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Iniobong Umoh: Drug Supplements Marketing & Hapless Job Seekers

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dreamstime_l_46269751Ijeoma is walking around the street with a bag filled with drug supplements. She is looking for anyone to buy the drugs from her and reduce the weight of the bag.

Ekong has hundreds of packets of herbal tea, soaps and creams at home. He is desperately searching for people to buy the products so that he can earn a little commission.

Both of them are graduates. They are working as marketers of a popular drug supplement company. They had been promised lots of financial benefits if only they would market the products. Two months on the job, they have not made any money and want a way out of the bondage.

I would say that majority of job seeking Nigerian graduates have had encounters with these drug supplements companies who operate under various names. The most popular is GNLD. Their mondus operandi is to invite the applicant by sms to a recruitment test/interview for a good job with fat salary.

The interview location is always an obscure place. When the applicant finally gets there, he or she is subjected to a charade of a test. Then the officials of the company would start giving motivational talks and subsequently request that the applicant pays a certain sum of money for registration in the drug supplement company as a marketer/partner.  After paying the registration fee, he or she would be given some quantity of drugs to sell. The officials would promise the applicant that quick sales of the drugs will fetch him/her, mind blowing profit, make him/her financially independent and rapidly advance his/her climb up the ladder of the networking scheme. The disappointed applicant, whose dream of working in a corporate high flying company is dashed, leaves the venue angry and defeated.

Why do these people prey on poor and hapless applicants looking for jobs? Why do they mask their drug supplement marketing chores as real juicy jobs thereby deceiving the job seeker?

I had this experience in 2013 when I was searching for a job, one month after passing out from the Nysc.

I was walking towards a road junction to board a taxi in Uyo when someone handed me a flyer. I collected it and read the content.

“Happylane Ventures limited, a new services company urgently requires workers to fill the following vacancies in the company.

Driver: N40,000 monthly salary. Marketer: N50,000. Cleaners: N30,000

I went through the list of vacancies and my eyes fell on a position that I was qualified for.

Graduate Admin officers: N90,000 monthly salary.”

Curiosity got the better of me and I decided to attend the recruitment test holding the following week.

On the D-day, after emptying a bottle of anointing oil on my head, I took all my credentials including my Nepa bill receipt, and stepped out of the house. Tracing the location of the test wasn’t easy. My heart sank when the keke driver entered a lonely road with big bushes on either side. I was afraid that I had been kidnapped for ransom or for money rituals.  But when he halted in front of an uncompleted building, where a large crowd of young people with shiny suits and other formal wear were gathered. I was reassured that I had come to the right place.

We were apprehensive about the kind of company that would use an uncompleted building for a recruitment exercise. I dismissed it as a gimmick to prune down the number of applicants. The test was scheduled to start by 9 am but the officials kept us waiting for about an hour. They arrived at few minutes past 10 am. There were eight of them. I expected to see people in dapper suits looking suave and polished but these ones were in casual wear. One of the men’s trousers looked tattered and frail. I could see a slight tear in the buttocks region. The officials looked like people who had not eaten for three days.

They addressed us and told us that the venue they had earlier booked for the recruitment exercise was unavailable and so they had to use the uncompleted building as an emergency alternative.

We sat on the desks in the big hall and began writing the exams; thirty questions with multiple choice options. The hall was in disarray as the examiners stood outside while the candidates copied answers from each other. One was even at liberty to leave his/her seat to source for answers elsewhere.

We didn’t know that was the stage one of the charade.

We submitted the scripts and proceeded to interview stage. Three teenage boys carried in an aged looking grandpapa table with a bent leg. The table wasn’t balanced and looked like it would topple over if someone of considerable weight climbed on it.

The officials sat behind the table and asked us to stand in a single file in front of the table for the interview.

Total chaos!

“Hey I was in front of you,’, “stop marching me, don’t you have eyes?”,“Do you know who I am?” “And so what?”, “do you know who my father is?”, “Ol boy I dey your back, make I go piss”, “You were not here, move back!”

It wasn’t an interview in the real sense of the word as the officials were just getting our basic information from us. After all the dust had settled down, one of the officials, a man with a serious looking face wearing thick rimmed lenses stood up and cleared his throat. He had not spoken a word since the exercise began. He started giving a motivational speech. He talked about believing in your dreams and living a goal driven life. He mentioned Abraham Lincoln, quoted Napoleon hill, Myles Munroe and a whole lot of other motivational speakers.

“Oh I am going to work in a company that motivates its staff, how nice! But are they preparing us to face the sad news that they won’t hire everybody?” I wondered.

At the end of his tiresome speech, the leader of the team stood up with a solemn air and began speaking…

“We want to thank you for answering our advert and taking the aptitude test. We want to introduce you all to Happylane company products.

“Happylane Ventures ltd is concerned about the health and well being of the populace. We deal on nutritional supplements taken to enhance healthy living. We are going to employ everyone who meets the criteria for employment. All our employees are partners. To register as a partner, you will all pay the sum of N8,500. Then we will give you the drug supplements to market. You earn 10% commission on every product sold…”

I could scarcely believe my ears. This wasn’t what I had come for. I couldn’t envisage myself walking around with a bag full of drugs looking for a sucker to buy them off me.

“Hello sir, I want to tell you about the latest and wonderful miracle drug from Happylane venture ltd. It is called Vitro X, yes vitro x gives you protein, fats and oil & miracle salts. It is good for your liver and kidney. It is very effective when you want to do that thing with madam. Na only N1500 per card, oga abeg  buy am, I need the commission”

“Hi yellow sisi, I want to introduce you to viseal gel, a new skin care supplement from Happylane ventures. If you rub this cream eh, your skin go fresh like baby, e go shine well well, that fine bobo go come beg you for marriage. Sister, mbok buy it, I need the 10% commission.”

The hall was in uproar. The candidates were furiously shouting invectives at the organizers demanding for their transport fares for misleading them and wasting their time.

A very small queue had formed in front of the table as two or three people who had N8,500 to partner with the company were filling the registration forms. Many of the disgruntled applicants were walking out of the building with frowns on their faces. I had only N500 with me and even if I had the required N8,500 amount, I would have rather given it to charity than give it to the rip-offs who were looking for graduates to dump their drug sales target burden on.

I finally stood up and left for home in anger. I nearly fell inside a dirty pool of water that was in front of the building.

Thank God that was the first and the last time that I encountered such people.

Have you ever been a victim of Gnld drug marketing interview, have you ever been invited to a juicy job interview at an obscure location only to be asked to pay money to register and sell supplements? Share your experience.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

Iniobong Umoh is a multi-contextual writer, story teller and brand content creator. He writes with a touch of humour, satire and reality.Email: [email protected] IG: @ini_leroi Twitter: @iniobong_

19 Comments

  1. BMF

    May 25, 2016 at 6:40 pm

    I don’t even bother to. Collectwthe adver slip anytime I see them.cos I used to wonder why advertise for a job that you cannot do.

    Smh for Nigeria oo

  2. Bodunade

    May 25, 2016 at 6:43 pm

    Lmao!! Hilarious! Mehn, I finished service in 2013, my first 2 interviews were GNLD on the same flipping day. I noticed the ‘motivational’ speakers at both places said the same things. O boy those people get script o.
    What you Described was exactly how it went down, there was a guy that came from ibadan for job interview, I wept for him from the bottom of my soul.
    Your job search has not started in lagos if GNLD has not invited you to travel around the world for 8 , 500 naira only.

    • Iniobong Umoh

      May 26, 2016 at 9:59 pm

      These Gnld people are so annoying

  3. nene

    May 25, 2016 at 7:31 pm

    times are hard. i pity any current graduate. the global economy is getting worse. so many people looking to “use” you. better to sit down at home than do these shabby jobs.

    • Iniobong Umoh

      May 26, 2016 at 10:00 pm

      Sadly for some people, sitting at home isn’t an option

  4. Emmanuel

    May 25, 2016 at 7:33 pm

    Most of the young people I’ve come across are joyfully engaged in one MLM business or angrily out of one MLM business…

    This interview template is criminal in every shade of criminality. It is unfair…

    MLM itself is questionable, now using a criminal method to attract people to a questionable scheme is so nasty. Statistics recommend betting over MLM in terms of financial reward.

    • Iniobong Umoh

      May 26, 2016 at 10:04 pm

      Exactly. The interview template that they use is very fraudulent.

  5. Fannie

    May 25, 2016 at 9:04 pm

    Totally hilarious. I appreciate how you write, felt like I was watching a nollywood movie. Those guys will get themselves killed one day by a frustrated applicant. I got quite a number of their messages and thankfully my angel spoke to me through my friend cos i was gonna lie to get out of my office just to go attend one of them badt ass interview. The thunders wey go fire dos pipo still dey do press up for Syria and Iraq.

    • Iniobong Umoh

      May 26, 2016 at 10:05 pm

      Thanks Fannie 🙂

  6. Honeycrown

    May 25, 2016 at 9:53 pm

    No be only for Nigeria. I’ve fallen prey for these type of job schemes 2x o. The packaging was so good and I stayed throughout the first one. The 2nd time I attended another one, I walked out in 5mins. It can never happen again. Thank God for experience sha. Makes us wiser.
    Very funny post, I enjoyed.

