What was I thinking?

Have you ever had a situation where you were pondering something then the door bell rings and there was your answer?

I had just been thinking about the need to have two custom area rugs, which fit in the eating space nook and under the breakfast bar cleaned. I usually purchase the throw away area rugs at a discount store for the dining area but had a couple special sizes so went the custom route and didn’t want to buy new. We have hardwood floors in the house so getting carpets cleaned is not something we do.

Yesterday, the door bell rang; it was 5:30 p.m. so I questioned, who that could possibly be?

A young lady of about eighteen was at the door, vibrant and excited about telling me she was in the neighborhood with her team and they wanted to clean the carpet in one room in the house for free. She handed me a laminated card indicating this was for advertising purposes, there were no requirements, they just wanted to GIVE me carpet cleaning in one room and then encouraged me to tell my friends. In my zeal to have the two area rugs cleaned, I asked her in and showed her the carpet. She shouted with joy that it was a perfect size and they could absolutely clean the two area rugs for free and they could start in about five minutes. She literaly ran off to find one of her partners and was back in a flash.

Her partner was about a size one and a half, with her bra straps showing,rhinestone jewelry shining and didn’t speak English well. I could barely understand her but her enthusiasm to come in the door and clean my carpets was enough for me to let her in. She assured me, again, this cleaning was for advertising only and that she would be the one to clean the carpets with no strings attached. I thought I had struck gold and now I didn’t have to put that task on my “to do” list.

As she entered the front door with the Kirby box, I silently questioned “What was I thinking?” I asked her nicely about the process since she was bringing in a Kirby box and she affirmed she was going to clean my carpet. She repeated over and over again this free carpet cleaning was just for advertising and that yes, she was going to clean both of the area rugs.

Watching her put together the Kirby machine I thought, maybe this is a new household carpet cleaner and she was just using Kirby equipment to clean my rugs. I justified to myself the fact I would get my carpets cleaned and if I liked it I would tweet about it or post it on facebook and do what she asked because “it was just advertising.” I would simply share my satisfaction with the service and this experience would be over soon. I still had not connected all the dots of what was going on. My husband had been watching TV in the family room and decided to vacate while I was talking with the “carpet cleaner.”

My new, broken English speaking friend spelled out she was having a contest to win a trip to Mexico and that she got points for all the things she would be showing me and when her final team member arrived, he would evaluate what she had done. The first girl got points for getting her in the door and now it would be her turn to get points for her demonstration. I was suddenly aware of what a mess I had made of the evening and began to estimate how long this was going to take to complete. My original thoughts reasoned a quick cleaning for two area rugs would take less than thirty minutes. What was I thinking?

The demonstrator had me vacuum an area of the rug with my Dyson. She then proceeded to put a black fabric circle on her Kirby equipment around the bag intake and vacuumed the same spot. The picture was coming clear that she was NOT selling carpet cleaning she was selling a vacuum. I saw that the black circle had more dirt and grit and the suction of the Kirby was superior to the Dyson. After the 5th circle, I was becoming a little irritated as it was now 6 p.m. and I needed to get dinner going. I saw she had at least 7 more black fabric circles.

Chatting with myself, I was feeling so stupid for letting a vacuum sales person into my home at dinner time and I had not even realized what the “vacuum team” had done to me. Here I was, a thirty year sales veteran and I had been blind sided into letting someone into my home with out a clue of the “close” that was to take place.

In a firm but gentle voice I explained” I see the dirt on the black samples and I understand completely the Kirby has much better suction than the Dyson.” I went on to say “I need to start my dinner so if you have to complete all the black circles you need to do it while I am preparing dinner.” I did not need to see seven more fabric samples to know the Kirby had great suction. She then started to get upset with me and the hair was coming up on the back of my neck. I asked her how much longer it was going to take to clean my two area rugs. She whispered, “About another hour maybe an hour and a half depending on how many questions I had for the final salesman.” That was it for me and at that same moment my husband came into the room and belted “you need to leave now, pack up your things and go.” She wanted to know why she had to leave and I described to her I thought she was selling carpet cleaning, not vacuums. She went off in her broken English murmuring, she didn’t understand. At this point I ranted “a company like Kirby does not hire demonstrators who did not completely understand and speak English and know what is going on.” I added I was offended by the way she and her partner misrepresented what they did. I thought her “closer” team member should know what they did in manipulating words to get into my home. They did not accurately represent what they did to get their precious points and coming into the home. I sincerely thought they cleaned carpets. What was I thinking?

The verbal engagement went on for about five minutes and she called her supervisor on her cell phone saying “they are making me leave.” I corrected her perception of the event and tried to reiterate the fact her team misrepresented tying to get entry to my front door and her supervisor should know what really happened. She kept telling me she was advertising a product and I bellowed “You are a vacuum sales person, you are not selling advertising. You sell vacuums.”

The Kirby demonstrator sat on the front porch waiting for her closer to pick her up for about ten minutes. Out the window we overheard her supervisor asking “what happened?” Of course she did not describe the events accurately explaining the entry process and how they misrepresented to get in; she only told him we kicked her out. What was I thinking?

There will be a new sign on our front door that reads, “Rabid Dinosaur Sales Person Lives Here, Ring The Bell At Your Own Risk.”

What does the sign on your door say?

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About Carra Riley

Fun loving classic writer who is a life long learner. Helping people connect the dots as a consultant for small business and real estate along with custom workshops and seminars.


  1. Cosmic Cow Pie says

    This is a test to see if the setting changed and can now be seen

  2. I used to be in sales too. Sometimes I think that some direct sales companies abuse their reps. I always feel sorry for the rep.

  3. Deidre Adore says

    "Someone's Knocking at the Door – Don't Let Them in without Proper ID"

    My boyfriend's parents neighbor is in his late 80's . He answered the door at lunchtime this past August to let a gentleman in a uniform enter his house. His wife was at her part time job and Earl was home by himself. Earl usually suns himself and reads in the backyard when his wife works during the afternoon.

    The gentleman caller stated he required Earl's assistance to go in the backyard and help him measure the lot for the township inspection. Early is so sweet and so good natured..he welcomed this man into this house and they went out the backdoor to take measurements all over the back yard (ie the fence, the pool, the shed, back of the house windows, the door frame, the width of trees, birdhouses, shrubs, etc). They spent a total of 30 minutes out side together and the man kept moving Earl further and further away from his house.
    The man looked at this watch and said wow I'm late for my next township inspection, please excuse me and he ran off. Earl is older and it took him some time to get back into his house.

    What actually happened to Earl??

    Within 30 minutes, a professional team of thieves stole large items from the house and wiped it out clean. Literally took everything (all desks with important papers, tv, sofa, beds, etc).

    A neighbor later reported seeing a moving fan but thought the elderly couple was downsizing from their 2 story house.

    Moral of the story – use a peep hole and do not let strangers in your house especially during a recession and as for elders don't be fooled by uniforms and ask for identification or/an official township letter for surveys. Most elderly think people are good natured and do not think that con man is coming to visit them. This story blew me away…. stealing furniture from a dear old man!!!!

    By the way, his insurance company did not cover the break in since this kind man welcomed the thief into his house.

  4. Cosmic Cow Pie says


    I think your story is a real lesson about answering the door and letting people in. It is too bad we have to think about things like that but it is wisdom to be very careful. Your story is frightening!

    Thanks for sharing!