While trying to put together some posts, a colleague sent me an interesting article in The New York Times about Mormon young men selling for Pinnacle Security. Having lived and worked quite a bit in Mormon college towns, I have mixed feelings about these operations. Here in Rexburg, Idaho, recruitment offices for security and pest control sales companies are in prominent places throughout the town. One of my neighbors has done quite well selling for such companies.
However, Brigham Young University-Idaho President Kim Clark has been openly critical of these sales schemes. Clark’s concern seems to be about the get rich quick approach that many of these companies use in their recruiting efforts. In addition, while there may be potential for summer earnings, they are not a foundation for careers. Yet, they continue to grow in the area.
I could never do this type of work. I wasn’t a big fan of it while a missionary. But, for the gospel, I will do lots of things. Door-to-door is something that, like donating plasma, I cannot do anymore, even for money.
I also have concerns about the well-being of the young men involved. One of my best friends as an undergraduate had a horrible experience. The following quote from the article is almost haunting:
Sometimes, though, it rains, and when it does, Pinnacle’s sink-or-swim mentality for sales reps, especially new, unproven ones like Brandon Rogers, is tough love at its toughest.
Newbies, for fear they may retreat to their cars, are dropped off and left on foot without shelter or access to a bathroom unless they can gain admittance into a house to make their sales pitch. Mr. Rogers, who is 21, had three energy bars and no umbrella to last him through a long, wet day.
He had made one sale by dark, when they picked him up.
Being critical of these endeavors is easy from my ideological perspective. What are your thoughts?