Older Agent Stories

Another T

I saw an ad that stated " Fun in the Sun". At the time I was very deep into the drug world and had many problems. I longed to get out of it and straighten out my life. I needed a job.

I went to the interview. my friend was with me and after her pitch, we were sold. The interviewer was wearing a lot of gold, driving a very nice car and seemed very happy. We were to leave that weekend.

I joined the crew with my buddy. This was such an odd experinece, and we learned that we would be given $7 per day if we did not get our quota, and 10% if we did. Commissions were 40% of total sales. We also learned that we were traveling with about 60 others.

Much of this experience is vague, to fast and too confusing to remember it all. I remember wild nights of partying, lots of fighting, and long days of driving and pushing product. I almost felt like I was pushing drugs, or scamming people for money.

I did well most of the time. I averaged about $600 per week, and other weeks I did very poorly. Many of the people were crack addicts, selling and scamming the company to support thier habits. Most smoked pot and a large percentage were hardcore alcoholics, to the point of being hammered while working (and driving).

I remember young people, 18-21, being ridiculed for not selling enough. They barely survived on thier $7 draws. The company would keep record and they were in debt constantly. We had to pay our hotel expenses and this was debted to you if you couldnt pay it. Christmas bonuses did come, but only to those who performed throughout the year. The rest were given $100-$200 to last them the week of vacation we had.

The owner, could be a very caring man, and very harsh. I remember my grandmother died, he sent me to Oregon to her funeral and paid the expenses. I also saw him slap the hell out of a few people, mostly for creating problems in the hotels.

We always stayed in nice hotels, and often the crew manager or the Owner would take the top performers out to nice places or pro sport events.

My buddy left after a year, unhappy with the job. I was not satisfied with what I was doing, but was willing to stick it out, as I hadnt touched a single drug since joining.

As time went on, I began to keep books. I noticed that small percentages of my commission were disappearing from my company account. Whenever I asked, there was always an excuse. The crew manager left (with a tidy sum of cash) and a new crew manager was appointed. My percentages got less and less. The car managers seemed to be all addicts, alcohol or crack.

I was denied a Christmas bonus, being owed $1800. I was told my Xmas bonus was not owed, it was something the company gave when they could afford it. This bonus was shown on my weekly draw statements, and would be built upon with 2% of each sale. I feel I was owed this money and was ripped off. It was then that I decided to leave. But I had to wait 6 months. I was broke.

While on the road I met a couple people who I consider friends to this day, even though I never hear from them. These good friends helped me through the bad times and made things better. Good people who didnt deserve to be on the road. I also met a wonderful woman I married, (and divorced but am still friends with) and have a beatiful son. Without the road crew this may not have happened. I would have also been stuck in that mid-sized town for a much longer time and may have ended up in prison.

The road crews are not the answer, but if there were something to offer these kids to give them decent jobs out of school (or dropouts in my case), then we wouldn't see this happening as much. Road crews make sure the kids are fed, have a place to sleep and make them feel part of a "family". They are a place of drugs, alcohol, promiscuity, wreckless driving, and sometimes even violence. I knew 3 people on the road who died, 2 to crack, one to alcohol.

I could write a book on my experiences within that two and a half years, so much happened. What you have read is a scattered summary of the time I spent on the road.

do you regret: No and yes. I met a woman I married there and had a beautiful son (after we left). I was also treated fairly well often, but others who did not perform where mocked and treated badly.

how old were you: 20

 

 

