Monday, December 14, 2009

Where are the QuickStar and Amway guys?

When I was in Ann Arbor, MI, my friends and I would bump into these Amway/QuickStar folks all the time (coffee shops, bookstores, grocery store etc.) I was talking to my wife last week, and it seems like we haven't been "approached" even once in three years, since coming to Florida.

It's surprising, but of course, I am not complaining.

It got me thinking about an old incident.

* * *

Once, while still at Michigan, I got a call from this guy - Mr. X - who claimed to be a friend of a friend. He had just moved into the Detroit area. We talked on the phone over multiple weekends, and to be honest, the conversations themselves were quite entertaining.

Then one day, he asked if we could meet, and since we had become "pally" by then, I said yeah.

At his place, I talked with him and his wife, over a cup of tea and cake. He asked me more about what I was doing. At that particular point, I was in grad school wondering whether I should go to industry or academia, and more susceptible to suggestion, than I would have liked.

In short, I was a great bakra.

After about 20 minutes of small talk, I thought I should leave, and got up to say bye. All of a sudden, both Mr. and Mrs. X stood up, and asked me to have more tea.

"Hmmmm. Fisshhhy!", I thought to myself. Something was amiss.

They didn't waste any more time. He started talking about "the business", and "financial independence", "asset creation", and "who wants to be a millionaire?".

When I did not react with the overflowing enthusiasm that was expected, he must have thought, I was the nerdy type, and needed a different approach. Very skillfully, he started spewing out an alphabet soup consisting of "B2B, ..., B2P, ... P2P...", essentially connecting random letters with a "2".

I said, "I am a chemical engineer, and don't know what all this means." It was a rare, but honest concession of ignorance.

He said, I should go to this amazing "once-in-a-lifetime" seminar in Southfield the following weekend. I said I was busy, and he said, "but it will change your life."

Of course registration was about $100, at which point I had completely tuned out, but just to be polite, still asked, "what will I learn?".

I endured another litany of management bullshit, after which I had to go outside and gasp for fresh air.

As I emerged out, the chilly, subzero Michigan air had  lost its bite.

* * *

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have been in Ann Arbor for 4 years and thankfully, never been approached by a single such person. But, I have heard hilarious accounts of such invites and of even some folks who attended these seminars...

Tex said...

Sachin,

You made a good decision, even if you don't know why. Most new IBOs are either oriental or hispanic, too many english speaking people read the internet and find Amway is just one big tool scam. Here's why: Amway wants to pay out as little money as they can get away with, so they support the higher level IBOs ripping off their downline via the tool scam. As a result, about 99% of IBOs operate at a net loss, while the top 1% make several TIMES more from their Amway tool scam than from the Amway products. Read about it on my blog, I suggest you start here: http://tiny.cc/D5oJh and forward the information to everyone you know, so they don't get scammed.

IBOFB said...

Chances are you're not encountering them because the group in that region that was teaching the "hang out in bookstores" approach was kicked out by Amway a couple of years ago for bad business practices.

Sachin Shanbhag said...

Thanks for your comments folks.

@Tex, thanks for the link.

@IBOFB, the "couple of years" phrase would be consistent with anon's experience.

Paul said...

Sachin, it should be noted that the person who goes by "Tex" is a known racist and if left unchecked, will litter your blog with redundant statements ad nauseum.

Dj Will Power said...

I'm not really mad at Amway, but home-based businesses aren't easy to make a profit with as you feel when you watch a presentation, or hear a few testimonials....and most people don't exercise the grit that it takes to make one of these blow.

You've taken an interesting course of study, though. We're in positions in life where we're all students, but sometimes a student becomes a teacher....and I imagine you probably had something more interesting to share with him, the he to you about an Amway seminar.