Only been unemployed for 6 weeks but already started acquiring some classic symptoms of lacklustre self-neglect. Like wearing stupidly bright novelty clothing, odd socks and unwashed hair (alright you got me I did that before in jobs but more subtly or only under my shirt). Bermuda shorts & curry-derived dishes all day are only the surface conditions. These would be but small sacrifices to avoid should I reinstate my contribution to society any time soon compared to what CAN be asked of you as a mere mortal petty wage slave as I was soon to discover…
Take the other week I had this 8 HOUR field interview to become a property insulation surveyor who shall remain nameless which they often do when giant Doberman dogs and bald pasty single blokes who obviously wank too much never let you finish. This rather rapidly became more of a shared self-review which left me revisiting more questions from my internal monologue than the other guy who occasionally kept interrupting. Like dead cryptic morally-dubious questions such as “Am I a ‘people who like to meet people’ person or more of a ‘person who dies the second he greets people’ person???” which only left my thinking I generally swing whole-bodily toward the latter with members of that all-too-easy club to join: The General Public. Man, that committee must have really let their standards slip. Here’s Danny Devito’s brother presumably trying to unload some of his tremendous but permanently blinding limoncello.
Little did I know that this all-day ‘interview’ shadowing a 4 month old door-to-door surveyor would be primarily based in the back of a speeding Peugeot, sat kerbside opposite a Bulwell residential estate and in a bus stop by myself escaping the perpetual drizzle.
This energy surveying company’s field staff consisted of ever-expanding armies of young go-getting cocksure big-eared boys dressed as groups of men with motors around the side of Carpet Warehouse alongside The Vat & Fiddle (which frankly I’d much rather be shadowing for field research). Their eyes were all agleam with the promise of fat stacks of sycophantic salary bonuses within the first few months as they fan out nationwide into suburban streets like an unrivalled mafia but with less sense of style and shit half-mullet hair.
I was asked how much I’d like to earn as a campaign manager which I could supposedly become over the next 10-12 months. I was asked to write down the 20 qualities a manager should have and also to provide 10 strengths and 10 weaknesses. My GREATEST weakness is a total lack of any upper-body strength resulting in those fake press-ups done on your knees. This can be compartmentalised i.e. broken down further by limb to provide the other 9 necessary. I assumed my own strengths and weaknesses were not related to this demigod of a flawless and divine leader they asked me to describe. Ordinarily I would’ve sensed a Manson Family or Scientology cult-like mentality and allowed my bullshit detector to direct me home but I had met the gaffer the previous day upstairs in Costa Coffee for an interview. This in itself may have been a test as there are now chains like these on practically every major high street in town which are just perfect for setting up a business above unnoticed when they more than match office hours. “Guess that’ll be lunch at my desk again” where the only staff incentives are free sugarcubes.
Here’s what i imagined the other side of the door every time i watched my trainer colleague knock:
Seriously though, it was a sales job in all but name and nothing like that movie I once sneaked downstairs to watch as a scrawny acne-ridden adolescent on Channel 5 @ 10.50pm one friday night: Secrets of a Door to Door Salesman. Although I am of the belief that most folk are inherently good in their motives but have had their trust tested, on the surface they’re usually dicks in the interim.
Mmmm that’s good pressed word