Original form my blog: tiati.tumblr.com
My story: Young Naive Away from home in a unlucrative Scam
I responded to the ad of traveling jobs:
Unity Management Group is looking to hire 25, energetic, sharp, highly motivated young adults to sell sports, fashion & business magazines, door to door. In business and residential districts. We do provide 2 weeks paid training. Transportation provided. Must be free to travel from state to state for months at a time across the U.S. to cities like Chicago, N.Y., Miami, Detroit, Houston, Los Angles, etc. must have a valid I.D. Please contact Ms. Thompson between 8 am 5 pm Monday. -Saturday. We pay high commission and bonuses. 1-877-831. just know its a 1 800 number, first clue something is wrong.
The beginning I am young and thought it was a great idea, looked legit in the newspaper and I didnt see anything bogus online. Both my parents considered it; we talked it over, and also talked with the lady on the phone (well a transgender person, acts like a man). She told us I would have a hotel room, food, and they would give me 15 dollars a day even if I didnt make any money. They pay for my one way greyhound ticket to Waldorf, Maryland, if I wanted to come back home I was told I had to stay for 30 days for them to pay for a ticket or buy my own ticket. Sounds good right, NO. I arrived at the greyhound in Washington, D.C., she picked me up in her red truck/van, with 2 other men. The older man who was already in charge working with her/them, like a manager, and the other young man who said he just got off the greyhound also and was there for the job also.
We travel a few miles into Waldorf, Maryland to a hotel, just out of city limits. In the car she starts talking into more detail about the job. The most funny and interesting thing is her re van was so beat up she had to get out of her car, pop the hood and turn on/off the A/C. Funniest thing Ive ever seen done to a car. She gets back into the car and starts talking about herself, she has ADD or ADHD or both. We arrive at the hotel; go to the second floor, and into their office. I meet with a few of their leaders mainly Lettelle (the owner, creator) and it is setup like a real office. They hand me employment papers and tell me to fill it out in my room. I go to my room and look over the papers, crappy contract with loopholes, grammar issues, and misspellings. My roommate walks in, she says hello and checks me and my bags out. I notice the room, filthy bathroom, their clothes in clear trash bags, or a few bits of clothing in drawers, not many shoes or personal items. I take pictures of the papers, fill them out, and take them back to them. They give me food to eat some kind of cheap pieces of steak and rice with bread. I go to bed to get ready for tomorrow
My story: Young Naive Away from home in a unlucrative Scam (Cont.) with audio clip of the sales pitch.
My one week stay Day One August 2010 I was awakened at 6 am. Told they have meetings every morning before they go out door to door. I get dressed and go to the meeting. They talk a little introduce themselves and then its my turn. I tell them my name and why I am there: to make money to get back into school this semester. They all clapped and said hi nothing out of the normal. (They hand me a paper that is a sales pitch, I have uploaded an audio) Except one thing, they looked like street people; the ones who live rough lives or because they dont have the parental support they have to. During this first meeting, this is the only thing I noticed that was not particularly professional as they perceived themselves to be over the phone.
Once the meeting is over we go outside, they give out their laminated books with their sales pitch and list of books or magazines to buy. Their white vans pull up into the hotel parking lot, everyone breaks into groups and get into separate cars. Boys in one van girls in the other, all of the people in the van who arent driving are from the age 20 to 30. The ones who are driving or running the whole operation are older in their 30s to 50s. The older men and women claim they have been doing this for years and they have made thousand s of dollars. They all have their own individual stories to tell, which look and sound like they have said it so much in the mirror and to others they almost believe it themselves. They tell you all the good things about this door to door business and they make so much money to get you hooked and make money for them to live. 50% of each door to door persons sales goes to them. This is all lies. Maybe they made money in the 70s, 80s, and 90s nut this is the world of internet. No one is going to buy magazines and books when you can use the internet to get everything you need.
