Just When You Thought You Were Out…

, , , | Working | May 25, 2020

I used to be involved in one of those pyramid schemes in college. The woman who enrolled me said I could work around my classes, so it sounded ideal. I quickly learned I was not cut out for such a company.

My enroller called me several times a week to ask for leads and encourage me to buy more products. I did like the products I tried, but I was not treating it like a serious business, a fact I repeated several times. I made enough on kickbacks and commissions that I broke even, and I was happy with that.

Shortly before finals, I am overwhelmed and exhausted. The only thing I can cut from my life is [Pyramid]. My enroller calls as usual, so chipper that I question what she puts in her coffee every morning.

Enroller: *Super excited* “Hey, girlfriend! How’s it going?”

Me: “I’m exhausted.”

Enroller: “School got you down?”

Me: “Yeah, I’m just non-stop. I can’t keep going like this.”

Enroller: “That’s the beauty of [Pyramid]! We work around you!”

Me: “Right. About that. I’ve been thinking—”

Enroller: “Do you have any new leads?”

Me: “Uh, no. Actually, I need to take a break. Finals are coming up and I really need to buckle down.”

Enroller: *Sad* “You’re quitting?”

Me: “No, not quitting. Just… a hiatus. Finals are over next week, so it’s not long—”

Enroller: *Suddenly angry* “You said you were in this with me.”

Me: “I said I’d work around school. I—”

Enroller: “So, you are quitting. Really, that’s how you are?”

I’m already annoyed that she’s interrupting me so much.

Me: “No, I—”

Enroller: *Happy again* “Listen, I know it’s hard juggling work and school and friends. Girl, please, I’ve been there, done that, bought the T-shirt!” *Laughs*

Me: “I—”

Enroller: “But I’ve been with [Pyramid] for ten years, so trust me. When I started, I was so poor, I’d go days without eating and my kids had to split [Fast Food Kid Meals]. We were living in a spare bedroom in my parent’s house. Thanks to [Pyramid], I have my own roof over my head and a pantry full of food for my children and I don’t have to worry about anything!”

Me: *Uncomfortable* “And that’s great, but I—” 

Enroller: “I never quit. Not once. Not when I was living with my parents, not when I was pregnant, not when my mother died. I worked through everything.”

Feeling backed into a corner, my fight or flight instinct is gearing up.

Me: “Look, I’m sorry. This is stressing me out. I’m taking a break. I’ll call you when finals are over.”

Enroller: *Angry* “So, you just come and go as you please?”

Me: “That was part of your pitch: that [Pyramid] works around my schedule.”

Enroller: “FINE!” *Hangs up*

Ten minutes later, the texts start coming in.

Enroller: “I’m glad you’re putting your education first if that’s what matters more to you. But you’re missing out on a great opportunity with [Pyramid].”

A few minutes pass.

Enroller: “I dropped out of college to work for [Pyramid] full time and you know everything I earned because of that decision!”

Ten minutes pass this time.

Enroller: “I’ll do the work for you! Just give me some contacts; I’ll tell them you’re studying so I’m picking up your slack!”

Half an hour passes and I think it’s over.

Enroller: “You said you were dedicated. This isn’t dedication. It’s desertion. I’m disappointed in you.”

I finally give in and send one text.

Me: “You’re crazy and I quit. Do not contact me again.”

I filed a cancellation through the [Pyramid] website and blocked her number. I’m sure there are people out there making lots of money from companies like that, but I was not one of them.

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