Complacency

I’ve written a lot about this over maybe the past year. Complacency is a dangerous thing, some have accused me of being complacent when at The Show. I have no idea what that really meant at the time.

It’s accepted that there was a comfort level. I knew the job at The Show, and just knew the people and their general attitudes which as time moved forward got into my head. And those other individuals had their own issues whether their own complacency or comfort level with their own behaviors.

All the same once the pandemic came into full swing last year I began to consider the issue of complacency in my then current position at the time. I was beginning to wonder about my own stagnation and worse still to move up or just move on was more difficult especially when the economy just started shutting down. There weren’t as many jobs going around as there normally would be in different times. And in some cases not many opportunities to move up.

For yours truly complacency can be a very easy trap to fall into. When things go on a normal routine then all the sudden it just switches whether by mgmt or even by coworkers then it can be jarring. However, as I’ve learned with the calamity of 2017 especially being complacent can prove to be dangerous. It almost was at the theater and it was at the Hole (something I want to finish discussing this month).

Here’s another thing to consider, I’ve been discussing the setback or the Reign of Error for perhaps the last year at length. The goal I had in my head back in 2017 was that perhaps my tenure at Fresh Foods would last just about five years almost like my time at The Show. It’s a good round number where who knows yours truly could try to do other things, unfortunately the setback of about six months ruined the non-consecutive tenure.

I got an award recently based on my time with the company which also came with a $50 gift card which I definitely used up for some provisions for home. It was cool to still have achieved that even with my setback, and yes that includes that one share of Fresh Foods stock which divested over a year ago. Thankfully that setback didn’t keep yours truly from achieving those things.

As for the current situation the pandemic I’m sure took a lot of people out of their complacency. Your’s truly was taken out of mine with a change in departments. However, I’m very slow about making my next move. There were opportunities out there however it’s never a wise thing to just rush into something without a plan.

Right now, I see positions at the Hole I could pursue though as explored last month should one go back to square one or wait for a higher-level opportunity. Too bad I’m not ready to take on the role of my former boss’ dept manager position which was just posted at my current store.

Either way in spite of the sixth month setback and the transfer due to the ongoing circumstances

Calamity: Reign of Error

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I wrote numerous times on this blog how I lost my spot on buy/receive at my former dept. at the Hole. All it took was for Rog to come up with more complaints as far as how I was doing my job. He made seemingly a snap decision in the heat of the moment to announce he would eventually pull me off. Reality was that it took about two months to do so.

See, it’s possible he made up his mind in that moment in the office. And it started off strange anyway. I walked by him twice one morning as I reported to work and this was one of those strange 9 AM to 5 PM shifts I started getting. The second time he told me that he needed to speak to me when I clock on. When Ruthless Roger wants to see you it’s rarely a good thing as I had to learn.

What I realize is that the day before I was in the office with Roger I looked on Fresh Foods’ Social Network and noticed he requisitioned for a new associate buyer. Wil was our associate buyer and he wasn’t going anywhere, so I figured if he was going to pull anyone it would be me. Self-fulfilling prophecy right there…still i think now just about three years later after the climax that he probably had started to swing in that direction anyway.

Think about it, officially I never had the job to remain on buy/recieve. At the very least we needed another receiver. Also I got hit with that attendance probation so even if he or anyone else had wanted to elevate me it would’ve been a difficult sell. And besides, I couldn’t really apply for it he made sure to remind me of it while we were in that office. I was in a difficult spot but with Rog’s personality would he have overlooked it, being by the book he couldn’t. Or perhaps he was building a case against yours truly anyway.

Wil tried to say, it might be him who’d get pulled. I couldn’t see it, perhaps he was right. At the same time he already has the job that I had hoped to get myself. And strangely enough he wanted to hire another associate buyer. Rog’s plan as he stated was to make Wil who’s already an associate buyer as the team receiver. None of this made much sense, but I look back on it now he was a tad all over the place.

One thing I had figured with Roger was that he was going to bring in people he knew. It made sense whether I liked him or not. The buyer he installed Rog had known from his old store. And I had no real issues with the guy and he was out the door by the time I was no longer assigned to these shifts by October.

If you want to see the story as I saw it when I wrote it at the rough conclusion of the Reign of Error I will direct you to Denial. I had a friend read this story and he wouldn’t beat the $h!t out of me for. All he could do was conclude that Ruthless Roger wanted to sink me for reasons only he knows.

