Former Agent Stories

SH

I was traveling by greyhound last year from ohio to missouri to see my mother when i met a kid that sold magazines, he basically promised me the world and told me i would make so much money and the job was sooo fun and easy. I ended up taking him up on the offer a few months later. I started in Colorado. For a young person it starts off being everything you could want from partys and alcohol and drugs and sex but its not what it seems. At first they make everything seem awesome. You get $20 a day supposedly for 2 weeks but realistically its like 3 days then your on your own. You get 3 days training where they teach you all the bs scam canvas's to use at doors such as college scholarships or soccer teams or church groups or military groups. After that you get paid according to your sales. If you sell say 5 $60 mag subscriptions you might get $40 depending on who you work for or if they like you. Your working 9-12 hr days barely eating or getting any free time. You get driven around by people that cuss you out all day and dont have a drivers license and are drunk half the time or high or whatever. Your squeezed into a suburban with 12-15 other people. People go to peoples house and steal and rob them and get back in the car like nothing happened. Im not saying i agree with this kind of thing at all but when you dont have your "daily quota" you take a chance of being beaten by managers or jumped by whole crews so i halfway see why some people are literally willing to do anything to get sales. You get paid little to nothing and work your ass off.

As a female on crew it is crazy. The hotels have girls rooms where like 4-6 girls share a room and whoever doesnt have there quota sleeps on the floor sometimes with no pillow or blankets taking the chance of getting jumped by the other girls. Now men are not allowed in the girls rooms unless they are managers but girls can go in guys rooms. I personally was raped several times by multiple guys on mag crew including managers. Managers will buy your next days sales to have sex with you but then they are on to the next girl. People get wasted and do all kinds of drugs at the hotels most of the time drugs they got from "JONES" knocking doors but if your not the right person you will get jumped for doing drugs. If you dont have your quota you cant drink or have sex or even talk to your bf or gf. Everything is controled to get you to sell more. Ive been jumped and verbally abused to many times to count.

I became pregnant by one of the managers of the crew i worked for whom i had been dating for a month or so, when they found out i was pregnant they told me i had to have an abortion or go home. Then they let me stay a little while but treated me horribly. I eventually got fired and left stranded in colorado pregnant with no phone no money no food and i knew nobody. Thank god for that one kind stranger i met that feed me and let me stay with them until my mother could get me a bus ticket home.

Its very attractive when you see those ads in the paper or talk to one of those smooth talking sales agents but its not worth it. Its very dangerous and pointless because you get paid almost nothing. You would be better off working at burger king for what your paid and girls really get treated badly and used for sex and raped and beatin DONT DO IT!!!

 

LF

I would like to start by giving a shout-out to all who have answered the "Over 18 and Free to Travel" ads over the years, and decided to give it a shot. Because whether they realize it or not, whether they made decent money or not, whether they had good or bad experiences; one thing they must know it takes/took heart and skill to walk up to a strangers door get them to like you and walk away with a check or cash for a product that they were not gonna see for 90-120 days. I worked for 2 magazine crews for a total of 6yrs and one chemical crew for 1.

But enough of that. I am writing this because I recently became aware of this web-site and my heart dropped after reading some of these horror stories, and I just wanted to share my experience in the hope that both sides of the coin could be seen. I answered the ad in 1981 three days after graduating High School. It was my first job. Because of my age (16) I had to have my parents sign consent for me to leave the state. At first they said no, but after convincing them that it was giving me an opportunity to travel and earn a living they both gave in and signed off.

I was hired in NY but the crew was permanently located in NJ. and we basically worked the tri-state area with occasional trips to Philly, Baltimore and DC. I guess in hindsight one of the best things about this crew was the fact that we were not going from hotel to hotel but instead had a home headquarters. The owner and his wife were two of the most incredible people that I had ever met in my life, and to this day some 30 yrs later I am thankful for having met them because in a way I grew up in the magazine business and these people helped shape my life in so many ways. The carhandlers they employed were awesome. No matter what kind of day you or the car had, everyone was treated with respect and dignity, but most of all they were always there to help you and motivate you to get better. And in the event people wanted to go home, there was always a ticket for them and they were still treated with respect.

