Diary of a Broke-ass Chapter 1 & 2 Part 1
This is an autobiography that I just started on. I will only be submitting the first parts of my book. Hopefully you will
all find the story both useful and entertaining. One of the main
reasons I am submitting this story is to unmask the vacuum sales business. So... please... read on. It will be submitted
in parts. lt is a story about being a broke American. I have changes
the names to protect the identity of anyone that I know or have known.
The title is: Diary of a Broke-ass, an autobiographical tale of a struggling American, based on true events. By: Mariah Garrison
Where to start?
Where should I start? I have thought about writing an autobiography for years. Perhaps I should start with what inspired me to begin typing today...
Pocket dialing, or ghost dialing, (as it's called) is a bitch. You should always check your cell phone to make sure that it is locked properly. You could really avoid some embarrassing and sometimes life changing events if you do. And all tho this would seem to be common knowledge, it happens all the time. It happened to my good friend and co-worker the other day. We will call her Jane. No, she didn't ghost dial me. Our so called boss pocket dialed her. Some things were said about the both of us that she thought I should know. And all tho it may be true. It still sucks to hear what is said behind your back.
What was said? Oh you are still reading? Good! Basically I want to spend too much time with my husband. Apparently I will never get ahead in life if I don't work 7 days a week. Going out of town for weeks at a time. They were in having a complete fit about this. They were also mad at Jane. Jane is a single mother that has only been in America for four years. They wanted her to leave her daughter with people she did not know for weeks at a time. And wanted her to get rid of her dog as well. Her dog, Lucky, was becoming a problem to work out of town with. And while this all is true... what job would make you do these things? Why would it seem that these are rational options? Well, it probably has something to do with the industry that I am in at the moment.
I am 32 years old and I have made semi-decent to crap money on and off for years. I have worked in fast food, the office, been a TV producer, telemarketer, retail (a lot recently, due to the sate of the economy), and door to door vacuum sales. Which is where I am at now. I know what you are all thinking. Vacuum sales is the lowest of the low. And oh how true that is.
Really!?! I am selling vacuums?
I find myself at the current moment selling vacuums . Do I really have to defend myself? Yes vacuums. Given the state of our economy its not to hard to believe. Oh, and I should correct myself. These are hybrid vacuums. Or what they like to call “stage 2, military, medical home sanitation devices”. Say that three times fast. They cost $3,500 retail. And no these are no Kurby vacuum. They are actually worth the money. Sorry Kurby, but everyone knows how bad you suck. I would actually get one of these if I had the money to. So I really don't feel bad selling them. The problem I have is the long hard hours I work. And of course, it is ether feast or famine. Mostly famine.
So how did I end up working in vacuum sales you might ask? Good question. But too simply answered. The economy is most of it. I was working as a laborer in at a silk screening company. And for me it was a grueling 8 hour job. Very labor intensive. But when the owner let it slip that I have asthma to his insurance, I was not allowed to work there until getting a release from the doctor. Which for someone without insurance is imposable to do in a timely manner. Long story short I ended up being laded off. When I had trouble getting unemployment, I was forced to look for any work or loose my house. And walla! I found an ad on craigslist for a “door knocker” position. The ad read something to the effect of $50 per day or $100 per commission whichever is greater. And of course I responded. They got back to me within an hour by email that I had an interview the very next day. Great! When I went there it was a very nice office, but something seemed not quite right. There were people just hanging about in the office at 9:00 am. I filled out an application and waited. The interview was not much of an interview at all. I knew right away that it was some type of sales. They basicly asked me if I would be comfortable knocking on peoples doors and talking to them. They said that I would be offering a gift. Then he offered me $60 a day or $100 per sale. Of course I took it. And started the very next day. At the time I still had no clue what it was I was selling. I was very surprised the next day when I found out I was selling vacuums. And I knew my husband would not like it one bit. But as long as I was making a base pay I would be fine. That first day we worked in Mt. Shasta. I remember 5:00pm coming and going. It getting dark. And still we were working. I got home after 9:00 at night. Everyone was worried about me. Oh, and on the way home the sales people and “van manager” were all drinking beers and getting drunk in the back of the van on the way home! They offered me one. Which I turned down. They were all throwing money around like it was nothing. And telling me how much money I was going to make. I didn't know how to feel about this new job. But I have to admit that I was a little hopeful. They all made it sound so good.
What is a door knocker? Good question. I am glad you asked. I am the person that goes up and knocks on the door. I give my pitch which goes something like this:
“Hi, I am Mariah. How are you doing today? Great! I work for Product Reviews and I am here to give you a gift card to Wallmart. Have you ever heard of consumer reports? Great! We are the ones who go out and get the opinions from the public for companies like consumer reports. Before a product EVER goes on TV or in the magazines we get your opinion. You don't have to Purchase anything or sign up for anything. Just simply rate the product, and we give you this really nice gift card.”
When they agree I go get the sales person. Oh and I don't walk door todoor. They hand pick houses driving around. Usually retired people with money is what we look for. So I shouldn't say that I am really selling the vacuums. Because I have yet to go in and sell one myself. But there you have it. That is what I do.
Everyone in the crew asked what I was making. And I told them. Kinda big mistake on my part. Nobody else got a base pay. So that only lasted two weeks. Then I was on commission. Which my husband did not approve of. However I was making enough to were it pretty much evened out. They offered bonuses. Pretty good bonuses too. One of the bonuses was I would get a $100 gift card to Ross if I knocked in five sales within a week. Two weeks latter I made five sales in one week. However as time passed it was clear that some people were having problems receiving their paychecks.
To be continued... with chapter 2 part 2.
Please read on if you want to find out all about the dark side of vacuum sales.