“That’s a bad career move”

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Five years ago I was going through just about three months at the Hole. It wasn’t too long after I had started that I made full-time. Yes I was concerned if it was a good fit, what I was hired to do wasn’t much different than being behind a cinema concession stand. When I applied to work for Fresh Foods and to find a plan B upon realizing my new career in banking just wasn’t working out my goal was to stay as far away from customers as possible. That didn’t quite work out…

I applied to be a steward for my new department and instead found myself in a customer facing position. Well it can’t be said that yours truly didn’t have the experience and yes what I would be doing is somewhat different. At the same time it was familiar and the period I had been in up to that point was to leave behind the stink of $h!tplace. It was time to rehab myself after stagnation and the “failure” of working for Gotham.

However, allow me to go backwards about three months. In December 2014 I was maybe two weeks away from losing my job at the bank. Perhaps the same amount of time before scheduling my interview with my soon to be new boss at the Hole. I met with my old friend and former co-worker Anthony at a local greasy spoon on the near north side of Chicago. I paid for his lunch because he request it though he had this tendency to do this because he wants me to believe he’s hard up. He’s hardly got any money to play with to even buy some food….

Anyway he seemed impressed with the fact that I was Mr. Banker. To be honest there was some recoil at that moniker on my part. When I met with Ant my feelings about my new role was more or less $h!t. I even admitted as much to him, I was having a hard time with the new role I had accepted. What went bad, did so very quick and it’s something that is my responsibility and thankfully it was such a short time that it’s very difficult to dwell on.

One thing he made sure to state was “I had such a sigh of relief when I found out you were no longer at The Show”. It sounded like he had to confirm with people who were still there and although I told him what branch I was working it seemed no one remembered what company I went. Ant even assumed although I told him differently that I was working with my mother at a much smaller bank.

Sidenote: Gotham Bank is really another name for a major bank that does business throughout the country. How he could confuse that with a small neighborhood bank just shows how much he pays attention to what I say sometimes.

Also allow me to add that while I’m concerned whether or not a career in banking was for me at that point he might feign that it was his idea. Was it one I had pursued yeah, however, in reality it was for the wrong reason. Perhaps I did choose salary and certainly the possibility of benefits to pursue this path. It turned out the job I had accepted proved to be a terrible fit. If it was his idea based upon the idea that “it suits you” it just shows what he knows.

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Let’s fast forward back into the new year 2015. I texted him about being hired on at Fresh Foods and he lauded the fact that it was good news for the new year. At some point after I first started he called me up at work and we talk I tell him how much money I make per hour his response “NICE!”. Whatever I was saying was sounding good and my new role at a new company in the new year had that “new car smell”.

So then I meet with him at some point after talking to him on the phone. I think on this day we were supposed to see a picture. We went to that same greasy spoon to buy some food to sneak into the cinema with us. I don’t recall paying for his food on that day although he’s such a bad date with his unwillingness to as much as pay for both of our movie tickets.

After this we drop by a local grocery store as he’s looking for something to buy. I show him the approximate department that I work at the Hole. “You left the bank for that? That’s a bad career move! You could’ve been a personal banker!” That takes me aback because me working for Fresh sounded good with the pay and surely he’s heard of the company. Instead he turns around and $h!ts on it, the guy who seems to have inability to really settle down in any job since leaving the Show is criticizing the job I had just took on.

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We leave the store to head home for the day and as we wait for a train I approach the subject of Fresh again. He repeats his line “It’s a bad career move, dude”. I just reiterate that I like the move I made better, but he wasn’t having it until I put my hand on his elbow with “You know what I don’t miss about you? Your judgement”.

To explain that line a few times that day I engage in my own sometimes sarcastic and smart aleck responses with regards to some of the stupidity he spews. It cuts deep enough for him to just decide he needs to hit back. I often view it was me being me, but it sometimes ruffles his feathers and would angrily respond accordingly. Sometime he may even state that he’s “going to stop talking to you”. He never does and it’s probably because he needs something and I have a history of giving it to him and it’s probably why he still had the need to get into touch with yours truly.

Anyway once I make my statement I remove my hand from his elbow, he merely chuckles and then states “At least you left $h!tplace.” This was the last time we talked about my banking career and how much I could’ve made as a personal banker. Another time when we met I made sure to tell him I had such a hard time at that bank. Otherwise he dropped it, I think he respected my point once I did what I did.

