05 Nov
I’m Becoming a Hoarder and My Co-Workers are to Blame

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

It seems that these days that every woman in North America is selling something on the side. I have 2 Avon, 1 Norwex, 1 Partylite and 2 Mary Kay reps working in my office.

I have tried to show my undying support to each of their endeavors by buying the least expensive item on the order form bi-annually. However, these women are GOOD. Its like they’ve attended Pusher University. When they approach me, I start by picking the cheapest thing I can find, and end up buying the first 14 pages of products. I am constantly spending way too much on terrible make-up, cleaning products I rarely use, 10,000 tea lights, and more facial cleanser than one person could use in four lifetimes.

While I completely sympathize with everyone needing a little more bank roll, how do I fend off these advances? I need a good working relationship with these women, but I find that they are constantly working me. Please help!


Knee Deep in Unused Products


Dear Knee Deep,

I decided to look up each of these companies and I must admit that I’m now the unfortunate owner of the SuperMagnify and the SuperExtend mascaras, an Artic Oasis candle, the Amazing Hands gift set and the Norwex Microfiber Antibac Enviro Cloth.

I think I see your point.

These products can be a bit seductive on their own and it sounds like you work with a group of women that could sell you a timeshare on an alligator farm in the Everglades. You’ll love swimming with the dangerous wildlife! Don’t miss this once in a lifetime experience to see their teeth up close! You’ll have such fun telling your friends about your near death experience!

It’s very nice of you to support your co-workers but you need to practice saying no. Envision your depleted bank account. Imagine all that stuff you buy just filling up landfills. And then tell the ladies of the office that you would love to support them but you have to take a pass this year due to finances being a bit tight.   You know… the economy. Give your sad “weak economy” face.

And then brace yourself for the follow-up: “Surely, you can afford one lipstick?” And the answer is still no because if you take one look at the order form, you’ll order enough beauty products to be the make-up artist for Kiss. Wait, is that band still around? Who cares. You get the idea.

And the next time you are raising money for a charity or trying to support your local public school, hit these ladies up for some cash. Because boy, do they owe you. You have 10,000 tealights to prove it.

Happy not shopping!

Kelcey, TMH

10 Responses to “I’m Becoming a Hoarder and My Co-Workers are to Blame”


Comment by Desperate Dietwives.

OK, you need a good working relationship with these women, but does this imply that you have to buy everything they offer? For if this is the case, then you are already in a very bad working relationship with them…

Bring to the office all the unused products you have bought from them, and next time they show up with the new catalogue just show them the goods and say that first you have to consume all of them; ask jokingly if they are willing to buy them back.

Also, try to focus on their selling techniques: jot down all their sentences that make you feel bad about not buying or that make you want to buy something. Selling techniques are all about manipulation. Once you realise that you are being manipulated, it is easier for you to say no. Practise it, you’ll find it comes easier as time goes by!

Good luck!


Comment by Bean.

Don’t most companies frown on employees working for other people (ie, selling) at the office? Perhaps a reminder from management is in order.

It’s none of their business why you don’t buy, and they should really just walk on once you’ve said no. Because really, aren’t they risking damaging their working relationship with you by being pushy and unprofessional?


Comment by Steph.

I agree whole hartedly with the previous two comments…My mother almost got fired for selling items at the office from another company.
And why don’t these people see that they are taking advantage of their friends, family and coworkers to pad their own pocket. I find this rude and inconsiderate.


Comment by Plano Mom.

Why not offer these coworkers cash directly, instead of buying a product? If they are unable to make ends meet at their current job, you can offer them support by buying them lunch instead of buying unneeded products.

It’s amazing to me that people expect you to shell out tons of money to support their “business,” but are appalled at the idea of asking for money up front. Just because you’re pushing a product, doesn’t make it okay to take advantage of a relationship. These folks are asking for a handout. Think of it like that, and perhaps you can say no.


Comment by Lessons in Life and Light.

Just say no. (Politely, of course.)


Comment by Melania Covey.

I do sell Mary Kay and work in a professional office. I just want you to know we’re not all pushy – it’s really very sad that a few bad apples spoil it for all.

I’m well aware of the boundries and expectation of professionalism in the office. To that end, I place a catalog in the break room each quarter and when new products come out, I may send out a flyer to a few women who have expressed interest or made purchases in the past. I do not ambush people at their desks or in the coffee/break areas. If it comes up in conversation, I’ll “shop talk”, but otherwise, I’m pretty mum. In the minds of some consultants, that may be perceived as “leaving money on the table”, but I really don’t want people avoiding me when I walk into a room or feeling resentful because of the amount of money they felt obligated to spend with me.

Please speak up to these women. You shouldn’t feel like you have to buy something. If they don’t back off after a few times, I agree, it’s time to get management involved.

On a side note, Mary Kay does have a 100% satisfaction guarantee that all consultants agree to abide by in their consultant agreement. If you don’t like the product or it doesn’t perform the way you expect it to, she should offer you a replacement product or your money back. It doesn’t hurt her as the company ultimately replaces the product for her.

Plano Mom Reply:

Melania, if I wore makeup, I’d order from you.

Melania Covey Reply:

That’s so sweet – thanks!

Desperate Dietwives Reply:

Well, this is a really respectful way of doing your side business at work and I would certainly buy from you.

I was just referring to our KneeDeep coworkers, not to the category in general. 😉


Comment by dusty earth mother.

Melanie, you’re awesome. And I’m with DD, bring all the stuff, pile it on your desk and if you see them approaching, bury your head in the stuff and make drowning sounds. They’ll either walk away or have you committed. Either way, you win.

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