I Wonder if This is How Bernie Did It

I met Tracy walking down the street Sunday night.  We both stepped into the street to jaywalk and laughed when we both retreated in the face of a car rounding the corner way too quickly.  We bonded over our shared roots as native Washingtonians as we traversed the two blocks to the grocery store.

We talked about her children, and my business.  As we parted, she said “I think we should talk, we might be able to do some business together.  That’s a throw-away line in DC as common as empty pizza wrappers on an Adams Morgan Saturday night.  So I was surprised when she called me to ask for a meeting on Wednesday.

Our intended location, a neighborhood coffeeshop, was too crowded so we headed to her living room a block or so away.  We talked politics and economics for twenty minutes or so before she launched into the sales pitch.  It was boiler plate sales slogans.

  • Are you making your paycheck work for you?
  • Is your income stream diversified?
  • Shouldn’t your money work when you aren’t?
  • Aren’t you tired of someone else controlling your destiny?

Being annoyed by platitudes and rhetoric, I finally asked “So how can this help my business?”

Tracy finally got specific.  She outlined how I could purchase the things I already buy through an online mall, and my clients could buy through it as well.  She talked for several more minutes before I finally said “So how is this different from some sort of Amway pyramid operation?”

“Oh, so you’re already familiar with Amway?”


11 Responses to I Wonder if This is How Bernie Did It

  1. A says:

    I had to click on it to see it close-up…I love the picture of the sheeple.

    Yes, I am a big fan of that too.

  2. k8 says:

    Sigh. So how do you get out of that conversation once it’s started. That’s what I want to know.

    For me, it was easy. Everything is about the logic, the numbers, ask them to justify the effort to build your own pyramid relative to the meager costs and they cannot.

  3. justjp says:

    AMWAY!!!! Lol, sorry bro.

    It was an hour of my life I will never get back, but I got a story from it.

  4. OMG… I would have been VERY annoyed.

    How much longer did you stay there and listen to her pitch?

    I was more than polite, I stayed long enough for them to make a legitimate case… which I tore to shreds in my head in about 0.234 seconds.

  5. karen says:

    I only have two words. MARY KAY.

    My mother used to sell that crap back when I was in grade school.

  6. Susan says:

    Ha ha… oh my. I didn’t realize that still existed.

    Not only do they still exist, the people at the top of the chain are sufficiently wealthy that they have their name on the arena for the Orlando Magic.

  7. lacochran says:


    I thought Amway was marketing under a different name these days exactly to avoid that kind of feedback. So much for re-branding.

    At least she didn’t ask if you had a relationship with Jesus Christ.

    Actually, I think I would have been more comfortable with the second question, though both questions usually come from zealots.

  8. Gilahi says:

    Isn’t that just Pig Latin for “wam”?

    That works for me.

  9. kitty says:

    I wasn’t at my desk all day today, and was hoping you’d post. Thanks for not letting me down.

    My pleasure.

  10. liz says:

    yikes. my favorite sister has succumbed to the amway madness. for years and years i was angry at her; now i just look at it as a sales version of religious fanaticism . . . she stopped pestering me to buy things after i told her repeatedly that as soon as Amway can match BOGO food prices and thrift store clothes prices i might consider it . . .

    That is a reasonable comparison. In hindsight, I really should have suspected something. She was just too friendly, to eager to chat on a dark Sunday night.

  11. Red says:

    I got caught like that once… ONCE! Haha

    She seemed nice enough, cursed by kindness.

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