11/26/2004: "and now for something completely different"
I've been in a pretty bad mood recently, as you've no doubt noticed. It's not like I'm being a bitch queen or anything, I've just been really unhappy with my "career" and what's happening to it. This may be why I'm actually excited about what's going to happen next week: the wholesale abandonment of my profession.
Today I went for an "interview" at a company that specializes in retail training for the automotive industry. This place assesses people's personalities, determines whether they are suitable to become car salespeople (or to what degree they are suitable), and then gives them an intensive training course on how to become an effecitve saleperson. The thought of car sales has skittered across my consciousness a few times in the past couple of years, so I figured today would be a perfect time to finally put it to rest. I fully expected/feared that I would go in, do the assessement, and they'd come back and kindly say, "Gee, you're a great guy, but you'll never make it in car sales in a million years. Go back to engineering," and that would be that.
You can imagine my utter surprise when they said pretty much the exact opposite instead. They read a description of my personality profile, and it was bang-on. They then proceeded to tell me why my personality works well for car sales, with the exception of one flaw. Luckily, it's a flaw that can be trained out. What's more, their personality profile make them think that I'm actually not cut out for engineering at all.
I know what you're thinking - because my wife already thought it and expressed it to me this afternoon when I talked to her. "Of course they're going to tell you that you're cut out for car sales, so they can get your money to train you! How do you really know who these people are? How do you know they've been around as long as they have?" She's leary, and I can't blame her. However, I'm convinced that everything is on the up-and-up.
First, the course fee is $1500. That seems like a lot, but in reality it's not, especially when they do classes of a maximum of 10 people at a time, only once a month. Were course fees their main source of income, I would think they'd pack in a lot more people more frequently. Second, they have no reason to take my money and have me fail in the industry. If I go out and try to find a job and fail, their training fails along with me. Third, they gave me names and numbers of past students, and even the General Manager of a local dealership to call and confirm that they're legit (which I did). In short, I think they're representing themselves honestly.
What's even a bit exciting, after my late-morning interview with them, I got home and e-mailed my résumé to them, something I had neglected to do before I met with them. Only a couple hours later, I get a reply from them, telling me that they've already spoken to a General Manager in my area that would like to meet with me, should I decide to take the course. It lends a LOT of credibility to their claim of 99% placement.
So, starting this coming Monday, I'll be on a 6-day training course to become a car salesman. With a little bit of good fortune, I'll even have a dealership (or two) waiting for me the following week, ready for me to start. This is going to be... interesting.