« Dog People | Main | I Am More Than A Short-Order Cook »

March 08, 2009

Door to Door Magazine Sales

Door to door Today while I was straightening up, so no one will ever know that we live in squaller when no guests are around. The door bell rang. I was annoyed cause I wanted to finish, but I went to answer it. When I opened the door there was a young man holding the tell tale magazine subscription folder. I usually just tell these kids that I’m not interested and close the door. I know they’re a scam. But this kid had a lot of charm. Or maybe it was just his opening line “Ma’am are you familiar with the ghetto?” You gotta admit it’s a good line.

Anyway then he launched into the usual spiel. I’m selling magazines to earn point to get a scholarship…Blah, blah, blah. Then he said something about being from Maryland, and I don’t know why but I started asking him questions. He told me that he had gotten the magazine job in Maryland and they brought him out here. That the company put “them” up at a hotel (apparently they had brought a bunch of young adults with him). It was at this point that I started to worry about this kid. He looked like he was all of about 18. Who is this magazine company that whisks kids out of a Baltimore ghetto and brings them to Los Angeles to sell magazines door to door.

I kept the kid at my door for about 20 minutes, gave him a soda, and tried to figure out if he was ok. He seemed happy with his arrangement. So, after one final effort to get me to buy a $50 book for homeless children we said goodbye.

After he left I googled “door to door magazine sales”. I was amazed at what I found, articles in The Washington Post, The New York Times, and many more reporting the mistreatment of these kids and the kids mistreatment of people who open their doors to them. Apparently, these kids answer ads in newspapers for jobs requiring “no experience”. When they come for the interview they’re told there are no jobs in their area but that the company will take them to another city where they will work until there is an opening. From there they take the kids to distant towns, and then withhold lodging, food, transport expenses from their pay checks. Which basically means they never make any money. The papers also reported several cases of rape, abuse and even murder perpetrated by the Sales Managers.

Finally, the kids in an effort to escape, often resort to stealing from residence. The articles said many kids sneak away in the night, just to get out of it. Who knows where they end up or what becomes of them. The advice was to alert the police, when you get a visit from the door to door magazine kids, and don’t open your door.

I hope Brian, the boy at my door today, is somewhere safe. I’m still worried about him. I did call my local police division and told them the whole story including the town he told me they were staying and all about the Washington Post and New York Times articles. I felt a little ridiculous, and as usual like Mrs. Kravitz. But sometimes the nosy neighbor saves your life.

This is an original post for LA Moms Blog.

Elise Crane Derby blogs at http://www.elisesramblings.blogspot.com when she's not in Mrs. Kravitz mode.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Door to Door Magazine Sales :


Archive - LA Moms Blog

Lijit Search

Receive the SV Moms Group Newsletter
For Email Newsletters you can trust

Our Sister Sites

NJ Moms
Deep South Moms

Media & Press - Los Angeles