Porsche 911, All Photos By: Joel Patel

Porsche 911, All Photos By: Joel Patel

Once again, sorry for going on a “mini-vacation” with posting, but we’re back and that’s the important thing.

For today, I have an extended story on how I was in the process of getting a job with one of my favorite automakers and why I ended up not taking it. Now some of you may know that I turned down a position with Infiniti a while ago for a host of reason. As a quick refresher, here’s why I turned down the specific job with Infiniti:

  • Tier commission plan
  • 50-hour work weeks
  • Crappy pay plans
  • Sleazy coworkers
  • The idea that I could lose money

These few important factors influenced my decision to walk away from a job that I was apparently lucky to get. I went about my own way, graduated from college and landed a couple of side gigs, but I was still looking for a full-time job with cars. As I was avoiding working from home, I managed to stumble upon a job opening for a salesman at my local Porsche dealership.

I of course freaked out with joy. I mean, a job with Porsche. This is what automotive dreams are made of, right? I put in an application and a moving cover letter where I outlined my deep love for Porsches. In all honesty, I wasn’t expecting a response. Porsche is one of the finest automakers for all time. They produce some of the world’s most capable supercars, so there’s no way that they’d let a dribbling graduate like me near the vehicles.

I waited for a very long time. Then I waited some more. After three months of waiting, and to my surprise, I received a phone call from the manager. Since it was from an unknown number, I didn’t pick up, which made him leave a message. The message was concise and clear. It outlined the job I was applying for, who I should contact, etc. It took me a little bit to fully comprehend that Porsche wanted me to interview for a job. The first sign of something bad came when I returned his call.

IMG_3261A Porsche dealership close to Washington, D.C. must do well, so well in fact that the manager didn’t remember me when I called. When I called, it took him a little while to remember who I was and why I was returning his call. It sounded like he was just looking on a list of people’s name and miraculously found me. Either way, the phone call lasted a little longer then it should’ve and we set a date to come in.

I was pretty excited for my interview to say the least. I set out my favorite suit and even tied my tie the night before. One lesson that I learned in college was to be on time and dress to impress, so I did just that, which resulted in my arriving to the dealership 15 minutes before my scheduled interview.

Upon arriving at the dealership, I was greeted by a group of friendly women at the welcome desk and was told to fill out a paper resume. Being helped by three women seemed like a good thing at the moment, until I realized that two of them were undergoing training.

No, they’re definitely pushy

Before going in for my interview, I extensively researched the dealership. Reviews said that they weren’t pushy and were extremely knowledgeable. However, when I was filling out an application in the finance department, I overheard the closing of a deal. There was a middle-aged man who was in the final steps of getting into a base Cayman. It seemed like they were haggling over a price for a while, but had finally managed to get to $60,000 even. The buyer had already told them that there was no way he would be taking a vehicle home today. So what does the salesman do? He tells the buyer to hold on for a seconIMG_2995d, while he gets the manager!

The manager arrives in a couple of seconds, introduces himself and then asks what he can do to close the deal. The buyer once again states that he won’t be leaving the dealership with the car and that he needs to speak with his wife. Unsurprisingly, this unsettles the manager. Instead of stating, okay, well we’ll be here after you speak with your wife, the manager asks some extremely personal questions.

The manager tells the buyer that he’s getting an amazing deal and that it won’t be waiting for him to come back. The manager also tells the buyer to get his wife on the phone immediately, because the buyer would be crazy to walk away from a deal like this. Kudos to the buyer, because he stayed calm and stated that he would talk to his wife and walked out. As the buyer was getting into his Honda S2000, the manager sprinted out and tried to make a last minute deal, which didn’t work out. The reviews had to be bullshit, because they were some of the pushiest salesman I’ve ever seen.

I was filling out my application throughout this ordeal and managed to complete it in 15 minutes. Not bad for putting all of your life’s work into one page. After filling out the application, I gave my life’s work to the one, actual receptionist and waited. I waited and waited and waited. I waited for another 45 minutes.

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I repeatedly asked the receptionist if a manager was available and she just continually said that one was on their way. So I paced the ntire dealership for 45 whole minutes. Waiting for a manager or someone to notice me for 45 minutes.

