Streak Era pre-game 2012

This was the year that I began job hunting as ultimately The Show really became a dead end for a variety of reasons. For one it was becoming apparent I wasn’t getting along with the mean girls of $h!tplace and this enabled the Fiend to get into my head even further. My income definitely wasn’t going up as long as I stayed there as my wages were stuck at the prevailing minimum wage at the time. Of course they were stuck at whatever hours mgmt set for regular workers at the time.

Socially I was $h!t to a lot of people, there were some allies however for a good period of time I wasn’t in the right state of mind perhaps until finally leaving The Show. If it seems as if you have to just about fight almost everybody at anytime it’s not a good environment for anybody. Just make a plan and leave in that case or mgmt might decide to side with those who really were causing problems and they eliminate you from the workplace. Strangely enough that rarely happened usually threats but nothing more perhaps mgmt liked easy scapegoats.

Anyway that year started with a bang and calmed down for a bit then summer explodes with issues. Almost like the previous year with Missy who after some time she just left me alone. Pushing her back gets her angry, ignoring her makes her angry, complying satisfies her, however, it may ultimately cause more issues. Especially if she’s willing to run to mgmt for any and all issues because well she did call herself a b!tch.

What an odd year and yet I wasn’t entirely ready to face that it was time to leave. To the Fiend’s credit it was his idea that I pursue the mgmt opportunity at a neighborhood cinema, which fell apart. Not only the prospects of getting the job, but the company itself later that fall.

To be honest looking at the job description before he approached me on this I was like not ready. However, Anthony to his credit said go for it. “You got the experience” he stated. So I went for it and just thought of it as my escape hatch and well you know the rest of the story.

However by the end of the year, I just decided it was time to leave of course it still took over two years from the time of my very first interview of the streak era in August 2012 until October 2014 when I finally got a job offer with Gotham Bank. And interestingly enough that era was started with a mgmt interview with the neighborhood cinema to ending with a mgmt interview with the national theater chain.

Long story short 2012 could be a year of calamity, however, not the year that 2017 became. I consider 2017 more of a calamity because what happened back then actually hurt as it was 180 degrees from how that year started.

I wrote about a crisis a few years ago and further explained it some time later. I feel as if the crisis was created more by the influence of Anthony who often didn’t mind stating that he felt I didn’t belong at The Show. At the same time I wish it was more apparent that it was time to leave The Show as nothing much was going on there to advance me further than where I was.

The time to make a change as slow as it turned out has begun. It’s just hard to believe a lot of these events happened a decade ago!

Diversion

imageI’ve been trying to write this post for quite a while now. It’s something of a continuation of what I’ve been talking about for most of this year. Anthony’s strange campaign shortly before the Reign of Error to just change jobs to chase more money at another grocer.

I’ve identified possibly the moment when he opened the door to that which was when a few days before Christmas he picked me up from the house so that he can go look at car on a Friday December day five years ago. We were on our way to the western suburbs when I started talking about a Finer Foods store that has just opened on the south side of the city that year.

Out of nowhere during this ride he just asks “Whatever happened with that?” I knew what he meant and simply tried to deflect that I told him years ago. He simply said remind him and basically gave a shorthand version of why it didn’t work back then. He nods as if he hears me but I get the feeling he really wasn’t listening he was getting something out of this.

Little did I know on that day that this was only the beginning. And it leads what happened a bit later on. Did Anthony bring this up because never had closure from what happened in 2014 when he tried to get me on board with Finer Foods.

Of course for the following campaign I’ve had to come to a few other conclusions which I have also discussed during the course of the year.

To start, why did Anthony seem to want me back in “Streak Era” mode? Why did wages become such a sticking point for me to move on to Finer Foods?

I think the Fiend liked thinking he can influence people to get them to do things that doesn’t suit the subject, but in fact suit him. Anthony stated for the record once that yours truly was making good money at the Hole and in the interest of getting promoted to a mgmt position per his own comments I was talking about getting promoted to buy/receive. Once that became a subject and a real possibility then here comes the “if you come to Finer’s you’d make more money.”

Of course the longer I associated with him the more data collected. One thing that could be seen is that he will expose his real thoughts and opinions. He could only temper them for so long and he couldn’t help but bring up some negative episodes as I sought to make some positive changes in my own life. Perhaps in making an issue of Finer’s this was his way of reminding me that I still failed to get a job at his store back when I was still job hunting to leave The Show.

It was never directly stated but that type of thinking has been exposed in the past. However, the expectation the idea perhaps his attempt at Inception that I would just jump up and leave one good job for an opportunity for a few more pennies really exposes his own strategy. Since he left The Show I can probably count on one hand how many jobs he claimed to have.

