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Salesperson's Story of the Month

A true story by lauren

I was out selling magazines one day, I was doing really well, it was still early and I already had 8 on the day. I had gotten dropped off in a bad neighborhood and saw a kid on a bike, the kid asked me what I was doing, I told him and he claimed he wanted to by a magazine. He was getting ready to sign the order form and he took off with the 300 something dollars tbat I had and all my orders. Ii started crying. I knew my boss was going to kill me. I saw a man in a truck - he stopped me and asked me what was wrong and I told him. He said he would help me find him, it was natural for me by this point in my job to get in a car with a sranger, I did.

We drove around and tried to find this kid and we couldn't find him. I asked him to drop me off and he asked me what he could get for 50 dollars. I told him you can take me to my pick up spot, that was when he grabbed me. I tried to get out of his grip, I opened the door and started screaming. A lady outside heard me scream, I can t even remember how it happened it was all so fast, but I rolled out onto the grasss. I got up shaken and the lady asked me if I was ok. I screamed bloody murder as I fell to the ground, I wasn't a girl who this kind of thing happens to I thought, how could someone do this to me, I knew my boss wouldn't believe me, the lady called my boss for me and told him what happened. His response was what do you want me to do about it.

The cops came and I filed a report and they took me to my motel. I saw my boss and he immediately started screaming at me, "are you stupid how could you let this happen". I couldn' t do it anymore, that was when I went home.

It happened to me and it could happen to you. There are just as many bad people as there are good in this world. God helped keep me safe. I could have easily lost, i'm one of the lucky ones.


I was 16 years old and was in a bad situation. I had been kicked out of my home. The only "home" I could find was a house where they grew weed, blew pot smoke in my face or put their hands on me under the covers to wake me up (I worked the night shift at a local coffee shop).

I was so relieved when I saw the "Too Young For The Airline, But Like To Travel" ad in the local paper. It was a way out. I took it. From my very first morning, I regretted my move. The Manager came into the morning sales meeting (songs, pep talk, more songs - you know the drill) and interrupted the meeting. He began a manic sort of screaming attack on the entire team - me included. I was paralyzed by fear.

We hit the road to California from Texas. When we were in the middle of nowhere desert - The Manager pulled the caravan over and had everyone get out of their respective vehicles - he then pulled out a revolver pistol and told us that no one would ever find us out there - so we had better not piss him off. The man was seriously unstable, and the crew treated him like a god. I was not sure what to do, but I had no where to go. I tried calling my parents, but they refused to speak to me. I realized that no matter how sick and twisted they were, The Mag Crew were my only hope - so I stayed.

I stayed through all kinds of stupid stuff. I was no angel - trust me, but I was not Mag Crew material. I saw and heard more and more sick and twisted shit - shit that I just wrote off out of survival. Every time I had a chance to get away, I chose to go back. It was a soul destroying time that I will NEVER forget.

The Manager got sick and we returned to Texas. It was my birthday. Birthdays always make me think. I was less than an hour from my home city. I knew there had to be something better. I would be 17 now, and I could get more help - I did not care if I had to go back to the weed house - I needed to get away from that 'life' style.

The Manager had given his girlfriend instructions that I was not to leave - he also gave her hie pistol. Thank God she was less determined to keep me there than I was to leave. I promised I would come back; it was the last lie I told as a Mag Crew member.

That was nearly 30 years ago. I pulled it together. Little by little I have carved out a life out of the lot I was handed. I am happy, well adjusted (just ask my therapist) and successful. I do not know what happened to anyone else, I only pray that The Managers girl did not get it too bad for letting me go.

If you are a parent - pray. Pray and call every law enforcement official you know to get your kid back. Call your local, state and federal lawmakers too. Do not give up.

If you are a kid, get away. There is always a choice. Call the police, call a hotline. This is no time to be proud; call your parents, grandparents, Aunts, Uncles... JUST GET AWAY. Use that talent, that spark, for making YOURSELF a living, not some butt-wretching manager.


The Contest

I started out in the Niagara Falls and New England areas. They interviewed me at the Holiday Inn in my town and I had to have my bags packed and ready to leave in around two days. I traveled to all but 14 states. They promised me transportation home if it didn't work out. Things were ok at first, but it grew worse. We sold magazines in a "contest" to win a trip to Paris, London and Rome and I think $1,000. I can still recite the sales "spiel" they called "sales talk". I got to see the Ocean for the first time in Newport, Rhode Island. It was incredible.

They would drop us off in a town or city, where we knew no one, sometimes in the middle of nowhere. We would be left there for approx. 45 minutes. We rarely would apply for the required licenses or permits, etc. in any town, and were told to be careful and not be too noticeable. Sometimes we would get caught and have to go to the town/city clerk and apply. They didn't like that.

