I decided this story would go much better with a visual. Unfortunately, I don’t know how to draw yet so the above will have to do.
Anyway, I'm standing in line at Marshalls buying a fake plant when the woman in front of me whirls, lighting up like a Christmas tree. "That is soooo pretty! OMG! Where did you find it?"
"In the back," I point.
"Oh haha! You are SO bubbly! I love your personality! You know, I love this store. And HomeGoods too. I spent $1,000 there on house stuff. It's fantastic!"
"Yeah, I like that place too," I offered.
"YES! My husband and I were buying this teak wooden outdoor table and I thought $250 omg that's too much but we loved it and bought it anyway. THEN I called my friends from North Carolina, that's where we get ALL our furniture, and they priced it out down there, it would have been $1400! So see. That place is addictive."
Me (smiling weakly): "mmm hmm." (thinking WHY won't the cashier hurry the F*!@ UP!)
Her: "OH you are such a people person! Would you be interested in a makeover? I LOVE your skin. You would just love these products, they are amazing. I mean, look at MY skin. A few years ago it looked much MUCH older. Mary Kay cosmetics. They are the BEST."
Me: "That's nice but I'm not really into makeovers, I like doing my own routine."
Her: "OH it's not like that! I promise! We don't touch anyone, we're not licensed to touch anybody. So we just offer you any makeup you want and you get to pick out what you want to try for your makeover. Call me for an appointment! There's NO obligation and you don't have to buy anything, it's free to try all the stuff."
She pressed a business card in my hand, the obnoxious kind that needs to scream "SALES!" so loudly that it tents out into a miniature pamphlet.
Me: "uh, you know I basically work two jobs and just do not have time for anything else but thanks anyway."
Her: "TWO jobs? You should come work for me. I make 6 figures a year, then you wouldn't have to work so much. Don't you want to make six figures? I couldn't believe it the first year I made that. And they gave me a pink cadillac and everything. I've had 6 cars since I've been working for them. I miss the pink cadillac though, that was a good car."
She stared wistfully out the window and I paid for my stuff and tried to flee. She ran after me.
"See, there's my car now! Here, I'll press the keychain -- look, there are the lights! It's a Saturn."
Me: "That's very nice. I heard Mary Kay treats their salespeople well and I remember hearing that the best ones can sometimes get cars."
Her: "What? Salesperson? No, I'm not a salesperson. I don't sell anything. Everyone thinks I sell stuff, I don't. Mary Kay just gives this to me. You could have the same exact thing too you know. It's not just me, they treat EVERYONE this way. There are women making as much as me only two months into it."
Me: "No thanks, I love what I do and am not interested in anything else." (Thinking inside "yeah right! Mary Kay throws money at people for NO reason! Sure. Great business model, one sure to keep a company going for decades.")
I can smell an MLM scheme a mile away. MLM = multi-level marketing and desperate followers have the intensity of religious zealots, except they worship get-rich-quick schemes instead of gods. NuSkin, A&L Williams Insurance, Herbalife, Amway... those are all flake companies that infect the weak-minded and turn them into hysterical humanoids that, like the cast of zombies in 28 Days Later, chase down every living soul left in the desperate attempt to suck out their lifeblood and turn them into one of their own.
Her: "OH what do you do? You love it that much! That's really great but you know who wouldn't want to make as much as me."
Me: "Um, I work with computers. Anyway I gotta go."
Her: "Well look at my website or call me if you change your mind. You wouldn't believe the stuff we have, the same lotion that J. Lo has for $600, we have and it's only $30. Vitamins A, C, & E. Antioxidants, very good for the skin. One time of trying it and you would be amazed. And you get all your money back if you don't like it. No matter what. Mary Kay just reimburses me, how's that? I mean, I have women all the time who try stuff and send it back saying 'I didn't really like this lipstick color' and that's fine. I could send it back to Mary Kay. Of course most of the time I just eat the cost because I make so much it's not worth the time to fill out the paperwork but still. You should try it!"
The whole time I was speed-walking towards my car, an ever-widening chasm between us, shouting as I got farther away. "OH be careful of that oncoming car! It was so nice to meet you. I hope to hear from you. I love people! I'm going into HomeGoods now, take care!"
Lesson learned: if you grunt the wrong way, someone might fall for your "bubbly" personality and try to recruit (infect) you. Warning!