Mary Kay Life – The Microwave Way

 Written by a Former Consultant

If you had been in Mary Kay for one week, one month, one year or longer, I am sure you had heard your Sales Director or NSD tell you, “You can do it fast and be a microwave, or do it slow and be a crock pot.”  Basically what they mean is you can achieve any of your goals on your glue stick and glitter goal poster in as fast as a month or take your time and do it sloooooooooow.  Thinking back, I realize now there was no in between.

So why did your uppie ups want you to “think big and think fast”?  What purpose did it serve you? Honestly, none.  The only thing that gets accomplished by you doing things quicker in Mary Kay is to keep the time as short as possible for you to eventually change your mind.  And to get as much money out of you in the process. Think about it…

1.  You were invited to a Mary Kay “guest event” or a recruiting interview. How much pressure were you under to sign right then and there? You were probably told that there was a special promotion going on for anyone who signed that day/week/month and today was THE last day for you to be included. Maybe you were told that you would have special seating at the next event or win a super-duper prize if the agreement is submitted before midnight.

And let’s not forget the guilt trip you were given a one-way ticket to if you suggested you wanted to talk to your husband first. “Gee, Nancy No-Self Esteem… I thought you were a big girl and you didn’t need permission from your husband to be a successful woman.” Ouch, where do I sign? (Move on to Microwave Step 2—otherwise do not pass “go”. You are now considered a crock pot.)

2.  You had now become a new beauty consultant and were anxious to open your store. How long after the ink dried on your agreement were you set up with your “let’s discuss inventory” appointment? Was it less than 48 hours, 24 hours, or at the same meeting? The charge hasn’t even gone through for your showcase and they are talking to you about how you can’t even begin to make money unless you buy $4800 worth of product. “You can’t open your store with empty shelves!”

You probably were told it was the end of the quarter and that the prize to get your order in was a must-have. Maybe you were told that you would get a shopping cart of freebies if you got that charge card maxed out in the next 48 hours. And the ribbon… oh don’t forget the ribbon signed by Lisa Madson just for you: “Congratulations Betty Broke! I bee-lieve in you!” Hmmm, my name is written in different color ink, but hey, it doesn’t matter. I’m a STAR! (Move on to Microwave Step 3—otherwise do not pass “go”. You are now considered a crock pot.)

3.  You hit the ground running and got a showcase with no training and fifteen cases of product to unpack into your closet. How long after you disposed of the garbage bags filled with styrofoam popcorns did it take before you were told to bring your BFF as a guest to a success meeting? We all know that in this business, it’s best to have a “power buddy” to run with.

And when your life begins to change and your circle of friends starts to see your brainwashing… err, excitement… they are going to want to do what you do. You probably were told that there was a promotion going on just for that month for a gorgeous, real pearl necklace if you got your first recruit within 30 days of signing. Wow! I cannot miss this opportunity to be one of the elite few who will achieve this great feat!  My friend and I are going to have so much fun! (Move on to Microwave Step 4—otherwise do not pass “go”. You are now considered a crock pot.)

4.  You became a Senior Consultant in less than thirty days. You are pinned and hailed as a trailblazer at the next Monday night meeting and given your knotted pearls, straight out of a ziplock bag. You were given your SD’s red jacket to wear as motivation while you are home washing windows and paying bills. How long did it take your SD to sit down with you to tell you that you are about to be a member of Mary Kay’s management team? You realized you had to be a part of the “best of the best” and were told to begin thinking of any way possible to get those three active recruits for your Red Jacket.

I’m sure you were told that if you finished up before Career Conference/Seminar you would get special recognition at the NSD Pajama Party. And it was insinuated that if you didn’t do it in the next three months, your first recruit might go inactive and you’d have to start all over again. That means Microwave Step 4 now has the possibility of becoming Crock Pot Step 2—gasp!

Maybe you began making a list of friends who owed you favor (or a hundred bucks). Possibly you asked your mom and your sister if they’d sign an agreement for you and you’d even pay for their showcase. Even though you kinda knew it wasn’t right, you tell yourself you’ll only do it this one time. It’s just a small price I have to pay right now to reach the next rung on the Ladder of Success! (Move on to Microwave Step 5—otherwise do not pass “go”. You are now considered a crock pot.)

