Thursday 17 July 2008

my worst job

The worst job i ever had was as a door-to-door debt collector for The Lewis Group.

I did this when i was 22 for about 18mths, it was only to earn extra money but it was horrendous. I am deeply ashamed that i ever did this job. The people I collected from mostly wanted to pay their debts and were often glad that someone like me was helping them to make their repayments.

The debts were usually for small amounts owed to home shopping catalogues, banks, credit card companies and mobile phone operators. It was a job which only paid commission and one which found you having to do a lot of investigating and snooping to identify the debtor and arrange a repayment plan.

Most of the people I called with were women, many of whom kept the debt a secret from their partners / husbands. This meant i usually had instructions recorded in my book like "don't call if red car parked outside". It was also the case that those who I called with had several accounts, meaning they owed money to multiple creditors.
It was a tragedy but opened my eyes the desperation of young families, single mums and those on low incomes. I always treated everyone with dignity and respect, was sympathetic to the difficulties they faced and the limitations of their modest incomes.