Now yes, most of us were young and there was some drinking and smoking going on, but it was done in a way where until you were an experenced sales person that earned the respect of the "old heads" you would never know it was going on. One of the things that had fascinated me was the fact that there were couples some with children who lived together so I guess in a lot of ways by carrying theirselves so respectfully it rubbed off on all of us. But more importantly there was zero tolerance for disrespecting the ladies or any violence towards each other. You were forced to carry yourself in a professional manner at all times even when we went out to eat. We were always told you never knew whose door you would knock on any given day, and there were plenty of sales where we were seen in a mall or laundromat and it would be mentioned how well we carried ourselves. (I still carry that attitude to this day)

Now I don't want you to think that all was peaches and cream because as you know with this business you are hiring people without background checks and so at times if there were warrants on people you wouldn't find out until we applied for our permits. (I thank them for never throwing us out there without being properly licensed because I can't count how many sales I got just by letting my solicitors license be in full view, even in areas with posted "No Soliciting" signs which I was famous for conveniently not noticing :) I can recall two incidents where a crew member was incarcerated, but each time the owners made sure they made the court date and paid any fines that were due, and these weren't even super producers I had to respect that. Now granted this was a relatively small crew of around 30-40 but we produced, and training (not brainwashing) was the main focus in fact the person with the most trainees always was the most repected and usually the top earners. I still think of my trainer to this day for all he did for me.

But I guess the question is if this crew was so awesome why did I leave? Well, my girlfriend got pregnant, but instead of talking it over with me, she just left. I was so heart broken when she went home that I decided to take a leave to get over it. While I was home, I noticed another ad, but this one listed Cali, Az and Florida as destinations. I had already proven myself by working in the worst weather imaginable, I thought about how well I would do in warmer environments all the time so I went for it.

Now this crew was a whole new experience for me. I was now 17 and thought of myself as a veteran of the game. This crew was over 100 strong and yes we had the usual cast of characters, The drinkers, the smokers and the hardcore dopers. But for the most part there was no abuse of the ladies or violence among the men tolerated. But I did notice that there was a lot more partying going on. I was always able to resist a lot of the partying with both crews because I was about having money in my pocket, so I always focused on picking the brains of those who were top 5 every week. I also guess that by again being the youngest one on crew and carrying myself in a professional manner all the time gained me a lot of respect from the "old heads" plus from the time I started selling door-to-door I would always consider it a must to always have the same positive attitude and I guess this was my main asset thru the years I would never let my day get to me. (Believe it or not though each crew and each manager may have different techniques of motivation- some good some bad this is the main thing that they try to instill in you to make you tough mentally. I don't agree with people looking at it as brainwashing because this is a trait thats invaluable not just for mag sales but for life, and to this day I am still grateful for this lesson.)

I was again fortunate to be on a crew that was run by the owner which may be the main reason why it was so well run. I mean even the carhandlers for the most part were people who led by example. There were a couple of bad apples of course, but for the most part they were decent people. But being on a crew that sometimes reached 150 sales people was not without some drama.There were more incidents of people being arrested for warrants and things, but again I never saw the owner turn his back on anybody even if they had to do time, some would be given a chance to come back for a fresh start (depending on their character of course, because believe it or not, you will probably find that even today some of the best salespeople out there were not the most upstanding of citizens, but this business has also changed a lot of lives for the better, by just being given an opportunity. This I have seen with my own eyes.)

But with regards to tragedy, unfortunately I did experience that also. One of the saleswomen was struck by a truck while on her way to pick-up on a dark country road. Though I didn't wholly agree with working after dark If you didn't have decent business for the day it was an accepted part of the rules used at the discretion of the carhandler. There was also an accident in which there were some injuries but thankfully no loss of life. Lastly there was a person that I knew from crew who was arrested for murder. But please understand that these actions are not condoned by the companies that hire these people as with any other American company who has an employee do something stupid.

