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Would you find this inappropriate and offensive? (Vent)


Mrs. Darinski
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So, say you were at a funeral in a church, as I was yesterday, and someone you know directly and clearly approached you about a multi-level marketing business they are involved in.  And it is not the first time they've done it.  Would you find it offensive and inappropriate?  Gah!  :angry:

 

I was polite with them considering the time and place, but today, it was still nagging at me.  So, instead of just letting it go and not ruffling any feathers like I normally would, I sent them a firm e-mail stating how I felt.  They replied, thinking I had misinterpreted their intentions.  I responded most clearly by e-mail again, after reading it to DH first to see if it needed editing.  I don't usually engage in confrontation, but I think they needed to hear a clear message about how they were coming across.  We'll see if this one gets through to them. 

 

Thank you for listening to my vent.  :seeya: Carry on with your normally scheduled lives.  :001_smile:

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Yes, I would have been offended.  I ended a 20 year old best friendship because my former friend got involved in an MLM and would not stop pressuring me about it.  She totally changed.  The next person that talks to me about an MLM "opportunity" more than one time is going to get a punch in the kisser!

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Yes, I would have been offended.  I ended a 20 year old best friendship because my former friend got involved in an MLM and would not stop pressuring me about it.  She totally changed.  The next person that talks to me about an MLM "opportunity" more than one time is going to get a punch in the kisser!

 

Hey, RC, there is this great opportunity I've been waiting to talk to you about.  Since you're my friend, I'm willing to let you in on the ground level. . . .

 

 

OP - I agree that it was offensive and inappropriate.  Not only is it inappropriate at a funeral but also at a church, imo.  

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Hey, RC, there is this great opportunity I've been waiting to talk to you about.  Since you're my friend, I'm willing to let you in on the ground level. . . .

 

 

OP - I agree that it was offensive and inappropriate.  Not only is it inappropriate at a funeral but also at a church, imo.

You stole my line!!!!

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Years ago, I attended a church in which one of the "members" was only present about every fourth Sunday. I later found out that he "attended" at least three other churches. Why? He wanted the church directories, which were only made available to church members.

 

What did he do with these directories, you may ask? Well, he was a real estate agent, and he used the directories as part of his mailing list and calling list for years and years and years on end... even after I repeatedly made calls to his manager to remove my name from his lists. Sigh. His manager probably made him do it. :cursing:

 

Finally, I moved and changed my name and number, so the calls and junk mail stopped.

 

Yes, what that person at the funeral did to you was extremely tacky. Good for you for pushing back!

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Hey, RC, there is this great opportunity I've been waiting to talk to you about.  Since you're my friend, I'm willing to let you in on the ground level. . . .

 

 

OP - I agree that it was offensive and inappropriate.  Not only is it inappropriate at a funeral but also at a church, imo.  

 

Last Easter a long-time member at my parents' church wanted to use the breakfast following the sunrise service to promote their fruit/veggie-related MLM venture.  :huh: Fortunately my mom got wind of it beforehand and made sure it got shut down.  Can you imagine how that would go over with all the extra visitors?!?  I liked this woman when I was a teen, but now when I see her every 4-6 months her greeting is, "I've been thinking about you...." as she launches into her pitch about why her product would be great for me to use and sell as a SAHM.  Ugh.

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People involved in that stuff seem to have no shame.  I met one woman at a playground who actually lied about being a homeschooler so I'd give her my number, ostensibly so we could hang out and talk hsing.  Then, when she called me and tried to get me to sell whatever the heck she was selling and I said no, she hung up on me and I never heard from her again.

 

Whatever you said in the email, OP, you probably need to make it harsher before this person will leave you alone.

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Some people get involved in mlm and think they have to approach everyone they have ever known at any time and yes it is both inappropriate and offensive.    We went to a church and although we liked the church to many people were into MLM and they did not want to get to know us at all, they wanted to sell us on their mlm.  We left that church.

