Feb 21, 2007

Not such a good career choice

It might not sound that bad, but selling magazine subscriptions is among the worst jobs in the nation for young people. Today's NY Times has a devastating expose (exposes must always be described as "devastating," btw) about mistreatment of young magazine "crews" that travel around and sell door-to-door.

Some of the stuff in the Times story is incredibly disturbing: beatings, refusing to let crew members quit, drug use, rape, keeping workers in debt to their employers. It's not unlike the situation that immigrant farm workers, especially the tomato pickers in Florida, have found themselves in. The sub-contractors that sell the subscriptions typically find kids who either dropped out or just graduated from high school. They come from poor, rural areas usually and are easily wooed by promises of paychecks that won't ever come.

I guess the lesson from this is: Don't ever buy a magazine subscription from a third party seller. In fact, experts recommend that anyone approached by a seller offer to let them in and make a phone call home or ask them if they need help because the companies that hire them won't let them leave.

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