Thursday, 30 July 2009

Open Letter to Kirby: How not to sell a vacuum.

Yesterday I was bamboozled into sitting through a demo for Kirby vacuums. This, dear friends at Kirby, is the first thing you did wrong. I'll start at the beginning.

At roughly 3pm yesterday I was greeted by a knock on the door. Very surprising, given that I know no-one in the neighborhood and was expecting no packages. I was greeted by a young bubbly college student, and she chatted with me most pleasantly for a few minutes before she got down to business. She talked very quickly, but mentioned that a few of my neighbors were getting carpet cleaning done, and so I was being offered one free room, it would only take an hour! I had been offered something similar a few months before but turned it down out of hand because I wanted a NAP. My mind went to the vomit stains that I'd failed to remove from the living room, and so I agreed.

I knew, being free, that this was some kind of sales ploy, but at this point I really thought that this was for a steam cleaning service. Like, "Here, we'll do one room for you and then offer the other rooms super cheap" or whatever. And that would have been fine, truly. She promised to return in 10-15minutes, thanking me profusely.

Mistake #1 Kirby, not being upfront with your customer. Already you've started off your sales pitch with misconceptions and lies. I worked briefly as a Cutco representative (knives) and we were not allowed to cold-call people or go door to door. We could only call someone referred to us by a customer, that had agreed to being called/receiving a demo. This GREATLY increases your chance of sales and hey, then you're being honest to start. (I only stuck with Cutco for a week mind, and they did use some of the same tactics used later in the demo, but I think they started off with better footing.)

So I scramble to get all the toys off the floor in preparation for my "cleaning". Now two young men show up, carrying massive boxes. The vacuum. Of course. They try to eaaaase me into the demo, mentioning how he would have to vacuum the floor before the shampooing. Meanwhile my two year old is waking up, and we can all hear him making noise on the monitor. I'm still kind of in this "they're only here to clean" mentality since they haven't really come out with it yet. I tell them I have to get my son, and that he'd get in the way of the cleaning so I would keep him upstairs a bit so they can work. Looking a little panicked E (the salesman, the other guy left) asked that I at least poke my head down sometime so he could show me how the vacuum works. (I'm thinking, perhaps, that you push it around on the floor and it sucks up dirt? Just maybe?)

15 minutes later I return. He's covered about a square yard of carpet. Laid out on the other side of the room are 100 little white/black circles of paper with bits of dust and dirt on them. It all became clear to me in this moment: it's a vacuum sale. Damnit.

Let's take a moment here...I have a Dyson. It's less than a year old. It's one of those new fancy Ball vacuums you may have seen advertised, though it's the small version. It still cost me $400. It's a fantastic little vacuum, and I use it almost daily. LOVE it. During all this it was sitting in plain sight, with two days of dirt in the canister. QUITE a bit of dirt and hair, I might add. From this room. My last vacuuming (at the point of the demo) was the day before. I gotta say...I was really unimpressed with the amount of dirt he got up. Furthermore? Thanks a million for aggravating my dust allergies by leaving all these stupid things all over the place. And now my 2 year old is running through them and rolling around in them. GREEEEAAAAAT.

And he continues to lay them out all over the floor, while I literally, physically, FIGHT with Ray to keep him out of it. GET A CLUE. I saw the amazingness an hour ago, pick it the fuck UP already. Even after asking if we could stack them off to the side he still didn't get it.

After this we sit down and he does his little demo's, my vacuum vs his. He takes mine partially apart, after saying that all vacuums are built the same and that the motors ALL only come from two companies, he obviously has no clue how my dyson works. Further, my Dyson's motor is in the ball, I find it a little hard to believe that it's the exact same kind of motor in all the bissel's and hoover's and that I paid $400 for packaging alone. (Speaking of, isn't Dyson a foreign company?)

Anyhow, I think that selling a product with negativity is kind of a bad plan. You bamboozled your way into my home, I have things to do that are time sensitive, and I'm having to fight my own toddler in his own home to keep him from upsetting your dirt pile. Which, again I say, made its point AN HOUR AGO. CLEAN IT UP.

I know when the last time I vacuumed was. I know how well it gets up baking soda. I know my own product, so just show me YOURS. I'm not an imbecile.