To leave the show in fall 2013 he did security, then he went to Finer’s, then he was at this homegoods store, then he worked at some warehouse near O’Hare then he was disabled and started begging for money again, and then back to Finer’s again. When I finally ran into him unexpectedly at a hardware store he was in his security uniform. Surely I’ve only scratched the surface but those are what I know about if his own “resume” is correct.

Another thing I have recognized is that he had a sense of envy over my own progress at the Hole. I was very honest about him with my progression and wages. He seemed OK with it and of course enough to still come and beg occasionally back then. However, it still threw me off that he decided to offer that I’d make more money elsewhere. I should’ve done what he did with me when suggesting to others that they come to Fresh Foods “and do what with it?”

As stated in another post would making the switch for a few pennies more have only resulted in yours truly doing the same thing I have already been doing. Would I still have been working in the deli section having acquired no new skills? What exactly would I be leaving Fresh Foods for to begin with?

On top of that he had stated that he took the job at Fresh for some insurance benefits for his youngest son (the same son he blew up my phone for at least $100 which he’s failed to pay back). He’s supposed to be a negotiator right? So when he tells me how much he made at Finer’s his numbers weren’t that much better than mine. So yeah why exactly would I be thinking about jumping ship?

Ahhhh perhaps the envy might be in his words I have no overhead. No rent, no utilities, no girlfriend, no children, and just enough money for him to mooch off of when he needs it. He definitely weaseled his way into a position where he could get it. When he wants something he can just be determined he doesn’t stop.

Think about it he tried to call my phone a number of times over almost a two year period before he stopped. He thought he was free to write on my facebook page trying to reach out. He thought he can comment on my instagram until I blocked him and mistakenly I believed he had very little interest in that platform. He was determined to reach out at a time when I opted not to reach back and all I had to consider was all the data connected when he wanted to connect.

Needless to say I let that situation go on for far too long and that’s only served to further expose his true feelings about yours truly if what I’m hearing second hand is correct. The way he does like to go in on people he might still be sociable with is saying something. No integrity, no discretion unless it suits him, just a perpetually miserable person in general. To have him connected with me didn’t make me much better as a person.

Long story short I think of his Finer’s campaign during the calamitous 2017 as a diversion. Perhaps he wanted to distract me from the goals I had set upon that year. Of course what I do have to note is that I ran into some setbacks little did I know that hustled me out of the Hole very quickly. It was just a strange and a bad year for me. I do like to think I came back from it ultimately, however, it probably would’ve been a dark year had I made one decision in 2018. If I had responded to his initial attempts at contact when he called from a new number.

So let me finally state I feel as if his attempts at a diversion was to take me off my game at the time. Where I was there was some contentedness on my end and perhaps that didn’t suit him. The money whatever he thought that would be for me wasn’t enough. What was enough was a new boss who turned things upside down as it turned out.

However all that diversion did was another piece of data that caused me later to pull further back away from him. He may not realize this and probably will never recognize this, however, I’ve arrived at the point where he hasn’t earned an explanation not from my voice. And in the long run I just don’t think it doesn’t matter with him, he’ll only continue doing what he’s been doing.

Also you can add this link to this discussion as far as what ultimately led me to cutting all ties to the Fiend. If the Climax of the Reign of Error would have never happened who knows if I’d have finally done the deed to cut ties. For that time I tied myself to what I was doing at the Hole and it was unthinkable that things would go that direction and yet it did. Do I really want to maintain contact with someone who’s perpetually miserable that he’d really ride this to only say that I should’ve listened to him? I’m pretty sure that would happen.

A past decision

person walking on street between buildings

About seven years ago this month I got let go from my job at Gotham Bank. I have a few posts where I discuss what went wrong and my responses. Of course it led directly to my period at the Hole which proved to be better money than even the bank teller position.

I often like to state that I just jumped up and took the first job offer to leave The Show. That’s all my time at Gotham was. It could be viewed as a temporary position perhaps akin to going to that bookstore before going to the cinema as my main job. Although the difference is actually the bank was supposed to be the main gig, when accepting the job in the first place the crystal ball never said yours truly would have to find another job less than two months later.

On my end, it’s difficult to determine if accepting that position was desperation more than just being ready to leave The Show. Can’t answer, perhaps I could’ve held out for something better and when you think about it what ultimately led me to leave well perhaps as draining as it was perhaps I could’ve dealt with that. From mgmt on down to fellow associates…

Well with the information available the choice that I knew to make at the time was made. I decided it was time to go. The bank called me to offer the job first and I also had a mgmt interview with the national theater chain and they didn’t offer me a job. Perhaps I could hold out, but then for how much longer. Perhaps I could hold out for Fresh Foods once they were ready to open new stores especially.

Well either way some opportunities did arise once it became apparent that my job at Gotham was increasingly precarious – as noted before in the past it was no longer a matter of if but when. Even got one interview with Fresh before scoring another one with the store that would become known as the Hole. Also told my mother than if Fresh Foods offered me a position I would leave the bank which may or may not have surprised her, however, she did state later that it was at that point she realized it wasn’t working out.

