By Megan Imhoff of www.ishmom.com
The artist formerly known as multi-level marketing, or MLM, wants to be called network marketing now. Like that girl who came back from her semester abroad and insisted on being called Lowell.
Now that there are subreddits and John Oliver rants and news stories, companies and “Ambassadors” (bleech) seem eager to distance themselves from that well-worn phrase, multi-level marketing.
I don’t care what you call it, Karen. Get the fuck outta my inbox.
You Can’t Bullshit A Bullshitter, Karen
Listen, sweetie, I work from home. *lowers voice to a conspiratorial whisper* I know it is not the paradise you describe. You’re right about the blessing that it is to be able to stay home with my children. I’ll give you that.
But working from home just means working all the time. Posting, captioning, selling, writing, editing, DMing, pitching, branding yourself, it’s all just…exhausting. And, thanks to the company of your “precious littles,” you’re covered in food debris and bodily fluid, getting dried Play-Doh flecks on your keyboard and shit because it’s wedged under your fingernails.
Taking those pictures in which you look so beautiful and relaxed? It’s a lot of work. They may not know, but I do, girl. I do.
Of Course You’re Good At This
Your frequent presence in my inbox tells me that you’re a real go-getter. And I can just hear you:
There’s real success that can be found in network marketing! Look at me! Cruises, new cars, thousands of dollars in bonuses, all while homeschooling my nine children and making so much homemade yogurt! #bossbabe #blessed
I have no doubt that you’re successful. There’s a very specific type of person that is. You were made for this, Karen. I bet you became a Triple Badge Sparkle Sergeant Representative or whatever within six months of signing with your company. You are part of the 10%: savvy, determined, organized, disciplined and entrepreneurial in spirit.
Not all are made of this nettle. And because the nature of the company you represent is…gross, most cannot, and do not, succeed. And without the presence of protections like insurance, emergency leave, unemployment, etc., commonplace disasters can be catastrophic.
No Hard Feelings
My refusal to patronize your “business” isn’t personal. Unless you get aggressive after my polite refusal of your oil, wrap, cleaning solution, box of stuff, pill or insurance, Karen. Then it’s on.
It’s just that, as a whole, MLMs are kind of…icky. Scammy. Slimy and shit.
I have a problem with the MLM business plan, not you. The backbone of MLM revenue comes from the recruitment of bodies rather than the disbursement of goods. That these bodies are primarily young, desperate mothers happens to be one of my pet peeves. I’m weird like that.
Maybe I’ll come to one of your parties. But if you serve alcohol I’ll probably get too tipsy and embarrass us both. Let’s not risk it, Karen.
In the meantime, you can find me in my lane, chugging along, working from home like you. I’ll high five your successes and admire your tenacity. But I ain’t buying shit.
About the Author
Megan Imhoff lives in the Midwest with her wonderful husband, two toddlers, and a bunch of corn. She’s a voracious reader and a life-long recipient of questioning looks. She can be found on Facebook and Instagram. She blogs twice a week at www.ishmom.com.