Former LuLaRoe employee “Billie” contacted me again the other day and wanted to share more of their story. Billie wrote this and it’s been lightly edited. This story is directly from them.
With Justin mentioning that early tickets for Vision 2018 are now available, I wanted to give the LuLaRoe Fail audience a glimpse of what it is like to work a LuLaRoe event.
As a part of my job in Home Office, I worked three LuLaRoe events: Vision 2016, Leadership (October 2016), and Vision 2017. Insiders tell you these will be the best experiences of your time with their company. What happens on site is far from “the best time”. In fact, as a veteran of many Thanksgivings, Black Fridays, and Christmas holidays from my days in brick and mortar retail, I’d take that environment over LuLaRoe, any day.
I hired into LuLaRoe in February 2016, after a successful stint as a Part-Time associate at Steve Madden just outside of Palm Springs. LuLaRoe held the 2016 Vision event at the Ontario Convention Center during the hottest week possible in July. In fact, over the course of that event, we had multiple retailers pass out due to complications from the heat. Ontario Fire Department and paramedics were our constant companions during those 3-4 days, and thank goodness they were there.
I worked in the LuLaShop. Because of my background in cashiering, I ran a register. The LuLaShop was a big white canvas tent set out on the parking lot asphalt, full of all sorts of “goodies”. This was not an ideal setup as anything from morning cold to mid-afternoon heat got trapped within that tent. Sitting on stools was not allowed behind the registers until the final day when we had a different section supervisor. You had asphalt all over you at days’ end and were sweatier than an NFL lineman during those two days. I remember going home and taking a shower on full cold at nearly 9:45 pm each day, passing out in bed, and then getting up at 4 or 5 am to do it all again.
After one of the days, the events team as a thank you ordered pizza for us. Once dinner was finished, I could not pick myself off the deck because my legs were so exhausted. In order to take lunch, we had to walk the length of that parking lot and into Ontario Convention Center where, I must say, the food was decently good. We were only given a half-hour and that was including the time to and from that break location. In reality, our lunch was only 20 minutes or so. When we took 10-minute breaks, there was only one picnic table outside with a tree that provided a quiet spot to get away. LuLaRoe also made sure plenty of drinks were on hand by our registers but after 3 days there were a bunch of tired retail services reps.
On the final day, in addition to working in the store, I was part of the crew that helped to board buses for their grand finale beach party. They gave us the option to get on one of the final busses to the beach. I said no and politely got a ride to the parking lot by someone from the convention center, so I could go home. Mind you, I’m in my late 20s and I’d like to think in pretty good physical condition and those 3 days wore me out. What’s sad is that I made more refereeing an end of the year club volleyball tournament, than in those 3 days in Ontario.
There were a couple of other minor issues during that event. One of them was something I like to call “The Great Carly Incident of 2016.” Vision 2016 was the Carly’s first reveal to retailers. Next to our LuLaShop, there was a team of representatives handing out free Carlys. Well, when some retailers weren’t happy with the Carly they got they yelled and threw the items back at my colleagues. Typical “mean girl” syndrome.
October Leadership 2016:
Shortly after the fiasco of Vision 2016, it was time for October Leadership. I was not originally on the duty roster for this due to some volleyball officiating commitments but answered a call for emergency help on Saturday. Anyone who knows me knows I am loyal, almost to a fault, and would do anything to help a colleague out.
In this case, it meant spending a Saturday at the Anaheim Hilton assisting with ushering. Once the retailers were in their seminars, I joined a team that was tasked with handing out 2016 planners. I was in charge of line control for this event and despite our best efforts the line just did not move fast enough and some retailers were not happy. Once I took control of the line, it finally started to move and we got through everyone. My day was supposed to have ended at that point but instead was just the beginning.
LuLaRoe had provided a locker room for us to store jackets and other personal items. After a long couple days, I was looking forward to grabbing my stuff and heading home. That did not happen for nearly another 90 minutes. I carpooled with a colleague and when our day was finished, we returned to the staff room to retrieve our stuff only to find the lockers had been moved. We ended up going downstairs and asking some co-workers where the lockers moved. They did not know, so we called our events head. She did not know so we ended up walking to the concierge who, after about 45 minutes, was able to locate the lockers and get us an escort to them so we could get our stuff and go home.
At this point, I was line judging college volleyball in addition to a full high school schedule and worked a Division 2 match-up. This matchup featured 2 top 25 teams that year and was on Friday night, before working a full Saturday at leadership. The match started at 7 pm and did not finish until about 9:30 pm after 5 sets and one yellow card. After our debrief, I got home at 11 pm and wakeup call was 4:30 am: that shows how much I bled LuLaRoe. If you are a retailer reading this, please thank a home office staffer at these events. You never know what they have accomplished outside of their Lula Day.
For Vision last year, LuLaRoe rented the Anaheim Convention Center and moved everything outdoors except a beach party and Katy Perry concert at Angels Stadium. This was one fiasco after another and so demoralizing, and it was honestly one of the worst experiences I ever had.
I worked the transportation desk for 1 day. Our responsibility there was to hand out bus & meal vouchers for the beach party. The lines were so ridiculously long they wound their way around an entire floor of the Anaheim Hilton. There were many angry retailers, who made their feelings well known. It got so bad we had to split the line and move some people into another room to process their vouchers. The next day, I spoke to a retailer who said that her bus ticket along with several other retailers were never checked. There also was a fiasco where we ran out of food at the beach party. A colleague just trying to monitor the line and do her job, was spit on by an angry retailer. I felt like I wasted a day of work.
The next day my assignment was as an “Ask Me” person roaming corridors and answering questions. Anyone on that team was unprepared, as it was not communicated to us what had happened the previous day in the supply store. Apparently, some of the colored wristband groups were told to come back the next day but none of us knew how they would be handled. Other people in the supply store were yelling at colleagues for various issues there. I believe Anaheim’s Police Department finest were even called about a fight between two retailers. At about mid-morning, I switched to ushering during a general session. There was an even worse vibe in there, as the main function was to make sure retailers were not recording content. Retailers refused to listen to several of my temporary colleagues so we would have to intervene. In addition, lines for the bathrooms in those convention halls were ridiculously long and when we ran out of toilet paper, it took an eternity to get custodial assistance in there.
At the end of the day, I was waddling like a duck because my legs were like jelly. I didn’t even come in the next day because of a double charley horse which made it impossible to walk. In working three LuLaRoe events, I learned that you will be pushed to your physical limits with no appreciation from the events team or executives for what we went through. The working rule was to assume some kind of fiasco at every corporate event like described in the above story