If your reading this then you have received the CD I sent back to you with a link to this post. I’d first like to start this letter with a couple of quotes from Wikipedia:
A pyramid scheme is a non-sustainable business model that involves the exchange of money primarily for enrolling other people into the scheme, often without any product or service being delivered.
Pyramid schemes are illegal in many countries, including the United States…
As I’m sure you recall we meet briefly at The Home Depot in the surge protector/extension cord aisle about a week ago. I was looking for a couple of surge protectors with right angle plugs (they fit better behind desks) when you walked up and started confusingly looking at Home Depot’s surge protector offerings. After sifting through various surge protectors I found what I was looking for, grabbed a couple, and started to walk away. Before I got too far you stopped me by asking me something to the effect of “what surge protector is best?”
Your question through me for a loop, it’s not that it was a dumb question, or that I was not willing to help you out but I’m just the sort of guy who goes into a store, gets what he needs, and gets out while attempting as little human interaction as possible. I’m just not used to interacting with people in stores unless I start the interaction… it’s an introvert thing I guess. However, I try hard to be a nice guy and even though it went against my standard operating procedure, I decided I’d help you. Plus, you asked a tech. related question… I tend to like answering those types of questions.
In any case I asked you what you were planning on plugging into it, gave you a brief idea of what to look for, and recommended one of the brands available. You asked me if I was in the tech filed and I said “Actually, I’m the IT guy at [name of company] down the street.” You said something about that being cool, thanked me for my help, and I walked off feeling pretty good that I was able to help you out. I was still weirded out by the abnormal interaction though.
Apparently you were listening when I told you where I worked because about an hour later you called me there. I’m guessing that you looked the name of the company up, called the main number, and asked for me. I admire you for remembering my name because I’m terrible with names and frankly I would not have remembered your’s 5 seconds after you told me; even if my life depended on it.
Anyway, what was at this point a slightly abnormal occurrence for me – talking to a stranger in a store – now moved to the category of this is too frakking weird, my head is going to EXPLODE!. Honestly, my first reaction was “what the frak is this guy calling me for?!” You eased my nerves a little by telling me that you realized this was all coming “out of left field.” It helped knowing that you realized how frakking crazy it was that you tracked me down and called me… of course you realizing how crazy it was, and still doing it, could actually make you more insane than not.
Oh, by the way, I hate sports metaphors.
You told me that you appreciated my help at Home Depot and that you thought that it took integrity to help a stranger and all that. Then you really came out of left field and asked me if I would be interested in doing some part time work for your “internet company.” Wow. I doubted that it was possible that I made such an impression in our brief exchange that you would track me down and offer me a legitimate job of some kind but I didn’t want to squander a possible opportunity so I said “sure.”
You didn’t say much about your “internet company” what you did say was that you wanted to meet sometime to discuss your “opportunity,” so we set a date and time to meet at a Starbucks down the street from where I work. This was not too odd, I had interviewed for jobs (and got them) at Starbucks before. You then told me that you had some information about your company that you wanted to send me and asked what address you should send it to. When I asked if e-mail would work you told me that you were going to be mailing an audio CD so standard mail was easier. I found this odd because for someone who has an “internet company” I’d think that you’d realize that the internet is a pretty damn good way to distribute audio. Anyway, I gave you the befit of the doubt, maybe you were just the money man and you had people to handle all the technical stuff for you. In any case I gave you my work address and by the end of our conversation I was pretty sure that what you were offering would not turn out to be anything; but I was curious to see what, exactly, it turned out to be.
A few days later I received the CD you sent me titled “Fun and Freedom.” I listened to it. Some guy who went by the name Wade Simmons talked for a few minutes about a system he had that would gain the follower, wait for it… Fun and Freedom! Egads!
Not that I needed to (I already knew what this was) but I did a bit of research – I could not find any information on Wade Simmons, other than some mountain biker out of Canada, who I was pretty sure had nothing to do with any of this. Printed on the CD label was “Copyright TEAM INA.” Googling TEAM INA only turned up thisYahoo Answers post where the answerer said they’d been to a TEAM INA meeting and determined that it was a pyramid scheme. Further digging turned up this (pdf) California Class Action Suit against Quixtar (later dropped). Quixtar is in fact Amway Global, a company known to run, wait for it… pyramid schemes! If you look on page 13 of the suit where it lists Quixtar’s “lines of sponsorship” on line f. you’ll see listed InterNet Associates (INA).
Here’s the thing Jeff – I helped you that day in Home Depot, it may have not been for anything particularly significant but I did help you. I’m not saying I deserve a medal or anything but I could have easily given you a B.S. response, or ignored you; either of which would have actually been easier for me. Instead, I not only answered your question I took the time to pass valuable knowledge to you and you responded to my kindness by trying to scam me.
Ok, I’m not so native as to actually think that you were really looking for a surge protector and genuinely needed help picking one out. I’d imagine your “working” day is spent loitering around stores looking for marks, people you try run your little scam on. Make no mistake Jeff, pyramid schemes are scams and people that perpetuate their existence are, in my opinion, criminals.
I hate, hate, hate, pyramid schemes, multi-level marketing, whatever you call it a rose is a rose and a scam is a scam.
Jeff, you’re despicable, and if it existed you would burn in a very special level of Hell. A level they reserve for child molesters and people who talk at the theater (1).
Oh, and I left your CD in my car for a couple of days and it got pretty hot in there… so if you CD is a little warped I apologize…
(1) “Firefly” Our Mrs. Reynolds (2002)