I posted this earlier when I talked about part-time jobs during my teen years…After graduation, I immediately began looking for a “no experience necessary” job in the classified section of the local newspaper. I found a job; they promised to provide food, shelter, and a good income. The only qualification I needed was the ability to travel. I was 17 when I was hired by a traveling “magazine crew” to sell popular magazines door-to-door. We moved from state to state in a caravan of vans, and shared rooms (2 people to a bed) in various hotels.
The job required me to be awake and present each morning at 5:30 in the hotel conference room. I was subjected to 2 (or more) hours of sales meetings. In these meetings, I listened to various people talk about tactics to use to get people to open their doors, and order magazines from me. The more magazines I sold, the higher on the “star sales poster” I could climb (that was the determining factor in how much money I made). After each meeting, I would get into my assigned van and proceed to a pre-determined neighborhood. I would get dropped off at a corner, and given a specific time to meet the van (later that day) at the same corner.
I didn’t receive paychecks. Instead, I could receive a “draw” from the money I earned selling subscriptions. I earned a certain amount of money per subscription; the cost (of my portion) of the hotel bill was deducted from that amount, and I could “draw” from whatever was left. If I didn’t sell enough magazines to cover the cost of the hotel, I could not receive a “draw” until I did.
The crew hired new teens as we moved from state-to-state. After 4 months, I moved to Chicago.