All in all I stuck with it till my 23rd Birthday and I still reflect on them being some of the best years of my life experience and personal growth-wise. I even went back for a year when I was 32yrs old to acomplish what I had not in all those years, which was write over $1,000 production in a week. I had high weeks of 65 sales but had never topped that grand in production, but at the age of 32 I did it and believe it or not I consider it one of my greatest personal accomplishments seeing that by then I had been out of the business for almost ten years when I did it. (Its the little things in life put together that make us what we are.)

So in closing, look. You will not get wealthy in this business, by just knocking on doors but you can make a decent living if you stick with it long term and learn the game. Remember going in, there will be salesmen who will over exxagerate what they make because they want to impress you and get you exicited about the oppotunity. But you gotta put in the time to get better. Not everybody is gonna do great out the gate, and some just won't be good at it at all and go home. I know things have changed tremendously since I was in the business, but I just refuse to believe that there are more badly managed crews than good. We live in a differnt age now. Thanks to websites like this you can do your homework on these various crews and if you decide to take a chance use the common sense your mother gave ya. Be strong by being different, cause believe me there is no better sales training out there that can teach you more about the sales game and the lesson stays with you for life. I still use most of the techniques I learned to this day, I would like to thank this web-site for for letting me tell my tale, but I would readilly love to make myself available to help if you were to decide to find out what we could do to put a stop to the corrupt companies/crews mentioned in some of these testimonials. Thanx

   

Dawn

Hello my name is Dawn, I worked for a magazine crew from 1990 to 1992.

First and foremost, I am very sorrowful for the pain and anguish all the families have suffered, who lost a loved one or knew someone who was injured while working for a Magazine Crew.  I am sure that you are feeling cheated and you miss your family member /child. No matter how and where you lose a person you love, the memories haunt us.

I have a story that will rock your world:

For the RECORD I was never mistreated by anyone on my CREW!

For the sake of protecting the innocent, I have changed names in my story.

The year was 1990 I was just 17 and left home by choice. My mother had given my sister permission to drive me 6 hours to a small city named REDLANDS just outside of San Bernardino, Ca.  A friend of mine had given me permission to stay at his home or a little while, he was a fireman and worked 2 weeks at a time so I  only seen him briefly before my adventure with the MAG CREW begun.

After only a few days in my new city, I went out job searching. At age 17, I had a drivers licence and I had my Social Security Card and at that age fearless. Taking on any tasks big or small I would have had no trouble.  Only problem was no business would hire me without permission from my parent, because they thought I may be a run away or something.  Well about the 4th day in this City, I was riding my friends bicycle going from business to business looking for work. I was approached out side the mall, by a handsome fella about 22 years young, he stated his name was Michael.  Oh what a doll baby he was, sweet, good looking and easy to speak with. He pitched me to buy magazines and of course I was broke and so no way could afford them. We got to talking and he then informed me what the Crew did, he then introduced me to his crew members Robert and Josh  and asked if I would want to join them.  I liked them all, especially took a shine to Josh. Yummy.. Josh was a MAN with a body that would make most woman quiver. Josh was in top shape, he worked out constantly.

After meeting the crew members they offered me a job, how could I say no to that? What did I have to lose?  And so when the Car Handler (Andrew) appeared with the station wagon, the guys then put my bicycle in the back of the car and took me to where I was staying. I dropped off the bike got my things, wrote a thank you note, then split with the guys. They took me to the hotel where they stayed to meet their Crew Owners; Lisa and George.

I met LISA and her boyfriend George. Lisa a tiny little Chinese lady and George was a big heavy black man. They both were in their forty's, not old by long shot.  Very nice people, Lisa was the best, I adored her!    Any how I took an instant shine to both of these people. They interviewed me, asked me my age and when they learned I had 4 months before my 18th birthday Lisa had me phone my mother. Lisa first made certain I was not a run away and then she asked my mother for written permission for me to go with. After they faxed each other the documents, I was officially hired!

At the time I was the only girl on crew and Lisa and George refused to allow me to sleep in the same room with the guys. I had to get a room of my own.  Lisa paid for it, but she did let me know that I would pay her back by becoming the very best magazine sales person on her crew.

