Monday, February 13, 2012
Nothing Today, kind SIR!
Before we went to China, Ben got this inexpensive DVD collection of really old cartoons. There's Betty Boop, Popeye, The Three Stooges Cartoon, Casper the Friendly Ghost, all kinds of stuff. We brought the DVD collection with us, and the kids adored it. They could watch it for hours. I remember lying on the bed in our hotel room and drifting in and out of sleep while they watched it. I was just a leetle depressed. All I did was lie in bed and wish I was back in the states.
Anyways, Sadie adores Betty Boop. She calls her Betty Boob, which I think is super funny. I don't correct her when she calls Betty Boop, Betty Boob. Or when she calls Hide and Seek, Hide and Sink. It's just too cute for correction.
There is this one cartoon on the Betty Boop DVD where there is this really obnoxious door-to-door salesman bothering everyone in Betty's neighborhood. He sings this little song and does this little tap dance, and then each person says, along to the music of the song, and with a very irritated voice, "Nothing today, kind SIR!"
That's what I should use the next time I get a solicitor. "Nothing today, kind SIR!" and then slam the door in his face. I think a "No Soliciting" sign is such a sad thing to have to put up on a door. It's ugly and combative and not welcoming at all. I'd so rather have a cute little wreath. I had to put up a no soliciting sign a couple of years ago, though. I had HAD it. I took it down when I was trying to make my house all cute and welcoming for my friend Linds to live in it while we were gone. Big mistake, dude. Big mistake.
A couple of months ago, maybe, Lex was in town. She, Nat, and I went out to lunch, and then she came back to my place because she was going to take a look at my bum knee. My right knee has been acting a little bizarre lately, and I wanted her opinion on what was going on, and maybe some exercises I could do to strengthen it and help it get over itself. Lex is in school to be a physical therapist and really knows her stuff. As soon as we got home, we were hit by the vacuum salesman.
I've had an experience with a Kirby salesman once before, in California. His tactic was, "If you let me give you this schpiel, I'll clean your living room carpet for free." I was dumb enough to accept this exchange of services, and FOUR hours later, after telling him ten million times that there was no way on this earth I could afford to buy a vacuum from him, he finally left.
It's not like I wouldn't want one. They're awesome. They have good functions, and they picked up stuff from my carpet that my vacuum wasn't picking up. Of course I'd like one. Of course I'd like to have my house rid of even more dust. But lack of money is lack of money. I've often thought, since then, "Someday I'll get one of those Kirbys."
This salesman, the one here in Idaho, used a different tactic: kleenex. He said something about being a student and taking surveys about different products used in a home. He asked some question about if we use kleenex, and I said we couldn't afford it and that we use toilet paper for our nose-blowing needs (this should have been his first clue that this probably wouldn't be a good place to sell a vacuum). He gave me a free sample of kleenex for my purse, and I was like, um, thanks. And then he said, "I have one more product I'd like to ask you about. Hold on; I'll go get it." So he runs out to this minivan, which says KIRBY on the side, and that's when it hit me who this guy was.
"Oh nonononono, nonononono," I said, trying to backpedal. "I've seen your vacuums before, and they're totally awesome, but I cannot by any means afford one. You'll be wasting your time here."
"Oh, please? It will just be a ten minute demonstration, and I'll get paid by my boss if I just demonstrate it. You don't have to buy it. I won't pressure you to buy it. I promise."
Yeah. A promise he totally ended up breaking. I reluctantly let him in. I told Lex that this should just take ten minutes, and then she could look at my leg, recommend some exercises, and head back home to Pocatello.
So, um, no. It wasn't ten minutes. It was, like, 2 hours? Maybe 2 1/2?? The guy showed us every single function, which again, is really cool, but dude. I was getting pissed. He borrowed a dime and threw it in there, and when he got it out, it was all bent. And he's like, "Look at how strong the motor is!" And then he wanted to show something about the lack of a good air filter on my existing vacuum, and he accidentally blew baking soda all over my living room and in the air. Not once, but twice. We were like, "Um, maybe skip that demonstration." He vacuumed our ceiling fan with the fan thing. He vacuumed Micah's bed to show how disgusting it is. He talked on and on about how eye boogers that you have in the morning are actually dust mite poop. I don't know if that's true. But it's what he was asserting. On and on and on.
