Friday, 18 January 2013

THE FUNNY SIDE OF AMWAY

Though I experienced many frustrating situations and contradictory pieces of advice while I was an Amway distributor, some of the stories I heard at rallies and on cassette tapes were extremely funny. Jim Jans, pictured at a rally in Lethbridge, Alberta, told a few that I'll never forget.

One story was about the time when Jim and his wife were just starting in Amway. One of the important duties a distributor needed to fulfil is to hold meetings at their homes in order to show the multi-marketing plan to prospective new members. Jim saw a large, red couch in a second hand shop for only $5.00. He somehow managed to get the oversized piece of furniture home and proudly showed it to his wife.

"Watch this," he exclaimed as he stood in front of it. Then he sat down. Instead of being cushioned in comfortable padding, Jim sunk right down to the floor. Springs and dust erupted from the spaces where the cloth of the couch had been held in place with stick pins. He ended up with his knees almost underneath his chin, feeling sheepish at his prideful showing off.

Before Jim had built his network to the point where he could afford expensive cars, he owned a two-tone Ford. It was blue and rust. As he drove a few distributors down an alley way one day, he lost patience with a back-seat driver.

"You want to drive?" he asked as he pulled off the steering wheel and tossed it into the back seat. As the car was slowly moving down the alley, he wasn't worried about crashing it. His pesky friend handed back the steering wheel and stopped giving Jim directions after that.

Then there was the time Jim tried to get a business loan from a bank. As he sat in the manager's office, he showed him all his sales receipts. After a while, the names he read off started sounding familiar. The manager realized after the third time around that Jim kept putting the slips he read at the back of the pile which he held in his hand. I can't remember if he received the loan or not but we all burst out laughing as we realized his sneaky way of making it sound like he had more customers than he actually did.

The funniest tale of all was when Jim, his wife, and daughter were driving away from a distributor's house. "What an entrepreneur that man is," Jim remarked.

"Dad!" his daughter exploded as she sat in the back seat. "How can you say a thing like that. You told us never to say bad things about others and now you just did that."

"What do you think I said?" Jim asked, clearly puzzled by his daughter's outrage.

"You called that man a pile of manure."

I still chuckle about those stories today, thirty years later. Though I failed to build a network of distributors and lost a lot of money, I have fond memories of the rallies and seminars that i attended.

I wrote extensively about that house church in my newly-published memoir, How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. Please check it out at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm.