Massage instead of Meetings – What not to do on a business trip

Arriving into Penang, my boss and I checked into our hotel and switched our phones on only to find that incredibly all meetings had somehow been cancelled. We were only there for a couple of days so there wasn’t time to reschedule. Having come to South Asia with a goal to complete all appointments successfully, this turn in events would not be taken well or lightly back in the office. So we did what any professional would do, we lied, and communicated that everything was running as planned.

It’s not easy to lie. You have to back it up with some facts and you’re constantly paranoid. It would be suspicious if we came back to Sydney without any evidence of taking clients out. And we had all this free time to get to know the place. Plus we were tired from our previous stop in KL. We needed a massage.

The easiest thing to do was to use the hotels massage services, which on the invoice would only state the name of the massage parlour ‘Yasmin House’ . Yasmin House could easily be the name of a restaurant in the hotel. Secondly, the bill had to be enough so it looked like we took out at least 3 clients to this restaurant for lunch – a 1 hour foot massage followed by the 1 hour full body massage should do perfectly.

2 hours later (4 hours downtime in total for the both of us) I walked out of my room feeling light on my feet but my body felt scratched, and abused, from the old lady’s rough hands. To be honest I was feeling a bit uncomfortable with her technique. As I walked out of my room, my boss was coming out of his with a look of wonder etched across his face. ‘What happened?’ He just looked at me and shook his head, traumatised from the experience.

To sooth ourselves from the hard day’s work, we headed to the Ship Inn. We really needed a drink. And we needed to drink enough for 8 clients.