I even tried to warn Mr. Boastful who claimed any screw up he’d be vocal about but he can be cocky sometimes announcing as he was going to interview “I don’t care I’ll kick his ass”. Referring to the other person that Rog knew who was also interviewing for associate buyer and that person later got the job we learned.

Mr. Boastful was going to replace me. There were a few dry runs with him at one point especially before the interview. He got a real easy homework assignment for the interview which as hardly related to the job Mr. Boastful was seeking “How do you expect to move up at Fresh Foods?” That was so incompetent, however, after this interview he would ultimately be assigned to buy/receive and yours truly will be relegated back to the floor.

He couldn’t even contain his thoughts as he’d come around and state that “Oh, I feel so bad”. I’m trying to keep my head up, but in my mind he’s trying to rub it in. Like I said he was being very cocky, “but you know I really do” he’d exclaim. Of course he also depended upon my expertise occasionally when he was receiving since I knew how it went for the most part.

How bad was the reign of error? Well I no called no showed twice and both were on accident. In my head both times I thought I had a day off and as it turned out I was supposed to have worked. Since I had to go to work so early in the morning I was very studious about coming to work on time I got out of the house at around 4 AM to catch my morning train to the Hole. However as far as points for tardies I was already under the gun.

I was having issues being on time for some of those mid shifts before I started those buy/receive shifts. Then I starting getting those weird mid-shifts again once Roger took over our team. And for a couple of them before the attendance probation I was late.

At Fresh being over half-hour late is half a point. Being over an hour late or otherwise absent with no real excuse is a whole point. Being absent from work on what I thought was an off day gave me a whole point and another tardy put me over the edge.

Gary actually called me the day I wasn’t at work. While Gary didn’t express any indication that I’d be served with disciplinary action, Roger definitely hit me with it. Gary was cool about it, however, when I came to work the next day on my off day Ruthless Roger made sure to serve me the paperwork in an office. Not only a whole point for tardiness, but another write up for a no call no show and made sure to remind me that I can’t do this but two more times in a year’s period or I’m gone! Let me also remind you this was the first time in over two years at the Hole that I had done this.

Let me remind you of another post where I stated that I got a break recently from one of the assistant managers in my new assignment for making the same mistake. From what I can tell it wasn’t held against me and it won’t likely come up until I make enough points for paperwork.

The second time, no one called me and this was within days after Roger told me he was pulling me off buy/receive. When I did come to work on what was my actual off day Wil told me I was supposed to work the day before. I made short work of the receiving that needed to be done on the day that actually was my off day. No one from mgmt reported in – actually Arielle had called out that day. I made sure to utilize that sick time PTO to avoid getting another point which would definitely get me separated. Then I told Wil and our buyer that if it’s cool I’ll go home for the day.

Quick note: on that day I saw Rememory after getting off a bit early.

Rog came looking for me the next shift when Wil said I shouldn’t go to him which I didn’t. Something tells me that Ruthless probably decided to blow this up into something major, Mr. Boastful even had something to say about it. Don’t get me wrong it was something major, however, I should’ve kept in mind who I had been dealing with. He was by the book and whatever it prescribes he was going for it. At this point in my over two years at the Hole, these were the first two fluke no calls no shows I’ve had there.

How did I get that probation? I don’t know if it’s even been addressed here, but I had a real tough time coming to work on time the year before. What it takes to get an attendance probation was getting three final warnings and two were during the previous year in a rolling 12 month period. While at the point I got served with that I was barely at that point and got hit with it. A store manager was with another assistant mgr Rayna who was trying to be understanding but was interrupted by the store mgr which was strange. He wanted to be sure whether or not I was upset while yours truly was trying to be as cool about it as possible.

I thought this was just another write-up, wrong I was getting hit with something I didn’t expect. Of course while Ruthless wasn’t there that day his name was on the write-up. I knew what this meant, the chances of me becoming the team’s next buyer or receiver had hit a roadblock and this was not long after that first no call no show. Of course a week or so later – perhaps Rog didn’t know or perhaps he did and attempted to make right – he still seemed committed to allowing me to eventually take on the role permanently. Then he changed his mind at some point…

After Ruthless wrote me up for the second no call I tried to work with him asking for set hours. He railed against previous mgmt allowing some people to get weekends off. He used that to justify denying my request and at that point I just walked out frustrated. Roger was going to make this more difficult than necessary, but that was when I knew I was under the gun.

