• Spain's news in English
 

'Job interview left me with crushed vertebra'

Published: 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)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Ban on skyscraper plan for Atletico stadium
The VIcente Calderon stadium on the banks of the river in Madrid. Photo: Javier Soriano / AFP

Ban on skyscraper plan for Atletico stadium

A Spanish court has blocked plans to build 2,000 flats on the site of Atletico Madrid's Vicente Calderon stadium. READ  

Dancing deputy kicks up her heels at Seville fair
Spanish Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, who was filmed dancing at Seville's April Fair this week. Photo: AFP

Dancing deputy kicks up her heels at Seville fair

It seems no one can resist the fun of Seville's April fair, not even deputy prime minister, Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, who was filmed getting her groove on this week. READ  

Is Spanish politics all about stripping off?
A Socialist town hall candidate has been ordered to take down campaign posters in which he appears naked. Photo: laSexta Noticias/Twitter

Is Spanish politics all about stripping off?

Yet another Spanish politician has bared all on a campaign poster, in a trend that is increasingly sweeping Spanish politics. READ  

Shocking footage of police beating deportee
Screen grab: Campaña CIEs / Youtube

Shocking footage of police beating deportee

A video filmed secretly by a passenger shows Spanish police beating up a man being deported against his will from Madrid to the Dominican Republic. READ  

Dolphins affected in Canary Islands oil spill
A Greenpeace environmentalist at the oil slick off Gran Canaria. Photo: Greenpeace / Pedro Armestre

Dolphins affected in Canary Islands oil spill

An oil slick has reached Canary Islands beaches from the Russian trawler Oleg Naydenov which sank off the Canary Islands earlier last week. READ  

Eurovision Song Contest
Face of the week: Edurne
Photo: Flickr/YourWayMagazine

Face of the week: Edurne

Could this be the year Spain wins Eurovision for only the third time since the contest began? Spain's fate rests with Edurne, the blonde bombshell who is hoping to enrapture Europe with her pop power ballad, Amanecer. READ  

A quarter of Spaniards believe Sun orbits Earth
Photo of a scientist: Shutterstock

A quarter of Spaniards believe Sun orbits Earth

A new study into Spaniards' scientific awareness has revealed they have some serious gaps in their knowledge. READ  

Spain rejects extradition of 'London Whale' trader
A man walks past JP Morgan Chase Building in New York. Andrew Burton / Getty Images N America / AFP

Spain rejects extradition of 'London Whale' trader

Spanish authorities have refused to extradite a former JPMorgan bank trader to the United States where he faces criminal charges in the massive "London Whale" fraud scandal. READ  

Pamplona sees red over 'Strictly Come Running'
Participants in Pamplona's famous running of the bulls. Photo: AFP.

Pamplona sees red over 'Strictly Come Running'

Ernest Hemingway would have turned in his grave over plans for a celebrity reality TV show based on Pamplona's famous San Fermin fiesta. READ  

Femen protestor corners Spain's interior minister
A femen protestor being arrested by police on Thursday. Photo: AFP

Femen protestor corners Spain's interior minister

A protestor with radical feminist protest group Femen was arrested on Thursday morning after staging a bare breasted protest against Spain's new controversial "gagging law". READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
King Juan Carlos led 'double-life' with lover
National
British expats fall victim to NHS clampdown
Travel
Benidorm: Cultural wonder of the world?
Features
Ten best UNESCO world heritage sites in Spain
Features
All the fun of the fair: Seville's Feria de Abril
Features
Happy book day! Top ten Spanish literary gifts
National
Off with her hair! Queen Letizia debuts new do
National
Barcelona bans tourists from famous market
Travel
Location tours start for 'Game of Thrones' fans
National
Top ten things to do in Castellón
First house sold by lottery ticket in Spain
National
Official: Francisco Franco was a dictator
National
Rockers pen 'We don't love Ryanair' ballad
National
Olives and vino at risk from climate change
National
Olé! Madonna orders tour bullfighting suits
National
Jihadists planned attacks in Spain: judge
Politics
Spain's 'Citizens' party fires up voters
Travel
'No pooing': village tells pilgrims in north Spain
National
Spain's newest export to France: Vultures
National
Spain gets first memorial stones to Nazi victims
National
What's on in Spain: April 2015
National
Town in shock at expat double murder
National
Brit family of four dead after Gibraltar stabbing
Can the 'nightmare' of a pilot downing a plane be prevented?
National
Priest arrested for exorcism on anorexic girl
National
Could this be Spain's own Maggie Thatcher?
National
Spain outstrips France and Italy in wine exports
National
What country is Catalonia most like?
International
Exposed: actress who faked Oscar glory
National
Brooms up! Quidditch casts its spell over Spain
Society
Ten phrases you'll only hear at work in Spain
International
Spanish crowned world's happiest language
National
Eight cool things the crisis did for Spain
Travel
Top Ten: Spain's best beaches for 2015
National
Euro property bargains up for grabs in Spain
What's On
Spain's craziest carnivals
National
Spanish town fights 'Fifty Shades' bondage hotel
International
Vinnie Jones teaches Spanish in hilarious ad
What's On
Ten golden rules for snagging a Spanish man
Property
House sales up for first year since crisis began
Gallery
The highs and lows of the Spanish property market
National
The five strangest things about Spaniards
International
What's keeping UK expats from voting?
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

3,293
jobs available