Jewish Journal

Multi-Tiered and Multi-Scammed

by Mihal Levy

December 18, 2009 | 2:00 pm

There are two kinds of people in the world: those that send you a birth announcement with a catalog and order form from their multi-tiered pyramid business, and those who do not.  I would just like to meet more of the “do nots.”

I am beginning to think the world is not round, but in fact, muti-tiered instead.  I don’t know how many friends I have left that are not trying to sell me Arbonne, Tupperware, kitchenware or some high-potency energy drink and vitamins.  I am starting to wonder if they truly see me as a friend or a potential tier on their great big pyramid.

Almost every stay-at-home mom I come across sells some product earning her promotions and free items.  For once, I would like to walk into a mommy group where moms do anything but belong to a pyramid scheme.  I am afraid to even get close, not knowing if I am the next potential victim tier.

It is happening across the globe (the multi-tiered globe).  Even my own family members are trying to sell to me.  Just for the record, I am not biased, just victimized more times than I can count on both hands and feet.  For once, I would like to know that I am befriended for reasons other than being a potential money-making friend.  I am not perfect, but I make a better friend than a salesperson, trust me.  And it is not saying that I am such a great friend, rather just a poor salesperson.

Even when I was single I was approached.  Maybe there was a sign taped to my back that read instead of “kick me,” “mutli-tier me!” that I was unaware of.  But, whoever put it there…haha, it is not funny.

I must have even had this sign on my back when I met a guy one lonely single night at a bar in Beverly Hills.  (If I knew then what I know now, I would have realized that meeting a man at a bar was probably not a man that I would want to date, anyway.)  But, of course, I gave him my number- he was handsome (in the dim lighting and after a few sips of my drink); what else do you need to know when you are single.  We agreed to meet for drinks at a hotel in the east valley the next night.  In the lobby, of course.  (Why I agreed to meet at a hotel, I am not quite sure, but know it had something to do with being single, young and out of my mind.)

I showed up at the lobby and there he was along with the rest of the “Pre-Paid Legal” scheme convention.  And yes, he was part of it.  I thought we were meeting for a date, but apparently so did the two other girls that showed up right behind me for their date as well.  Of course I left soon after, realizing that he had brought us there to join in the pyramid scheme.  Pre-paid legal services?  What will they think of next?  Pre-paid music services?  I would probably sign up for that one, though.  Maybe I will even start my own pyramid scheme.  You never know when you could use a live band.  But, I am getting off topic here…

I have come to the realization that I have MTSD (Multi-tiered Stress Disorder). 

When I received my friend’s birth announcement with her mulit-tiered catalog attached, I had no clue how to respond.  “Hey, congrats on your baby and I will take two stock pots and a seller’s home starter kit.”  Maybe it is just me and I haven’t joined the new movement of BAHM (Bored-at-Home Moms).

Now I would just like to meet more moms who don’t sell multi-tiered products.  I have no problem with mothers that sell things, just not when it involves sabotaging friendships, or friendships under false pretenses.

Business and friendship truly do not mix.  If I am ever looking for a place on a tier, I will let you know.  But right now…I’m just looking for more mommy friends…tierless ones.

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Mihal Levy used to collect degrees as a hobby.  After receiving her B.S. and M.S. degrees, she worked as a psychotherapist and research scientist before continuing her hobby of...

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