• Spain edition
 
Spanish Face of the Week
'Job interview left me with crushed vertebra'
Clio Almansa says companies are exploiting young people's desperation for a job. Photo: Facebook

'Job interview left me with crushed vertebra'

Published: 07 Mar 2014 12:02 GMT+01:00
Updated: 07 Mar 2014 12:02 GMT+01:00

Who is Clio Almansa?

Up until a few days ago, she was just an ordinary young woman from the Catalan city of Mataró. Once an aspiring professional dancer, in recent years she has been trying to pave her way to a career in marketing and sales.

So why is she The Local’s Spanish Face of the Week?

The 24-year-old has graced the covers of numerous Spanish dailies and made several TV appearances after her story was spotted by Spanish newspaper El Mundo earlier this week.

Back in October 2012, Almansa took part in a gruelling applicant selection process to become a cleaning products salesperson.

"There were between 40 to 50 candidates taking part in these motivational courses which were meant to makes us overexcited so that we’d sell more," Almansa told Spain’s national broadcaster RTVE1.

Organizers would play music at top volume, give inspirational speeches and stage competitive games such as getting applicants to stand on top of chairs and try to push each other off.

It was in one of these trials' over the three-day selection process that Almansa’s life changed drastically.

Was this when she was trampled on?

Yes, and the lead-up to the accident was slightly surreal.

Recruiters divided the candidates into groups and told them to stand at opposite sides of a big meeting room. One of them then told the applicants he would leave a €50 note (worth roughly $70) in the middle and whoever grabbed it first could keep it.

"He threw it on the ground and it was like an avalanche," Almansa told El Mundo.

"Even if I’d kept completely still I would have been dragged along."

Almansa was trampled on by the mob of job-hungry youngsters, leaving her with a crushed vertebra and bruises on her head and shoulder.

"I've never felt so much pain in my life.

"Everyone got a fright because I just couldn't get up. All I remember after was that they called an ambulance to take me to the hospital."

How bad was the damage?

The young woman was only in hospital for a few days but had to take pain tranquilizers and wear an orthopaedic corset for two months after the accident.

"It took me a year to fully recover but even now it still hurts sometimes," Almansa told El Mundo.

So she didn't get the job, right?

In fact, she did. Recruiters at Ecoline 2010 offered the temporarily disabled youngster an indefinite contract on a part-time basis.

But the reward for her ordeal was short-lived.

After being paid the first month, she received a fax confirming her dismissal, arguing that she hadn't passed her trial period.

"I felt humiliated and shocked, the whole situation was surreal."

Has she done anything about it?

Almansa's lawsuit against the cleaning products company started this week.

The dancing enthusiast from Mataró in Catalonia is suing her former bosses for hazing and physical injuries.

"They take advantage of young people without experience who are desperate to find work, and assume they can put them through trials like those."

Since her story went public, numerous former employees and applicants of Ecoline 2010 have contacted Almansa to tell her of their own ordeals with the company.

Many have expressed concern over their cutthroat approach when sacking sales team members after just two months or how they would force them to sell cleaning products to their own family and friends. 

What does Almansa's story tell us about the situation for young Spaniards today?

With youth unemployment currently at 55 percent, young people are desperate to find work.

The Spanish press see Almansa's story as an example of the lengths these young jobseekers are willing to go to secure employment.

Don't miss stories about Spain, join The Local on Facebook and Twitter.

Alex Dunham (alex.dunham@thelocal.com)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Top officials cut costs by driving mafia cars
Interior Minister Jorge Fernández is one of several top government officials now being driven around in the 'mafia' cars. Photo: Jorge Colón/AFP

Top officials cut costs by driving mafia cars

Spanish politicians are saving the government €400,000 (€539,000) by using four armoured mafia vehicles seized in a massive money laundering sting operation. READ  

Named: Spain's most respected celebrity
Tennis star Rafa Nadal (left), King Felipe and actress Penélope Cruz. Photo: Scott Heavey/AFP/AELTC/Stephanie de Sakutin//AFP/Pascal le Segretain/Getty Images/AFP

Named: Spain's most respected celebrity

A new poll has identified Spain's most-respected celebrity. So who is at the top of the list which contains everyone from film directors to footballers and thinkers? READ  

Eight dead in horror road smash near Alicante
Police fear the number of victims could still rise. Screen grab: Google Maps

