Ya gotta be careful when you're job-hopping because it is very easy to jump out of the frying pan and land in the fire. Employers like to bitch and moan about candidates lying on their resumes... but half those bastards lie like hell when they think they can poach a good employee from another company. They'll tell you this and that about what a great opportunity they have for you - and when you take the job it turns out to be nothing like they said. Been there, done that, bought the tee shirt. Guys that do that deserve the firing squad.
So I went in and half the inside guys are milling around in shorts and doing nothing. The phones are quiet. The manager comes down, we shake hands and go up to his office to get down to business. Turns out he's a new manager himself - only been there three months. The scoop was that when Alberta's economy dived, the ass hats back at head office panicked, decided that all their guys (who had previously been setting sales records during the boom) - were suddenly incompetent and needed to be fired. But let us not use such vulgar terms! They downsized, reorganized, and streamlined - and are now in need of some top flight technical sales guys for their line of precision tools. This was only an informal meeting where they would sit down with potential candidates and then call back the ones they were seriously considering for a more in depth interview.
I asked him what tools I would have if I got the job - they have a huge product line. So he started reaming off 'tools' that were more conducive to management micromanaging their employees than they were for a salesman trying to do his job. I didn't try to BS him, and told him that I would need training and time to get up to speed and if they weren't in a position to give me that - I would like to thank him for his time and pass. I told him that there was a recession on - how soon did they expect tangible results? "Why - almost immediately!"
"So, Filthie, what other questions do you have?" I replied that was it for now, and would have more if we both decided to go the next step and meet again for a second interview. The manager said I could probably expect a call back today because I looked pretty good for the job so far - but he still had some candidates to meet. "Fair enough," I said, and we shook hands and I showed myself out. On the way out there were more guys downstairs now, BSing and standing around.
Hmmmmmm. Let us summarize:
- they met an unexpected downturn and fired all their muscle. From the looks of the guys downstairs, they left much of the fat. That is a deal breaker for me right there.
- inexperienced manager, hiring for a job/company that he himself is not an expert on? The industrial specialty tools racket is a small world, I know guys that do this stuff and are experts with the various product lines. Why aren't they lining up to join this company?
- This manager told me the territory I would take had the potential for millions, if properly managed. They base that on what, exactly? (I know better than to ask).
I'm gonna pass on this one and keep looking. I already work for assholes but the senior management is at least partially on my side so I may as well stay where I'm at for now. Don't think I will go for a second interview either: the way I am reading things is that they have idiots in senior management that know everything, and they promptly shot themselves in the foot when the boom went bust in Alberta. If I don't miss my guess, they're reloading and are going to shoot themselves in the balls next. To do what I do ya have to have professional sales skill sets, a mechanical aptitude and a familiarity with the product, the tradesmen that use them and the job they do. You can't train somebody like that in school - guys like that can only be made with OTJT - 'on the job training'. It's expensive, time consuming and doesn't pay off for at least a year or two. Only senior management idiots are talking about expansion and increasing market share in this economic climate. For our customers, and therefore, for us - everything right now is about survival. You can't expect to parachute an inexperienced guy into a market like that and expect him to succeed. I strongly suspect this manager has been put in exactly that position, and he will put whoever he hires in that boat too.
No thanks. This is a job for somebody with no commitment to the company, and is in it only until he finds a better job somewhere else.
But - at least I got called for an interview and it is nice to know I can get reasonable temporary work if I need it.