And then the inevitable happened - he tried to pressure Lex and I into buying one of these. He told us to write on a piece of paper what our ideal price would be - what we would pay to buy one of these that day. So I was honest. I wrote, "$50." If he had said, "You can buy this for $50," then I could have done it. But no more than that. He's like, well, um, these vacuums are $3000. I was like, "That's nice. I can't pay more than $50. I told you when you came into my house that you were going to get nowhere with me."
Then he was trying to sell one to Lex, who just got a nice Dyson for her wedding. So then he was blabbing about how Dyson isn't good as Kirby, blah blah blah.
Then he started trying to give me this guilt trip: "How do you feel, knowing that you are leaving extra allergens in your home that your current vacuum isn't picking up? You are making your kids SICK!! You are causing them and yourself to have allergy problems! Isn't it worth your family's HEALTH to buy one of these?" I looked at him square in the eye and said, "The money isn't there, sonny." Okay. I didn't say "Sonny." I really should have, though. But I did stick to my guns. You bet I'd like to get more allergens out of my house! But this is life, you know? I told him that we're still paying student loans - $500 per month until we're sixty years old. Literally. Every cent is budgeted. And that's the way it is.
Lex also told him that she's in school and living off student loans, as well. So then he was all, "Do you really think it's worth it to have all of these years of debt to pay off afterward?" I said, "Absolutely. You need to do something you love when you go into a career. It's absolutely worth having student loans to get an education." He disagreed with me on that. Which is fine. I got to know him a little in the 2+ hours he was in my home, and he has a girlfriend and a dog. So I'm sure this job is totally fine for him for now. Ben's job was fine for him when we met. But what if he has kids?? What if his wife wants to stay at home with the kids? What if he wants to buy a home? Will his job cover those things? Who knows? I don't know how much Kirby salesmen make.
So then the dude starts making these totally staged calls to his boss, "Oh my gosh, really? You would make that deal for these two ladies? I see. Okay." And then he'd hang up and be like, "Well, usually, we don't go this low, but we have extra inventory, and my boss wants to get rid of these vacuums, so we could lower it to $2000 per vacuum!!" We still said no. Another call. "We could lower them to $1000 per vacuum!" We still said no. He finally came down to $500 a piece. But I don't have $500 any more than I have $3000. After more guilt trips and frowns and pouting, we got him out of my house. He had to wait outside for his minivan ride to come get him. He was huffy. It was awkward.
So Lex hurried and looked at my knee, gave me some recommendations for exercises, and then she had to get home. So she goes out and opens her car door, and the salesman said something like, "Wow, that's a pretty nice car for someone who says they're so poor." That pissed Lexi off royally, so she said, "Yeah, it was a gift from my parents from GRADUATING WITH MY BACHELOR'S DEGREE." And she got in and drove off.
That girl has so much moxy. I'm jealous. I wish I could get back at people like that. I love that.
Later on, she texted that she felt bad for the guy that we couldn't buy those vacuums. I texted her back and said that I actually felt really GOOD. "We didn't buy something that we couldn't afford, Lex. That's something to really be proud of. We can hold our heads up high. We were frugal."
As time passed, she and I got more and more pissed about this guy. Because of him, I didn't get dinner made. I wasn't able to help the kids with homework. I had to go get fast food because dinner wasn't ready. And then I had to stay home from work to help the kids with homework. Which means that I lost money. So, in all reality, this guy cost me, like, $25. Time is money, dude.
I've decided that I'm never, ever going to buy a Kirby. Not because I don't believe in the product. I've seen the demonstrations. Twice. But I refuse to buy one just on principle. For spite.
The ironic thing - my sis Brianna bought a Kirby the exact same day I was getting pressured by my Kirby guy. Funny.
For reals, though, I think door-to-door sales should be outlawed. And guess what's hanging back up on my door? My ugly, combative, mean-spirited "No Soliciting" sign. It's worth having something ugly on your door for a little bit of peace. That's what I say.