About a week and a half ago, I was approached by two ladies in a coffee shop. Firstly, let me explain that I am not the type of person one approaches in a coffee shop. Generally speaking, I am there to work, I have a scowl on my face and I make eye contact with no one. Therefore, it is odd that these two ladies dressed like aging, catalog models should approach me.
In any case, I was in a "zone" when approached by Stephanie. She started with the compliment, "Wow, I love your shoes," or something equally stupid. But I fell for it and opened the door to conversation. Soon enough, we were exchanging business cards and I was attending some "networking event" at the Hyatt Regency. I was very unclear of what all this was about, I just knew that Stephanie was a MARY KAY person. And one could tell by the mountain of make-up on Stephanie's face.
Let's get to the meat of this story
Stephanie proceeds to phone me no less than five or six times reminding me about this stupid networking event. She is always super annoying on the phone with a fake yet friendly voice. She has been coached in a very transparent, sales-y way. I recognize her poor technique as a result of my days in recruiting (where I had to listen to six weeks of audio tapes of exactly what to say to people to coerce them into doing things they do not want to do). Nevertheless, she has me hooked out of guilt.
I miss the first "networking event" but she convinces me to come to the second event. This is where it gets good.
I arrive at the Westin Hotel in River North and I see six, pink Cadillacs parked in the circular drive of the hotel. I instantly feel myself becoming enraged. What exactly am I walking into?
As soon as I walk into the hotel, I am POUNCED on by gaudy women wearing make up that would make a pageant girl look dressed down. I immediately asked myself, "Am I in Texas?" Each woman made her way over to me and asked me questions about myself all the while wearing a HUGE grin. The sort of grin sorority girls give you as you pledge their house - or at least I imagine since I was never a sorority girl. I knew instantly that I was being courted by these horrible women to become a Mary Kay sales person.
Each woman said things like "I used to work in Promotional Advertising, I know how it is." Or, "I spent fifteen years working as an engineer for Amoco, I made good money but now I make $275K a year selling Mary Kay." Really? Really? In fact, more than one woman divulged her whopping salary to me.
Red Flag #1
This is another lesson I learned in my very brief career as a recruiter. When someone tells you how much money they make in a year - run! Run fast! You know why? Because if it were the norm, there would be nothing to say. Sure, you make $275K a year due to all the losers who spend $X.XX to get into your MLM scam and never make a dime!
This went on for a total of NINE minutes (to be exact). Just moments before we were about to go into the presentation I started to hyperventilate. I asked the blonde with GIANT CURLS, a fur coat and an absurd amount of make up "How long will this last?" She says, "Why do you have somewhere to be?" Oh no, it's Wednesday at noon, why would I have anywhere to be? You a-hole!
I start to panic and start to get pretty loud. I say, "Listen, I have NO idea why I am here, I think I was mislead into believing this was something else." She says, "Why what did you think this was?" I said, "A networking event" (Which is what Stephanie told me). The blonde says, "OH my, let me get Stephanie."
Stephanie approaches me and in that same annoyingly fake yet sweet voice says, "Oh no, you want to leave?" I say, "Yes, this is absolutely NOT for me." She then says, "Ok, I will call you tomorrow." I say "What? Why?" She is STILL trying to sell me! I say, "No, absolutely not, do not call me tomorrow."
Some lessons for Stephanie