    • Iniobong Umoh

      May 26, 2016 at 10:11 pm

      @Honeycrown Thanks for reading

  7. OmoJesus

    May 25, 2016 at 11:50 pm

    Lol! The first time I was a victim, I listened to them till the end. The second and last time , I walked out before they started their whole drama. One of them followed me and was quite aggressive in trying to persuade me not to leave. His last snobbish remark was check out the white jeep parked out there, it’s mine . Unfortunately . I never have rude retorts for people. He didn’t look super rich to me. Now, just like a super model said . I don’t get out of bed for any dodgy interview . I google before I consider attending any interview .
    They are mean, deceitful, unprofessional , wicked and unethical for not statind from the get go what the job entails

    • Iniobong Umoh

      May 26, 2016 at 10:14 pm

      “check out the white jeep parked out there, it’s mine”, lol, he must have been very desperate to get you to sign on!

  8. Ethio

    May 26, 2016 at 8:45 am

    check out the white jeep? lol someone used that line on me too at Alliance in motion or whatever, they even have their phillipino *billionaires*down here to show off and “inspire” you to market your way to greatness!

  9. [email protected]

    May 26, 2016 at 10:00 am

    Well MLM is not as bad as they have made it, but some very funny nigerians with the lack of ideas and knowledge with no training and wisdom at all on how to leverage on this system has created a BAD notion about the system by deceiving, giving incomplete infos, and misleading people.
    It’s true I have been called for interview at three different times and it turned out to be networking but all different companies and I have received many of their invitations of which I didn’t honour because I now know how they invite….(most times its texting giving you a day notice) proper credible companies email you giving at least 4 days notice.

    1) many are basically doing it wrongly and putting it fort as a street marketing business

    2) MLM is like every other biz but system is more direct with a different mode of operation.

    3) yes its marketing, so what organisation or road side business that does not require marketing or new people ?

    4) combing the streets with the product is the WRONGEST way to do the business in fact it is against the ethics of the biz.

    5) THE TRUTH is what network marketing can do for you in 5-9 years if rightly/smartly done ,NO company can do it for you in 20years or more .

    6) how come people want to be an I.T expert, they go for training but they wont do same for MLM.

    7) it is not a quick rich scheme ,one needs a lot of humility, patience, endurance, commitment ,CONTINUOUS TRIANING, mind set adjustment and more to excel in it.

    8) rising in any company requires at least 3yrs of commitment or more but but in NM you can determine when u want to rise and how fast you want to go and this can can be in two months.

    My point is the system works if you work it. I know more than a hundred people that earns over a million a month tax free….
    Many think its just selling -VERY WRONG MINDSET. You can choose to do it as a pauper /street begger Or you can GO PRO.
    Whether we like it or not, its the business of the 21st century…..many companies have and are adopting the network marketing system . We are slowly moving from away from the industrial age to the technology age………one of the signs is NO JOB….techmology is replacing so many jobs .
    Find a solid company, do your research, Learn the business and soar , its a lifetime benefit. In most cases what it requires is a upward change in lifesytle after all everyone uses personal care items, household products etc…..it’s a business for all only if you can learn to change your mindset and GO PRO.

    Thanks for reading….. if you want to know how, email me at [email protected].

    • I hate THEM!

      May 26, 2016 at 2:53 pm

      Its obvious you’re aone of them..Just tell you people to come out straight as tele-marketeres rather than waste innocent applicants resources and time!
      It’s can be really fustrating and annonying..Speaking from exprience

  10. larz

    May 26, 2016 at 11:15 am

    Hahaha. I live in the UK and experienced that when I was job hunting in 2006- telemarketing jobs and door-to-door slaes person. Never again.

    After a while, I started to tell the difference. Because what these guys have in common is that they tell you about how much bonus you get but are slient on base salary. Time wasters

  11. Fountain of Paper

    May 26, 2016 at 10:25 pm

    Their colleague in North America is a company called Primerica! Nutters will call you for ‘interview’ for customer kini kan role, when you reach there they’ll give you paper to fill… And do one yeye presentation.

    Instead of drug supplements, they’re selling financial products… or whatever balderdash it is.

    They will just be calling Dollars Dollars and showing you yeye photos of trips you will supposedly take.

    To now add insult upon injury, they have the effrontery to ask for $99 licensing fee. Awon weyrey! if I have $99 to burn will I be here looking for a job.

    Anyway, if you hear Primerica… fiam!!!

    • Iniobong Umoh

      May 27, 2016 at 10:21 pm

      Hahaha, it seems like the Nigerians are copying from them

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