The son of a friend of ours had failed at several different jobs and vacuum cleaner selling was going to be his ticket to the future.
The sales pitch to us was he just needs to come to give his presentation (his mommie asking for him) so he can get his act down. We didn’t know this young man actually, perhaps we had met a time or two, causally. The mother was the girlfriend of a family member.
He arrived and vacuumed every room in the house demonstrating how much better his was that the one we had. All the while trying to sell us the machine.
When there was nothing left to clean, so it was time to close the deal in his mind. When I absolutely told him that we weren’t paying a thousand dollars for his vacuum cleaner, he asked to use the phone. This was in the 80s, before cell phones.
He needed to call this boss. I heard him tell the boss that we weren’t buying. So then the mistake was made. The boss insisted on me getting on the phone. I went on to tell Mr. Bossman that I knew before the doorbell rang that we weren’t going to buy anything but was doing a courtesy by letting him demonstrate the machine to us. We were helping to train him. Of course the man on the other end started to explain how I was wasting his new recruits time.
When I hung up the phone and looked around, the young man in tears said something to the effect of “now I’m going to get fired and I just started this job“.
It made me feel so bad that I thought about buying his vacuum cleaner. Then I thought again and ushered him to the door a bid him goodnight.
I don’t think that he was immediately fired, but I know that it didn’t become a long career for him.