The Mary Kay Fade to Black

Written by SuzyQ

You didn’t think it would ever happen, but as soon as you left Mary Kay, you were shunned… ignored… negative… didn’t work your business… didn’t do it the Mary Kay way….

shun (shŭn)
shunned, shun•ning, shuns
To avoid deliberately; keep away from.

I know there have been questions about the cars… “What happens to the Mary Kay cars that are taken away?” (They are sold at auto auctions, no, they are not repainted.) But, what happens to the people? Specifically, the directors? (They are shunned.)

It doesn’t take as long to get out of the pink bubble as it takes to get fully immersed. It starts with reading a “negative” website and asking a question or discussing a thread topic with another director.

I remember calling one of my BFF sister directors to tell her about Pink Truth (then it was Mary Kay Sucks) to talk about what I was reading. She was horrified. I understood, I was horrified initially too. I kept reading though, and learning.

She was indignant. I was scared.

I mentioned “frontloading,” my sister director informed me that we had never frontloaded and furthermore, she had never heard of that term. Of course we frontloaded. Every time we brought in a “hobby” type consultant with a star, we frontloaded. Every time we brought in a $200, we moved another bill to the “pay later” file.

I talked about the numbers required to actually make it to nsd. She told me I was limiting my thinking and didn’t believe in the opportunity… that I needed to fall in love with Mary Kay again. I mentioned that we charged a room fee for meetings, and the training was supposed to be free. Isn’t that what we said? She reminded me that the room fee was a drop in the bucket in terms of how much our lease payments were, and $3/week wasn’t going to make or break anybody. We furnished all of the supplies, remember?

She finally went to read for herself and called me back. “It’s SO negative!!!! No wonder you are depressed! You must promise me that you will never read on there again!!! It is poison for your soul. It is the enemy, and he’s trying to rob you of your dream. Promise me!”

So my journey to the dark side continued, I just didn’t talk about it much. (Okay, I didn’t talk about it at all to any of my sister directors.)

I changed the way I ran my business and my unit, based on what I was reading on PT. I became the “negative one.” I started asking questions at director meetings. I made observations. I was summoned to a “chat” with my senior director.

Everybody was worried sick about me. I was told that if I spent as much time working my business as I did on a job search or my volunteer work, we wouldn’t be having this chat. I was letting my unit down. I was letting my sister directors down. I was letting Mary Kay down. What was I thinking? What had gotten into me? I remember sitting there with tears streaming down my face, unable to talk.

Gradually, slowly, painfully, I left Mary Kay.

When I didn’t get a job I had applied for, I was told that it was God letting me know I was not honoring His plan for me. When I decided to “step down” I was told that was honorable. When the stepping down changed to letting the whole thing die a natural death, well, it was not so honorable anymore. The decision to send my product back was plain stupid. I had a personal team that was ordering and I would lose those commissions, but more than that, I would lose the opportunity TO EVER BE A MARY KAY CONSULTANT AGAIN! (When I said, “Oh, really? All it would take is a heart-wrenching letter and an $1800 order,” my comment was met with silence and averted eyes.)

And that was that. No phone calls. No emails. No chats. Nothing. From anyone. Going from many phone calls and lots and lots of email to zip.

I understand, I really do. When someone leaves Mary Kay, especially a director, there is a huge reaction from those who are left. I know this because people left before I did. Many phone calls (email is not used for this because it can be saved or passed on accidently or not-so accidentally).

The call starts with “OMG, did you hear? Jean stepped down! Can you believe it? I knew something was up, but I didn’t know it was that bad. She’s been so negative lately. It was hard for me to talk to her, she brought me down. If she had just worked her business! I can’t imagine not being a director, can you? What can she possibly do now? I used to really like her, but I don’t know anymore. She had so much potential. Oh well, listen, I have to let Sarah know, she will really be upset. I’ll call you back later.”

And life goes on. Except. But. These were women who had spent considerable amounts of time together, sometimes for years. Boundaries were for other people, sister directors shared way too much personal information. We knew more about each other than most people ever would.

We were together through births and deaths and divorces. We loaned each other money. We covered for each other, got each other’s backs. We stuck together. We partied together, did lunch together, spent time at each other’s houses, were Godmothers to our children. We talked on the phone endlessly. Sent notes to each other. Celebrated birthdays, arranged blind dates, bitched about consultants and other directors, had whispered “negative” secret conversations after too much wine in too many hotels in too many cities after events.