MY

comments on page: WHAT DID THEY GET OUT OF THIS EXPERIENCE

tell story: I STARTED THE MAGAZINE BUISNESS ON A SUMMER DAY AT HOME IN CHICAGO.ME AND MY FRIEND WERE LOOKING FOR EMPLOYMENT IN THE NEWS PAPER.THE NIGHT BEFORE WE STARTED I SAW AN ADD THAT SAID LEARN EARN AND TRAVEL.THAT LOOKED INTERESTING.THE NEXT MORNING MY FRIEND CAME OVER MY HOUSE WITH THE SAME ADD.MY FRIEND MADE AN APPOINTMENT DOWN TOWN CHICAGO,AND WAS SCHEDULED TO LEAVE IN MAYBE A COUPLE DAYS,BUT WE WANTED TO LEAVE AT THE SAME TIME.SO,I GOT HOOKED UP WITH ONE THAT WAS RIGHT IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD SO WE BOTH WENT.WHEN WE ARRIVED THERE WAS WHO TURNED OUT TO BE OUR MANAGERS WIFE WHO WAS ALSO OUR MANAGER.SHE HAD A GROUP OF PEOPLE ALL IN A ROOM RECRUITING.SHE TOLD EVERYBODY WHAT THEY WOULD BE DOING,BUT MADE IT SEEM PRETTY SIMPLE.EVEN THOUGH SHE EXPLAINED WHAT WE WOULD BE DOING YOU REALLY CAN'T VISUALIZE WHAT THE MAGAZINE BUISNESS IS LIKE UNTIL YOU WITNESS IT.SHE THEN ASKED EVERY ONE WHO WAS WILLING TO GIVE IT A TRY IF THEY WERE ABLE TO LEAVE TODAY.MY FRIEND AND I WAS LIKE LET'S GO.IT WAS ABOUT 10am AND SHE WANTED US TO BE ON THE GREYHOUND AT I THINK WAS 1 OR 2pm.WE WENT HOME AND QUIKLY GOT EVERYTHING WE WERE BRINGING.WE HAD A FRIEND DROP US OFF.WHEN WE GOT THERE SHE WAS THERE WAITIG TO PUT US ON THE BUS.ALL EXPENSES ON THE COMPANY. THE FIRST CITY I SOLD IN WAS OKLAHOMA.WHE ARRIVED TO THE GREYHOUND STATION IN OKLAHOMA.ALL WE HAD WAS A PHONE NUMBER SHE GAVE US TO CALL.WE CALLED IT AND ONE OF THE CREW MEMBERS CAME FROM THE MOTEL TO PICK US UP.HE WALKED IN THE STATION AND SOME HOW WE IDENTIFIED EACH OTHER.WHILE ON THE WAY TO THE MOTEL HE BEGIN TO TELL US ABOUT HOW MUCH MONEY YOU CAN MAKE IN THIS BUISNESS.WE GOT TO THE MOTEL AND MET A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO SEEMED FRIENDLY.WE WALKED INTO A ROOM WHERE OUR MANAGER WAS SITTING BEHIND A DESK LIKE AN OFFICE BUILT IN A MOTEL ROOM.HE SHOWED OFF A PICTURE OF HIS CAR.I GUESS TO MAKE US BELIEVE THAT THERE WAS A LOT OF MONEY IN THIS BUISNESS.AT THE TIME WE SORT OF WENT FOR IT LOOKING AT HIS CAR HIM DRESSED IN A SUIT AND A CREW MEMBER CONSTANTLY RUBBING IN HOW WE CAN GET PAID IN THIS BUISNESS.THEY BOUGHT US LUNCH AND LET US RELAX CAUSE EVERYBODY ELSE WAS ALREADY LEAVING FOR WORK.LATER THAT NIGHT WE WERE DRILLED BY ALL THE CREW MEMBERS ABOUT THE BUISNESS AND WHAT TO SAY AT THE DOORS AND WHAT SHOULD WORK.THE NEXT MORNING WE WOKE UP SO EARLY IT ALMOST MADE ME AND MY FRIEND CRY.WE WERE SPLIT UP INTO DIFFERENT ROOMS WITH DIFFERENT TRAINERS.WE PUT ON SHIRT AND TIES LIKE LIL'BUISNESS MEN WE WENT TO A MOTIVATIONAL MEETING WHICH IS EVERY MORNING TO KEEP AGENTS MOTIVATED TO GET OUT THERE AND MAKE THEM SOME MONEY AND YOURSELFhahaha.THAT LAST A COUPLE OURS ON THE CREW I WAS ON AND SOMETIMES 3.AFTER THAT THE USUAL ROUTINE IS TO GO TO A RESTARAUNT TO EAT AND AFTER THAT EVERY ONE IS GIVEN A SECTION IN A NEIGHBORHOOD TO WORK.WICH IS CALLED TEA ON THE CREW I RESIDED.I HAD A OLDER GUY TRAIN ME WHO WAS I THINK 35 YEARS OLD.I WENT TO THE