The Teenage Candy Sales Racket

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It’s funny how Junior Careers continues to pop up in the weirdest places.

Over the past few years I’ve had two encounters with kids claiming to sell for the same company I sold for when I was 12 and 13. They were not impressed by my stories, however. They, like I was no doubt when I was in their situation, just wanted to sell a box of candy and make that percentage.

I recently read this article from 2012 on an Indiana local news site. The kids are saying they’re from Junior Careers. They even use the same speech:

A few weeks later, I-Team 8 spotted two boys who said they were 13. Their sales pitch was familiar. The first teen, holding a brown box said, “I work for the Junior Career Program. The JCP is a program to help kids off the street and stay away from violence and drugs. I just wanted to know if you’d like to help us out today and purchase a box of chocolate.”

The Department of Labor is not too happy with Junior Careers In fact:

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, “Injuries, and even deaths, have occurred as the result of young children engaging in youth peddling activities.” These include “indentured servitude, physical and sexual abuse, and criminal activity.”

All to make that buck.

Oh, hey, check out one of the stories from my zine Junior Careers about my time selling candy door-to-door as a teenager in the San Gabriel Valley: “Primo Territory.”

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