April 01, 2005

Dave, the April fool?

OK so I’m afraid. I had my first day out in the field selling electricity, or rather attempting to sell electricity since no one bought any off me. Worst case scenario is that if I don’t improve quickly my savings will all be gone in the next couple of weeks and I crawl home broke and demoralized. Best case scenario is that I can make enough money to get the record label up & running and can travel further next year, while having a fun time in Melbourne.

The job seems to be ideal for the half dozen cute little Oirish gairls who joined – they all got two or three sales on their first day. Being a slightly older male, over six foot tall and with a less obvious foreign accent isn’t necessarily a bad thing as several of the more established guys fit that description. The CEO is 25. The company’s going through an expansion period and the good salespeople are raking in insane amounts of money. I don’t have any aspirations to ‘make it’ in the corporate world. All I wanted was a job which would let me save a bit, and preferably something vaguely connected to my interests and/or with some time outdoors. This job has the outdoor element (walking around the suburbs) and getting people to reduce CO2 emissions is a worthy goal (even if it’s only drop-in-the-bucket stuff – if we’re all serious about reducing greenhouse gases then the most effective thing to do would be cut out air travel!).

On the other hand, the one job I told myself a few years ago I’d never do was sales. Something weird happened yesterday – we went out to the nearby small town of Warragul and passed a bush fire on the way. There were four patches of thick smoke coming from the hillsides. By late afternoon the sky was hazy and the sun had gone a strange pink colour – dimmed enough to look at. There were small pieces of ash falling like snow. All very cinematic, suggesting a character’s journey into damnation. Was that me? What have I done wrong? And aren’t I supposed to become king of the world or something in exchange first? Or more likely bush fires are just something that happen here and I should think about the people, and flora & fauna, who might have been directly affected by the blaze. Did the fire service manage to put it out? We should find out today.

One day’s work plus two days training and I still haven’t earned a cent – training is paid but not until we make ten sales. I guess I’m pretty naïve, and fell for the (American) recruitment guy’s pitch, hook line & sinker. If I get nothing else out of it at least it’s a warning to be more careful in future. The way he described it, you visit existing customers to notify them they’re being switched to green power and have earned a loyalty rebate – “the job’s a license to print money”. And he actually said we’re not selling anything, which is just blatant dishonesty. The reality is more challenging. But not insurmountable. I’ll give it another shot today, and if worst comes to worst I hear the jobs section of the Melbourne Age on Saturdays is a centimetre thick…

Posted by fiffdimension at April 1, 2005 12:12 PM | TrackBack

You are right - the Age on Saturdays has an ENORMOUS job section. Also try (if you haven't already).


If you want to tweak people's consciences, I believe you would not be lying if you told them that Victoria has the dirtiest power stations in Australia - this, in the country that has the highest per capita CO2 emissions in the world.

I don't think windfarms will fix this, but you don't need to say that...

Good luck!

Posted by: Mr Smithers at April 1, 2005 01:28 PM

It's an omen, dude. Down the way of sales lies madness.

Or not. It'll all work out either way.

Posted by: Sister Novena at April 1, 2005 02:26 PM
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