DOORS WITH HIM AND HE SHOWED ME WHAT TO DO.I WAS ANXIOUS TO TRY IT ON MY ON EVEN THOUGH I WAS NERVOUS.MY FIRST DAY I MADE 2 SALES AND FELT I COULD DO THIS AND MY FRIEND MADE NONE WHICH DISCOURAGED HIM MORE THAN HE WAS.ABOUT A WEEK LATER MY FRIEND WENT HOME AND I STAYED.I TRIED TALKING HIM OUT OF IT,BUT HE JUST COULDN'T SEE IT.IT WAS ALL GOOD BEING AROUND PEOPLE FROM ALL OVER THE COUNTRY LIVING WITH THESE PEOPLE.I DEVELOPED SOME CLOSE FRIENDS THERE.NEXT CITY WAS SALTLAKE CITY WHERE I WROTE MY FIRST 10 SALES.AFTER PARTYING WITH SOME GIRLS ALL NIGHT AND MAKING IT JUST IN TIME FOR THE MEETING SEVEN THIRTY IN THE MORNING.THAT WAS THE DAY I NEW I COULD STAY HERE FOR A WHILE.I HAD GOOD DAYS BUT MORE DAYS WHEN I DIDN'T GET MY QUOTA,WHICH WAS NORMAL.WHEN WE TRAVELED TO OREGON I WAS PRETTY TIRED OF KNOKING ON DOORS PRATICLY BEGGING PEOPLE TO BUY FROM ME.AND I'M NOT GOOD AT THAT.IT RAINED ALOT THAT TIME OF YEAR IN OREGON,SO I WOULD OFTEN GO LEFT WHICH IS A TERM USED IN THE MAG. BUISNESS.PEOPLE HOUSES THAT I OFTEN WENT TO WOULD TELL ME THAT THE COMPANY IS USING YOU,AND WHILE I'M WAKING AROUND OUTSIDE IN THE POURING RAIN WHO COULD BLAME THEM FOR THAT COMMENT.CAUSE IN THE MAGAZINE! BUISNESS YOU WORK 6 DAYS A WEEK NO MATTER WHAT THE WEATHER IS LIKE,AND IF YOU CLAIM TO GET SICK THEY TELL YOU EITHER WORK OR THE HOSPITAL.SO IN OREGON I WAS READY TO LEAVE.ONE MORNING WHEN WE GOT UP I DECIDED I WAS LEAVING SO MY MANAGER GOT ONE OF THE CREW MEMBERS TO DRIVE ME TO THE GREYHOUND STATION,BUT WHEN I GOT THERE I HAD PLANS OF A GIRL I MET TO PICK ME UP.I CALLED HER AND SHE CAME AND PICKED ME UP.TO MAKE THAT STORY SHORT THAT DIDN'T WORK OUT.PLUS I BEGUN TO MISS THE MAGAZINE CREW,AND ALL THAT TRAVELING.I CALLED MY MANAGER AND TOLD ASKED HIM IF I COULD COME BACK AND HE SAID YEH.I GOT BACK AND THE NEXT DAY I THINK WE WENT TO SEATTLE.FROM THERE WE WENT TO CALI.THE BAY AREA WHERE I SAW AN AGENT I WAS WORKING WITH THAT DAY GET LOCKED UP FROM US SOLICITING,BUT WITH HIM IT TURNED OUT HE HAD A WARRANT FOR HIS ARREST WAY ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE COUNTRY.I NEVER SAW HIM AGAIN.THIS ORGANIZATION STILL IS NOT JUST XCRIMINALS,IT'S SOME OF ALL BACKGROUNDS OF PEOPLE.SO,AFTER NORTHERN CALI.WE WENT TO ARIZONA AND SPENT NEW YEARS EVE IN LAS VEGAS,WHERE I WENT TO ONE HOUSE AND TRIED TO SALE THIS MAN AND HE GOT MAD AND THROUGH MY CREDENTIAL BACK AT ME.AFTER LAS VEGAS WE HEADED BACK TO CALI.TO THE SOUTHERN PART IN LA AND AROUND LA.SOME CREWS BROKE OFF AND WENT IN ANOTHER DIRECTION AND FROM THERE WE WENT TO DENVER COLORADO.COMING FROM THERE WE WENT TO KANSAS BREAKING OFF FROM THE REST OF THE CREWS WHILE IN DENVER A GUY HAD A DISPUTE WITH ANOTHER GUY AND GOT UPSET WITH HIS GIRL CAUSE SHE DIDN'T HELP HIM FIGHT HIM I GUESS.SO HE CLIMBED UP TO THE SECOND FLOOR OF THE MOTEL WE WERE IN AND BEAT HIS GIRL.AFTER DENVER WE WENT TO KANSAS ON THE LEVEL OF OUR MANAGERS STARTING THERE OWN WITHOUT THE BACKING OF THE OLD COMPANY,I CANNOT SAY.IT WAS SAID THAT THEY ASKED FOR A HIGHER PERCENTAGE FROM THE HEAD MANAGER,BUT