Al-Avalathi's Life (Al-Avalathi is the last Mallu to go to the Gelf)
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The gullible Mallu

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(Warning:This is a LONG post)

Maybe I look very gullible.Maybe I have those unsuspecting looks that every network marketeer looks for.Or may be a few words of flattery are enough to make me feel like a king.

It was an ATM queue.Thoughts like “damn India’s population”, “Why would everyone in Koramangala want to withdraw money NOW?”, “Why cant this stupid bank have more ATMs?”were moving in and out of my head.Suddenly this guy next to me started chatting up.And I would not mind talking to stranger to kill time in a queue.He introduced himself as a techie with an Indian IT company(ya, the one powered by brains driven by something else…).The queue was long enough… he could have as well given a dissertation on Nano technology.Comments like even I wanted to do an MBA sometime..I am preparing for CAT, wanted to check something with you and all were sprinkled in his talk.(Yes! I am getting a bakra, I felt)
He did shower occasional praises at MBAs, how good they were. And about my B School, which was more than an an ego massage for me.Somewhere in the middle, we exchanged phone numbers.So what? ;)

Dang! I get a call from him in two days about his entreprenuerial venture and how he wants an intelligent MBA like to help him out.It revolved around how I can multiply my money in this “novel” venture and make it rich during my free time.I politely declined.

Moral of the story.Dont give your number to strangers.

Another day.
At a bakery closeby.
My company id card hanging down my neck clearly says I am with HP.Someone next to me.”Oh you work with HP?,Great yaar”
A sudden boost to my esteem.My head held higher.Ego,pride and similar feelings sky rocket.With a tinge of arrogance, I say,”Ya, I am with HP”.
Oh, software? He asks.
Me:No,…MBA
He:Wow! MBA….good man!
Me:ya….
He:I am with XYZ soft.
Me:[General questions to acknowlege the attention I got and the to send a I am a KNOW ALL feeling]“What is your profile like?,which vertical”?

Out of nowhere he tries to hijack the conversation.
He:”I think we should exchange numbers”
Me:[Ok.Chance to throw my visiting card at someone]Take my card.

Two days passed.
“Hi, remember we met at the bakery…how are you doing…have you had dinner…?”
So many questions all in one shot, to strike a conversation.

I am like, okay…what do you want(in a polite manner though)

“See, apart from my work we do some work in ________________ area and would want highly motivated and intelligent people like you to join us. I am sure you have some time to spare.Why don’t we meet sometime at ______”
Me:Thanks, but I am not inerested.

The funny thing is the same guy caught me again, stuck a conversation at the bakery and took my number.
This time I was sure, he was going to call in a day’s time. I waited for the happiness of fooling someone.
He called, I said, Sorry I am not interested.

It did not end there,another guy at the same bakery.
“Oh you with HP, I am with SAP”
Me:Great! I am into Analytics(jus’ show off)
He:Cool!
2 mins into the conversation,the routine exchange of numbers happened.

I was hopeful, this guy was not a Network marketing guy.Hope,ya, jus hope.

I got a call from him, when I was out of town.Cell on roaming. No chance of me picking the call..ha ha ha!

Met the guy after a couple of days in the same bakery.”I tried calling you, he said”
Me:I was not in town
Me:I am in a hurry, bye.

He calls that evening.
Same old stuff. Plus,”We have some guys from IIMA and IITs who have joined us and they are doing exceedingly well”
Me:Good for them
Me: Sorry not interested.

Now that I am used to such marketing or rather lack of it, I act like am an easy prey to such tricks.Like, I am all set for businesses that can help your money grow at 100 times the GDP growth!

A week back.
A well dressed guy.Same bakery.
“Nice bag”
Me:(In full “attitude” ishtyle”)Original HP, I work with HP
He:Great.I thought its a Samsonite
Me:Its worth more.
He:So, you into software
Me:I am into something that is neither software nor call center, still IT/ITES.Its called Analytics.I am an MBA …from ….SIBM.
He:I am with _____. Was with Oracle for 5 years. I am from _________.
Me:Good.
(When is he asking my number?? ask ask!! ;) )
He:I am Harit
Me:Nice name ;)

He:Think, we should exchange numbers
Me:Okay(Done!)

