• 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
Suarez sought help to end biting impulse
Photo: AFP

Suarez sought help to end biting impulse

Barcelona striker Luis Suarez has admitted he has sought help to end his habit of biting opponents ahead of making his debut for the Catalans against Real Madrid on Saturday. READ  

Ashya King
Ashya King returns to Spain after Prague op
Photo: AFP

Ashya King returns to Spain after Prague op

Five-year-old British brain tumour patient Ashya King is feeling better after 30 sessions of proton therapy in Prague and is heading back to Spain, his doctor said Friday. READ  

Take The Local's Spanish history quiz

Take The Local's Spanish history quiz

Spain is full of famous places, faces and names. But how well do you know the history of this amazing country? Find in The Local's latest quiz! READ  

Bailed-out Bankia sees profits soar
José Ignacio Goirigolzarri took over as Bankia's chairman from Rodrigo Rato in 2012. Photo: José Jordan/AFP

Bailed-out Bankia sees profits soar

Scandal-hit Bankia on Friday announced improved earnings on the back of reduced bad debt ratios, news that comes in the midst of allegations top executives at the institution used 'secret' cards to make lavish personal purposes. READ  

Guggenheim guru gives critics finger in Spain
Frank Gehry designed Bilbao's iconic Guggenheim Museum, which celebrated the 20th anniversary of its opening on October 18th. Photo: Miguel Riopa/AFP

Guggenheim guru gives critics finger in Spain

Architect Frank Gehry, the designer of Bilbao's iconic Guggenheim Museum, stuck up a middle finger to his critics and used expletives to slam modern building design before receiving a prestigious prize from the king of Spain on Friday. READ  

Spain's public holidays in 2015: Official list
Spain will have a total of eight national holidays in 2015, but all regions have selected a few more of their own. Photo of skiers: Shutterstock

Spain's public holidays in 2015: Official list

Spain will have a total of eight fully national public holidays in 2015 with one of these falling on a Saturday. For the full list and more information on regional holidays read on. READ  

Struggling Spain to get EU 'Christmas present'
Spain, like Germany and France will receive a hefty rebate according to the leaked document. Money photo: Shutterstock

Struggling Spain to get EU 'Christmas present'

Crisis-hit Spain is to be handed a €168.9 million ($213.7 million) rebate from the European Commission on the back of poorer than expected growth since 1995, according to leaked documents which show some countries will have to stump up plenty of extra cash. READ  

Tourism talk
Fee slashes numbers at Barcelona’s Park Güell
Park Güell was the last place in Barcelona where modernist architect Gaudí's work was free to see. Photo: Gylo/Flickr

Fee slashes numbers at Barcelona’s Park Güell

The introduction of an €8 ($10) charge at Barcelona's Park Güell for people who don't live in Barcelona has had the desired effect with visitors numbers well down: all part of plans by the city to protect Gaudí masterpiece from overcrowding. READ  

Spanish science
Excited about new words? You're not alone

Excited about new words? You're not alone

Learning new vocabulary stimulates the same pleasure centre of the brain which responds to activities like having sex or eating chocolate, a new study by Barcelona researchers shows. READ  

Drug mule left to die in airport over Ebola fears
The drug mule arrived at Madrid's Barajas airport almost two hours before dying of an overdose. Photo o Barajas airport: Shutterstock

Drug mule left to die in airport over Ebola fears

A Nigerian drug smuggler at Madrid's international airport who started shivering after the cocaine bags he was carrying inside his body burst was left to die after airport authorities activated an emergency Ebola alert 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

1,726
jobs available