We were given $7 a day to eat two meals. They didn't let us eat lunch. On weekends, it was a percentage, I can't remember how much but it was about $15 to $20. We were basically on our own during weekends, and it was a mad drug, alcohol and sex fest. There were girls getting hooked up with Cocaine dealers in the area, and sex parties in the other kids rooms.
If you needed new clothes or shoes or personal items, you needed to ask for money. You were told it would "come off your books". We had a girl who traveled with us who took care of all office work. She always stayed behind doing paperwork, while we went out selling.

They told us we could see our "books" at any time to see how much money we had, but when you'd ask, it was like a big secret and they acted as though you were a bad person for asking. They'd then explain that hotel rooms and the cash they gave you for meals took all the money you had. They would send someone with you to shop, I assume so we wouldn't take off.

Around the first of the month, or the middle of the month they would allow some of the girls to go to Army bases (considered "killer territory"). They would sneak us onto the base and drop us off at the dorms. They'd leave us to there for a couple of hours, since it was considered a high selling territory. They'd tell us that the guys in the Army got paid and had money to burn, and a young pretty girl could make around 11 sales (considered a high sell day). High sellers in the crew were regarded "special" and treated like gold. They would get to sit up front, and the "Manager/Driver" would be extra nice to them, saying great things about them and to them, smile at them, sometimes allow them to stay with them while the rest of us went back out. We'd make like 11 sales that day, when an average day would be like 5 to 7 sales.

When someone had a bad sales day, the manager would encourage us to ignore them, sometimes he would say awful things to them, call them weak, make fun of them, give them "bad territory", make them sit in the very back. Other times they would encourage the bad seller to be motivated, but not often.

If someone decided the "job" wasn't for him or her, and decided to leave, they would not allow us to talk to them or even look at them. We were told to ignore their "negativity". They called them "scabs" or something like that.

Once I was in Bedford, Mass. knocking on a door in a residential neighborhood. No one appeared to be at home, so I was leaving the property and a man was sitting in his parked car in front of the house. He yelled out to me "Hey, what are you doing"? I assumed he was the homeowner, or neighbor, so I walked over to the car. I started giving him my sales talk, and handed him the list of magazines. He told me to go ahead and open the door and sit down in his car. (It was summertime and warm and sunny that day). I opened the door and sat about ¾ on the seat, with one leg out, keeping the door open slightly. I kept talking, asking him his name, address, phone number (they taught us to begin filling out the paperwork as soon as you could) and what kinds of interests he had. I had gotten some information on the ticket, his name and phone number.

He was still looking over the magazine list, and without any warning, he grabbed my head and right shoulder and pulled me down onto the seat, telling me to "get your leg in the car and close the door". I was so scared, It seemed like only a second went by, I was struggling to think, and he started punching me and hitting me in my head and shoulder, still holding me down. He was swearing and demanding and getting even more angry "put your f**king leg in the car and shut the f**king door!!! Do it now!!!!)" My head was numb, I couldn't feel the punches anymore, so I screamed "Help, Help!!!" and kept the door open. He must've realized I wasn't going to make it easy, so he shoved me out of the car, threw all my papers out, and took off. I just started to run, but grabbed my stuff while he was screeching away.

I ran into some back yard right into a fence. I stood there for a couple minutes, scared out of my mind. A few seconds or minutes went by, and because of the fence I was cornered. I thought I should get away, so I peeked around the house to the spot where he had been. I didn't see him; I listened but couldn't hear any cars. I looked at what or who was around, and saw neighbors, a couple probably in their 50's straining to look for me from a second story open porch, and a mail man in front of their house. I started toward the street. I looked both ways and saw a car at the end of the street driving slowly past the intersection...it was the guy! He had passed the intersection already, but stopped, so I looked at the neighbors and they were waving me to them. I decided I had time and my best move would be to run to their house, because maybe the guy had a gun and was coming to kill me so I wouldn't say anything! I ran like crazy to their house, and the woman had made it downstairs and was holding the door open. I flew into her house and she locked the door and brought me upstairs. I asked for a glass of water. She told me she would call the police. I told her, no, my manager was coming to pick me up; I'd just stay at her house until I saw him and he'd take me to the police station.

