The Beijing Street Prostitute's MBA Lecture
In the aftermath of the popular blog post by Run Liu (刘润) about the MBA lesson given to him by a Shanghai taxi driver, another blogger 一夜富贵 has written a parody using the identical structure but for an MBA lesson by a Beijing street prostitute.
[in translation] The Street Prostitute Gives The Microsoft Senior Manager An MBA Lesson
I suddenly felt the need to get a woman, so I hurriedly concluded a meeting and I was looking for a street walker in front of the International Trade Modern City building. A Wenzhou MM saw me and very professionally came at me in a straight line and stopped right in front of me. Thus followed the story that astonished me greatly as if I had attended a lively MBA course. In order to faithfully preserve the intent of this girl, I have tried to reproduce her original words according to my memory.
"Mister, what do you want to do? ... Good, the full package -- cold and hot water; the anal tongue drill; bondage with red strings. In the Zhaoyang district, I loved to get business in front of the Modern City building. Over here, I only work two places: Modern City and Qingguang Center. Did you know? Before I saw you, I circled around the entrance of Modern City twice before I finally saw you! People who come out of office building definitely want the full package ..."
"Oh? You have a method!" I agreed.
"A working girl must also have scientific methods," she said. I was surprised and I got curious: "What scientific methods?"
"I have to know statistics. I have made detailed calculations. Let me tell you. I work 22 days a month, and my daily cost is 272.7 RMB ..."
"How did you arrive at that?" I asked
"You calculate. I have to pay 3,000 RMB a month to rent a high-class apartment. In order to put myself in a higher class than other working girls, I spend 1,500 RMB a month on clothing and cosmetics. I need about 1,500 RMB a month for food. I work 22 days a month. On an daily basis basis, isn't my average daily fixed cost 272.7 RMB?" I was a bit surprised. I have been getting girls for ten years and this is the first time that I heard a working girl compute her costs this way. Previously, the other girls all told me: 300 RMB per trick, or 800 RMB overnight.
"Costs should not be calculated on a per-trick basis. It should be calculated on a time basis. You see, I keep a record each day. I can see the detailed records for each month. I have done a data analysis. The averarge idle time gap between customers is seven hours. If I get someone who wants to have a quickie, then it will take about one hour to earn 100 RMB. That is, each 100 RMB customer takes 8 hours in cost, or 12.5 RMB per hour. This is not making money! If we say that customers who want cold and hot water, full body licking and the anal tongue drill are like meals, then a 100 RMB customer is not even a bite of food. You can only say that this is just a sprinkle of MSG."
Great! This girl did not sound like a street walker. She seemed more like an accountant. "So what you do then?" I was even more interested and I continued my questioning. It looked like I was going to learn something new on the way to the girl's apartment.
"You must not stand mindlessly at any place to wait for customers. You choose the place based upon the location, time and customer. You must actively decide on your agenda." I was very surprised, but this sounded significant. "Someone said that street walking is a profession that depends on luck. I don't think so. You have to stand in the position of the customer and consider things from the customer's perspective." This sounded very professional, and very much like many business management teachers who say "put yourself in others' shoes."
"Let me give you an example. You are at the entrance to a hospital. There is someone holding some medicine and there is someone else holding a wash basin. Which person will you pick up?" I thought about it and I said that I didn't know.
"You take the one with the wash basin. If you have a minor complaint that you want to be examined and to get some medicine, you don't want to let yourself go too far afterwards. Anyone who is carrying a wash basin has just been discharged from the hospital. When people enter the hospital, some of them die. Today, someone on the second floor dies. Tomorrow, someone on the third floor dies. Those who make it out of the hospital usually have a feeling of having been given a second life and they recognize the meaning of life again -- having fun is the most important thing. So on that day, that person told me, 'Fuck! ... let's go and get a room at the hotel. I'll give you 2,000 RMB for the night. You dress like a nurse so that I can release my frustrations against those damned nurses.' He gave me 2,000 RMB immediately without even blinking. Would you say that he wants a massage and then a quickie? Absolutely not!"
I began to admire her.
"Let me give you another example. That day at Panjiayuan, three sets of people were waving at me. One was a young man who had just finished shopping in the shopping mall and was holding some small gift boxes in his hands. Another was a couple of old men in western suits with ruddy faces flushed from drinking. The third one was a man who wore a silk shirt and a down jacket and holding a notebook computer bag and hauling a mobile suitcase behind him. I spent three seconds looking at each person and I stopped in front of the third man without hesitation. When we got into the room, the man said: 'Desert storm, crystal romance ...' Before even finishing, he could not help but ask, 'Why did you stop in front of me without hesitating? There were two people in front. If you went with them, I would be too embarrassed to compete.' I replied, 'That young man was holding some gift boxes. He has a date with his girlfriend tonight, so this is definitely not an overnight job. The two old men have just finished drinking; they will go to sleep immediately afterwards and so it won't be an overnight job either. You are on a business trip because you have a notebook computer back and a suitcase. I can see that this will be a business expense. You are staying at the hotel by yourself and so my guess is that this would be for overnight.' The man said, 'You are right. I got you for the night.'"
