Mr. Boastful update

You know I’ve been having trouble finding a topic of discussion beyond me changing jobs (actually transferring changing jobs within the company). Perhaps this is the perfect time to talk about some loose ends.

Last month I wrote about a character I refer to as Mr. Boastful. Sometime in the fall after being a buyer/receiver for over four years about, he got bumped down to a cook. He had transferred stores twice during that period. He was officially a team receiver for over a year at The Hole, and then for over two years he was a buyer at a store I will refer to as Flagship 1 and then he moved onto be a buyer at another store Flagship 2. And then after maybe about four months his job title changed to cook.

I’m on the outside looking in so at Flagship 2, I can’t say what happened only Mr. Boastful knows. I can conjure up a story in my head and say this move didn’t quite work out for him. Perhaps it wasn’t going to work out for him for long if he maintained his outspoken attitude which is why I call him Mr. Boastful.

I gave a quick sequence of events over time starting in about 2017. I can tell you that once the Reign of Error commenced with our boss Ruthless Roger and he was starting to make changes or moves, Mr. Boastful was right there paying attention. Being an opportunist, seeing a potential opportunity, basically waiting for yours truly to fail so that he can take advantage. Once a requisition for a position did come up and I got hit with that attendance probation I couldn’t go for it and it immediately comes out that he applied.

And here was the real problem I had with his behavior during that period of time. It’s not so much that he was going to get the position that I had, it was that he was very much into rubbing it in on yours truly. He was essentially gloating about this and that was my problem the more he just insisted on doing so. Couple that with him starting to talk $h!t about it way before he got into that position.

I feel as if there was a lot of uncertainty during that period of time which started to hit me in some ways with the tardiness – all of it unintentional however those issues had built up long before the summer. And also Rog’s need to be very by the book by his measures which unfortunately made that issue much worse for yours truly. This is why I call this era the Reign of Error, not so much because of any errors by yours truly – though I could say I make a lot of “tactical errors” – it’s because the main error was this fool was allowed to live up to his level of incompetence.

Anyway, I suppose Mr. Boastful’s boorish behavior has lasted in my mind. And I got one more piece of news for you as far as that goes, he’s no longer with the company. I looked for his name and couldn’t find him on the company’s social network. My best theory on that – if I held to my own narrative – is that he didn’t want to be cook. For someone who had proven himself to be very ambitious and cocky I could see him viewing being a cook as a step down from where he wanted to be. I believed that the move that happened at Flagship 2 wasn’t something he really wanted. From what I recall he never expressed interest in being a cook, whenever he pursued other positions when I worked with him he wanted to be a supervisor although he sort of quieted down on that once he started doing the buy/receive.

I also consider now what my motivations were at the time when I took on the role. Was this something I really wanted? My goal was to make mgmt at the time. Also I never really learned numbers which is what’s necessary to do buying. I did have product knowledge though I didn’t know about all the products of the dept or even how much product the dept needed to make whatever the dept needed to sell. I feel as if I didn’t get the education that Mr. Boastful – whom I felt put on a show to illustrates how much he wanted this – actually sought out.

So while I didn’t like his behavior I’ll have give it to him that he got what he sought out. He clearly played the game, I would dare say he outplayed me however in his need to talk he had to let me know what’s up. It worked for a while, though I wonder if he somehow did himself in ultimately.

Either way I might have looked at this practically like I didn’t have to deal with customers of course that changed. And also consider I’ve had other opportunities that didn’t work out for me at the new store and even in a new dept. Perhaps on my end something was missing in both recent cases. Thankfully it wasn’t a case of “unfriendly competition” perhaps just a case of I just came up short anyway.

I suppose if I was still attempting to pursue such positions in the future, perhaps I need to evaluate whether or not these are opportunities worth pursuing. These are added responsibilities which it seems I haven’t been able to show that I can handle. And as stated it’s very easy to be comfortable and complacent and I’m getting too old for that. Something has got to give even if that means I want to leave Fresh Foods in the near future as I made the move to Flagship 3.

So, I have some serious thinking to do. Will an opportunity open up for me at my new store? Will I prepare myself adequately for that role and for the interview? And how do I address someone who is very willing to challenge me in every way once I get into such a position? I would never do it anyone to be honest even if I knew someone was doing a $h!t job, however, it’s more stressful when someone decides to do it to yours truly.

I think this month I will skip discussing the Streak Era and talk more about that period next month. Also I may cover the story involving the Fiend and Greta next month. One topic I’ve been trying to figure out how to write is the idea of losing your temper at work. So perhaps this article will be the last posting for this month.

How has 2023 been for you all so far?

Updates and history

As currently I’m learning my new role on yet another new team in over four years, I can compare this current time with me joining the team at the Hole after being hired with Fresh Foods. We had to go through what they call “hit the ground running” their take on orientation which we did at a local university and later a local hotel and then eventually we moved over to the store itself which was just opening. I learned my role eventually and would dare say I latched onto my role to the point where it was a shock that I lost my job there over two and a half years later.