I am assigned a trainer. She tells me all about who they call the joneses, and how they will buy anything and are very empathetic suckers in upper/middle-class enclosed neighborhoods. She says they will feed, clothe, and give you money. They drop us off into the first neighborhood at 10 am. We go door to door in the sweltering heat, no one answers any doors. So she calls the lady who drives the van, The Machine. She picks us up and goes into another neighborhood. In this area everyone is outside or inside their homes, very open. We talk to a few people who turn us down. I am very dehydrated, dizzy, and cramping. I need water or medical attention. The driver doesnt want to come get us, so she knocks on a door asking lady gives us water, she does. We stay for a minute and my trainer tries to talk her into buying a book or magazine. She turns her down, now she is ready to go. We leave thanking her, but my trainer gets upset and throws the water bottle on her property.
Next, we arrive at a police officers house; he greets her and allows her to come in. We talk with him for a while, play with his dog, talk to his wife, he tells us about his kids, he gives us some more water, doesnt want to buy anything, we leave. The trainer say see even police officers like us they invite us in and sometimes buy things. I look at her like shes crazy. We walk for a while longer door to door being turned down. I dont like this, Im ready to go home and I get the trainer to call the driver to come get us. I get into the car; she is slightly upset and tries to convince me into staying with this. It doesnt work, so she drops me off at another area with another girl. This girl makes a lot of money at just about every house and meets her quota of about 200 dollars. I still dont like the heat, doing to strangers doors, and in a city/town I know nothing about. While going door to door, she is very into the cars and saying oooh the name of that car, or oohh I want that house, or ooohh they dress so nicely, or oohh look at the inside of this, WOW. I am used to having lavish things or seeing them and dont care for the names or gorge over the looks. Im looking and thinking Really, Really. You have never owned anything. But nightfall comes and the driver comes to get us, she picks up the other sales people in the area.
We get back to the hotel at 11 pm and apparently we beat the boys in earnings and they get out the car (holding onto it while its moving), yelling and screaming, happily. We go into the hotel, everyone goes to the office room and they divide and collect money. Half for the sales workers and half for themselves or a little more, later I found out they make us pay for the hotel room.
I go to sleep
MY story: Young Naive Away from home in a unlucrative Scam (Cont.)
Day two, three, and four August 2010
The next morning; same routine, except this time they are like the things on Madagascar jumping around in the meeting (the Fossa). Like their own game show, pep rally, morning sermon; all in one. It was bananas. I noticed some of them were high, not weed high, coke crack high. This show was put on over the next three days. They did the same thing every day; went outside door to door with my trainer and then by myself, no productivity at all, everyone knew it as a scam/con. Ate fast food at gas stations like WAWA, no home cooked healthy meals living in a hotel. One particular day I met a man who wanted to know about the company or if we were educated about it; he read the papers and asked do you know what LLC. Means or any other company abbreviations? The trainer said yes, it mean Lettelle is not responsible for his employees getting kidnapped or injured. My mouth dropped to the floor. It was the dumbest answer I have ever heard in all my teenage years and she was older than I. With every question he asked, her answer was unintelligent and he knew it. She was ignorant and uneducated, a main target for unity management, someone they can use and abuse like their slaves. I already realized she was slow and a few others were, because she told me about how some of them cant read, write, or didnt graduate school; and I talked to a few of them. I didnt think she was that ignorant to believe everything the manager/owner guy of unity management Lettelle told her. I wanted out and fast since the day after I arrived there, but my parents didnt have the money to get me back home at the moment. So I waited, saved my money and didnt eat, Ill eat when I get home; I was home sick, unhappy, disappointed, lied to and scared. I was scared because they are the people my parents warned me about; drug users/dealers, prostitutes, hoes, new school pimps, wanna be rappers, con artists, criminals, ex-cons, pick pocketers, homeless, and the children to drug users/dealers (bottom feeders). Although, overall they were nice and welcoming people, but they had a very dark aurora I have never been through any of their experiences, not even my parents. This scared me straight.
I went door to door for one day before I left that same day. I made no money. Doors slammed in my face or didnt open at all and one lady laughed and said I am very pretty and would be better off making money being a stripper, and then slammed the door in my face. Although the comparison was true, I knew it, but I would never become a tripper not even because she mentioned it. I have too much pride and am too smart. I met a lady and a man who I talked to to pass the time while I wait until the end for the day for the driver to pick me up. Also I worked from 10 am in the morning until 11 pm at night this one day and the training days. Ridiculous long hours, no pay, food, water, bathroom, or car, I had to walk door to door and ask to use these things, but I didnt I held my pee I was dehydrated anyway.