HE WOULDN'T GIVE IT TO THEM AFTER ALL THE HELP THEY SUPPLIED FOR YEARS.SO WE LEFT THAT CREW AND WENT TO DO OUR OWN THING.THIS BUISNESS WAS LIKE BEING WITH A SHADEY RECORD COMPANY.SO ON THE WAY TO KANSAS WE WERE STILL IN COLORADO,AND THE ROADS WERE SLIPPERY.THE REST OF THE CREW WERE IN A VAN IN FRONT OF THE ONE ME AND ANOTHER CREW MEMBER WAS DRIVING.WE ALL STOPPED AT A GAS STATION,BUT BEFORE WE PULLED OFF I ASKED THE GUY WHO WAS DRIVING,CAUSE IT WAS JUST ME AND HIM IN THE VAN BEHIND,IF HE WANTED ME TO DRIVE AND HE SAID THAT'S ALL RIGHT.ABOUT 5MINUTES OF DRIVING THE VAN SLID TURNING SIDEWARDS AND THE VAN LOST CONTROL AND TURNED TO THE MIDDLE OF THE HIGHWAY AND SLOWLY BUT SURELY TURNED OVER DIRECTLY UP SIDE DOWN.WITH THE BLESSING FROM GOD WE DID NOT GET HURT AT ALL,NOT ONE SCRATCH ON OUR BODY.THE VAN OF THE REST OF THE CREW MEMBERS HAD ONE PERSON IN THAT VAN THAT JUST HAVEN'T TO TURN AROUND IN TIME TO SEE WHAT HAD HAPPENED BEHIND THEM.IF NOT THEY COULD HAVE ROAD FOR MILES AND NOT EVEN NOTICE WHAT HAD HAPPENED.THEY PARKED ON THE SIDI OF THE ROAD,AND RAN BACK.I CAN ONLY IMAGINE WHAT THEY WERE THINKING WHILE THEY WERE RUNNING UNTIL THEY SAW US STANDING ON THE SIDE OF THE VAN.WHEN WE GOT TO KANSAS WE HAD AN INCIDENT WHERE OUR MANAGER GOT TORE DOWN DRUNK WHILE WE WERE AT WORK.HE STAYED BACK AT THE MOTEL AND GOT TORE DOWN DRUNK.WE HAD A NEW GUY JUST JOINING WHO CAME IN FROM WORK CHECKING IN THE OFFICE AND OUR MANAGER GOT OUT THE BED DRUNK AND ASSAULTED THE NEW GUY FOR NO REASON.THAT CAUSED ALOT OF CONFLICT THAT EVENING,SUCH AS FIGHTING.OUR MANAGER CAME CLOSE TO LEAVING US STRANDED IN KANSAS,UNTIL SOMEONE CONTACTED HIS WIFE WHICH IS OUR MANAGER WHILE ON HER WAY OUT OF TOWN.SHE CAME BACK AND GAVE US SUPPORT THROUGH THE SITUATION.AFTER THAT WE WENT TO INDIANA.ONE DAY WHILE ME AND A FRIEND WERE WORKING TOGETHER ON LIKE THE SECOND OR THIRD PICK UP OUR CARHANDLER INFORMS US ABOUT A SITUATION THAT SHE HAD TALKED TO OUR LIKE HEAD MANAGER AND HE SAID THAT IT WOULD BE SAFER FOR US TO GO BACK TO THE MOTEL AND QUIKLY GET OUR THINGS AND GO HOME OR JOIN HIM.HE SAID THAT OUR MANAGER WAS BROKE AND CAN'T EVEN PROMOTE US AND THAT HE FILED FOR BANKRUPTCY.THE CAR HANDLER SAID SHE WAS GOING TO JOIN BACK WITH HIM,BUT WE HAD FAITH IN OUR MANAGER SO WE STUCK AROUND.WE WENT BACK TO THE MOTEL AND TOLD HIM WHAT WAS SAID.SO TO AVOID ANY ONE CALLING TO THE MOTEL CONVINCING ANYONE ELSE TO LEAVE,OUR MANAGER QUIKLY MOVED US TO A DIFFERENT MOTEL.NEXT STATE WAS WISCONSIN.MOST OF THE CREW WAS GONE UP UNTIL THIS POINT,BUT WE WERE LIKE A FAMILY.ANOTHER GUY WHICH WAS A MAJOR PART OF THE CREW WHO HAD BEEN THERE A LONG TIME LEFT AND TOOK HIS BROTHER WITH HIM.THERE WAS 4 OF US LEFT,AND WE BEGUN TO WONDER CAUSE OUR MANAGER HAD US STAYING AT CHEAP MOTELS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE COUNTRY.AND STARTED SELLING THINGS LIKE HIS MOVING TRUCK,AND TRIED TO COME UP WITH AN INVENTION TO MAKE SOME MONEY BUT IT DIDN'T WORK OUT.THEN WE STARTED TO TAKE OFF OF WORK ON WEEKENDS GOING FISHING AND SLEEPING IN LATE

