When I settled myself at their bench after the obligatory kissing of hands, and as if on cue, some of my relatives went to the CR and others went out to buy some food. Only my closest relative stayed with me and introduced me to a guy whom I will call Fatty for purposes of description. Fatty said he has roots in Batuan. The face looked familiar and guessed his family name in my mind. I was correct.
When Fatty shifted his focus on me, the last relative was also gone. His introduction was- Are you familiar with networking? I said yes of course. Who would not be familiar with the so many networking scams proliferating in the country and still victimizing people up to this time? But my short answer only stopped at Yes and nothing more.
He then lectured me on networking and emphasized that his type of networking was not the scam type. Fatty went on introducing his Agel products and the health benefits of it.
It will keep you alert and fit every time you drink it, he babbled.
Are you really using it, I asked. Of course, he retorted.
I was tempted to ask why was he not physically fit, looking at his bloated abs and his double chins, but did not.
Fatty told me that money would suddenly find their way to my bank account even if I just sit in front of my computer and grinned luridly. He lectured me about entrepreneurship, world markets, e-commerce, demands worldwide, blah blah, etc. etc. But his words were all passing through my deaf ears, actually. I was tempted to tell this guy my hate for babbly salesmen and my desire to stitch their mouths shut. But instead, I just nodded and said some occasional Uhuh, Mao, Bitaw, Yeah. All along, my mind played a scenario. How many people were convinced by this person?
I told Fatty that I am an internet savvy. I do market research and communicate through the internet. I even update myself on current trends on the Net. Much better, he said, and suddenly left me without even saying where he was going.
I suddenly found peace. Damn those relatives. They cleverly tricked me to listen to this guy so they could escape from him.
Fatty was back.
I will give you a form and you pay the 100 pesos processing fee. Hmm, yeah, when we get to Tagbilaran, I informed him.
I asked for the website address of his products that he claimed could only be ordered online. He told me he would SMS me the address.
You mean you did not know the URL of your product?
There’s a code, he revealed to me, but I have it in my laptop.
Interesting, indeed. I was convinced this would be another Da Vinci Code in the making.
And he started again to bombard me of the pleasures he got because of his networking stuff. Traveling around Visayas and the National Capital Region. Seeing places. Staying in comfort at luxury hotels. Meeting people.
Why do you travel when you have internet?
I have to get in touch with future clients, he declared.
There goes the just-sit-in-front-of-the-computer promise. I also told him I do stay in luxury hotels, see places, travel and meet people even if I am not into networking. I bragged, of course.
If you are keen on e-commerce, I presupposed you know PayPal. So I asked him if they would accept PayPal.
What is that, he asked. I told him that PayPal is a secure online account that stores your credit card and bank details, enabling you to pay online and by mobile quickly and safely. You don’t have to remember your details every time you shop, and you have the confidence that your sensitive financial information is never shared with the seller. PayPal is accepted by over 100,000 online retailers across Europe, including leading Boots, DHL, Harrods, Photobox, Pixmania and eBay. It’s the safer, easier way to pay (true) and that I can buy his stuff up to 5,000 pesos if they accept PayPal (very big lie, the 5,000 amount, I mean).
He was silent. Just give me your mobile number, he replied, so I can text you the details.
I thought that ended the discussion because he was gone again. I have not seen Fatty even if we disembarked Tagbilaran two hours after.
It’s almost a week and I am still waiting for his text message.