Small Victories and Massive Defeats

Small Victories and Massive Defeats

My Dad once told me that life is full of small victories and massive defeats – I think it was meant to be some sort of motivational talk right before I left for university – and I have to say, I think I agree with him. This post is about my recent small victory/massive defeat escapade and I can’t decide whether to give you the bad news or the good news first…

…I think I’ll go with the bad news as it’s always better to bring people down before you bring them up. It’s just cruel the other way around and besides, being brought down before you’re brought up makes the ups so much better.

(I realise none of you will actually care that much to be brought down or up, but whatevz).

So. The Massive Defeat:

Today I had an extremely swanky interview at a marketing company. I had reached the last stage and I was in with a chance of earning £22 000 a year so I was pretty excited. I was picturing myself as Mrs Business Executive – the kind of woman who wears six inch high heels (too big for a shoe, pathetically small for a sandwich), pencil skirts, and complains about things like the  corporate department, manufacturing costs, and systematic data analysis control (ok, I made that one up). But five minutes into the interview, my dreams pretty much crashed and burned.

Goodbye Mrs Business executive.

The first question I was asked was whether I had ever heard of TalkTalk. I had. They were my internet provider last year and they were SHIT and that’s what I told the scary lady (without the expletives, of course). The scary lady, looking a bit uncomfortable, then said, “That’s who we’re representing at the moment.”

Bridget Jones FUUUUUUUCK.

I then back peddled like CRAZY, exclaiming that they were actually pretty good and I got what I paid for, but I don’t think she was fooled. She then asked me how much I think they paid for their t.v. advert, sponsoring the x-factor. Now, I’m not good with figures at the best of times, let alone under pressure, and I always feel that with these sorts of questions they want you to get it wrong. So I was wanting to say billions, but I thought that was a bit extreme so I went in the other direction and said, £10 000. She then looked at me like I was a little bird poo on top of some dog poo on top of some dirty chewing gum on the pavement and said, “Em, try about 3.6 MILLION”.

Remaining positive, I thought there was still a chance that I could win her over, but when we got the TalkTalk trailer (they said we would be taken to an “event”, but this was literally just a freezing cold trailer in the middle of Leith Walk), things took a turn for the worse. She gave me a whole host of questions and I had to write down my answers on the notebook I had a forgotten (oopsies). They were questions like ‘What’s direct marketing’; ‘What’s indirect marketing’; ‘What’s five pros and cons of each’; ‘What does the law of average mean’; ‘Why did our business double during the recession…’?

Well, I didn’t have a clue. Seriously, my answers were appalling. In answer to that last question, I actually wrote, “By keeping a positive attitude and remaining motivated.” LOL. After reading them over, and keeping extremely quiet, she then told me to write out a business plan. I asked her what a business plan was and she said that I would have to create a product, explain how I would advertise it, and note down my expenses. Doesn’t sound too bad, does it? I didn’t think so – if anything it was the easiest task of the day. So I set to it and after five minutes I had created this baby:

My Business Plan –

Product: A self-cleaning juicer.

(I’d heard that cleaning those things was a nightmare).

Advertising: Telemarketing, street events, magazines, television, radio.

Expenses: 30k.

I then proudly and excitedly (FINALLY she would know that I wasn’t an idiot) told her I was finished, but she looked horrified and said that it usually takes people about three hours to create their business plan. I had clearly missed something so I took my break, went around the corner and phoned my mum who, after sending me a made-up business plan that contained a LOT of figures and hurt my brain, said, “Maybe you should just stick to books, love?”

I agreed. Writing down the Free Online Dictionary’s definition of “marketing” was obviously not adequate preparation for this interview so I went back to the trailer, apologised, and told the scary lady that I would make a terrible junior marketing associate.

She didn’t disagree. In fact, she laughed and said “Yeah…”.


But in other, small victory- esque news:

I totally ROCKED my Marks and Spencer interview! I mean, I don’t want to brag, but I was pretty damn awesome. I scored full marks in my customer service role-play; – apparently, no one ever gets full marks. I guess all that time trying to keep people happy at the SPAR has finally paid off – I made the old ladies who interviewed me giggle their little socks off as we shared heroic retail battles; they said they didn’t even need to read my self-assessment form I was so good, and they both agreed that they would employ me tomorrow.

So you see? It’s all about the small victories! And as I haven’t even been offered this job yet (they said they would let me know this week and since it’s already Thursday, it’s not looking too great), this victory is very small indeed.

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