DURING THE WEEK DAYS,WHICH I HAD NEVER SEEN IN THE MAGAZINE BUISNESS.ONE DAY HE CALLED THE CREW OVER TO HIS ROOM AND SAID HE WAS GOING TO SEND US TO ANOTHER CREW WHILE HE GET SOME THINGS TOGETHER.SO WE MET UP WITH SOME CREW WE HAD NEVER HEARD OF BEFORE.ONE OF MY REAL CREW MEMBERS WAS EXTRA CAUTIOUS OF THIS CREW NOT PAYING US CORRECTLY. THAT MADE THEM A LITTLE WORRIED CAUSE HE WAS OLDER THAN US AND THAT WAS A THREAT BECAUSE ALSO HE HAD BEEN IN THE BUISNESS FOR A WHILE.THESE CREW MANAGERS HAD STRANGE RULES LIKE NOT LETTING MORE THAN ONE AGENT IN THE OFFICE DURING CHECK IN.ONE DAY I WENT INTO THE OFFICE AND THEY HAD A GUN SITTINGIN THE DRAWER OF THE DESK,WHICH AT THE TIME I BELIEVED WAS THERE TO SCARE ONLY THE CREW I WAS IN CASE WE TRIED ANYTHING.CAUSE THEY REALLY DIDN'T KNOW US AT ALL.WE TRAVELED AROUND WITH THEM THROUGH ALOT OF MIDWESTERN CITIES TIL SOONER OR LATER WE STARTED GETTING CALLS TO OUR ROOMS FROM OUR MANAGER ASKING US TO COME BACK THAT WAS ONLY SUPPOSE TO BE TEMPORARY.AT THE TIME I THINK 1 OUT OF THE 4 OF US HAD WENT HOME JUST FOR A WEEK OR 2,THAT GUY SOME HOW GOT IN CNTACT WITH OUR REAL MANAGER AND KNEW NOT TO COME BACK TO THAT CREW WHICH WAS SMART.ONE NIGHT ME AND ANOTHER CREW MEMBER PLOTTED ON LEAVING AND TOLD THEM WE WERE GOING BACK TO OUR OLD MANAGER.THEY DROVE US TO THE GREYHOUND STATION IN A UPSET STATE.WE MET BACK UP WITH OUR MANAGER IN WISCONSIN AGAIN AND ENDED JOINING WITH THE CREW HE WAS WITH WHEN HE FIRST GOT IN THE BUISNESS.WE TRAVELED WITH THEM FOR A LIL'WHILE THE 4 OF US WAS BACK TOGETHER AGAIN,SUDDENLY THE CREW WE WERE TRAVELING WITH SEEMED KIND OF RACIST AND THE MAGAZINE PRICES WENT UP AND IT BECAME VERY HARD TO MAKE A SALE.SO ONE DAY I DECIDED WHILE GOING DOOR TO DOOR THAT THIS WILL BE MY LAST DAY.AND I CAME IN AND TOLD EVERYBODY AND ANOTHER MEMBER HAD STRANGELY TOLD HIS SELF THE SAME THING THAT DAY WHILE WORKING.THE NEXT DAY WE WERE BOTH DROPPED OFF AT THE GREYHOUND STATION BY OUR MANAGER.MY CREW MEMBER WAS GOING HOME TO CALIFORNIA AND I WENT HOME TO CHICAGO.THAT LEFT ONE PERSON LEFT ON CREW.I DON'T KNOW TIL THIS DAY IF HE STAYED AFTER WE LEFT AND IF HE DID HOW MISERABLE THAT MUST HAVE FELT.I NEVER KELP IN CONTACT WITH NO ONE ON THE CREW,EVEN THOUGH THE PERSON I LEFT WITHGAVE ME HIS NUMBER.I WAS GOING TO CALL HIM,BUT I LEFT THE NUMBER IN A CAR THAT GOT TOWED AWAY.NOW IN THE YEAR 2000 IT'S A MYSTERY OF WHAT THOSE PEOPLE ARE DOING TODAY...