However, what never ended in his unbelievable thought process was whatever happened with a company he had worked for Finer Foods. He tried to get me on board with them the year before and it fell apart. It took him just over two years to decide to ask “Whatever happened with that?” When he did I knew what he meant, fell right for the trap as we talked about another store that opened.

And amazingly during the last actually year that we were in regular contact he started his strange campaign for me to jump ship. I was never really interested remembering how it all fell apart and he was undeterred for quite a while when I didn’t show a lot of enthusiasm. Well I’d like to share some of that story later…

Jealousy

The video you see above should remind you of someone I’ve written about for quite a while – the Hustler.

To address my own internal dialogue I do think he has some gifts that I do admire. He’s not only a talker, he gets into quite a few doors even if he’s easily dissatisfied. One of the things he’s done over the time I knew him was he likes to organize martial arts film screenings. He hasn’t been wildly successful, however, he has that going for him.

I had admired his ability to get information out of people as far as jobs and I had used this for my own purposes. He lets me know that if you go about things the right way you can find the right opportunity for you anywhere. I also think he can handle just about any situation that can be presented for him.

With this said I could run him down in the worst way and certainly to his face. In which case I’d probably lose no matter what because that’s who he is.

He checks of most of the seven signs you will see in the above video. I don’t think there is a competition per se, but I know he admires what I have. He somewhat admires my fashion sense and though none of his business has picked up that I know what to do with my money. This also leads him into picking up on some of my “perceived” weaknesses and they could be anything he desires.

Such as I have no serious relationships with women, no children, still live at home with my mother, I’m not making enough money, I’m still not working the “right” jobs, I let a job “control” me, etc. How did our strange relationship start off? With him offering unsolicited advice and I had just met him just as I decided to do him a solid and take him home in my mother’s luxury car. He’s truly a judgmental man who really was looking for someone to take advantage of not merely take yours truly “under his wing as a mentor”.

I don’t see a lot of imitation however he does seem to want me to do things his way. He wants me to grow a gray beard like him. He suggests cheap fashion from Target (not that there’s anything wrong with that) even if he may admire some aspects of my fashion. He wants me to get a vehicle like his hot hoopty and be just like him to have the freedom to go anywhere. I would dare say he wants me to bang all the women I can handle just as he does.

So for all the gifts I do think he does have what’s disappointing as far as what he sought in our “relationship” all I think he wanted is to turn someone else into the very unsatisfied with life older man that he grew into.

Also I think I ran into others like him. I may even be related to some of them. However, I never had the roller coaster I began to realize I was on with him.

Career week

I wanted to write a bit about some updates about the job and recently I became aware of something that happened at the Hole. I’m calling an audible here and thus I won’t write about that yet and those are relatively negative anyway. In one case what I wanted to update about the Hole involved that whole “fiasco” of two years ago!

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I wanted to talk about career week at Fresh this week. Mgmt has seminars at the store to help inform us not only of upward mobility with the company but the steps associates can take to move forward. Especially key is all the subtle hints of whether or not you’re serious about the position you hope to take on.

It reminds me of a few opportunities I took to learn from higher ups about positions at a company. For example let us go to the national theater chain.

During my first few shifts there I wound up speaking with another associate there with a man who was a coordinator of all facilities with the region. He was an old gentleman who seemed very approachable and willing to field questions. I don’t remember everything I asked him or any of the associates for that matter. I do remember that I asked him about going from running a twin screen to 30 screens.

He probably started off as an usher or concessionist and moved all the way up to general manager within the company and eventually to mr. hot shot executive coordinating the upkeep of all theaters within a region. And his answer to my question made sense, to do that is a natural progression to go from two screens to more than 15 times the screens. If you’ve been a GM, it should be old hand to manage larger and larger theaters.

Then recently at work I ran into another hot shot executive from Fresh Foods’ global HQ. He came to our dept looking for something to eat and gave us the gist of his project at our store. While I took care of him I picked his brain as far as his background and he noted that he went from doing deli to becoming a dept manager to store mgmt and finally made his way into the IT field.

It’s very interesting to see where anyone can go in these companies as far as upward mobility. You get stuck in a rut and want to do something different go for it. Choose another store or choose another department. If you’re lucky you can definitely make it up the corporate ladder.

