Reader Story: A Co-Worker’s Sad Tale
On this site, you’ll find a growing number of stories from former TEAM members about the dangers of the TEAM. The LIFE website, on the other hand, has a section devoted to testimonials from current members. Whom is one to believe? The LIFE stories, most of which follow a similar pattern1 of, “My life sucked, but now it’s better because of LIFE,” or the reader stories here, which can be summarized with, “TEAM (Amway/Quixtar/MonaVie/LIFE) eventually became a nightmare that I had to get out of” ?
If pro-TEAM members tell prospects that they can’t believe everything they read on the Internet, shouldn’t that apply to the TEAM LIFE testimonials as well? I encourage everyone to read the pro and con accounts and make up their own mind.
Here’s a powerful and chilling story from Katie about her short experience in TEAM and her observations of TEAM’s effects on her former co-worker, Gary.
It’s been great seeing so many people coming together and sharing their experiences on your blog recently. I wanted to share a story with you, and I think it’s important to share, because it’s an example of how far someone can fall even without being a Policy Council member, diamond, or any kind of kingpin in the business like the Peters or the Morgans. It’s about my friend and former co-worker whom I’ll call Gary.
Gary and I were co-workers who shared a cubicle together in 2009. At work, he introduced me to MonaVie by offering me an EMV energy drink. A couple of months later, he sprang the TEAM/MonaVie plan on me at a dinner that I believed was a celebration dinner for him getting a new job at another company. At that time, I did not join or even contemplate joining TEAM. However, a few months later, after I also got hired on at Gary’s new company (at his recommendation, no less), he kept inviting me to go to TEAM meetings, and I caved. I really liked Gary as a friend, and felt bad constantly saying that I couldn’t make it to the Tuesday night opens. Eventually he convinced me to go to a seminar in Wisconsin, which was about a 5 hour round trip drive for me, and on a work night. What possessed me to agree to that? I’ll never know.
I digress. This story is not about me. What I do know is that as Gary and I grew closer while going to meetings, seminars, and driving around showing plans, both he and I started drifting further away from our REAL jobs at our company. It was harder to wake up in the morning and harder to sit at the desk all day when we were being brainwashed to think that some day we could be job-optional and never have to go back. Gary confided in me last February that he had had a bad performance review at work, and that it was motivating him even more to “make the thing work” so he could help his wife retire, and then retire himself. Meanwhile, he was “Sharing The Plan” with more and more people around the office, trying to bring people on board. He succeeded with a few, and scared a few more off. He mentioned to me that he wanted to Show the Plan to our department’s general manager, stating that it is important to approach people who intimidate you because it builds character.
In May of last year, I told Gary that I was quitting TEAM. I wished him all the best and told him that I had tried it for 3 months, from one major to the next, but that I could no longer be a part of his future in the business.
After I quit, the TEAM inside our office kept growing like some kind of weed. I would see books and CDs laying on the desks of new hires as Gary or one of the others would approach them as fresh meat to recruit. The refrigerator in the break room was full of MonaVie EMVs. As I recently found out, several of our coworkers were being harassed by TEAM members pressuring them to sign up, buy things, and go to meetings, refusing to take “no” for an answer. One of my co-workers who had said no to the plan and was getting sick of the pressure finally spoke to our supervisors about it around July. Although I was out, there was no escaping it.
This past month, he was quietly asked to leave the office and not to come back. They took his badge and dismissed him. I cannot imagine the shame of having to go home to his wife and two children, including a new 4-month old girl, and tell them what happened. Obviously I am not in his shoes and do not know if there was something else going on that caused him to get fired, but from my perspective, much of the responsibility lies in his involvement with TEAM/MonaVie, now known as TEAM/LIFE. It gave him a bad attitude. He discussed it and recruited people AT WORK, which TEAM strongly advises against because things like this will happen. He may have even approached our management and supervisors, and I don’t care how motivated you are in this business, the one sure way to leave your job early is to tell your boss that you want to get out of your job early! TEAM preaches about making people leaders in their homes and in the workplace, so that when your retirement day comes, your boss will offer you a raise just to stay. TEAM fails to mention how they turn ordinary, hard working people into brainwashed slaves that can’t keep a job in real life because their heads are in the clouds. Gary went from being a strong employee at work, on whose recommendation I was initially hired, to being fired in the middle of a week and never being seen again.
The real kicker is this: exactly one week after being fired gracelessly from our comfortable, well-paying, 40 hour a week job, Gary texted me and asked if I would be interested in attending a TEAM/LIFE seminar in Wisconsin. I typed and deleted a number of responses to this and finally settled on a firm, “No thank you, and please don’t ask me again.” It breaks my heart and almost brings me to tears of fury that he is selling his soul and his childrens’ futures to these monsters in TEAM/LIFE. His family of four is now living on a teacher’s salary and whatever they are making from LIFE, which I would be willing to bet is less than they are spending on it.
My point of sharing Gary’s story is this: it’s not just the big pins that fall hard. The last I knew, Gary was a Turbo 10. At the time I quit, he had not obtained any level past bronze in MonaVie. He is a good man and a good leader, but he was not a millionaire and not even close to being able to retire. THIS BUSINESS DESTROYS LIVES ON ITS OWN. You don’t have to get on your upline’s bad side to destroy everything you have worked for!
I don’t know if it is possible to share this story on your blog, but I think it is important. If nothing else, I just had to get it off my chest, because I feel like only some of the readers of your blog would really relate to this story.
What can we learn from Gary’s story?
For starters, I hope that Gary goes and looks for a new job instead of devoting all his time to trying to build his LIFE business. A job, after all, will provide a stable income for his family. Should he desire, he can continue to build his LIFE business in his spare time until it equals his former income from his job. The unfortunate fact to point out is that the majority of people will never see their MLM-income equaling their job income. He’ll always be chasing the dream one weekly meeting after the next, one monthly seminar after the next, and one Major Function after the next. He could do very well for himself to listen to Katie, who analyzed the situation and realized that the business was not working for her.
Read more Ex-TEAM Reader Stories here.
1 For example, Kirk and Cassie Birtles share their story on the LIFE testimonials page, but they neglect to mention that, after years of being involved with TEAM, after years of listening to the CD’s and reading the finance books, they still foreclosed on their home in 2010.