25 Years in Mary Kay, and Not Even a Thank You

Written by TRACY on . Posted in Quitting Mary Kay

Written by A Former Sales Director

Many years ago, the comedian Red Buttons did a routine where he would close each joke with “never got a dinner” – he got very redundant with that uttering and he did get a lot of laughs.  Twenty five years after joining Mary Kay, I  chose to retire.  My memories of Red Buttons came back to me when I realized I, too, never got a dinner!  Or a letter, or a note!

My unit was in good standing but I had long ago burned completely out.  I could not bear to make one more phone call—read one more crazy rant from my national, or tolerate the blind idolization Mary Kay people showed when they fawned all over their National Directors.

Throughout my career,  I had been led to believe that when retirement came, I would have a responsibility to recommend disposition of my unit members.  I wrote a letter to everyone in my “area” plus corporate and respectfully asked that my unit be placed with my offspring.  We’ve been told that  we ARE in business for ourselves—right???  Wrong!  That may be true in some areas but I for one, had very little input as to where my consultants would be placed.

No matter how insincere, to this day, my national has not had the common decency to send me a letter—including my senior national.  These two NSD’s had confided in me many times over the years on how to conduct Mary Kay business—good, bad, or indifferent—whatever it took.  Now that I was leaving, they didn’t have the time of day for me.  So much for caring about people.  I had become an embarrassment to them—after all, nobody is ever expected to amass a retirement fund at my former level.  Also, how dare I leave the cult? Especially on MY terms—not theirs!  The nerve of me-I was supposed to be a “lifer”.

My national director, at many guest events would criticize companies who gave their 25 year employees a watch.  I didn’t even come close to getting a watch!

Unbeknownst to me, the national director sent letters to  my unit members  giving them 3 choices.  They would either be placed in the National Sales Director’s unit; the National’s DAUGHTERS unit; or my offspring’s unit.  The letters instructed the consultants that if they didn’t mail the card back, they would be placed, by default, into the daughter’s unit!  Many of them called me asking what to do.  I suggested they send the card back and specify their choice of units.  I never even got a COPY of the letter she sent out—well except for the one my unit member forwarded to me.

This  woman was my personal recruiter, my director, my senior director and finally, my National!  Based on my units production, she was paid by the company thousands of dollars over the 25 years, and yet did not respond to my letter announcing my retirement.  Instead, by trying to take my consultants for herself or her daughter, she did everything in her power to make my exit just another aggravation.  This is the same woman who continuously spews bible verses and  proclaims herself to be a “Christian”.

When I was in the clique, I soon learned that the measure of love toward me was based on ever tightening concentric circles—directly related to the amount of money that was spent on orders.  My sister directors loved to hear me teach—they admired the many trinkets I had been awarded.  They wanted to know my “secret”.  My work put money in many pockets.  And now, honorably retiring, these people didn’t even bother to send even the smallest note of recognition and appreciation.

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Comments (19)

  • nomorepink1

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    Wow is all I can say. I must ask if your NSD was Kathy Helou? I always wondered how her daughter could become a Senior Sales Director in such a short time.

    Reply

  • MLM Radar

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    I certainly understand the angst she feels at being slighted. Yet I know that the primary way Mary Kay directors make money is by putting women into debt.

    So I find it hard to feel sorry for a woman who was such a recruiting machine that she could amass a viable retirement fund as a Mary Kay director.

    Reply

  • Cdn XMK

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    Even in retirement, they are shunned. The pyramid model is wrong on so many levels. Time and time again it seems that the “successful” people in MK are truly only interested in their bank accounts.

    I think we will see more and more retirements coming up. We’ll have to see whether Pink Truth can make a difference in how the NSDs treat those who have helped provide their income for many years.

    Reply

  • Elf

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    That was pretty much my thought too. How were you able to retire?
    Of course you didn’t receive your dinner. It seems to me that the higher up you are the more the goal becomes staying at your level, moving up if possible and maintaining appearances.
    If you leave those women just feel free to your cast offs. You are totally not worth the time, as a person.
    They are too busy trying to maintain and hold onto what their own facade. It is not about you it is about their self preservation.

