My First --And Last-- Days Working For MRM Marketing and Kirby Vacuums (A Cautionary Tale of Business Ethics)

When I applied for the job at MRM Marketing, I had just quit Olive Garden after a year and a half of feeling like a slave with feet that never stopped moving. I wanted an atmosphere change-- an office setting perhaps, maybe clerical work. I saw this ad in the classifieds for customer service with a salary of $1,200 every two weeks with bonuses. I called the number and they scheduled an interview with me that day. On retrospect, it was a bit odd that they wanted that immediate of an interview (now I realize it’s because of how frequently employees cycle in and out).

The building that the business operated out of was a very normal “office” type, boring space. Brown bricks and all. Once inside, it looked kind of like the set of “The Office”-- complete with motivational posters framed on the wall. I was excited. I figured I would Have Kelly Kapor’s job, talking to customers on the phone. Nope.

I interviewed with a young woman who told me I would make $600 a week plus commission.

“Commission.. I thought this was customer service.” I said.

“Oh it is. You aren’t selling anything. We’re a marketing company. You are paid to show off this product whether people buy it or not. It’s just about getting the word of mouth advertising out there.”

There were two tricks to this: one, they called themselves a marketing company, and two, they called sales “demos”. Wording can be such a tricky thing, can’t it..

I don’t know, I was gullible. I wanted to believe that I could make money not having to work as a server or a cashier (I was burned out from working that way for four years). I began my orientation a few days after my interview, and every day the deal they were offering got not only less appealing but also more confusing. They’d slip in undesirable aspects and then bombard us with the prospect of making tons of money. The woman training us, Brandi, was extremely nice and excited about the company. She was a great cheerleader. But, she remained vague about what EXACTLY we would be doing. It was all about how much we could rake in. I knew I should have been skeptical, but I really wanted it to work out-- I want to earn money not only to live day to day, but also to save to raise a family. $1,200 a week guaranteed without actually having to sell anything still seemed like it could work out. I’ll even admit that the product worked well; but, it cost $3,000, which is a pretty hard selling point for a vacuum.

That’s right folks, Kirby Vacuums. See, when I accepted the job, MRM Marketing failed to tell me I would be selling Kirby Vacuums. I might as well sign up for Vector and sell Cut-Co Knives. But, I’m not here to bash Kirby or Vector. In fact, they make quality products and the companies generally don’t rip off the customer. It’s the employee that gets hurt. With Vector you’re basically on your own, but Kirby is structured a little differently, or perhaps it was just the way MRM Marketing was operating. I didn’t technically work for MRM Marketing (for tax purposes to help the owner), but I did have to go out with them every day and sell vacuums like I was on the clock. They were not up front at all about the details of the job.

The first problem I had was obviously that they called the job “customer service”. Corporate loopholes aside, nothing about cold calling is customer service. During my training, Brandi kept telling us that we would have “appointment setters”, I later found out that one of the many, many managers that drove me around set the appointments by knocking on strangers’ doors minutes before I would have entered, asking them to allow me to make my pitch. I’ll get to the effectiveness of that strategy later.

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The second problem I had with what the company had told me was that it was originally supposed to be a twelve hour workday, from 9AM to 9PM. I wasn’t pleased about it, but Brandi said it passed by quickly. I was under the impression that we would drive out to three houses a day, going to and from the office for each one. What actually happened was, four “customer service reps” would cram into a van with one manager and drive around all day knocking on doors and hoping someone would let us in. The people in my van (who had been working there for a while) told me I would be lucky if they stopped for lunch or dinner. What.. I can’t not eat, and a sandwich won’t last in a lunch box for twelve hours. But, I’d be lying to you if I said twelve hours, because they were lying to me when they said a twelve hour work day. My first day, I didn’t get back to the office until 11:30 PM, and was expected to come back and do it again the next day. I might sound like a wimp, but I have a life and I like it. I have a wonderful boyfriend I love and two sweet cats that I want to be able to spend time with when I come home from work. Did I mention they had a mandatory-but-not-mandatory six day work week (I got constant conflicting opinions on how many days were required to work there. Confusing, no..).

Lastly, and here’s a huge clincher: the “salary” pay of $1,200 every two weeks, apparently stopped coming in after 4 months. So, basically, in four months I would become a salesman working solely on commission. And, the management didn’t even mention this HUGE fact. I had to learn it from coworkers who had been working there longer.