Understandably, after an hour of waiting, I was getting upset. So I told the receptionist that I would be leaving in a few minutes if I did not get to talk to a manager. Just as I finished muttering under my breath, a manager showed up. Sweet joy.

After waiting for an extremely long time, I met with a manager that was different then the person I was scheduled to meet. Apparently, the manager I was supposed to meet wasn’t coming in that day and the other managers were on their lunch break. Why a manager would tell me to come in when he’s specifically out of the office is still a mystery to me.

So why do you want to sell Porsches?

IMG_3269We found a table and sat down. The conversation lasted a lingering two minutes. The manager couldn’t wrap his head around why someone with my writing experience, journalism degree and love for cars wanted to sell Porsches. I just wanted to scream, “because you well-dressed butthead I get to stare at supercars and talk to Porsche enthusiasts all day.”

After telling the manager that I was a true enthusiast and loved working with cars, he nodded his head and continued to scrutinize my resume. After that, he walked me over to a 2015 Porsche Turbo S Cabriolet and told me to get to know the vehicle. I giddily obliged and we set a time for me to come in the next day. To meet with another manager, of course.

I went home and studied the Turbo S. I learned the interesting aspects of the vehicle like how the wheels were shaped in a fan fashion to feed air to the brakes and how the lug nut is one large piece that has a special pattern that can only be removed with a special tool. Cool stuff, right?

I headed into the dealership 15 minutes before my interview and patiently waited at a table, hoping that it wouldn’t be another disastrous day. The manger, who—ironically enough—was the person I was supposed to meet with on the first day, was on time and took me upstairs to where the managers’ offices were.

This manager was much younger than the first one I had met with. He had massive bags under his eyes and was overweight, which are two signs of a workaholic. We sat down in absolutely gorgeous, $6,000 Porsche seats and got straight to the point. He asked me why, with my specific background, would I ever want to sell Porsches—just like the other manager.

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I told him the same sob story that I told the first manager and he didn’t really buy it. He put me through some grueling salesman tests and pretty much made sure that I was really interested in the job. We then walked downstairs where he tested my knowledge on the Turbo S. I walked the manager around the vehicle and, in my best salesman impersonation, attempted to sell him the vehicle.

He appeared to be more preoccupied with a child that was attempting to come into the dealership to sell cookies. After my sales pitch was done, he told me that I needed to work on keeping the customer engaged, but said I did a good job. We headed back to his office and I had to take an impromptu test on how to respond to customers over an email.

He quickly jotted down a scenario where a woman wanted to trade her vehicle in and I had to respond to three different questions. He told me to answer the questions and stated that he’d be back. So, I was left alone for 30 minutes filling out the questions. It took me 10 whole minutes to complete the questions and then I patiently waited for the other 20. For a Porsche dealership there’s one recurring theme: they continuously left me waiting for a long time.

The overweight manager returned, spent five seconds going over my answers and asked me how I was with criticism. As a writer, boyfriend and opinionated person, I deal with criticism on a regular basis. So I told him that. “Good,” he stated with a weird smirk. He, once again, left and told me that another manager would come talk to me.

Aren’t those the comfiest seats ever?

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So, again, I waited and waited and waited. I waited for an hour for the other manager to show up and by the time he did, I had already completed my first day on the job. As far as awkward first meetings go, this was the worst. Before even saying hello or sorry I took so long, the manager asked me if I liked the $6,000 Porsche chair I was sitting in. I said it was very nice, but too pricey for me. “But it’s the nicest chair you’ve ever sat in right?” he asked.

Again, I replied, “yes, it’s very nice, but it’s way too expensive.” The manager seemed upset that I wasn’t interested in purchasing the extremely comfortable and ridiculously priced accessory. He quickly changed the subject and asked me why I was so interested in selling Porsches. For the third time in two days, I had tell my whole life story of how I love cars and how I want to work with enthusiasts to get people into their dream vehicles.

This aggressive, candid manager did not care about my story and was not into any of it. He asked me the same question again and I gave him the same answer. This made the manager quite upset, which turned the rest of our time together sour.

