Thursday, October 21, 2004

Noni Nomore

I got a new job! But allow me to tell you why I hated Tahitian Noni International.

First off, let me just say that the actual product was horrible. It tastes like what I imagine poop would taste like. It also gave me the runs, and a headache. I can't say for sure that there's causality on the runs and the headache, but I'm at least as certain as the people who claim it's cured theirs.

It was my job (this was in my very job description) to "increase consumerism." I hate consumerism. When I was down in Chile, they used a couple of rocks to prepare entire meals. When I'm in Walmart, I see electric garage door openers, bagel slicers, and colored glue sticks for your hot glue gun. Who needs this crap!? It's only there because people will buy it, and people only buy it because it's there, and the whole system is set up to get someone rich at the expense of others (the customers and the orphans that could benefit from their money if it were more frugally spent).

The corporation seemed a bit too infused with religion. The video we watched during orientation did everything but come out and say that the Nephites in French Polynesia discovered this medicinal plant and passed it down through the generations to us. We were also told on the first day that Pres. Hinckley drinks Noni juice. As though I care about that! One of the "founding principles" of the company is this: "Gratitude--We understand that the product we offer was made by God, not us. We gratefully approach the task of bringing this product to people everywhere." Does that creep out anyone else?

My final complaint has to do with the clients. Tahitian Noni Juice is allegedly marketed with a strategy that presents it as a healthful drink for the elite, along the same lines as day spas and oxygen bars. The horrid elixer is $42/bottle, after all. I suppose if the rich were the only ones buying this product, I would be okay with that. However, most of our calls were from trailer park residents and new immigrants who were trying to sell the juice (did I mention that it's pyramid marketing?). The sad thing is that we were getting calls from all these people who didn't have enough money to see a doctor, so they were calling in to buy the juice as some sort of substitute. Now, we were never allowed to make medical claims about the juice's properties, but Tahitian Noni International had set up a few websites that made medical claims without being officially affiliated with the company. The websites claimed that among other things, the juice could help with obesity, smoking, diabetes, cancer, memory loss, heart disease, migraines, rashes, burns, etc. Basically, the potion would target whichever cells were weakest in a person's body, and heal them. An anecdote was shared about how one woman was told by her doctor not to drink Noni Juice after a liver transplant, since it would strengthen the cells that fight off invaders and would make her reject the new liver. Eventually, I just couldn't do it any more. I couldn't bring myself to upsell the product to another poverty-stricken person.

I had a dream one night that I hated my job. The next morning it was true. After that long day at work, I never went back in again.

I resigned. I know I did because they called to tell me. Actually they told my roommate, "tell him that he's resigned his position here at TNI." And actually it was really me pretending to be my roommate because I didn't feel like talking to them. I still haven't delivered the message to myself that I quit.


erin said...

Smurf friend, (I have no idea which personality to call you on here),
Sorry for the loss in your employment. I'm sure that Los Hermanos is grateful to have you. I'm glad, however, that I do not share in your plight about resigning. I can't. I need a job. And I don't have to sell anything, which is fine with me. All I have to do is keep my boss happy and go to meetings every once in awhile. Miss the emails though. And the rest of the time I get to work on the Board. Yeah, I think I'm going to keep mine for now.

L'Afro said...

Smurf, I have to agree, whole-heartedly. Noni combined with religious propoganda combined with multi-level marketing is a triple threat. A triple whammy, as it were.

I've also had that sneaking suspicion that Noni was some sort of poo-byproduct. Thanks for confirming.