Friday, March 10, 2006

G2, G3, G4 and G6

A long time ago, when my oldest was a newborn, I worked as a salesperson for Kirby Vacuums. Kirby vacuums, or Kirbys, were $1500 vacuum cleaners that had a million attachments, and could only be purchased through a salesperson that came to your house. In between sales pitches, we would walk up to people's houses, knock on the door, and tell them that we were a new business in the area, and were giving away some free prizes as a way to promote our business. We would step away from the door, and then step back, telling the homeowner that we forgot to get their phone number.

A few days later, the home owner would get a call, letting them know that they had won a free carpet cleaning for two of their rooms. All they needed to do was watch a short sales presentation, and then they would get the carpets cleaned for free.

When we arrived at the house, we would begin our pitch. Our two hour pitch. The presentation was designed with one thought in mind; make the person who lived in the house feel like they are the dirtiest person you have ever met. Instead of a bag, we would use the vaccine with a white filter, and each surface that we would vaccine, from the floor to the couch to the drapes to the beds, would be filthy.
There were about 100 attachments, and the vaccine, which weighed about 16 pounds, had some kind of transmission built in to make it easier to push.

Like I said, the vacuums were $1500, but if a customer liked them, they could finance them for about $60 a month, or negotiate us down to about $900.

I was not the most successful kirby salesman ever, although I did sell one to a guy who had no carpet, but liked the job it did on his couch so much that he bought one.

After the presentation, we would use the rug cleaner attachment, and shampoo the two rooms as promised. The name of the vacuum was the Kirby G-4, a replacement model for the Kirby G-3.

I told you that story so I could tell you this one.

A few weeks ago I got a discount card from Office Max. Take $10 off a $20 purchase or higher.

I like pens. Actually, I really like pens. Its not love, but its close. I prefer really smooth writing pens that glide effortlessly on paper. And I really super-like gel pens. Because a good gel pen writes the smoothest.

The thing is, I also like to chew pens. And I lose pens. So I am much better off with ten for a dollar bic pens than four for six dollar gel pens.

But I had this coupon, which meant, as I did the math in my head, that the pens I really liked were half price if I bought $20 worth of pens.

And so I went to Office Max for some pen shopping.

One of the gel pens I like is the Pilot G2. It writes smoothly, and usually dries by the time your hand goes over it. I was definitely going to get some of those. And then I saw it. Hanging in the pen section right near the G2, the G-6.

The G6, I reasoned, based on my Kirby experience, must be a vastly superior pen to the G2. The G2 pen was 4.99 for a four pack, but they were running a special. Buy two packs, get one free. The G6 pens were 6.99 for a four pack, but they were throwing in a free red G2 into the deal.

Being the math whiz that I am, I figured I could get 12 G2 pens for 10 bucks, but with my $10 of $20 purchase card, it was really only 5 bucks. And doing the math further, that came out to about 40 cents a pen.

The G6 pens were more expensive, but with the half off card I was only paying about 80 cents a pen.

So I came home, very excitedly, with my G2 and G6 pens, as well as some Sharpies, and I hid them from my kids so that they don't lose my good pens.

And then I tested them. First the G2, then the G6. And they were the same. The G6 had a fatter barrel, but the ink cartridge was the exact same as the G2.

After my Kirby experiences, I had grown to expect that the higher number product would be a superior product, not an identical product with a fat bottom.

I am really disappointed with the G6. And I think it is taking away from my G2 experience, because maybe, on a much deeper level, I am not disappointed with the pens but with the company that made the pens and sold me a bill of goods.

The other day I received a new $10 off a $20 purchase, and my eyes lit up. Time to go get more pens.


Blogger Krunk said...

Well,at least it's only a pen fetish and not anything more.

March 10, 2006 3:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

are you crazy?

March 12, 2006 3:00 AM  
Blogger Air Time said...

whats crazy about wanting a good pen, and being disappointed when it doesn't meet expectations.

March 13, 2006 7:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hee. since you like biting pens, then i guess the larger rubber makes it a good bite? :) at least that's probably then makes it worth your while to pay a bit more.
Why bite your expensive pens i ask. but i do that too. And to be honest, i really prefer the biting of the "button" at the back of a G6 compared to the g2 which somehow keeps slipping away from your teeth bite.

hahaha. anyway, enjoy your G6. it feels good holding the more expensive pen rather than a cheapo bic!

March 13, 2006 12:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if u gals love your pens, why do u bite them. strange!

March 13, 2006 11:48 PM  
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