There is a Reason it is Called Work

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As the managing editor at American Spa, I realize how fortunate I am to have a job I love, working in a fascinating industry filled with amazing people. I appreciate on a daily basis the fact that I consider all of my co-workers great friends (in fact, we probably spend more time together outside of work than we do in the office), I travel to amazing places, and I get paid enough to afford a New York City lifestyle. That being said, my colleagues and I often discuss how annoying it is when, upon learning what we do for a living, people say things like, "Oh, it must be really rough getting paid to get massages and facials," or, "How did you get so lucky to land such an easy job?" The truth is, while working at a spa magazine, or in the spa industry in general, does have its fair share of perks, at the end of the day, it is still work. All of us at American Spa come to the office every day, sometimes clocking in 10- to 12-hour days when we are shipping, in order to put out a quality magazine for our readers. While it may seem like we just travel the world getting spa treatments, in reality we are also writing, editing, researching, fact-checking, and designing a monthly publication with a small staff. So I was particularly disappointed when I came across this posting written by Piper Weiss on Yahoo! Shine. In it, Weiss names "Spa Critic" as one of the "8 Easiest Jobs on the Planet," citing the fact that Susie Ellis from SpaFinder has "traveled the world as an intrepid reporter, testing back rubs and aromatherapy rituals for her online directory." It seems to me Weiss may have one of the easiest jobs in the world herself, because clearly she doesn't need to fact check or research what it is those of us in the industry actually do beyond the scope of being pampered.

Let us know, how do you respond when people assume your job is easy simply because you work in the spa industry?


I find that there are plenty of people who have opinions on how I should be doing my job or my part as a spa owner. The public doesn't realize that there are endless loads of laundry, obnoxious and inconsiderate guests, unmotivated staff, etc. It is not all glamour in health and beauty. When I audition someone, I can almost tell in a couple of minutes whether I will use them or not. And then, as I lie there, I think about all of the things I could be doing right now but instead I am receiving an uninspired treatment from someone who is going through the motions of massage.

However, I can say that the attitudes of some of these beauty reporters are becoming more difficult to please. I've reached out to some of them with no luck- probably because I did not pay the magazine for press on our treatments. If they write about a wonderful experience, even if it was not, they still say it was wonderful because that spa paid the public relations firm to have her come over and experience it.

I once read a review on Yelp written by a former beauty reporter. She went on to stay something like, "I kept telling the massage therapist the stones were too hot. I had welts on my back. However, because I was reporting on my experience there, I wasn't permitted to share how I really felt."

Actually "mystery shoppers" or a "Spa Spy" can bring some of the best feedback one could ask for even IF the owner is always on the premises.