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What some companies will do for money

It was in the late 1980's when I got a job working for a temp agency. I had a lot of electronic technical skills and I was in high demand. At the time I had gone on several interviews for regular full time jobs but the weeding process was long in those days (gee, not much has changed) and I needed a temp job while waiting for a "real" job to come along.

I was sent out by the temp agency to a business in the industrial area, close to where I lived. The building was not marked in any way to let you know what the name of the business was. I had a very brief orientation and was shown what they did. I saw desk top computers being assembled but not from the component level but from the board level on up. I never saw keyboards or monitors.

My job was to match the orders being made to the packing slips going out the door. Simple right? Yes it was until I found out what they were doing. They were breaking the law!!


At the time computers were not generally imported from outside the USA, those that were, were generally junk and people expected to pay rock bottom prices for them. What this company was doing was importing computers from Asia (the company owner owned the manufacturing plant), taking them apart and putting them together again (with no changes), removing all stickers from them, placing an "assembled in the USA" label on them, repacking them and sending them on to stores like Circuit City, CompUSA and other big box computer stores. I strongly suspected those computers to be counterfeits but was never allowed to examine them that closely.

There were 4 assemblers, none of which spoke English, all of the were from Mexico. The one tech was a girl fresh out of college and only got her job because she spoke Chinese. We talked and she said she would be moving on as fast as she could to get another job because she knew that the place would be shut down if anyone ever found out what was going on.

I was there a whole 2 weeks when one of the companies that I interviewed with came forward with a nice job offer. Yes I left that place in a hurry. It was a few years before I saw that the building was empty. I wonder if they ever did get caught at what they were doing or just pocketed the money and moved on.

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