This is why I went to a session for career week with my store manager. Who gave us a run down of his time with the company having spent two decades with Fresh. And he started off young while in school (basically he remembers something about my background). Things just worked out for him he told us about all the locations he’s worked at. Basically he ran down things that I largely should’ve learned about him when I interviewed last year to get back with the company.

I made sure to ask the question. Say if I had applied for a job elsewhere and it’s expected of me to work a shift or two is this something I must arrange or is this arranged for me. Of course the answer is I have to establish the rapport with the mgmt of that team and follow through on it. It also has to be determined who pays for my time in the other department would my dept have to pay for the overtime to work a few shifts to learn that department and meet the team?

I know I’ve talked about going back to school in a recent post the main thing now regardless is take advantage of any opportunity to truly progress. As stated a few times on this blog change & growth.

Back to school, maybe?

I’ve largely been talking about change & growth since starting this blog. So far the topic of discussion has often been advancing at Fresh Foods or even for a brief time when I worked at the national theater chain at the Dine-in Show. I’ve gotten the closest at the Hole and even had an interview for a higher position at my current store earlier this year.

One of my long-term goals is to make six-figures and at this point I’ve gone from doing it where I currently now to finding other options. I’ve even decided, it is time to return to school. Should I just enroll at the local community college – where I left without attaining an associate’s degree to transfer to the prestigious Mission College – and take a few business courses. This is something I had been interested in anyway even back in the day when I should’ve done it.

Going to Mission College definitely put me outside of my comfort zone for that time. Ive learned a lot from that experience and my only regrets were some of the mistakes I’ve made. One of those mistakes was depending upon financial aid to keep me enrolled. Would I have been better off choosing a lower-cost option or having my own skin in that game? Would I have been better off with a real plan once I graduated and especially while there?

So either way I like where I am now as my income is pretty good so far. I feel as if there’s a lot more going on for yours truly now than back during my 20s. If only I had the persistence as far as finding employment back in the day. This was the type of experience missing from back then being so wedded to a classroom and even worse it took some time to finish my degree.

Now I feel as if it’s time to step out of my comfort zone and move on to the next step so I can arrive at that six-figure mark. And in addition to taking some courses at my community college for my “enrichment”, now I find myself wondering if it’s time for a master’s. I do have a goal in doing so.

When graduating from that prestigious liberal arts college I had failed to take advantage of student services to really find a job in my chose field. This time around I need to do that so I can truly take advantage of a masters degree. This won’t just be a vanity project this must have a return on investment.

I’ve even identified one program of great interest and will continue to look into other programs. The program I like has some flexibility and while rigorous, seems like one that could ease me into other academic programs. Just pick a field: business, social sciences, humanities, etc. I could still stick with the field I got my undergrad degree in, however, I could dabble in other fields especially if it pertains to what I hope to study.

Since I do have a job at a fortune 500 company I hope to expand the research outside of Chicago. Perhaps take my job with me as I study elsewhere to finish my master’s degree. However I choose to do it, now is the time to come up with my plan and get going.

Meanwhile back at Fresh Foods I wanted to tell about a new posting for supervisor. We lost another one last month and there’s no need to make this a longer post than necessary. It’s a position to consider, however, there are others within the company to consider. Bottom line is we got something to talk about for now and also Jack just make a move man!

Why I had to go my own way?

You know I don’t really know how you might view my writings of women. Based upon say my stories of my dealings with women I would wonder if you’ve concluded that I just don’t do well with them.

Were there some situations that could’ve blossomed into something? Perhaps there were and for the right reasons. Definitely not because the woman in question chased me down. I could also note I’ve had someone essentially chase me down and it was more of an ordeal than I realized in the long run which didn’t involve a woman just a man who decided to be a “father figure“.

There were some situations where I was just a brick wall and one woman’s attempt to break it down was to keep trying. Strangely enough in their exercise in some form of futility it fell short and regardless I get looked at as a guy who blew it. Definitely not as a guy who knew what he wanted and whom he wanted do anything with.

I could say there were situations that I read wrong and it just didn’t go very well. It was a brick wall for me and there was very little I could do about it. I suppose if some woman became determined to say “Oh hell no” to yours truly there was no amount of charm I could utilize to really turn it around.

