loud as she turned from her computer, “Isn’t that great? She has one
client today and takes a sick day. Today’s your office day and then you are booked the rest of the week.”

“Yeah, at least the client I’m picking up is a regular and, at worst, a 2 hour session. Hopefully he tips well.”

Liz let out a laugh, “Don’t we say that about every client?”

I had to chuckle, “Yeah, we do. Business is finally hitting the break even point.  If
Kate would take on more clients, we’d be making a small profit every month.  I think I’m going to start doing office work on the weekends so I can take on more clients.”

“Pete, no! We got into this together and we decided that you would be the manager since
you have the head for it.  We need you to do that job.”

“I will be, just on Saturdays.  I might take Saturday morning for office work and take
a couple of clients on Saturday.  Depends on how things work out.”

“You sure?” Liz asked as she poured herself a cup of coffee while yawning.

“Yeah, besides, I get more done when it’s quiet.  If the hours are listed as Saturday
afternoon only, I can leave the phones to roll to voicemail until noon.”

“But Pete, that’s still more hours you’ll be working.” Liz said with a scornful

“I know Liz, but we really don’t have a choice do we?  I don’t want to see us have
to close down.”

“True.” Liz said as she stepped closer, “What if we were to buy out Kate?”

I paused, “Liz!” I said with somewhat real shock, “But to be honest, I’d been
thinking about that already. I was working out what a fair offer would be to buy her out and keep her on as an employee.  She has a steady client base, but she just needs more of them.”

Liz nodded and took a drink of her coffee.

“There more coffee left?” I said looking at the coffee maker.  It was a solid aluminum
pot and you couldn’t tell how much coffee was in it unless you picked it up and opened it.

Liz nodded again, “Let me know what half of the offer to buy out Kate would be, would
you?  Call me or text me, no need to send it on email here.”

“Good plan.  The less that could be discovered if she were to try and sue us, the

“Exactly! I think she’s riding our coattails.”

“Really?  I can’t say that I really watch over you guys that close to see that you are
making the sessions/cash flow that we agreed for everyone.  I just make sure that I’m on it every month. I’ll go back and make sure there’s not a pattern we need to address.”

Liz, being the silent type for the most part, just nodded again. It was one thing I
really appreciated about her, she was a talkative one with clients but she wasn’t the type to feel the need to make office chatter.

“Well, I suppose I should review the notes for this 11am client. I thought I was just
going to have my 3 and 4pm clients.  Wait a minute, why would she block out three hours for this guy and let him have the option of a deep tissue session when he’s booked for a standard one hour? That’s not right.  If she does a deep tissue, she’s getting paid
a lot more than she has to pay the shop.”

I shook my head, “I’ll look into it after this client is gone.  I don’t want to
be upset working on a client.”

Liz nodded yet again, but this time it was laced with a growl.

“So,” I thought to myself, “let’s see what Kate has dumped on my table.”

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