He:This friend of mine _____ is from Symbiosis.___batch.
Me:Great!May be some other Symbi institute.Nevertheles…..

I was waiting for his call.No he did not call that day.Next day, no.
Yes, he calls!!!! :-)

He:Hi Nikhil, this is _____…had dinner?(Hey,even my mom doesn’t care this much)
Me:Ya!
He:You must be having a lot of free time, right.
Me:mmmm…ya(so what?)My company is good that ways.
He:Ya, I know.Your company is great!
See, apart from my work, I am into…..(There you go!!!)
Me:I can’t code.
He:This is not software.But would need inputs from MBAs like you.(LOL!)
Think we should meet and discuss this over a coffee.
Me:Sorry!!! I am NOT INTERESTED.

I don’t understand if I carry myself as a probable network for these guys or I am stupid enough to exchange cards…
Anyways, their tactics SUCK to say the least. To strike a conversation with someone and then take his number and try selling the concept.
Guys, you need to revisit school.

Good luck to all MLMs,Network Marketeers and others forms of it.

Moral of the story: Talk talk to strangers or put it this way MLMs, you guys need to learn a lot.

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20 comments

1 faliNo Gravatar { 03.30.08 at 7:16 pm }

lol
a funny one
yeah why do you exchange numbers with these people anyway!

2 Shruti { 03.30.08 at 7:19 pm }

Hahaha.. good one Nikhil.Keep up the networking skills and contribute more stories for us..:P

3 | Balu |No Gravatar { 03.31.08 at 9:04 am }

Ya talk about exchanging cards.. I once exchanged a mail which unfortunately had my number as signature.. He s been calling me since then asking if BM takes in freelancers! =P (jus kidding!! =D )
Talking with bakery and startups? Are bakeries the new monster for startups?

4 raj damNo Gravatar { 03.31.08 at 12:51 pm }

Hey nikhil,

I run a network marketing company. We sell toddi and ayla fry to all mallus in blr. Would you want to join us? If you work hard you will surely b able to own one coconut tree in kerala within a year. One of our associate – Rohit Jain already owns 5 coconut trees now. His social life has also increased considerably after he started dispensing toddi. So wt u thinking about. Come on board and change your life.

Btw, can i have your number? ;)

5 mallugalNo Gravatar { 04.01.08 at 6:56 pm }

Only one coconut tree? What losers!!! My number is 2251583. 2256242. Do call. I will be waiting cheta!

6 Unseen ;) { 04.02.08 at 12:15 pm }

Gullible? Unsupecting looks? :-O
More on that once I get over my choking fit… interesting that I saw this post just after a discussion on shady looking somethings.

NOT coconut trees…. I meant mallu guys!

Btw, quite a few passouts of top Indian b-schools are joining this new venture…a ‘puli-valarthu kendram’. Immense growth opps…. not to mention the prestige of being associated with the ‘Puli-vaal’ program. Do think about it. Mebbe we can discuss this over coffee. ;-D

7 jjNo Gravatar { 04.02.08 at 6:56 pm }

nice post!
MLM’s re so irritating! forget about MBA’s and working professionals… they are trapping numerous college students too. many of these students are suckers for this money.
I had these few gals after my life for the same…it’s tough to fight’em off.
MLM parasites!

8 MacadamiaTheNut { 04.04.08 at 3:26 am }

Moral of the story?
Don’t throw your visiting card around
Save the trees!
Save the earth!
*burp*

9 SaruNo Gravatar { 04.04.08 at 5:05 pm }

Nice one…… I faced d same…. feel nostalgic….

