THE INTERNET — A Facebook friend of yours, whom you vaguely recall from high school, couldn’t be more excited to share an exciting, not-at-all predatory business opportunity with you.
Initially the acquaintance wasn’t easily recognized, according to those close to you. Between their infrequent online posts, changed last name, and profile picture of a newborn baby, it wasn’t immediately evident that this was a person you had a couple of classes with over a decade ago.
“Hello old friend!” began the clearly pasted inbox message. “I am writing this to tell you about an exciting opportunity for both of us. I recently became lucky enough to begin selling Nucleo products, and have become a licensed Nucleo dealer! What this means is I can now begin building my ‘Team’ and signing up ‘Underlings’ so that I continue ‘Channeling money upwards!’ Isn’t that so exciting?”
The message went on to outline your friend’s involvement with a company that appears to sell a combination of candles, vitamins, and rain gear. Recipients of the message were also encouraged to start thinking of friends and family members who might be promising candidates for future team growth.
“When you’ve finished thinking about a dozen financially secure loved ones, we can get to the really exciting part: your discounted initial membership fee for being a preferred Underling!” the letter continued. “Can you believe it will only cost you $79, and that your first shipment of umbrellas will be half off? Not a cloud in the sky when you are on Team Nucleo!”
Your husband suggested ignoring the message altogether.
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“I just don’t see any point of responding to the message. Their entire timeline is just links to pirate HBO shows mixed in with the occasional pornbot,” said your partner of eight years. “Just report the profile as spam and forget she even tried getting in contact.”
Although the correspondence mostly focused on your recruitment into a logistically convoluted sales team, it did commence with a reflection on your shared formative years.
“Do you still talk to anyone from school?” the message concluded. “Because none of them answer me anymore. Isn’t that sad? Everyone was so much nicer when we were young. I feel so alone.”
Photo by Kat Chish.