Well, neither would I. I have been a licensed massage therapist for over 15 years. It is a very difficult profession; not only is it physically and emotionally demanding, but it is difficult to find clients, especially in the current economic climate. I make housecalls, so I spend my work day schlepping a massage table around the Chicagoland area. I can't think of anything less fun than wheeling a massage table through several inches of snow. Thankfully, this has been the warmest and least snowy winter in living memory. I still managed to get rear ended on Sheridan Road during one of the few snowstorms of 2012 on my way home from a client appointment.
I could work for someone else, but I would be making about 1/3 of the money that I can earn by generating my own clientele for doing exactly the same work. Most people outside of my industry aren't aware of this. Unfortunately, massage therapy is one of the first things that people feel they can live without when they are strapped for cash.
However, this does not seem to stop people from asking massage therapists to "volunteer our services" for their worthy causes. I have a mortgage, a child with special needs and a husband whose income fluctuates wildly from year to year, so I need to earn a living just like everyone else. I received an inquiry only this morning from a woman at one of the large financial institutions who was looking for a massage therapist to volunteer at an Employee Health Fair in Pilsen. The notion that we will get lots of clients from our altruistic activities is nonsense. I have volunteered many times during my career and I have never once got a client that way.
I supressed the urge to respond to her by asking her if she would like to volunteer her services. I decided to blog about it, instead.