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Show Highlights

Graham and Ashkahn tackle the uncomfortable issue of handling customers that may be using the float tank to do things in the tank wasn’t designed for.

They discuss the social aspects along with the sanitary aspects of dealing with ejaculate in the tanks.

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Transcription of this episode… (in case you prefer reading)

Ashkahn: Hey.

Graham: Hey there.

Ashkahn: Welcome, everybody.

Graham: I’m Graham.

Ashkahn: I’m Ashkahn. Happy Flag Day out there.

Graham: Not actually Flag Day, but everyday is the day.

Ashkahn: You see it’s something but because you thought it was, everyone out there was probably, I guess today’s Flag Day. So nobody knows when it is. That’s the point I’m trying to make here. It’s really been the point of this entire podcast.

Graham: So for some people Flag Day is the most important day of the year. They’re not going  well not our subscribers anymore I’ll tell you that, because they do know the second you got it wrong.

Ashkahn: They got really upset, they were like screw this. All right we’ll probably see a flood of one sided reviews.

Graham: I’m out of here. They didn’t even know what flag is. How are they going to answer my Float Tank questions?

Ashkahn: It could be today. Do you know for a fact that it’s not today?

Graham: Yes, because last time you joked about it because it was Flag Day by accident. It messed everything up. All right. Today’s question  not Flag Days question. Yes, I have a question. “How do I say, I suspect a floater is wanking in our tanks? How would you handle such a tricky situation? Signed Cork, Ireland.” I didn’t know if that was supposed to be “corke in Ireland” or is it just actually the entire city. I’m sort of writing this one in.

Ashkahn: They got to together, spoke to the mayor. Okay.

Graham: Okay. The old-

Ashkahn: wanking it.

Graham: Old wanking float tanks.

Ashkahn: wanking in the tanking. Yeah.

Graham: Yeah, I feel like this is one of those uncomfortable conversations I always have to have with employees, I guess now our manager asked the employees when they first coming on board. Which is most of the people coming into our business are very respectful and awesome human beings. Some very small percentage of them will be disrespectful. In just being alone with themselves will advertently or inadvertently end up wanking in the tanking.

Ashkahn: Yeah, it’s not everyday this is a situation we are dealing with. It is something that I think if you are open for business long enough, it will probably happen to you at least once.

Graham: Yeah, absolutely.

Ashkahn: There’s always two sides to it.

Graham: Yeah, there’s the sanitation side and the social talking about it side.

Ashkahn: Yeah, so which one do you want to talk about first?

Graham: Let’s talk about the easier one first. Which is the sanitation side.

Ashkahn: The sanitation side.

Graham: Lets just get down. Lets get chemical here.

Ashkahn: Let’s get down to chemistry.

Graham: Yeah, yeah. Ignoring all of the fact that the idea of someone wanking in your float tank is gross and off putting and you don’t want it to happen. The good news is the actual danger is almost none.

Ashkahn: From a sanitary perspective. Yeah, its not really on the list of things that is going to get one person sick from somebody else.

Graham: Yup.

Ashkahn: When you look at the sanitation stuff out there for almost everything, pools and restaurants and things like that. A lot of this is about poop.

Graham: Yeah and vomit.

Ashkahn: Vomit. Especially diarrhea and vomit, because those are both easy to spread around and are the result of being sick in the first place. Meaning you have something in your body that is communicable.

Graham: And things that can survive in your gut. Gut bacteria are also the kinds of bacteria that can survive in water. That’s not true of things that survive in your blood or in this case your ejaculation or something.

Ashkahn: Yeah, it’s just not something you see. There’s no protocol for dealing with ejaculate in a pool and stuff like that. It’s just because it’s not actually a way that they found that people get each other sick. It’s not one of those things. That’s the nice part. I wouldn’t drain a float tank for this to happen in a float tank.

Graham: No, and actually again like the amount you even have to be concerned about anything that could live in someone else’s ejaculate that will get someone else sick as a result after it’s exposed to air and especially any kind of water. Not even salt water. Not even treated salt water, just regular water is still nothing.