I’ve realized how strange attraction is. It just doesn’t take much for a woman to just decide she’s not into someone. So back when I was young and figuring out how to connect (some could say I won’t try) I knew it didn’t take much for a woman to just move on. I had to be told belatedly that some young women (say teenaged girls) will just flock to a man who gives them attention. At the same time they give the go ahead signals to the ones they want to approach them.

So I just want to say, that as far as going my own way it’s less about how I think women are just terrible creatures only worthy of scorn. I’m just trying to lessen the pressure of wanting wife and kids, my thinking now is it will happen when it happens. As far as getting that better job with six figures it’s something I do have to make a play for and finding that good woman isn’t much different. Both are hard and perhaps one is much harder than the other.

Regardless I’ve not given up yet, but realize that I’m still that overgrown teenaged boy who hadn’t much success with the opposite sex. Perhaps I’m stunted by what it takes for a woman to pay attention to you, and scary still is the woman who does after years of trying. The question that could pop into my mind when the unthinkable happens is, “What next?”

Then again who thought the Cubs would finally win a world series by now…

Facebook dating?

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I’ve spent about a week playing with the new facebook dating thingie. I’ve had a few matches already however not enough conversations. They jury as far as i’m concerned is still out as far as whether or not this is worth it.

I will add that since I’ve been on facebook since before it became a big deal and back when only college students largely populated the site I’ve been using the site to check out women anyway. I largely approached the site in that vein alone in addition to connecting with people I knew from before I got into Mission College.

Of course in this case I won’t just be checking out women who were my contemporaries at the neighboring universities in the area where I attended school. I will be scoping out women in the Chicago-area and hoping to make a match. Like I said I made quite a few matches though I could hardly characterize those as solid nibbles.

What I may not like since I’ve largely become vain about my age is how it’s put on your dating profile. Like I do with Tinder or even Bumble I should be able to leave that off. Perhaps I should suggest that to Facebook Dating. Also at least with Tinder you can reverse any likes or dislikes (or reverse your acceptance or rejection while swiping).

Either way I do like being able to be very selective about who you would want to match with. Let’s say you can set your filter to whether or not your potential matches has children. I could utilize that more often to be honest and not just that attribute of course.

Another thing I’ve done is pick nine women off of my facebook list that would open the door do some interesting crushes. I’ve debated whether or not they know that they’re my secret crush – which could help thin the pool of available women presuming they are single. One just for the hell of it is one I’ve been talking to since going to Mission more as a friend than as anyone I’m interested in alas. Others are from the sister school Hillman College, some live in the Chicago-area, one I used to work with, etc.

I’ll update you if I let any of these ladies know of my crush on them. And even better I can always make changes to the list so the first nine I have, may change in the future.

BTW, I got to wonder what Tommy thinks of this new facebook dating. Will he ever do a review of it? He has been very quiet lately…

Family reunion change & growth

This year’s family reunion was interesting. Before having to leave for a flight during a family reunion picnic I had to say something to one of my uncles. He was the one that had that tough conversation with me over a decade ago.

My mother told me a few months ago that he called and then told me he said hi. So I referenced that telling him don’t just call my mom and tell her you say hi. Of course what happened after that is the initiative is thrown back to me once it was established that I didn’t have his number. Actually my comeback was “text me”.

He made me work to get his number is one way to look at it. He probably won’t call me as he hadn’t in the last decade-plus however he seed may have been planted. Not many are afforded this (yeah it does sound like I’m doing him a favor doesn’t it).

Not much to report this year at this reunion. People I sort of stood apart from over the years kind of didn’t say much to me. Some of my first cousins, and yeah there are some issues there that both sides dug in on. Also some of those might be self-imposed and while they might be the ones to break the ice often I’m not really ready. Perhaps in their efforts to be friendly and open I’ve proven myself to be very grumpy still with them. Just unwilling to really socialize with them.

My aunt Laura was there. She friend requested me a few years ago out of nowhere and I accidentally deleted her request (I know what you’re thinking “yeah right”). She hardly said a whole lot to me this year not even a real hello. She actually spoke to me at our family reunion in our family’s southern home town last year. It didn’t entirely go well as well I barely showed any interest. It was so awkward when it was time for her to leave that family event she didn’t say much to me before leaving.

