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I Worked Three Scam Jobs in One Year - Part II: Pyramid Scheme


Read Part I: Commission Scam here.

Naturally, I was a little sore over being duped by what looked like a cool tech startup, but I’d just gotten contact info from this young woman around my age and was told to come to an after hours info session for her rapidly growing business.

Awesome! How lucky is this?

I made it to the opposite end of town in my ’92 Toyota Paseo and was a little surprised to find myself in a residential neighbourhood. The address seemed right, though. I made my way to an apartment building, found the woman’s name and hit the buzzer. Yep! Right place. She buzzed me up.

This didn’t seem very job interview-like. I started to entertain the idea that maybe she’s actually really boldly inviting me to a date. Or a murder. I’d made it this far. Better find out which.

When she greeted me at the door to her apartment, I was surprised to find a dozen or so people crammed into her living room, on the couch, chairs, floor. Hmm. Not a date. Not quite writing off murder though.

Once everyone was situated, she began what turned into a 3-hour presentation on how we’re going to grow fast and make big money faster. She spent the first couple of hours building the dream: what is the thing you want most? A big house? Fancy car? Mine was a baritone saxophone, but when she called on me, I lied and said car. She went on and on about how we’re going to make our own dreams come true. I couldn’t help but feel like I had no idea what this job was about. What were we doing? Everyone else seemed genuinely interested, so I must have missed something! Crap! Gotta look like I know what’s going on too! Losing concentration. Shouldn’t have skipped supper to come to this.

It wasn’t until the last hour that she finally started to draw out – literally, on a portable flip board, no less – what this was: She was at the top. Below her were all of us. Below us were our “network” of friends of family.

I stopped dead and threw my hand up. “Is this a pyramid scheme?”

“Oh no no no!” She explained how to use my network to sell and climb the ladder and make lots of money, and how she’d done it and was already part of someone else’s pyramid. An alarming amount of other people in the room still showed genuine interest, but all I could think of was that I shouldn’t have skipped supper for this.

She finally finished explaining the pyramid scheme, handing out little binders of info on next steps. I waited until I was the last person left to express my concerns, including that I’d skipped supper to waste all this time.

To her credit, she warmed up some leftovers from the fridge for me and her – maybe this was just a bad date, afterall. But that was the last I was to see of her.

I can’t believe I fell for this stuff yet again! No more dream chasing for me. Whatever job I find will be firmly rooted in reality and come with a normal, taxable income.

Read Part III: Timeshare Scam.