I spent three days actually out in the field (not to mention the week of unpaid training) and never even went into a single house. We often had the police called on us because the manager would drive to houses that had signs that said, “No Tress-passing” or “No Soliciting”. When I finally decided to quit, it wasn’t even because I wasn’t making any money or gaining any experience, it was actually because the manager had allowed an unlicensed girl to drive the van, who ended up driving it at least 60 mph straight into a tree (with me in the passenger seat). The worst part is that the manager covered up the fact that she was unlicensed from the cops. And because I technically didn’t work for MRM Marketing, they wouldn’t pay for any medical expenses.

All in all it was an extremely draining two weeks. I felt trapped to the job, used by the company, and worst of all, I felt like a rube for trusting them. Again, the product works fine, but the way the individual franchises decide to treat their employees is not for me. I met a ton of people who enjoyed doing it, one guy said it “kept him out of trouble”, but I don’t get into trouble. I read books and drink tea on the couch, and would like to have a job that gives me time to do that. I had wasted two weeks on a shady company that wanted more than 60 hours a week from me.

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Comments 11 comments

Shaun Campbell 2 years ago

Any chance I could talk to you about this? I went to the orientation today and I have my doubts.


noosepaper profile image

noosepaper 2 years ago from Birmingham, AL Author

Sorry I didn't see your comment earlier! I hope you didn't waste too much of your time with them :/


mikmub 2 years ago

with all this in mind..two important questions (1) are you paid for orientation (2) Are you really oblige to work 6 days? Personally i don't mind using them for what's it's worth but i need to know if i'll at least get paid lol


Anthony 2 years ago

Screw kirby terrible tell for a job


TolovajWordsmith profile image

TolovajWordsmith 24 months ago from Ljubljana

My friend had an experience with a company, working on similar model. They randomly called people from the phone book and offered them free cleaning, what was actually an excuse for very long presentation (and the cleaned only a bit of the carpet, so it looked worse than before, because the dirt was unevenly distributed). When they called me, I already knew what to expect ...

It looks everything related to vacuum cleaners fall into the category 'it's a dirty job, but ...'.


SOUL 23 months ago

Something they also don't tell you is that you aren't making a salary of $1200. I asked them multiple times "is this a set salary?" They told me yes. So nothing should mess I up. What they don't tell you is that, you have to do 30 demo's in a pay week to get paid. If you don't get those 30 demo's that means no paycheck. It doesn't matter if you are there all day, or everyday. You don't get those that quota in you don't get paid. So you work for them for free.


mandy 23 months ago

That is the truth


RJ 22 months ago

FUCK THIS COMPANY SO MUCH! I'm sorry for this language but they screwed me over really bad. They did everything that she said, except for me I made the mistake of applying for the job on December 9th and my girlfriend came back in town from college, then again it wasn't to far where she came from (auburn) so it wasn't the biggest deal that I couldn't see her everyday but it was still a huge deal if you get what I'm saying. Well after a month of working for this shitty company filled with sleazy people and some ex convicts, and a promised salary of $2,400 paid to me December 27th, I told my girl that her Christmas present would be a little late but it would be fantastic! I planned on spending at least $500 on her, well the 27th came around and they told me it may be the 3rd when my paycheck comes. I felt so bad and told my friends and family there christmas gofts will be even more delayed, so I will admit since it was Christmas time I did miss a few days in between the 25th and the 1st but I atill worked my ass off from 9am - 11pm. Well once the :Ed came around I asked the boss Matt about my paycheck he then instantly acted as if he was the smartest thing God had ever created and spoke so fast I could hardly comprehend him. He swiftly explained to me that since I only completed 28 demos in the month and not 30 that he wasn't obligated to pay me ... Well I wish every one was there to see me talk to this 6 foot 9 Goliath like human being that was my boss, I asked him if he was serious and he said sorry it was in the contract that you signed. I told Matt that this was slavery, I told him I sat in a van with sweaty ass pig salesmen who were so extremely rude to me and the customers for 12 hours plus a day and you're not going to pay me, I sat down 28 people's houses and pitched a sale to them for some over priced bull shit and you're not going to pay me. I then told him that he could ever so kindly place his fist in his asshole and walked out of there. I am now in a lawsuit with them for many work place violation accusations and unpaid worker accusations. This company are blood sucking penny grabbing assholes who care nothing for there employees, the managers were so rude to me, I even remember one manager named Caressa saying I was a piece of shit worker and didn't do jack shit for the company. I'm going to tell yall I am nothing like I am in this writing, I never curse in front of ladies nor treat them bad and I am always trying to be so kind to everyone. I couldn't believe this lady was saying this to me. Another manager named James "Ryan " which I found out was his real name and he didn't want customers finding out his real name, but James was a scum bag douche, he was the biggest asshole to the customers and even blew a sale for me for being so rude and pushy on a customer that was interested, he also treated another employee girl like shot and made fun of her for having a kid at age 18. Then after some research I found out he had a criminal record for treating his employees bad at scheming at his old branch he used to run, oh and also picked a fight with one of his employees. While in the van for 12 hours a day I dreamed of beating this scrony piece of shits ass. Although I do thank this experience for helping me realize to get my life together and go back to college, but to all that read this, stay far away from being employees to this pyramid scheme bull shit.they treat there employees horrid and make it look all happy and nice in the orientation. They actually told me I was 1 in about 50 that got the job, after a week on the job I slowly realized that was some bush league bull shit. And yes they do not stop for lunch or dinner for the salesmen but while you are in a "demo" they go and eat and play grab ass with the other managers in the area, I swear to yall I was in a demo and the lady said she had to leave so I called Caressa my manager and said she was at a guys house and I heard him taking sexual In the back ground of the phone. She then picked me up 45 minutes later, I was sitting in the cold that long so she could get her fuck on. Well all in all please do not have anything to do with these guys, they truly screwed me over and a lot of other people over. Thank you for letting me rant! -RJ


