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EXPLAINING THE COMMISSION SYSTEM AS
WORKED IN ROTHSCHILD'S STORE - - .
BY JANE WHITAKER
, Do you remember with what pride Ellinger of the-Boston store, Edward
Hillman of Hillman's,. and Henry Schwab of Rothschild's told' of their splen
did commission system, whereby they generously permitted their enjplpyes
to make a little more than the starvation wage they paid them?
They did not impress me very much at the time, but a story told me
yesterday 'of how Rothschild's carry this plan into execution issuch a splen
did illustration of employers' generosity- that I am going to tell it as it wa3
repeated to me.
"I am an experienced saleswoman, Miss Whitaker," a woman of splen
did appearance, with duick, alert expression, said to me. "I understand
everything abotu women's suits.
"I applied for a position at Rothschild's in the busiest 'season in the
suits department, October.
"I knew what I waff worth and I knew also that it is the boast of
Kotnscmia'p tnat- ,tney pay gooa
wages, so. I .put down, my-desireq
wage as $15 when making out the
"They, told me to -come back ina
few days Qjey always do that
and when I went again I was inter
viewed by Mr. Madaus.
" 'What is. your idea of salary,' he
asked, though he had my application
in his hand.
"I told him I wanted $15, as that
was the salary I' had been getting,
and he said it was not possible to
start me in at that figure, but they
would give me $12, and I could doubt
less make considerable more than
$15 by the dividend systemthey had,
by which a girl getting $12 received
two per cent for every dollar's worth
of sales over $6.6.66 a day she made:
xoji naa to mane $oo.uu a. uu.y m
sales'to keep your: job at $12 a week.
"Well, f thought1 1 would try it, and
perhaps I could- make out, but I
placed special emphasis on the fact
that I wanted a, permanent position,
. as I did. not care to be taken, on be
cause it was. the busy season and
then "dropped out when things grew
"He dodged-assuring me- of that,.
dend or 'Commission system would
not "take effect, until , I had worked
thirty, days. . t
"Fstarted jn, and'iwenty-eight days
later, on a Friday night, while we
were very much rushed, I was laid off
on the excuse that there was work
enough. I protested, but it was' use
less, and there were about sixty girls
laid off that night.
"You can imagine my surprise on
Sunday to see in. The Tribune an ad
vertisement of Rothschild's for
saleswomen at ONCE, and I spent
'the day trying to figure why, when I
was averaging $66.66 sales right
along, I had been let go.
"Monday morning I got up a little
later than usual and found a letter
for me from Rothschild's telling me
if I had not found:work elsewhere to
come down and see them.
"I got down about noon. Madaus
asked me why I hadn't come earlier,
and. I told him I didn't get tie letter
until the second" mail.
"He asked if I wanted .my old
job back" and I said I wouldn't mind.
Then he told nie that j would have
.to take it at $10 a week instead of
12 because I was late getting down.
but hedid explain, that the divi lMSt 1 had