Extrovert, lively and a whirlwind. This is the best description of this slight woman. Inma Torregrosa, an erupting volcano. I met up with her in the middle of the campaign and her telephone did not stop ringing. She sells and sells, taking on any problems in her stride.
At times, due to the interruptions, I cannot remember what I have asked her, but she never loses the thread of our conversation and reminds me of what I have said. Although unintentionally, I hear her conversations and I realise that many people have placed their trust in her and, at the same time, I see that she is a grateful person.
She was already working in the family warehouse cutting grapes when she was 11 years old. They were different times, when paternal authority was not called into question, and this was the reason she had to study for her Baccalaureate at night and work during the day.
It was difficult to start talking because her calls were nonstop (my recorder shows over 30 interruptions). The moment she hangs up, her mobile phone starts ringing again. Through her conversations I can see that Inma has a high level of emotional intelligence.
Well, if the telephone’s electromagnetic waves affect the brain, yours must be… We all talk a lot, but I’ve never seen this before. It’s as if you get a high with each sale.
Ha, ha, I must be the scientific evidence that it’s not true, because I feel great. My work makes me completely happy; I love it and enjoy it all the time. I would not understand it in any other way.
If I am being honest, I don’t know how you can remember everything you have been told. If it were up to me, all the shipments would be wrong, I can guarantee you.
Without any exaggeration, it is all sent to me by email afterwards. I couldn’t remember it all either.
This place is surprising for its peacefulness, when it is so close to such important venues.
That is the reason for meeting up here. I am very proud of being a country girl at heart. I have lived here, in Aielo de Rugat, all my life. I defend places like this. Now, there are not even 200 inhabitants here. Although we are in the mountains, the beaches at Gandía and Oliva are only just over 10 kilometres away.
I have spent my life in this business; I know all the ins and outs. Many years have gone by and I can boast that I have friends in the sector, friends who placed their trust in me and lent a hand when I needed them (Alex and Emilio), not so long ago. My father died in 2009 and it was at about that time that the trade relationship with a chain we were working with broke down and we had to rebuild everything from zero.
How do you manage working alongside your husband?
After so many years, I can say that I have learned to modulate my worries about the business so that I don’t take them home with me. However, we have a strange link, at a decisive moment or in the middle of a negotiation, he immediately knows what I am thinking and vice versa.
Are you the only woman on the executive of the National Persimmon Association?
Yes, with the previous executive I was a member and now I am in charge of the secretary. Obviously there should be more of us.
How do you feel about the recent feminist movement?
I think it is very good. I think that we have brought back to the table many of the problems we experience as women. We have achieved many things, but if we make up half of the population, we still have a long way to go because we are not represented in this proportion. Without even mentioning the family burdens that continue to weigh us down or gender-related violence.
I believe that women together are unstoppable and, unlike what men have made us believe, we can be great friends.
Well, at least in the government that has just been formed we are represented.
For many years now there have been women who had been trained for certain jobs that only men did. Top executives are almost always men and the universities have had very well trained women for years. And in this sector, it goes without saying… sometimes you can feel a latent, very well hidden, male chauvinism.
I suppose that at some point you disconnect and that this doesn’t continue in the same way over the weekends, or perhaps you spends some time on yourself during the week?
I assiduously go to the gym and I do body combat, although I haven’t been recently, I always go back to it. In villages there is a deep-rooted tradition of walking from one village to the next, and around here the countryside is amazing.
Saturdays during the campaign are very busy, but on Sundays I distance myself from it all and I start the morning by reading two hard copy newspapers while I have my breakfast. And if I really want to relax, my therapy is baking or riding my bicycle along the beach.
But you are also a social network fan
Oh, of course I am, but a hard copy of a newspaper is so much nicer to read. You have to keep up with the times; I learn from the people around me because I don’t mind asking. Thanks to technology, now we can sell by Whatsapp, by email, on LinkedIn.
At the beginning of the month I went to a concert by Ara Malikian in Valencia. We also usually get away to Madrid to see a show or two on the Gran Vía, although this is more frequent in the winter.
If you were always working, how did you manage with your children?
Childhood is a very hard phase. My daughter slept on a pallet while I was in the warehouse and when she started taking notice of things, she told me off for never going to her school or on school trips, as my mother took care of these things. This is a time when you feel that you have been a bad mother. But you get over it.
How do you spend your summers?
Usually our holidays are almost always the same: the village reigns supreme. The fiestas here and in the surrounding villages take place in the middle of August and my children, who are 25 and 17, enjoy them and their friends come and go. But before the revelry begins, we usually take a break in Europe or in northern Spain.
Our conversation ends and Inma asks me to wait for her. In two seconds she has changed from her smart clothing into jeans; she puts flat shoes on and goes to take over the reins of the warehouse.