What I must own up to for this was that perhaps I brought some bad habits with me from The Show. The primary reason why I was let go from Gotham was performance and attendance. I recognize now that the job I accepted was just not a good fit not so much the position as the team I joined. As time went on my performance left a lot to be desired and definitely did feel like the odd man out. There were a few who stayed cordial and there were a few who let out their frustration. Just have to call it the way I see it, this didn’t work for me.

And when the inevitable happened I just didn’t look back. While I may not have been happy being let go, on my end there was a huge sigh of relief once I did come home after being escorted out of the branch. The only thing it lead to was for me to take on a position in downtown Chicago which was exactly what I wanted anyway…

So perhaps I didn’t exactly get the job offer I really wanted in the two years of job hunting to leave The Show. I wanted something like a mgmt position, hopefully I could work downtown, and was willing to settle for a similar position as the one I wanted to leave the cinema for. Only to end up in a bank branch near home in a much more sketchy neighborhood.

However in 2015 for the new year finally arrived at a job that for that period of time proved to be a true gamechanger. Once the store opened I worked full-time hours and even took a quarter pay cut per hour to accept the position. Started off as part-time and became full-time in more less than three mos. Then got a raise after six mos and by the end of the year got health and dental insurance. While I did get PTO at the bank it was something I took advantage of when I got hired at Fresh.

At least for that period of time I could forget about that bank for a little bit!

The future

img_0870

A few days ago I was walking near downtown Chicago and there is a Fresh Foods store I had been visiting for about a decade. I don’t remember how I found it, perhaps a Google search or something like that. Either way yours truly had been patronizing that location for a number of years before joining the newly opened store referred to as the Hole on this blog.

It’s a nice quaint small store that was somewhat common among the first stores in the Chicago area at least when Fresh arrived in town. And sadly it has outgrown its space which is not very apparent for me to be honest, however, it’s apparent to the company. Personally I like the space, however, there are much newer stores in the city where they have much larger quarters and it’s time for that store to follow suit.

I didn’t find anything to buy on this day, however, once I left there was a high rise development no more than a block away. Across the street from a major downtown church and I see Fresh’s logo and an empty space within this development. I confirmed at work later that this store will be moving there a relocation from their current space. It already looks like it will be a nice one.

That could mean a future opportunity that I can take advantage of which would be in the spring 2022. So I shall see what happens, it’ll almost be like a new store open except whoever worked at the old store will have dibs on future jobs there. This isn’t the first relocation I know about since I started with the company in 2015. The other relocation had my former boss open as an assistant store mgr.

I’m going to keep an eye on this situation and perhaps the right opportunity will jump out at me.

I had a talk with my supervisor I was bouncing stories off him about what happened with the Hole and some of the leadership I met since being with the company over six years ago – even with that brief hiatus between 2017-18. He has strong opinions of people whom he has observed himself being leadership, he strongly told me that one of the dept mgrs who left his role at my current assignment after just about six months left a lot to be desired in his ascension.

He had to temper my more judgemental comments, however, it causes me to think about what if I became mgmt. Some I’ve talked to over the years – many I consider friends have asked me about the mgmt thing. A few years earlier while at The Show I couldn’t understand why it was never happening. I felt as if I could do what some of those individuals could do and also recognize some of them and others I’ve met over time left a lot to be desired.

Sometimes you have to be a bit tough. I think some thrive more on being tough. Some could be a bit more artful in handling issues. I recognize that aside from taking care of employee issues they have to take care of business issues as well. There is certainly a juggling of important issues which one has to recognize is very difficult.

So I’ve gotten older and have been a bit more gun-shy on this. I’ve met quite a few young people who tried to play the commanding know everything role and more often than not either they fail when they get to that role or they don’t quite get to step up to begin with. Perhaps you don’t have to be the loudmouth and be able to tell people what to do to be successful.

Handling people hasn’t been a very easy issue for me on the job. I’ve learned that no matter how “right” you may be people still give you headaches. When people cling to a bad story I’ve learned there’s no way you can change someone’s mind when they just decide something. I should’ve learned from childhood to even adulthood when someone is paying attention to you and decided that whatever or however you’re doing something is an issue then it just blows up. And often this happens at the expense of the job well their job not really my job.

So yeah there will be issues to handle but I hope to take a different approach than the managers I’ve met over the years. I don’t want to take sides so quickly and I really don’t want to encourage workers to “snitch” on people at any time. In my mind the worst complainers are the least productive though I do get that some people’s productivity or lack thereof affects others. Regardless a hard job and I will no longer pretend that I’ve figured it out. Dealing with people whether coworkers or customers can always be a challenge.