One thing about Laura and I’ve written occasionally over the years is that there were times I felt she just tried too hard. Sometimes I recoil at that, perhaps in their own excitement I think my family doesn’t understand that I don’t thrive on that at all. Laura when she wants to could put on a full-court press only for me to just pull back and it quickly becomes awkward. And in her own way she expresses her own awkwardness in our interactions.

Another uncle over the years tends to come on strong. He definitely is very quick to rather temperamentally assert his boundaries. For example he sometimes will express irritation at my sarcasm (for instance one time he asked for me to look up so he can take a photo and instead of looking up I reply “This is my good side” it might have been his sense of humor, however, it was clear he didn’t like that response reacting accordingly). Lately he can come on strong being very touchy feely which due to our unfortunate history I just barely react to it. This year he hardly said much to me.

In light of what happened these last few years and some of the “drama” that I’ve run into since the last real family reunion I attended over a decade ago. I could especially talk about work drama which became personal drama due to The Hustler or even my current goals that I hope to meet in the future “change & growth” perhaps now I need some people in my corner more than ever. My mom is getting up there in her old ago, and she’s not that old yet but she’s just about there. I don’t have much time to really turn my life around for the better and besides life is too short.

Alas you can’t always pick your family, but you can definitely choose the people you want to be close to you whether the people you meet everyday or your family. Perhaps I’ve done a lousy job of that so far. I’ve allowed one person to come in and decide I had no one and they made their moves largely to my detriment. Now I have to create a network to lean on when I run into such a person again although chances are there are small odds that it would.

Raises

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I know I’ve covered this ground recently. I often stated about my time at The Show that my dream was to make over $20k per year. At the theater I only made between $10k – $12K per year. I also got no raises at the theater other than say one minimum wage increase. Needless to say as far as my income growing it just wasn’t going to happen there. If nothing else working there was really just the boost of regular income.

To make a few more dollars I’d have to change jobs which is why I went to Gotham Bank. Unfortunately that was shortlived, however, if it had worked out I learned that I wouldn’t have made that much more than I would’ve made at the show. How did yours truly know? Well it said as much on Gotham’s version of a social network. Of course this assumed that I still worked a limited amount of hours which I had to start and remained at the same hourly wage although the wages were at least $1.25 $3.25/hr more than what I had made at the theater.

Then I arrived at The Hole and while I took a 50 cent per hour paycut to take the job there, my hours were generally pretty good and then I became full-time. After that I could literally do overtime and couple that with the holiday pay of time & a half my time these were for yours truly the big money period. I never before saw the amount of money I saw on my paychecks! And couple that with the hourly wages I was getting, it felt great having that extra money in my pocket and the opportunities to make more to boot.

This is why I get excited over raises, as yours truly never received any for performance at The Show. I need not retell the lack of opportunity for growth at the theater and the fact that I never became a manager. Needless to say for more income and opportunities it was time to leave and see what else I could do in the work world. It was truly refreshing to know that I was worth becoming a full-time worker and to know that I could get a raise for my efforts.

About 6 or so months after arriving at Fresh Foods I got my first raise and told my mother (I also told one other person who would continue to leach off my gains). I got another raise six months later and then another a year after that with an opportunity to learn something new. Although that in the long run didn’t go so well due to some unforeseen changes, but regardless before the wheels fell off these were better than say the last two years at The Show.

Well it’s been an interesting period of time at my latest Fresh Foods assignment and it feels great to get yet another raise. It feels great to be so close to that optimal real living wage of $17/hr. I’m pretty sure after a couple of more raises or even a promotion I’ll not only get to that point I’ll have finally arrived in the $30K/per year range. If I’m lucky it won’t be long before I arrive at $40k/yr in wages.

I know that I did a personal finance post fairly recently. Talking about depositing tax refund checks or putting into my savings any loose change I collected over the years. Oh yeah and I almost forgot about my one share in the holding company. So I’m glad to be able to continue gaining and achieving some of my financial goals.

My hope is that it will continue and I recognize that now I can truly count my blessings!

Opportunity

Finally some modern day news and we’re in a period of change & growth!

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One of the supervisors is leaving soon and in our dept is a email advertising for an open position in our dept. He’s leaving for a job and for some reason it surprises me as it hasn’t even been a year since he took on the role. Then again who says you have take on a career at Fresh Foods just use that role and the experience as a stepping stone.