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Not only is it inappropriate at a funeral but also at a church, imo.

Yes. Every time our church publishes an updated membership directory, our pastor reminds us that it is a great tool to be used as a prayer guide, but not to be used as a contact list for any business adventures.

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Yes, I would find that inappropriate and offensive.  You handled it very well.

 

Recently, a coworker did the full court press hard sell on some of us regarding his MLM opportunity.  He kept standing at the door of our office even though we were clearly working and taking phone calls, etc.  Another coworker reported that he passed out information in a class (he does training).  She reported this to his supervisor, which I think was the right thing to do.  It was very inappropriate for work....or in any setting really!

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This stuff drive me batty! We ended a relationship with someone at church because of their MLM tactics. They ended up losing all their friends. Didn't make a dime at it either from what we understand, and he ruined his small business by pressuring all of his regular customers to join the MLM. Do they brainwash these people at the meetings? Is there some mind-control drug put into the ventilation system?

 

We were accosted by an MLM guy at Barnes and Nobles one time. He was hanging around trying to prey on the readers there. I went to management who had him thrown out. Seriously, go to someone else's business and offend their customers???? That's just slimy. Slimy to do it at church, slimy to do it at someone else's place of business, and truly slimy to do it at weddings and funerals...funerals being the slimiest tactic of them all.

 

But, remember we've recently had a post about a woman who was determined to sell make-up at her step-granddaughter's baptism. I don't remember if the poster said what company she represented, but more than likely it would be an MLM structured one because they seem so effective at brainwashing their sale's people and making them think that it is desirable to become a social pariah that normal people shun.

 

OP, good for you. Nip.it.in.the.bud. Anytime an acquaintance has joined an MLM, we've ended up having to set boundaries very sternly. Being nice, only made them think we'd cave and join. It's sad that it has to come to that, but they are the ones that instigate the conflict so the receiver shouldn't feel any guilt about taking necessary action.

 

Faith

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I had a houseguest bring her sales spiel to a holiday gathering. I was stunned when she took an opportunity to break out her notebook and launch into a product/company presentation. Funny thing, she seemed surprised that no one was interested.

 

I do know people who are involved with some mlm companies because they like to get discounted products, but who never give a sales pitch. They've just let me know they sell the stuff and would be happy to even order for me at the discounted rate. Sad thing is, there are many sold on the profit (get rich quick!) angle who are completely clueless about how distasteful it is to treat every acquaintance - and every dear friend, and every family member - as a source of revenue.

 

OP, that was highly inappropriate. Do not feel bad saying no in a forceful way.

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Do they brainwash these people at the meetings?

Faith

Well...We we involved with Amway for a very short time and it felt extremely cultish. Everyone pasted on a smile, they was a lot of talk about dreams and positive thinking and letting absolutely nothing get in your way. If you had a friend that refused to hear your pitch then they weren't really a friend.

 

It was disturbing. Materialistic and controlling.

 

We only lasted a few meetings.

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Years ago I had major surgery and was off work for about a month. Shortly after coming home from the hospital, the wife of my husband's best friend called and said she wanted to stop by and see me. I remember thinking how thoughtful it was of her because we weren't close. Well, it turned out they had recently become part of a MLM business and she wanted to tell me about it! I was shocked and hurt. It didn't sit too well with dh either and definitely put a strain on the relationship.

 

OP, I have no idea what makes these people think it's ok to approach you during a clearly difficult time. I agree that it's offensive and I'm glad you let them know how you felt.

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I do know people who are involved with some mlm companies because they like to get discounted products, but who never give a sales pitch. They've just let me know they sell the stuff and would be happy to even order for me at the discounted rate.

 

I've done this with Beachbody (the company that sells P90X, Insanity, etc). I'm a coach but only because I like getting the products at a discounted price, and if I know someone else who has been wanting to get it, I'll let them know I can get it at a discount. It works well.