"Are those people dressed in shorts and singlets in front of hair salons likely to be rich customers? Will they go and get a room at a hotel overnight? A high-class hotel won't even let them enter."
That makes sense! I was liking this more and more.
"Many working girls complain that business is tough and there is a crackdown recently. They are trying to pin the cause down on other people. If you keep pinning the cause on other people, you will never get any better. You must look at yourself to see where the problem is." This sounds very familiar. It seems like "One time, someone at the zoo flagged me for a quickie. Later, another person at the zoo flagged me also for a quickie. So I asked, 'How come all you people who look for girls at the zoo want a quickie?' He said that the zoo has a public bus hub and they were waiting for a bus and got a quickie during the time. So I suddenly understood. At the zoo, there are no offices, no hotels, nothing. There is only a public bus station. Those people who are looking for working girls have just gotten off one bus and are waiting for another one to go home. The customers who are looking for girls here usually only want to have a quick in-and-out."
"Therefore, I say that the attitude determines everything!" I have heard dozens of company CEO's say that, but this was the first time that I heard a working girl say that.
"We need to use scientific methods and statistics to conduct business. Those people who queue up at Sanlitun every day for business will never make money. How are you going to afford cosmetics and clothes to make yourself look better at 5,000 RMB a month? This is murder? This is slowly murdering your youth. You must arm yourself with knowledge. You have to learn knowledge to become a smart person. A smart person learns knowledge in order to become a very smart person. A very smart person learns knowledge in order to become a genius."
"One time, a person wanted to go to my home. I ask, 'To do what?' He said for massage plus breast massage. I said that this not good -- how about a direct XX? He said that would be too expensive. I said, 'It does not matter. You have enough experience from doing this so often. You pay 200 RMB for a breast massage. You do what I say and you can pay only 200 RMB. The rest is on me.' In the end, we did it my way. I provided extra service, but XX is a lot quicker than breast massage. Giving a massage and a breast massage takes up so much time that I can't work on additional business. XX was over in 10 minutes. I took only 200 RMB. The customer was very happy in being able to save 100 RMB. For me, it was just closing my eyes and taking a rest lying down. By lying down for a short while, I saved half a day's time. As I said before, my average daily cost is 272.7 RBM. It was very worthwhile for me."
"In Beijing, not counting working at high-class nightclubs, a working girl takes home seven to eight thousand RMB a month. The good working girl can get around twenty thousand. The top driver can get fifty thousand RMB. Out of the 100,000 working girls in Beijing, there are about two to three working girls who can make more than eighty thousand RMB a month. I am one of those two or three. Furthermore, it is very stable without too much fluctuation."
Great! By this point, I admired this working girl more and more.
"I often say that I am a happy hooker. Some people say, 'That's because you earn a lot of money. Of course, you must be happy.' I tell them, 'You are wrong. This is because I have a happy and active mind, and that is why I make a lot of money.'"
What a wonderful way to put it!
"You have to appreciate the beauty that your work brings. Standing in the street in Sanlitun in winter, many working girls complain, 'Oh, that damn weather again! What rotten luck!' You must not be like that. You should try to experience the beauty of the city. There are many nice-looking gay guys passing by. There are many tall modern buildings; although you cannot afford them, you can still enjoy them with an appreciative look. While making love in the park, you can look at the green grass. In the winter, it is white. How beautiful! Look in your wallet -- more than 1,000 RMB. That is even more beautiful! Each job has its own beauty. We need to learn how to experience that beauty in our work."
"Five years ago, I was a manager at the Heaven On Earth night club. Three years ago, I was the top attraction at three different saunas. But I quit. There was no point in making just 30,000 or 50,000 a month. I decided to walk the streets. I want to be a happy hooker. Ha ha ha ..."
When we arrived at her apartment, I gave her my business card and said, "Are you interested in coming this Friday to my office and explain to the Microsoft workers about how you operate as a working girl? You can treat it as if you were on bed for the one-hour full package. I will pay you for the time that you talk to us. Give me a call."
Then I began to write down this lively MBA lecture in the bathroom of this working girl's home.