frustration

frustration

next month i would like to talk more about why i left the job at “the show” two years ago. what i hoped to gain by leaving and indeed what led up to me leaving. in effect next month is marking another milestone, it’s been two years since i finally left.

a few months ago i talked about frustration. it led me to have very unfortunate relationships with some of my coworkers. it led to some conflict with many of the most drama prone individuals – mostly teenaged girls. however with that experience i was able to take it with me to the next point.

when i last met with anthony i thought about some moments that i got caught up in easily and it was out of frustration with my role there. i got into with people even when for the most part i tried hard to ignore any potential issues.

with that being said on my end there was some aloofness and it may have kept me from advancing there. it may have allowed some of the young people to take some of my actions personally. i feel as if many of them thought it was about them when it wasn’t.

in some cases i knew after some incidents that some were trouble so i kept my distance. and it becomes i question everything you do because you won’t speak to me. i could be as silly as they are.

sometimes it gives me the idea that those individuals willingness to make someone a target they had their own miseries that they either brought with them to work or they were miserable at work. the thing is at this point their problems are now their problems and it is their own problem to work through them.

then i consider what has happened the past year and a half. leaving was the best thing i did. who knows where the troublemakers are now. at least now they still arent part of my future.

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the return

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when jack v returns again to “the show” as an unwilling “tourist”…

recently anthony and myself did lunch at a local portillo’s restaurant and one that was newly opened near downtown chicago. we seem to like to talk about some of the drama we had at “the show” as it’s often the dominating topic of discussion. of course we do veer off into other subjects.

for example when we left portillo’s we went into a local container store where he decided to track down a manager. when we hang out he often times seeks out a manager to discuss a potential job opportunity. the first time he did this his first question was management training programs.

he often likes to talk about the gift of gab which is to just talk and gather intelligence. ask a question get an answer and gather more intel. when i first saw him doing this, it was during my initial job search trying to leave our mutual employer of the time. even with his advice i still failed to even connect with a new job which could be a matter of i failed to take heed or i did and got no results at all.

he did something totally unexpected on this occasion, he went into our former employer just to use the bathroom. i’m very tempted to say he did this on purpose. and he knows the nature of my history with that place and said come in anyway i did. needless to say this wasn’t the first time i paid this place a visit and unexpectedly. the first time i did i saw the changes.

the changes when i visited was the concession stand now sells alcohol. of course due to liquor laws it would have to be sold and poured into a cup which isn’t classy but that’s what it is. alcohol can only be sold by someone 21+. those who are 21+ have an indentifier.

i see that and can say if i had remained there that would’ve been my future. i’d be pouring alcoholic drinks behind the concession stand. at least at the theater i just quit this year i’d get the opportunity to be a bartender and make some tips at least. there it would still be a minimum wage job.

often times when i talk about my history with this place i basically direct some of my comments to the people who i’ve had issues with. many of whom are likely no longer working there as they’ve likely secured their futures through school or a better job. most of the time i recognize that with many of them i’ve alienated any relationship with them. to which i say this…

some of the people i worked with who did get along with me were still happy to see me. i feel as if the ones who didn’t care for me decided to find others who felt the same way or attempted to speak ill of me to anyone who’d listen. perhaps in some cases they failed in spite of themselves. i didn’t alienate everyone and perhaps that’s the best revenge i could have.

all the same change is good. “the show” had to change their business to continue to make money. i needed to change jobs and get more than i had been getting at “the show”. also needed to change jobs because i’d have to pay for parking as an employee and that wouldn’t have been acceptable.

on top of that the people i worked with needed to change also. many of them needed to grow up and i needed to grow up. for me to grow up meant i had to leave that place behind. may that process continue…

trouble

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what do you do when trouble finds you?

so anthony an old friend i worked with at “the show” has talked me into taking some martial arts lessons. as much as i would entertain boxing as a martial art of choice he suggested karate. he suggested a place off the beaten plain in a sketchy neighborhood. another school he knows about was blown off because it would be too rough for me as a beginner.

perhaps i can train to be batman, but in this case i’m not training to fight for justice. instead i’m training to fight for myself more than anything. so far i know how to be mostly defensive just try to see any potential trouble before it becomes trouble. but even then you come ready when you just can’t ignore it.

another activity worth starting is exercising. at this moment just stretching, walking, push-ups, sit-ups, etc. beyond that just join a health club and keep myself in shape. i’d rather be a slim senior citizen then a slightly pudgy one because while i was younger i didn’t really do much to maintain my body.

as much as i enjoy working at a grocery store i still haven’t gotten a handle on eating healty. as much as i enjoy having a sweet-tooth I have to cut down on them and focus on much more healthier meals. perhaps doing some physical fitness would do me some good. even better i can afford it now so it can’t hurt.

the off-year

jack v meets a man who has a movie based on his story during a year of nothing…

quick note i intended to post this immediately before the taking shape post. somehow this got posted way before i started off this recent series with chronicles.

the next year was a much more relaxed year no pressures although yes for most of that year i was unemployed. i used that experience at the college bookstore to apply for other retail stores in the area, but no use they still weren’t calling. not until that august when i got an e-mail from another college bookstore in the downtown area. at this point i knew what to target for a quick job and even better at this other store another young lady gave me a tip to get another job.

i had plenty of time and some money to sign up for an AOL account – yeah how old am I? – and at that to use a laptop which allowed me to suspend my internet activities because it alerted me to when someone was calling the house. btw, another thing that shows my age this was still the tail end of the dial-up era and broadband was still expensive then. likely i didn’t do many applications online then i pounded pavements to my other haunts in downtown chicago.

as an aside it never occurred to me to look for a job at movie theaters near the downtown area or at least the one i would later interview to become a manager –  not once! i wasn’t as smart about job hunting then as i had when it was time to do so after graduating college.

my mother one day set up a meeting with a local celebrity. and i’ll give you a hint he was the subject of a film “pursuit of happyness”. i was willing to give it a try and hopefully net a job lead through him, but it felt like a disaster. my mother didn’t mind letting me know this.

if you judge from the movie he was far more determined to raise his son and get out of homelessness than i was at that time to get back on the track that i wanted to be on. that was a very disheartening year to just have very little to do and no prospects as far as school or jobs. and the ones who supported me they were giving me a hardtime about it also.

so anyway he sensed my uncertainty and feel as if he attacked me. to be fair i may not have conducted myself in the best way in his eyes. he belives in praying before we eat, i generally don’t so in his words he’ll do it for me. perhaps i could’ve said do the honors please. he had something to say when i didn’t get my mother her jacket.

all that happened during this meeting i remembered then and now that he pulled himself out of homelessness back then. he was able to turn his life around from one extreme to the other. he definitely was uncompromising in his beliefs and to this day i still say “ouch” about this meeting.

i almost got mugged on my way home that year. a couple of guys walked by me i greeted them and thinking they were walking away i somehow figured out that one of them was running back towards me. i turned around just as one of them leaped into the air as if to drop kick me only to drop back down on his feet to grab me and throw a punch. i got away though as i wanted to punch back i thought better of it and ran off breaking free.

he gave chase back across the street as i was lucky to not have been hit by any traffic. my street wasn’t particularly busy, however, there was traffic. and what cut this off was i rang the doorbell of a retired police officer who never came to the door. thankfully they cut off their chase and went back the direction they were going in the first place.

that summer i did a number of interesting things. to start we had a family reunion in indianapolis that we went to. later that summer i took on another college bookstore job and paid my first visit to the liberal arts college to register really but got some valuable info about financial aid for later. also my mother and i paid a visit with her sister and my cousin to my grandmother’s southern hometown.

suddenly the off year was coming to a close and things were starting to take some semblance of shape. the celebrity i met that spring wanted to know when i was going to know about whether or not i was going back to school. i had no answer for him at the time to be honest, but little did i know then that the path was becoming clearer and clearer.

