Written by The Scribbler
Because I can’t take another episode of Man vs Food’s Adam Richman stuffing a baseball-cap sized meatball into his face, I’m ripe for some “B” list entertainment: Mary Kay National Sales Director training videos! They’re the videos that – like the Hurliator ride at the state fair – have the ability to tickle your ribs and turn your stomach at the same time! I’ve brought enough Pepto for the whole class, teacher, so let’s explore the dopey delights of our NSD of the Hour.
NSD Gillian Ortega’s website features an interview between Ortega, one of her sales directors, and the director’s two daughters. Of particular interest is Part 3 of the video, titled, “Using your Children as a Reason, Not an Excuse.” In this segment, NSD Ortega asks the director’s daughters what they love about their mom’s Mary Kay business, but not before she works a goopy handful of dream-casting into the director’s coif (which, incidentally, has received a generous visit from the Kate Gosselin Hairdo Fairy.)
Ortega: So tell me, what is the thing that you both have loved the most about Mommy’s business? Because your mom is a sales director in Mary Kay and now she’s going for her pink Cadillac, and then she’s going to go for her National Sales Director position…
It’s my opinion that going for the Cadillac was not in the director’s plans, because the second Ortega mentions it, the director’s body language goes into overload: her eyes bulge out for a split second, her lips mash together into a thin line, and her shoulders bunch up in a gesture that screams, “Um, okay, that’s new!”
Daughter #1: Well, it inspires me…because it’s like a role model, when you don’t meet something, try again and again.”
Ortega: That’s awesome! Like a role model!
Ortega: (to the director)…we’re not all going to reach our goals all the time…but we always want to shoot for the moon and we’ll land among the stars.
Director: Absolutely. And you just keep on going, right…keep on trying and never give up. And that’s been the most beautiful thing about my Mary Kay business.
I’m a huge supporter for goal-setting and never giving up; the issue I have is what constitutes “not giving up” in Mary Kay: struggling for a pink pinnacle that will most likely never show itself and the financial, moral, and spiritual scars to prove that persistence. On the off-chance that you do manage to claw your way to the top, who’s to say that you won’t bail later (as former NSD Allison Lamarr did) and come clean about your life at the top of the Mary Kay monolith: “I became a frustrated entrepreneur…working extremely hard without ever producing a payoff.”
Ortega: I know…(turns to older daughter)…is there anything you want to share about what you love about mom’s business?
Daughter #2: Um, well, even though sometimes she’s gone, it’s worth it…
Ortega: (to the director) So many people make excuses and they hide behind their kids and they say that – this is what we hear all the time – “I just don’t have time…it’s my kids”….and that’s women who just really haven’t grasped what the goals are for the children…we want to pay for college for you guys…you’ll have a car you won’t have to pay for. All these things we can do for you when we’re successful.
All these things, with the exception of replaying all the milestones that were missed and regaining all the moments lost with your children because Mary Kay was given top priority. I have a director’s e-mail which advises readers, “Is Mary Kay a priority in your life or does that come last? Do you choose to work your business first…what you spend most of your time in is what matters the most to you! Give it a try; make Mary Kay a priority and you will see your life change dramatically!”
Dramatic change, eh? How so? One possibility is alluded to in a 2009 Ortega Area Fall Advance speech given by NSD Dacia Wiegandt. Wiegandt talks about how she worked 40-60 hours a week as a top director (“I love being with my family,” Dacia explains. “But I know that I have to work, too; to have all the pleasures in life…”). Things get thought-provoking, however, when Wiegandt mentions her preschooler:
“I have a little boy, who’s 3…he’s very lively…he’s in time-out a lot at school and he went to the office twice last week; so today I’m on the airplane in Chicago and I get a call from the principal…what was happening was that there were 16 kids in the class…he was biting and pushing to get attention from the teacher, so the teacher started doing something different, she started holding him and telling him he was doing a great job, and he stopped it.”
I’m not going to drop the hammer on Wiegandt as a mother, because the majority of moms do the best they can each and every day. However, I will point out that the puzzle pieces in Wiegandt’s story create an interesting picture. If one is working one’s Mary Kay business 40-60 hours a week as a director (and Lord know how many hours as an NSD) and one’s child is pulling a Mike Tyson on his classmates in an effort to get attention, wouldn’t that merit a review and reordering of one’s priorities? Or is doing something when Mary Kay doesn’t stand to benefit “negative?” Both NSD Wiegandt’s account and NSD Ortega’s interview show me that when it comes to children and Mary Kay, there appears to be a raging obsession with the someday (paying for college and cars) and rarely a glance at the now. Children need what a Mary Kay business can never provide: loving, undivided attention now.
And of course, no NSD training video would be complete without some first-class fibbing!
Ortega: You’ve just proven to our National Area and the Mary Kay world that your mom has not sacrificed for her to be successful…never uses her kids as an excuse; you always have used them as a reason to be successful.”
NSD Ortega claims her director hasn’t sacrificed anything as a mother, and yet the director’s daughter’s admission of “Sometime’s she’s gone” tells me a very different story. Also, I’m apt to wonder how Ortega defines “successful,” given the fact that her featured director does not rank anywhere in the latest Top 100 Achievement Circle/Commission Circle lists found in Applause. Some might argue that Mary Kay success can take many forms (such as someone overcoming shyness), however, when’s the last time you opened a copy of Applause and browsed through the “Women Who Aren’t Shy Anymore!” list? Try to ignore all those pages dedicated to the acquiring of prizes, cars, jewelry, and recruits, though; they’re just typos.
If NSD Gillian Ortega is your National, her anti-family teachings should disgust you. It is quite clear that in her National Area, the phrase “Family Second, Career Third” is a truthless chunk of pink chum, meant to be tossed into recruiting interviews in the hopes of attracting nibbles and star orders.
Should you use your children as reasons and not excuses in the name of Mary Kay? Absolutely! Use your children as the best reason out there to shun the lopsided life lessons of NSD Gillian Ortega, for whose behavior there is no excuse.