There’s a guy I work with who’s willing to stay late while everyone else leaves for the night. His choice and though I’ve never discussed this with him I’ve heard he has no interest in making mgmt. Which is strange for someone willing to put in the time, however, he understands that he will lose some freedoms when he makes that move. Most important he’s not making a spectacle of himself thinking he knows everything and is super great at his job and thinking its his role to be very bossy.

I’ve met too many people like that and sometimes I could be that way. However one lesson to learn and in my case I did start in earnest a bit later is that you have to work with people. Yeah people may do goofy things and dig in on them, you try to help them, but then again don’t make it your job to correct them. No more than I want someone who isn’t in authority over me to just pour over my work they don’t want that either.

I found a sheet of paper from The Show which was an evaluation of whether or not I can become a crew lead. Basically I would be just over an associate, however, just below a supervisor. I learned from someone who claimed they turned down the position that this was only a quarter more than minimum wage at the time. No benefits which was true of supervisors of course once you reach senior mgmt level they you get benefits which reportedly didn’t satisfy one of the senior mgrs who we worked with.

Either way I wanted to step up and my ego suggested that I was educated enough, however, did they need an educated crew lead? So perhaps in looking back at this evaluation and meeting with one of the senior mgrs for this role I did not show why I could take on this role. So I feel as if getting promoted at all at the cinema where I worked for close to five years would’ve caused me to crash and burn quickly.

I wouldn’t have had a lot of authority and at some point the crew leads who remained started to lose some of those privileges. For example instead of getting a mgr for theater passes you could get the leads and it will be taken care of. One of them said mgmt took away that ability from them. Then again in the early days the company that owned The Show as going through some restructuring so at some point I learned that the position was eliminated. Still some were given roughly those same privileges sans pay I never was, which is fine as this is why I accepted the job at Gotham Bank in the fall of 2014.

So again if I want to be a supervisor/mgr this is something I want to think very deeply about. In the moments I applied I just jumped up and went for it and wasn’t always the best approach. With Fresh you have to come up with a plan and network. I did take part in those times when we used to have seminars to help people move up in the company. However, I’m sure I did leave a lot to be desired in my own performance and whether or not I could move up.

Now I try to be a lot more thoughtful. Perhaps I won’t be all the way there, but then I do consider the supervisors/mgrs that I have met over the years. A lot of them left a lot to be desired and overtime that made itself apparent. Some of them I just wonder how they made it to their positions and some of them knew it and moved on. Others still crash and burn.

Also I may like the authority, but at this stage income is important. What’s the money to take on such roles. A store mgr at Fresh can make six-figures and that’s definitely something that is attractive, however, again that’s more pressure. And another thing that I need to determine can I be successful in that role.

Some issues that are worth pondering…

Dojo

So back when we were a bit distant from each other the man I now refer to as the Fiend kept coming around basically trying to connect. So one night at work he pulled me aside and invited me to come to his martial arts school or dojo. I likely asked how much and all he would say is “we’ll talk about it”.

Ultimately I never took him up on his offer. Often my excuse was could I afford this or is this something I wanted to do. However during that period of time 2011 into early 2012 I just wasn’t sure of him. As stated often here, the red flags were flying as he kept coming around and some elements of his Fiend personality came out especially the disappointed father. He wanted to get all in your head and your life and I felt as if he crossed so many lines. Sadly I allowed a lot of this just couldn’t believe that he would get so into whatever he wanted to get into. Also he positioned himself as a valuable if not volatile ally.

Either way perhaps the money thing and my distrust of him worked in tandem. However, I think the distrust thing sort of subsided as time went on even if there were still reasons to distrust him which was also true back when we were friends. Even when we were “friends” some of his actions weren’t exactly friendly.

Of course agree or disagree with me but I’ve written quite a few of those stories here.

Anyway back over 10 years ago he was trying very hard to connect and he wanted me to know that he’s very heavy into martial arts. What I do remember is according to his claim that martial arts were all he knew. Everything revolved around martial arts, he even knew what moves an actor uses in a movie fight scene. He also told me that he owned a martial arts school and also remember I wrote a story about his attempt to get some money from me for his school. I didn’t deny him sadly, but then I also didn’t work that hard to accommodate him.

Anyway, in the time after he tried to beg money from yours truly after starting at The Show, this is probably when I should have recognized how lucrative his martial arts school wasn’t. Who knows this small cash infusion was really for himself and not this school. Still you can see how uninterested in going to his school I was.

Another consideration is that being somewhat familiar with that neighborhood. In fact his school wasn’t too far away from where I worked at Gotham Bank. That neighborhood was very sketchy and I didn’t enjoy having to close down that bank at night nor having to be there early in the morning before the branch was open to employees for the day. And I hardly wanted to come there to study martial arts especially at night.

I had went there twice as Anthony wanted me to help him with a project that he saw through by summer. He was organizing an event at the same neighborhood cinema where we both tried to get mgmt jobs. He wanted me to meet his “business partner” at the dojo and one day I did meet with him to just jot down notes. In reality I feel as if there was no real need for me to be there.

