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