Aladdin’s Cave.


I’ve lost Fiat! This is slightly embarrassing, I’ve trailed the whole length of the monolithic trading estate from Mercedes on the way in, to the huge Comet warehouse on the far side, without success. I spot a massive Ford dealership which I recognise as being part of the same group as the Fiat operation and swing in to ask someone. A salesman is crossing the car park and I roll to a halt next to him and wind down the electric window. A friendly fellow, he carefully describes to me exactly where to find it. And, err, it’s across the road from Mercedes. Oops!

I pick my way back across the vast sprawl of the estate toward where I started. In my defence, the entrance to Mercedes is off of the service road at the back of the dealership, the Fiat to the other side of the main road that passes the front, so I couldn’t have seen it as I came in.

Ten minutes later I’m backing into a spot in their car park and heading inside. I have to admit that of all the dealerships involved in my job quest so far, Fiat probably excites me least. The new 500 is a funky little mover, but the rest of the range is pretty insipid and the idea of a Panda or Punto company car doesn’t exactly fill me with joy either. Still, a jobs a job and if nothing else it would give me motor trade experience which may open doors elsewhere in the future, so right now applying is a no brainer.

I head for the entrance of the modestly sized modern showroom and explain my position to the slim. I’ve just missed the sales manager apparently but he’ll be back in two minutes. Sure enough he’s back amongst us in no time, an enthusiastic young chap, he shakes my hand and takes my CV. We have a quick chit chat stood in the showroom and then he’s off again. Good enough, we’ve made contact, mission accomplished.

As I nose out of the estate I pass a large showroom that’s been standing empty for months since the last incumbent went wheels up in the early onslaught of the recession last year. Bit of an enigma this one, it’s been ghostly quiet ever since, but recently the odd exotic car has quietly appeared and sat in the empty showroom keeping a wilting pot plant company. First an AMG Mercedes SL, then a Ferrari appeared out of no where. I’d made a couple of enquiries but no one seemed to know the score. But as I passed it this time it seemed to have sprung into life. There were even more cars, a brace of Bentley’s and a Porsche 911 Turbo amongst them, but more than that the lights were on and there was movement inside. What the hell, faint heart never won fair, err, job.

I swing the Polite Hatchback round the roundabout at the end of the estate and head back in, pulling into the almost empty car park populated only by a new Range Rover and a BMW Z4.

Walking into the showroom is like walking into an automotive Aladdin’s Cave. A rare Ferrari F430 Scuderia is tucked against the back wall and one of the Bentleys is a GT Convertible, roof stowed showing off rich magnolia leather upholstery and deeply lacquered walnut. This is serious kit!

A couple are talking to a fair haired stocky man in the middle of the showroom, and he excuses himself from them and approaches me. I ask if I could speak with the sales manager and am told that he isn’t currently available and asked the nature of my visit. I explain my business, give a very quick resume of my experiences in sales to date, pushing hard the point that I am well versed in dealing with the sort of high end customer attracted to these sorts of cars, most of my previous clients had vehicles of this calibre tucked away in the garages at home. He explains that they aren’t officially open for another month, but that he’ll gladly take my CV and pass it on. I leave him to return to his conversations with the other couple and with a last long wistful look at that Bentley I leave. I may be completely wrong, but I’ve a suspicion I may have been talking to the new owner of these premises. That won’t have hurt my chances any.

Heading home I feel I’ve chalked up a good day in all. The Ford situation couldn’t possibly have gone better. The Mercedes situation was as good as it was realistically ever likely to be, Fiat had been fine, and the supercar garage an unexpected and most welcome bonus.

At home I return the suit to its carrier and fire off emails to the Mercedes sales manager backing up the letter I’d dropped in, and the Ford sales manager thanking him for his time. Doesn’t hurt to keep yourself on the radar.

Whilst still jobless, at least I feel as though I’m now dangling my hook in a pond that has a few fish in it.

Lets see if any of them bite.


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