Deja Vu All Over Again

Borrowing the phrase made famous by the New York Yankees star catcher Yogi Berra, when the massage studio where I was employed closed its doors in January, I was once again faced with the task of figuring out my next steps to finding employment. As Yogi said, “it’s like déjà vu all over again.”

Yes, I know this situation was different. For one thing, I’d only been working there five months instead of 34 years. But five months was long enough to realize I really enjoyed the different pace and perspective that role afforded me compared to the frenetic and ever changing corporate environment. I was also reminded how much I enjoyed interacting with clients – especially when you are providing a service they are excited about instead of trying to convince someone something they do not want to do and can see no relevant benefit from is in their best interest.

I dreaded the process of another job search after finally settling in and feeling I’d found a niche where I could be happy for the foreseeable future. But as often happens with life, my contentment was short lived. So back to checklists, daily reviews of online postings, and worrying about what was next. The good news here is that a referral from one of the massage therapists at the studio led me to the job I currently have at a spa. Once again I am in an environment where harmony and wellbeing is of utmost importance. Clients are happy when they arrive and even happier when they leave, having had a wonderful, relaxing experience with either a massage, a facial, a body wrap, or perhaps, which is sometimes the case, all three.

The other and perhaps more important benefit I have realized is greater patience. Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you patience has not always been a virtue of mine. In all honesty, I do believe part of that was dictated by the ever present sense of urgency and pace of change in my work environment for most of my life. It was quite a humbling experience as I worked to master the computer system and service offering details at the massage studio. There are so many (too many if you ask me) steps to checking out a client, and one wrong click and you might have to start all over again.

Soon after I started I was ordering lunch at a nearby deli. The young lady behind the register wasn’t sure if my request to change the bread for my sandwich was possible so she had to check with the manager. Then she was struggling to find the right keys to complete my order. Not that long ago I would have been muttering to myself and questioning her ability. But as a newbie myself, I gave her my best smile, and when she apologized for the time it was taking, assured her it was quite all right. I didn’t say this to her, but I knew just how she felt as she tried to do her best and the last thing I wanted to do was increase her anxiety.

So now I am at a spa with so many more service offerings as well as a skin care line to learn. And of course, they have a totally different computer system which in some ways is better and worse than the one at the massage studio. Once again, I am on that learning curve, so “it’s like déjà vu all over again.”

But as before, I like the environment, the staff and the clients very much. And that is a déjà vu experience I welcome.

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