However back in the time between Dec. 2014 and Jan. 2015 it came in a very quick fashion. I had just lost my job at the bank, and it was a job I really was starting to despise. It wasn’t going very well and the people I worked with there let me know it. My goal was to find something else and I’ll drop them like a bad habit of course they dropped me like a bad habit. Today I would say good riddance, back then it came with some uncertainty although I had some interviews lined up with the Hole.

If I had it my way perhaps I’d be a cashier, though I’m glad I didn’t start off in that role. I’d deal with the issues of a deli counter instead. It’s not much different than working a concession stand. I’m actually working in a real kitchen with real food. And of course picky customers who can’t help but make food an ordeal. Sometimes you just wish you can tell them to cook for themselves.

Anyway once the change happened eight years ago, I told a few people from The Show. I did tell Anthony that I got a job with Fresh, he had a positive spin. When I told him how much I got paid he was like nice, until sometime later I told him what I would be doing which he characterized as a bad career move. What I tried to steer him towards is how much I like the company, though not so much I didn’t like the bank which was true. He held onto the idea that I could be a personal banker and make more money. There’s no pleasing him it seems, he’s very judgmental.

Anyway, to be in this new environment was as much a culture shock as was leaving The Show for the bank. Except perhaps in some ways I set myself up to fail quick with people who were very willing to allow you to fail. Not so much they were supposed to have your back, however, as I learned with them they weren’t very patient and of course the more mistakes I made the more upset with me they were. Like I said it wasn’t working and I accept that today.

Sometimes a fresh start is nice. To leave The Show for a fresh start was necessary. To have a fresh start at Gotham Bank only to find some of the the same issues cropping up is a bit of a problem. And then to have a fresh start at Fresh Foods and for a decent period of time it seems to work out is something that is great for yours truly. I think compared to what happened before or even after, this is a period of time I would want to repeat.

So I feel as if my recent transfer is somewhat of a repeat. In the New Year a fresh start in another location. And I feel as if it’s slow going, however, I already have experience within the dept I’m in and the company. I still have to learn their way and of course avoid the issue of stepping on toes. Just be helpful, yet not be the person who has little idea about what I’m doing. And you know that was the bank job, I think I just joined a team that wasn’t a great fit for me.

I got the latest fresh start in another department at my last store. Well it wasn’t entirely what I wanted and perhaps it was what my boss wanted at the time. I can recognize that he seems to have difficulty really communicating with expressing his frustration. In some respects he was nitpicky and seems to side with the rabble rousers of the team. The ones who seem drama prone which my old dept at the store I just left will be picking up one such person at some point after I transferred. Of course that person who I will characterize as drama prone – either they stir the pot – is transferring teams because they’re clashing with their boss. I just look at it as a bit of a bitter pill and yet it probably was necessary because it just wasn’t going very well at all in 20-20 hindsight.

So either way I’m glad to have made this leap on my own and in a new setting at Flagship 3 – this is what I’m calling the new store. It’s truly a great space though the layout is odd, however, this is befitting a store near downtown Chicago. As always I hope for the best where I am now.

Fresh Start

I told you all that this month I will be transferring locations. Over two years ago I had to change teams due to the pandemic – when you think about it perhaps by my mgr at the time it was a decision to offload people he no longer wanted on his team. That wasn’t my choice, it was made by necessity which was as much the dept wasn’t making as much money as it used to because of mitigations at the time.

This year in 2023, I’m making that call. If it was up to me I’d return to the team I got rehired to Fresh Foods almost 5 years ago, and that was my attitude up until recently when it came to working again at the Hole. Basically my idea was “you’re not getting rid of me that easily” 🖕🏽

Anyway as stated in the last post of 2022 if I stay in one place I stagnant and it was time to make a decision to move. Perhaps the next post will be about my first week at the new store and on a new team. As always I hope for the best and still seeking growth and trying to avoid comfort and complacency. Comfort and complacency are very dangerous conditions that doesn’t allow me to progress.

The change I’m making is bittersweet, however, I’ve been where I am for four years plus. You know that is more than respectable and you know I realized one goal of being at a job for about as long as I’ve been at The Show – or could I call it The Showplace or The $h!tshow or The $h!tshow Place or The $h!tplace. Well I have been at my current location – which will need a specific name in the near future – for over four years now from about April 2018 to January 2023. Again more than respectable, but then what if I had lasted at The Hole for about as long as I had lasted at The Show.

Well who knows at this point since I didn’t stick around there for more than two and a half years, however, that was my goal at the time. After that then it’s probably time to start looking again and that’s not to say it wasn’t worth looking for other opportunities at the company then. I just wanted to be able to last there as I had at the cinemas.

Though I got to admit this has the same feeling roughly of finding a new job so quickly after losing a job that I grew to despise so quickly after starting that job.

For right now the future is now. What new adventures will the new year 2023 bring?


Next month I’ll be transferring to another store. I wish I can say it will be for more money or a higher level position, my only answer is that I’ve been at my current assignment for over four years and nothing will change as long as I stay put. This was what I told my current boss upon telling him my situation – filing an application and telling him about my soon to be new boss Gary.

Gary was one of the assistant mgrs at the Hole who figured in some way in the Reign of Error. My experience with him was cool back then unfortunately there wasn’t much he could do about our dept mgr at the time. Either way, I’m looking forward to this new start which sends me to the new store that opened in late April which for right now is the bright shiny new object.