Ashkahn: Really what’s going to happen is your filter in the filtration system on the float tank is most likely just going to handle it. You could grab a skimmer if it’s not.  I guess what I am saying is you may not even know. You’re going to turn your filtration system on.

Graham: You don’t get to do a visual check, like someone wanked in there and then the filter kicks on and catches it. It might just be handled and yeah, you never knew.

Ashkahn: Yeah or you get a skimmer out and that’s not fun. It’s not the worst thing in the world to have to deal with. As far as I’m concerned, the normal beefiness of your filtration system, if you have an appropriately made filtration system for a commercial float facility. Like normal things between each person is going to be able to handle that. There’s not really anything extra. I wouldn’t go dosing extra stuff or-

Graham: Yeah, you don’t need to block off the tank.

Ashkahn: Canceling the next appointment.

Graham: Shock it to 20 parts per million chlorine or anything like that.

Ashkahn: Yeah.

Graham: That’s the sanitation side.

Ashkahn: Good news.

Graham: A little gross, but good news.

Ashkahn: Gross, but good. Yeah, gross but sanitary.

Graham: GBG. Then, there’s the customer relationship side and then there’s the staff training side. Which almost is a different thing and you’re not the only one dealing with this sort of thing. Let’s talk about customers and how we would address this with a customer. I don’t even know if we’ve had the full conversation between the two of us about how’d we address this.

Ashkahn: I have been meaning to talk to you about this. It’s really starting to become a problem.

Graham: I know. I was thinking you should get treatment for it. It’s happening every time you hop in a tank.

Ashkahn: Most systems out there you can put notes on peoples accounts or in some systems like our Helm system, you can watch customers and get a message the next time they book. I guess that would be my first step before even having a conversation with them. See if they ever book an appointment again. They may just be so embarrassed or something that they never come back.

Ashkahn: Yeah.

Graham: At that point, I’m not sure how worth it, it is to call them up and have to talk. I would wait until the point where this person is coming back into float again that I would consider to having to really deal with this in any way with them. I guess some people try to deal with it before it happens. You will see things on waivers, where it’s like hey if there’s any type of contaminate or deposit that you left behind in the float tank, we are going to charge you this draining fee or certain amount of money charged as a result. Putting in some kind of dissuading language out there that is subtle enough that they are not thinking about someone else just wanking in the float tank right before them or something I think is not a bad idea. To me if you just have something on your waiver that says, “I promise not to ejaculate in the float tank”, it’s just a little extreme. I don’t want peoples brains going there’s much  

Ashkahn: Its never been something I’ve wanted to have each one of our customers have to-

Graham: a vivid mental picture of. Yeah. Some kind of disclosure letting them know, hey we pay attention and do a visual check. Don’t leave us anything that shouldn’t be in the tank it’s not a bad way to let them know.

Ashkahn: Some people do it. It’s not our style.

Graham: Yeah.

Ashkahn: It’s something you see in peoples waivers and you don’t in other peoples waivers.

Graham: That’s one way that people go about to even try to prevent it. Regardless of that, then there’s the fact that it could happen and I’m pretty convinced that you could even just have wet floats, like you’d have a wet dream. Get the same result, but without actually actively doing anything. Even that to me is a reason enough not to confront someone necessarily immediately afterwards if it’s never going to be a repeat problem. They are never going to come back to your business again.

Ashkahn: Yeah.

Graham: I also understand the flip side. I can totally see just wanting to send out a template email or something to every single person who did something in the tank. I know, because it’s such a sensitive topic, I guess this one really is just so particular to how each individual floats into your world. Want to actually operate and confront what your values are in the world.

Ashkahn: How comfortable do you feel having these conversations with customers?

Graham: Yeah.

Ashkahn: Then the next thing is, let’s just talk about when you do have to have a customer conversation.

Graham: Yeah.

Ashkahn: Often times, it goes easier than you think. You can lightly bring it up or lightly elude to it and they’ll be, “Yes, I’m sorry.” It ends up being faster and easier conversation than I think usually people think it’s going to be in their head.

