Written by A Former Sales Director

Twenty five years after joining Mary Kay, I chose to retire. And what did I get from the company? What did I get from my upline? Absolutely nothing.

My unit was in good standing but I had long ago burned completely out. I could not bear to make one more phone call—read one more crazy rant from my national, or tolerate the blind idolization Mary Kay people showed when they fawned all over their National Directors. And so I finally decided to retire.

Throughout my career, I had been led to believe that when retirement came, I would have a responsibility to recommend disposition of my unit members. I wrote a letter to everyone in my “area” plus corporate and respectfully asked that my unit be placed with my offspring. We’ve been told that we ARE in business for ourselves—right??? Wrong! That may be true in some areas but I for one, had very little input as to where my consultants would be placed.

No matter how insincere, to this day, my national has not had the common decency to send me a letter—including my senior national. These two NSD’s had confided in me many times over the years on how to conduct Mary Kay business—good, bad, or indifferent—whatever it took. Now that I was leaving, they didn’t have the time of day for me. So much for caring about people.

I had become an embarrassment to them—after all, nobody is ever expected to amass a retirement fund at the director level. Also, how dare I leave the cult? Especially on MY terms—not theirs! The nerve of me. I was supposed to be a “lifer.”

My national director, at many guest events would criticize companies who gave their 25 year employees a watch. I didn’t even come close to getting a watch!

Unbeknownst to me, the national director sent letters to my unit members giving them 3 choices. They would either be placed in the National Sales Director’s unit; the National’s DAUGHTERS unit; or my offspring’s unit. The letters instructed the consultants that if they didn’t mail the card back, they would be placed, by default, into the daughter’s unit! Many of them called me asking what to do. I suggested they send the card back and specify their choice of units. I never even got a COPY of the letter she sent out—well except for the one my unit member forwarded to me.

This woman was my personal recruiter, my director, my senior director and finally, my National! Based on my unit’s production, she was paid by the company thousands of dollars over the 25 years, and yet did not respond to my letter announcing my retirement. Instead, by trying to take my consultants for herself or her daughter, she did everything in her power to make my exit just another aggravation. This is the same woman who continuously spews bible verses and proclaims herself to be a “Christian.”

When I was in the clique, I soon learned that the measure of love toward me was based on ever tightening concentric circles—directly related to the amount of money that was spent on orders. My sister directors loved to hear me teach—they admired the many trinkets I had been awarded. They wanted to know my “secret”. My work put money in many pockets. And after honorably retiring, these people didn’t even bother to send even the smallest note of recognition and appreciation.


  1. You upline is incapable of gratitude. Take away their downline, and they have nothing. The upline is a bunch of users, who will stroke your ego so long as you are useful to them. Don’t expect kindness from people like this…especially not after you stop spending money on their behalf!

    MLMers creating nothing of intrinsic value, which is why they can’t sell their fake business. This is also why your upline can’t be happy for your past contribution. Your usefulness to them is based on your potential for future orders. Once you stop ordering, you are kicked to the curb.

    Don’t take this personally. It says far more about them than it does about you.

    • Data, once again, you are on point!! There is nothing of actual value in these companies, right down to the “products” we were assigned to peddling.

  2. The message of the article is clear about corporate and upline treatment, and it’s great that she shared it and finally left.

    Now let’s look at the MLM system as a whole. How did this sales director of 25 years treat her own downline? Why did she recruit them? How did she treat them when they left?!!! You know that she had recruits who were financially troubled, and who couldn’t affort their MK purchases. What did she do for them?

    “My work put money in many pockets.”—What kind of work was that?

    Note that there was not a single line of remorse for her own downline. Did she have it, I don’t know. Maybe? But her article was all about “me, me, me”. Not unlike what her NSDs were doing with the newly available unit members she left behind.

    This is the MLM scam. You do not get to sales director without using and lying to your own downline. My take: She was an MLM scammer for 25 years until she “honorably”(?) retired. It sounds like she just grew tired of it as she aged.

    Every upline has a downline; every downline has an upline. Which perspective are you using today?

    • *afford — It was a typo. I don’t want the grammar police to think I actually think the word is “affort”. I also use an ipad and don’t run grammar checks for blog replies. Yes, I love commas, and my syntax comes and goes when I’m particularly tired now after having my stroke. Sorry.

      On that note: JMHO, but I am not the biggest fan of criticizing the grammar of PTCs. Was I in the past? Maybe, or even probably. I don’t remember, but this is where I am today. Maybe they had a crappy childhood and school was not that accessible to them? Maybe English isn’t their first language? Maybe they are disabled? We know MLMers love to target the underprivileged demographic and people who are disabled.

  3. I wish that we would just name the NSD spoken about. I’d like to know her name. If she’s acted this way to one SD that left the nest… she’s doing it to all.

  4. When NSD Lise Clark died her sister Renee and Renee’s team had to fight to be put in her others sisters unit Monique Todd Balboa. They were going to put her in Anita Mallory Garret Roes unit. Like she needs more people.


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