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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