I think about fifteen minutes went by, and I saw his truck. I looked around and didn't see the guy around, so I ran to the truck and got in. I started to tell him, but he could already tell something was up. He motioned for me to hold on. We went around and dropped everyone off, and I told him what happened. He brought me to the police station. I told them what happened, and they called the telephone number I had gotten. They took pictures of the bruises that had formed on my face and neck by then. They said it looked like he had been wearing some kind of ring or something. Some time went by and an officer told me they picked up a guy, and could I identify him if I saw him? I said I was sure I could. They brought me to a hallway, and pointed to a door with a window. They told me it was one of those mirrors where I could see him, but he couldn't see me. I looked in and he was sitting behind a table in a chair. He had gone home and shaved and changed his clothes! I asked the officer if he could have the guy sit facing the right (my right) as if he were sitting in his car. They went into the room and had the guy change his position, and I was amazed, I looked in and could tell immediately it was the guy. Once I identified him, they began telling me that the guy had given his correct phone number! His wife had answered the door and apparently he had done something like this before, so she turned him right in and cooperated with the police on whether or not he had been home, etc.

I finished paperwork, and explained that I would be leaving the area within a week. They told me no problem, I had identified him and that's all I needed to do. A couple months later, when I had gone home, I got a letter from the court saying something like, because I didn't go, they dropped the charges! The letter had been sent to the company.

That was not the only incident. I was selling with another girl one day. A guy in his early twenties was the only one at home. The other girl went to use the bathroom, and this guy just jumped on me and started trying to take my clothes off. I yelled at him, the other girl came out and I said, "Let's go" and we left. I told her what happened, and she said that happens to her a lot.

Once we were in Atlanta, and I was selling with a girl. She confided in me that she had somehow gotten a venereal disease, she thinks. We went to a clinic. She found out she did. She was seeing a guy in our crew. She told him about it and he broke up with her. He was the one that had given it to her, because the guy was sleeping with girls wherever we went.

We were in Boston, or Maryland or somewhere, and I had a really good sales day of around 9 or 10, so the owner told me he was taking me out to dinner. It was a usual occurrence for your first high sales day. We went to a nice restaurant up top of a building, the entire floor rotated on top of the building. We got an expensive bottle of wine, best wine I ever tasted! I had Escargot for the first time, and Steak Diane. (He ordered for us). It was the best dinner I think I ever had. He bragged about how much it cost, it was over $100. He paid and we returned to the motel. He brought me into his room and started telling me of how well I did, and of how much potential I had. He got us a couple of beers and we were sitting around talking. He got out some cocaine and started to cut it up. He handed a straw out to me, but I turned it down. Then he began to kind of try to get closer and closer to me, and tried to put his arm around me. I got pissed off and left.

The next day was like nothing happened. I noticed the girls all looked at me funny and really wouldn't talk to me. They all acted overly friendly toward him, though. It was almost like they were saying I shouldn't have turned down the situation, they didn't.

The last straw for me was another Army base day. They dropped us off, three or four of us girls. The manager pointed to a gate and told us he would be there at around 3:30 or 4:00. We went our separate ways and I sold and sold, around 11 or twelve sales. It got to be the time for pick up, so I headed for the gate. I was around ten minutes late. I found it no problem. It was locked up. I waited and waited, and he didn't come. I figured he'd been there and saw it was locked, and would be at the main gate to the base, so I headed there. He wasn't there. I left the base, but went to the side of the road outside the original gate. I waited for about an hour I think. I went to a restaurant and called him. I don't think I got a word in. I was called every name in the book, told I was stupid and that he was not going to come pick me up.

We were staying at a motel in Alabama, and the base was across the state line about 20 minutes away in Kentucky. I just started walking and crying. I got to a truck stop and used some of the money I made that day to eat. A truck driver found me outside crying later, and brought me to his house. He let me crash at his house. I got up the next day, relieved that he didn't try to make any moves on me. He drove me the twenty minutes to the motel. They had already left. I got my room key from the maid and just grabbed my clothes and left. The truck driver brought me to a different truck stop. He found me a ride with another truck driver. I got rides through Alabama, and just kept getting rides with truck drivers.

At one truck stop, I went with a driver and his girlfriend, a red headed girl. I was so tired, they told me to crawl into the bed and sleep. I woke up to find them both having sex with me! I was scared, mad, confused. I didn't do anything for a while, not sure what could or would happen. Finally I had enough, got my wits about me and told them to stop. They were pissed. I got dressed and they threw me right out of the truck and threw some of my stuff at me and took off leaving me on the side of the highway. I started hitchhiking and another truck stopped after a while. He was going to Maine, and said he could bring me to the Syracuse Exit in NY. That was heaven. I got in. We talked small talk, I'd sleep sitting in the front seat. I woke up and we were there. Syracuse. Just about 30 miles from Home. I told him Thank you, thank you, thank you! He asked me if I felt like having sex with him. I told him I had been through a really tough time. I told him that I appreciated it, but would rather not. He said ok, I got out and he left.

I called a taxi and got a ride all the way home, to Auburn.

For more salesperson’s stories, go to www.magcrew.com. When you click on this link please be aware that you are leaving the Parent Watch website.

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