The Job Shadowing From Hell

As many of you may have already read, I recently relocated to a new city.  Since I’ve arrived I’ve been working from home for a company that my sister was able to connect me with. It’s been going pretty great so far, although I’ve been itching to find a full-time job that requires me to work outside of the house.

I searched through every online database, including my friend David’s new site, Work in Miami. After a about a week of applying I finally got a call from a local company. I was pretty excited, even though I must admit that I applied to so many jobs that I didn’t quite remember which one it was.  I accepted to come in for an interview the following week and was excited about the possibilities!

The next week came and I showed up for the interview on Friday morning. It was for a sales position that required presentations, travel and commission-based. I thought, well that’s not what I typically would want to do but I’ll ask questions to find out more.

The interview went great, plus the interviewer was pretty cute. I wasn’t really digging the position but the interviewer said that if I was called for a second interview I would be job shadowing. Awesome, I get to see what it’s all about and if I don’t like it — I never have to come back!

I really was not prepared for what I was going to encounter the following week during my one-day job shadowing. I’ll just bullet the highlights of the day and comment and let me know what your reaction would be!

  • Paired with a high-strung, short blonde tomboy British lady
  • Spent the day driving around a 5-mile radius visiting the most busted places ever
  • First stop: office suite inside an old office building
    • The office suite had scuff marks all over the wall, there was no air conditioning and people spoke Spanish very improperly (Spanish snob). It felt more like the senior citizen clinics my grandma used to take me to in Hialeah when I was a kid
    • At that stop I got the low down of what the job would be: harassing people to buy office supplies (I really had to keep from laughing at the situation I had put myself in)
    • The lady I shadowed badgered people into buying papers, pen, printer toner, antibacterial hand soap, etc. from a catalog and penning it on a carbon copy form
    • We were there for two hours. The expression on the business owners face went from friendly to trying to keep from strangling her
  • Second stop: she suggested we go have a vegetarian lunch (never had one in my life and I don’t think she cared too much that I wasn’t keen on the idea – RUDE!)
    • At this point in the day it was getting smoldering hot outside and I had some of the worst cramps of life and was struggling dressed in full black suit getting in and out of a two-door coupe
    • We ordered food and then she started to harass the poor restaurant owner into buying toilet paper, styrofoam cups, eco-friendly cake containers (he was so visibly uncomfortable)
    • At the end he found a way to get away from her and she left pissed off after she waited for 20 minutes for him to come back (I mean could she not tell he didn’t like her?)
  • Third stop: we visited another office suite inside an old building
    • This time she wanted to talk to the office manager about placing re-orders
    • The workers at the office had no idea who she was and refused to contact the manager since they didn’t want to bother her (they all spoke Spanish)
    • When the Brit wasn’t satisfied with the answer she became hostile with them and asked them to send the manager texts, e-mails, voicemails because she wanted to speak with her
    • Then I was asked by the Brit to tell them what she wanted in Spanish (I wanted to die because as one Latin woman to another — I knew this office lady meant business and was not going to do what the Brit asked of her)
    • I had one overly aggressive Brit-bull (half Brit, half pit bull) staring me down and one Latin lady looking at her like she was crazy and giving me the WTF? face
    • It resulted in everyone being pissed and me having to leave with the Brit
  • Fourth and Final Stop: we visited an industrial/commercial park and made several different visits
    • At one stop, we were yelled at for stopping by since I guess the Brit-Bull had been informed to show up the following day (that was awkward)
    • At the other stops, no one wanted to buy anything from her catalogue and it was so clear to me but she kept pressing on to the point that they wanted her to go away
      • P.S. I was beginning to think that her interpersonal skills were a bit questionable
  • Back to the main office
    • I was asked to fill out a form on my experience and whether or not I was interested in taking the position. I was honest, I said no.
    • I told the interviewer, thank you but no thank you. I admire what you guys do (b.s.) but this is not for me — he understood and I skipped gleefully to my air-conditioned car and unbuttoned my pants! Hallelujah!

Needless to say, I won’t be entertaining the thought of any sales positions in the near future. I think for now I’ll stick with Marketing and Design — there’s air conditioning there, I can wear comfy pants, and I won’t be forced to eat what I don’t want to!

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