Eight dead in horror road smash near Alicante

Eight people travelling in a van were burned to death on Tuesday after a head-on collision with a lorry on a highway near Murcia, in eastern Spain. READ  

Spanish airlines suspend Tel Aviv flights

Spanish airlines suspend Tel Aviv flights

Spain's flagship carrier Iberia cancelled its Tuesday night flight to the Israel capital of Tel Aviv as a preventative measure due to the worsening security situation in the region, while low-cost carrier Vueling is also avoiding the zone. READ  

Face-off
'Madrid is like a zombie movie in summer'
Should I stay or should I go? The Local's Alex Dunham (right) and George Mills don't see eye to eye on the issue of spending summer in the city.

'Madrid is like a zombie movie in summer'

Does the idea of August in Madrid sound like heaven or hell to you? In the first of our face off series, The Local's Alex Dunham and George Mills go head to head over whether it's better to stay in the city or get out as fast as possible. READ  

'Spain needs to drill for oil off the Canaries'
Soria has ignored the concerns of many Canary residents who feel the islands’ pristine coastline and tourism industry could be greatly affected by any potential oil spill.Photo: AFP

'Spain needs to drill for oil off the Canaries'

Spain "can't afford the luxury" of not drilling for oil and gas off the coast of the Canary Islands, the country's Industry Minister has said, despite strong opposition to the plans from local politicians and green groups. READ  

Real Madrid sign World Cup star Rodríguez
AS reported on Tuesday the Colombian star will be earning €7 million a year from his move to Real Madrid. Photo: Luis Acosta/AFP

Real Madrid sign World Cup star Rodríguez

Champions League winners Real Madrid have confirmed the signing of everyone's favourite World Cup player — Rihanna included: Colombian midfielder James Rodríguez. READ  

Brits help Spain set new tourism record
Tourists visiting the Alhambra in Granada, Andalusia. Photo: Camila Pastorelli/Flickr

Brits help Spain set new tourism record

A record 28 million foreign tourists flocked to Spain during the first half of the year, with British and German holidaymakers leading the wave, the government said on Monday. READ  

It's a date: Spanish PM to meet with Catalan leader
The July 30th meeting between the President of Catalonia Artur Mas (left) and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy will be their first in nearly a year. Photo: AFP

It's a date: Spanish PM to meet with Catalan leader

After weeks of negotiations, Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and the President of Catalonia Artur Mas are set to sit down on July 30th to tackle the thorny issue of independence for Catalonia. READ  

Brit feared paralyzed after Ibiza pool accident
The Ibiza resort of Cala Tarida where the man was injured. File photo: Jose A/Flickr

Brit feared paralyzed after Ibiza pool accident

A 20-year-old man from the UK has been seriously injured after smashing his head against the bottom of a swimming pool in Ibiza on Monday, with doctors fearing he may be paralyzed. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
International
Ancient graffiti proves Spain's Irish links
Society
Queen's selfie shows new 'softer' side of royals
National
Underwater nightmare: man trapped for 20 hours in cave
What's On
Top Ten: Summer music festivals in Spain 2014
National
Risky business: Man snaps selfie during Running of the Bulls
International
Finland to house sub-zero Sagrada Familia
National
Scorcher: Summer's first heatwave hits Spain
International
Magaluf cracks down on wild pub crawls
Society
Spanish naturist paradise bans nudity by mistake
National
Airbnb fined €30,000 over 'illegal' apartments
National
VIDEO: Landing aborted in Barcelona 'near miss'
Culture
Top 10 Spanish locations to film Game of Thrones
Culture
What's on in Spain: July 2014
Society
VIDEO: Man arrested after racist attack on Barcelona Metro
Culture
Sheikh to turn Barcelona bullring into mega-mosque
Culture
Spanish top model swaps catwalk for nunnery
Travel
Granada, not Grenada! Airline sued over mix-up
Culture
IN PICTURES: Spain's baby jumping festival
National
King Felipe of Spain: his life in pictures
National
Spanish pilots ordered to speak only English
Society
'How to stop kids being gay' books shock Spain
National
Catalonia to fine drivers using Uber taxi app
Culture
Spain's new queen Letizia: Ten great looks
Sponsored Article
CurrencyFair: Why it pays when making overseas transfers
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

1,499
jobs available