I had a pretty valid reason for disliking the Kirby and it flustered him a bit. I don't want a bag. Certainly not one that lasts 6-8 months. I like my canister because I have a toddler and I'm forever vacuuming up FOOD. I really don't care that your super bag (which costs MONEY) will hide the smell of rotting food in there. I really don't want that in my house. GROSS. They cut me a pretty good deal (if you can every call a price reduction on a $3000 vacuum that cleans marginally better than mine a good deal) but when it came down to it, I don't like the bag. I don't want a gazillion attachments filling my closet. I don't want to carry that metal beast up and down the stairs. Also? You took over two hours to clean one tiny spot of floor. I know this wasn't the vacuums fault, but now I have this feeling that doing even one room with this thing is going to be a long, drawn-out chore.

Yes, I could probably scrape together the monthly payment. But really? I just plain don't want that thing. And he guilted me for it, calling "the boss" 8000 times so they could go down the list of allowable price cuts to offer me. (It's like playing Deal or No Deal! LOL) I know how this works. This thing is not worth $2900 and we all know it, because if it was no salesman would agree to a $1000 price cut. And then "he'll pay your down payment out of pocket!". Oh, so now it's personal. E acted offended, like I had personally kicked his friend, his boss, in the nuts, by refusing this generous offer.

Some of this comes back around to knowing your demographic. This is military housing. We are not rolling in dough. AND, it's MILITARY HOUSING. As long as I don't completely and utterly decimate this cheap ass carpet, they're not gonna care when I move out what kind of vacuum I used on it. I pointed this out to E, that maybe if I owned my own house and really cared about the life of the carpet, then having a higher quality vacuum might matter more to me. But I already, for all intensive purposes, have a move-out date a few years down the road. And I know that they'll likely just replace this carpet regardless when we do so. My allergies are well enough in hand thanks to MY vacuum.

Then, after he finally finished the shampooing (quietly, pouting, because I would not be getting him 1/2 sales for his CRUISE IN WYOMING) he took over half an hour just putting all the pieces back in the box. (LOL WYOMING AND A CRUISE WTF?!)

Don't get me wrong, he was a really nice guy, was great with Ray if a little clueless on the dirt circle pickup. I'm really not blaming him personally, because he's just selling them as he was trained to do.

And what it comes down to, is becoming an annoyance. They try to be so freaking annoying that you will sign on the dotted line just to get them OUT OF YOUR HOUSE. Whether this is the original intent or not I hear the same story time and time again so I know it's not this one guys personal technique. You are teaching them this. Which is also a huge turn off for me. Sorry, ask my husband how good I am at saying no to buying things! I will go to a store for one thing I really want, walk around with it in my hot little hands for ten minutes, then decide I really don't need to spend money on it and put it back. It's really not hard for me.

Sorry Kirby, your vacuum just doesn't do it for me. Work on your sales tactics. I just lost all respect for a 95 year old company.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009


Am I just being overly emotional here? I had a good evening with Ray and was feeling a little emo, and posted this to facebook (yes yes, I know when I post it publicly I need to swallow whatever comes):

I miss him on the hard days, where nothing goes right and Ray and I just can't seem to make it work. But it's the good days, where we stroll the mall in the evening air and Ray stays close, charming passerby...when it hurts.

I wasn't really trying to wax poetic here, just keep it short and sweet since facebook does have a character limit and nobody wants to read 98234987 character status updates. A close family friend, a kid who I used to babysit and is now 18 but still horribly naive, comments: ok, very poetic, I'll give you that.

He is forever posting walls of text like this:

I won't lie. I am torn between 2 forces: power and love. I want to be able to protect those whom I love with acquired power, but at the cost of losing that love? Or do I want to love, at the cost of not having that power to protect them? How will I ever achieve either if I cannot conquer the darkness inside me? And how will I conquer my fear of losing both the power and love altogether? May His light guide my way...

WTF? I managed to quell my snark and not thank him for approving me missing my husband. I just...don't even know what to make of it except that for whatever reason it pisses me the hell off. Just had to share my ire because on top of no husband, there seems to be no one online to chat with and I'm lonely. *sigh* Did I mention that they yanked facebook on his ship? (Not his ship's decision, as they'd allowed it, but whoever is above that pulled the plug. WTF. So now we can't share pics at all unless he's in port. Sucks.)

Friday, 17 July 2009

To go, or not to go.

