No One Held a Gun to Your Head

Written by Raisinberry

How many times have we seen a pinked-fogged consultant write to all of the Pink Truth readers telling us, “No one held a gun to your head.” They want to be clear that no one was about to murdered if they didn’t order. We typed our own credit card numbers into the computer and hit “submit”.

There are some consultants and directors who can’t believe that those of us “career path consultants” would all be so stupid as to order what we didn’t need or hadn’t sold. They want us to take responsibility and leave Mary Kay Cosmetics alone. We are, to them, poor businesswomen, lazy losers, unfocused, and excuse makers.

Any consultant who wants to come here and lecture us about our work ethic better have at least two car “wins’ under her belt otherwise, she has no earthly idea what she’s talking about. It’s like being a Pavarotti and having to endure a “do re me” lesson from a 12 year old. “Work ethic” was never our problem. So are we clear? If you haven’t “worked your bidness” enough to be a grand achiever… can the words of wisdom. You don’t have a clue. But I digress.

“Nobody held a gun to your head” is the verbiage of the truly heinous. Nobody held the gun, that is for sure. What they did hold was our trust, our faith, our security, our hope, our reputation, our willingness, our loyalty, our belief.

When we were told something mattered for the sake of the area, we helped out. When we were told that we needed to lead by example, we complied. When the goal was so close that all we needed was a bit more, we came through. When the call went out to “be there” we found a way or made one.

All of this cost money. All of this cost resources. Regardless of whether our businesses were prospering, we were expected to “finish the court” or “finish star” or “finish car” or “finish Unit Club” or “stretch” for added wholesale, as needed. No one ever asked if my business could afford it. No one wanted to know.

From day one, I have seen women order big, when they never stood for sales count up. I have watched women order to be a star, knowing they haven’t sold enough to cover it. They received recognition for buying their star when they first started up, why should the second or third be any different? We could all see it but we all said nothing. And so it goes.

The director gets all the ordering reports. Whether you submit your numbers to her or not, she can tell if your sales match what your wholesale is. When you order more than what you have sold, that is terrific. It takes some of the pressure off having to scour the Unit for wholesale. There isn’t a greater day in the world to a director, than to look online and see $800 wholesale ordered… even though we might have no idea why you did that.

“No problem! I’ll take it! I… need it. I didn’t hold a gun to her head,” says Miss Director.

But here’s the thing. You are acting on her prompts. It’s her wholesale contest, it’s our National’s promo, it’s the company sales challenge, it’s the Unit goal. It’s the speed of the leader, It’s moving up, It’s you can do it, and “you’re SO CLOSE”! She knows you have $4k or $5K on your shelf… She saw you order it and because she needs every dime, she says nothing. She can’t ask you if that order represented 60% of what you sold, because she needs you to order more. And the exact same thing happens to the director. Only worse.

Over time, the director or grand achiever finds that maintaining production is a see saw battle that some months will be there and some months won’t. Some months there is good commission and low sales… some months all commission has to be turned back into wholesale, with no real profit realized,

It’s only when you get those $3K and up commission checks that you get some breathing room. Up and down it goes. Over time, the debt grows, the expenses mount, the credit cards double. Our Nationals know we are drowning because they see how many directors place a large wholesale order that matches what is needed to keep the Unit. “No problem! I’ll take it! I need it,” says the NSD…”I didn’t hold a gun to her head!”

They have looked us right in our eyes, and watched us drown, never lifting a finger to offer wise counsel… never saying, “we don’t need help from you this month, just sell out what you have, that will be great.”

On the contrary. They could never say that. They need every dime, every drop of your contribution to keep the area, afloat. As long as you were willing to order, your “contribution” would be taken and never discouraged. The upline needs every order, just as we needed every consultant order. whether we knew she was selling or not. We all looked the other way… grateful for the morsel.

Nobody held a gun to our heads, but they may as well have. Their silence and opportunism to take every drop of what you could give, so that they could reap the financial benefits, and watch you drowning under the weight of it, suffering a slow death because of it.

A National has years of watching the same scenario over and over again. It is that predictable. It is an expectation. Units are always suffering attrition and with less than 40 members a director is slowly going under. She can do the activity but has no guarantee that the results will be there… this business does depend after all on what others do, regardless of the “if it is to be it’s up to me” mantra.

Each time a director coughs up the needed production, she has one more nail in the coffin. She is encouraged to keep going, looking for that magic recruit, working her own personal business, shown scenarios where if she only held 5 classes a week, all month, she could do production herself… as if 5 classes a week were even remotely possible anymore. As if the National doesn’t know true market conditions.

Losing air… it is very real suffocation as you spiral under the waves of financial stress. You finally get the nerve to tell your NSD that you are going under. Her disbelief is incredulous, her attitude a virtual cold wind.

“Hold another class!” she says, “Do your personal business!”

It is stupefying to have a woman who has presided over this long chain of multi-level indebtedness, over many, many years, play dumb – play ignorant – play it safe. She knows exactly who is ordering to save their Units, and who is ordering every other month, the exact amount to hit minimum production, the caddy, or the unit club.

She has been the one to encourage them to do so. So doing a skin care class is the way out? If doing our “personal business” afforded any real earnings we would have never become directors! (Let us remind all gentle readers that achieving the Queens Court, the pinnacle in Mary Kay, means you probably profited $14,000 (maybe) for the year!)