 Our next destination was  Phoenix, Arizona  a desired location during February for sales crews. I was trained by Josh and fell head over heels for him.  We dated briefly, but I knew he had a girl waiting for him in Texas and we were NOT having sex, just allot of sharing life and kisses.

My sales were decent especially for a beginner, don't get me wrong, I had bad selling weeks just like anyone else. I was shocked when my manager told me to pack my stuff and told me that I would be leaving in the morning. I did not want to leave the crew. What they meant was the Crew was going to leave the city and travel to a new location, I was so happy to hear that they were gonna keep me, despite I had a bad sales week. We eventually made our way to Houston, TX where I said my tearful good byes to Josh.

Some where between Texas and Nashville TN, I met Chris. A short lived romance. I barely even remember him. I can only recall that he was a manager for another crew and he had money to splurge. He rented a Limo for us and 2 others and we drove around and drank. I got smashed that night, I was sick.  I really don't recall us breaking up, we drifted apart because his group went another direction. Actually, it is my belief that he was asked to step out of the picture most likely by my managers. After meeting Chris, my sales slumped big time.

Eventually other young ladies were hired. I was happy for this finally I had room mates and my cost of living reduced. At the same time I hated sharing my room with anyone cause that meant sharing my shower, bathroom and you know how girls get. Our crew eventually had 4 girls and 7 guys. Small in size but the best in the business.. so we thought.

I was teamed up with the lead performer on the Horsies team, Joe was his name. Looked a little like Rod Stewart and played the rock part well. By now I was 18 years old. My managers allowed me to date Joe so as long as my sales continued to do well.  That relationship was ok,it was on and off again.  He was not my dream boat.

Time stood still when I met the boy of my dreams, Chuck. Oh my gosh.. we were so in love. Chuck was working for the Horsies, and that was fine because my team and his team traveled together always. He was the sweetest boy I ever met, kind considerate, thoughtful and always brought me gifts.

We were the best of friends.

I was never mistreated by my team managers or team mates and never did our crew members do anything illegal other than smoke a little weed and underage drinking . All that I do know is that we didn't get involved with the hard core crap. Maybe it was because we had no money for it or just our crew had no desire for anything more. We once dropped ACID in Vegas... OMG...that was a real trip.that was the one and only time we did that. It was so much fun....we snuck into a David Copperfield performance.. and if you think he is amazing when you are sober....imagine when your hallucinating!

I had a great deal of adventures, got to go to many places and met more people than I can recall. Most great, some not great and never did make a great deal of money. Made some amazing friends and had some of the most fun ever in my life.  The crew for 2 years of my life was my life!   Memories will never be forgotten!

We returned to Virginia, the last time  we were here my managers took me out to a fine dinner and proudly gave me my Gold Sales Ring. Only those sales people who make 100 + sales in a week are guaranteed a ring. and for every 100 sold in week there after you got a diamond. My managers had turned me into a money making machine and they were proud!

The day came that I knocked on the wrong door..... it was a blistering hot day in Fairfax VA. My car handler spotted some sweet door knockers dream and dropped me off in this amazing town house development.  If you are in door to door sales, this type of territory is a favorite because you don't need to walk as far to get the the next door.

The first set of doors I knocked on made a purchase from me! My spirit was soaring and I knew that if the day continued to play out like this I would have a huge week, might even get a diamond my gold sales ring. That would make my management proud, for sure! 

The 5th door I knocked on was a nudist, a really beautiful black woman answered the door in the BUFF! LOL. She turned out to be a sweetie, didn't make a purchase but she did invite me in for a cold glass of water and air conditioning. You might be thinking why would you enter a woman's house who was totally in the nude, well she was very sweet and totally harmless.

about an hour goes by and I am knocking on doors, the heat was fierce and the sweat from my head was pouring down into my face and eyes.  I knocked on the door,and when the door opened it was a rather handsome looking guy, not great looking but not bad looking either. I felt the air conditioner, oohhh it felt so nice. I told him what was doing, selling magazines. He invited me in, ohhh the air felt soo good. I noticed that his home was built different from the ones I was just in. The nude black lady lived in an apartment and she was only a few doors down. What I was in now appeared to be a two story town house.

