|I am lucky enough to have never lost any money to a network marketing pyramid, but I have been subjected to two time-wasting seminars. One MLM seminar became the stage for one of my
This is an old story.In 1996, I was approached by a longtime customer at the cafe I worked at in Sacramento. He asked me about my job prospects for the future, and complimented me on my customer service. Then he invited me to an interview at his job. I had my suspicions about the legitimacy of his offer, but I got dressed up that night and took a bus out to Response Road to give it a shot.
I signed in at the front desk. There were about 25 potential recruits there with me, each paired with the person ("recruiter") that had invited them. They gave us some vague promises of the company's success, then split us up.
At this point I didn't have any idea what the company did, except that it had to do with the stock market. The new recruits and I were seated in one tiny room, where we watched a video. The video outlined how easy it was to become rich, how fast the company was growing, and how great it was to be a big success in life and business.
After the 20 minute video, Dr. Wong turned up the lights and continued the fluff-parade for another 25 minutes, making it clear how fast the company was growing and how easy it was to become rich. He paged through about a dozen transparencies on the overhead projector.
At this point, I decided I had seen enough, and that if there was a great company behind this curtain of words, I would have heard some REAL information by now. Forty-five minutes, and I had no idea how the company operated.
There was pressure to stay until the end of the seminar, so I could meet back up with the guy that brought me there. If I walked out at this point, I would have to face him the next day at my work, and confront him with how lame his "company" was and define the term "interview" for him.
There was no way I was staying any longer. My heart was pounding with anticipation as I stood up to leave. Dr. Wong stopped talking and everyone in the little room looked at me. I inched past people's knees until I was at the door.
There, at the threshold, I turned back toward the room and took advantage of their silence. "Anyone coming with me?"
No one moved.
I shut the door behind me.
I slinked back toward the lobby, and over to a seperate side room, eavesdropping on the speech the recruiters were enduring. It was more syrupy motivational crap.
As I walked back toward the exit, two guys came out of the video presentation room I had left.
"You were right, that was a total waste of time", they said.
Success! My exit had encouraged someone else to leave. In some small way I had gotten revenge for their devious " job interview" deception.
I caught the last bus home, on top of the world.
I was reminded of this story when Christine Tisano wrote me last week.
Her letter is below.
Quixtar and Amway are both Alticor companies.
A similar Primerica story by Michael Rhudy.
A similar Cutco / Vector Marketing story
I'd like to discourage fake interview scenarios. There are two important steps.
If you are ever tricked into a phony group interview for an MLM company,
Don't stay until the end. I'll ruin the ending for you: They MIGHT tell you the name of the company, and they ask you for $299 to sign up.
Leave early, you'll be glad you did.
As for taking people with you, I have an idea for that too. Yelling "fire!" is no good, because innocent people could get trampled. If you rush the stage, or try to disrupt the meeting, you will just be insulted and discredited by the guy on stage with the microphone.
My suggestion is that you stand up and wave your hand politely, perhaps saying "Excuse me, excuse me." at a conversational volume.
If you get anyone's attention, ask "Does anyone else smell ammonia?" scrunch up your face and look nervously at the ceiling air vents. Make your way toward the exit, perhaps covering your mouth and nose with your hand or scarf.
This action may
Additionally, if there happens to be another person who knows about this ammonia scheme in the room, that person can also stand up and help.
"Yes, I smell ammonia too, lets get out of here."
I think that two separate people making this statement, and exiting the room, could cause a significant disruption in the tone of the "job interview".
Thanks for reading this suggestion.
Update! July 8th, 2004
Update July 15th, 2004
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