The name of the game

    When I started my massage practise a few years ago, I had absolutely no contact when I arrived in Quebec, and therefore I had no potential patients at all.

    Both of my first and second patients came from my French class for immigrants that was generously offered by the Quebec government.

    In order to try to find a base to recruit new patients, I printed a beautifully designed colour leaflet and I paid Canada Post to deliver them in the larger Saint-Bruno area.

    On the leaflet, I offered a promotion, called “Pay what you want.” “Payez ce que vous voulez.” People were invited to come and try a first massage with me, and they could pay whatever they wished.

    That was an idea I got from a newspaper story that described that some new restaurants used this promotion to try to get people’s attention.

    The type of massage I offer is very special, it is called Ashiatsu massage, which nobody knew about at that time.

    So, I wished to attract more potential patients this way.

    Sure enough, a lot of people were attracted and the promotion worked very well.


    The results went like this:

    The first month, I earned 175$.

    The first four months, I earned a total of 725$.

    Yes, that was the result.

    As I expected, because of the advertisement and promotion, a lot of people came and they talked to their friends and their families.

    But to my surprise, most of them paid me 2$, 5$ or 8$, for a complete one hour massage. People who were more generous paid me 10$, 20$, 40$, and the most generous ones paid me 60$.

    My regular price, at that time, was 90$/1h and everybody knew about it.


    Many times, I smiled, opened my hands, and people would put 1$,2$, even a 25 cents coin in my hands. I was asking myself inside, “What am I doing here ?”

    Of course, I complained to José afterwards, because I felt it was really painful.

   How come people could behave like that ? They are Canadians, right ? I thought only Chinese people could have such an attitude… The Canadians should be much more educated, honest and generous, right ?

    But José said, “That is a sad side of the human nature, Yuan, and unfortunately that kind of attitude is universal. “

    “Another thing, Yuan, it’s the name of the game. You offered the promotion, then you have to stick to it, that is your commitment. “

    So, I continued.


    One day, after her one hour massage, a woman placed an envelop on the table, with a big handwritten “Merci” (Thank you !”) on the envelop.

    I was very touched, until I opened the envelop …to find a 10 dollars bill inside…

    Later, I told that story to José, with a lot of disappointment and frustration.

    José said, “You should be happy, because at least this woman gave you 10$. For one hour, you were not working for nothing. Again, it’s the name of the game.”

    There were also a few people that paid absolutely nothing. They came, they received their one-hour massage, and then they told me, “Wow,  it was really a very good massage. I will surely come back and next time I will pay you.” And they left.

    Of course, I was again very disappointed.

    Then José said, “If you are good, they will come back. But if they don’t come back, it is just because they are not your intended patients. That is it. But you could not let the others’ behaviours affect you so much. Yuan, it’s the name of the game, and you are part of the game.”

    So, I kept going.


    One year later, the promotion ended a long time ago, but the game continues.

06/01/2019 22:23 分类: 评论(1) 阅读()

一条回应:“Lesson 57 The name of the game”

  1. it is a side of human nature。。。sigh. to be honest,i wont behave like this,cos i will feel ashamed of myself if i do so.


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