 

 

Anonymous

my story is mostly a good one although it does have its bad side-after all if it didnt i might still be selling. i joined crew to help me get out of a pretty bad situation but also because there was no way i was gonna pass up an experience like the one that was being offered to me. i was in a mall when this cute guy tried to sell me a magazine- he said -"excuse me ms. i think you dropped something---your smile." i just laughed and told him i didnt have any money. he quickly said he didnt want me to buy one anyway-he wanted to hire me. i told him my situation and he told me all about the crew and the job. i was very wary and indecisive about the whole thing. he was car handler that day so he asked me if i wanted to come along for the ride to meet some other crew members. i didnt have anything to do so i went and met them and we hung out for awhile which made him miss some sales. i had to go but he told me he would be back after they finished work but i still wasnt sure about it. 10 rolls around and i didnt think he was coming- then the doorbell rings and hes standing there. so i was like alright ill go for the night and see what its like. i met the coolest people that night- including my boss. there was like 60 or so kids just chillin in the hotel and there was a puppy walking around-i had so much fun that night. the next day i went to work with some of the girls in the explorer to a parking lot and i got to watch them sell and at first i was like theres no way i can do that but i caught on easily - the girls are pretty much trained to sell to guys so its not that hard. i had fun and decided to stay. i quickly became close to everyone on crew and on the other crews we were staying with (other crews from our company usually traveled with us so there were a lot more kids). its sorta hard not to because theyre really like youre family for the time being--you eat with them, sleep with them, work with them, you wake up and theyre there, go to sleep and theyre there, you fight with them , you support them, etc... i had also started a relationship with the kid who hired me and fell in love with him. he was amazing. the girl who trained me became my bf, my sister and my mother. we traveled in 3 vans, an explorer, a little red car and my boss had a mitsubishi 3000gt. i saw places i would never see, like new orleans. for xmas and new years we were in daytona in a resort on the beach. we had a week off and lots of money in our pockets. we partied hard and had a blast. we were with 2 other crews and our bosses had a xmas eve party for us and rented out a beautiful party hall for us on xmas day and we all got dressed up. we always had enough money for cigs and food to last til the next day and if we ever ran out (we tended to spend it on partying too) we always helped eachother out. my boss loved his money more than anything and was an amazing salesman. some people say he didnt care about us but i dont think thats true.he was very close to some of us and treated us individually as we each deserved to be treated. personally, he was like a father to me and a friend. i know he never would have let me go hungry or anything. we were taught to think positive all the time and always do our best. we were pushed to do this and were forever told we could do it. we were given lots of responsibility and freedom. we could take the cars on our days off and sometimes part of the crew even seperated from the rest and were given a car and money. like once- 6 of us girls went to savannah because there are so many military bases and the rest of the crew stayed in florida with my boss. my boss did not at all approve of my relationship with my boyfriend because he didnt want us to screw up or get pregnant or something so that was a problem but in a way i see why he did some of the things he did- he had to regulate us in some way. i met people from all over the country and partied in all different cities. we went to military bases and college dorms and malls and sometimes regular apartment complexes. it was a nervewrecking job sometimes cause youre always wondering if youre gonna get enough sales but then isnt every job nervewrecking? we'd wake in the morning when someone finally came knocking on the doors around 830-930, go to morning meeting where my boss announced car handlers and quotas and it was almost like a peprally. we'd seperate into whatever car we were assigned and go to work. we'd work anywhere from around the block from the hotel to 2 hours away. there were usually 4 drops during the day and we would each have a designated area. we'd eat whenever we got the chance. we'd get home anywhere from 7 to 12 and then partied or just chilled. we werent allowed to drink on work nights if we hadnt had enough sales but that usually didnt matter. we were always allowed to smoke pot and we would find it on territory during the day- somebody always had it--every night. we all smoked on territory too even though we werent suppossed to. you got to the point in this kind of bussiness where you can read a person as soon as they open the door. some were mean as hell and you always had to be prepared for it and not let that get you down and just go to the next door. but then some people were cool as hell and that was the majority. i got a lot of free shit on this job and extra money too (from customers). you get to the point where you can sell a mag to just about anyone. it was especially easy on the military bases! the girl who trained me was such a powerful agent she could sell 7 all cash to one guy in 5 minutes. we had our slang terms--our every other word was "right on". it had so many different meanings but it came from my boss saying it to try and psych us up. before we left eachother during the day-we'd always say"get a bunch!"-meaning a bunch of sales. and before we passed out at night-wed say "sleep on a bunch"---always-we still say it on the phone.we did get screamed at sometimes and it would make us wanna fold but most of the time we deserved it--for screwin around on territory and not even trying to do your job. at night it was like one big slumber party- although we did have to got to our rooms by a certain time- we would sneak out. it was even hard sometimes to take a shower cause you'd never wanna leave the constant party. the sleeping situation was never bad. at most there were 4 people to a room (girls and guys seperate) and we just shared double beds. the only reason someone would sleep on the floor would be because the guys didnt wanna share abed which was their problem. we did have sex with other people in the room but ive encountered that at home too.

