A life in the shift of: Glyn Lewis, sales executive at BMW, Park Lane

TIME

Glyn, 32, joined BMW Park Lane as a sales executive in 1987. He is single and lives in Chislehurst, Kent

"I get up at 6.30am. On a good day my journey into work takes an hour. I have a quick bowl of muesli and get dressed. I like to think I look clean-cut and smart. I've got a couple of Boss suits, the rest are from M&S. A lot of motor trade people wear swanky baggy suits and fake Rolex watches. I mean, what kind of impression does that create? I'm not just an ambassador for the salesroom, but an ambassador for BMW. Park Lane is BMW's flagship showroom, so I want to present just the right image. BMW drivers are successful and classy. Buying a BMW means you've arrived.

"I grab a potato and a can of tuna fish - there's a kitchen at work with a microwave; get into my BMW 328 Coupe and set off. It's very fast, it's beautiful and it's positive to drive. Driving through dreary south London suburbia in a pounds 34,000 car is a bit of a contrast. But it's amazing the reaction a nice car gets. People look at the car, look at me and put their thumbs up a if to say 'Wow! You are lucky'. That's a buzz.

"I get to work at 8.15am and the day starts with a sales meeting at 8.40am. I get a basic salary and then commission on top. My target is 120 cars a year; I normally sell between 120 and 140. I sold more in the Eighties. It was mad. People had money to burn. Customers would come in, see a car and buy it on the spot. The showroom used to open late on Saturday night to catch the Arabs coming out of the casinos. Lately, we've had a lot of Malaysians buying cars for their children who are studying here. Big expensive cars with extras like you would not believe: leather seats, air conditioning, CD players.There's a lot of Russian business around, too.

"Doors open at 9am. A lot of showroom traffic is people just looking, but anyone who comes in gets the BMW experience. We'll have a nice bit of Vivaldi playing or Classic FM. A friendly face at the desk says hello. Coffee is offered. The customer can walk around, feel the cars, touch them, sit inside them and when ready we will go and talk to him. No one is dismissed because of the way they look. We ignored one person once because he looked so scruffy and he turned out to be a very famous photographer.

"Lunch is normally on the run. Very occasionally on a test drive, you'll get a completely incompetent driver. How can the car sing to the customer if he's crunching the gears? The other thing that really hurts is the perception of my job, you know 'car salesman' - bit dodgy, bit stupid. We are intelligent professionals and deserve respect.

"The showroom closes at 6pm, but we work for as long as it takes. My fantasy is to win the lottery, go into work and sell myself a car. But I'm happy. I earn a very good living, in the best location and with the best product. What more could I want?"

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Arts and Entertainment
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
tvBy Reason of Insanity, TV review
News
Lois Pryce... Life Without a Postcode. Lois lives on a boat with her husband.. Registering to vote in the election has prooved to be very difficult without a fixed residential post code. (David Sandison)
newsHow living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Junior Web Designer - Client Liaison

    £6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...

    Recruitment Genius: Service Delivery Manager

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...

    Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist

    £12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...

    Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

    £32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

    Day In a Page

    Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

    Promises, promises

    But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
    The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

    The death of a Gaza fisherman

    He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
    Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
    Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

    The only direction Zayn could go

    We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
    Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

    Spells like teen spirit

    A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
    Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
    Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

    Licence to offend in the land of the free

    Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
    From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

    From farm to fork in Cornwall

    One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
    Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

    Robert Parker interview

    The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
    How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

    How to make your own Easter egg

    Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

    Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

    Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
    Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

    Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

    The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

    Cricket World Cup 2015

    Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
    The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing