The Sir Posted September 19, 2019 Share Posted September 19, 2019 I've had several run-ins with multi-level marketing schemes in my relatively short existence. I spent a winter break during college with Vector Marketing, which is the MLM that sells Cutco knives. It's kind of a strange one, since it doesn't focus so much on recruiting new salespeople but you do have to harass your "clients" for further references to sell your crap to. They prowl college campuses offering $17 per appointment, which is scammy because it's either the $17 "salary" or your sales commission. If you rely on the former for too long, you'll get axed. My bosses were super pushy, and even urged me to line up a 10 PM appointment on New Year's Eve, which I ignored. A girl I went to high school with was the assistant regional manager or some such shit- I always thought she was on the up and up when we were in school, but I guess that fizzled out. Fast forward to early this year, and a totally different scenario, but a guy from Craigslist came over to my house while I was away to pick up some free furniture that was clogging our garage. I have a jeep that's sitting in the driveway that I'd like to sell, and he made some comments about it. So when he texted my wife later and asked if he could contact me, I figured it had to do with the jeep so I approved. The next day, I get a call from this dude, and he starts talking about how I seemed like a cool guy (he'd never met me, mind you) and he just wanted to reach out. I actually went along with it and made the standard small talk as non-awkwardly as I could. Suddenly, he starts talking about this business opportunity he's involved in. I asked what his business is, and he says, "Before I tell you what I do, let me talk to you about our need to shed the employee mindset in this country." I cut him off and said, "I don't want to waste your time, so I have no interest in being involved an MLM, now or ever." My hunch was apparently dead on, because he said he appreciated it and hung up. I briefly considered calling him back and asking what happened to our blossoming friendship, but thought better of it. Then, a few months ago, I took my son to the neighborhood playground and met another dad who was there with his kids. We made small talk, including what we did career-wise. I mentioned my actual business ideas, and he started talking about his work in finance/insurance. He threw out some earnings numbers from his field that seemed cartoonish, but I'm a terrible listener (I prefer to read things) and I was watching my kid so I didn't put too much analysis into it. He texted me on and off over the next few months, usually about finance stuff, which I can appreciate. He even gave some bad advice, like that the stock market was about to collapse entirely, which almost made me pull my assets out until I did a bit of research and calmed down. Still didn't hold it against him. Then I made a mistake- he asked if I knew anyone who was interested in making some side money, and I jokingly said, "Me?" That was it. Now he texts me weekly or so. If I don't respond? He doesn't get offended, he just texts me the same thing again two days later! Fears were confirmed the other day when I responded by asking how he's doing, and he said, "Business is booming! I'm enjoying financial freedom, no boss, no quotas, no limits...priceless!" Well, fuck. I know what this means (and if you think I'm making assumptions, I did ask him what the company was called- it's People Helping People Agency). On top of all this, my wife got involved in one a few years ago. A coworker friend lured her in and she did it for a couple of months. We spent a non-crucial amount on essential oils (to be fair, some of them did make the house smell better after our Roomba plowed through a pile of dogshit while we were at work one day). She hosted something like two parties with limited attendance, made zero money, and then quit. I love my wife to pieces, and honestly, the strife caused in small part by our participation in that resulted in probably the darkest year of our marriage. And while our whole life made a pretty quick turn-around when we sold our house, moved to a nicer area, and she quit that crap all around the same time, it was disheartening to see how quickly her former friend ditched her. Went from BFFs and being at birthday parties for each other's kids to nothing in the blink of an eye. So that's how it is. Whatever. I am an unabashed capitalist pig. I'd like to swim through my mansion's living room in a pile of gold coins, like Scrooge McDuck. But man, MLMs really suck. First, you're never going to make any money, much less big money. Second, you're going to alienate every friend that you have. And third, I'd really like to go to the park, talk to other dads, and make friends just because we both like baseball and international travel, and not because I'm a possible mark for your crummy, overpriced product. Hint: I'm not. What are y'all's stories with these God-awful entities? Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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