I ought to kick myself in the @$$ for not taking advantage of the job positing before the opening possibly making $19/hr with experience. However, my only justification is that this would be a risk without knowing anyone in leadership over there at the time this store opened.

My current assignment is on the outskirts of downtown sort of like the Hole except that store was a bit closer and easier to get to. This new store is easier to get to at least via public transportation. I don’t know what the hours will be, if they will be days or midshifts or nights. All I know is that I’m back at square one, however, this experience will be a lot more close to what I had at the Hole. I’m up for the challenge and hopefully some opportunities will open up.

However, some considerations have come up. The pandemic these last two years have been interesting and have seen a lot of people opt to make a change in their careers. The boss who hired me at my current store has since moved on – and with that in mind my opinion of him dipped just based upon some aspects of his behavior towards me. I got jilted when pursuing a new position in my current dept. Others have sought promotions or moved onto other companies.

Recently an associate with the customer service team announced in the break room to some colleagues that she was leaving going to another grocery company to a distribution facility which pays significantly better than Fresh Foods. That’s not the only one from the job with her story and I’m hearing about some personnel issues with another team that needed support. They don’t have a full-team as I hear some of their associates have since quit and they no longer have a dept mgr as that individual has since moved onto another assignment. It seems in that dept – they make pastries – they haven’t been very solid since about the start of the pandemic. It seems every 6 mos or so they just spit out dept mgrs like candy. It’s either mgmt is not ready, can’t handle the position, it’s too much or they just found a better opportunity they couldn’t turn down.

Another aspect of what’s been going on is an inability by the company – or perhaps the store if that’s a consideration – hasn’t been willing to offer competitive pay to attract decent workers to change a situation for the better. Just a revolving door of people who for whatever reason have proven themselves unreliable. Not an unknown issue especially at Fresh Foods, you hire young people who just want a job and doesn’t care much about the company you get people who aren’t serious and would be very willing to quit at the drop of a hat.

Now most of this has hardly have anything to do with me, however, in recent months I’ve started talking a lot about the Streak Era. My goal over a decade ago was to pursue a better position with better pay elsewhere away from the cinemas. Of course in the years since I felt great about being paid a bit more than minimum wage with benefits and it has made a difference. My only frame of reference was being stuck for almost five yrs at $8.25/hr with no raises and no possibility of a promotion. Although I did go to a bank after leaving The Show and got paid more there, it wasn’t a net-gain given that my hours per week were largely limited especially during the probationary period at the time.

However, I had to come to a conclusion about where I am now. Perhaps I’m stuck or otherwise stalled again. There were some opportunities which I’ve discussed here one of which were botched and the other I get the feeling I was nothing more than a placeholder – that is there was no plan until there was a plan. So being jilted got me back at square one with not much feedback from anyone observing what I was doing and they just said next. And of course what affected my confidence was my experience in the deli dept before the pandemic forced that dept to have to transfer associates to other teams.

I’ve been very keen on noting that I’ve been making decent money since arriving at Fresh Foods not only in 2015, but upon being rehired with the company in 2018. I was hopeful about promotions which unfortunately didn’t happen whether thru “politics”, my own performance or other issues. I’m seeing others seeing how the grass is greener elsewhere which is causing me to ask the same question, is the grass greener elsewhere?

Perhaps it’s time for Streak Era 2.0. Unlike in the original Streak Era I wasn’t entirely sure what I was looking for other than the familiar. I also sought positions that perhaps should’ve been within my reach even at The Show though my position is actually well perhaps I just wasn’t ready to be at least a supervisor there. Perhaps yours truly set himself short back then and as I continue exploring that period of time we might further explore those themes. Perhaps to get to where I need to be in the future I have to be more willing to roll up my sleeves and make something happen. I’m not getting any younger, though another aspect of the Reign of Error is that I won’t be willing to rub in anyone’s failures in the long run.

See you in the new year.

Streak Era extended?

shopping business money pay

For the most part I define the Streak Era as between August 2012 – my mgmt interview with the Neighborhood Cinemas – to October 2014 – got a job offer to be a bank teller at Gotham Bank. Now the point of this post is whether or not I could extend the Streak Era into at the very least January 2015 when I finally got a job at Fresh Foods.

How in the meantime I put in my two weeks at The Show, worked two weeks at both The Show and the bank. My final week at the cinemas I was also training at a Gotham Bank facility in downtown Chicago away from my branch located closer to home. And then work at Gotham from that point forward until being separated from there at this point in December. So perhaps another Streak Era situation seemingly.

In this case well the original Streak Era was just basically I was ready to leave The Show and well it was a process before getting the interview at the Neighborhood Cinemas. I was having one hell of a summer with primarily Barney and the collective I call the Meangirls of the $h!tshow or $h!tplace. Well while that drama was going on I continued to wait for the interview which does happen, however, I don’t get the job to my dismay.

