The secret diary of Ronnie The Recruiter

Ronnie Sweating Large

Here's the original 'Ronnie The Recruiter' story, re-run by popular demand.

'The alarm clock went off at 6.30. I turned over and decided to throw a sicky. I was just about to drop off when I remembered that I'd had two sick days last week. I had to go in.

Arrived at work at 8.15. No-one else turned up 'till after 9. Two of the guys on my team called to say they weren't coming in. Strangely both had 'upset stomachs'. I was angry, but I guess it was their turn.

I looked over the interview sheet. I had two candidates out this week - one more than last week. At least that was an improvement. The phone rang. The client just pulled one of the jobs. It had gone to an internal candidate. I didn't care. I am used to that now - it was happening all the time. Back to one interview. The phone rings again. It was the other candidate. She pulls her interview - she's staying put. Down to zero.

The big boss comes over and asks me how it's going. The sad thing is that he really doesn't know. The market is so bad you couldn't place a bet and he hasn't a clue what's going on. He is such a wally that he couldn't even run a bath, let alone a recruitment company in the current dismal climate.

I filled him in on the current state of play. His answer was stunningly simple. I had to cold-call 50 clients before the end of the day. Doesn't the idiot realise that we don't even have 50 clients!? I was then instructed in the art of the cold-call. Sound cheerful. Appear sincere. Tell everyone how good business is. Yeah right, as if I really gave a toss whether the client had a good weekend. And as for business being good, everyone knows you don't cold-call when business is good!!!

I started to dial and stopped after being rebuffed nine times on the trot. I was relieved when I was able to speak to four answer machines and left messages that I knew would not be returned. I wasn't wrong. No-one called back. Three junior administrators, clearly fed up as they were spending increasing amounts of time fielding calls like mine, told me that they had a preferred supplier list and that I wasn't on it. One admitted to a hiring freeze and the last one wanted to know where I'd been for the last 5 years when she was hiring like crazy and couldn't find a recruiter to work with her for love nor money. She told me to bog off.

The hands of the clock crawled towards lunchtime and I escaped into the fresh air. I bought the Standard and flicked through the business pages. Our top client had just announced 1,200 redundancies.

I slowly walked back to the office and collected my things. I was off home sick. I had clearly come down with the same thing that saw off my two colleagues.

'How did the cold-calling go ?', the boss shouted after me as I headed for the door.

'Cold', I replied, 'Bloody cold.' God, how I wished it was Friday'.

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