While on the job hunt, I randomly meet this woman. She said she was looking for people, could she interview me tomorrow? Great! I said. She said she would come see me at home. This seemed a little odd, but if it saved me a trip, I was all for it.
The next day the doorbell rings and I answer it to see Carolyn, all smiles and ready to interview me. I invite her in and as she strolls past me, to my horror I see her wheeling a small suitcase behind her. Sweet baby Jesus – I’d been duped! As the reality sunk in that I was about to be introduced to the wonderful world of direct selling/pyramid schemes, my palms got sweaty and I frantically searched for ways to get her out of my house.
Before I knew it, she was setting up shop on the kitchen table. I reluctantly sat down and she said she would pamper me for a bit before showing me ‘the program.’
She took a folding mirror out of her kit and set it up in front of me along with a rather sad looking palette into which she had squeezed various lotions.
She began by showing me the cleanse, tone and moisturize stage. Taking her time and showing me how to do it myself, she annoyingly never deviated from her script. “How good does it feel? Great. How easy is this? It’s so simple.” Here she was just laying the groundwork for a day of questions she would answer herself. Having known for quite some time how to wash my face, I doubted we would make any groundbreaking discoveries during this ritual humiliation, but I ‘oooh’d’ and ‘aaah’d’ my way through it.
With that stage completed, she then subjected me to a series of ‘1-5 scales’.
“On a scale of 1-5, how does your skin feel? One being: ‘fabulous’ and five being: ‘not quite what I’m used to’. On a scale of 1-5, how would you rate the moisturizer? One being: ‘I’ve never felt anything like it!’ and five being: ‘I’ve used better’’.
On to the make up stage! First: the foundation. As there isn’t a shade called ‘pasty Irish’, she had to make her own concoction by mixing a few colors together to get the right blend for my skin. She smoothed some on my cheek and pulled me to the kitchen window to check it in the natural light. Unsatisfied with the natural light there, she marched me through the apartment and out the front door to the street. As she pondered over whether or not the tone was right, I was just praying none of the neighbors would see me with this crazy woman.
Finally content with the shade of foundation, she took me back inside and plastered layer upon layer of hideous make up on my face, all the while raving about how beautiful I was. When she was finished, I looked in the mirror to see that I had been transformed into a second-rate drag queen. ‘How fabulous is this? You look great!’ she cooed as I tried to keep myself from gagging.
At least now that the make up was done, I thought the end was in sight. But no, she then spent seven minutes (yes, I was counting) giving me a ‘hand facial’, which basically consisted of her putting hand cream on me. She kept raving about the lotion, asking and answering her own questions and then busting out the trusty 1-5 scale.
So, I now had a clown face (but extremely soft hands) and figured she was going to wrap things up. But no, I had to sit there for another 35 minutes, while she told me the story of how she got into the business and showing me ‘the program’. She’d pepper her script with random 1-5 scales. I’d made my own series of 1-5 scales in my head which mainly revolved around the theme of ‘on a scale of one to five, how badly do I want you out of my house right now? One being I would rather claw my own eyes out than listen to you utter one more word, five being….oh no, wait, that’s the only option.’ I sat there with one eye on the clock letting my mind wander to far more important issues; what would I have for dinner? Should I get a pedicure today? Do I need to buy milk? Could I take my second-rate drag queen show on the road?
When I snapped out of it, she was asking me if I could envision myself doing this. Clearly my tactic of being polite in the hope that she would go away quicker, was not working. There was no choice, it was time for some straight talking. I told her, I really couldn’t see myself doing that. I’d just moved here and I had full confidence in the fact that I would find a job in my field soon.
Seemingly not content with my answer she tried one last 1-5 scale to win me over. ‘OK, so on a scale of 1-5, what would it take for me to change your mind? One being: ‘I’d rather jump off a bridge before doing this’ and five being: ‘I will come to a group meeting to hear more about it?’
I decided to stick with my policy of straight talking. ‘Where’s the bridge?’
At long last, after an hour and a half of holding me hostage with nothing more than a mascara, she took the hint and left.