I’ll just let Isola tell her story…
Interviewing people for a job at a sex toy shop is an interesting experience, to say the least. A lot of people think that it’s an easy job and anyone can do it. But that’s so not the case.
It’s helpful to have a background in sales, but there’s a particular personality that has to come with it. You are going to be encountering a lot of people who could just as easily go online and order their sex toys in a nondescript box. So you have to bring something to the table that’s going to entice people to come to your store instead. You have to be able to build a relationship, answer questions, and offer advice. That’s not something just anyone can do, particularly when talking about sex toys.
Even though I was an employee and not a manager, the owner of my store, Jeanette, always asked me to sit in on interviews. So that’s what I was doing one blustery fall day.
The first interviewee was late. Jeanette dismissed her before I even met her. I mean, she was more than fifteen minutes late, and apparently not at all apologetic about making us wait. The second person didn’t have identification when Jeanette asked for it. That was always the first thing she did. She wasn’t about to hire someone underage. Even though that was a checkpoint on the application, Jeanette always wanted to confirm in person.
Finally, someone arrived who I got to meet.
“Hello,” she said brightly when she entered the room. I was sitting at a conference table in the back room of the shop. I stood and shook her hand.
“I’m Isola,” I said.
“I’m Alanna. Nice to meet you.”
Firm handshake, open smile. Those were good qualities.
I let Jeanette lead the interview. She asked her a lot of questions about previous jobs, things that demonstrated her work ethic and so on. My job was to observe her and see how I thought she would be as a salesperson.
When Jeanette was done, it was my turn.
“What we’d like to do now,” I explained, “is go out on the floor and have you try to sell me things.”
“Sure,” she said, almost too brightly.
We walked out onto the floor, and I took her over to the butt plugs section. “I’m going to pretend to be a browsing customer, and you are the employee.”
She let me browse for a few minutes before she made her approach. “Hi there,” she said with that same toothy smile.
I nodded but didn’t respond.
“Can I help you find something?” she asked lightly.
“No,” I said, a little surly.
“No problem,” Alanna said, “I’ll be over here if you need anything. I am more than happy to offer advice if you need it.” I nodded again but didn’t respond. She added, “For the record, this one is my favorite,” she said, pointing to one of the plugs and walking away.
Damn. She was good. She used a lot of the same tactics I did.
We went through several other scenarios before I proclaimed us finished. Alanna thanked us both for our time and left, but she wasn’t even in the parking lot before her cell phone chirped with the call telling her she was hired for nights and weekends.
Thanks for reading my blog! Come back to read more of Isola’s stories throughout the month of April, and check out other A to Z Blogs here!