 

But I can't stand people constantly sending me invites for their 'parties' or asking me constantly if I want to buy their stuff. So I don't do that to others, either.

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Years ago I had major surgery and was off work for about a month. Shortly after coming home from the hospital, the wife of my husband's best friend called and said she wanted to stop by and see me. I remember thinking how thoughtful it was of her because we weren't close. Well, it turned out they had recently become part of a MLM business and she wanted to tell me about it! I was shocked and hurt. It didn't sit too well with dh either and definitely put a strain on the relationship.

 

OP, I have no idea what makes these people think it's ok to approach you during a clearly difficult time. I agree that it's offensive and I'm glad you let them know how you felt.

 

I had a similar experience.  A woman I met at a Bunco group (friend of a friend) asked if she could come visit me.  She made it sound like she just wanted to get to know me because we lived near each other.  I was having a very difficult year (DH was deployed with the Army Reserves, I had just had DD, our basement had flooded and required massive work, and we were going through layoffs at work).  Based on how she presented herself, I honestly thought she was concerned about me and just wanted to be kind and helpful.  When I invited her over (in retrospect, she basically invited herself over), she launched into her sales pitch for some vitamin products within about 5 minutes.  I felt so used and disgusted I couldn't wait to get her out of my house (took forever, as she was very persistent).  It took me another year or so to get myself off her mailing list.  I don't understand people who think it's ok to treat others this way. 

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Ugh!  Can you believe she e-mailed again trying to keep the discussion going?  She even had the nerve to say I had maligned her character by misrepresenting the facts! (I think she managed that one on her own.)  *sigh*  I have written her again, 'reamed her out', said NO, we are not interested in your wonderful opportunity, yes, I accept your apology - at least she acknowledged that she was offensive, and that this WOULD BE my last communication regarding the whole matter.  Will she get it?   :banghead:   I sure hope so!

 

Thanks for all your thoughts.  I am glad that I am not the only one that felt this was way out of line.  And you know, I have no problem with people having an honest business to earn extra money!  Goodness knows, in this day and age we all have to do extra beyond the norm to bring in more income.  But there's a time and a place, KWIM?  And if you start alienating people, maybe it is time to reconsider your methods!   :rolleyes:     

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I had a similar experience. A woman I met at a Bunco group (friend of a friend) asked if she could come visit me. She made it sound like she just wanted to get to know me because we lived near each other. I was having a very difficult year (DH was deployed with the Army Reserves, I had just had DD, our basement had flooded and required massive work, and we were going through layoffs at work). Based on how she presented herself, I honestly thought she was concerned about me and just wanted to be kind and helpful. When I invited her over (in retrospect, she basically invited herself over), she launched into her sales pitch for some vitamin products within about 5 minutes. I felt so used and disgusted I couldn't wait to get her out of my house (took forever, as she was very persistent). It took me another year or so to get myself off her mailing list. I don't understand people who think it's ok to treat others this way.

During our brief stint with Amway we were told not to let people know what we were selling them on until we were in their house doing the presentation.

 

Otherwise they might not let us do the presentation. Yeah, no s#$t Sherlock. >:(

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Totally inappropriate! I would have said something too. It's funny, @mway was the topic of our conversation last night at the dinner table! We were trying to figure out all of the things that bugged us about it. It's hard to put my finger on everything. It partly has to do with @mway reps (that we have known) no longer distinguishing between friendships and business. It all becomes fuzzy for them. Years ago, we became friends with a new family at our church that seemed really nice and fun, but it soon became very unclear whether they were in it for the friendship or to try and sell us their products. Eventually we realized it was the latter, and one day, they disappeared altogether. They just left town overnight. Really strange. They had two children in school, so that was doubly weird! They just pulled them out of school overnight as well.

 

The son of a friend of mine called us yesterday to invite us to his new business open house. It took a lot of questions on my part for him to finally explain that it was @way. We said no thanks. Anyway, that's what started our dinner conversation. :)

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During our brief stint with Amway we were told not to let people know what we were selling them on until we were in their house doing the presentation.

