Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Friends don't ask friends to sell Amway

I normally don't just refer to an article without talking abuout it, but this was just too good to pass up...

From statesman.com, via Daily Kos:

The voice was familiar. "Hi, Mary Gordon, this is Barbara. Call me back."

Although she hadn't left a last name in her phone message, I recognized which Barbara it was immediately.

Barbara, my college roommate.

At first, I didn't wonder why she had called and assumed that she just wanted to touch base. But after playing phone tag for a few days, I had narrowed down her reasons for calling: 1. Barbara was coming to town and wanted to get together; 2. Barbara wanted me to speak at her district's back-to-school convocation.

I was delighted with either prospect, especially with the one of making money.

I was sitting in my car when my cell phone rang. I heard that familiar, sweet voice. "Oh, Barbara," I said, "I'm so glad we've finally connected!"

"Me, too," she replied.

"What's up?" I inquired, just waiting to hear those words, "I'm coming to see you," or "You're hired!"

(SECTION I: Part A) "Since December," Barbara began, "I've had a home-based business, and I'm pleased to tell you that it's going really well."

"That's great!" I replied. "I'm pleased for you. Are you still a principal?"

"Oh, yes," Barbara answered. (SECTION I: Part B) "But this home-based business is amazing."

(SECTION II: Part A) "I'm supposed to contact creative and outgoing people about my business, and I know you fall into those categories!" Barbara continued.

She was right. After all, I was Miss Friendly of Brownwood High School. I was pleased that Barbara had described me in such positive terms.

(SECTION III: Part A) "What I'd like to do," she continued, "is to send you something about my business to review and then call you to discuss it."

"Barbara, do you want me to review your business plan?" And then it dawned on me. "Or are you trying to sell me something?"

Barbara laughed that girlish, nervous laugh that I remembered from college.

"Barbara," I asked. "Are you selling Amway?"

(SECTION III: Part B) "Absolutely not. I am, however, working with some amazing products. In fact, my (grown) daughters are so impressed that they are involved." (Back to SECTION II: Part A) "I was thinking," Barbara continued, "that you and your daughter would want to be a part of this wonderful business, too."

"Barbara," I replied, trying to mask my irritation. "I can't tell you how not interested I am in being a part of this. In fact," I continued sweetly, "I can't think of anything that I'm less interested in than selling products or being a part of this business. I'm happy, however, that you and your daughters are so happy."

(SECTION IV: Part A) "You know, I felt the same way when I was first introduced to this business." Barbara's speech had become more mechanical. "But it didn't take me long to see how amazing the products are. And . . ."

I cut her off in mid sentence. "I'm not interested, Barbara."

(SECTION IV: Part B) "Well, maybe I'll go ahead and send you the materials, and you can pass them on to your friends who would like to make some extra money." Barbara delivered this without hesitation.

"Barbara," I replied as nicely as I could, considering the temperature in my parked car was 110 degrees, and I was boiling inside, "I'm not interested."

Surely, Barbara had gotten the message by now.

So, I changed the subject and inquired about her family and her life. And then I ended our conversation.

"It sure was good to talk to you, Barbara," I said. "But I've gotta go now."

"Bye, MG," Barbara replied sweetly. (SECTION V: Final Part) "Now, don't forget to keep this wonderful business in mind as you see your friends. And I'm sure your daughter would love to do this."

Just to make certain that I hadn't shortchanged my daughter — the one who works about 60 hours a week, volunteers at Children's Hospital, freelances as a writer and does good deeds for her family and friends — I called her when I got home.

"Hey, Darling," I said. "I want to tell you about a little home business that my college roommate thinks you might be interested in."

"Is it Amway?" My daughter doesn't miss a beat.

"Absolutely not. Barbara is working with some products that are amazing," I said, trying to sound serious.

"What section is that from, Mom?"


Post a Comment

<< Home