Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Visit to Freedom Enterprises

My time off is random... an afternoon here, a morning there--this past Monday was Memorial Day where I, like Barack Hussein Obama, honored the "fallen solders, some of whom I see in the audience", but that's another story. Anyway, Memorial Day for me was broken into three parts... early morning (sleep), in to work for an hour (payroll), late morning (lunch), back to work for two hours (Jeff didn't show up) and back home again.

So I got a full day off today... which all of that is to say, I got to run errands for my lovely wife, The Lovely Steph Leann. I had to go by Valleydale Church (an sbc fellowship) to pick up some stuff, then I ran by The Disney Store, then I went by Kingdom Comics, and somewhere in the day, I was supposed to go to a vacuum shop that sells bags for Kirby Vacuums. The Lovely Steph Leann has this heavy, monster of a vacuum that only takes Kirby bags, and apparently, one place in town sold them, and she had figured out where.

It was located in Lorna Brook Village, which is the little shopping area almost directly across from our old apartment, The Case de Pesos. Shouldn't be too hard, right? I roll over there on my way between stops, dash in, get the vacuum bags and be up on my way.

Well, I roll up into Lorna Brook Village, and somehow, I'm not seeing the vacuum shop. I'm half expecting to see a sign that says "Kirby Vacuums" or at least, "The Vacuum Store" or "Suck It Up: Vacuum Sales & Parts". I mean, what do you name a store that sells vacuums, aside from the brand you sell? "Hoover's Hoovers", tagline "We Suck. And That Doesn't Suck."

I slowly drive the perimeter of the place, looking at each sign, and see nothing resembling a vacuum dealership, or even a vacuum sales or repair shop. I pull into a space in the far end of the lot and give my wife a call.

Me: "Um... was this vacuum shop in the Lorna Brook Village?"
The Lovely Steph Leann: "That's what the lady said. You don't see it?"
Me: "I don't see anything that slightly resembles a vacuum store..."
The Lovely Steph Leann: "Hmm. Well, that's what she said. I didn't quite understand the name of the place. I just know she said they sold Kirby vacuum bags."
Me (scanning the shopping center): "I see Calico Corner... Yoe Xpress... Then Again... Amigos Mexican Grill... Wayne King... GMAC Reality..."
The Lovely Steph Leann: "Wait, what was that Wayne King one?"
Me: "That's Wayne King, State Farm Insurance. The Lovely Steph Leann, I don't see any kind of vacuum place."
The Lovely Steph Leann: "That's so weird. She told me where the shop was, and she said it was in that shopping center. Maybe you need to call them, since you are there."

So she gave me the number, I hung up, then dialed 988-5119. The phone rang for one or two times, and then I heard "Weposahtiv!!" on the other end.

A little confused, I stuttered, "Hi... are you located in the Lorna Brook Village shopping center?"
The voice, sounding echo-y, replied, seemingly frantic, "Ya! You looking for an interview?"
Still confused, "Uh... an interview? No, I was wondering if you sold Kirby products?
The voice replied, still a little frantic, "Ya! We sell bags!"

Interviews? What do I need with an interview? I finally asked, "What is the name of your business?"
"Freedom Enterprises!"

If you are looking for a vacuum, or vacuum bags, this might not be the place for you. If you are looking for a good time, however...

I hung up, scanned the shopping center once again, and in the corner, there was a small gathering of people, standing under a banner that had been hung up--one of those banners you have made until your store sign is completed or installed--that said "Freedom Enterprises".

"Really?" I said to myself. I wheeled over to that side of the shopping center and parked. Freedom Enterprises was nestled between two businesses that, judging from their signs in the window that said, "For Lease", didn't make it. Outside the glass door were about six people, a mixture of male, female, black and white, including one white chick that sat in a chair that was propping a door open. All were dressed rather nicely, though a few looked uncomfortable in the sweater vests, ties and dress blouses they wore.

I walked up to the door, which was right next to the door that white chick seated in the chair was propping open. I went inside, and suddenly I felt like I was at Club La Vela all over again... well, except for the loud music. And the drinks. And the hot chicks. And the dancing. But, the cigarette smoke was fierce in the air.

The office was completely disheveled, with the desk very messy, boxes piled up along the wall, a motivational poster reading "RISK" on the wall, and a large mirror on the left. Straight ahead of where I walked in, another open door lead to a wide open room, almost bare, containing just a desk and a copier and a few piles of papers. It reminded me of the office that Mitch McDeere and Tammy Hemphill rent to make copies in "The Firm".

Facing the mirror was a young lady, maddeningly putting on makeup, talking on the phone. I stepped in, and then stepped close to the desk. Now, its important to note that most guys have their things about girls. Some guys are "boob men", others are "butt men", ie, the parts of a girl that are noticed first. I'm happy to admit I'm a "Hair Guy" and "Smile Guy", and admittedly, this chick had very, very pretty hair. All curly and wavy, reminding me of Liz Enloe (for those that know here--you can check my friends on Facebook).