However, my mind was on beating this until it became clear if I was tardy one more time it was over. Sadly that came to pass, the Climax of the Reign of Error.

Complacency

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When I started going into a new direction in talking about Roger – my very last boss at The Hole three years ago – I made sure to note in some of the earlier posts about being complacent, taking things for granted, and even getting comfortable. I was in a different position than I had been since I started with the Fresh Foods and it was going to be taken from me.

I often noted that I got let go based on attendance – well in fact tardiness. I was having some issues with the man I’ve began to later refer to on this blog as Ruthless Rog. My gut tells me for some reason he was targeting yours truly and it was probably true for the whole department he probably had his eye on everyone. And if I wanted to be left alone I was in the wrong position as at that time my role meant I had to work with dept. leadership.

I stated in the latest installment that Rog had found something to complain about and made a big show of it. He pulled me into an office to let me know about fruit flies, keep department clear of food debris, and take away boxes. He also once called me out publicly for not being in full uniform while he’s on the floor. Like I said he was already looking for some excuses and he was going onto the attack.

I was in such an odd holding pattern by this time as well after that earlier bull$h!t I did try to have a discussion with him as far as my position. Even said I’d be willing to go through the process i.e get interviewed even if it meant I didn’t get the position. Part of my own ego is that well I wouldn’t have minded it if they handed me a role as part of the buy/receive staff, but I was willing to interview for it. I made sure he knew that so that he wouldn’t think that there was a sense of entitlement on my end.

I could also allege that he himself just walked in at the right time to take on the role of our department mgr. I doubt he had a particularly rigorous process…

And that was before the disaster, the attendance probation. The strangest part is that even if I could say it was all orchestrated, he still seemed willing to let me take on the role as part of the buy/receive team. This was less than a week after getting hit with that probation. Allowing me to fully take on the role according to him meant changing some codes or what not. And even got some further training on the role I’d be involved with.

Again allow me to remind you, by the time our acting dept. mgr. had departed for her newest assignment it was never settled as far as whether or not I’d officially get the position with the buy/receive crew. I didn’t want to press and possibly have it look bad on myself, however, who knows if things had worked out differently if I had tried. Still, since that was never settled before Rog took over we’re living in the reality of the so-called “reign of error”.

Perhaps most of us on the team were unsure about him. I heard from someone who’s a tad more familiar about Rog than I was that some mgmt at the Hole seemed uncertain about him- especially if there were familiar with him from the store he came from. They didn’t want to talk about Rog with this guy, he got the feeling that anyone who knew him wondered what he was doing there in his role. Perhaps he was in a position he didn’t belong and they knew it.

Meanwhile I still had to work with him and unlike the start of my time at the Hole I wasn’t as optimistic as things seemed like they weren’t going in the right direction. Hell, remember a guy I dub Mr. Boastful, he was getting in my head about it. Perhaps people were talking and he wanted me to know people were talking. I was trying not to be part of that discussion or have that in mind head but he insisted on bringing it up occasionally.

Of course I would later find out that Mr. Boastful decided he wanted my role. He had his eye on it and was a step ahead of me on communication as far as seeking it out. He knew something was going to happen and it would prove to be an opportunity for him. It’s a role he still have to this although he’s moved further along with himself leaving the Hole recently. I wonder if he still has the outspoken and stubborn attitude.

Funny thing is one of our longtime associates who got promoted to supervisor when we still had our acting dept. mgr. noted one handicap about Mr. Boastful which is he was often not very organized. Very quick and efficient as far as his role, however, there were some little things he never seemed to be able to get done. He just prioritized differently as I had in some aspects of my role.

Either way, I’m just going to stop there. There is a reason I talk about the complacency and it involved my attendance. I feel as if I should leave that for the next installment and to further discuss how Roger had arrived at finally just making his decision as far as my role as he had. And the point where our working relationship seemed to have become fractured.

Crossroads

Last year I talked about making changes and you never know if you don’t try. I talked about dwindling opportunities and such. This year I also talked about leaving your comfort zone.