As I walked through the door and into the entrance, I noticed  a small kitchen on my right, the living room was straight ahead, It had a great big window, the curtains had been drawn back and filled the room with light. on the left side of the living room was a stair well going up to the floor above. I assumed this was the bedrooms. I never went up to find out. We sat on the couch, It was nice ouch, clean and comfy. I kept my pitch strong and he agreed to purchase 5 Magazines!  i never sold five to one person before, I was over the moon, this sale plus the previous sales I made was going to get me that diamond in my sales ring!!!!

The man told me his name and gave me his address. I gave him the total and he said, oh I have to pay now?I said yes sir, we collect today so you wont need to pay tomorrow. Uhmmm... ok he said I will be right back with a check, you do take checks right?? Yes sir,as long as they don't bounce. By the way if you can put half in cash and the rest in a check it would guarantee me the points towards my winning this contest. Oh, ok he said. And up the stairs he went.

This is when I heard a loud voice tell me "GET OUT NOW!" My skin felt strange an the hair on my arms and else where rose.I heard the voice again, "GET OUT NOW" this time it sounded like my mothers voice. I grabbed my packet shoved it between my mid back and my shorts and headed towards the door.   This is when I seen him walking down the stair way. The sun rays from the window glistened something that was in his hand.

He noticed I was headed towards the door and he said" where are you going?" I told him that my mother was looking for me and I had leave. I walked to the door and wham..he body slammed me against it. Reached above my head and locked it at the top. The man had a sliding lock at the top of his door!  Had he done this before to another girl? Was that the voice and presents I felt a moment ago???

I was now on the floor! He was on top straddling my body as he was tearing off my top and just then I knew that if he kept control I was going to die in that house! Suddenly I became calm and began talking to him soothing him an letting him believe that I wanted him just as bad as he wanted me. He allowed me to get on top of him and undress him.  Then out of nowhere I got the courage and the strength to stand up and Kick him as hard as possible in the shin and his balls and once in the knee cap.  For all I knew, his body had blocked the only way out.  I was lead into what I thought was a closet, it turned out it to be an entrance to a first floor with a small back yard. I made my way down stairs, and I heard him calling out at me, you BITCH, you FUCKING Cunt,  Your GONNA DIE!!!!

I managed to get the sliding door to open and ran into the back yard. I was surrounded by a 6ft fence and by a miracle I was able to open it. On the other side of the gate was a FIELD! a massive undeveloped FIELD! OH My gosh...My heart was pounding and the seconds seemed  to be minuets and I was more terrified than ever in my life.  I was afraid to go right or left because he could be waiting for me at the entrance of either opening, if their was an opening to the Town Houses/ Apartments. Had I gone forward into the field he would come after me and no one would ever be the wiser.

I went right and followed the fence line to the opening. It seemed like forever but in reality it was only 4 townhouses down. I then found my way into the development and stood in a parking spot, and it just so happened to be the parking spot of the woman who were just pulling in!

Well it didn't take them long to realize that I was in shock and my clothing was torn beyond repair. Something bad happened to me, for sure.

They invited me in to their place called the police and the daughter brought me to her bathroom upstairs and offered me clothing. I asked for the shirt because I had shorts on....she told me to look down at my shorts. Yes, I was still wearing them but they were now covered in menstrual blood and urine!   Evidently I had began my period and pissed all over myself and didn't have a clue that I did.

Police arrived, put me in the back of the cop car while he and another police officer rounded up the suspect. The man denied ever meeting me, but the evidence was in his home, the police found my receipt packet that I had written up his order in.

Then my car handler (JONES) pulls up and he gets out of his car and walks up to me and starts cussing me out and saying I knew I shouldn't have placed you here, I knew you were gonna get in trouble here. What did you do???  I was so pissed! I said are you kidding me????????? I was almost raped and possibly murdered by this insane person.

