[Elle:] Guest writer Penny (not her real name) is back, with the anticipated conclusion to “Just What Is Her Motive?” – check it out if you haven’t already. Some of you may also remember her first ever guest post, where shared her multi-level marketing experience of losing a dear friend to the clutches of Forever Living.
If you haven’t read Penny’s first guest post yet, check out Part 1 and Part 2 of “Say Aloe & Wave Goodbye.”
Before reading Penny’s story, please remind yourself that all views presented in this blog are as told to us by the authors, and simply reflect their own opinions. Your own personal experiences with MLM companies may differ, negatively or positively. All names have been changed at the author’s request.
[Penny:] Thanks again to Elle and everyone at the coalition. As you will recall in Part 1, I was excited at the prospect of working with “professional makeup artist” Kandy, for a Britain’s Got Talent contestant – a show hosted by Simon Cowell no less!
I made my way to the train station at the crack of dawn yet again, and felt sleepy as I eventually arrived in London, I grabbed a coffee and replied to Kandy’s text message as I made my way to the Underground. She had asked me to meet her several stations away from The O2 Arena and I was under the assumption she would be waiting there, but instead she texted me the postcode to location which was a 5 minute walk away.
As I made my way into what turned out to be a block of flats, it was chaos; there were wigs and heels scattered across the floor, music was blaring and people were puffing away on cigarettes. I was surprised to see around 15 people in this small flat fussing over the talent. I won’t go in to detail about who the contestant was for privacy reasons, but I will disclose they were popular on and off the show, even though they did not make it to the finals. The contestant was very polite and professional, in fact all of their entourage were welcoming and kind.
I soon realised I was not there to assist with makeup, as Kandy had almost finished the client’s hair and makeup. I soon realised I was just there to help carry heavy suitcases to the cars, and be a general dogsbody. On reflection at this point I should have left, however Kandy ran over excitedly telling me to “put some more lipstick on, because we were probably going to be filmed entering the building alongside the talent as part of the entourage!”
Stupidly I got caught up in the excitement, put some lipstick on, followed Kandy and the crew downstairs to the cars, and helped pack the cases full of shoes and wigs.
Kandy was in a separate car to me with the talent, when we arrived at The O2 Arena, I immediately froze as I saw her storm towards the car I was in. She yanked the door open and started swearing and screaming at me.
“WHERE THE FUCK IS MY BOBBI BROWN BRUSH?? IT AIN’T IN MY BAG, YOU DIDNT FUCKING PICK IT UP DID YA!!”
Kandy’s cockney accent echoed around the car park as the crew all stopped and stared at me. I stood there shocked and confused as I felt my cheeks flush, I just couldn’t get any words out. She huffed and stormed off as the crew looked at me, just as confused as I was. I quietly picked up two heavy cases, and apprehensively made my way in to the arena.
Inside, Kandy continued swearing and throwing the suitcases around in a temper. I had never seen anything like it. Kandy’s friend Gemma (who was there as she was wig-maker for the talent) held my arm and whispered, “I’m really sorry she’s behaving like this. It drives me mad when she does, it’s so embarrassing.”
Kandy then proceeded to demand I find items in her cases, tapping her heels as I frantically searched through her disorganised, messy bags. After a hour my tired body ached, as I was on my hands and knees scavenging through the cases trying to please her, all whilst the talent was getting dressed in a separate area. Kandy sat there shouting demands at me as she sat doing her own makeup, and at one point Gemma walked over to her and told her to calm down.
I could feel a tear wanting to escape my eye but I held it in, as she eventually stopped shouting. I know I should have walked out there and then, but what if she got angrier and ruined the talent’s audition? I didn’t want to spoil it for them.
Kandy suddenly announced it was time for her to put on her new boots. What a surprise, I had to look for them and fish them out of another suitcase. The boots were not something I’d wear and were very high heeled (around 7 inches) they reminded me of ones that strippers would wear. As I handed them to her and turned to walk away, she reached out and grabbed my arm.
“Erm excuse me luv, where’d you think you’re going? You’re helping me put these babies on!”
Cackles similar to those from Karen Taylor on Eastenders erupted from Kandy’s potty mouth. They echoed around the waiting area as she sat there bare footed with her leg in the air, waiting for me to respond. I honestly couldn’t believe what I was being asked to do. I felt trapped and felt I had no choice but to put these thigh high boots on her, she was acting like Naomi Campbell except she was 200lbs heavier.