And the weirdness after that was ongoing although in spurts now I was having issues with mgmt in addition to other coworkers especially the Meangirls of $h!tplace. And then Anthony the Fiend was being more of a hustler and also being more of a disappointed father. Also my job search which was ongoing after that Cinemas mgmt debacle just was going not far as my final count from 2012 to 2014 was 1 for 15.

However, when I started at Gotham was I in the best spirits? I probably wasn’t, this was me going from what’s the most familiar and comfortable to another culture. Going from a picture exhibition business to a bank, this I will admit was a cultural shock. All told your hero Jack V was far from mentally ready and sadly brought some bad habits with me. If I felt that mgmt at the bank – represented by Ed – was going to be hostile towards me it was possible I’d be hostile back. Perhaps because of what had been going on at The Show while this was a new start let’s just say there were moments I were a tad combative.

It was easy to sense when the coworkers at the bank were going to be hostile. For the most part it was never my goal to be hostile then again I wasn’t happy and perhaps this started early on. Let’s just say if things started off rough in the first place, it never got much better. And even if I tried to stay optimistic, there wasn’t much to be done on my end. Perhaps my fate was sealed.

The last time I was in the office with Ed and he dressed me down for logging into my station after my scheduled time this let me know this wasn’t working out. There was no answer that would satisfy him and it appeared no matter how much I asked for instruction he didn’t say anything else other than an exaggerated “alright”. He was frustrated with my progress but then I had to recognize that perhaps he just wasn’t the right boss for me. In 20/20 hindsight he was very impatient and in how he conducted any office time with yours truly it seemed he wanted me to catch up to him.

With this said I do recall he had to manage two different branches not just the one I worked at. So if he gets a report regarding yours truly, he might have to come down to address me. I can accept he just didn’t have time and it was just easier for him to just cut a struggling worker loose under the guise of “not working out”. I was under a probationary period and never appreciated how everyone would be watching me for any mistakes and also they used this probationary period to justify never having to write me up or even to adequately inform where I was in the probationary process.

Indeed on my last day there, Ed outright said for the record that he just didn’t like what he saw. Now again, he was barely there he probably saw a snippet when he was there heavily informed by supervisors who were there at the bank when he wasn’t there. However, it’s too long ago to characterize this as unfair. I accept that this position just wasn’t a good fit for yours truly.

So let’s say I had to do a count of interviews from after I left The Show. Before being let go from Gotham I already had an interview with Fresh Foods, down the street from The Show. I didn’t get it probably due to my expected availability anticipating that perhaps the bank gig would work out. In reality I’m doing this to quit the bank eventually because it was no longer a matter of if but when. However, conventional wisdom for me at the time was I need to avoid the implication that I’m trying to leave the bank after just starting there. And since The Show was nearby some references to the cinemas were made by the store mgr I interviewed with who said she was a customer there.

And then I got into contact with my future boss at the new store opening that I would refer to as the Hole. And then had two other interviews after him for positions with the store until he hired me which extended into the day after New Years’ 2015. I also got a phone call from the National Theater Chain however their facility was a long way from home and I just couldn’t garner enough energy to even want to interview there. I also followed up with the NTC cinema which was very close to the Hole to see if they were hiring the day I got separated from Gotham, they said they weren’t so I just hoped for the best with Fresh Foods after that.

So really I had four interviews with two stores, different mgrs and departments for Fresh Foods and got an offer – so one for four. And the funny thing is, I never got the jobs I thought I could pursue. Perhaps my first inclination was to be a cashier well that didn’t work out and two interviews were for those positions. My next interview was really to be a porter, however, my new boss saw I had customer service experience and put me in a customer facing position when he hired me. The next interview was for actually butcher although I would be dealing with seafood mostly but then I needed knife experience for that. It was after speaking with them that my boss finally hired me!

So for whatever happened with Gotham Bank. Well I had a hearing for unemployment and while it seemed like an uneven experience it seemed their lack of communication or write-ups and especially from mgmt or supervisors help me get unemployment. No communication on the final act just a laundry list of gripes – although I’m not saying this to be offhanded it does seem the justification for the separation was intended to be overwhelming. I guessed correctly as far as the final act which ultimately allowed me to get no more than three weeks unemployment before I started at the Hole. The final act as I was told by the unemployment agent over the phone was basically a mistake on the teller line.

Of course, the funny part was that after I had started at Fresh and was no longer getting unemployment Gotham Bank filed an appeal about a month after that. I prepared not knowing how to defend myself other than to state that the date the other hearing provided for the final act was a day that I had been off. My only gambit was to show they did a bad job of getting their own facts straight. Thankfully that appeal hearing was cancelled I learned over the phone.

So the extended Streak Era was over and seemingly smooth sailing after that.

Holidays 2013

green christmas tree with orange bauble

My last holiday season of the Streak Era and my employment at The Show wasn’t very joyous. Perhaps just a sign of things that just weren’t going to go my way. I feel as if this was the most miserable I had been since I worked with this particular company.

Mgmt often portrays working holidays as MANDATORY. Meaning don’t you dare try to get any of the holidays Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years off. If you have plans go to mgmt, of course if you’re good with them then they accommodate you. If you’re not good with them then you know you’re going to get what you’re going to get, and if you don’t like it quit!

