These were not happy numbers for Bruce and Fred. Both of them had taken out second mortgages on
their homes to finance the internet debacle and now reality was sinking in fast. To compound matters,
both men's marriages were adversely effected by becoming involved in the sex business. Things had
gotten so bad financially that Fred had his daughter, Lindsey, working as an office manager. He'd come
into work every day, play solitaire, sign bad checks, and stare out the window like a prisoner on death
row. Glasser was faring even worse than his partner. "Bruce is losing it," says Lisandra. "He'll blow up
and yell. 'I'm losing money!' In the evening he'll call in and be hysterical, crying, drunk, or high. Talking
to the girls about his personal issues. He's a really messed up person." There's also the Pretty Woman
syndrome that nobody working at Baum would actually admit to fantasizing about. But they all secretly do.
Few girls questioned the scam. Although many of them didn't even fill out W-4 forms. Even Amelia,
an illegal immigrant, had taxes deducted -- $150 from each of her $500 checks. As if this weren't bad
enough. Frequently checks would bounce or be held by the bank for over a week before being honored.
If the girl was thought to be especially expendable she wouldn't even get a check. "Sometimes we
wouldn't get paid for weeks at a time," complains one former victim. "I only collected four checks from
Baum in the two months I worked there." Employing another field-tested sweatshop strategy, Fred Baum
would advance girls money so that he could keep them on the job to work off the debt. "If you worked
a week, you got an advance of $250," explains Lisandra. "And that advance would get paid back slowly
but surely. Imagine how long it would take if you're making $20 a week." "They're not treating people
properly," says Tanya. "It's very demoralizing going in five days a week for a $28 check. I know twenty
girls who were pulling down that kind of money. Everybody has the idea that eventually they'll make
$3,000 a week. Because there is the potential to make big money. So they're making the small paychecks,
holding out hope that it will change."
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What To Say

Happy Birthday
From The Heart.

ToTaLLy CoOL
written by Rene Chun
Model

"The

Sweat Shop"

No part of this Works, may be published or
reproduced in anyway without expressed
permission: in writing from the copyright
holders. c. 2002 All rights reserved.
TotallyCool.net
The MagaZine
Jennifer agrees that for new hires the prospect of higher future earnings keeps them at Baum longer than
they normally would stay: "In the beginning, there was definitely the potential to pull in $2,000 a week easy.
But due to management problems and a total lack of knowledge of how to run this business you couldn't
make more than $300 a week. Which was ridiculous. You could make more money working a retail job."
If they felt they had little recourse before, with the addition of the new mafia element, the girls really felt
trapped. Many of them were afraid to quit or issue a complaint. But as the weeks wore on, and the
$30 paychecks continued to bounce, girls began to exit the sinking cyber-ship en masse. Twenty and thirty
girls at a time would quit leaving huge gaps in the schedule grids. "Girls were crying and were in extreme
depression because they couldn't pay their bills," says Jennifer. "It was really heartbreaking to watch these
girls suffer so much. After a while they just stopped showing up." Bruce and Fred were not particularly
concerned. In their never ending quest to attain a zero payroll they knew there would be a high attrition
rate. No biggie. They just hired more girls. There was certainly no shortage of women. In the back office
there were stacks of applications with nude Poloroids attached. One would think with all the internet graft,
skimming, and forged checks that Baum Multimedia would be turning a handsome profit. But one would
be wrong. Due to gross mismanagement and a high overhead Baum Multimedia was hemorrhaging
money. The company was generating a monthly cash flow of only $11,000 against operating expenses of
$30,000 -- a far cry from the $108,000 monthly projection they had "conservatively" budgeted for the first
year. They didn't even have money to pay their T1 bill, the lifeline of their business.

The 7th On Sixth -
C.F.D.A. Scandal

The Music Credit:
Was Me
Stacia
Raystone Records

ToTaLLy CoOL : Takes You There ... The Sweat Shop. 415 Broadway. SW Corner
of Broadway and Canal -- New York City. Photo courtesy of Richard Renda. All rights reserved.
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