I was alone, with a cell phone to call my parents with, a laptop, no family in the area, and no money (but 15 dollars a day Im holding onto). I had to use my common sense, street smart I gained going to public school, one year of college with a psychology class, and talk to my parents everyday all day and keep them updated on anything going on. I played their mind games, used psychology and reverse psychology on them. Lettelle indirectly called me a Pre-Madonna at their morning pep rallies. I didnt care I just wanted to go home, for the night mare to be over. To stick it out and stay safe as long as I did, I told them how driven I am, I havent had to do things like this before, I have always had my parents, this is going to take time for me to get used to. I would say all kind of empathetic crap to get them to cooperate with me, the same as what they would try on the joneses. Lettelle tried not to give me money, break my confidence and self-esteem; but I would always agree and say one of my mind games to get him to think it was working. In reality I just wanted to be safe at home with my parents. I tried a few days to get them to take me to the greyhound, they would say ok, we will meet you in the lobby; they would make me wait and tried to convince me to stay. I realized they would never let me go home or take me to the greyhound. So I had to find my own expense to get home.
From the money I saved. I paid the cab driver what I had about 56 dollars. Not even full cab fare. He said he would do it because he has sisters and didnt want to leave me stranded and knew all about unity management, their cons, and this wasnt the first time he had to rescue someone form them. He said they are banned from some stores, local areas, and schools. We arrived at the greyhound, he dropped me off and I went inside, called my brother to pay for my ticket and got the next thing smoking. I was so tired, weak, and happy to finally get a full nights rest at HOME and eat a healthy full hot meal. I was so grateful to see my beautiful parents; I gave them a big heartfelt hug. I was back to normalcy and didnt care whether I would go back to college or not. No amount of money was worth that, not that they made any anyway. I learned my lesson to always apply to jobs and get hired to businesses that are nationally recognized. No door to door anything, its silly anyway. We have the internet.
This experience taught me something my parents couldnt have taught me. It showed me how special I am, blessed to have the things, great experiences, and knowledge I have. It made me appreciate the life god has given me and my parents created for me. I have good health, loving nurturing and caring parents, a home with things inside I could ever need, want, or enjoy including love. I am truly blessed and special.
Lastly, one night I asked god to send me a sign, someone like me to my door who would be in the same situation I wanted to help, and I will make this experience known because they are targeting nave teenagers in this recession. He sent me one right to my door. I didnt think they would come to where I live, because they said they only go to middle upper class neighborhoods. They came directly to my door and I spoke to the young man. He had the same aurora I had, innocent, come from a nice family, not into crime or drugs. I told him briefly about my experience and only warned him because I went through it also. I told him to go home and that it is not worth it, if he has a home with everything he needs and family; GO HOME. I showed him how I can get his trainer to get all happy and riled up like a pep rally they do. He saw from all from this I wasnt a liar, after they left he called his family, and looked like he was ready to go home. I was satisfied; at least I can help one person like me and spread the word so they wont trick others. Now my part is publishing this story to the world on the internet so others wont be drawn into this. I wanted to put this online because it was hard for me to find articles and forums about their scummy con and would like to help others. This whole scenario effects me greatly for the rest of my life.
I am not totally against this unity management; I feel if a person needs stability or help (homeless and helpless) they should go to them. They will help people, but they have the wrong intentions and a con system. So its fifty fifty, they give you food, money, a place to stay, but negative things sprout from it also, some listed above in my story, and others like getting a charge for soliciting in neighborhoods that do not allow it, or some of the workers were abused, given drugs by the people in charge. Also they take all of their money. If they didnt have a con program or have a negative environment, it would be just like a homeless shelter to give them stability, employment, and money.
I am glad to be home, in school, working in real jobs with nationally known legit companies, and enjoying my life.
I did some research, a link to website: http://www.udmanagementgroup.com/direct-sellers.html
Official Article: http://blogs.houstonpress.com/hairballs/2009/04/magazine_sales_crimes.php
Testimonials of rippoffs:
They will claim this is not them but they have used thousands of different names and remember they are scammers and cons they will tell you anything. All of this is not my opinion it is fact.