Kirby Vacuums

Are those things even still around?

Kirby vacuums... Even my own family had one. My parents forked over a couple thousand for one. And this was 1990's money!

There was a time in my early teens when I was desperate, so desperate in fact, that I signed up to be a Kirby, door-to-door demonstrator.

This was about 9 or 10 years ago... And not a story involving alcohol.

But I'm running low on Hennessy-fueled stories, so here we go.

At the time, I was desperate for a job. So I naturally went surfing on Craigslist... Then I saw it. A "vacuum demonstrator" or something like that. And from the looks of it, all I needed to do was operate the vacuum and show people how cool it was.

Juggle a vacuum and three of it's components, while a clown girl stabs me with a sword? Gotcha.

And no experience necessary?

Lets do it.

So I went to their office to meet the lady in charge, and she looked very... Shady.

"Hi, I'm here to apply for the vacuum demonstrator position!"

"Great, sign, date, and email here."

"Oh, that was it?"

And that was it! No interview, nothing.

Experience has shown me, time and time again, that... If you're applying for a position, and the only requirement is that you're alive... Then this probably won't end well for you.

So I signed her boxes, then went home to prepare for the orientation.

When the day came, I was excited... But not really. I knew what I had just signed up for, and I'm already feeling that sting from my poor life choice.

But I was too scared to back down. I had walked myself right into the heart of her domain, and I was surrounded.

Here we are, all sitting in one big circle. The lady came and gave us the typical, pyramid-scheme, sales pitch.

Then came, THE ONE.

The living, breathing success story that would motivate us to go out and sell some fucking vacuums!

Even though... I thought I was just demonstrating, not selling..

The Kirby sales God was more like a sleazy, used car salesman. But the suit was quite nice, and looks  a little too large. But who was I to judge, I'm just a desperate teenager.

So came the meat of the sandwich, how were you going to convince people to buy over-priced vacuums?

It was easy, you guilt your friends and family into buying one!

But before that, was a demonstration. The lady showed us all the cool features of the Kirby Vacuum. How we were to demonstrate it for maximum "whoa" factor. Y'all remember that little trick where they put on an attachment that vacuumed everything up into a little white circle? They showed you how white and lovely the sheet was before, then go to town on your pillow. And when they show you the sheet again, it's absolutely disgusting?

Yeah we did that.

It's not really all that impressive.

So our first assignment, was to practice with our friends and family. We had to get a commitment list going. Names and numbers to a certain number of victims potential customers, it is then that we steal a vacuum and do it.

I can't remember all the intricate details, but this was the part that made me finally commit to fucking this shit.

I figured it out real quick, we were to aim for the easiest people. Our friends and family.

And our pay didn't come until a threshold was met. So there was a pressure to move units, and a rush in general.

Probably to keep us from having time to think about backing out.

It wasn't until later, that I figured out the method to their madness. They dropped you off at random houses, then left you alone with a vacuum. Just you, your overpriced vacuum, and some friendly serial killers... Or rapists, I mean they could be rapists and serial killers. Some people like to overachieve like that.

But yeah, that for sure won't end poorly. Or end in a violent and bitter death.

I went up to the lady and told her she was really beautiful. I maned the fuck up, and said this wasn't for me.

I cut her off before she could even attempt to talk me out of it.

And I ran as fast as I could.


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