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Working in the USA is an education in and of itself.  I have worked overseas and have learned most situations will occur no matter where you are employed.  For years I worked as a secretary until I could no longer stand the day in and day out routine.  I hung up my typewriter so to speak back in 1990 - and said good-by to my surly boss.  I tried to work in a field I enjoyed - that being babysitting.  However - as Houston is a sanctuary city - that was to no avail.  Maria Gonzales always got the job.  It was difficult to live off the paltry salary the well heeled were willing to pay. I gravitated to caregiving which I did for five years.  I worked as a baby sitter on week-ends and off hours and in truth the boring day in and day out routine of caring for someone with a variety of health issues was offset by the excitement and energy of the kids.  That job ended abruptly and I eventually returned to my home town to tend to my dad after he suffered a stroke.  When he passed in 2002 I found myself yet again seeking viable employment.  The reasons for moving to Houston years before came back into focus when I realized the economic situation had not changed.  I went yet into another field - that of merchandising.  I worked as a vendor for Krogers, HEB for a company based in CA.  Needless to say this company did not treat their employees fairly and removed my stores due to the cost of gas.  This was months before the price of a gallon teetered on four dollars.  I had begun to work for a company called Crossmark - which prides itself on being the silk stocking of the merchandising industry.  They painted a glossy picture.  If a rep serviced a store far enough away, the company paid for over nights when needed and any meals while working.  POD meetings were held several times a year which the company paid for.  They too proved to be the lap dog to the well heeled - and in this case the heel of Wal-Mart.  I serviced three stores #249 Cleveland, #275 Livingston and #1186 Liberty for two years.  I saw first hand the ineptness of Wal-Mart, uncaring and/or uneducated employees.  As a vendor I had to bite my tongue more often than not.  I don't deem being a tattle tale as something to strive for so I chalked up any rude behavior by WM staff as "just having a bad day."  The job was mundane - which considered of rotating products, attempting to get a department manager to display more products, straightening up the products, etc.  You get the picture.  The pay was not keeping up with the times. Mileage was 26 cents per mile and 80 miles were deducted. When one drove 160 miles they would only be paid for 80. Needless to say I knew Crossmark was not a viable income.  I was finding it harder and harder to survive on their "pay".  When all stores were removed from my list of stores to service it was done without warning.  The reasons revolved around the ill defined mutterings of some inbred nose picker from the #249 Cleveland.  The edict "innocent til proven guilty" has clearly by-passed not only WM but Crossmark.  As I have not been officially "fired" I still receive daily emails of positions available at crossmark.  There are many available - which indicates there is indeed a problem and most likely it has to do with their exceedingly low gas payments (and refusal to pay for the first hour of drive time and the last).  Back stabbing and character assassination can be a thinly veiled smoke screen but the true reason is purely economic.  Crossmark would rather hire a rep who lives 10 minutes from Cleveland, Livingston or Liberty, TX and forget the rep of two years who has never missed one day.  Any of you out there who can relate to my experiences please share.

"You will make them turn their back.  You will aim Your bow of justice at their faces." Psalms 21:12

UPDATE:  Since this was written back in 2008 - she has joined a class action law suit against Crossmark.  The basis of her litigation is Crossmark owes her money for the first hour of drive time and the last.  She has also particiated in a deposition February 2010 and again April 2011.  Last October 2010 Crossmark indicated they wish to settle but as of this writing they have filed a Summary Judgement to have the class action throw out of court.  Cheryl seeks $10,000 and Crossmark has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to fight her litigation.  Her need has become yet again an excuse for Crossmark to display excessive greed.  
  The author of this blog is a business owner, formerly wrote a weekly column for Hearst Newspaper.  She now owns her own paper and writes a daily news account of Kountze.  She is a native of Hardin County and a high school graduate from Silsbee, TX.  She lived in Houston for nearly 30 years but her family never left the area.  Her father was Hardin County tax collector and her mother was a stringer for the Beaumont Enterprise and later wrote for the Hardin County News.  Cheryl's East Texas roots are deep as she is a 12th generation Texan. Her family's committment to the community has been firmly etched decade after decade.  Her desire for justice and truth never far from her heart as the blog reflects!