Actually on the day we were supposed to go to his school to meet with his business partner we just were hanging around downtown Chicago doing absolutely nothing but killing time. I finally got tired and asked him when were we going to the school. From what I recall he never said when we were going he just said we were going to meet at his dojo but he wanted to make some stops downtown.

We were just going from store to store and ate lunch somewhere. He made phone calls following up on job leads. Even went to some museum run cinema downtown to jawjack, with him about to leave at one point then stopping before we left so that he went back into the cinema to do more jawjacking. Eventually we went back to the south side and waited a few hours before we just called it a day. We met with his business partner on a Saturday. He also said he’d compensate me for my time although as you know it seems he has a knack for insuring that I pay him for his.

To that last statement i.e. he didn’t compensate me.

The last time the subject of me becoming a student at his dojo came up during the episode of The next to last drop…. The subject of me studying a martial art came up and he made sure to mention he was trying to get me to come to his school. Then out of nowhere I said, “I didn’t want to come to your school”.

At that point he just stops talking, stops walking, stares at me and then continues his conversation. He noted one place I could go to which sounded like it was connected with a church. He never connected me with them though which is another pattern he had begun to establish and perhaps I didn’t have any great interest anyway.

Also if you want to know the place where Anthony’s dojo was located is now a vacant lot. It was very shocking seeing while driving around one day that the building that housed his school had been demolished. If that school survives, I do not know where it’s currently located. I can’t even say for sure that the Fiend is still even associated with that school, if he ever really was as a business partner.

As you can see a lot of the things the Fiend had claimed when we were still talking I began to view with a grain of salt now. Some of this could be lies, hot air, or even delusions though that’s not to say there’s things said that weren’t at all truthful.

November 2017

This month I had two interviews after the Climax of the Reign of Error. Both were with the national theater chain and especially the cinema that’s referred to as the Dine-in Show I formerly worked for the previous year 2016. Neither one panned out as far as a job.

One hiring manager for the Dine-In Show seemed a bit funny speaking with a former coworker there who in spite of my statements noticed that the hiring manager jotted down in his noted my “limited availability”. To be honest that wasn’t a good interview and neither was the other one I had with a cinema that was closest to the Hole. The manager there was a difficult read though as always I kept up my optimism.

Remember what I have been talking about for most of 2021. Earlier in ’17 I had to hear a relatively insistent barrage of Anthony telling me that “if you come to Finer Foods you’d make more money”. One time I snapped at him because even after talking learning buying he still found a way to inject that quote in the convo. Of course there were two other instances where he found a way to bring this up, the last time was during the time where he wanted to borrow some money asking out of nowhere “are you thinking about JUMPING SHIP YET?”

To be fair I’m not sure where this was coming from. And I’m sure that his campaign which started long before Fresh Foods and even Finer’s started making some changes had to have been out of not really being able to let go of what happened about three years earlier when he tried to get me on at his store. It was very strange to have to explain myself again and I had difficulty explaining myself to him years earlier because he was more determined to $h!t on me for not doing everything possible to get an interview let alone get a job. Really oblivious to the fact that it’s hard to worry a hiring if they’ve just immediately showed you how much of a priority you were.

Anyway, after leaving the Hole I had applied to a few outposts for Finer’s and even a few subsidiaries. Just like a few years earlier when I did actually interview with Finer’s at a hiring office on the north side of town it seemed like there were some extra steps to even get an interview. They wanted me to call some number in order to schedule an interview. Well allow me to be irresponsible here, but I’m so glad I saved my money and even the last bit of compensation from Fresh to have no sense of urgency to have to work at Finer’s.

Another thing to consider is that unlike the streak era where Anthony wanted to be all over me finding a job away from The Show – even going so far to try to offer advice that wasn’t very conducive to me finding a job elsewhere – that I didn’t want to involve him. That’s why I had a communications blackout with him in the first place because I really didn’t want to tell him about the climax. I didn’t want him to know about the drama and how it consumed me and hear his own negative opinions about it.

Besides now I wanted to find something else and while at that point it wasn’t about making it to the next level I also knew his job leads likely won’t be that great. They weren’t great in the first place and in thinking about the references episode I got the feeling he would find a way to hold me back.

Another consideration with the Finer’s deal was the difficulty in getting hired back in 2014. Anthony’s insistence on me going to his store and the difficulty with that and his own response to what happened. It was enough for me to back away although later on he still tried to get me back to that. It was strange and odd and perhaps just his way of going back to the past because he never fully was able to let it go.

I feel as if from the summer of ’17 through the holidays after the climax just set the tone for the blackout and ultimately me cutting ties to the man I know refer to as the Fiend. My situationship with him hardly was of any major benefit to me. It might have helped get me an interview to be a cinema mgr or even his insistence might have helped me stay focused on leaving The Show. At the same time it was a lot of negativity and retreads and even some bad leads and worse still we just were never going to be on the same page.