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I’ve spent too much time sitting on my hands waiting for something. While waiting for something this year I got sent to a different department until my old department could get back to where it needs to be saleswise. I got the indication that this move was a very rough move and I’m not where it was expected for me to be! 

I’ve had more than a few days in this current reality where I was just sluggish and it shows to those who are paying attention. I try to remember that I have a job to do, but I recognize that my mind isn’t a good place. However, it isn’t as much about the situation at work as its life itself.

I worked hard and damn near got kicked out of school twice to pursue a prestigious college degree and have very little to show for it. It’s time that I do and it’s one reason why I started talking about YouTube earlier this year. The way I see it this is one way to actually use that fancy education.

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Either way, I recognize this is a tough spot to be in during a pandemic. There is some recovery but I have to realize the job market won’t just shift back to normal once we’re out of this thing. I’ll bet the job market will have changed permanently and that you better be able to market yourself very well in order to pursue more lucrative opportunities.

I’ve even thought about going the entrepreneurial route, and the next question is in what. So I think from this point forward I have some decisions to make. The hardest thing about this is to execute whatever plans you can make. My philosophy this year had also become just get started because life’s too short.

I’m beginning to realize this more and more these days. Life’s too short and perhaps I can no longer wait. If there’s something I want to do or need to do just get started and jump on it when the time comes. I just wish I had that mentality when I was 19

Comfort level

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With what’s been going on in the world I’ve been thinking again. Well actually I have been thinking about it for quite a while. It really should’ve started during my hiatus over two years ago.

It back during the period between October ’17 to April ’18 I developed the idea that a job is nothing more than a means to an end. It’s true there are many ways one can make money and this is something that had been explored on this blog also (ex. how does one make money on YouTube).

At the same the thought process with that was merely that I had lost the job that I really liked and believed that I really grew at in that period. However, what if that company went belly up and lets say I created a new company I could attempt to recreate that culture. The culture at the Hole if not Fresh Foods as a whole is one reason why I returned to the company.

The lesson here is that no matter how much you like a job and how much a job or a company has done for you especially financially it can always be taken away from you. I won’t entirely go into the circumstances of my situation just about three years ago at this point and besides it’s been written about on this blog numerous times. The bottom line is that for whatever reason you may not have that job any longer.

Still, one focus on this has been about jobs. What else would I like to do and what entrepreneurial thing can yours truly do to make money independently? I still think about that chances are I probably won’t start a store although I do have thinks I have cared about such as movies, comic books, tech, etc. I’ve tried the world of finance and still have the culture shock of that in my system.

However, another part of comfort is I’ve never left home. A conclusion I came to recently in light of this unrest is that Chicago is part of my comfort level. Jack V works for a fortune 500 company and has the opportunity to go anywhere he wants. Yours truly can go to Wisconsin, Georgia, Mississippi, Iowa, Missouri, Texas, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, etc. Just about anywhere I wish as long as I can secure a job.

I’ve also been talking about going back to school although the time you might have seen this on the blog it was to go to a local university and attain a master’s degree. Well that’s my opportunity to go elsewhere. Find out how reasonable tuition is and hopefully find a full-time job to keep the money train going.

For this moment things under consideration.

Pizza

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For the first time in a longtime I tried something new at work. It was something that yours truly had been working on for years at Fresh Foods but the opportunities weren’t presenting themselves. Nor was I willing to just take the “bull by the horns” and go for it.

I made some pizzas at work. To be honest the four pizzas produced recently weren’t the first ever made with my hands. Still yours truly feels as if I’ve made quite an accomplishment recently not even achieved during my time at the Hole.

The other pizzas ever made with my two hands occurred earlier during my time at the Hole and then later once I arrived at my current assignment. The only concern is would I be able to handle the rush during a “normal” business day as it could be very stressful for anyone who has worked pizza. Also at this moment my concern is over whether or not it’s possible to handle a custom order for a pizza. Regardless, it’s hard to say that I have an out as far as making pizzas now.

Keith – whom I formerly worked with at The Show – even chimed in on my snapchat that my beautifully crafted pieces of culinary artwork looked like something from The Show. The pizzas sold at my old job were shipped pre-made and frozen – definitely not freshly made not matter how often customers at concessions insisted on a “fresh” pizza. My only response to which he agreed was that the pizza I made was better than what you’d get at The Show. 😛

As always I continue to change and grow and learn new things!