But we try again and the usual happens and once again it is month end.

“I can’t.” I just can’t.

When the phone rings and she picks up the phone, and you tell her you have $24,000 on credit cards doing your Mary Kay Business, the most piercing and vacant words come over the line.

“How did THAT happen?”

The blame shift does not escape your notice. You want to scream out at her, “What are you crazy? You know! You watched! You encouraged! You Applauded!”

She has watched you turn over your time and resources and she has skimmed her commission off your credit card debt, as you stretched for her goal, the area, your Unit, the company, because of your trust and your loyalty. Her lack of concern for how this was all manipulated from you is telling. No one who was honest and true would have ever uttered those words, especially in light of the fact that they know exactly how it happened. They profited from it!

No, she didn’t hold a gun to your head. But she may as well have. To knowingly watch a person financially drown a slow death while you picked their pocket is depraved. To know exactly where she was headed and say nothing to turn her back is indifference. Mary Kay Directors and Nationals need your orders. It never occurs to them to say, “Don’t order any more till you get that large amount of inventory back into a range normal for your sales volume.” That declaration would be counter productive to what they must do.

Knowing it will happen, watching it happen, profiting off the flailing woman in the water and doing nothing is most certainly depraved indifference. But there is one thing that is worse.

Blaming her for it. That, my friends, is even worse.

14 Comments

  1. MK Mess

    Hello.
    Consultant here trying to get out of the cult. I am so glad my friend told me about this website. Truth is I should have known before I joined and did my research but I was conned in to selling.
    Long story short; I got in to this mess about 6 months ago and am trying to get out. The few products I did sell to customers, they don’t like them and want to return them. No. They don’t want to try something else. Yes, all purchased with in the year but that should not matter since the Mary Kay guarantee, right? My question is, will Mary Kay reimburse me and Honor the guarantee?
    I would greatly appreciate any help I can get. I just want to move on with my life. I lost so much money and never seen anything like this.

    1. ThinkPinkThinkAgain

      So sorry this happened to you. Several things will have to happen:
      – You reimburse those who purchased from you when you get the products back from them
      – You can use the Product Replacement Program on InTouch to submit info about returned products and get new products to replace those. Unfortunately, To be safe, I would replace those products with stuff you wouldn’t mind keeping for personal use or gifts just in case you get stuck with them. I don’t know if the company’s 90% buyback guarantee covers products sent to you under the Product Replacement Program. It may not. You can ask them when you call ask about the buyback…does anyone else know what happens?
      – Follow the “Returning Inventory” instructions in the Pink Truth menu.

      Good luck, and again, I’m so sorry this has been so terrible for you.

      1. Shay

        I have a question now. Why would a customer want a replacement if she didn’t like product? What if the customer just wants money back and consultant doesn’t want to shelf it? So MK won’t ever reimburse consultant?

      2. ThinkPinkThinkAgain

        Oops, just realized there’s no phone number on the “Returning Inventory” tab. 1-800-272-9333; press 1 for English or 2 for Spanish; then press 9 followed by 2 for the Repurchase Department.

        I would ask them what you can do with product sent to you via the Product Replacement Program. If they WON’T give you a refund on that new replacement product, you can decide if it’s worth it to you to delay returning your inventory so you can submit a replacement request and get some product to keep for personal use. Again, maybe someone else can chime in if they have more knowledge about that.

    2. BestDecision

      Yes, you’ll need to do a Product Replacement on InTouch. The company will allow you to select replacement products for the value of what your customer(s) returned to you.

  2. Shay

    Oops.. my email was spelled wrong on last comment. Ignore it in moderation.
    Anyhow.. my original comment/question

    I have a question now. Why would a customer want a replacement if she didn’t like product? What if the customer just wants money back and consultant doesn’t want to shelf it? So MK won’t ever reimburse consultant?

    1. ThinkPinkThinkAgain

      Correct, MK will not reimburse you with cash for product in any way except for the 90% buyback guarantee. And of course, that only works for product purchased in the last 12 months. I have at least $1000 w/s worth of old foundations, color products and fragrances in shades that never sold on my shelf. And I can’t get any money for them.

  3. Jamming Berry

    One of the worst parts of all of this is that it was our friends who recruited us, told us about the “opportunity” and didn’t answer our questions exactly truthfully. They let us take our retirement money out of our accounts, trusting them that it would work, and never telling us otherwise. Even continuing to blow the pink smoke once we figured it all out and wanted out…

    They were our friends!

    1. navyhawk

      nope not our friends. Thought they were my friends ( I was lonely, bored with an infant at home and needed to get out of the house). When I decided to stop Mary Kay, my “friends” dropped me like a hot potato. That stung worse than the original deception. IT have been 3 years and it still hurts.

  4. Talia Wunder

    This!!!!!

    No, she didn’t hold a gun to your head. But she may as well have. To knowingly watch a person financially drown a slow death while you picked their pocket is depraved. To know exactly where she was headed and say nothing to turn her back is indifference. Mary Kay Directors and Nationals need your orders. It never occurs to them to say, “Don’t order any more till you get that large amount of inventory back into a range normal for your sales volume.” That declaration would be counter productive to what they must do.

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