Public Warning: The Unsocial Network

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The-Vegetable-Market
The Vegetable Market by Joachim Beuckelaer

Winter is approaching and, asides from the usual call for citizens to remain wary on the icy London roads, we are obliged to warn the public of another, even slipperier menace. Unfortunately, this threat is a little more difficult to avoid, frequenting the areas we tend to retreat to ourselves on a cold evening. Wherever humanity congregates, from coffee shops to fireplaces, this ominous cloud will gather too, dampening the mood of those attempting to shelter from the harsh November rain. Worst of all, you can never be certain of when it will strike, for network marketing, as you may well know, tends to rear its ugly head at the times we find ourselves at our most vulnerable.

For citizens yet to be caught up in the network marketing storm, it’s worth knowing a few key details about its formation. Firstly, as we have already mentioned, this shady business enterprise tends to condense in areas of populated warmth, with each individual marketer starting life as a flaccid, overreaching speck. Once the network grows, feeding on members further down the chain in order to develop, the final structure becomes something that closely resembles a pyramid. In fact, network marketing is believed to have first appeared in the dunes of ancient Egypt, where supposedly high-level execs were buried under a mound of unsold merchandise; useless tat that, to this day, no one has ever managed to shift.

Though considered a legal operation in this city, network marketers will often present themselves under a nom de plume, since many view them as an unwelcome infestation. Common pseudonyms include multi-level marketers, freelance businessmen and, perhaps most aptly, time wasting oxygen-thieves. If any of these names are thrown about during conversation with a seductive stranger, then run for cover: you are probably moments away from a barrage of self-serving statistics and inflated stories of overnight success.

When the dust settles, you’re likely to find yourself holding a tub of discontinued face cream and the online keys to a whole lot more. While this may be a dream come true to some, the chances of you building a face cream empire in your rented basement remains relatively slim. In fact, face cream isn’t really good for building anything, especially a defence case against accusations of fraud. If your main clients are your family and friends, then what you have is a lemonade stand, not a viable business opportunity.

Of course, life handing you lemons is never an excuse to pass that bitterness onto your loved ones; no matter how much sugar you use to sweeten the deal. Network marketers often resort to underhand tactics in order to reach unobtainable goals, so don’t be surprised to find long-lost cousins contacting you over social media with ‘unmissable’ giveaways and ‘once in a lifetime’ prize draws; or friends offering up their own partners as part of a bundle buy.

Prostitution aside, network marketers are quick to claim prejudice at the hands of the everyman. Their right to hole up in the same warm alcoves as the rest of us remains a point of contention and one they feel stems from an elitist attitude. Cries of favouritism towards the hard-working, honest folk are often heralded by their most passionate supporters, who insist it’s just as natural to live off the futile sweat and toil of your downline. In any case, the network marketers certainly appear to be thriving from their time in the sun, whilst those caught in their shadow are left looking up at the sky, wondering exactly where the roof above their head has gone.

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