mary kay cosmetics
Date: July 20, 2006 10:49AM
Hello all. Just found this site and thread. I am an MK consultant, although brand new and already very disillusioned. Just attended my first sales meeting last night, and am HIGHLY peeved by several things that went on. Still, I can't and won't call the company or its products or philosophies all bad, because they're not. I have used the products for years and have been and continue to be happy with the results. I have been in sales for years, and I know that there are some things that just go with the territory, and certainly many elements of MK qualify. I know many women whose self-worth has been dramatically repaired because of their involvement with the organization, and although I think it's more placebo than anything else, I think that the net result is what matters. I am CRAZY about my director, whom I know from synagogue, but our national sales director, not so much. Also, I'm not so keen on the many lies by omission that I've been subject to since signing on the dotted line. I'll try to explain in chronological order.
I was "facialed" (btw NOT a word except in MK parlance) by my friend in mid-June, and and she invited me during that appointment to attend a "customer appreciation breakfast." I accepted, thinking I'd have fun with my friend and get a good snootful of MK. It never even occurred to me that I'd be getting the big recruitment pitch, but that's what happened.
Even though I was a bit put off by the recruitment event under the guise of customer appreciation, I signed up because I like the products and figured that I could write off my make-up and skin care stuff (I'm a real estate agent by day, so already in business for myself and have been for years) at the very least. I had (and still don't) no intention of doing any recruiting, but thought I might sell a bit here or there to any friends or relatives who expressed interest. I thought of it as "pink gravy." Certainly not anything I wanted to do as a job, but if something fell in my lap, I wouldn't refuse it.
After I signed and paid my $100 fee, which I was told repeatedly was the ONLY investment I'd need to make to get my business rolling, I was handed a CD recording of the national sales director's (NSD) pitch, only this time she preached the necessity of INVENTORY!!! All of the sudden, it was imperative that I run to the nearest computer and place a $3K order so I'd have enough stock onhand to service all of my customers, lest they order and have to wait 7-14 days for their products. And yet, my own starter kit, which was ordered from, packed in, and shipped from the same warehouse, came in just two days.... odd how that works. I told my director that there was simply no way I could just plunk three grand down on make-up. Sorry, I'm not independently wealthy just yet, and if I were, I'd not have been concerned with a measly tax write-off in the first place!!! So, she hurriedly dials the NSD, who grills me about my credit history (uh, not her business), whether or not I have any relatives who would lend me the money(again, not her business) and so on and so on.... finally I just told her it was simply not going to happen and I'd just have to manage without inventory. She said something like, "Well, don't you DARE give up, I'm here for you every step of the way, and I'll help you MAKE this work because I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!!! And I MEAN that from the BOTTOM OF MY HEART!!!" Scary as it is, that's pretty close to a direct quote.
Inventory problem solved, next comes my first "event." It was held at the Marriott, and my director paid some fee or another at the door... I assumed it was a meal fee, but after three hours, we'd not been fed, so I finally figured out it was something akin to a cover charge. There was the whole singing, dancing, ecstatic enthusiasm thing happening, and I felt like a great big glowing sore thumb, and kind of wished I could disappear under a chair, but no such luck. Then, my cell phone buzzed, and my frantic hubby informed me that my son had been hurt and needed me NOW, so off I went. My wee one was fine after we applied some basic first aid, and I got out of there. WHEW!!!
So last night was my first sales meeting as an independent consultant. The first big turn-off was the opening prayer. Gushy as it sounds, every MK thing starts with everyone holding hands and praying together for success and abundance. Until this point, I'd been fine with the prayers, as they had always been very generic, "Lord, Father, etc." with no mention of a specific naming of a deity or any deiified offspring. But then last night, one of our up-and-comers led, and closed with a big Jesus thing. And I say to you, how is it that she didn't realize that there were at least 3 jews in the room, one of whom is an EXTREMELY OUTSPOKEN AND IMPOSSIBLE TO MISS director (that would be my friend)? Minor thing, I know, and I am a minority among throngs of Christians in a predominantly Christian country, so I should be used to it by now, but I'm not. I feel like I have blasphemed when I am "tricked" into praying to or in the name of someone who is not G-d as I have been taught to call him. Had that been the whole thing, I could easily have let it go, but it was literally just the beginning.
