Post interview.


I arrive back in my home town mid afternoon. I’ve one more mission to carry out before going home, today is my signing on day and a call to tell them that I’ll be attending an interview at my usual signing on time was met with a request that I call in later or the next day, so might as well get it over with.

Leaving the Polite Hatchbak in a nearby car park I saunter down the road and cross over to the job centre. I’m actually having to sign on every week now for six weeks as some sort of punishment for the fact that I’m still claiming. It’s supposed to be so that they can “assist” me in my job search which in practice means they look up jobs on the very same site I access from home. Farcical.

So there I am, in my suit, sat on a cheap sweaty chair next to a cheap sweaty woman in a cheap sweaty shell suit being stared at by a vacant lad in a baseball cap and a bloke with so many tattoos that his arms look disfigured from a distance. Eventually my name gets called and I park myself in front of an “advisor”. She asks how the interview went and I tell her well, I think, but the proof, as ever, will be in the proverbial pudding. “Well we just need to run through a couple of the jobs available” she says, angling her computer screen so that we can both see it. On the screen are three jobs, all clearly identical. “What about this?” she chimes chirpily, clicking her mouse on the job. I look at the job description aghast. Now I don’t want to sound precious about this, but I’m sat there in a Paul Smith suit, Thomas Pink shirt and Armani silk tie, a four figure Baume & Mercier automatic chronograph on my wrist, having been a sales manager for twenty years responsible for six and seven figure sales, and on my way back from a promising interview with Mercedes-Benz. And she’s asking me if I’d like to consider flogging “household wares” (mops and buckets in other words) door to door for commission only? Don’t get me wrong, I’m prepared to be realistic, I’m well aware that it’s tough times out there, heck I was looking for jobs stacking shelves in Sainsburys a couple of weeks ago (and am well aware that it still might come to that). But come on! This is the sum contribution of the multi billion pound government empire tasked with getting people like myself back into work is it??

I bristle indignantly and seriously consider sharing this thought process with the poor clerk in front of me in a tone of ever increasing tenor and strength until I end up at a pitch that only dogs would hear. Instead I give her a look that Granny C would have been proud of and say quietly “I’m not sure that’s quite my thing”. The poor girl visibly shrinks in front of me. “Err, yes, no, well, perhaps not” she flusters, quickly closing down the job window on her screen. I continue to glare at her belligerently. I know it’s not her fault but she really is in the wrong place at the wrong time right now. She completes the rest of the sign on process in under ten seconds and I’m out of there, blood pressure gradually returning to normal.

Back home the very first thing I do is fire off a polite businesslike email to Mercedes, addressing it to the Sales Manager and copying it to the HR Manager, thanking them for their time and the opportunity, and radiating my enthusiasm for the company and the role. I finish off by saying that I look forward very much to hearing from them and click “send”.

That done I absentmindedly open the Internet browser and click on Mercedes. They really are the most beautiful cars. I begin to ponder what I might get as a company car if I land this job. I start looking at the C Class saloon before metaphorically slapping myself about the chops. Come on man, don’t be silly, this is completely premature and utterly tempting fate. Shut it down at once!

About an hour later I lean back from the keyboard, tilting my chair and stretching thoughtfully. Yes, that’s about the size of it.

Mercedes Benz C220Cdi Sport saloon. Automatic transmission, sunroof, parking sensors, heated seats, metallic paint, and a Harman Kardon hi fi upgrade. In black. With cream leather upholstery.

I click the browser shut. Time for dinner I think…


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