He always had his own ideas which he thought was a better idea as evidenced by his earlier comment before that campaign that “I think you’ll like Finer’s better!” I rejected that immediately only for him to throw in the money deal. Which I can’t tell you for certain if he was right.

Could it be the union? I’ve heard the union for Finer’s isn’t that great. I always though make more money means negotiating and Anthony had sold himself as a great negotiator and found out that his pay wasn’t that much better than mine. I mean just about $100 or $200 more than mine which causes me to think is he getting any benefits because I know he doesn’t care about benefits. And it causes me to wonder if he was lying about going to Finer’s for benefits for his own son – which he borrowed money that summer for.

I suppose for me while I was still at Fresh Foods I didn’t have a concept of how much “more” money Finer’s could offer to pay me. In reality I wasn’t interested but who knows they would have to offer some game changing money that for whatever reason Ant wasn’t getting when he was working for them.

At least for me before the climax the bet I was making was that a new position in buying would get me closer to that game changing money. We also saw how that worked out although I was working towards that Ant turned around and started talking about jumping ship. Like I said we were on entirely two different pages and we just were never going to be even remotely on the same planet.

Anyway to round this up I was looking at cinemas, retail, temp agencies or even transportation. I was looking at railroads especially, wouldn’t mind being a conductor or engineer and I do like to travel. Of course I know about the scheduling it probably could be a struggle.

Imagine being called up at any time to go to work. Sometimes it might be daytime or sometimes it might be nighttime. And transportation runs 24/7 although now is probably a good time to get into that industry as I know truck drivers are in demand. Who knows the air, rail and shipping industries are looking for people too. Hopefully that will involve game changing money as well.

Meanwhile as far as November 2017 goes I just had to stay optimistic….

Outcomes

The basic outline of what lead to the Climax of the Reign of Error was as a result of a delayed train going to work on a Saturday in 2017. The train just sat for a few minutes at a stop on the way to work and as a result I was twenty mins late on that morning and it was a very early morning too. First order of business I went to get a delay slip from a ticket agent at a stop closest to the Hole.

I later gave that slip to Gary an assistant mgr who said he’ll give it to Ruthless Roger and get that last tardy excused. As you know we saw how that turned out. He snuck up on me and spoke in his nerdy baritone and sent me to the store mgmt offices where Morley found every way he could to justify why I was getting dismissed from the company. In my mind it was unfair, but I had to accept because they weren’t changing their minds that this was a legit call.

Their primary justification was that corporate hadn’t said anything about any delays and no one else was affected by it. They claimed they waited a couple or so days before they made that decision, could be bull$h!t but who knows. So for them and probably Rog who walked right back out of the office without a word I just don’t know how they arrived at this awful call. One can only assume that he just wanted me gone for reasons only he really knew.

Another justification was according to the fact that I was already on an attendance probation. And it was justified that these delays were covered by the point system and thus if you have enough points, if they don’t want to accept a delay slip from public transit then you go bye-bye.

I was given differing explanations for the attendance probation. Morley in that instance said for approximately six months if I’m not tardy again and all my points clear off then I’m officially off the probation. However, yet another store mgr who had actually left about a month prior had told me when I got served with that during the summer that I couldn’t be late at all for the next six months. So they didn’t entirely understand this either, no clarity

So either way I was out of the picture and anyone involved with this right or wrong were just viewed as @$$holes!

Let’s fast forward about four years later. This past summer I was late in almost a similar fashion, except I was just about an hour late due to yet another delay. In ’17 I learned through social media that there was a sick passenger no announcement was made on the train by our motorman beyond our train was going express which helped make up some time.

On the other hand all I knew in ’21 was there was a track condition near the next stop as announced by our motorman. At that point I was on the outskirts of downtown Chicago. As we continued waiting I decided it was time to just do something else so I went to a very friendly and helpful ticket agent in the station house for a delay slip and decided to walk to the nearest elevated train line.

The difference between ’17 & ’21 was the personalities and the lessons learned. When I got to work I made sure this time to go to my store mgr told him the situation. Of course he told me he had to see if anyone else was affected by it, which I realize by experience. He said he was going to get back to me by the end of the day which he hadn’t and I didn’t follow-up right away until…

One of the assistant mgrs was about to write me up for it. I told her the situation and at least this time I was carrying my delay slip in my wallet as my store mgr had taken a copy of it. He was going to kick it up the chain of command and I still got the original slip. She threw the write up away as taking away that last tardy brought me back down to where a write-up wasn’t necessary.

