Working in Spain

I was offered a job last year. It was legit as far as I know.

I answered an advert in an English newspaper based over here, and sent my CV. It was for a job I had done before, for many years. The next day I was asked to go for an interview.

It was a part-time job, which suited me fine, although when they rang me about the interview, it also turned out to be temporary, ie for a few months which wasn’t mentioned in the advert. It was – in my view – not well paid, but it was a job.

Anyway off I went. The interview was pretty minimalist, and there was a bit of a test.

I’d expected the test, but couldn’t really work myself up enough to treat it too seriously. Unfair, because if I’d been the interviewer I would have done exactly the same thing. It’s a good way to weed out the dross. I went through it half-heartedly and then sat there fiddling around with a Sudoku puzzle waiting for them to come back.

This sounds arrogant and blasé. I had done this job for years. I was – and still am – good at it. It was a written test, and in any exam, I’ve always been hyper, so my writing was not good, although I didn’t do the test badly. And I also knew they would get loads of people applying for this sort of job with no experience, and who wouldn’t know where to start with the test, let alone the job.

They had someone else to see that week, but they would definitely let me know that week. And did they? Well I didn’t hear from them so I figured it had bitten the dust.

Two weeks after the interview they condescended to ring me back. Did I want it? Well, I’d think about it and let them know. Well when? In a couple of days – my partner’s not here. Can you manage tomorrow lunchtime? I’ll try.

So I rang back the next day at 1pm ish (reasonable lunchtime compromise between English and Spanish hours I thought) intending to accept but with a few questions. The woman who had interviewed me was on the ‘phone to someone else. Did she ring back? No, her colleague did – late afternoon – and helpfully told me they worked split shifts which had never been mentioned.

This job was advertised as a part-time job. Then it turned out to be three months temporary contract.

At the interview it was then holiday cover for three months, and out of those three months there was only nine days actual work. And no mention of shifts.

The next day when they rang back the Welsh rottweiler answered, as I was out, well, out of reach of the ‘phone, ie in the bath and the mobile was on charge. My latest view was that I would take it – for the money obviously, and because I thought it would be interesting.

But no split shifts, and I wanted something in writing, and a no-smoking office. Spain brought in a no-smoking at work law last year, but when I had asked the colleague about this on the ‘phone she paused before answering.

You can imagine people having the odd tab. I’ve worked in enough offices with smokers never to do it again.

I’ve had decent money jobs and never been pi$$ed around like that.

They didn’t ring me again. I didn’t ring them again either. So, no, I didn’t take it.

They’ve advertised for staff since. For the same job, allied jobs, and also for head of department. I quite fancied head of department. But no, fingers burnt once.

After all, I didn’t even get my travel expenses.

2 comments on “Working in Spain

  1. Have you been working non stop since March and had no time to do any blogging?I have a podcast called BravaChat which is based at the other end of the Iberian peninsula, also about working and living in Spain.Are your feet still itchy


  2. Job-hunting is Spain tends to be a bleh experience :S I came back to Spain (after 10 years living in the UK) on summer 2008 and it never ceases to amaze me (in a negative way) how rude and unprofessional fellow Spaniards are when recruiting staff for their companies. I was once asked to attend for interview in Madrid (I was living in Valladolid at the time) only to get there, after a 4-hour train trip, and be told, along with two other candidates, that the person supposed to be interviewing had forgotten about it and was away in Andalucía for business. We did not even get an apology and it cost me 170 euros to get there.I saw the link to your blog in the Expat Blogs website, hope you are having fun in Gibraltar! :)


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