 

 

 

This was the case with us several years ago too.  And like you, our stint was brief.  Thankfully we didn't alienate all of our friends before we got out.

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Totally inappropriate! I would have said something too. It's funny, @mway was the topic of our conversation last night at the dinner table! We were trying to figure out all of the things that bugged us about it. It's hard to put my finger on everything. It partly has to do with @mway reps (that we have known) no longer distinguishing between friendships and business. It all becomes fuzzy for them. Years ago, we became friends with a new family at our church that seemed really nice and fun, but it soon became very unclear whether they were in it for the friendship or to try and sell us their products. Eventually we realized it was the latter, and one day, they disappeared altogether. They just left town overnight. Really strange. They had two children in school, so that was doubly weird! They just pulled them out of school overnight as well.

 

The son of a friend of mine called us yesterday to invite us to his new business open house. It took a lot of questions on my part for him to finally explain that it was @way. We said no thanks. Anyway, that's what started our dinner conversation. :)

I have an idea why they ran. There are pockets of Amway families around the US, certainly not all or the majority by any stretch, who have been investigated by the feds. Some of them have engaged in illegal practices to "grow their businesses". We had a couple Amway families here in Michigan that went on the lamb....IRS tax evasion and they were taught how to "cook the books" at management meetings with higher ups...some of the once top selling families for Amway are now residing in Rio! Brazil has no extradition treaty with the US.

 

Back in 1982, Amway was indicted for fraud in Canada and if memory serves, paid out 28 million or so to the government...don't quote though because my memory may be off a little. You could probably look it up in the Ottawa news sources.

 

TEAM was an offshoot of Amway/Quixtar and in this area, it killed a LOT of family relationships. Another get rich quick pyramid, MLM, scheme gone bad. If my memory serves on that one, Amway sued TEAM over a variety of allegations of stealing this or that idea and whatnot from Amway and TEAM was shut down. However, from my perspective, this was like one mafia group suing another in civil court over territory. Had the Michigan court kicked Amway to the legal curb as well, I doubt that many of the people who have had personal relationships destroyed by friends and family who got involved with the scheme and brainwashed into high pressure sales tactics on every human they knew, would have been sorry to see it die. I would imagine some families would party hard. I know one family in our church that is completely shunned by their relatives, all of whom got involved in Amway and now have NO USE for any relative or friend that refuses to purchase from them or join their sale's staff. Scary...very creepy.

 

 Of course, I think most people who get involved in MLM's to make money, never actually do make money or if they do, very little. Mostly the scheme makers at the top who berate the underlings for not making more, "If you were just more devoted, more energetic, more persistent, bought more product to demonstrate, more...." (you get the idea) you'd sell more and become rich like us. Those guys are laughing all the way to the bank.

 

Faith

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Of course, I think most people who get involved in MLM's to make money, never actually do make money or if they do, very little. Mostly the scheme makers at the top who berate the underlings for not making more, "If you were just more devoted, more energetic, more persistent, bought more product to demonstrate, more...." (you get the idea) you'd sell more and become rich like us. Those guys are laughing all the way to the bank.

 

Faith

Yes! This! I prepared tax returns for years and somehow ended up with a lot of MLM clients. No one ever makes money unless they are very, very high up in the company.

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One of my cousins invited all the ladies in our extended family to her house for a party because we hadn't seen each other in so long. I arranged my schedule to travel to this gathering. We got there and were subjected to my cousin's friend (a total stranger to me) pitching her MLM for an hour. The family reunion only happened because my cousin got roped into hosting a party and this was her way of recruiting people to come to the party. I felt like an idiot.

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I hate MLM. I notice a lot of SAHMs get sucked into them. Isn't primerica one of those??

Hmm...not certain about Primerica.

