Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Kirby Guy

Are you ready for a story?

I had an interesting experience Saturday. I was sitting on my living room floor reading the newspaper, minding my own business, when I hear this friendly knock on the door--you know, the knock a friend knocks: tap, tap-a-tap tap (quarter, two-eighths, quarter, quarter for you musical people). I peeked out the window and didn't recognize the lady standing there, but I went ahead and opened the door. She shoved a bottle of dish detergent in my hands, and went on to tell me that I could keep that bottle for free if I just donated a few moments of my time to take this short survey, had I heard of her company (I had not), and how her boss gave out credit to her for each person that participated. I ask, "How long will this take?" "As long as you want it to," she replies. Then she goes out to her van to get her stuff. Before I know it, she is in my living room, introducing me to "Eric" who has hauled in a huge box and is starting to pull various bits and pieces out of it and assemble them. "Have you heard of Kirby?" Ah, then it clicked in my brain--have I actually just agreed to a Kirby vacuum demonstration? Then the girl is leaving: "I have another associate at a different house, Eric here will do a good job and show you about the Kirby." Yay. That's a little awkward.

That was probably about 1:00 in the afternoon. The funny thing was that I had actually vacuumed that morning already! But "Eric" went ahead and vacuumed my living room floor a zillion times, showing me all the things my vacuum cleaner failed to pick up. He asked how old I was because he thought at first I was going to have to get my dad or something! I assured him it was my house. He was actually a pretty nice guy, 24 years old, just getting out of the military (Army--he had been in Iraq and came back in May). Most people were surprised he already owned his own home, too (he lives in the next neighborhood)--but the military pays for a lot of things! We talked about where I worked and such, and how I was still "religious" even though my dad was a pastor. He said that he had never really met any pastor's kids who were doing similar things to their parents; the pastor's kids he had known had been the wild ones! He was from a Catholic background, although he said his mom had been an atheist until he was in Iraq. When he came back he found out that now she believes in God and goes to church all the time (and, incidentally, is a whole lot nicer). He showed me pictures of his 3-year-old daughter Alexandria, and how she was in daycare at some other Christian daycare in the area, so I made sure I told him about the daycare at Faith and about the Community Center and such. I'm not a big fan of high-pressure sales tactics myself, so I didn't force the gospel on him or anything. But I hope that perhaps I was a good testimony, and that he might be receptive to hearing the gospel when he meets someone else.

Anyway, about an hour and a half later I finally ask, "About how much longer will this take?" So then he starts wrapping up. (I was going to refuse the shampooing, too, until he offered to clean my entry rug instead. So, sure, go ahead. I'll take a free rug cleaning.) And then he had to call his boss and see what kind of deal they could strike for me (which of course, they could find none). He was nice about it, he already knew I wasn't going to buy one. (I'm NOT paying $1,900 and some dollars for a high-faluting vacuum cleaner!) So, after borrowing some Windex and paper towels and a garbage bag for all the dirt that he pulled out of my carpet, about 3:00 (2 hours later) he was finally out the door. (And he was pretty honest about knowing that I probably wanted him to get out of my house!) But I wished him well and hoped he sold a lot of vacuum cleaners.

So now I can say that I have had my first experience with Kirby vacuum sales tactics.

The puppy (Juju) was very good the whole time. I held her in the living room for a little while to keep her quiet, but then shut her in the kitchen and she slept the rest of the time. I was afraid she was going to have to go the bathroom and I wasn't going to be able to let her out. But she was good (this time). We're still working on that housebreaking. I'm starting to wonder if I really wanted an un-housebroken puppy...but of course I do!


Anonymous said...

wow Beth...that's really cool that you were able to make such an impression! I can't wait to meet Juju. Enjoy the house!!

northland-student-101 said...

Wow! what a nightmarish experience. I can't imagine anytthing worse than being captive by a vacuum cleaner salesman for 2 hours.