    Reply

  • morningstar

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    In 2014 I expect an erosion of this company. Too much competition from other brands and look at Avon’s status. The upping of orders quota in March, smells like they are trying to stay afloat and/or sell the company. The men who run this, want wealth and the margin of profit has got to be dwindling. Good riddance!

    This behavior is just the worst ever. This is not the way to treat people. MK demands too much sacrifice to be in the crowd. Glad you are out and I bet it is Henlou.

    Reply

    • BestDecision

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      “The upping of orders…in March”? Do tell what you know! I wondered if that was going to happen after changing the DIQ requirements!

      Reply

      • MLM Radar

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        Director’s monthly quota increases to $4,500. IBC minimum monthly order to be “active” increases to $225.

        This was announced several months ago to Directors. But, just like product change announcements, I’m quite sure there are thousands of IBCs who won’t find out until March.

        Reply

        • alurker

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          It was announced to consultants in November.

          Reply

  • Jexalt

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    Nomorepink1, I was going to ask the same question on the NSD and her daughter – Kathy Helou and Sue U (I can’t remember her name offhand). I wonder if it’s them.

    Reply

  • Linda

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    This was a very interesting article. Thanks for writing it.

    Reply

  • BestDecision

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    I’m SO hoping that wasn’t Kathy Helou doing that! Of all the Nationals, she always came across as extremely ethical, including private conversations I had with her through the years.

    Yes, my resignation pretty much had the same effect on my Senior: She swiftly created lies about why I really resigned and, to this very day, has not shown any sign of valuing me as a person that spent years with her through thick & thin. It’s quite sad the company’s mantra of sticking only with positive people and “quitters” creates an environment for people to be cutthroat.

    Reply

    • exibc78

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      I have not seen one thing that makes Kathy Helou look ethical in her business. Maybe from the outside, i never really got going as a self admitted lazy looser, it is different. She seems frighteningly unethical.

      Reply

      • BestDecision

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        Yeah, private conversations as well as classes & speeches at Leadership Conference kind of got us to know our Nationals better. But, still, even those added to my own personal, private conversations with her really made me think she was above all that the others were doing.

        Reply

        • imewise

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          Even if there is a such thing a an “ethical national” … they are surrounded by and witnessing unethical behavior everywhere. To remain silent about the unethical behavior of the company and other nationals, is a huge part of the problem.

          My national spoke about watches for 25 yr gifts at guest events… I wonder if this is another common script that they are repeating?

          I was feeling unappreciated at my 10 year mark, 25 seems like a sucker punch to the back of the head!

          Reply

  • raisinberry

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    A “retiring” executive senior who is just getting out may not have a DIME in a “retirement” account…she’s just had enough!

    Her downline all move up once she is out of the way, and if the NSD was getting 1 or 2% of her lower lines, she is now getting 4 or 5 or more depending on how they shake out….SO how “sad” is she gonna be.
    Any first line who retires or quits or flames out, just took a “level” with her, and madam NSD makes more money if she “helps” her leave.
    She how effective shunning is for rationalizing your disgusting business?

    Reply

    • MLM Radar

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      A “retiring” executive senior who is just getting out may not have a DIME in a “retirement” account…she’s just had enough!

      I thought the same, except that she said, “I had become an embarrassment to them—after all, nobody is ever expected to amass a retirement fund at my former level.”

      Her comment is very revealing, however. This business promises “executive” pay. So how is it that an Executive Senior, the upper echelon of the top 2%, is NOT expected to amass a retirement fund?

      Criminey, even the lowest-paid file clerk in my office can amass a retirement fund.

      Oh, that’s right. If you’re putting money away for yourself that means you’re not “investing” in your “business”. A business you can’t sell, can’t bequeath to your heirs, and that can be taken away from you without any compensation if you simply miss your ordering quota for two months in a row.

      Reply

      • 180degrees

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        This comment is SO SO true!

        Reply

  • SuzyQ

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    I am still having trouble with the “retiring executive” label. I mean we ARE talking about MK aren’t we?

    Reply

  • RB

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    VERY SAD. EXTREMELY REVEALING.

    Reply

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