We did another test together where he told me to sell his Porsche pen, which I knew nothing about. As a car enthusiast, I thought I did pretty well for something I knew nothing about. But I could see that I lacked the major item that made salesman good at their job: the ability to sell something people don’t need.

After my pen speech, the manager went into a diatribe about how salesmen at his dealership sell drivers looking for a blue car a red one. We got into a slight argument about why getting somebody a black car when the want a white car is ethically wrong and why some drivers need time to go home and deliberate a large purchase.

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The manager pointed out two things that should never happen at the dealership: customers leaving and customers buying something they’re actually looking for. I mean seriously, what kind of stupid customers come in, spend $100,000 on a car, and not get the color they want? True idiots.

It was late, I was hungry and I had spent an insane amount of time in the dealership. After listening to the idiotic manager drone on about his ability to sell any Porsches to anybody, we parted ways with another awkward and failed attempt to sell me on the $6,000 Porsche chair.

I again was commanded to wait for the previous manager to talk to me about payment. I waited for another 45 minutes for the overweight manager to trod in and when he did, I received another barrage of questions as to why and where my heart was with the job.

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To help pay your bills, you get paid $7.25 per hour.

After hearing the ridiculous payment method, I knew that I wouldn’t be accepting the position. For the first month, salesmen are not allowed to get commission, so payment is $7.25 per hour. After getting your sales license, you make 20-percent on the profit made on every vehicle. On the profit of every vehicle. When’s the last time you went to a dealership without doing your homework? Exactly! Never, it’s never happened. No one goes into a dealership without seeing what invoice is and websites have always aimed to get drivers below invoice.

I wasn’t able to see what their vehicles were priced at, so I wasn’t able to get an idea on whether their salesman actually sold any vehicles for a substantial amount over the invoice price. But that wasn’t the end of that. For every car you sell, you have to pay the dealership back a fee for housing the vehicle and for the prestige notion of them hiring you. For every new Porsche you sold, you had to pay $1,000 back to the dealership and $800 back for every used car sold.

I mean that’s absolutely insane. Oh, and you have to work 80 hours a week. There’s no time off for the first year and to pay your bills, you get paid $7.25 per hour, which you give back at the end of the month with your commission.

So to recap:

  • First entire month: $7.25 an hour
  • After that, 20-percent commission on price above invoice/profit
  • You get paid $7.25 per hour, which you have to pay back every month
  • You have to pay the dealership $1,000 for a new car you sell and $800 for a used car you sell

Yeah, I don’t understand how salesmen make any money. What’s even more interesting is that Simply Hired gives Porsche salesman an average salary of $68,000. After seeing that figure, you’re probably thinking, “wow, that’s really good.” But don’t forget that I was told that my work week would 80 hours long, which equates out to roughly $17 an hour! That’s right, if you’re an average salesman working everyday, you’ll be making that much every hour—if you’re lucky.

After hearing payment options and my hellish hours, I quickly turned down the position. For such a “prestigious” opportunity, the manager seemed quite upset to hear that I was no longer interested in the position. To be honest, I was bummed out too. But there’s no way in hell I’m working 80 hours a week to sell to enthusiasts that want.

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After hearing payment options and my hellish hours, I quickly turned down the position. For such a “prestigious” opportunity, the manager seemed quite upset to hear that I was no longer interested in the position. To be honest, I was bummed out too. But there’s no way in hell I’m working 80 hours a week to sell blue Porsches to enthusiasts that want red ones.

On the way home, I kept going over the numbers in my head. Something just didn’t add up. How can people survive with this kind of job? Not only that, but how do they sleep at night knowing they are working for a deranged manager that not only takes pride in getting drivers into Porsches that are the wrong color, but expects his salesmen to do the same.

On the way home, I kept going over the numbers in my head. Something just didn’t add up. How can people survive with this kind of job? Not only that, but how do they sleep at night knowing they are working for a deranged manager that not only takes pride in getting drivers into Porsches that are the wrong color, but expects his salesmen to do the same.

Porsche. They make some of the best sports cars and supercars in the world. They’re the vehicles that people dream of. They create cars that people of all ages put up on their walls to drool over with there mouths agape. I’ve always wanted a Porsche and still do, but I’ll never buy one from this dealership—ever.

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