My business has been doing a lot of interviewing lately, so I’ve been doing a lot of practical massages. Or having them done to me, as the case may be. Which is not, perhaps, as delightful as it sounds. In a practical massage, I can’t just zone out: I have to listen, feel, weigh, measure, and think about how this person and her massage might add to our team.
In addition, since I’m most interested in adding another “true” deep tissue person to the team, I’ve been asking specifically for deep tissue massage, and not always getting it. Now, telling someone she’s not what you’re looking for in a delicate and sensitive way is sometimes a challenge, particularly since I have a lot of empathy for often anxious, interviewing therapists. And even if I asked for deep tissue and still got a massage that felt like I was being skated on by dragonflies, I’m still sensitive to the therapist’s feelings. Up to a point . . .
The point in one massage came for me when in “letting her down easy,” a therapist got very upset, stating that she thought she already had the job. This honestly concerned me, and I asked her what we had said to lead her to believe this, so that we would have no such misunderstandings in the future. She said it was because we had said in the first part of the interview that we needed someone immediately. I replied that we did indeed need “someone” immediately, but we had to do practicals before we could determine which “someone” was right for us. She then made a veiled suggestion that some massage businesses (perhaps even us?) used practicals as a way of “getting free massages.” As you might guess, that was when my empathy well ran dry. I remained polite, but stated that we were much too busy trying to run and staff a business to plot ways to get free massage.
In my opinion, all but accusing a potential employer of trying to get a “free massage” is not a good way to endear yourself to said employer. But I can’t stop wondering: Does that really happen? Are there some businesses out there using practicals as a means of getting free massage. Surely not . . . right? If anyone has an opinion on this, feel free to weigh in.