I sold my massage soul!

I am currently an employee so please understand my anonymity.
Due to the need for a paycheck I went back to them because unfortunately working for the devil is sometimes easier.
I thought that this new location I was working for would be so much better as the owner was a Christian woman as she proclaimed. I thought if I could only help her understand the viewpoint of a massage therapist’s working condition then I could make a difference. Boy, I was dead wrong. She has become no different than the other countless franchise owners who are there to just abuse their employees. From the front desk staff to the massage therapist, we are all suffering while she builds her next house(mansion). Meanwhile, her employees are barely able to put food on the table and I personally know of 2 MT’s who are on LINK. Even worse these franchisees have not increased the starting wage in over 10 years!
I have been a Licensed Massage Therapist for over ten years now and I have no health insurance, no dental, no 401K, one paid day off after working there 2 years(this includes sick time), and no paid vacation, no maternity leave(even though there is abundance of females), no short term disability insurance, and they try to skirt the department of labor laws on a regular basis. My “perks” as they are called are $2 for every request but good luck getting the front desk associates to put your clients as such, 9 unpaid days off which will eventually grow to 14 if you are there long enough(2 unexcused absences), after 2 years you will get 1 paid day off per year not to exceed 14 days, 1 per month discounted massage or facial(heaven forbid you go over that as you will be prosecuted), 1 holiday party which you will have to pay for your family to attend, discounted continuing education courses, and liability insurance discounts. While I admit M.E. has tried to give us the best in the industry and they are a lesser evil than other massage places, they definitely could do better.
Currently, we had two massage therapists who became pregnant and it sickens me the way that they are treated. The one therapist took a LOA and is currently working at her chiropractor because they continually overbooked and overworked her. Also, they were trying to make her perform enhancements that are dangerous to pregnant women. The other therapist who has been doing this almost as long as I have is hurting herself constantly. They have continually overbooked her trying to get her to cut back her hours. This way they can take her days off away and not have to follow the FMLA which would give her 12 weeks of unpaid leave. Also, they amused her by having her go through the front desk training only to tell her later that she could not work the front desk. So, now she has told me that she is in constant pain everyday, they are still forcing her to perform massages like prior to being pregnant, and they refuse to offer her any type of light duty job. I have watched this poor girl work 30 hours a week. And the other day when I heard her at the front desk where she was talking to a manager; the manager told her that if she didn’t fill her long schedule that she would “have to cut her hours”. So, of course she obliged and continued to hurt herself because where else is a pregnant woman suppose to get work at? And this is how they treat the pregnant women.
Next, I constantly have to deal with the whole “you’re a dude” massage therapist BS. They constantly allow clients to discriminate against us males. How will the American public ever be okay with male massage therapist if places like this repeatedly offer clients to “Not” see a man. Last time I looked, we have equal rights to not have our genders discriminated against. I am a licensed professional and I will not sexually harass anyone! And of course the state law enforcement sees us all as perverts. I had to hear story about how one guy not only has had his licensed temporarily suspended but it was because a female client “thought” he was looking at her under a drape. And she has brought both charges and a lawsuit against this guy. Sorry to state this but ladies what you have is what every other lady on the planet has. You seen one then you have seen all. In addition, why is it only guys in the news for this, do women not sexually harass male clients? How come I never hear about that in the news?
Also, we are suppose to “make our money” from tips according to Massage Envy. Ha, what a joke! I get someone not tipping at least once a day or not tipping according to the charts. Well, if tipping is suppose to ensure proper service then I need to lower my massage standards. How do you expect me NOT to complain about my tips when you(Massage Envy) expect to pay me so little for my time.
My last and final complaint is about our pay average. For having to upkeep a license that requires continuing education our pay does not match. In Illinois, every 2 years I have to pay $175 for my license, another $299 for liability insurance, and pay for 24 hours of continuing education. I’m still paying on the $20000 it cost for massage school.
All this to make a measly $25000/year. When I first started in the industry in 2004, I was making over $50000/year at a chiropractor.
So, thank you Massage Envy for degrading us massage therapist to slave labor.

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