Written by WorkedPink
She came into town, tall and beautiful with a look, demeanor, and “way” that many of us could just hope to ever possess. She was a Mary Kay Consultant, a business owner. Her makeup was always flawless, her black skirt and white blouse always perfect and crisp–such a lady. She often spoke of the “blessings of God” when she mentioned her business and soon, many of us were hooked.
You see, we were all Christian ladies in a small town and we wanted to have careers that allowed us time to be with our spouses and children. We wanted to work from home and be there when the school busses arrived and our husbands pulled in. We wanted Executive pay for private school and to supplement how hard our husbands worked. Many of us quit day JOBs, so excited about the opportunity. And, secretly, we wanted to be as beautiful and poised as she was. She embodied womanhood to us–elegant, cultured, well put together, SHARP.
I didn’t join right away. I did, however, become her assistant. I watched as she moved quickly–IBC, Red Jacket, car owner, Director. Oh, she looked so beautiful in her suit, with her the jewelry she’d won. I believed her when she said that some months she was short paying me because in order to have her business she had to reinvest short term. But it always bothered me that her nephew was a consultant. And those sheets she gave me to do newsletters, well the figures didn’t add up. And, tell me again, WHY you need to not pay me this week and will double up next week…
Other things didn’t add up either–like the obviously mentally disturbed woman who could barely read that had those pink cases hanging up in her home. Or the woman who had come to the church for a donation for her light bill–but had those cases hanging up in her home. But she told me that the opportunity was for all women and women who’d started out in worse circumstances had become highly successful businesswomen.
Soon, many of us traveling in the same circles were Consultants. It got to the point where those of us not in the fog started avoiding phone calls. We’d had as many parties offering facials to our unsuspecting co-workers as we could. We’d come to as many Pizza and Possibilities as possible. We’d had enough Muffins and Makeovers. And if we said as much to these Consultants, they’d sneer and let us know that there were positive people out there who would help them.
For many of us, the final straw was her Director celebration. We paid tickets to eat a catered chicken lunch on a weekend when many of us should have been with our families. We didn’t get our meals right away, no we had to watch her and her unit, which by now was really comprised of some questionable folks, hop around and chant, almost in a frenzy–we were uncomfortable, to say the least. Then we were ushered into a room where a different plastic director presented “the opportunity”. We were shocked. We thought it was supposed to be a celebration, we thought we were there to congratulate a friend who’d made quite an accomplishment. We thought that “no” meant “NO” and many walked out, pushing past the consultant who served as “doorkeeper”. The plastic Director continued her spiel, giving dirty looks to those who chose to look away from her. We finally got our cold, tasteless meal and many of us left, forever turned off.
Well, her Consultants were now “fired up”, especially the Red Jackets. If she could make it to Director, so could they and anyway, she now needed to look to the next phase. Those of us that remained out of the fog were now completely aggressive in saying NO to all the requests. No facials, no Tuesday night meetings, no Holiday Open Houses–NO. I think the most hurtful thing that happened was to the young woman who was diagnosed with depression. A Consultant stepped up friendship with this woman and invited her over for lunch–where the Consultant presented “the opportunity” as a cure for depression. “Are you ready to pay your $100 and get better?” she asked the ill young woman. That Consultant has since come out of the Fog but that relationship will never be the same. The Unit eventually folded although a few women got themselves “adopted” and continued to try to become Directors.
It was an awful time in this community. All of those women have finally quit but the worst part is that in their quest to make millions, they alienated friends–some of us had been friends for 10-15 years before the madness ensued. I’m glad it’s over–at least here.
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