At 21 I craved freedom and a better than decent living. I was already bored with nine-to-five and the predictable income that came with it.
I wanted more. Real estate would help me get it.
My third interview was with Brown James and Associates in Kalgoorlie. Graham Brown and David James were the rising stars of the property market in the Goldfields.
Their offices dripped with the accoutrements of success. Dark jarrah panelled desks matched the dark wood panelled office partitions.
It felt like Wall Street had landed in the desert.
The interview began. I was offered a coffee. None of this instant stuff mind. This was the real deal – percolated and made fresh.
I ordered a white with one. The secretary brought it in. I sipped, careful not to burn my lip or spill any on my clean white shirt.
“So Peter, where are you working now?” the big boss asked.
I responded coherently as I looked with fascination at how grey his hair was.
“He doesn’t seem that old but man he’s almost white,” I thought.
I sipped more coffee and tried to focus again.
The questions continued. Why are you leaving your current job? What are your goals? Where do you hope to be in 5 years?
With each question and each answer my confidence grew. That jarrah desk would soon be mine.
Inevitably they wanted to know how I’d deal with having no income for the first few months. I was as broke as a two bob watch but I handled their questions deftly. Paraphrasing Paul J. Meyer I explained that I knew what I wanted and that I was willing to do whatever it took to make it happen.
Nothing would stand in my way.
The bosses were impressed. They smiled and nodded approvingly.
I thought I had it in the bag. They could ask me no harder question – or so I thought.
“Of course you’ll need to take buyers out in your car,” said the moustachioed David James. “What are you driving?”
I was completely unprepared for the question. Being able to live on the smell of an oily rag was one thing but stumping up thousands to buy new wheels was another all together.
And there was no doubt I needed a new vehicle.
In the car park out the back, right next to the big boss’s gleaming new Commodore, was my rusty 1971 XY Falcon. It had a column shift and vinyl bench seats that burned your bum in the summer sun.
I paused for what felt like an eternity.
Right there I had a choice and it would define me forever. I could make excuses about my lack of preparation and hope for an interview once I got my financial act together or I could step up to the plate and deliver right now.
I chose the latter.
“I’ve got an old bomb in the car park but if I get the job I’ll be going to Perth to get something nicer,” I explained.
“Sounds great,” said David. “When can you start?”
I was in.
But now I had a problem – a big one.
With nothing in the fridge and less in the bank, where was I going to get the coin to buy new wheels?
And if that wasn’t enough Rita and I were planning to get engaged. I had a ring to pay for, a sales reps registration course to fund, and I had to survive the next few months without a regular income.
To be continued.