Weeks before Thanksgiving I had got myself into a weird situation with one of the senior mgrs, some mgmt saw me walking around aimlessly on a slow evening and decided to start taking action. I felt as if I was being singled out, but there was one person who was probably on my case and I call her the HBIC – the Head B!tch in Charge – and once I got frustrated with one of the supervisors once he reported to her game on. But she’s a small part of the situation here.

Anyway usually for the holidays you have to get a sheet which allows you to prioritize which holidays you prefer not to work or at least the shifts that you want. A bit of a slippery system but if holidays were MANDATORY you had to choose. So basically you get three choices. I suppose I was indifferent to working on Thanksgiving so I suppose I often gave it a three. Christmas was a two, and the one day I really wanted off or at least to not work that evening was New Years Eve.

For the most part over the years I was lucky more often than not I didn’t have to work Christmas or New Years. This year I worked both Christmas Day and Christmas Eve – and on Christmas Eve no big issue since well they close early on that day. Christmas Day I was hoping they’d send people home, however, the big show at that point was The Wolf of Wall Street sooooo needless to say that day got very busy!

New Years sucked. I had to work New Years Eve that night and hoping to get home before midnight asked my mother to pick me up. However, it was snowing on that given evening which meant my mother wasn’t going to gun it to pick me up. So we brought in New Years Day 2014 on the expressway instead of at home.

New Years Day I had to come back in the morning, probably not that early, perhaps 9 AM or so. One of the mgrs allowed me to work a few hours and allowed me to go home early which was cool. However, I started off the New Year in a diminished spirit.

Another interesting incident that happened during this period was there was a conflict emerging between me and another one of the “meangirls of the $h!tshow” let’s call her Wassa. She had always been a thorn in the side over the years just had a very bossy disposition and she decided to start something with me when I was trying to help close the concession stand. She decided to start criticizing my sweeping as she decided to come near me to pour herself a soft drink. After a few words and some smart alecky responses from me, Wassa quickly turned with the harsh parting words, “This is why NO ONE says anything to you, and this is why I won’t say $h!t else to your @$$. You’re a fcuking idiot!”

And it spilled over to when I tried to get my register counted down by a supervisor. She was about to get off work anyway so she blows me off and Wassa decided at that moment to point her thumb at me and I take umbrage. She rolls her eyes and says she’s going to say what she’s going to say. I object the supervisor now has to calm things down and Wassa’s last retort was “Can somebody tell him I DON’T LIKE HIM?” And that was the last straw I blew up someone had to pull me away from her because she was going to make it worse she wanted a fight and she was getting one. My real anger was on display and she shuts up finally, however, her response once that coworker pulls me away was to act like my anger was a threat to her.

Regardless after that anytime she’s around I had a sense of dread there was a sense of conflict for me so anytime she approached me the negativity from her or even me would come out. And worse still she was basically seasonal, she goes to school the rest of the year comes back for holiday and summer break which is long enough to cause as much drama as possible. She always liked to complain about how “petty” the Show was and yet as a college student who could get internships she’d come right back to work. While she seemed to want to be friendly let’s not forget she has a bossy demeanor and when not happy can be downright abusive and she had been in the past towards me on one occasion. She might come around friendly on one day and then another time she treats me with hostility. I remember that hostility from her so when she comes around rying to shake hands with me I remember the hostility. Now if you respond to her negativity in kind she will turn around and act like a victim.

Anyway this was a snapshot of my last holiday season at The Show. And upon arriving at the Hole after New Years 2015 it gave me a glimpse of what I was missing while working at the cinemas. Time and a half on selected federal holidays such as Christmas, New Years, MLK, etc. I wouldn’t have gotten that if I stayed at a cinema, especially The Show which was a barebones operation. And Thanksgiving Day was double time and it wasn’t MANDATORY, you could sign up for it and mgmt may or may not schedule you. Of course another thing is that Fresh and perhaps most retail stores were closed on Christmas so that’s one guaranteed holiday off. I suppose this was the pain I had to go through to get to this point at least seemingly.

UPDATE: I have a few other posts planned before New Years or I’m optimistic before Christmas we shall see. Also there is a recent update coming soon. Of course here’s a bit of a spoiler, a change in coming and I think of it as a good change. Can’t wait to let you in on it.

Also I have to do another edition discussing the Streak Era of which the post you see above was part of that period of time although again the focus needs to be the job search from that period of time.

I know I’ve been talking about The Show a lot

Those who have followed this blog since the beginning have observed one thing I have very negative feelings about my time at The Show. And yes my goal is to refrain from using the negative terms $h!tplace and $h!tshow in this posting so these will be the only references therein.

All the same one of the pieces of dirt that the Fiend offered to another former coworker about yours truly was that I was the worst worker at the cinema. Now what I know now is that this wasn’t an uncommon sentiment and my view of it is that perhaps most of this wasn’t always based on what they think of me as a worker I would dare say they didn’t like me more than my own performance. Back then it would have bothered me, these days I’d be likely to say it was a sign that it was time to move on. Of course as I’ve been marking the start of the Streak Era in recent months I’m allowing that stream of thought.

