• 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)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Cricketer fined €1,125 for playing in public square
Cricketers in Barcelona say that there is a problem in terms of suitable places to practice . Photo: Shutterstock

Cricketer fined €1,125 for playing in public square

A cricketer in Barcelona was recently slapped with a €1,125 ($1,400) fine for wielding bat and ball in a public square in what is not an isolated case, the member of one cricket club in the city has told The Local. READ  

Ebola crisis: five patients given all-clear
Photo: Pedro Armestre/AFP

Ebola crisis: five patients given all-clear

Five patients who were isolated in Madrid's Carlos III hospital after having contact with Teresa Romero, the Spanish nursing assistant who contracted and beat the Ebola virus, left the facility on Thursday after being given the all-clear by doctors. READ  

Almodóvar sorry over 'illiterate' Galicians gaffe
Pedro Almodóvar apologized to Galicians, but reiterated his fury at Spanish bankers. Photo: Britta Pederson / AFP

Almodóvar sorry over 'illiterate' Galicians gaffe

Top Spanish film director Pedro Almodóvar has apologized after he suggested people in Spain's Galicia region were backward during an angry attack on Spain's banks. READ  

Spanish science
Canary telescope hunts for Earth-like planets
A night-time view of the Teide Observatory on the island of Tenerife. Photo: Shutterstock

Canary telescope hunts for Earth-like planets

A new 'low-cost' telescope on the Spanish island of Tenerife on Wednesday kicked off what will be an international search for nearby planets which could support life. READ  

Immigration crisis
Viral border photo shows two worlds collide
Bunker mentality: At first glance, the image appears to capture an idyllic morning round of golf. Photo: José Palazón/Prodein

Viral border photo shows two worlds collide

A startling photograph taken on Wednesday shows the reality at the border between Morocco and the Spanish enclave of Melilla in North Africa. The Local spoke to the man behind the image. READ  

Corruption focus
Finally: Spain's leaders face up to corruption fury
Cut it out: Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's face on a banner at an anti-corruption protest in Madrid in 2013. File photo: Dominique Faget/AFP

Finally: Spain's leaders face up to corruption fury

Spanish authorities are taking a tougher line against dirty dealing by the country's long untouchable political elite as a lengthy economic downturn fuels public outrage. READ  

Game of Thrones gets Spanish tapas treatment
Game of Thrones extras leave the bullring in the Andalusian town of Osuna. Photo: Cristina Quicler/AFP

Game of Thrones gets Spanish tapas treatment

Fans of the "Game of Thrones" fantasy TV series are flocking to the historic Spanish town of Osuna, where one canny restaurant owner has even starting naming the tapas after characters in the show. READ  

Going down: jobless rate dips below 24 percent

Going down: jobless rate dips below 24 percent

Updated: Over 150,000 Spaniards found work from July to September, Spain's best summer since the country's economic crisis began, official figures released on Thursday show, but youth unemployment remains chronically high. READ  

Don't hurt migrants: Spain to border police
A member of the Spain's Guardia Civil police with would-be immigrants on top of a border fence separating Morocco from the north African Spanish enclave of Melilla on Wednesday. Photo: AFP

Don't hurt migrants: Spain to border police

Spain said on Wednesday it would order police guarding its borders with Morocco to take care to prevent injuries when tackling migrants who scramble over the fences into Spanish territory, after evidence of abuse by officers sparked outrage. READ  

Wild weather
Freak winter wave 'was Spain's biggest ever'
The wave which hit during wild winter storms nudged out the previous holder of Spain's biggest wave: a 26.13-metre giant near the city of Santander during 2009's dramatic Cyclone Klaus. File photo: Be

Freak winter wave 'was Spain's biggest ever'

A genuine 'freak' wave in January 2014 broke all existing Spanish records, officials said on Wednesday after the release of new data. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Viral photo shows two worlds collide at Spain's African border
What's On
What's on in Spain: November 2014
National
Top Ten: the very best new Spanish words
National
Flash floods: woman dies in Canary Islands
Health
Cured: Spanish nurse with Ebola beats virus
International
Mango apologizes for 'Nazi blouse'
National
Where's the best place to live in Spain?
Travel
Top ten: great autumn getaways in Spain
National
The great Spanish cities quiz: take it now
National
Revealed: the cost of expat food in Spain
Politics
Catalan leader calls independence vote 'lite'
What's On
Games of Thrones star 'barred' from Seville film set
Health
Spanish nurse contracts Ebola in Madrid
National
Madrid starts fining users of Uber 'taxi' app
Education
Only one Spanish university makes world's top 200
What's On
What's on in Spain: October 2014
Politics
Spanish court suspends Catalan independence vote
National
Catalonia defies Madrid and calls independence vote
National
Spanish village swaps bulls for giant balls
Society
Spain scraps plans for tough new abortion law
National
Spain's royal 'bad boy' to be sent to UK school
National
'This is a great time for entrepreneurs in Spain'
National
Loud porn movie scares locals into calling cops
National
'We'll axe Catalan autonomy but won't send in tanks'
National
Spain's Thatcher square defaced by 'Brits'
National
Top 10: best Spanish movies of all time
National
Gravedigger suspended for corpse photo gaffe
Society
Named: the best city to live in Spain
National
Catalonia's 'Diada': 5 things you need to know
Travel
Top ten amazing activities in Tenerife
National
Spain opens door to ban on burqas
Travel
Top ten: best bike rides in Spain
Travel
Spain to reopen 'world's most dangerous walk': The Camino del Rey
National
'Catalonia could be the shock Spain needs'
National
Office slang: Top ten Spanish expressions
Sport
Think you know Spanish football? Try these amazing facts
International
Australia set to welcome young Spanish workers
Opinion
Is tourism destroying Barcelona?
Society
Fashion fail: Zara pulls plug on 'Holocaust shirt' for kids
National
Man hurt as friend swaps ice bucket for plane
Spain 'would block independent Scotland from joining EU'
Politics
Spain 'would block independent Scotland from joining EU'
International
Spanish police mistake Morocco's king for people smuggler
What's On
What's on in Spain: September
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

1,725
jobs available