I could only see her face in the mirror, as it was a long mirror, put nailed to the wood-paneled walls horizontally, just high enough that she could touch up her lipliner, which is what she was doing.

While on the phone, she looked at me through the mirror, "Can I help you?"

"Yeah, I need to get some vacuum bags"
"For a Kirby?"
"Okay, I'll (phone rings) Fffffudge... I'll get someone in just a second..." The way she said "ffffuudge" made it clear she was desperately trying not to curse in front of a potential customer. The phone rang a minute later, and she said, "Shhhhhucks...."

Another thing became clear the moment she turned around--her hair wasn't what she was most proud of. She whirled around towards me and it startled me by how much the ponies wanted to get out of the stable. They were bucking in their red blouse corral.

"So, uh... I'm guessing you are interviewing for hires here?"
"Oh yeah, I'm a recruiter. I'm #4 in my region. We teach them how to market here."

Boob Girl stepped past me, grabbed something on her desk, then went back to the mirror. She started applying more lipliner, telling me how she was excited there was a big crowd outside for the training seminar.

And... it all came clear. Freedom Enterprises recruits and trains door-to-door salesmen for Kirby Vacuums, though I'm guessing that's not all they do. The phone rang again, and Boob Girl reached for the phone.

"Dang it, I thought there was supposed to be someone back there to do this!" she answered, "We're Positive! This is Callie!"

We're Positive? That seemed to jibe with what I heard on the phone earlier, and on the door leading to the other room, a simple black and white note said some sales stuff, and under it, read "We're Positive!" Makes sense.

Callie the Boob Girl dialed a number really quick, and spoke, "Hey, is Bindle there? He needs to get out here, there's someone here who wants some bags."

I'm not sure she said "Bindle" but it sounded like that. "Wants some bags" kinda made me feel like I was buying a dimebag or crack, and honestly, I was in a room that fit the bill.

Without a word, Callie the Boob Girl went out the door and disappeared. I saw a guy in cut-offs and a polo walk up, smoking a cigarette, and put it down on the outside window sill. As he came inside, the plume of cigarette smoke actually drifted in, still floating around his head. He looked at me and disappeared into the next room. Another guy, a larger black man, came out in a shirt and tie. "Can I help you sir?"

"Yeah, I need to buy some Kirby Vacuum bags"
"You want the 2 pack or 6 pack?"
"The 2 pack is 11.95 and the 6 pack is 29.95"
"I'll take the 2 pack"

Bindle went back into the room from whence he came, and Cigarette boy came back out, strolling back outside. He picked up his cigarette and went out of view. Bindle came back and handed a plastic package, containing 2 Kirby vacuum bags.

"Are they all the same size?" I asked.
"Yep" he replied, "Cash or credit?"
"Um..." I fumbled for my debit card, "I guess credit. Would it be easier to pay cash?"
"I can do credit. But yeah, it would be easier to do cash"

I pulled out a ten and 2 ones, and handed them over. He dug in his pocket and out came a nickel, which he handed it to me. Bindle nodded, I nodded back, and strode out. Everyone still stood outside, supposedly awaiting the training session, and Callie the Boob Girl was walking toward the office.

The whole visit lasted about 10 minutes. But what an entertaining 10 minutes.

When I got home, I pulled up "Freedom Enterprises" on Google, and came up with these juicy tidbits:

From the Ripoff Report, Coachcp13 says, "NEVER LET A KIRBY SALESMAN INTO YOUR HOME. They forced there way in by offering a SERVICE when really they were selling a product."

From the SuperPages ad for Freedom Enterprises, Guest 44308 says, "The company drops the salesman off and leaves him alone with the home-owner... " while Guest 39371 says, "...the salesman who entered my home was very obviously intoxicated. You could not only smell the alcohol, but his eyes were blood shot and he had difficulty keeping his eyes open..."

You know those ads in the paper that declare you can make $1600 per month cleaning carpets, with no experience necessary? Yeah, Freedom Enterprises is one of those places. I feel like I just bought drugs.

Sometimes, people ask me why I blog. Days like this? This is why I blog.


  1. Hilarious! Unfortunately i've had an unpleasant experience with Kirby sellers--free carpet cleaning!--and the guy emptied my wallet while I had my back turned. cost me $50 to get those carpets cleaned for "free". Now ripoff report is my fave for checking out silly companies like the one you visited. Best done before you go, however. Thank goodness you didn't give them your credit card number!

    Obama 08 :-)

  2. Obama 08? I think you forgot the "just kidding!" part after it =)

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  4. Not all Kirby distribution centers are like that. I live in IN & we run it a little differently.


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