Tuesday, December 4, 2007

What would you do?

We went to a foot massage place last night. I was very skeptical but it was actually quite nice. The place was big, with rows of soft armchairs equipped with individual TV screens. I think the cost is about 60RMB (<$10) per person for an hour.

There is such a thing as a blind masseuse, which is what one person in our group got. The idea is when a person loses one sense their other senses are heightened. In this case being blind makes them a better masseuse.

My first thought is that I wouldn’t feel comfortable getting a blind masseuse. I feel like I should be treating them better than that.

Then I thought, isn’t that discrimination in another way? I’m singling him out, and treating him differently because of his blindness. Also, if I don’t choose him it means he doesn’t make any money. What do you think?

My coworker's solution? Tipping him an extra 100RMB.

Actually all the workers there lead pretty hard lives. One girl told us they make 10RMB per person, and there aren't any set hours. When business is good they could work all day/night. When business is bad, they get no money and still have to pay for room and board.

One thing I learned being in China is that there are a lot of hard workers here. Also, people are more driven in the work place because the competition is so intense. Makes me feel soft. If there were no borders, visa, etc. and we were all put in the same talent pool, would I be at a disadvantage?


mariam said...

It's funny you mention the masseuse because Hong Kong natives love to vacation in China because of the cheap standard of living with spas being a favorite destination.

But from what I hear, these masseuse get tipped quite well! It's not uncommon that some of them get tipped their fee.

My mom went once and it helped immensely with the ache she was having in her shoulder. Great technique and physio :) Her masseuse deserve her tip :)

Esme said...

They really do deserve their tip. I tried to give someone a hand massage once and it takes a lot of strength.

I didn't know they get tipped well. That's good then. People keep telling me that there is no tipping in China. Once we left a tip for dinner and the girl came running after us because she thought we forgot our change.

mariam said...

Maybe it depends on where you are. We were at the Country Garden Holiday Resorts which IPO'ed recently.

I know for sure in Singapore you can't tip (or at least when I last visited) but perhaps the Chinese are enjoying the new found capitalism. :)