Adulting

Last year, it was around the time The Hole called me for an interview to return I also got a call from a suburban movie theater on the northwest side of the Chicago area. In fact I didn’t get back to them, however, they called me twice with regards to scheduling an interview. However, the store manager from The Hole called me and I took the potential opportunity that was closer to home for yours truly.

Well I won’t spell out what happened with The Hole as of course that didn’t work out. I’ve since returned to the company though at a different location. However even if not interviewing with that theater was a “bad decision” I chose the path that I was familiar with and was most convenient. I just wasn’t feeling that long commute back and forth between a job on an unfamiliar part of the area to home.

Once The Hole called I chose to go online to the HR site for the theater company and withdrew my application. I put my eggs all in one basket, and especially for the opportunity to return to the company where I seen some great gains as far as income and hopefully better opportunities what happened during the reign of error notwithstanding.

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As far as the theater, this would’ve been the third opportunity to work for that national chain up until being rehired the next month. My two earlier opportunities included the dine-in show I had been working for 8 months in 2016. Both of those resulted in no job offer and likely I’d have been doing what I had been doing at The Show which was simply floor staff. Basically doing basic whatever they scheduled me to do for my shift on any given day. So was I excited to go for this opportunity on the northwest side nope, so I chose not to actually pursue it.

Now that I’m in new opportunities mode, this causes me to think about going being just being floor staff. Earlier this year I pursued the opportunity of associate buyer at my new store. It’s great to continue to seek out new and available opportunities that would be a great fit for yours truly. However, to be honest I still seek out opportunities in the movie theater business. I did admit once that the idea of being a theater manager – something unfulfilled from my time at The Show – is still on my mind.

Seeking out employment in an unfamiliar part of town is part of adulting. You do what you need to do to find the best possible opportunity to pay the bills. If that means you have to go further away from home it was something I had been prepared to do. So far I’ve been lucky and glad that for now I’ve been able to find jobs that were most convenient.

In the meantime, I realize that I’ve been seeking opportunities in areas I’ve been very familiar. It’s OK to continue taking opportunities in those areas and will pursue them when available. However, perhaps another part of adulting is going outside of your comfort zone (in a way I tried that with banking). Either way the best opportunities that will enable me to reach my financial or life goals that will fit me best are those I do want to chase.

odds & ends

* recently i went to my bank to deposit my federal tax refund. most of it is being used for bills the rest is being saved. the bank i went to was empty as it’s undergoing a transition having failed earlier this year. this bank was where i had my savings account since i was 18. now it has me thinking i should change banks though i was keen on doing it when the failure occurred i’ve since been taking my time and still thinking about it.

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* speaking of that bank, my mother recently went there to clean out her office. she hadn’t seen the inside of that place since she went on medical leave again in december. she was why i had an account there in the first place starting a savings account for me so that i have somewhere to deposit the social security checks for my dad. all the same all the changes that occurred the failure and ultimate sale to another bank happened while my mother was on medical leave. because of these changes she never returned to work. that’s a story in and of itself however.

* for this now i call this current period “the apocalypse”. i could compare this period to the “streak era” from 2012 to 2014 where i was getting interviews but no job offers. this period is far more different and of significant change which led to my mother’s unexpected retirement. that day was coming sooner or later and now it just means she’s not in the position to help me anymore and i’m literally going to be on my own. i see it as a positive development however there was some uncertainty as there had been when i left “the show” in 2014 to become a bank teller

* what led to this period is a bit of an interesting story and happened long before my mother was diagnosed with a compound fracture in her hip/thigh area. the real effects of this new situation involved insurance. when my mother’s employer sent a check to pay premiums the insurer sent the check back because that company no longer exists. the new company had their own insurance and insisted on using that instead of paying for what already existed. it resulted in my mother having to scramble to seek further treatment from her hospital when a nursing service called her to say her insurance was cancelled and no nurse would come to the house. so my mother further scrambled to get medicare and then get some form of tweener insurance.

* it finally connects in my mind that it’s more or less all me now. definitely a scary prospect, however, because of my mother’s condition it makes some goals more difficult. for example i’m interested in moving out, however, that plan is tempered by the fact that mother isn’t as mobile as she used to be. another wrinkle is that i may possibly choose to leave home and when i do my mother may choose to sell her house. she doesn’t want to be at home by herself and i really don’t want her to sell off the house.