It bears mentioning here that as a self-employed independent contractor for the LARGEST Real Estate company in the WORLD, I have occasion to attend a number of training events at the Marriott, in the same room that we used last night. In fact, I spent at least six hours in that very room last week alone. And never in those six hours, whilst I sat absorbing the latest technological advances in dreamselling, nibbling the continental breakfast fare and fresh coffee that was provided us, was I asked to PAY to be there. I guess that my broker, being extremely wealthy and owning an enormous franchise of an even more enormous company and recognizing that WE make HER money and are therefore worth the paltry expense of renting the room, sees fit to call the rental of said room a business expense and leave it at that. Apparently, not so with our NSD, as each of us were required to pay a $5 entry fee before being allowed into the sales meeting. Excuse me? I take no issue with the $5, but the very notion is offensive!!! I paid ALREADY, remember? When I signed up and bought my intro package? So why should I now pay to attend something so unremarkable as a weekly sales meeting? She picks up her 7th pink caddy in December, for crying out loud, why make a piddly profit on the room? Oh, but "it's not about money" for her. I know this because she said so, just about halfway through her recruitment pitch last night. "It's about changing lives." Riiiiight. And when I close a big deal and make a lot of money, it changes lives too: mine, my children's, and my husband's. It's important to take care of ourselves and our families, don't get me wrong, but I so hate it when people try to disguise their motives that way. Ugh.
I show houses and rub elbows all day with attorneys and the like, so I feel like I have a pretty good grasp of the concept of "professional attire." I spend two-thirds of my life in it. Or so I thought. My director called me before the meeting to make sure I was going, and also to remind me that I should dress "professionally." I assured her I had it covered, as I was leaving a closing and going straight to the meeting, but she hesitated and said, "Do you have on a black suit with a skirt and a white blouse?" A bit baffled, I said I did not, but that I was pretty sure no one would be offended by my tailored dress pants and blouse. She sighed and said that the NSD would probably "say something." I figured I'd take my chances, thinking she was perhaps being a bit overprotective. I was wrong.
Just before we wrapped up last night, our NSD paused, gave her assistant the cue to put on the slow music (I'm swear I'm not kidding, she does EVERYTHING with a soundtrack, usually peppered with "Can't touch this," "Good vibration," a host of syrupy stuff by Richard Marks, and the like) and started in on the dress code. She reminded us that, it wasn't really even our fault, but it WAS our director's fault for not having insisted that we dress appropriately, but that MK functions and appointments required a certain level of professionalism and that meant a certain kind of dress. We were to wear, not a grey suit, not a purple blouse, not a pants suit, but a BLACK SKIRT SUIT WITH A WHITE BLOUSE. To do otherwise, she said to us, with feigned sincerity and tears in her big brown hypermascaraed eyes, was a bad reflection on her. That was all I could stomach. I left, and emailed my director to let her know that I would be absent at all future events, but asked that she please not take it personally. I explained my reasons, and also that I know our NSD has made a lot of money doing things her way, and I respect that she has a system that works for her. It's just that I didn't go into the business of being a Dependent Beauty Consultant. I did not leave the corporate world six years ago and go to work for myself so that someone else could tell me what COLORS I am allowed to wear. That doesn't work for me. I still love my lipstick. I won't lie to anyone about that, and I'll recommend it to anyone who inquires about it. But NEVER will I invite anyone to one of those functions. YUCK!!!
To anyone who has been kind and patient enough to read this, thank you. I feel better for having put it all down without worrying about hurting my friend/director's feelings.
To anyone who thinks they might want to "do" MaryKay, check it all out first. I am terribly intolerant of the above kind of bs, but if you can let that kind of thing roll off you, you might well be able to be VERY successful. Either way, good luck to you!