2006/05/04

When it rains, it pours!

A few months ago I started taking my family to a new church that’s closer to home. We had a great send-off from our old church and now we’re totally plugged in. It was definitely God’s will to move: all the confirmation signs are there. We have a great relationship with the pastors and other members of the congregation, and our friendships are growing by leaps and bounds.

Strangely enough, a lot of the people we know in this church are involved in an online network marketing system called Quixtar, (formerly Amway). Actually, to hear them talk about it, Quixtar is just the vehicle — there are actually several network marketing systems built around the Quixtar distribution machine.

What makes this strange is that when I met my wife, she was involved in the World Wide Dream Builders organization, which at the time used the Amway business model that eventually migrated to Quix. In fact, she was introduced to our previous church by a contact she met at a large WWDB function. Our old church was full of people involved in some form of Quix, mostly WWDB.

After five years of marriage we pulled the plug on our Quix affiliation for a number of reasons. To name only a few:

  • I prefer to buy from a range of product lines, and Amway products aren’t part of that
  • I work in Logistics, and understand the law of diminishing profits due to increased middlemen
  • The products are too expensive, due to the increasing numbers involved in the distribution chain
  • The bonus cheques are a pittance until you really move a lot of product

The way I explained it to our upline when accused of misunderstanding the business model: “The system cannot continue to function when everybody is a part of it. Somebody, somewhere down the line, has to have a separate JOB in order to bring new money into the system and pay all the residual bonus cheques of those who have gone on before them.”

I thought we’d escaped the whole AmQuix thing when we went to a different church, but because there are 1/5 the amount of people in our new church, the percentage of people involved in Quix appears higher compared to our old church.

That said, I’m highly appreciative of the fact that the people in our new church aren’t pushy — at least so far.

However, I have a personality that seems to attract all varieties of network marketing schemes, especially AmQuix. I have been approached or introduced to the product line for as long as I can remember:

  • My aunt let us try the kit because her friends were involved
  • My best friend took me for coffee to meet his prospective upline (he didn’t sign)
  • My then-girlfriend, now wife, had me drive her to product pickup and attend various functions over 5 years
  • On one of our first dates, I met a past friend from high school who was playing pool with his upline, a guy my wife knew about
  • Another guy who was a real upstart in high school became high up in the business
  • A guy I met at a swimming pool approached me, apparently by mistake, and took advantage of the contact to tell me about “the business”
  • A fellow member of a volunteer choir had the entire gamut of products in his overnight bag
  • While browsing the bulletin board at a grocery store, another browser just started prospecting me out of the blue
  • (I’m pretty sure I saw this guy just a month earlier drawing the circle plan on a napkin for someone at a restaurant)
  • The various people at my old church
  • The various people at my new church

And now, as a shocker completely out of left field:

  • Tonight, a guy who I met years ago at one of those fancy functions my wife dragged me to, who used to be high up in the WWDB system, called me on behalf of a friend of mine to introduce me to the INA variant of the Quix business model

What is it with Quix? Why can’t they just leave me alone????

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2006/01/10

Though I’m not usually political...

I'm so sick of politicking. I would rather have had two elections at the same time back in the summer. This winter election stuff is a real piece of work. Still, as I was doing some research on the local candidates, I had to chuckle at this bit on James Moore’s blog. James is the local Conservative representiave for my region. (Nice guy. Answers email.)

Dated: Jan 6/2006

“ Visit the Liberal campaign site for B.C. at www.teambc.ca and click on ‘Delivering Results for British Columbia.’ ‘Coming Soon’? The campaign is only over a month old, and the Liberals have only had 12 years to ‘deliver,’ but I guess we'll go ahead and wait for them to spin their non-existent accomplishments for B.C., such as: years of inaction on softwood, ignoring the leaky condo issue and CMHC, no senate reform, no new laws to fight grow-ops, no effort to combat crystal meth, no legislation on street racing or auto theft, no accountability or plan for the west coast fishery, no support for dredging on the Fraser River, no plan on port security, all talk and no action on the Pacific Gateway, total abandonment of the pine beetle epidemic.... the list goes on. Anyway, I’m looking forward to their list of non-accomplishments for B.C.”

