Drew

Ok so here’s my story,

I was around 19 years old when I became door to door magazine salesmen. To start off very few people know this story, in fact even my now wife doesn’t even know about this. Anyways I joined because I was depressed and wasn’t having luck with employment all of my friends had real jobs and made good money. I was still bouncing around part time jobs. I saw an ad for “traveling sales”. I had been thinking of leaving my small suburban town I grew up in. I don’t even think I read the whole ad before I called the number. The lady on the phone was super nice and promised the opportunity to travel the country. She did however ask that I leave the very next day. I thought that was odd but didn’t think too much about it. I was living with my father at the time, he was iffy about the job but was the type of man to let me be me and make my own mistakes. He said if ever needed anything to call me. I had my own cell phone at the time.

To understand my situation you have to understand I was in it for the traveling to begin with. I knew this was a sales job, and I could have cared less about the sales. Fortunately I wasn’t one of the kids that joined who was just desperate for anything. I just wanted to get out of the town I was from. My communication skills where already very good, and so was my mind. I knew once they picked me up in a van with packed with kids that seemed unique, that this wasn’t what was advertised. But I was still ok with it. I learned that they set kids up in hotel rooms 4 people to a room. The first thing they did when I got to the hotel was try and size me up. 1 room full of 4 guys, I knew what was going to happen. But I considered myself ahead of the bar both mentally and physically so the leader of the group I was in offered me a drink while they were kind of ruff housing. I was a wrestler for 8 years and wrestled in high school. I knew what he was doing, so when he asked me to wrestle I showed him how much stronger and better of a fighter I was than he was. I found out weeks later he had told the other leaders of the crews how tough I was.

Anyways the sales end of it started the very next morning. My crew leader took me out himself to train me. He seemed to have a respect for me because I was a good fighter. We went door to door and I watched as he gave a different sales pitch at every door. He enjoyed it and was good at it, he had good energy and strong verbal communication skills. He had answers and rebuttals for every kind of denial. We had fun knocking on doors we made fun out of it. But after my training period was over I went on drops by myself. I didn’t sale much, it was because I simply didn’t care if I sold a magazine or not. But I did put some effort as I wanted to get a chance to travel a little while, before they figured me out and fired me. So they had these levels that where basically rookie, agent level, and managers. You had to make so many sales within a week to become an official “agent” someone who was respected by the crew. Out of the 8 months I was on the crew I never made “agent” status . lol I thought it was funny as I had allot of meetings with managers who said “ I had so much potential they could see” really I was just selling enough not to get fired. The money I got was pathetic, I figured out this was a “under the table” operation when I first got hired and we had a meeting in the lobby of the hotel and they handed out these clearly fake W2 forms to all the new kids. So I knew then I wasn’t going to have much control of how much money I make even if I sold good. Which I was right even mag agents never had more money than I did. I thought it was funny they were too stupid to notice this fact.

Most of the kids came from troubled lives and had little education. Allot of them where running from troubled pasts. I think the recruiters prayed on these types of kids. They knew they could take advantage of kids who had nothing to go home to. Anyways the crew I was in wasn’t heavy in to drugs not like other crews I met along the way. There was plenty of drinking but not much more than some cannabis was done on my crew. At least not in my site, I knew some of the guys in my van did other drugs because they talked about it. But again I never saw more than beer and weed. So to make what is a much longer story shorter, my life on the crew wasn’t as bad as some people have had. But again I wasn’t like anyone else on the crew I was on. But still even when I was ready to go home my manager paid for my ticket and dropped me off at the bus station. I had no issues getting home. One time we even stayed at the head manager’s parents’ house. In my time on the crew I did meet other crews. At larger cities we traveled in packs. I could tell they were different the vans they drove where much rougher and the kids where more beat up looking. There was allot of pressure to sell, but it was a sales job so I expected that. I just didn’t let it affect me. I think the managers new I was different and never pushed me too far for some reason. I made almost no money on the job; I came home with maybe $20 cash in my pocket. But I did see the country and have allot of unique experiences. As you can tell my experience was different than others. I would not recommend this job to anyone. It’s dangerous they drop you off in some very bad neighborhoods. They don’t care about your safety in the least bit. They only care that you make them money. I think I was lucky, I think had I been on a different crew my story would be different. But still by no way would I tell anyone to take this job. Sometimes I wonder what the guys on my crew are up to new days. I miss them, they may have made mistakes and lived different lives but they were young and only did what they knew how. They all had potential if they would of received better education and guidance.