August 11, 2004

Curious George: Has anybody here besides me participated in The Southwestern Company's summer program? You know, the one where you work an obscene amount of hours working door to door selling 'study guides'? I'd love to hear both success and horror stories that anyone might have.
  • I've never heard of this particular program, but it sounds sketchy to me. I knew a guy who did the same sort of thing, essentially, only he sold cutlery instead of reference books. He only made four or five sales in as many months and ended up losing around seven hundred dollars.
  • Interesting... in other words, they sell to you, only you don't know it until later.
  • Similarly, I would be interested to hear about those magazine salespeople that go around with this speal about how they are trying to better themselves and they get points for each magazine subscription. The LOVE to go to college campuses and in all my years of higher education they always have the same story and the same card with magazines listed on them.
  • Well, since it seems like nobody else has actually done it, I'll elaborate: basically its Mary-Kay, only books instead of makeup. They teach you how to sell, and the sales pitch, and then you take orders and sell the stuff- you pay wholesale and sell at whatever price you like though they suggest stuff for you... Personally, I had a horror story of immense proportions- ten pages, actually, I wrote a paper about it for a nonfiction class. I'm trying to find it on my computer but to no avail. While my experience ended in disaster, I had friends in my same group that actually made in the tens of thousands of dollars (the top girl, one of my group's leaders, made 60 thousand dollars in fifteen weeks). Basically it requires a willingness to work yourself silly and give up any semblance of a summer vacation you might have had. On the other hand, you get to travel all over the country (sales school is in nashville, and they usually deposit you in a state far from where you live- I drove from california to nashville to des moines) and see some crazy things and meet some crazy people.
  • I knew a guy in college who did this and said it was absolute hell. Good luck!