Parent movie morning this week is of course, Harry Potter. Hallelujah! Maybe. It's at 10am, and a much reduced price. Lights are kept dimmed, and the movie is played at a slightly lower volume. Kids can run around, and there are diaper changing facilities in the theater.

Ray is...a handful. He doesn't sit still for long. He opens doors, grabs peoples cell phones. He plays LOUD, lots of yelling. I will probably spend the whole time running after him because as I mentioned, he's a door opener. He might sit still for a few minutes, he does like popcorn. I dunno. I guess I should at least give it a shot. Who knows, he may surprise me. And I sure don't have people coming out of the woodwork wanting to help me out or watch Ray a few hours. *sigh* Yeah I know, woe is me. Just been worn out and totally emo lately.

And Anthony (at some point here) will be in Dubai. I am so goddamn jealous, it looks like about the coolest place on earth. >.<

Saturday, 11 July 2009

It's disturbing.

This has really been making the rounds in the bloggin natural birth community, and now I can't resist adding my two cents in. Mostly just links for you, to what others have said, women who have experienced far more than I on the subject.

"Pit to Distress" is causing quite a stir. It started with Jill of Keyboard Revolutionary, bringing up her own findings online about the term "pit to distress", which refers to the practice of upping the pitocin on a laboring woman to at worst, force a crash c-section, and at "best", steamroll her into an unsafely fast labor and/or other interventions without worry for her safety or that of her baby. She continued her thoughts here.

Nursing Birth writes about her firsthand experiences as an L&D nurse with physicians who practice this. The other Jill, of Unnecessarean weighs in, twice even, with more interesting information.

As I'm sure many others are, this is really making me double back and consider the induction of my son. This is the best definition I can find of tachysystole. By the sounds of it, it's hyperstimulation of the uterus before it causes major issues for the baby. I'm kind of considering it the warning sign, to sloooow down the pitocin. Perhaps my mom could weigh in here, because she probably remembers the time frame a little better than I do, but as I recall after they broke my water and cranked the pitocin I hit this point. For hours. After they were already "worried" about hyperstimming my uterus since I contracted so quickly. (As I remember it, I was having contractions that lasted 45 seconds to a minute, with about 15 seconds in between) Granted, Ray tolerated it well. Thank god. But from what I'm reading above...I was not. If I HAD been tolerating it well, then sure, it could have just been part of my contraction pattern and reasonable to continue the pit at that level.

But I wasn't. I was crying through every contraction, panicking when they came on and begging "No no no no no". I don't have a good grasp of the time here, obviously, which is why I ask my mom. I do remember that even in between contractions, there was still pain. I've still not had an answer, from any professional, about if that is normal or "ok" or not. To me it seems like it's likely a bad thing.

Now, given what I know of the hospital I was in and it's staff, I would have to claim ignorance and naivete on their part. It's a teaching hospital, and they seemed clueless on so many fronts. I don't know how much this may have contributed to the c-section, beyond helping me along on my path to "needing" an epidural. (Which one nurse, when I mentioned going natural, laughed in my face and told me their epidural rate was 99% and that only women who were irrationally afraid of the needle said no) Could there have been an element of wanting to prove to me that I too, couldn't do it?

I don't know. I guess this doesn't change anything, but it makes me wonder even more. What the hell were they doing? Were they really that clueless, that they were playing around with the life of my son? I never knew I was giving them permission to needlessly play around with his life, and for what? It wasn't a busy hospital. Their paycheck was not dependent on my birth methods and how many interventions were used. I was only one of three women that birthed in as many days there. And that was "busy" for them. One was a scheduled c-section, the other came in well into labor and had pushed her son out in a few short hours. Most times when I went in with preterm contractions, I was the only one there. Doubting that they were overworked and horribly exhausted by it, beyond the usual military BS and long hours.

I'll probably add to this later in the day if I can think of something to say beyond shocked rambling.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009


Ultrasound completed. Placenta is good, and properly positioned. :) The tech said that if your bladder is really, really full, it can push the cervix up closer to the placenta and give you some false worry. Interesting, that, seeing as how at the time my bladder was torturously full, with me moaning in pain. Fucking idiots. So maybe being bitchy that your "patient" didn't have a bladder full enough didn't get you much anywhere. Perhaps showing her who's boss by not letting her pee (when she knows it's not necessary at that point to have a full bladder, and apparently detrimental) really didn't help you in the long run.