* in this new era of significant change i have some decisions to make. especially now that i’m about to head into the 2nd half of 2017. the decision i make will allow me to be far more comfortable about even thinking about dating in the future. besides if i get nookie from any prospective woman the last place i’d want to take her is home where my retired mother lives.

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updates

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my mother told me she’s going back to the hospital. over the last few weeks she had been undergoing procedures to set her up for another procedure which involves bone marrow and blood plasma. this isn’t surgery where she will be under anesthesia, however, she’ll still be gone for about 10 or so days.

recently, she spent overnight at the hospital because a “portal” placed on her for the coming procedure caused some bleeding and they needed to give her some sutures. i was a little frustrated and she likely was also because a lot of waiting on her part. in my case i was waiting because they needed someone on ready especially if she’s not 100% and often that person was me.

i’ll be alone at home for 10 days and i’m unsure what to do. if i had those kinds of relationships with women one could stay home with me during those days where my mother’s gone. however, it does seem a little unseemly doesn’t it or not when i’ve had that type of relationship and she doesn’t mind it.

i’ve begun to realize as much as my personality has been described as a loner, i don’t like being alone in a not so big house. it is really important for me to share my life with someone and often skirted this for a number of years. just not sure how to start on this when i should’ve started at least in my teenaged years.

to be sure this is the worst time for me to think about these things. my mother is undergoing her own health challenges with the issues involving a compound fracture in her hip/thigh area. but i have a place to stay and no one by myself for the time being.

also, i’ve struggled with the idea of being a part-time caretaker. thankfully she’s largely able to take care of herself and when she finally comes home there will be people coming over to keep an eye on her. i literally don’t relish having to be in that role and sooner or later this has to be communicated. this is only because i’ve finally gotten to the point where i want to actually live life and if i don’t do it now it’ll just get much harder.

the idea has crept in my head that it’s time to move. i’ve spent most of my life at home and then going to the liberal arts college, but it’s time to be in my own place. unfortunately i’ll still likely be alone, but it’s past time. it helps that i’ve finally found a job where i can make good money and grow after almost 5 years at the stagnant minimum wage. i saved enough money where i can do that and perhaps still get a little car.

in the meanwhile how can i possibly manage being at home by myself while my mother is away at the hospital. also it’s very important that i hope for the best as always!

discomfort

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as i wish i can be sometimes

so i thought about hugs and then about becky why am i comfortable with them and less so with other women. actually other women i’ve worked with i think i get on with them in some way even if only professionally.

to be sure if i don’t get on very well with some women it might be personality differences especially at work. perhaps i just don’t mesh as well with them as they might not with me. i can say that relations will go downhill quick with a take charge type woman and especially if she has this need to run her big mouth.

either way i worth with becky one weeknight and then hugs came back to visit. unfortunately i never spoke to hugs and she brought her boyfriend along. as it turns out he used to work with us and transferred to another store. she on the other hand went back to school out of state.

i may just say i was disappointed that hugs has a boyfriend though not surprised as i’ve discussed this. lots of people like her so he should be a lucky man although let’s be honest here dating shouldn’t be a popularity contest. you either like someone or you don’t.

which leaves me to the point of this post. on this same evening mary spoke to me. the subject was two carts i saw a coworker run to the back and apparently near her department. i decided to use them only to find that they weren’t clean and our “convo” went from there discussing how everyone had their definition of clean. why didn’t i feel comfortable even with someone as cute as her.

now i’ve discussed mary at times before as well. i hesitate to really say a whole lot to her mainly because of the “crazy vibes”. not necessarily because of the “stalking” episode because i don’t take it very seriously.

she may be one with whom i can be comfortable aside from a hug only once on my birthday.  on this occasion i wasn’t at ease. how can i connect with any woman – who also happens to be single – if i’m not at ease.

on the other hand with hugs and becky i may have decided i either have no interest or more likely there isn’t chance for me to be with them. although to be sure i’ve toyed with the idea of attempting to woo becky. but for the moment becky has someone and it keeps me back for the moment. and also it doesn’t help to work with someone you would entertain dating or sex because that’s dangerous.