Sunday, December 30, 2012

Abuse of Power for MLM

MLM is often compared to cult because its members are like mad recruiters, corralling any one they can get their hands on to either buy their stuff, or worse, join their biz/cult. Family and friends would be most of the people who have to put up with this, and it's annoying enough. However, there are people who then crosses the line: they take MLM to their DAY-JOB, or worse, they are in a position of power, and they try to recruit their subordinates and/or employees.

Regular MLMs that sell stuff are not that offensive in this regard, because if people say they're not interested, well, they're not. And you just know that if you sell "True Romance", don't market it to guys, and if you sell "Man Cave" stuff, don't sell to girls. But recruiting-based schemes and/or outright pyramid schemes? Anybody is fair game, whether they're interested or not. In fact, the more ignorant and desperate they are, the better.

Taking MLM to work is already wrong. Using workplace authority for personal gain is almost criminal and certainly unethical.

That doesn't stop the recruiters, of course. They rationalize it as "non-work activity", and co-workers as "potential recruits".

Such abuses are relatively rare in the US due to labor-friendly laws. If you don't pay the salary, you get sued.  with penalties. It is that simple. Government will often even provide lawyers for the employees. However, they seem to be quite rife elsewhere.

I've seen documented cases where pyramid schemes were taken up by leaders in a company, who then enrolled their subordinates, either with or without their knowledge.

A couple years back, there was a report out of Kazhakstan, where a local general in their military recruited the soldiers under his command for the TVI Express pyramid scheme. No idea what became of him.

I've also read about employees in some company in Asia reported that their boss, instead of paying them, bought them positions in a pyramid scheme instead, and told them it's for their own good (though it's really so he can cycle himself out faster). However, I can't find the reference now.

TVI Express recently made the news AGAIN, when it was revealed by "Times of India" newspaper that several Central Railways supervisors recruited the employees they supervise, and "punished" those who declined to join by sending their names to the internal affairs department for an audit. When the story was made public, the supervisor tried to delay the publication (please hold on the story, I want to tell you my side!)  Even when the story broke, the investigation was slow, and one supervisor was transferred to another station, and the case is assigned to a very junior investigator to be buried.

Now *that* is despicable...  Both for the perps, and for the system that permits such abuses to continue unpunished.

If you are recruited at work, remind the recruiter to do it OFF-work and you're not interested. If s/he won't stop, it may be time to notify a supervisor and/or Human Resources.

Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments:

Post a Comment