I worked for three weeks for Grassroots Campaigns,at 639 Clay St. On my first day of working I was told that I'd "made staff", because I'd essentially begged over $150.00 for my 8 hour shift (6 hours of this was spent "canvassing"). I worked for another 3 weeks, during which time I saw at least 10 people get fired and 5 quit from sheer aggravation. We were all given speaches to read as "our rap". Every day we would have to spend an hour nailing this down to the letter, as wel as a clever "response sheet" that targeted folks who said they didn't have enough money to give, due to the recession, etc. Almost every day I noticed someone was gone. I'd never seen turnover like this and it seemed wierd. I just needed some part-time work, so I wasn't sweating the job. What really upset me was watching all the younger twenty-somethings work so hard at sales under the unreasonable quota of $150.00 per day. This work is essentially glorified begging. It takes a surprisingly thick skin to handle the often negative reations of people who are being solicited on the street for money during our worst recorded recession. I felt bad watching these hardworking young folks fail at this over and over. If they did' not hit quota, they were fired by the third day. Obviously I'd gotten to like some of my coworkers so it was difficult to watch this cycle. After one shift I had to catch on the street to a poor girl who was crying after being let go. I told her not to worry about it because I'd seen this happen to most of the workers in less than a week. She was surprised by the numbers I'd mentioned and seemed to feel better. Eventually I could not hit the $150.00 mark daily, so I was told that I'm on "review" status. This meant I had to make at least $750.00 in 5 days or would be terminated. I tried hard for the next five days, memorizing the "rap" and "response" and approaching every person that passed, mainly during rush hour, on busy city streets for six hours (minus only two five minute breaks). I just wanted the last paycheck and have a good work ethic. I really feel sorry for the younger generation that needs this job so much more than I do. It's too bad that Grassroots Campaigns and The Seirra Club show utter disregard for human resources.
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