The Liberals have long since updated their site to fix this oversight, but what a faux pas in the heat of probably the most dangerous campaign of their careers. I sure hope that Canadians get smart and realize that we can’t continue letting politicians rob us blind. One party will spend our money ensuring they have pensions (while we have none), while another party will continually waste money on issues of little relevance to a broad majority of the population.

One such trivial waste of cash was the redefinition of marriage. When there are so many other issues of economic and social import that have first-hand impact on the lives of you and me, the current regime spent countless hours bulldozing an issue that should never have surfaced in parliament.

Wise up Canada. Look into the parties and review their platforms. Check out the character of the candidates running in your riding. Make sure you elect the person who best represents YOU. Canada deserves to see democracy live!

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2005/06/20

Maybe Fashion Ain’t for Everybody

The latest metrosexual fashion statement for the business elite is men wearing pink shirts. Note that usually by the time I find out about a fashion craze it’s already been and gone. As high-tech and avant-garde as I may sound sometimes, I often proceed with caution and let others test the waters before jumping in.

An example, speaking of water and jumping: I remember a time years ago when I traveled with some friends through the interior and we made a pit stop at Rock Creek. We watched a group of kids jump off a bridge into the water to counter the sweltering heat. A twenty-foot jump would scare the socks off most people, but these kids did it with no fear. There was, however, one little guy no older than 8 who was scared to jump in.

I asked him, “Can you swim?”

“Yes,” was the reply.

“All your friends are jumping off and none of them are getting hurt. If you don’t do it, you will wonder for the rest of your life ‘what would have happened if only I did...?’ You owe it to yourself to do it at least once.”

He stared down at the water for a moment which I’m sure must have felt like an eternity. Quizzically he looked up at me, “Are YOU gonna do it, mister?”

Not one to refuse a challenge, I switched to my trunks and jumped in.

I say all this by way of introduction that I would not even have considered jumping off that bridge had I not the empirical data to support doing so posed no serious hazards to my health. Had some kid smashed his head on a rock, broken an appendage, or gotten snatched by an undercurrent I probably would not have been so secure in my decision.

This morning I was in the herd of office workers stampeding from the train, forming an inpentrible wall at least 10 people thick racing for the station exits. Some poor soul in his mid-20s looking all cool and business-like with his business briefcase, business slacks, business shades (indoors, no less), business sport coat hung over his business shoulder, and business pink shirt was slammed into the wall at every attempt he made to get on the train we just left. Eventually he managed to work his briefcase on the train before the doors slid shut on his arm.

I now have empirical data to support that nobody takes seriously a man wearing a pink shirt. I think I’ll stick with blue.

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2005/04/21

I'm Gonna Be In Pictures

Well... has this ever been an eventful year so far! And it's only just beginning. I was commenting that I can't believe it's already the end of April, but wow. Not only do I find myself in the middle of a web project that is taxing every cell of both sides of my brain (Windows AND Macintosh) but at my day job I was asked to join three of my co-workers as staff trainers, teaching end users how to order goods on our new ordering system.

So on the day we went to be trained as trainers, a guy in communications snapped a few pics of the session. Because of intellectual property rules their department needs to obtain model releases for all photos depicting specific individuals. This brings a flurry of emotions.

On the one hand, the I-type in me feels a sense of gratification that I am in one of the selected photos for the article being printed about the trainers. On the other hand, I was mortified to see how fat I look in print. Fortunately, the D-type in me gets over this stuff relatively quickly, so this entry is much ado about nothing.

For more information, check out the following links:

In addition to the disclaimer in the sidebar, I am not affiliated with Crown Financial, though I have followed their daily radio broadcasts since they merged with Christian Finanical Concepts. I was really surprised that I didn't hear of Larry Burkett's death in 2003, and that I had to find it on a website while searching for these links.

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