The bottom line is that while I’m more upset about the Fiend’s insistence on sharing negativity about yours truly and in light of the fact that I’ve essentially cut ties to him, my time at The Show was almost a decade ago. Basically he’s talking about issues and stories that are old news, I would expect whoever else held those opinions aren’t thinking much about me anymore. Perhaps more glad that yours truly left the scene than any issues they felt that I had. Still, as far as I’m concerned I really shouldn’t have to continue answering for them.

In my opinion that’s sour grapes on his end. Granted I’ve been discussing my side of the story here on this blog and for him my stories are based on some aspects of his behavior  or even his statements – which isn’t beyond reproach by any means. However, I have my story and perhaps he feels compelled to respond and do so in such a way which I do believe are nothing more than personal attacks as opposed to the truth. My only goal in this is to tell my truth and hopefully nothing that’s written about the Fiend are seen as personal attacks on him. My goal is to stay logical in ways that he really isn’t.

With that said, perhaps it’s rare that I had anything nice to say about the cinemas where I had worked for close to five years. It’s hard to believe it’s over 8 years since I left. Perhaps my mind is still processing what happened up there and while many who worked with me may have their own negative views of my as a coworker I could also say a lot about many of them. In the long run it doesn’t matter to me and yeah I do have some views about the place that are somewhat positive.

For one thing it was a very easy gig and to go back to the theme of comfort and complacency. You knew what your role was and how you was set up to do your role. Of course as might be my own issue with the place sometimes they didn’t set you up very well, maybe even set you up to fail and make it your fault. At the same time it wasn’t as if I was working a job that was particularly difficult say I was an accountant or a physicist or even a plumber. A a former friend once stated it was a cake walk, however, there are others who can’t help but make it an ordeal. Something simple turned into major drama.

I’ve been talking about how you run into those annoying bossy types who have a concept of what needs to be done and sort of have enough of a personality to make everyone bow to them. My ways of handling that are a bit mixed as far as success, however, those are the people I’m leery of. Worse still are those who really don’t know what they’re doing who still insist on being bossy. I try to ignore those people of course if something does affect me I might say something and get a cold shoulder.

Also have I had issues with customers yes, however, there were regular customers who were like old friends. Sometimes I wonder how many of them are now. Although I have to remember these aren’t exactly long term friendships they know me because at some point in the past I waited on them and hopefully provided a great experience.

Another thing I sometimes miss is being able to break into an auditorium to watch a movie. I did that often and unfortunately that could be a sore point for those coworkers who want to say I’m not doing any work. We had a VIP balcony and sometimes I might be in there watching a movie, not the whole film of course but just taking a break from the job. Of course we did get passes although I rarely used them, my escape was to go to another theater even if I had to pay. I really liked going to the National Theater Chain to watch a movie.

Now if it wasn’t for my many negative memories The Show itself was a wonderful place to watch a picture. A bar and lounge with food made in a kitchen in addition to a concession stand with typical cinema fare such as popcorn, hot dogs, or candy. A space that was nicely designed, its inviting as a customer. However, what hopefully has happened in the eight years after leaving my employment there is now it can be a great place for people to work. I hear it’s a better place for customers now just better organized, better mgmt.

Now if some of what’s written about The Show seemed to be mgmt didn’t like me as much as sometimes it was the coworkers all that can be said is it was time to go. My goal in the long run near the end was to find a job and quit, that goal was achieved. No one pushed me out although someone probably wanted me pushed out. While the job that I accepted didn’t work out for me in the long run which lead to another run that I really don’t regret, to leave The Show was the right call back in the day. That time had come.

I will also add that I do find myself wondering where would I be today if I had been very serious about finding a real job after college. Say not having to work for minimum wage when it was time to find a job. And perhaps one thing worth proving is that I can hold onto a job for any length of time. Most of my other jobs before this was temporary in nature, a month here, a week there, a couple of weeks here. My head was on lasting a few years on a job.

However, it seems even after almost a decade after leaving The Show I’m still trying to figure out my work situation. What does it take to reach the next level?

Mr. Boastful


If you want to know after over two months I logged onto Fresh’s Social Network and see that position I applied for was filled and yours truly is no longer a candidate. The Team Receiver job went to someone I formerly worked with at my current assignment. I would say good for him, however, it would be nice if even I got an automated dear John note from them once they made their decision. So back to the drawing board again. GRRR!

On the other hand, I applied for another position at this new store still on the same team with Gary – my former assistant mgr at the Hole. I made sure to get in touch with him and he said drop by anytime when he’s scheduled to work. I also touched bases with my current boss and he seemed OK with it. Told him my justification perhaps a fresh start elsewhere, if I stay in one place I’d stagnate although it’s possible I might not like what I see. Though emphasizing my prior relationship with Gary in the past. Again let’s hope for the best, I’m trying to avoid the trap of comfort and complacency.

That’s it for a recent update onto the rest of the post…

So sometime in October I logged onto Fresh’s social network looking for opportunities and saw at another store that a buyer position for the deli was posted. Now this was significant because of my knowledge that a man I refer to on this blog as Mr. Boastful was there. He was the buyer and it turns out it was his position that was up for bid.

