My MLM Experience
Written by U/confusedobelisk
When i was 17 I was looking for a part time job for some easy money along my studies. I looked in a group on Facebook where employers could post job openings for possible future employees. I was a bit of a hippie at the time, not astrology or magic or stuff like that but i did a lot of LSD and psychadelics and wanted to live a very alternative lifestyle, vegan, close to nature etc. Anyways glad i moved on from that.
I stumbled upon the perfect job opening for a slightly alternative kid like I was, a cleaner/apprentice with a ciropractor. Serious enough, ciropracy isn't pseudo science as far as im aware so it felt moral enough.
When i write and send my CV I get a call, but its not about the ciropractic apprentice job, its now about some job that apparently is too complicated to explain by phone. Making the whole thing seem very proffesional and complicated to make me feel special, intrigued. First red flag really but i was open minded and said that sounds fine.
He said that I could bring a friend if I wanted since the business model was based on hiring new "customers". I was skeptical and so he assured me that i would not have to buy much to be able to sell it, so as the asshole I can be i thought why not, most jobs are amoral and as long as i don't get taken advantage of i'm fine with selling people some shitty products. Its not like a supermarket would be better for the enviroment and i had accepted that i basically had to be a part of a consumerist society no matter what i thought of it personally. I had recently become less idealistic and more practical. I say this to explain one type of person who could be attracted to this line of work and how my inexperience and lack of knowledge about MLMs led me into that sharks nest, with some pretty bad intentions. I saw mysemf above their tactics anyways, i had been aroynd criminals and manipulative people for many years (began with hard drugs at 14) so i was used to keeping people at an arms length.
I went to a party and actually got a person who i never met before and just moved here to come with me to the interview. I believed this would impress them, and at the same time i was helping this guy get a job! Win win i thought. When we got to the hotel they had booked out (an expensive one i might add) things rapidly changed.
I was greeted by the person who had recruited me, and seeing i had already realized what the jig was about and brought a stranger he seemed very pleased. Well built, muscular, wearing a suit and very confident but friendly. He and i sat down and soon two others joined us. They were around 30 or 40 and equally well built. Good looks and health seemed important here for some reason. The funniest warning flag (i was taking things as a joke at this point) was when the wife of the dude who just joined us mentioned that "before he met me and us he even had dreads!" followed by laughter by all of the members and disturbingly, the man in question dragning his shirtsleeve down to cover his tattoos, visibly ashamed.
We chatted, i played along and saw a chance to make a lot of cash for a kid like me and still do all the drugs i wanted. I found it disturbing but i wanted to see how far they would go. We went into a conference room with a big screen, and two americans stepped in. I say americans because as a swedish person i have never seen someone so plastic, cosmetically operated, tanned to look like almost leather and honestly they looked pretty unhealthy. They were senior members, previous real estate moguls, or thats what they said at least. A man and a woman, his wife.
At first glance I realized how they picked potential members. There was some wierd stuff like repeating mantras in group (about money generally), which mostly was done by older women and younger men and women in suits. The rest were either young, pretty attractive and forward men like me or overweight girls. No, really. Half the new recruits were overweight young adult women specifically or young and more handsome men, who clearly all had attitude. This dynamic was the same for the american couple on stage. We were maybe 50 people.
As they began talking, or rather he did (the american ill call him from now on) I felt a pull. Every word, as translucent and obviously manipulative as it was licked my ears and made me want to bend. It was uncanny. I had to consciously fight my feelings and mind even tho I knew and had come with the knowledge that I was not gonna be taken in, and that this was some sort of scam.
The first 30 minutes were not about anything but how this compaby would help you retire before 30 if you started at my age, and how work was designed to keep you trapped in the hamster wheel, but not this one! I could see pure belief in the eyes of some, and pure confidence in the eyes of others (most likely people who felt above the lies, and felt they could make money of this and were pretty invested already).
They finally presented the product. It was ridiculous. A machine that scans your hand and tells you what nutrients you need to order for another machine that would inject these minerals and vitamins in your skin (fucked up i know). At this point I nudged my friend and we left and took a coffee to talk about the experience.
A few hours later the recruiter called me, he sounded angry, intimidating. He felt i had embarassed him and said i should be more respectful and thankful for opportunities like this. I told him if he called me again id send our local branch of hells angels (had some odd connections at the time) after him and his family. He shut up, i hubg up and he never contacted me again. Glad i threatened him or he might have not left me alone.
He had clearly tried to guilt me into returning but i was used to being manipulated and saw through it. The ones i was most worried about were the young overweight women, who seemed to be in the most vulnerable position of all here. Clearly they were the ones we should sell too, and tvey might have other friends with equally low confidence, bad looks or whatever. Thia sounds harsh but it was what i saw it for. Hopefully, someone else left the roomafter our obvious display of disgust and our flat rejection of their presentation.
Thats all! I never heard from them again and i cabt remember the name of the organisation, but ill add it to the story if i find it. Anyways, MLMs are a bad idea and got to me only because I didnt know what an MLM was at the time, and because i applied for a completely different job, but had a bit of a dodgy sense of morals, which i still do. I mean, I work for Apple, basically the worlds largest cult (kidding, but yeah big corporations are fucked up in so many ways too).