Graham: Yeah definitely, it’s usually “don’t do that”.

Ashkahn: Yeah.

Graham: You’re in a public place of business, don’t do that.

Ashkahn: Get a newspaper. Hit them on the nose.

Graham: Yeah, when I have had to do it, it usually has been by email not by phone call or something like that, that I have actually written to someone.

Ashkahn: Mm-hmm. We’ve had a couple of employees call before or one at least.

Graham: Yeah. Yeah, at least its never gone terribly . I try not to be too rude about it, but at the same time to make sure that they understand where I’m coming from and what’s going on.

Ashkahn: Yeah.

Graham: It’s a little bit of a fine line to walk, especially if you feel-  When that happens you naturally feel disrespected or someone’s taken advantage of your business to do something it wasn’t intended for. A little dirty or something to me. I see this instinct too almost berate people for it. At least in Float On style, it’s not the direction we go as much. It’s more like a preventative thing for the future rather than trying to make someone feel horribly guilty for what just happened or something like that.

Ashkahn: I don’t think that we’ve never had a conversation with someone that that did not resolve the issue.

Graham: We’ve never had a repetitive problem, like someone who just keeps coming in-

Ashkahn: Yeah.

Graham: That we’ve had to ban from the center, because of persistent wanking or something like that. I’m sure other centers have had at least one customer like that. It’s hard to imagine that there hasn’t been some kind of pervert out there whose float centers for their dark deeds. Fortunately, it doesn’t seem like a really regular occurrence.

Ashkahn: It’s sounding, just because we are having so much conversation about it every few days this is something that comes up.

Graham: Keep in mind, we’ve been open for eight years. This is not super regular, but it is something that will come up more than once over the course of eight years.

Ashkahn: Yeah. Also, sometimes shampoo can coagulate in a float tank to look like semen in a way that can be deceptive. Just to throw that out there too. Don’t always jump to conclusions. We definitely had like when we use to buy a certain type of soap, that as soon as it hit the salt water just formed this white filmy coagulated texture to it.

Graham: Yeah, we have a whole episode too where we talk all about that in choosing the right soaps and what can cause that. Definitely look in the show notes too.

Ashkahn: Yeah.

Graham: You can go listen to the soap side.

Ashkahn: Like, “This is happening to me all of the time.” It might be something else.

Graham: Yeah, it might actually be your soap. It’s interesting, going back to the question they said, “They suspect a floater is wanking in their tanks.” It makes it sound like this is recurring type issue.

Ashkahn: Yeah.

Graham: Certainly you haven’t had just a straight forward conversation and confrontation might be too strong a word.

Ashkahn: Yeah.

Graham: Actually just confronting them about it is totally the next step. Have a conversation. It doesn’t have to be weird and accusatory, I mean it might be a little weird because it’s a weird topic to bring up. You can make it as not uncomfortable for them as possible.

Ashkahn: Yeah.

Graham: It needs to be broached.

Ashkahn: That’s either going to stop it or that person is never going to come back again.

Graham: Yeah.

Ashkahn: If it doesn’t, than you can just ask them outside, like you can’t float here anymore.

Graham: Yeah.

Ashkahn: That would be like the end of it.

Graham: Thanks for the uncomfortable question, I like it. I like answering these ones. If you found this through a Google search again noted that this doesn’t happen a ton and you are totally safe floating in float tanks. If you found this just for searching on weird places to ejaculate, then go look for the next one.

Ashkahn: Okay. If you found this because you listen to our podcast everyday then you should consider sending a question of your own in. See the transition, that’s nice, huh?

Graham: That’s really good. I was just going to keep going down that weird path too.

Ashkahn: I’m sorry, it was getting strange.

Graham: I was only digging deeper.

Ashkahn: If you want to send a question into us go to floattanksolutions.com/podcast and we will talk to you soon. Tomorrow is going to be a whole different episode.

Graham: Tune in then.

Ashkahn: Bye.

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