To give you a shorthand about the Boastful one, I had considered him something of a friend when we worked at the Hole and that changed not too long after the arrival of one Ruthless Roger. Mr. Boastful was looking for me to slip up and due to my own issues with timeliness I did. Also bear in mind that I for whatever reason just didn’t mesh well with Rog, perhaps he wasn’t there to mesh well with anyone. Regardless I was stalled and Rog made some decisions led him to remove me from being on the buy/receive team.

Now the expectation was that this was going to be my future role, but before Rog decided to take me off I still didn’t officially have it. It’s like he was going to give it to me and yet he was going to change his mind later. Boastful was letting me know in some ways that he was paying attention to my missteps or the stalemate as it were. Once things ran its course he started being more boastful and I took this as him rubbing it in. I had a problem with it, eventually he cooled it down not long before I had to depart the scene – you know the climax of the Reign of Error.

So in the five years since, Rog had moved on because he lived up to his level of incompetence. I tried to come back and was blocked by an assistant store mgr I call Kenny. I heard little things about Mr. Boastful still working in that role it was between it was working out and he was a tad abrasive to he had to fill out paperwork to insure he got paid his extra money. Eventually he got the role for good after about a year.

Then he moved on to be a buyer at another store, one of Fresh’s flagships locations in the city. He in fact worked with someone I had worked with at my current assignment that guy is still there. So Boastful got there at about the start of the pandemic and lasted over two years there before moving on to yet another location. I do wonder if this was a pattern he gets abrasive and shows an inability to get along with people he works with and realizes it’s time to move.

Either way he was at his third store for perhaps four months as a buyer before his job was posted and his position is now as a cook. Which causes me to wonder, after almost five years in his newly found role did his presentation finally catch up to his reality? Is it possible that the change from being a buyer to a cook is what he wanted?

What I can say for sure having talked to him that he seemed ambitious. He pursued various higher level or stepping stone positions overtime and none of them panned out. He claimed that he was pursuing positions outside of the Hole and often store leadership would call these hiring mgrs and say don’t interview him. Now from the people I spoke to outside of this situation they may say he might be making more of it than it really is, or that it didn’t happen. Who knows, however, that was his story that he was sharing.

And since Morley did get fired from his position over three years ago, perhaps if that was the case the Holes former store mgr may well have been the source of that. Although if that was true than Mr. Boastful shouldn’t have even gotten as much as Team Receiver, which I do view as the role I should’ve had although intervening events kept me from it.

However, perhaps Mr. Boastful’s mouth and self-promotion got him bumped down to cook. Or perhaps Mr. Boastful after wanting this position while I had it just got tired of the role and wanted a change. Or he wanted to be a cook which I definitely doubt, I find Boastful to be ambitious and it would be hard for me to believe he would be willing to work in a kitchen in that capacity.

I think he had expressed that he didn’t want to deal with customers so he did pursue buy/receive and certainly it makes sense for him to be a cook. And to be honest I’m tired of customers also, I’m used to it though one goal I do have now is to find a position that is more behind the scenes. Perhaps while I’m still pursuing buy/receive positions perhaps he might be somewhere he’s OK with for now.

At this point I can only speculate about the state of mind of Mr. Boastful since I’ve not spoken to him since 2017.

I have another interesting workplace update to share with you in a later post. It involved my ill fated interview to be an associate buyer and the person who ultimately got the position. While I have to accept that perhaps I could’ve worked harder on that I get the idea that it led to some of the changes with my team”s leadership after that. I was an afterthought to the guy who hired me back to Fresh in 2018 and ultimately I was ushered out of the dept due to the pandemic. I see it as a bit of a blessing today.

That will be explored at a later time.

Heavy subject

Sorry to hit you with this subject not too long after Thanksgiving and I’m also sorry that this will likely be the last post for this month. However, I feel as if in light of what has been discussed on this blog over the years this subject was worth sharing here.

First off what you see above is a reporter talking about a suicide manifesto by a Walmart night mgr who fired into a break room before turning the gun onto himself. Basically his note is an apology for his actions and yet it justifies his inexcusable actions. He’s killed some people in a fit of rage!

I believe something at work triggered him. At the same time I also recognize that this man was probably disturbed long before this incident and perhaps long before he accepted a job at Walmart. I suppose I’m having it both ways, however, other than the news reports there isn’t much for me to go on here so perhaps this is a form of spitballing here.

To start I can’t really address the suspect’s targets in that shooting. It’s not clear to me who they are were they the employees or were they his bosses. It’s clear reading that note that there is some animosity towards those he worked with. Now perhaps it was created in his head or perhaps there were people who were hostile to him. With that note I find him more disturbed.

With this said, you have to treat people with respect. And respect goes both ways to receive it you have to give it. Sometimes your actions contributes to the hostility and believe it or not that’s one lesson I had to learn. I wrote about it this month in fact. Do you meet negativity with hostility. And especially for those who seem to want a negative reaction from you to justify their own behavior.

With that said, that’s how I do try to conduct myself now. I want to treat people with respect. The lesson of the last decade for me is that if I’m not wanted somewhere find somewhere else to go. Don’t hang onto people who don’t respect you. And don’t engage in the disrespect you found objectionable.

