Thursday, August 9, 2007
My Way or HighWay or is it Amway/Quixstar
Episode 1 - Within a week of landing in US my friends took me to a Shopping Mall so that I can get of Caucasian eye tonic. While they were shopping and I was busy absorbing the local scenery. Suddenly an enthusiastic Hello from a stranger, Giri, brought me back to reality. I embarrassingly tried to match his enthusiasm pleasantly surprised at the warmth. After animatedly conversing for 25 mins we exchanged phone numbers and parted. During this whole conversation I kept on receiving phone calls from my friends. I found it strange as they already were in visual range. I chided my friends for giving missed calls as if I were talking to a gal. They never replied but just smiled at my ignorance.
Episode - 2 - Later in the day, I was sitting at the dinner table and both of my friends were taking turns to play Morpheus, telling me about the menace of Amway/Quixstar Agents in the Bay Area. These agents are viral marketing Zombies who can come in the garb of distant/not so distant relatives, friends, friends of friends or simply strangers. The only way to save your life from them was to run as fast as you can. I, the chosen one (Neo), felt more confused, cheated rather than enlightened. For the record I was hounded my friend from Episode -1 for around a fortnight by numerous phone calls. The Agents keep on hitting at us on our visits to public places and we, out of regard for fellow countrymen, made polite conversation to them for 10-15 minutes and then excused ourselves.
Episode - 3 - Everything was moving fine, till one fine day I received a scrap on Orkut from one of my so-called "B-School Senior". Now, delighted to hear from someone from my Alma Mater, I couldn't refuse the Tea invitation. As I arrived, he was waiting for me, with a cup of tea and few biscuits. I felt strange because every time the conversation steered towards our B-School, he developed amnesia citing – it was long time back. Within minutes of the opening of conversation I was pretty sure that he was an impostor. With in 15 minutes he told me about this wonderful way of becoming rich and subjected me to start watching a CD at exactly 31st minute. He invited me to this wonderful meeting of his business friends, where more about this scheme was to be shared. By now, I too wanted to have a first hand view of the Dark inner chambers of nagging Agents, so I agreed. At the gathering I saw young men with 70s look of Gelled hair, Black Suits and Red ties roaming around like Zombies and Shooting Bombastic greetings at each other like the chants of "Hail Fuhrer". Everyone at least tried to dress up immaculately, but most of them overdid it, especially the ladies show seemed to have snacked on their lipsticks. The "Interesting and Experienced" speaker invited us to share what would we like to do with all the additional money we'd earn. Some publicly drooled how they left their jobs after they replaced their current jobs of 3-5K by this wonderful concept. I failed to understand why any sane mind would trade the security of a job with insecurity/legal risk of Chain marketing, if the remuneration is the same. Anyways, I managed to stay sober and didn't throw punches at my "Senior" for wasting my time, irritating me with his foolish talks and risking my life by his dangerous driving. I came back fully enlightened and aware of my capabilities.
Episode - 4 - On my subsequent visit to a Mall, one of the Agents again targeted me, but instead of becoming uncomfortable, I simply smiled at him. I listened to this gentleman admiringly, until the time of exchanging the contact details. Precisely at this point I gave him my number and specifically told him "I hope you are not from Amway/Quixstar". The ear-to-ear grin vanished from his face and he wore a sullen look of a rejected whore. Curtly, he excused himself and paced away. I, on the other hand felt a micro orgasm at my victory of burning an agent. I practiced this drill ones more in the evening and the reaction of Agent Smith was even more histrionic soldier of the Quixstar matrix. I enjoyed all of it with a sadistic pleasure of taking revenge for all the polite people who are pestered by these folks.
Takeaway - Magnanimity has its limit, and for sure I am not going to let some complete stranger waste my time and fool me for joining up his Swindlers Army. Just because someone has committed a foolish act once, doesn’t mean its necessary to keep on putting his foot in the same Manhole again and again and coax other people to try the same to discover enjoyable it is.
These agents will have to understand it, and the best way to make them understand it is tell it straight in their face to stop pestering us.