I wish it was a Tupperware party

I received a mysterious invitation via phone call last week from… well… I’ll just say an acquaintance. When he invited me over to his house with no other pretense than “I’d like to introduce you to some people” I wasn’t sure what to think. My first question was “are you going to kill me?” To which he replied “No.” Whew.

Unsure about the nature of the event, I chose a comfortable and flattering outfit for work the next day and started brainstorming with my roommates what I could possibly be in for. My favourite suggestion was Tupperware party.

  • Plain old social event – sure, that could be it, but like with every other possible suggestion why was the only information provided that he wanted to introduce me to some people?
  • Goodbye Party – Acquaintance is heading out of town for a bit, but a goodbye party on the Thursday with invite only on a Wednesday? Maybe.
  • Alone time – or what my sister so eloquently put as ‘Pound or No Pound‘, this was pretty much a zero percent chance but I still picked a cute outfit
  • Tupperware Party/Pampered Chef etc – Would be a bit out of left field, but I could always use some extra tupperware or random kitchen accoutrement that I’ll never get around to using. Plus, those events tend to have booze – bonus.
  • Ponzi Scheme – With the cover of mystery settling over the evening, more than one person brought this up.

I settled into not knowing what was happening and tried to not think about it – Type A hyper-planners such as myself are not OK with this situation, I was definitely a bit anxiety ridden that day. I sent one final text asking if I should bring anything along with me either than Pepper spray and his response only included an address. Prior to heading off into the unknown, I went for drinks with a friend (and possibly the best poutine I’ve ever had) – and was very thankful for the booze in my system later in the night.

When I arrived at the apartment, it was pretty clear that this was not a social gathering: The apartment was spotless (not that I really had a reference point, but it wasn’t ‘party clean’ it was ‘staged clean’), the seats were all arranged to face the TV and there were stacks of materials on the coffee table. It took about a minute or two for me to be able to read one of the items on the coffee table (which was upside down for me) before something clicked and I knew what was going on. The Magazine was Success From Home. Oh. Dear. God.

First sign of trouble ahead...

First sign of trouble ahead…

Over the next 45 minutes I listened to three separate presentations and watched a DVD. In truth though, it took me about 30 seconds to figure out the gist of the situation. When someone opens their presentation with stating that their background was in ‘traditional business’ and that they had slaved away working for someone else before they learned about this business model, my mind went straight to two words: Pyramid Scheme.

According to Wikipedia:

A pyramid scheme is a non-sustainable business model that involves promising participants payment or services, primarily for enrolling other people into the scheme, rather than supplying any real investment or sale of products or services to the public

Now in the interest of not bashing the company (which is actually legit, seriously) or my acquaintance’s ambition, I’m going to leave out the specifics. I will say that there were actual products and services for sale, and something at least semi tangible in return for your original investment.  However, while there really is a lot more to the business than I originally feared, it still boils down to this:  You Invest. Then you get two friends to invest. Then those two friends get two friends to invest. And so on and so forth, all while your income increase with each step (of the pyramid) that you create below you.

I don’t care what legal business practices you apply – when your compensation plan includes images like the one below, its a Pyramid Scheme:

Consider this a sideways Pyramid

Consider this a sideways Pyramid

Thankfully, when the presentation ended there was absolutely zero pressure for me to get on board or sign up for anything further. Thank God. While I realize that the right kind of person likely can profit from this type of investment, that person is definitely not me – first and foremost because I wouldn’t be caught dead inviting people over to get sucked into an evening such as this.

I really wish there was some sort of Dictaphone device that could record my thoughts – because I was doing everything I could to hold it together (especially during the DVD) and, honestly, one sideways glance would have sent me off the edge into the territory of hysterical laughter. Is this really happening? Why? Why Me?

"Overriding Residual Income" ... sure

“Overriding Residual Income” … sure

Lesson Learned: Never accept mysterious invitations.

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3 Comments

Filed under Awk-ward, Events in Review, How Embarrassing, Negative Nancy

3 responses to “I wish it was a Tupperware party

  1. Kat

    Ugh, what a waste of an evening. The sheer mysteriousness of the invitation would draw anyone in but the fact that he can’t even tell you what it’s about beforehand shows that most people won’t be taken for fools and would quickly not fall for that *@$%. I hope you ran, not walked from there….straight to the nearest pub.

  2. my sister spent christmas a few years ago trying to convince my dad and i to ‘invest’ in the ‘internet business that had been around since 1939’ she was ‘working with.’ some of the perks of investing included -and i’m not kidding- being able to shop online(?), having a lawyer on retainer(!?), and meeting new people through recruiting seminars. we got drunk enough to let her give her schpeel but have never let her forget about the time she tried to bankrupt the family.

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