Monthly Archives: July 2015

Social Network Salespeople

There is a unique type of betrayal that seems to hit females* like myself in their 20s.  Friends join a multilevel marketing company, where they often get nominal payment for direct sales, sales by recruits, and simple outreach, and suddenly I am no longer seen and valued for my friendship or internet wit, but for the hard-earned money I will potentially give to them. Social media becomes awash in advertisement — not from a corporation, but from a friend I already follow out of interest for her life.  The exploition of my friendly attention for its sale potential is the betrayal.

I think I am being invited to hang out and have dinner, but really you have your regional director conveniently call mid-meal, and they want to know if I want to make more money. Luckily, I have yet to fall for the wine night party where the men have been sent to a ball game and you have turned your living room into a store floor.

Some of the most common groups I have come across:
Rodan + Fields (skincare)
It Works! (weight loss)
Perfectly Posh (skincare)
Juice Plus (nutritional supplements)
Genesis PURE (nutritional supplements)
CAbi (clothing)
Avon (skincare)
Premier (jewelry)
Younique (makeup)
Stella & Dot (jewelry)

While I have mad respect for a female’s right to hustle, I am given pause by the aboutface on our preeixisting friendship.

Aside from the fact that some of these organizations are barely on this side of the law of pyramid schemes, if something seems too good to be true it probably is.  And yet, these types of organizations have been around for years now, so the model obviously works for some people, both sellers and buyers.

So my advice for anyone reading this and wondering if they should start or continue working with a direct sales company: you should be truly both interested and cut out for a career in sales.  Also, continue to expand beyond your acquaintance network, and especially beyond your close friend network.  When someone I know starts hitting me up about their products, the message I cannot help receiving is, “You are not my close friend, and I am fine ensuring you never will be, since I am willing to put my sales numbers ahead of your feelings.”  Whether that is fair or not, that is how the move is perceived by those of us who do not like mixing money and friendship.

So, best of luck with your business venture, but take it as a compliment that I do not want to do business with you.

Direct sales party
Photo cred: New York Times

*If there are male parallels out there, please comment below or email the blog!

The Harsh Winds of Summer

The main reason for aggressive, unpleasant, blasting summer AC that cools way more than necessary is classism: advertising an entity’s power over nature.  This is true outside of the US as well.  “In retailing, luxury stores like Bergdorf GoodmanNeiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue are kept colder than more down-market TargetWalmart and Old NavyWhole Foods is chillier than Kroger, which is chillier than Piggly Wiggly,” according to a recent NY Times article.

The second most common reason is poor building management.  Many supervisors do not make it a point to adjust temperature set points for clothing differences by season, wrongly assuming everyone wears wool suits year round.  “Air-conditioning systems are also usually designed for worst-case scenarios — full occupancy of a space on the hottest day of the year. As part of that calculation, designers might have assumed heat loads that factor in older-model computers and less energy-efficient lighting that radiate much more warmth than the machines and bulbs used today,” per the article.

“Paradoxically, another reason for aggressive air-conditioning is energy-efficient building construction. Better sealing and insulation keeps air-conditioning from escaping but it also keeps fresh air from entering. So cool air is often kept blasting to meet mandated air quality standards for levels of carbon dioxide that build up in the absence of outside air. The cool air also controls humidity, which can lead to every building manager’s nightmare: mold.”

Spending just a few moments creating an efficient AC model for the year would be a win-win: better for the environment, for energy costs, and for your comfort.  Plan for your house; propose changes to your boss or building manager at work.  Let the AC (hose) measuring contest end with you.

By sketchshark

The Trolls Out There

The LA Times just took an academic look at the practice of internet trolling: making nasty comments and threats in online chats or comment boards.

Some reflections:

  • Anonymity does not make much difference on level of cruelty.
  • The internet is not really making people nastier:  “Every single trope they engage with exists in real life offline; [they are] just picking up cultural detritus and weaponizing stuff that’s already on the ground.”
  • Yes, they often get a kick out of your pain.  So don’t feed them.