Kandy was a plus-size lady, and I could not for the life of me get these boots over her calves. I felt flustered as I struggled, with Kandy making impatient grunts and swearing as I struggled on my hands and knees. A crowd began to gawp [stare rudely] as she was swearing with her huge leg in the air. I felt utterly humiliated.
She eventually managed to push her leg through one of the boots and thumped me in the shoulder with her leg in the process. She then continued to struggle getting this other boot on, and eventually did it herself as she jumped up and said, “you idiot!”
Kandy walked off to where I assume the talent was, as I sat stunned on the floor. Tears rolled down my cheeks, the weight of Kandy in her high heeled boots made the granite floor gently vibrate underneath me.
The talent walked past me a minute or two later, not noticing my tears or even knowing what had just happened. They were being escorted on to the stage by Kandy and the entourage.
I remained on the floor, stunned and surrounded by piles of shoes and wigs. As I heard Kandy’s cockney cackle trail off, Gemma came over to me, apologised profusely and put her arm around me. I managed to compose myself and gather my things together. Kandy came back in to the room as I was about to leave, and to my surprise she started dancing and grinding her body against us both.
I felt weirded out as seemingly she had a split personality or something. Kandy winked at me and said, “before you go, babe, did ya manage to look on my online shop? Got a list of makeup for me to order?”
I told Kandy that no, I hadn’t looked, but I would later on as I needed to get back home to my family. I’m guessing she could sense how unenthusiastic my response was. Rolling her eyes, she spat, “of course ya didn’t fucking look, I knew ya wouldn’t! Your loss innit, I was gonna do ya a favour!”
She sat there with a face like thunder as I picked up my bags. As I said my goodbyes to everyone, she didn’t even look up at me as she muttered, “yeah, see ya.”
I walked through The O2 Arena swiftly towards the Tube, and could hear her cockney voice echoing in the distance as she started ranting away to Gemma. I sat my tired body down and felt so relieved to be going home, the journey passing in a blur.
I got in my front door and was relieved to discover my partner was out, so I could kick my feet back and reflect on what had happened without him badgering me excitedly for information. I clicked on my WhatsApp and scrolled through my chat history with Kandy. I contemplated sending her a message, telling her how rude and disgusting (not to mention unprofessional) her behaviour was, however I curiously decided to click on the link to her online shop (where in Part 1 she claimed she would get me a professional makeup artist discount).
As the website loaded, I saw the logo for ‘Motives by Loren Ridinger‘ appear. My eyes widened as I continued scrolling through the page, and the penny finally dropped that Kandy no ‘professional MUA’ – she was merely a ‘sales rep’ for this company. She used me.Kandy didn’t want a assistant, she wanted a skivvy who would be stupid enough to buy all her recommended products, so she could make commission from it all. She had wasted my time and not to mention my money; I live outside of London, and two days of travel ended up costing me over £45.00! How could she be so cruel and try to manipulate me like that? I just felt so stupid, not to mention angry.
She had taken advantage of me, decided to take her chances on me and clearly assumed I’d purchase her crap. Upon reflection, I was so naive that had she initially been so nice to me, I probably would have purchased all of her products!
I was aware of multi-level marketing companies such as Younique and Forever Living – as regular readers will know, I had a friend (Tawney) who was involved in MLM – I told Elle about how that ended badly, however I’d never, ever heard of Motives by Loren Ridinger.
However, I soon realised from doing my research it was quite a hit on Instagram also, with bigger influencer accounts promoting it with discount codes, alongside that ridiculous weight-loss tea. I was so mad I had been duped, I blocked Kandy on WhatsApp and all social media. I felt like such a fool.
My phone then buzzed with excited texts from my partner and my mother, asking how my day went. My cheeks burned with shame; I felt so stupid, as I’d told them all I “was going to be a small part of Britain’s Got Talent.”
When I told my partner I couldn’t look at him for the shame, and he was so furious with Kandy that he went straight to the talent’s Instagram page as he wanted to message them. I begged him not to and he thankfully didn’t, however he did see a picture of the talent on stage dancing and looking fantastic. He noticed they had also tagged Kandy in the picture – he clicked on her profile and saw she had posted a selfie of me and her, one she had taken in the talent’s flat. I honestly felt sick; the woman was deluded.
It’s disgusting that MLM reps will stoop to any level to ensure they secure a sale. I am still haunted by visions of Kandy’s ugly temper, all these years later.
(Featured Photo by Rashid Sadykov on Unsplash)
[Elle:] Thank you, Penny, for kindly sharing your MLM experience. If you have any questions for her, please add them below and we will ensure they reach her.
- If you find yourself in Penny’s position, take a look at this selection from our General Advice category:
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