Anyhow. Minor rant aside. The ultrasound was really nice. Ray was decent, did start losing it towards the end but it could have been worse. The Dr (totally forgot his name, I suck) was really nice and chatty. I also found out (thank you, civilian world!) it's really not necessary to bear down with the ultrasound tool as though you're trying to reach my spine, just to get a picture.

(Don't get me wrong, I know there are kind, caring medical professionals in the military. I have met quite a few. The CNM's at Miramar were very nice. I know military or civilian, when you get a bustling hospital that's likely understaffed you're gonna run into some shit.)

Anyhow, really, I'm done whining now. LOL. It was fun to see Dorian again, he looks so much like Ray. He's really shaping up to be a cutie. :) True to family form, he impressed the tech with how active he was. My belly was rolling all over the whole time. Also true to family form, he refused to roll over to his other side, no amount of flipping me over, poking and jiggling would convince him. He's head down. Estimated 2lbs right now (yes, I know this can be off, but basically he's measuring right on his dates, the amended ones), and his darn feet are already 2" long. LOL I should just donate those tiny socks already. No child of mine will fit them I think. EVER.

Here's a link to the album on facebook (it's the public link, so no account required). If you haven't added me yet, feel free. :)

Tuesday, 7 July 2009


Good day today. Aside from Navy fed calling me at 6:30am. I mean honestly people you have my HOME ADDRESS. Is it that far a jump to just wait till, say, noon your time to have your automated crap call me? SHEESH. I suspect Ray slept a bit crappy last night, as I heard him moving around at that time, but I managed to get him back to sleep and we snoozed till, oh, 9 or 10? I think 10.

Got the DMV form for my license. Appt next week to get that done, and still no sign of the folder with all my Important Stuff. Ugh. I know it's here, best friend was sitting right next to me, where I sit now, as I showed it to her, and now it's just poof. Gone. Very not cool.

Also picked up a copy of my glucose screen results. Woo. And made the appt for my ultrasound (to check the placenta) tomorrow. Decided to forgo being treated like shit a third time at the military hospital. Once you've been treated like a human being by medical professionals it's hard to go back. :S

Dorian's room is going swimmingly. Got both coats of the light blue on the walls, and it looks fantastic if I do say so myself. (And I do) Looking forward to starting in on the darker blue here very soon.

Ugh, I'm worn out wracking my brain over that damn folder. ARGH.

Thursday, 2 July 2009


Ok, I'm done. Done being pregnant. Sign me the form to get the baby out. Lol. I am soooo less than thrilled with the contractions! Why did they have to come earlier? I mean, I guess it could be good, maybe I'll get to real labor a leeeeetle earlier, but there's still like, 3 months till then. Curses. After fighting through grocery shopping (comissary on payday, yes it was almost suicide) the darn things are about non-stop. They don't hurt but christ it's uncomfortable, makes it hard to move/bend, and wears me the hell out. I should NOT be this tired after sleeping till 9:30am! I really want to tidy up the floor in here (Ray asploded everything) but just can't bring myself to do it because I know it'll make more contractions. Ugh.

Maybe it's time to chill in front of the TV.

I was good today and got the insurance paperwork sent off. Yay, go me! I hate paperwork. I also sat in line for a while (thankfully in line IN the car so Ray was able to jump around a bit) and got my base sticker. And it's good for three years. :O Was NOT expecting that! Both cars have new registration, which means they also expire at the same time. Makes that easy.

It was so weird driving my car again after these last months in Anthony's. Weird but nice.

I'm getting excited about the birth. :) And not because I'm uncomfortable lol, for all that I bitch I'm really NOT ready to handle a newborn just this second, and it'd be nice for Anthony to see the belly a bit when he gets home. We've had a rash of rather inspiring home VBACs and home VBA2Cs and some in the hospital and just, wow! So much triumph, so much victory, so many women getting the true fruit of their labor. (Har har har) It's restored a bit of my mojo, me thinks. Also, pondering the whole "late" deal with Ray, and wondering how much his tilted head had to do with that. Maybe this one will come a bit earlier. We'll see.

For now, gonna relax on the couch since the contractions are getting more bothersome and I don't want Dori to come THIS early by any stretch.