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Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Traveling Salesboy

A few weeks ago upon returning from our trip to Wisconsin, the doorbell rang. It was a traveling soap salesboy. A young black kid, he professed that he had been flown in from down south to raise money for college. I talked to him for a few minutes, brushed his witty sales barbs aside, "Is it too much cleaner, or too much money?" and shut the door. Frankly I was pissed off that he had wasted my time and insulted me by challenging my preference not to buy a miracle soap that I felt had dubious cleaning abilities. He aqlso did dirturning things like spray some of the cleaner in his mouth and lie to me about all of the dogs he owned.

I thought about the incident for a few days, as I am apt to when these things occur, and finally decided that the best response would have been to say that I was willing to buy 1 trial bottle. (Each bottle of condensed soap costs $37 and makes 50 bottles. I could afford the 75 cents that he would never let me spend.

Then last night I was listening to The Story on NPR and heard how awful these sales "Crews" can be. The lady was denied medical care and eventiually miscarried her baby before leaving the group. I did some research and found that there are organizations devoted to helping the people recruited by these companies, and that there is help for the salespeople that maybe want to leave but can't find a way out.

All a member of a "crew" has to do is call Parent Watch at (917) 579-4641. This organization's purpose is to get kids out of these places if they want help and to get them free transportation (a bus ticket I am guessing) home.

Normally I don't post impassioned pleas for people to do anything, but after seeing this young boy spraying soap in his mouth on my doorstep and litening to a "mag crew" horror story last night, I think that this is something everyone can help out with. At least offering a phone number and a name of a helpful orgainzation is better than slamming a door and being grumpy for a few hours as I was.

If I can remember the name of the soap the kid was selling I will update this post. I also think that I will write a letter to the editor about this sales practice.