A lot of this is easy to say, what I try to keep in mind these days is that I’m at work. And the last thing I want to do is contribute to a hostile environment and depending on the individuals involved the last thing anyone wants is a violent episode. Besides what are we doing at work, we’re earning a living to put food on the table.

Something I never wrote about…

I have something that I didn’t tell you from over the past summer. No huge secret but for the first time since 2019 when I interviewed for associate buyer I had an interview. I consider it something of a retread, however, my interview was with the National Theater Chain.

Every once in a while I might file an application usually with those cinemas that are in downtown Chicago especially since the Climax of the Reign of Error. Of course there were two interviews with the NTC during that period neither resulted in job offers. And every now and again I get a nibble, and even got one before the economy shut down due to the bug in 2020. There has been a few other nibbles since then however, I took up this one with a theater which had just opened up earlier this year.

For the interview it started with an e-mail and while I didn’t immediately respond I just said the hell with it. So I replied told the mgr when I would be available, he said cool and then I just got ready for that day. What I hoped to do was schedule this interview on a day when hopefully my mother had nothing going on and turned out I was wrong. She had a medical appt on that day, so basically I drop her off at her appt, I drop the car off at the house and then took the train to where the cinemas were.

The cinema was actually a space used by another company which went bankrupt due to the pandemic. I had actually been there years before to check it out, spoke with an associate who couldn’t pronounce the name of the latest release at the time Spectre. I saw there was a gift shop right where the lobby was. Instead of a box office there was a series of kiosks for customers to buy tickets. The associate was standing around to help customers who were “challenged”. And then I walked back out of the building, never saw a movie though there were opportunities to go up and interview with them and never did.

The building is located on the north side of Chicago and in a commercial development full of stores which I hit up such as a sporting goods store and a Finer Foods was nearby also. I just browsed until it was time to get ready for the interview. Now remember the NTC took over the space from another picture exhibition company. So the set up from that other company was never fully changed for NTC’s purposes. There is no person in box office and there was no guest services desk and there was a bit of a crowd of young people up there on this day. It was no earlier than 12 noon to 1:00 PM on this day.

It took me a minute to figure out who to approach there was an older man doing maintenance work, I approached. I can easily identify a mgr/supervisor for NTC and he wasn’t one. His role seemed to be to fill all the sanitizer stations within the building. I simply told him that I had an interview and told him who had contacted me. He sat me down near the bar and said he’ll get someone out to speak to yours truly. Another guy who was dressed as a mgr/supervisor came by, asked if I had an interview and said someone would be right with me. Well he wasn’t the one who interviewed me. 😛

A much younger man who couldn’t have been much older than 21 sat me down at a table in the bar area and we had the interview. As per usual the questions were mostly situational and I would basically shoot from the hip with my answer. Went for the old standbys mentioned a time where I thought an area at a business wasn’t clean and mentioned the produce dept at the Finer’s nearby was very cluttered more than I was used to at Fresh Foods.

Another answer I gave was about how I think if you got a good team around you that passes the time very quickly. If everyone was on the same page to get some work done that goes a long way. They asked me about how I feel about accomplishing a task I give examples of doing receiving for the produce team and how it’s a difficult job and then once it’s complete I gained satisfaction. Now it seemed as if this young man was rushing me as he was quick to end the interview before I finished asking questions.

I told him that I formerly worked at The Show and he lauded it as a very nice facility and it was (though don’t worry I have been very negative about them on this blog however I just temper my comments in this situation). I had to ask him how long had the NTC been there, were there any plans for that place for example is it a “dine-in show”. Other than that I walked away recognizing that I probably won’t get a position there.

No big issue with that, it’s not like my hopes for the future was hinging on this. Unlike 10 years ago! This was just an exercise I didn’t take it that seriously. I tried to dress appropriately, still had my baseball cap on. Wore a button down shirt and a pair of dark slacks. If nothing else, just take myself out of the comfort zone and just because I wanted to do it.

The mgr did let out quickly how much the job paid. It didn’t move the needle for me one way or the other. I did tell him I work full-time for a grocery store and I do make more than the wage he noted. Taking this job would be extra money if I can get the availability just right. Perhaps he did that to let me know this isn’t the job for me, however, if I didn’t want it that wouldn’t have been the deciding factor. The cinemas aren’t exactly spitting money at prospective employees especially if they’re young and silly even in a time when these businesses need workers

Another note, well they may not have known I was coming though they didn’t entirely waste my time. The mgr who interviewed me didn’t even have my name down nor any details from my application. Indeed I didn’t come that prepared with a resume of my own, like I said I didn’t take this interview that seriously.

If you want to know every now and again I still do applications for the NTC. No further nibbles since June of this year, however, now I realize that this is a retread. If there was anything this was a signal that it was time to do something different. The same old thing isn’t really working.

As a matter of fact I’m working on something with Fresh Foods right now with the idea that if I stay in one place for a long time I stagnate. I’ll say more about it later, however, I’ve been chasing jobs in the cinema business and hoping for the best at Fresh Foods for a while that now I wonder if it’s just time to just move forward. Perhaps Fresh after almost 8 years had served its purpose for me.