The Vacuum Cleaner CEO
The CEO of a Vacuum Cleaner company was impatient with the poor job his salespeople were doing, so one day he decided to do the job himself!
“My salespeople just don’t know how to sell vacuums!” he said. “I will show them how to make a sale!”
On a cold winter morning he pulled up to an old house in his Mercedes Benz and knocked confidently on the door. A little old barefoot man wearing overalls and an old baseball cap on his head answered the knock on the door, only to be confronted by the very well dressed and dignified CEO in a $2,000 navy blue pin-striped business suit, a Hermes silk tie, a starched white shirt with monogrammed cufflinks, $800 Italian shoes polished like black mirrors, a black cashmere overcoat and carrying a vacuum cleaner.
“Good morning,” said the impeccably groomed CEO. “I am the CEO of Quality Express Vacuums! If I could take a couple of minutes of your time, sir, I would like to demonstrate the very latest in high-powered vacuum cleaners.”
“Get lost, Mister fancy suit!” said the old man in a very angry voice. “I haven’t got any money. Get out of here!” and he proceeded to close the door.
Quick as a flash, the CEO wedged his highly polished Italian shoe in the door and pushed it all the way open.
“Don’t be too hasty, sir!” he said proudly as he walked into the house. He took off his overcoat. “Not until you have at least seen my demonstration. If you will allow me!”
The old man again told him to get lost. And with that, the CEO emptied a bucket of mud all over his living room carpet.
“I will make a bet with you, sir! Any amount! If this vacuum cleaner does not remove all traces of this mess from your carpet, sir, I will pay up! I am the CEO! You have my GUARANTEE! Just name your price!”
“I don’t want yer money, suit boy” said the old man angrily. “I told you take your Armonte suit and get out!”
But the CEO corrected him, “That is ARMANI. And I am going to clean up all of the mud I dropped! If you don’t want money, what DO you want? Just name it!”
The old man looked the CEO up and down, and then up and down again. His angry face broke into a sly grin:
“Alright, suit boy, here’s the bet: if you don’t clean it all up, YOU HAVE TO SWAP those fancy clothes of yours fer what I got on. It looks to me like we’re about the same size. Now I don’t JUST mean your nice Armani suit. I mean EVERYTHING you got on: that pretty tie, those shiny shoes, yer white shirt, yer belt, everything! Even yer socks. And all you get are my overalls and my cap in return. Nothin’ else. Deal suit boy?”
“My clothes?!” said the CEO in surprise. “You want me to bet all of my CLOTHES? I’ve never done that before! Well, I didn’t expect that, but of course, that’s fine! I’ll give you all my clothes if I don’t clean up every bit of dirt!”
His smiled beamed with confidence.
“Oh – And I get that fine overcoat you came in with! And I’ll take yer wristwatch.. And yer cufflinks. And you gotta wear my cap, too, OK Armani boy?” said the old man.
“Of course! My Omega Seamaster! And my cufflinks! And my coat!” the CEO chuckled. “Now I will get to work..”
“Lemme ask you somethin’, pinstripes… Where are you goin’ when you leave here?”
The CEO answered in an arrogant voice: “To a business conference! You would never have heard of it. I have a very important presentation! WHY?”
“Will they let do your very important presentation in yer bare feet?” said the old man.
“Of course not! But I have no intention of showing up in my bare feet!” said the surprised CEO. “But what…”
“How much did you pay for those socks you’ve got on? I had my eye on them” asked the old man.
“Thirty dollars” said the bewildered CEO.
“I ain’t never worn thirty dollar socks before!” said the old man. “It will be kinda hard for a big shot like you to wear overalls in place of a fancy suit to work, I guess! They won’t recognize you, suit boy! But there’s always a first time!” said the old man.
“WHAT?!” said the confused CEO. He was getting nervous. He saw the old man staring at his shoes.
“What do you call them shiny shoes? Are they Eyetalian?” said the old man.
“Yes, they are Ferragamos, but why are you….?” and the CEO was even more bewildered.
“Sounds good to me. And will you show how me to tie a necktie? And how to work them cufflinks?” said the old man…
One hour later, the door of the apartment opened, and the CEO carefully looked out. Seeing that no one was around, his foot appeared.
A bare foot. There was no polished Italian shoe on it this time.
He stepped out into the hallway – now dressed only in very dirty overalls, and barefoot. His expensive executive suit, shoes, shirt and tie had vanished, along with his confidence and dignity.
"WAIT!" snapped the old man, and pointed to the CEO's wrist.
The old man reached over and tore the watch off his wrist.
“Just one more thing!” said the old man with a laugh.
The old man planted his dirty hat on the CEO’s impeccably groomed gelled hair.
“Now you can go!”
The old man watched the humiliated CEO run away to his car with a grin, admiring the expensive Armani pinstriped suit and silk tie he had just acquired.
“Come again sir! Any time!” he called out, laughing.
“Be careful you don’t freeze the soles of yer feet on a cold day like this! And don’t put yer toes in the dirty snow SIR!”
He then sat down and pulled on the CEO’s thirty dollar silk socks and then eased his feet into the former owner’s mirror-shined Italian shoes. He admired the beautiful watch that now belonged to him.
“Now I gotta see about payin’ that electric bill…”