And it had to be reiterated again when my boss was about to serve me again for that tardy. I told him the situation and the store mgr was in mgmt offices so we asked him. Store mgr said I was good and thus still wasn’t held accountable for that tardy. For the record I still have that slip at home

A few lessons learned in both of those instances is just follow-up and if necessary escalate. Perhaps I could’ve done much better in the more recent example, though I did hold it as something of a wild-card successfully. However, I could’ve been a tad more forceful.

This second stint I’ve been much better about my timeliness yeah I’ve been late though I do work with people who are much better with being on time. They don’t even like to do grace periods, where I was told I likely won’t get marked down for grace periods however the company doesn’t want that abused either.

Regardless as a worker or even a job seeker there were situations where there were managers who were just sticklers for time. They don’t like for anyone to be even one second late and will hold it against you forever. In those cases, I was somewhat glad to get away from those types because it was going to be a problem no matter what.

In the case of ’17 I was up against a boss who may not have been a strict stickler for time just a stickler for the rule book and was very willing to follow it to the letter. Today I can just laugh at that because we now see how that worked out for him…

Also to be stated in ’17 I was on the brink fell right over the edge. In ’21 there was no brink to fall over just wanted to avoid getting marked for a tardy which really wasn’t my fault.

What could’ve been?

I’m having trouble as far as trying to come up with a follow-up post to the shoot from earlier this month. Then I realized let me expose an “easter egg” for you. I showed a few scenes of grocery stores on my instagram page within the past two months and one of those scenes are actually of a store that I had interview with in 2014 during the streak era.

The store in question I had an interview with during the Streak Era was with a company I call Finer Foods which does represent a real life company owned by a major corporation and it was located not too far away from downtown. It was a bit closer to home than the store the Fiend wanted me to come work for and they were looking to hire people as it was a new store that had yet to open.

To give you a basic timeline. In January or perhaps earlier in February 2014, Anthony had sent me a text asking if I wanted to work for Finer’s. I reply, Yes. He said I should be hearing from someone and I do, however, around the same time Finer’s corporate offices came calling. This was one that the ball was dropped I will admit because the acceptable option back then for yours truly was a shorter commute which meant the location closer to downtown.

As with other interviews during that period of time I had to take some steps before receiving a job offer unfortunately there is hardly any guarantee. That period is called the streak era because I went through a number of interviews until October 2014 and failed consistently to get a job offer. So this interview was the seventh of about fifteen interviews and the count would be zero and seven.

I had to go through a phone screen successfully and then had to do an in person interview. I had to change trains and then walk a bit to get to a hiring center which either used to be a daycare center or a hair salon. The people doing the interviewing were wearing uniforms consistent with Finer’s which was in those days a white shirt, black pants with a black necktie.

I hardly talk about interviews however it wasn’t long before this interview that I learned it was a bust. I just couldn’t read the interviewer and while I kept up my optimism it wasn’t going the way I hoped it would. Perhaps I tried to hard to show that hiring me was a good choice and hopefully move up the chain if you will. The interviewer wasn’t showing enough enthusiasm and had no reason to believe she was going to offer me a position.

So I didn’t leave in great spirits although I did “hope” for a phone call. Worse still she suggested not the store I was originally told by someone in the corporate offices over the phone, she mentioned yet another store on the north side of town which seemed like a much better commute than going to the northwest side of Chicago.

Another thing that threw me off about this interview, I forget what questions I asked – and it probably wasn’t very good anyway – but her answer was to tell me that she never worked or doesn’t work for a store. She probably was an HR person as I can only imagine those are the only ones whom a company would trust to make hiring decisions. One question she asked me threw me off and wasn’t sure how to answer “What frustrates you?” To answer that in the context of a job without talking about all of your life’s frustrations is not exactly a very easy task. I don’t remember my answer all I can say is that one can only do the best they can with that question.

It’s almost like being asked about your tardiness or just general attendance. I feel like once that’s on a manager’s radar and while it’s an easy fix you can’t win with that question.

Anyway at some point after that I reached out to Anthony regarding his contact the one who had called me. I only ask if she was at work on that day, he only answers NO. Though I made the assumption that he washed his hands of it and decided that one word answer was as sign that I was being blown off. Just decided it was OK for me to pursue those opportunities I really want.

Of course as time went on into the next month I get bombarded by single-minded texts and missed phone calls by Anthony with primarily one question, “What’s going on with Finer Foods?” As things just slow to a crawl again with no potential prospects coming along I break down and give Anthony a call thinking he has some connections I can use to leave The Show. He characterizes me blowing off his store for a soon to open store for his company as “putting all your eggs in one basket”. Meanwhile as you might have figure he later tries to have me put all my “eggs into his basket” and pursue the opportunity he had set up for me. Well consider that a move that didn’t work the way he nor yours truly wanted it to.

