Thursday, November 13, 2008

Butterfly Goes For Facial

If you ever need to feel insecure about yourself, you can do things like, go for a foot reflexology or a facial. These places will tell u problems about yourself you never knew.

I went for one of those free facials the other day. You know, the ones that call you out of the blue and seemingly plucked your contact from the spaces of obscurity and will always re-emphasize the fact that it is FREE, whenever you invoke any semblance of a rejection.

Yes, we all know that these gimmicks are never sold without an accompanying session of hard-selling, but you must also know that if you say ‘no’ enough times, you can get away with anything.

Here is what transpired between me and the marketing girl prior to the facial.

She: “We are offering you a free facial trial.”
Me: “No thanks.”
She: “Why not? It’s FREE.”
Me: “Cos you guys are going to hard sell after the session and I am going to disappoint you.”
She: “There is no hard selling, don’t worry.”
Me: “Sure. Don’t say I didn’t warn you cos I’m very good at saying no.”

Naturally, these marketing people don’t give a fuck because their $7 per hour job focus is to get as many appointments as possible and leave the pimple squeezing, package pushing, hard muthafucking selling to the therapist.

They haven’t met me, but I pity them already.

When I finally got there and started off with the mandatory skin analysis – which you can correctly interpret as the critique session -, I was prepared for everything they were going to throw at me, but not before I embarrassed myself.

The therapist told me to lie on the bed, pointing to where my head should be and I don’t know if it was because I was so accustomed to massages or if the previous night’s vodka was still streaming through the veins, but I got on to the bed and I lay face down.

The good thing was that I didn’t start stripping, but beyond that, I left the poor lady with quite a shock because there was an entire eon of a pregnant pause that fell between her mid-sentence and she digressed from asking about my age to tapping,

She: “Eskeew me, sir. This one facial, no massage.”

I felt stupid for the next 3 seconds, then remembered that I was here for a free facial and I felt good all over again.

For starts, my complexion is something I’ve never been troubled with. I’m blessed with good genes that will allow me to use body foam in place of facial wash and still left valiantly scorning acne. Yet today, I sat through a barrage of negative comments.

It started with her telling me I had severely dried skin, clogged pores, high risk of acne outbreak and some other crap which I didn’t know. It kept getting worse as she continued her examination that I believed if I allowed her to continue, she would have found a tumor on my face.

Then she started her first round of recommendation, which was some 3-tier oxygen treatment and how it was going to infuse molecules in my face for rehydration. I heard the first minute of it and decided that I would have a more enjoyable time thinking about porn, and just insert my ‘no thanks’ when she shut up.

Therapist: “Do you want to try it?”
Me: “No thanks.”

Apparently, people who work in these spas are also deaf or they suddenly no longer understand English, because she kept on asking and I gave three varied replies of, “No”, “Bu yao” and “Mai la”, of which none worked and that pretty much expended my vocabulary.

She eventually called another girl in to explain the treatment to me and that girl was deaf too, so they gave up and proceeded with my very delayed facial package after 5 minutes of continous verbal regurgitation. The package I will summarize as,

Cold water, wipe, scrub, wipe, hot air blowing, cold water, massage, mask, wipe, massage.

I call that the ‘Fuck you freebie’ package; the prosaic treatment for people who have just wasted their time, space and cup of green tea.

I pretended to sleep after the scrub at first, just so that she would stop talking to me, then somewhere in-between, I genuinely dozed off and woke up only because I choked on my own saliva. I was gagging so badly, it gave her such a shock, she immediately ran out to get me water.

When the session finally ended, I braced myself for the onslaught of the inevitable marketing drive. These were people determined to close a purchase and I was determined to keep every dime on me. It was the irresistible versus the unmovable, and I was going to win.

These were some of the classic debates we had.

Lady: “You don’t take care of your skin now, you will have an acne outbreak soon.”
Me: “I heard that 10 years ago. They called it puberty. Never happened.”
Lady: “You must trust me, we are professionals, so we know. You see, you already have one pimple now.”

I thought this was absolutely ludicrous. She was fore-telling my future based on one pimple. And if you know me, you will know that a pimple itself is a rarity, much like pay increments, waking up for Sunday breakfast and buffets at a weight loss centre.

Lady: “Maybe you can try the miracle eye cream for your eye bag. Today we got promotional price, $138.”
Me: “It’s not going to work. I am going to sleep late, party hard and drink very little water everyday still.”
Lady: “No, but you can still buy and try it.”
Me: “It’s okay.”
Lady: “Why you say it’s okay? You come here means you care about your skin.”
Me: “Nooo. I came here because your tele-marketer girl said that it was a free trial and so I just came.”
Lady: “Who is the girl? What is her name?”
Me: “You tell me who’s the girl and what’s her name, cos I would like to have a chat with that liar, cos she said there wasn’t going to be hard selling.”

Then the lady got very defensive. Still irate, but very defensive.

Lady: “I am not hard selling mah, I am recommending.”
Me: “Really? Cos my answer is still the same.”
Lady: “But there is a promotional price for the cream today…”
Me: “… and tomorrow and the whole of this month. I’d be very honest. You can sell the cream at $50, throw in that hot air steam machine and free cotton wool for a year and I will still not use it.”

It was hilarious for me because there in front of me, was a lady, clearly pissed off that I wouldn’t cave, but still maintaining courtesy out of professional duty. I swear that at that very moment, she wished she was a professional boxer.

Lady: “Okay, since you say like that, then I don’t think we have any more to say. Thank you for coming.”

And she never made eye contact with me again from that point on. It was a high point in my life. I have never felt more proud of myself all week. One day, my name is going to circulate and they will learn NEVER to offer me free trials again.

It’s an economic axiom. If it’s free, exploit it. You might need to repeat yourself a lot on the rejection, but it will eventually pay off.

12 Comments:

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