Life Advice

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Health & Spirit

Should I tell my sister she should find a better job?

Carolyn Hax on

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi, Carolyn:

My sister has been selling for a multi-level marketing company for a few years now. It seems to be slightly better than some of them -- she "only" has to buy her samples out-of-pocket, not her entire stock. I have learned to skim the Facebook calls to try this or buy that, and cheerfully refused to try the latest 30-day trial of whatever.

What bothers me is: She seems to legitimately think this is her possible future career path; she would like to escape a stressful day job. The MLMs sell this dream, because that's the only way for anyone to succeed at them -- to recruit lower-level sellers, none of whom will actually make any real profit from selling products. You have to make them believe that it will work for them, if only they try hard enough and recruit, too.

I kind of want to scream, "They are taking advantage of you, and this will never make you money unless you start taking advantage of other people!" but I am pretty sure this will just be met with platitudes about how great and supportive the MLM #tribe is.

Do I keep my opinion to myself because it's not my business, or is that just chickening out because I don't want to rock the family boat?

 

-- Want to Scream

Keep your opinion to yourself because it's not your business. And, information on companies with the problem you just identified is available to anyone who asks a search engine for it.

Re: MLM:

I think it's a "damned-if-you-do, a damned-if-you-don't" situation. If you say something now, you're peeing all over her dream. If you don't say something now, when she loses her life savings you'll be vilified for failing to warn her when you knew something was wrong.

...continued

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