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….
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 one of the daily topics with another director.
I remember calling one of my 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 $225 order, we used money we were supposed to be using to pay a bill.
I talked to my sister director 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 Pink Truth for herself and called me back. “It’s SO negative!!!! No wonder you are depressed! You must promise me that you will never read that site 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 accidentally 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.
They stopped calling me. And I didn’t call them either. I knew that the phone wire went both ways. But what would we talk about? I could ask them how thing are and they would say “great!” They would ask me the same and I would say the same. We would not have talked about Mary Kay, so what was there to say?
If we were to talk like we used to, I would 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.