Film: Hired!

Joel: We're going to have leadership the way my old man taught me! You - put a handkerchief on your head! You - swat at imaginary elves! You - rock on the porch all night!

Hired! is a short Instructional Film produced by The Jam Handy Organization for Chevrolet sales managers just before World War II (it features 1941 model year cars). The basic plot concerns a sales manager named Mr. Warren, who despairs over the fact that his salesmen (particularly his newest, Jimmy) haven't sold a single car. After a somewhat strange talk with his father, Mr. Warren decides to work more closely with his salesmen, thus solving his problem.

This short is viewable at the Internet Archive. For the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes featuring this short film see here (Part1) and here (Part 2).

This short provides examples of:

  • An Aesop: Obviously, the lessons Mr. Warren presents at the end.
  • Captain Obvious Aesop: Hiring a man with no relevant experience and then not giving him any training beyond basic info on the product will not result in an effective salesman even if he is personable and hard-working. Especially if you then leave him to his own devices and don't supervise him at all. The beginning of the second part is the senior Mr. Warren pointing out what a stupid oversight this was.
    • That said, several managers of car dealerships use the MST3K version as a funny educational film, as it does have good points.
  • Technology Marches On: Remember the days when salesmen would visit potential clients door-to-door?
    • MST3K makes some hay of the fact that they were doing this on foot. It would in fact have been feasible to cold-call 1941 customers and give a test-drive on the spot - that year's Chevy car line consisted of one platform in one size (the Chevrolet, 113" wb) with one engine (216cid/3.5L, 90hp) and one transmission (3-sp. manual with vacuum-assist column shift). With eight platforms (not even counting trucks and SUVs) in their 2012 line, each with at least two powertrain variants, there's literally no way of knowing what people on a given day might want a spin in.
      • Except for the price of gas. Please notice that Jimmy isn't visiting people door-to-door - he has sales leads. Jimmy is not exactly selling cars - he's trying to convince owners of old Chevys to trade in their old cars and buy new ones (hence the line, "We hope you'll buy your next ten cars here!")
      • '41 was the last full model year before WW2 ended civilian car production. After that, a sellers' market for the rest of the '40s would make the kind of effort seen in here totally unnecessary. After that, powertrain and platform proliferation started. Bascially, Chevy wasted their money on this film, save for the sales technique advice. For example, it's standard when giving people a test drive to let them have control of the car so they can get an emotional attachment.
  • Travelling Salesman Montage
  • Won't Take "Yes" for an Answer: Mr. Warren rebuking one his salesmen on his technique - after he'd actually made the sale.
    • It's proper to fine tune a salesman's technique - or anyone learning a new craft. Being successful when using wrong technique is not good reinforcement.