To start I told the soon to be departing supervisor that I am thinking about going for it. Even confided in him that I’m a bit concerned about the pressure and the same pressure to be experienced by a buyer. He seemed to boil down his role to you’re basically doing the same thing you’ve already been doing and yes the pressure is to fill in where you can. For myself I would count being being answerable to other managers over you and dealing with customers is another consideration also.

I often said this year I’ll never know if I don’t try. Need to get away with that as it’s almost like saying I’m going to give this a try to see if I can do it and then just do absolutely nothing to prepare for it. You get the job and then prove yourself to be deadweight in the position. However, if I want to work a six-figure job eventually I have to take some risks and taken on jobs of significant authority or responsibility.

I can stay where I am and allow another opportunity to pass me by and remain comfortable in the position I’m currently in now. I feel as if there are times that I have been there, but my mindset has always been to want more. I’ve been lucky to have opportunities to move forward, especially coming from a company that chooses you as opposed to bidding for a higher level position and being given an up or down vote. It’s not possible to progress or grow if you’re not willing to take on other roles that are a great fit.

At my current job it seems they’ll often close a requisition after maybe a week. It went down after that time, however, I checked the company’s social network and see the position is back up. There was talk of a candidate between a colleague and one of the supervisors (they never would say who especially since that candidate is said to within our department), however, I also heard that this candidate dropped out. Thus the position remains open and who knows who’ll replace the supervisor who’s leaving.

He was very even keeled as a supervisor very cool and I’ve only seen him make a “boss” move once. He reminded a colleague who was returning from his break that he was out of uniform. He is very much someone you would want to point out your mistake vs one who’s only looking to take their frustrations on some wayward associate. If I went up for that position and got it, I can only hope I can display similar traits.

Move on!

Today is mother’s day so I wish everyone a wonderful one. Hopefully you’ll celebrate yours with your mother assuming she’s still alive.

Anyway with that out of the way, I reached a sudden epiphany recently and that would result in me not following through on some posts that I promised. Now I could go ahead with what I have already written especially in earlier posts where I had expected to share them in the future. Or I could pretend that these were promises that I never intended to keep and yes I’ve done that far too often.

My epiphany involved the idea of change and growth. I can’t really make any necessary changes or engage in significant growth if I continue to dwell on my relationships with past friends or my role in past situations. And especially when both just never really benefited yours truly in any significant way.

Since about last year I’ve written about Anthony the hustler and wrote about some of the more flagrant examples of why my former friendship with him just wasn’t beneficial for yours truly. For the most part I realize that most of what I talk about seems to involve money or even attempts at dominance. I realize now that for reasons – aside from my own meager resources – that only he truly knows he sought me out. I never really chased him down until I was lead to believe there was some benefit towards me though as time went on and had little contact with him there was very little benefit.

So I know that at the end of this month I wanted to finally just end my current storyline involving him. I also didn’t want to continue reporting to you that he attempted contact with yours truly. I don’t really want to tell you different stories involving the same conclusion or the same facet of his actions. Obviously he’s showed me and hopefully through my writing you the reader who he is.

So part of my change and growth as I had started talking about since roughly the new year involves keeping him out of my space. He never belonged and only served to disorder it for his purposes. We’re not talking about a long lost relative we’re talking about a former coworker who has a knack for getting himself involved in things where he just doesn’t belong. Unfortunately I had allowed him to do so for far too long.

I often talk about the communications black out and noted how we’re both responsible. He no longer needed me for anything at one point in time and had been trying to get in touch with me to open that door again. And as for me I realized at some point long before leaving “Planet Hustle” that it’s really not worth trying to talk to him unless he wants to be bothered. He’s given me nothing but reasons to just back away only for him to try his damnedest to get me back on his planet because he can’t understand why I’m backing off.

Part of this new period of change and growth is to eliminate that which doesn’t serve those purposes. To continue to talk about the Hustler really doesn’t serve those ends as easily as even continuing to associate with him. As a result I’ve realized there’s no point in continuing to write about him, not so much just forget about him but not even allow him as much thought in the present day.

So as far as these other posts in the pipeline and perhaps some of you have some thoughts on this. Continue to publish some of those remaining posts or stop and focus on more pressing present day concerns. In the meanwhile, time to do what I’ve should’ve done during the course of last year which is to move on.