Last month for the first time I ever I paid a visit to that store. Nothing remarkable about it I figured quickly it had the same layout as the previous tenants. Unlike Fresh Foods in the same situation Finer’s didn’t take a significant time to design & build out their spaces. I came looking for some typical items to purchase. And it was an interesting visit, one can only wonder what would’ve been had it worked out back then.

I heard so many negative things about Finer’s as a company that I find myself wondering if working there would’ve worked out for me in the long run. At this point who knows, I feel as if it took a few months after this at least into 2015 to find a move that in the long run worked out best for me.

And if you haven’t done so already follow me on instagram

Breach!

I still talk with a friend of mine from The Show I call him Keith and told him about a letter I got from the company. There was a data breach and it involved the information of present and past employees. I’m pretty sure there are a lot of people who got such a letter in their mailbox.

I even messaged Keith that part of me hoped it was a check – a check for what who knows perhaps stolen wages. I never thought I’d get anything from the place I formerly call $h!tplace. The last communication I ever had from that place was in November 2014 which they gave emails about codes to certain doors around the cinema and an employee meal from the bar and lounge. Another coworker even joked they want me back and all I could say is that they could’ve kept me and it’s too late!

The company that owns The Show has been referred by many employees as cheap. They don’t like to spend money on anything, including raises for their associates. So it was a bit funny when they offered a free year for identity protection services. Told this to Keith because you know at least they’re paying for something he laughed.

Either way I have one more piece of business with The Show to deal with although not really serious business just take advantage of this offer and go from there. This isn’t the only time I’ve had to deal with something like this.

I shopped at Target and they were victims of a data breach. I again took advantage of a deal on identity protection services. Called an 800 number and talked with a nice man who had a southern accent. We talked about football and admitted that the Bears have disappointed me once too often for me to care. And my bank sent me another debit card because of it.

Well anyway just thought I share this with you. Another filler post to share with you all until about the end of the month. Hard to believe we’re right in the middle of fall at this point.

Soon it’ll be time to get ready to fall back with our clocks….

Climax revisited

Another critical thing that happened this month during the past decade was my dismissal from the Hole. I call that day now and forever the climax of the reign of error. I wrote briefly about one of the after effects of that period which is yet another mgmt change at my former store in my former dept.

I don’t really want to rehash what happened back then although I do have a story to share about that moment. I relate it to what happened during the past few months and note the similarities and differences. However that will be another time.

I have to say that it’s something that I have to take responsibility for as stated here on occasion. I had the wrong boss to play around with and perhaps I was in a situation that perhaps allowed some complacency. It was something that I had taken for granted, however, once a new boss was installed all bets were soon off. It’s like he honed in on something he didn’t like and he pounced immediately. What makes this story laughable was that the situation didn’t work out for him either.

Regardless if anyone wants to think about one cosmic reason for what happened. Why did I “point out”? Why did I have to be late that one last time? Why didn’t mgmt at the Hole from Rog to Morley accept that delay slip from the transit authority? Those are questions that may never be answered. And again this is something I want to cover at a later time.

Long story short, aside from those unanswered questions the “cosmic” reason for this very disappointing result is what I have been talking about since 2018. I’ve already discussed yet another after effect of this era which was my situationship with the Fiend had changed. And I’ve also written what I consider now the strains within what I would now refer to as a very odd friendship.

I feel as if possibly remaining at the Hole even in a somewhat diminished capacity would likely mean that perhaps I’d continue that situationship. More requests for money or even more negativity. Once I started on a new course during that summer he really ramped up his negativity. Even decided to engage in the diversion of trying to get me to leave for his preferred company and “make more money”.

However, if I suffered an unexpected reversal and had no “decent money” coming in why would I help him? Why would I accept a message to call an anonymous person who turned out to be not so anonymous because he merely changed his phone number? I realize a lot of his actions weren’t reasonable overtime and seemed to change with his moods or even his needs. Why did it take me so long to finally do something about it?

Of course I might emphasize there was a strong possibility that I’d have to listen to his negativity about the bull$h!t that happened at the Hole. Perhaps he’d start off positive but knowing his general patterns he’d probably find a way to question me as far as why this happened and how it happened. He’d be a disappointed father who’d determine that I’m unreliable and what happened showed why. Of course this is coming from someone who never had a real plan that hopefully would propel me forward other than chasing other jobs that would provide nothing more than another few cents on top of what I already make anyway.

Well to change the subject slightly with this pandemic and what happened at my current assignment I suffered another reversal. Perhaps it’s only served to put some things into perspective and perhaps to reinforce what I’ve determined since the “climax” which is that a job is nothing more than a means to an end. One can work to earn money however there are other ways, however, while you’re working why not maximize your potential while you’re at a company. If it’s not possible then move on!

What I hoped would work out at the Hole didn’t which I can attribute to my own complacency and the changes occurring in such a short period of time back then. Perhaps that’s a bad habit that I need to really take care of NOW. This was yet a hard lesson I need to take to heart.