So, no, I am not calling them either. I know the phone wire goes both ways and all. What are we going to talk about? I will ask them how things are and they will say, “Great!” They will ask how things are with me and I will say “Great!” We will not talk about Mary Kay, so what is there to say?

If we talk like we used to, I will be raining on their parade. I know the drill, the avoidance of negativity (although it still baffles me that the truth is negative. I always believed that truth is neither negative nor positive, it just is) the hope of a new month, a new hot shot recruit, the rejuvenation of spirit after a company event. There will be no honesty, just the preservation of the same.

Perhaps the real shunning in Mary Kay is the avoidance of the truth.

People come and go, but the pursuit of the dream requires rigid adherence to the party line. No negativity, work hard, book another class, gold medal, get the suit, get the car, ask everybody, let the dead reds be, “It’s easier to give birth than to raise the dead,” never give up, “You can’t follow a parked car,” if you can’t afford to go- it means you really need to go, don’t watch TV, don’t read the paper, be dressed to impress and at your desk by 9AM, “no” means “next,” if you think you can’t, you’re right, Mary Kay is NOT an MLM, and “We’re Number 1.”

Call me when it’s over.

9 Comments

  1. enorth

    “I would lose the opportunity TO EVER BE A MARY KAY CONSULTANT AGAIN!”

    I heard a SSD say that if there are extenuating circumstances and at least five years have passed, you can sign up again.

      1. Chris

        Of course they would. They want your money! It’s just an illusion to make the more dense people think they would “losing the opportunity of a lifetime, forever”. A total crock, just like everything else associated with MLM. For that matter, there are a million people selling Mary Kay near where I live, they can’t all belong to the same group. If you quit Mary Kay and were told you couldn’t come back, and then were dumb enough to want to come back, what’s to stop you from joining a different Mary Kay group anyway?

        1. BestDecision

          When your Agreement goes in, it’s searched in their database for “former” or “repurchase” status by your SSN. MKI does all of that on their end, not the future or former team/organizations.

  2. enorth

    “$3/week wasn’t going to make or break anybody. We furnished all of the supplies, remember?”

    $3?? Now, it’s more like $8 a week but, of course, the nice SD will give you a break if you pay up front for the whole month. And I’ve heard SDs ask IBCs to contribute plates, napkins and plastic cutlery to the supply cabinet. “After all, it is YOUR training center.”

    Here’s one from a SSD getting ready for Super Saturday or some such event. “You’ll want to bring more than one guest, and make sure they are quality guests. Everyone needs to bring food, you can bring crock-pots, try to make it something substantial. Bring a lot of food, the more, the better. Try to arrive early to help set up, and stay afterwards to help clean up. Don’t forget to bring your own consultant supplies.”

    Yep. When you signed up to make executive income from home, you didn’t realize you’d be giving up Saturdays, cooking for a crowd, and doing kitchen patrol. All on your own time and your own dime.

    What a flopportunity.

  3. raisinberry

    We were together through births and deaths and divorces. We loaned each other money. We covered for each other, got each other’s backs. We stuck together. We partied together, did lunch together, spent time at each other’s houses, were Godmothers to our children. We talked on the phone endlessly. Sent notes to each other. Celebrated birthdays, arranged blind dates, bitched about consultants and other directors, had whispered “negative” secret conversations after too much wine in too many hotels in too many cities after events.”

    And here is the secret. We, all, when faced with being authentic,…would rather tell the truth, than resort to the manipulative lies…in the truth, we see that most of our Units are failing to make retail sales, and most of our Units are “hobby” and the REAL GAME, is getting that NEW recruit to drop 4K on merchandise she will never sell. To continue on this path, is to be a PREDATOR.

    1. Brenda S

      It is predatory. And think about what they are telling women with the ‘No, doesn’t mean no, it means next or you need more information’. Really? Is that what we teach our children, boys or girls? Of course not, because that thinking that ‘No doesn’t mean no’ sets the wrong message in life. Period. Every person should be able to understand and abide by ‘No, means No!’ Think of the mixed signals we are teaching with that ‘pink think’. A bit off topic, but not really…

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