 

But, good gravy I've had a lot of women in church get involved with this stuff and I always, always turn the "sell from home, flexible hours, host a party and pressure our friends and family to buy stuff so you can get free product" people down.

 

My sil has been involved with some sort of Home and Garden decorating thing, Lia Sophia, Mary Kay, Arbonne, some bath and body works type company, Pampered Chef, Princess House, and a candle company whose name escapes me. She was always going to these parties people were hosting and then signing up to have her own then pressuring mom and I to buy stuff so she get things for her house. BLECH! Tell me what you'd like to have and be honest about it. Maybe, just maybe I'll buy it for you for Christmas or your birthday or just because. But, "Let's have a get-together at my house Friday night" only to find out that yet again, she wants my money...totally destroyed her relationship with mom and I. We don't trust her. Though she's invited us to her house once or twice since then for what turned out later to be legitimate purposes, we don't feel we can trust her to NOT be selling something, so we always turn her down. She's recently stopped asking, I don't feel guilty about not trusting her. She made that bed for herself with years and years of underhanded tactics to try to emotionally manipulate her way into our pocketbooks.

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I was in an MLM company for a couple of years and made a lot of money with it. It's amazing how much money you can make, truly. But I just couldn't do it anymore. I absolutely HATE selling. I don't even like talking to people face to face, let alone selling them anything. So it fizzled out and I can never see myself doing an MLM company again because I know what it involves.

 

I currently have 2 acquaintances trying hard to recruit me into 2 different MLM businesses. I know for a fact these are sweet, kind women who truly believe in what they are doing. I just cannot go there. One of them kept bugging me for a meeting right after giving birth last time, I thought for sure she had something super applicable to being postpartum or something so I agreed to meet with her after she bugged and bugged me about it. I was dealing with some PPD and had JUST given birth. Sure enough, she just wanted to sign me up. I'm sure she genuinely did think it would help me though.

 

But yes, approaching someone for this at a funeral is beyond obnoxious. I'm curious what your email said.

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gentle reader. Miss Manners has received a similar question in the past - only the person was laying out literature for their company at the wake.   He did such a wonderful job associating his company with death, no one would want to be associated with that company.

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Yes! This! I prepared tax returns for years and somehow ended up with a lot of MLM clients. No one ever makes money unless they are very, very high up in the company.

pyramid scheme is called that for a reason.

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Hmm...not certain about Primerica.

 

But, good gravy I've had a lot of women in church get involved with this stuff and I always, always turn the "sell from home, flexible hours, host a party and pressure our friends and family to buy stuff so you can get free product" people down.

 

My sil has been involved with some sort of Home and Garden decorating thing, Lia Sophia, Mary Kay, Arbonne, some bath and body works type company, Pampered Chef, Princess House, and a candle company whose name escapes me. She was always going to these parties people were hosting and then signing up to have her own then pressuring mom and I to buy stuff so she get things for her house. BLECH! Tell me what you'd like to have and be honest about it. Maybe, just maybe I'll buy it for you for Christmas or your birthday or just because. But, "Let's have a get-together at my house Friday night" only to find out that yet again, she wants my money...totally destroyed her relationship with mom and I. We don't trust her. Though she's invited us to her house once or twice since then for what turned out later to be legitimate purposes, we don't feel we can trust her to NOT be selling something, so we always turn her down. She's recently stopped asking, I don't feel guilty about not trusting her. She made that bed for herself with years and years of underhanded tactics to try to emotionally manipulate her way into our pocketbooks.

I had a friend like that.  I never buy at those parties.  I always go to get ideas and find something similar for so much less without paying outrageous shipping.  this same friend tried to guilt me into having parties for her.  Um, I don't invite my friends over to ask them to spend money.    

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Hmm...not certain about Primerica.

 

But, good gravy I've had a lot of women in church get involved with this stuff and I always, always turn the "sell from home, flexible hours, host a party and pressure our friends and family to buy stuff so you can get free product" people down.