I got to the police department filed my report and the police officer showed a great deal of concern about me not appearing for the court case. He stated that he has ran into cases like this and because young people who are traveling sales people the chances are great that I wouldn't be able to attend the hearing and that meant this PSYCHO gets to WALK!

well, I made a promise that I would show, that this person is a lunatic and who knows who else he has hurt or will hurt. That was a promise that I did not keep. Not because I did not want to, it was the lack of money and resources. Virgina Fair Fax police did not have a place to put me up during the trial and I didn't have the money to pay for it on my own.

I feel remorse every time I recall this event. I allowed a creep to go back on the streets all because I did not have a way to pay for a hotel room, food and travel to and from the court house.  Do you ever wonder how many other people encountered the same or similar and feel the same way I do?

After this experience, I really had a difficult time going door to door. I panicked every time. My management learned that my Boyfriend and I had been planning to leave the Mag Crew and start a life together. They separated us by taking the crews to different locations.  With in a month, I had it with the Crew. I did not feel safe doing my job and they separated me from the only person I cared about.

We were in Indianapolis, Indiana and I just wept and wept. For the first time in 8 years I phoned my father who lived in Illinois and asked him to come help me. He made plans to pick me up and I told my managers that I was leaving for a break and would be back in a month.

They knew I wouldn't be back and my manager George insisted give him my ring to pay back any debts that might come in during my leave of absence. I could earn it back with the sales I make.

My father flew his personal airplane out and picked me up. then took me to his home where I was introduced to a new world of sales- Ariel Photography. 

I later met up with Chuck. He was still selling Mags for a living. As a matter of fact we met up twice since then. We never became lovers again. He was still in the mindset of selling magazines where as I had moved on.

I still think of him!

 it has been 18 years since I had this experience.. I remember it all well. I miss my crew, they were like family to me.

Kind regards,

Dawn

   

ALJ

I was brought out to Longbeach, CA to work on Magcrew for the first time almost 8 months ago. Within 5 minutes of being in the truck when they picked me up from the bus station they were rolling blunts and smokin up. At first I thought all the partying and smokin and drinkin was fun and didnt have a care in the world. They even had me be a driver and it got more fun. But the responsibilities of a driver include not only selling magazines on this crew. Bailing people out of jail, picking someone up after they robbed someone, smuggling guns and drugs, and being the get away driver for various felony crimes including robbery, car jackings, jumping people and a whole mess more.

Against my will my fiancee of 2 years joined me on crew a few weeks later. She partied like all the other girls, and was continually raped by more then 6 mag agents for several nights. The crew seperated us so we couldn't comunicate and so I wouldnt know what happened, When I found out I informed the police, the police didnt care because the only thing they had was my fiances word against the rest of the crew. After they found out I talked to the police, I had a Bounty put on me (A HIT).

I stole a company vehicle and drove 30 miles to a hotel, I informed them where their Truck was by calling from a burn phone in downtown sac town. I stayed there till I, with the help of my family, was able to get home where I was arrested and put in jail due to outstanding warrants from magcrew. I also got my fiance home safely and we have been living quietly off the radar from magcrew ever since.

I'm not the best human being but I never meant to be a criminal but that is done and over with and my record still haunts me to this day. I Wish it never happened.

If you have ever wanted to be on a magcrew, DONT! It will land you in prison, or jail in a matter of months. And if you are on magcrew and want to go home, do it by any means nessessary! Hitch-hike your way home, trucks move faster and farther than any other vehicle and you done have to pay. GO MIA on T and slap a ride to the biggest truck stop on the area, hang there for a while, truckers will help you. from there you just got to slap a ride home.

   

AC

Got out b4 they sucked me in

Just found it interesting... is all.

They were in Nashville TN a few years back at the days inn on Murfreesboro Road. I responded to their ads. Fortunately I was 23 at the time & had already "lived enough" to know that when the bosses are cussing out kids in a back room while I was being "interviewed" that it was a bad deal. Hope those guys made it out okay.

   

More Articles...

Page 7 of 13