5.  You had become an official member of the Red Jacket Club. You realized that getting recruits was a little easier than it was three months ago because you had mastered the art of “projecting a successful attitude” aka: stalking. You quickly moved up to Team Leader, as long as you were able to keep your personal team members active (your mom, sister, aunt, grandmother & best friend). How long did it take before your SD convinced you to submit your DIQ form? You had been in the business less than a year and you can’t believe you are going to be a member of the “Big Girl’s Club”.

You cut out pictures of your head and taped them to the body of 30 director suit photos and taped them all over your doors, mirrors, and car dashboard. You sat down with your personal team and asked them to make a list of everyone they knew so they each can each recruit 2-3 of them.  Of course that was going to be a little more difficult to do because each family member had to go outside of the DNA box to hunt down real names.  You told them you’d help them in anyway you could, as long as they came to your house because you are having trouble finding the front door behind all of the boxes of product you had to order for yourself and your team to keep them on target. I don’t have to worry about all this money I’m spending… I’ll make it all up in the first months that I’m a Director! Short term sacrifice for long term gain! (Move on to Microwave Step 5 and graduate from Red Jacket to Big Girl Panties and suit to match—otherwise do not pass “go”. You are now a crock pot.)

6.  You Go Girl! You did it! You became a Sales Director in three months or less. (Well, that’s because if you didn’t, you’d have to place orders for almost half of your unit when most went inactive in month four of DIQ).  You host your debut and crown all of your unit members that come to the event Queen of Something. Of course, you don’t have to buy that many crowns because only eight showed up. The rest are taking care of their kids, working, in a nursing home, or are resting comfortably at St. Mary’s Cemetery.

You couldn’t be happier. And you couldn’t be more broke either. But you did it. As you look around your house at the endless stream of unsold products, open up credit card statements that almost blind you, try to rebuild the damaged relationships with your friends and family and reach for your bottle of Xanax, how long did it take you before you realized you just made one the worst decision of your life?


  1. MK Taints the Color Pink

    “You were invited to an event…told there was a special promotion to sign right then”

    Yep. I attended an event to get out of the house. I told my friend days beforehand I would not join…I was just looking for fun (and maybe win something). I refused to sign that night – boy was she disappointed! Her director called me the next day and said she would trade products in the kit, give me a discount (I think she would’ve included her soul if I asked for it)…because they were trying to “push” my friend in DIQ by months end. I shuddered at the verbiage “push.” Did my friend really want to do this? Why the rush? Then I found PT. My friend failed DIQ and is attempting it again. I can’t say anything to her because she is a part of my extended family…and she can be a real 8!+<#…I don't want the drama, but I feel weird not saying anything. I'm torn.

    Oh, and she has the ridiculous poster and head pasted to director suit photos. :-O*-, Sorry, I just vomited a little.

    1. MK Taints the Color Pink

      Since I rejected their advances…she has not contacted me once on her own. She takes days to respond to me (if at all). I have to say it stings a bit, especially since she knows I have been going through some personal issues…maybe that is why she tried to recruit me…thought I would be an easy target.

  2. CaliforniaGal

    Yup, what an article. I saw myself at all of the above steps. I became a 3 month wonder with starry eyes. New director training opened my eyes to what I had actually done. I had bought myself a pocket full of debt. I went home to sleepless nights wondering how I was going to make this thing called directorship work. What was wrong with me that working 20 hours a day didn’t get me more recruits who were willing to get themselves into debt as well.

    I had a weak unit that faded away after a year. I was finished as a director. I was so glad to tell my husband the truth about my “business” and was so glad he still loved me. Getting into that much debt and not telling him the truth was taking a tole on my health. Finally with the truth, I was able to see a little clearer. If the Mary Kay directors had been honest with me, I never would have tried to become one. But they don’t tell you the truth because that serves their own best interests. Mary Kay is a deceptive business built on lies and half truths.

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