 

My sil has been involved with some sort of Home and Garden decorating thing, Lia Sophia, Mary Kay, Arbonne, some bath and body works type company, Pampered Chef, Princess House, and a candle company whose name escapes me. She was always going to these parties people were hosting and then signing up to have her own then pressuring mom and I to buy stuff so she get things for her house. BLECH! Tell me what you'd like to have and be honest about it. Maybe, just maybe I'll buy it for you for Christmas or your birthday or just because. But, "Let's have a get-together at my house Friday night" only to find out that yet again, she wants my money...totally destroyed her relationship with mom and I. We don't trust her. Though she's invited us to her house once or twice since then for what turned out later to be legitimate purposes, we don't feel we can trust her to NOT be selling something, so we always turn her down. She's recently stopped asking, I don't feel guilty about not trusting her. She made that bed for herself with years and years of underhanded tactics to try to emotionally manipulate her way into our pocketbooks.

I had a friend like that.  I never buy at those parties.  I always go to get ideas and find something similar for so much less without paying outrageous shipping.  this same friend tried to guilt me into having parties for her.  Um, I don't invite my friends over to ask them to spend money.    

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Hmm...not certain about Primerica.

 

But, good gravy I've had a lot of women in church get involved with this stuff and I always, always turn the "sell from home, flexible hours, host a party and pressure our friends and family to buy stuff so you can get free product" people down.

 

My sil has been involved with some sort of Home and Garden decorating thing, Lia Sophia, Mary Kay, Arbonne, some bath and body works type company, Pampered Chef, Princess House, and a candle company whose name escapes me. She was always going to these parties people were hosting and then signing up to have her own then pressuring mom and I to buy stuff so she get things for her house. BLECH! Tell me what you'd like to have and be honest about it. Maybe, just maybe I'll buy it for you for Christmas or your birthday or just because. But, "Let's have a get-together at my house Friday night" only to find out that yet again, she wants my money...totally destroyed her relationship with mom and I. We don't trust her. Though she's invited us to her house once or twice since then for what turned out later to be legitimate purposes, we don't feel we can trust her to NOT be selling something, so we always turn her down. She's recently stopped asking, I don't feel guilty about not trusting her. She made that bed for herself with years and years of underhanded tactics to try to emotionally manipulate her way into our pocketbooks.

I had a friend like that.  I never buy at those parties.  I always go to get ideas and find something similar for so much less without paying outrageous shipping.  this same friend tried to guilt me into having parties for her.  Um, I don't invite my friends over to ask them to spend money.    

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I had a similar experience.  A woman I met at a Bunco group (friend of a friend) asked if she could come visit me.  She made it sound like she just wanted to get to know me because we lived near each other.  I was having a very difficult year (DH was deployed with the Army Reserves, I had just had DD, our basement had flooded and required massive work, and we were going through layoffs at work).  Based on how she presented herself, I honestly thought she was concerned about me and just wanted to be kind and helpful.  When I invited her over (in retrospect, she basically invited herself over), she launched into her sales pitch for some vitamin products within about 5 minutes.  I felt so used and disgusted I couldn't wait to get her out of my house (took forever, as she was very persistent).  It took me another year or so to get myself off her mailing list.  I don't understand people who think it's ok to treat others this way. 

I've had this happen when we moved into a new neighborhood.  Except this was to sell me Mary Kay.   Not that the lady was being kind because we had just moved there and we had kids the same age.

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That's positively disgusting. I'm glad you called her out on it!

 

I have a friend who is the top salesperson in the country for her MLM (a well-known and popular one). She has never once tried to sell me on it or invited me to a party. She's too down to earth and genuine; she's successful because she's not pushy or sneaky. People come to her.

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I hate MLM. I notice a lot of SAHMs get sucked into them. Isn't primerica one of those??

 

I went to a job interview once that turned out not to actually be a job interview.  It ended up being a group sales pitch for Primerica.  Needless to say a lot of us walked out.  How rude!

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