Me vs Pyramid Schemes

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I have a very strong dislike of pyramid schemes or direct sales companies or multi-level marketing firms or whatever they go by these days. The fact that they have changed the name of what they are over the years is proof enough to me that they are no good.

I love it when these types of businesses get made fun of. The Office scene where Michael tries to get everyone involved in a “business opportunity” comes to mind. If you’ve ever been approached by someone in one of these, they’re always quick to say “it’s not a pyramid scheme” or “pyramid schemes are illegal”. But I’m petty. So I like to keep asking questions and shit. See how strong the argument gets for my acquaintance.

You might be thinking, “Just say you’re not interested, Jon.” Well I’m not that mature, you. Plus, whenever I try that they keep coming. What multi-level-marketer do you know that just takes no for an answer?

- No? I understand. Thanks for your time anyway.

Fucking never! They always hit you with the:

- Don’t you want to work for yourself?

- You can’t walk away from an opportunity like this.

Shit like that. And I know it’s not their fault. They HAVE to be aggressive. Most people don’t have a large network of people they can present “business opportunities” to. Our network is family and friends. And therein lies the problem. For most people the only way to get to the next level of the MLM business is to saddle family members and friends with the baggage/buy-in that they took on when they joined. It’s a fucked up system.

They’re all pretty much the same so I’m ready when I see the signs. When someone tells me they have this meeting I need to attend I know damn well I won’t be going to that meeting. I got got one time and that was enough. My boss/friend asked me to join him at this meeting/conference one evening where a guy would be there to explain the business opportunity. I figured there’s no harm since I know I won’t be buying anything. We went and a guy went through a presentation about how I could get rich by getting people to buy electricity. Then I could get people to work for me to get people to buy electricity. Then they get people to work for them…

I tuned it out. It was definitely a pyramid scheme-ish thing. Not interested. I smiled and nodded throughout the presentation by the rich man with the nice car (they always have a nice car). I wondered how anyone could fall for this shit. It’s a mathematically impossible way to run a business. Of course the cars are real and the rich people are real but those are the ones that get in on the ground floor. I get that. But by the time it gets to me and everyone else in that hotel conference room in Staten Island it’s a waste of got damn money.

I find it an insult to my intelligence when I get pressed about taking part in one of these. I get you trying to sell to me, cool. But when I say no, that’s it. Leave me alone. I won’t fall for it. Plus I’m not a stranger. So I take it even more personally. You’re trying to use the trust I have for you against me and that’s not cool. Let’s stay acquaintances. Don’t ask again and I won’t have to avoid your phone calls or lie about being too busy to go to your business opportunity meeting.

And one final thing: Stop looking at me like Christians that find out I’m Atheist. I’m not gonna go to lifestyle hell because I’m not a believer. You’re being duped, not me. Which is why I, in my ultimate jedi-level pettiness always follow-up with those people that were so excited about the business opportunity.

- Hey man, how did that awesome business opportunity you were telling me about work out?

They never have that nice car. They’re never rich. The best I get is that they “broke even”. But I thought… Like I said, I’m petty.

So if you’ve been lured into one of these, know that I wish you the best of luck. I want you to work for yourself and get that nice car, I really do. I just don’t believe that’s the way. I also don’t want you bothering me with that shit. If you do decide to hit me up, don’t be surprised if I contact you out of the blue in a year or two with a smirk on my face. Until next time…

P.s. I have been listening to this great podcast about pyramid schemes. That’s probably why I have them on my mind. The pod is very entertaining. Check it out here.

For FunJonathanComment