 

 

possibility

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A few days ago I ran into one of the many young women I only know through fb. We’ll call her Andrea and who knows where she had been coming from but we ran into each other in downtown Chicago. She apparently recognized me as someone from our respective colleges – i.e. I attended that liberal arts college & she attended the all-girls college.

To be honest it caught me off-guard so I didn’t adjust accordingly. Andrea is a petite woman with full lips and on this day sporting braids. She said she was in town from New York visiting family. She is originally from Chicago and said she’s staying at a nearby hotel at least until the weekend.

When she saw me I was just leaving the movies nearby and told her what I saw weirded me out. It was funny but just weird. She was aware of another movie of local interest about the Obamas and their love story. Sorry to have disappointed her but I didn’t go see it.

Either way we had a nice chat and spoke of finding my way to New York to catch a tv taping in future. Possibly SNL although I no longer consider myself a fan of that program but something worth doing absolutely. Other than that I suggest we keep in touch through fb and we parted.

Also should be noted that we had over the years talked to each other on fb. Sometimes it’s as much sizing each other up more than anything but sometimes my idea of being a potential match is funny. Perhaps I’m looking for pretty girls who won’t give me the time of day.

Either way just for an exercise what if I chose to pursue this young lady?

taking shape

jack v before he is able to return to that liberal arts college…

i had started this year off with no clear plans. no job for that time although before the year was over i’d held three jobs. did two trips of out town to indiana and the south. and then two more one-nights to the liberal arts school in georgia.

after i left the second job of the year i went to the school to attempt to register. i sent an e-mail to cover my bases although i waited a minute before i made a move. it was almost the end of extended late registration and the financial aid counselor told me i won’t likely finish the process in time. she suggested i get in touch with them later that fall and work things out with them so i could return the next term.

since i had been out for over a year i had to re-apply and had been accepted. so it was a matter of getting my affairs in order so that i can finish what i started. when you think about it, it was inconceivable at the start of the year that this was possible. still my eventual return to the college in spite of my pessimism was in the future and there were some other steps to achieve before then.

during the course of that fall i was still looking for another job. i feel as if during that period it was easier to not put some effort into the search, but during this period i had gained some valuable information. still my experience was spotty in the worst way and i’d have a tough sell on my hands.

after leaving a store filling an application i ran into an old friend from high school who shall be called cecil. he was walking down the street and i went over to him when i saw him. he was on his way to work at a local entertainment center with a short order kitchen, games and rides. i followed him there after some updates on what we’ve been doing since graduation. he suggested i put in an application which i did before leaving.

before they called me instead of calling the liberal arts college, i again took the bus down to georgia to talk to the financial aid counselor. which after a few stumbles i accomplished getting financial aid before leaving the campus again that evening. with a little income earned the previous year i still had to take out some loans, however, i got some grants to play with. i had actually accomplished the unthinkable at this time and the path was cleared for me to return to school in the new year.

meanwhile the next month i got a call from that place where cecil worked. had two interviews with them one manager was more in charge of hosting as this place hosted parties. another manager would interview me the next day for a different role and that was who hired me.

as the month went on it seemed like a miserable time and something that i wouldn’t see again until time went on at “the show”. thing is i only worked there a month as it was time for me to go back to school and restart that process. the money and hours weren’t good but one milestone was that this was the first non-temporary job i held and i didn’t last long.

what happened here was that the young people i worked with took advantage of this idea of seniority. one young man irritated me engaging in some form of managerial behavior on my last day there he tried to say i needed to come in on saturday. funny thing was i already handed my notice to one of the managers that i wasn’t coming back after that friday. i never reported in on his word at all.

btw, cecil started to take advantage of seniority to start telling me what to do. and even reverted to some of his high school behaviors as in slapping me upside my head. i could’ve said something to stop it, but instead i just chose to not participate. not sure if this sent a message, however, i wasn’t going to play that then. he even engaged in some of the teasing at work and i was starting to get irritated with him when he referred to me as a nerd instead of by my name.