we did party --hard--- but ive partied just as hard at home. the entire time i was on crew- i was soo homesick. i had picked up the crew in florida but im from NYC ( i was in fl cause of the bad situation i was in) so i hadnt seen my family and friends in like 6 months. i had a 3 yr old brother and a boyfriend waiting for me and i have a very close clique that i missed too. but ny was calling my name- i missed it a lot. i could only talk to certain people about it- certainly not my boss. he didnt want me to leave-nobody did. you get so close to these people-its difficult to decide what to do. i now had 2 lives that i wanted to lead at the same time. i hardly spoke to anyone in ny when i was on crew because we'd get back to the hotel late and id forget to buy a calling card and stuff. my parents wanted me to come home real bad. they didnt trust the whole thing at all- but there was nothing they could really do. we hired people whenever we could-on territory and thru ads. i hired a couple of people. some people would last and others were gone by the time we left that city. what is hard about the job is that you meet a lot of people youll never see again- cool people on territory (like lots of the miltiary boys) and lots of people who leave crew. you have to get used to it or be organized and collect numbers. i did see mag agents win those trips and i saw wads of cash in my own hand and in other agents. we all went on enormous shopping sprees at xmas time. we usually jumped on sat nights. the trips would be anywhere from 3 hrs to 15 hrs and they were un (although we always wanted to get there) wed seperate into cars,vans and wed have powwows in the back,smoke blunts,sleep, wed stop for food or sometimes even to sleep. my boss would pick somebody to ride with him in his beautiful car. i folded when we were in ok city. one night i had fallen asleep in my boyfriends room and our boss came to wake us up in the morning (usually it was another crew member) and he saw us and he was pissed so i got a little upset. anyway i made the decision later that morning that i was tired and homesick and it was time to go home. i was in a different car than my boyfriend that day but we all met at mcd's before work and i remember saying goodbye to him and telling him i love him but he didnt know what i was planning on doing cause he wouldve freaked out and tried to make me stay. he knew something was wrong but just went to work. we went to a military base that day and i had some guy drop me to meet my friend who was planning on leaving with me. we hung out with some guys all day long in their barracks and then had somebody drive us back to the hotel before any of the kids got back. last minute she decided not to leave but i was already gone in my head. all i could think about was new york. i was so nervous to ask my boss for money for the bus ticket . he was shocked and really upset and mad . he did everything he could to get me to stay but he knew i wasnt gonna back down. i wasnt even thinking straight at this point i didnt think about how i didnt even say goodbye to my friends. i always thought i was gonna eventually come back. we used to always say"once a mag agent-always a mag agent"! so he gave me money for the ticket and then some and i got a ride to the station and took a 2 and a half day trip home---a lot of time to think. i cried and laughed and slept . i regretted leaving but i didnt. i was so excited to go home. and it was nice to be back. the magazine crew was an amazing experience. not all crews are alike-as i see from these stories . it can be very tough and tiring. you cant go far with that kind of lifestyle and you have to be cut out for it. it is a lot of hard work and you are constantly pushed and youre not allowed to be in a bad mood if you feel like it. it is reckless and you do have to be careful. i do admit, i put myself in alot of dangerous positions. i got to drive so many different kinds of cars but got in them with guys i didnt even know , i chilled with a lot of cool people but went into complete strangers homes. you could read people and lots of the time i walked away from a persons door out of fright but you never know. i couldve easily been raped or even murdered. i missed my family alot. i never saw any violence going on except stupid fights between the guys on crew sometimes. ive kept in touch with a lot of people from crew and plan on visitng some soon. awhile after i got home, i found out that there had been a terrible accident. many of my friends were killed and seriosly injured. the accident was an accident-nobodys fault really but it affected us all in way i cant explain. the driver-who is alive was just driving recklessly as kids do . its very eerie to wonder if i wouldve been in that van if i hadnt come home. i think about every one of them every day and it almost seems surreal. i was with them for a short amount of time but they became sooo close so quickly. you have to be prepared for anything in the mag business and sometimes you even have to disregard what you are feeling just to go on. its difficult but fun-----its just so many different things. its the kind of thing where theres no way you can understand it unless youve experienced it. it all definitley taught me a lot of lessons that i can use in life and that ill take with me wherever i go and whatever i do. it even helped me grow up alot--believe it or not. although its a free trip across the country- you basically have to take care of your own shit. never turn your back-------- for two reasons-1-youll miss all the fun-2-its risky business.

