Scamming books

I am writing this letter to anyone in the past months who has considered selling books for the Southwestern Company this summer. SUMMER BOOK SELLING IS A SCAM!!! Those of you with your contracts and letters of credit signed have opened your parents up to a huge liability, but of course. Their real money is made in getting suckers like you and your parents to pay for their failures.

For those of you who don’t have any idea what I’m talking about, look on the classroom blackboard. If you see a “COME TO THE DAYS INN” or “EARN $1750 A MONTH,” erase it! They may have even sent you a personalized letter. IT’S A SCAM!

The sales manager and recruiter, Kirk Kalloway, is the DEVIL! From the moment that you walk in the door, he’s selling you. It’s a sales talk, right off a sheet. He’s out to get your soul for the summer. After a week of crash sales training, he’ll dump you in some of the poorest places you’ve ever seen. You’ll be a thousand miles from home, with nowhere to live, no food and little money, and they encourage you by saying, “Don’t worry. People on welfare buy lots of books.”

And now you’re the Devil’s little helper. After a search to find a place to live, you’ll try to sell their Volume Library. Now the fun part! You’ll be threatened, chased, assaulted, bitten by dogs and arrested by local police. Drug dealers will search your sales kit for something worth stealing. In desperation for money, you’ll lie, cheat and swindle. You will say anything to get people to put down money for those books when they can barely afford food.

What? You mean they didn’t tell you that part? They said that you were an independent dealer, in charge of your own little sales business. For your information, they tell you when to eat and sleep, where you must sell, how to arrange your 80 hour work week, no TV, no fun, no calling home except on Sunday. They even make you take an ice cold shower. They don’t tell you that before you even leave their sales school in Nashville, you’ll already owe Southwestern Company about $325.

How do I know? Because I was one of several NIU students to be roped in by their scam. They said I would make $5000 or more and win a free trip to Cancun. They made it sound so easy. If anything goes wrong, keep selling!

Some of you may be saying that I sound like I have an axe to grind. You would probably be right, but it’s not only me. Only two out of the 10-15 NIU students that went with this cult made the kind of money last summer that Southwestern said they would. Most of the rest could not afford to stay the whole summer. My roommate, Wilson Yee, spent most of the time just trying to get ahead enough to fill his gas tank and drive home. As for me, I stayed about seven weeks and never broke even. In fact, I had to pay the company about $600. By the time I got back in late June, there were no summer jobs left for me. In addition, I had to pay taxes on the money the company claimed that I made!

Well, if you still don’t believe me, ask yourself this. If they are such a legitimate company, why are they recruiting from a hotel room? Why do they make you sign a contract? Why do you have to sell so far from home? If they are such a good summer employment opportunity, why were they not allowed at the summer job fair? If you would like a more objective opinion, call Dr. Gary Scott of NIU Career Planning and Placement at 753-1641, and he’ll be sure to fill you in!

Drew Krenke