Devaughn 19 months ago

Did anybody else not get paid from this company? I have an interview tomorrow. I hear all that's been going on with this company but is it really not worth the time? 30 demos in a month don't seem too bad


Terrance Wells 13 months ago

KIRBY IS AWESOME!!!

For those who want to come on here trying to bash MRM Marketing and Kirby. Let me make this real clear for you so you can get out your little feelings. Kirby is a highly successful company, matter of fact a Fortune 500 company....(do the research yourself) and a lot of people join the Kirby opportunity. But what annoys me to the core is when negative, close-minded individuals come on here trying to trash Kirby. It is inevitable that there are people who are successful and who become good leaders and then there are those who do not succeed. There are many people who make a ton of money with Kirby, some have even went on to owning their own businesses through Kirby and becoming multi-millionaires. The ones who don't succeed or should I say 'suck at direct sales, close-minded and never saw the bigger picture' are quick to blame the company and say it's all a scam and more than likely you are broke living paycheck to paycheck. I am a employee of MRM Marketing and they were very honest with me during my interview and orientation. It wasn't no bullshit. I was told upfront exactly what I would be doing....unless you are deaf, don't pay attention or whatever the case may be, they let you know what you'll be doing. Ever since I've been with MRM Marketing, I've been very, very successful. I've been on so many VIP trip such as Club Med, Cancun, Mexico, The Bahamas, Orlando Florida (Universal Studios), New Orleans, LA, etc. I've never made this much money before in my life working minimum wage jobs. I bring home $1500 weekly (YES WEEKLY!) plus commission and bonuses. Now could you really make that much at a minimum wage job?.....NO YOU CAN'T! thanks to the great leaders and mentors at MRM Marketing and Kirby I've had on this great journey so far, I will be opening up my own distribution business really soon & I'm so excited!!! Kirby is not for the weak-minded, it's for those with a RHINO MENTALITY. Is Kirby long hours? YES! Is it hard work? YES! but if you're willing to work hard, show up everyday with a positive attitude and determination to succeed an learn, than this is the opportunity for you! If you want to be financially free, give you and your family a better life and create the life you really desire, then this is the opportunity for you! This opportunity is not for everyone, but just because it did not work out for you does not mean you have to trash the company. On here trying to bash Kirby because you think putting in a 9-5 job will gain you financial freedom. Anyone with common sense knows that success does not sleep and you have to put in long hours to become successful.....you can ask any real entrepreneur that! No matter how much math you do or what negative comments you say, at the end of the day....you're still living paycheck to paycheck or on a salary....while people like me are well on their way to having their own business and becoming a millionaire. Living paycheck to paycheck, on a salary is no way to truly live. Maybe it's a comfortable life for most but it's not really freedom because at the end of the day you're working for someone else making them rich. You and you family's life financially is in the hands of that 'BOSS' and your time of making money is limited until he or she says so. I mean come on, that's no way to live. I'd rather be in control of my own life and future financially, instead of someone else being in control of it. I know for most this is going over your head but I refuse to be a slave to the system.


Jason 8 months ago

Love Kirby! Started in 2007 and totally changed my life. Gave me the opportunity to make a difference in my life. The ones that complain are the lazy ones and don't wanna work. Reason why most of them are always looking for a job. 9 years later here I am and have watched many other success stories.

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