 

   

Jesse Jones Jr

i was 20 at the time and just got out of jail the weekend before I saw the ad in the paper. I was tired of the crappy little town in Oklahoma where I came from and needed to get away for a while. The ad read " Travel the USA 18 and older No expierence required" and I say to my self it sounds cool and fun didn't even care what kind of job it was really so I went to the interview answered a few a questions and was hired in 10 minutes they told me to come back in a couple of hours with all my things and be ready to leave. I thought they was just seeing who would show but they were for real - went back to there motel and in another city and didn't even know what I was doing till I got dropped the next day with this guy who was gonna show me what to do. SELL MAGAZINES door to door! I caught on fairly quickly kinda had the salemans rap had a pretty good speell. The group I was with were the strict and rigid type people sorta like drones more or less. Id always back the system tell them what I thought of the situation. The only reason the manager put up with me was because I wrote good business but when I was down he'd try to ride me and always tried act like a dictator to the crew and had to be right. No matter what, one of those kind of people talk crap to them when he felt like it he slap and knock people around. He never laid a hand on me. He always talked my mistakes over with me. He couldn't intimidate me. Always messed with the ones he could control mentally and physically but for the most part it was the one brain wash. I did all that for a little over a year don't get me wrong it wasn't all that bad as you think. I traveled made decent money for walkin and talkin and the boss let me do just about anything I wanted as long as I produced that was all he really cared about. but I got bored and was tired of all of it so I went home when we in Missouri. and said forget it!

But heres the funny part about 2 and a half years later I was looking for something to do something to get away again - you know was thinking of going to the peace corps and just check it out - I wanted to travel mostly but just chanced upon a similar ad in the paper for the same company and it had the name of the guy I knew on the crew as the interviewer and I was wanting to see if it was the same one. Curosity It was! being back on crew was alright a couple of the old hands were still there and a bunch of new faces It was pretty much the same except the atmosphere was more laid back. The manager still got on you if you were slippin but other than the that this time round was cool. Got promoted to the managers clique and saw how things were really done the little secrets to keep things runing, you know what I mean. And not all of it was nice and proper!!! But you had to do what you had to do to make it work I stayed about the same amount of time as I did the last time but decided it was time to split again. Was gonna split with a girl I thought I was in love with but thats another storyI Was on the ocean in NC and travel by bus to get back home and was really lucky to get that But taking everything into consideration I had some good times and some bad times on the road. I don't even know what to tell everybody. It is different. check it out for yourself but remeber 2 things. 1) always have money put back for your emergency bus ride home cause sometimes they just might leave you stranded and you can always leave when you want to and 2) Never fall for one of your co-workers on the road cause relationships just don't work out good but just for fun and games is cool - helps relieve stress of the day you know what i am saying and 3) always keep your mind so yours is yours and not someone else's okay! Peace out

Jesse Jones!

 

 

T

I too have had a run in with a magazine crew (a too good to be true magazine sales company). In November of 1999 my best friend left me behind to go for the fun and games. Both of us were evicted from our apartment and I went home to my parents...he had nowhere else to turn. Throughout the months he kept in contact with me until just recently. He started telling me of things that they were doing besides magazine sales. Things such as (the obvious) selling in locations without permits, selling services such as hitman type stuff, porn, and drug related sales. He spent almost an entire week in jail because of soliciting without a permit. He also sat by and watched as his co-workers were hauled off to jail for soliciting without permits while he was left on location....when he tried to contact his supervisor/manager the manager's cell-phone was turned off and my best friend was stranded on location until the designated time to be picked up 5 hours later. He also told me of a time that he had to beat somebody up because his supervisors told him to do so...he almost spent time in jail for that also.

Other incidents that I have ran into are things such as "recruiters" coming up to me at night clubs to see if I wanted to earn $3000 a week to travel. I said no but a few of my friends went...including another one of my best friends. She was one of the lucky ones that got out without being hurt. The crew that she had been assigned to had later on that week gotten in a car crash that was fatal to two people (Crystal Mahathy, 18 and Scott Tarwater, 28-whose body had not yet been found).

There are many tragedies that are related to these door-to-door magazine sales crews. Such as, (direct quote from RecordSearchlight, Driver cited Before Crash, Feb.10, 2000) 45 magazine sellers from at least six companies nationwide have been killed since 1992, largely in car crashes....Also other sellers that were contracted with this same company were killed since 1996...a car crash (driver fell asleep at the wheel) and two people beaten to death by other crew members.

Many of the people that are employed by this company are at negative amounts of money...what happened to earning so much a week?

 

   

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