Last year, I won a basket at the silent auction at my church, First Parish in Cambridge Unitarian Universalist. It was a “Man’s Basket” and along with the great tie rack and really cool scarf, I also got a gift certificate to Le Pli Spa in Harvard Square for a manicure and a pedicure.  This is something I’ve never done and was really intrigued to have it done.

Now I’d normally never spend this much money for something like this (a $60 value!) but I’ve heard lots of women in my life talk about getting there nails done. Finally, I made the appointment and went this past Monday. I was the only customer st the spa, and was the last appointment of the day.

Now, those of you who have had it done talk about how it’s pampering and relaxing. I was looking forward to it.

What did I find for myself? Not relaxing at all.

I was interested in what was happening, what the attendant was doing, what tools she was using, and having to hold my hands and feet at particular angles so she could do her work.  It felt relatively nice and, who knows, I might do it again, but I’m not going for the relaxing factor.

So, what did I get out of this? Well, I noticed that my feet felt nicer when I was going home, and I’m sure my nails are in better shape.  I also found out that I can get this done for a lot cheaper than going to an expensive spa (if I do it again).

This makes me think that many times in our career lives, we make assumptions about what life a certain job, employer, or co-worker is going to be like, and we create stories about them without having all the data.  Once we actually experience it, we might feel quite differently. I’m always telling people who have big dreams about a career to actually get to know the reality of it before you invest too much energy in it.

What stories to you have about things not being all you thought they would be?

PS – Remember to let people know about the contest for a free weekend at Easton Mountain.  Deadline is 9/25/10.  Go to for all the information about applying!