I am not entirely sure if I posted this last week but what’s Thursday I went for a job interview with, of all places, and mobile phone shop.
I hate sales, I hate people and I specially hate salespeople. So what prompted me to go for a job in an environment where I know I’m going to most likely fail? I have no idea.
Well, that is not technically true.
I happen to know that this particular independent chain of mobile phone stores only has one person per shop.
Being a manager of the shop and working on my own is kind of my thing I think.
For the first few minutes of the interview well actually more like the first half of the interview he could not have been any less interested in me.
It was only when he started asking about me my personality and the saw things I like is when he took interest in me. Then there was the inevitable role-play of trying to convert a punter who was coming off the streets into a shop to buy a mobile phone.
I completely blacked my way through this and the only bit I struggled on was my closing which I says yes that is a big weakness of mine (trying not to get the job) but then coming out with the line I am here for a challenge and to learn.
Despite my best efforts at seeming disinterested and almost bordering on being slow I was incredibly surprised at the end of the interview he said to me if you didn’t have any more people to interview he would give me the job here and now.
I should go into more about this position. The hours are 8:45 AM to 5:45 PM six days a week. There are no use at lunch breaks other than “grab a bite when you calm”.
As a “manager” I would start the day by checking the till drawer, preparing the shop and then getting ready for the sales day.
When not dealing with anyone in the shop I would be making outbound calls to try and get customers to sign up over the phone.
Being located where I am I was hoping to get a job in the store which is about a 30 minute commute for me well more like 40 minutes depending on traffic.
So I was a little bit shocked to hear that not only will I be working in that store but other stores are going to take at least an hour and a half to drive to. That’s an hour and a half each way nought in total. When you start getting near peak season you can expect that to be at least two hours.
From doing some investigation online is a thankless and boring job. The shops themselves really are nothing to look out and are in need hosting the dire makeover stuff. When he asked me what do I think of the stores in interview I told him straight the although and lacked any branding, marketing or any calls to action in short it looks like a pop-up shop which is going to go bust anytime soon.
Yes in case you’re wondering I did actually say that.
The shop that I was hoping to get the positioning as I said is about a 40 minute commute away with a high Street that has a particularly low foot fall so as you might imagine not many people are going to come into a shop that looks a little bit dilapidated.
Reading between the lines this means there’s going to be a great deal of outbound sales calls something I feel incredibly uncomfortable doing and I am not very good at. This is or by the by as there is the training to deal with.
Training takes one month and will involve six days a week of travelling for an hour and a bit each way again being the store for 8:45 AM and leaving at 5:45 PM.
Now I know I’ve been unemployed for six months and beggars can’t be choosers but for working those hours for six days a week I would only be taking home £17,000 per year. Of course they do say there is the potential for major overtime earnings but one thing I forgot to ask in interview is how long do they keep people in stores that they don’t think are performing or living up to expectation.
In other words what is the churn rate of staff like.
£17,000 isn’t the best wage in the world but it is better than nothing however take into account that it is quite likely that I will be doing 500 miles per week and even with the price of fuel being as it is you not exactly ending up with much in the bank balance at the end of the month.
It might sound like I’m making excuses but my car is a 2003 Ford focus diesel with 110,000 on the clock which is going to need some pretty good care and attention doing those sort of miles.
Another thing is I need to ask them about the churn rate. My main worry is not putting myself through all of the stress of getting up early, getting home late and all that sort of stuff but how long do I realistically expect to stay in that job.
In my mind if I am going to face this much upheaval then maybe I am better off getting a job somewhere in the city that pays a hell of a lot more than taking the hit on some cheap bed and breakfast accommodation.
Other things about this job.
As a “independent” phone shop they basically get all of their best money and commission through selling phones on the EE network.
The focus of the job is to really get anyone who comes into the store to buy a phone whether or not they think they need one.
You see this is where I have another problem and this sounds incredibly like the problems of a first world problem.
EE really doesn’t offer the best contracts on the market right now.
I know, I’ve done my research and they are just hellishly expensive. I have to admire their business model though. Give people the ability to have 4G superfast Internet connections cough, couple that with meagre data rates and then make your money of charging people for when they go over their data limits. Anyways as my batteries about to die and go to wrap this post up. On Friday afternoon horse driving to some friends to relax I got a phone call at 5:30 saying congratulations I have the job and that Mike, of the manager of the group, would give me a call back on Saturday.
Saturday came and went Sunday came and almost went but I did get a message from him at 8:30 PM in the evening.
Further plays at least he’s contacting me at the weekend but it means that on Monday I have a particularly difficult conversation to have.
In my interview I said I would need a weeks notice to get things sorted out.
As there is just under two weeks until Christmas I have a very big hunch is going to pull me into a store, or at least try to, this week if I take the job.
If he does try that tactic at least I know a measure of the guy but then again who am I to speak. It’s not like I have been inundated with opportunities-ish year and what opportunities I have had, well all of them have been pretty much squandered.
Anyways, going to try and get a decent nights sleep tonight. Let’s see what tomorrow brings.