so whatever he enjoyed after working with me for almost a month he wasn’t happy when it turned out i was leaving. when i saw him in his regular station at the kitchen he seemed to have an attitude and was distant. when i said that job blows – repeating something that he said – he turned around and said testily “find something else”. i only laughed and it took me a minute to process what was going on and went on my way asking him to “wish me luck”.

irony of ironies, this was the one job i got away with a no call/no show. for a while as i worked i didn’t get paid and so when i saw one of the managers i made sure he got a note of those days i worked with the times that i never got paid. it may have explained why one weekend i just decided not to show up for work. plus it helped that it snowed heavily that weekend. either way it was funny when the manager told me i can come back on my breaks from school. alas i never took him up on this offer and the last two shifts i worked there was never paid.

so after i new years i left that place for good and i have little idea what happened to cecil after that. for all i know he may have moved on to the next job and to be honest he didn’t strike me as ambitious. for his behavior that brief time other than working he never wanted to advance beyond adolescence. perhaps one day i’ll find out what became of him.

the place itself is no longer open. the owner had closed this place down for good and sold via auction all of the equipment. this occurred no more than two years after i had left. so the many young characters i left behind who knows where they went if they stayed there through closing. perhaps they went to college or found new jobs who knows.

what i know is that after this i moved on to the college again where i had a longer and year rough stay. after this period i had a much longer period of unemployment. school would take up most of my time.

there will be more devoted to my time as a 20ish male virgin.

 

misadventures

of jack v who returns home after one term away and had to come up with plan B…

at the start of 2002 i went away to that private liberal arts college. again i had no plan for that at least financially i expected my mother help pay my way but tuition was expensive she would later determine that she would never borrow any more money to send me to school – in effect i was on my own.

funny thing is i never graduated from the community college. at that point i saw no point in getting an associate’s degree i was just ready to move on for my bachelor’s. i chose this school for it’s history and the all-girl’s school across the street. it was a great school and had the prestige i craved and figured i may not have succeeded in the ivy league at least.

either way what didn’t help my position was i didn’t do so well away from home. had some freedom but my grades were terrible and even worse had very little of my own money at the time. when i came home that summer my mother was already on my case about getting a job.

it was a tall order at the time. i had attempted to find a job while in community college no takers but to be honest i was not that serious. i wanted what i wanted which was a bank or retail job. also remember many employers had paper applications back then…soooo i still have to go to these places and ask for a paper application. not sure if i was smart enough to look for any website that would allow me to apply for more jobs.

there were a precious few hits during the course of the year. my expectation was to go back to school and that’s what blew my first opportunity at a retail store for a museum at navy pier. then i had group interviews the rest of the way and none of them netted me a job even for the holidays.

my mother started having me sit down and we plan for job hunting. to be honest i didn’t want to hear it on the other hand she’s doing this because she didn’t see much progress. this is what she wanted and my options weren’t getting better. i took a temp assignment working on election day as a precinct worker helping voters but that was all until the end of the holidays when it was time for back to school at one of the local universities downtown. it was temporary, but it helped me get some needed job experience to place on my resume. never being employed in the first place was a huge problem.

of course this wasn’t the only problem, my mother still wanted her associate’s degree. while i had little plan beyond returning to the liberal arts school my mother insisted that i go back to finish the associates degree. in fact two of my aunts brought it up in conversation. i tried to offer a bullshit answer, but i realized they’re bringing it up because mother told them about it. it really was her expectation that i would finally graduate with an associate’s.

ultimately in a fit of stubbornness – for which she said very little – i registered but only for just enough classes where i still would be short. she knew what i was doing she later told me, but decided to choose her battles. ultimately she never got the associate’s degree and i continued to rack up debt until i finally-finally-finally got my bachelor’s.

in the meanwhile as i finally found something even if temporary i still had another year with no clear plans. this story is coming up next.