10 NithyaNo Gravatar { 04.09.08 at 7:15 am }

hahahahahaha…good one…happened to me at one of the giant aisles at walmart in houston, of all places!! an innocent looking indian couple that could not find “blank greeting cards”. beleive u me, im speaking nothing but the truth!! after exchanging pleasantries, whr r u from/been her long etc etc…and yes, me grabbing the one chance to flash my visiting card…turns out they were having an exhibition of “health/beauty/home products” that weekend….

now, let’s say these MLM guys evolve, get smarter, and send hot women to recruit u….THEN wud u care to join them for a cuppa? ;-)

11 SANUP V { 04.09.08 at 8:21 am }

Thats a good one …

12 Sajal KayanNo Gravatar { 04.10.08 at 1:56 pm }

heh.. just for fun.. after your next card exchange why dont u give them the first call n try selling them into a fictional MLM which promises to pay them higher than their current one? would be really funny

13 jinxedNo Gravatar { 04.11.08 at 6:47 pm }

wow..u seem to be a marketeer magnet…
u never know you shud try psychoanalysis..and maybe u have got enuf sample size to do a phd on this phenoemena..;)

14 Nikhil NarayananNo Gravatar { 04.11.08 at 8:16 pm }

@Fali
No answer for that question. ;)
@Shruti
Will do a good job, dont u worry.

@Balu
Veno maashey ingott :D

@Raj
I am game! ;)

@Mallugal
You have my number na, call me !

@Unseen
Chal, coffee on you. Yes, look wise gullible ;)

@jj
trust me man!Poor souls falling in their traps

@MTN
Okay, ente Madamme :-)

@ Saru
Great :-)

@Nithya
Indians maan!! These guys!

@Sanup
Thanks

@Sajal
Next time, Im gonna do that

@Jinxed
Oh! ini oru phd, don’t mind..lemme see. thanks for the suggestion

15 Shrinidhi HandeNo Gravatar { 07.02.08 at 2:32 pm }

Hi. Your post made good reading.

When I get such calls I start with “Is it Amway/Questnet/Modicare etc” they are reluctant to reveal the name but usually give in after a set of questions.

I have couple of posts related to MLM-if time permits pay a visit to my blog and read them.

Thanks

16 Shrinidhi HandeNo Gravatar { 07.02.08 at 2:35 pm }

Oops! I had come here from Indian Blog directory-thought I’m visiting your blog for first time…

You’re the same nikhil…. Good…

17 Nikhil NarayananNo Gravatar { 07.03.08 at 5:04 am }

@Shrinidhi
Thanks :)
He he.. Ya, I have found your MLM posts. will read and comment.

Too much of my presence on the net , eh ;)

18 GlenNo Gravatar { 03.08.09 at 11:15 am }

Happens almost all the time. First it was my ex school mate who said his aim in life was to make me rich, almost talked me into joining the gold n/w until my roomie came to my rescue. We then had a one hour session with ‘rm and beat the living daylight outta them. The “expert” who came to “counsel” was terribly demoralised :) secon was in landmark, when i was chkin out the mallu dvd collection. A guy (mallu ofcourse) comes and chats up to me about recession and after effects. said he had a pay cut etc etc. then takes my number. next day i get a call telling he is into “e-commerce” and tells a fictious company name. Said a SMExpert will call me. i get a call the very next day
SME: i want o change your life
Me: OK
SME: i havea session at koramangala with lot of ppl 2moro, please come
Me: I have my band practice then
SME: Band practice? Do you think that is more important? i have a very busy schedule, still i have set time to help you guys out.
Me: Band practice. not interested.

FInally after many calls the mallu guy finds my place and comes home with a friend to talk me into what we all know as “amway” :)
I use the tricks i learnt from my roomie and talks out of this :) .
One thing i noticed was how they changed the way they approac us depending on our resposes. To me first it was making money, then it changed to helping others, etc etc :)

19 gauriNo Gravatar { 03.11.09 at 12:32 am }

LOL, Good one! You should make that “The Gullibe Desi”, though; they don’t spare anyone. Here’s an anti-amway remedy if you’re into cheap thrills ;)

g

20 Nikhil NarayananNo Gravatar { 07.18.09 at 8:44 pm }

@Glen @g
Thanks for the comment. Just got a call from one more N/W M guy now. Mega losers!

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