Friday, August 31, 2012

Discovering new potential

One of the jobs I have at the moment is organizing MICE movement (meetings, incentives, conferences, events) with a cool event company based in Warsaw. A couple of weeks back, I had an inquiry for 4 different types of courses, although the client had no idea what kind of courses they wanted. I went with massage as one of the options.

Now, a massage course had been on my mind for a long time and I figured it might be interesting for the client to have their attendants participate in one. Never having done any and not knowing about it all too much, I started my online research to find reliable partners (i.e. massage academies). There are many, just as there are many types of massage. Yet again, I was a bit unfamiliar with the matter at hand. Long story short, I called a couple of venues up and got their offers, asked them what they'd recommend for my specific client profile and never thought of it much. Until a week later, when I got a phone call from one of the academies I hadn't been able to reach.

I was surprised to get a phone call after a couple of days saying: We just heard the message you left us (in which I stated how urgent of a matter it was) and are getting back to you with our offer. At first, I admit, I kind of wanted to laugh at their service, but then thought - hey, maybe they've something interesting to offer. The lady I was on the phone with started telling me about a trizillion of different massage types they were teaching, all of which had mysterious names such as "bamboo sticks massage", "a burning candle massage", "Thai stamps massage" etc. I started feeling I'd need a head massage soon, if I were to remember the specifics of all she was listing, so instead I just said I'd have to come by when they had one of their future courses, so I could meet their training specialist and see how the whole thing looks like. And then, to my surprise (a very pleasant one), the lady said: We'd love to have you over for a course then. I'd love to have them have me over for a course, I thought to myself, and asked her to send me the dates of whatever they had scheduled for the coming weeks. A couple of days go by and I receive an email with 4 different courses, saying: Please let us know which courses you would like to attend.

So I go - 'courses'? Wow, I can take more than one? That is so cool!
However, not wanting to overdo it, I signed up for just two - the bamboo sticks and a chocolate one.

*     *     *     *      *

Let's just say a couple of words of introduction to each other. First of all, it will be nicer to work together. Second of all, I'd like to know how long you've been in the massage business for, or in the cosmetics/beautician business. It'll make my job easier to know how much each of you knows about how the body is built etc. says the trainer and I begin to feel a bit out of place.

Somehow, I'd assumed that as it was a short, 6 hour long course, it was mostly attended by amateurs like myself. Wrong. I was in a group with a girl holding a master's in physical therapy, two owners of massage parlours wanting to introduce new products and a masseuse working for the venue the training was taking place in. Yikes!

Umm or if someone's not from any of the above? I suggest shyly. The surprised trainer asks what I mean and as soon as I follow it up with the The only thing I've in common with massage is that I've been given one twice. answer, I see consternation and dismay on his face. Oops.

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To get the most of such a course, you work in pairs. While the first person is receiving a massage, which the other person is learning to give, they have a great opportunity to soak in whatever movement their partner is doing and at the same time listen to the trainer's instructions. They say it's a lot more beneficial, if you're the first to lay down (no pun intended, guys). Seeing how I was way behind with any knowledge that might be expected of you at a massage course, I secured the better spot. Knowing that I was kind of out of place, I did my best to remember as much theory  as I could and pair it up with the movements I could feel being practiced on my body. By the time it was my turn to start giving the massage, that's pretty much what I did - I just started performing it. 

Regardless of the bamboo sticks that come into the picture later during the massage, you have to warm up the body first and in this case, the warm up was to be ended with a short shoulders and neck massage.

Why did you lie? I hear the trainer, who suddenly appeared to my right, ask. 
Eeee? I answer brightly.
Why did you lie you never did a massage course before? He insists.
Eeee... because I never have? Yet again, those brains of mine!

And then it turns out that apparently he could never tell and that I've just the hand movement needed to be a good masseuse.

You've got talent for it, Magda! He says and leaves puzzled to see to the other pair. Not as puzzled as I am, I can tell you!

*     *     *     *      *

The course was a lot of fun but it is indeed good that I got to chance to take part in it for professional reasons as well - now I know that it's definitely not the type of a thing I would suggest to a corporate client. It also gave me a chance to pick the instructor's brain about what would be good, and he mentioned the burning candle massage. It so happens that he's giving that course tomorrow and I got invited to participate in it as well. It will be followed by the Sunday chocolate massage course, which I'd been already signed up for. Am really curious to see what those two are all about! 

Plus, the fact that by being invited to participate in those 3 trainings I'm saving almost 500$, and still getting the diplomas, makes it all the more exciting!

*     *     *     *     *

The truth is, before last Saturday's course I thought of it as an "only for fun one-time thingy" but now that I've done it, I figure - why not? Why not get myself a set of bamboo sticks and practice on my friends? I enjoyed doing it and maybe if I've the "talent" for it, as the instructor so graciously put it, one day I could use it to make some cash? I don't think I'd ever consider being a full-time masseuse but having one more skill that others will pay for cannot be overestimated.

*     *     *    *     *

So what thing have you randomly tried lately which helped you realise you had a talent for?

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