Better And Better

If you don't draw yours, I won't draw mine.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Dear Kirby:

I grew up pushing one of your well-designed and well-made vacuum cleaners all over my family home's wall-to-wall carpeting. Your upright was a cast-aluminum dinosaur, which was easy to maintain when it occasionally did break, even by a dumb kid like me. Purchased in the 1960's, that vacuum cleaner still runs. I've since operated several other models of your upright machines, and was similarly impressed by their quality.

Today, I don't use a Kirby, mainly because the plastic Dirt Devil that I have has on-board attachments, a HEPA filter, weighs less, and cost about $100. But I respect the product that you've made for many decades.

What I don't understand, however, is your business model.

First, the whole door-to-door thing. People in this day and age don't really enjoy having their dinner hour interrupted by some kid that they've never met, trying to sell them a vacuum cleaner for $500 or more.

Second, the method of your recruitment is puzzling, for two major reasons:
A: You recruit people from Kansas and Chicago to come sell your vacuum cleaners in N. Texas.
B: From my experience, the majority of your sales staff have criminal records. Of those that do, about one out of every four, in my own experience, is a convicted felon.

Now, I'm not one of those people who believe that felons should never get a break in life. Lord knows, too many crimes these days have been made into felonies, and I certainly want to see folks out making an honest living. But I just have to wonder-- doesn't it seem to you that hiring dead-eyed ex-cons (who are CLEARLY ex-cons) to go door-to-door to represent your product is a poor way to represent your company? You're asking the good people of my town to open their homes and give their credit card numbers to these guys, people!

Finally, might I suggest some kind of name badge for your employees? We're getting a lot of "suspicious persons" calls about them, because the homeowners genuinely question whether they actually work for you.

That is all. Hope your sales are stellar!

--Matt G.

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4 Comments:

At Monday, December 22, 2008 1:10:00 PM, Blogger MauserMedic said...

Hm. Bought one about four years ago, against my gut feeling, but the wife thought it was the best thing since child-free homes. Still using it, and glad I bought it. Also still remember the prison tats on salesman #2's forearmrs, and standing next to the gun cabinet with the super secret suprise rifle containg five rounds of 7.62 through most of the demonstration.

Makes you wonder who came up with the hiring policies there.

 
At Monday, December 22, 2008 6:12:00 PM, Blogger Rabbit said...

We had one of those Kirby guys 'dropped off' at the previous house a few years ago. His driver tossed him out at the end of the block, and since we were the first house he came to where someone was home, he came on in and proceeded to show us the vacuum. He looked- and acted- like a lot of the guys I'd seen at Skyview and Rusk as they were discharged out...stable enough to be turned loose, but not fully predictable.

It was just after dark, maybe 6ish in the evening. He dumped a bunch of test dirt, spread it around with his machine, and didn't make a sale. In his hurry to go to his next potential customer, he ended up leaving his parka behind. It was about 35 degrees outside, but he never came back for it, even though we left it on the front porch.

It does still fit Incubus #2, though.

Bought a Simplicity canister vac, BTW.

Regards,
Rabbit.

 
At Tuesday, December 23, 2008 8:07:00 AM, Anonymous Jason said...

I went Dyson and I'm never going back.

 
At Tuesday, December 23, 2008 9:57:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A homeowner in a neighborhood I work in had to escort one of those Kirby 'salesmen' out of his house at the business end of an 870. It seems that he took a shine to the ladyfriend staying at the house. He was so interested in doing a vacuum demonstration in the back bedroom, and she wasn't. Needless to say, I run those guys out of the neighborhood when I see them.

 

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