The next to last “drop” 2016

I’m still struggling to come up with a final post on the Fiend so I just simply have settled on this story. It will take place just before the episode election day. It was a nice fall day as we’re having currently in Chicago.

Whenever I talk about Anthony the Hustler/Fiend my goal is to tell that story straight. One thing that I striven not to do was to go on the attack against him. Perhaps the various monikers that I have given him including the more frequent ones in addition to a hard-up old man might skirt the line as far as personal attacks. And I also want to note that I strove not to really exaggerate my stories about him. As far as whether or not I was successful in my writings to stay away from attacking I’ll leave up to you all.

The monikers and stories I have written about him are based on my interactions with him. So a lot of what’s written are real life situations. And as stated before you will see a common pattern with what you read and it’s hard to really do anything with a lot of situations. For my purpose it’s just me collecting and analyzing the data.

Around this time in 2016 I answered a call from Anthony. I do recall that he had been calling and texting and for some reason we never did connect. When we finally did I said something sarcastic about not having a sense of urgency in responding or returning his calls. He had to respond to that wondering what’s wrong. In fact it seemed he was making an effort to read me when he did get me on the phone.

As we were talking he seemed to notice my silence as he starts talking frequently asking “What’s wrong”. He noted my lack of sarcasm on my call though usually when I get into that mode he would often get offended and will express it….like a disappointed father. Strangely on this day I was a tad subdued because if he’s somewhat putting on a full court press – not that he was blowing up my phone though he was certainly trying very hard to get in touch with me not like the later episode One Final Drop.

A few times I had to tell him nothing was wrong but if I was silent I was expecting him to get on with the point because I knew there was one. At some point he reached it which he stated “Another reason I wanted to talk to you. I need some money…”

Boo! I stated.

He didn’t understand in this moment that I had objected to his request for money. However I was going to give him some money I just wasn’t at the mode where I got sick of it although this was irritating to me for sure. It’s not like he was doing this frequently but it was enough times that it was on my radar. Up to that point if he’s getting something from me it was a free lunch. Either way to respond to his response to my “Boo” I just simply told him that was my sarcasm that he was waiting for.

We did meet later and he had no money for his lunch. When I asked him if he had anything he just shrugged. Basically I was paying for his lunch and I gave him some as he termed it running around money. He claimed he didn’t have enough money to eat all he got on this day was $100 that I took out of the bank for him. I think I expected him to pay this back later but then there was other money from way back when that I had expected him to pay back.

He infrequently does but sadly there are moments where he might ask to borrow money again. Sometimes money on top of money he already owes. Either way something was wrong with what was going on and I knew it. I mean I already knew it but just not enough will at that time to cut it off.

When we were eating I told him about the episode Petty in full. He would state for the record it shouldn’t have went that far with the House Manager, General Manager and the young woman Kelly. Then at some point he makes reference to me being virgin thinking it was funny stating how I’d fill my girlfriend up covering his smirk with his hand. He knew he was out of line but just didn’t have a filter, he never had a filter. And just like I said that I should’ve left him on the expressway during the summer of 2011 I should’ve got him and left him at that food place we were at and let him figure out where to get his money from.

Either way later on that day he got his money. We take a train back to my house where he left his hoopty. On the way back we were talking about taking martial arts classes he was suggesting something connected with a church that he never gave me info on. Somehow he mentioned that he had been trying to get me to go to his own martial arts school – the one he decided to ask for money where he just simply stated he needs some money – and then I told him ultimately that I didn’t want to go to his martial arts school. He just stopped as he was about to speak probably offended by that but then kept it moving.

I forgot to reference the episode Applications. This was when he stopped at a store near The Show when he saw a job posting looking for workers before the store opens to stock the shelves. He seemed very excited about it and he later utilizing some excuses tried to get me to do his application for that job. Well I didn’t want to do all that work for him on that day.

Then he calls me on the evening of election day upset over the man who won the election. And after I tired of his repetition over who he thought that man who became our president for one-term was. Then we pivoted to other subject including a brief lecture on how I needed to start dating or the women will start laughing at me.

And then we go to the holiday season of 2016. He called me the day before asking if he could bring me with him to look at some cars – basically he was looking for cars via craiglist presumably to replace his hoopty. Anyway he finally paid back some money he borrowed which didn’t include the money I gave him months earlier. He owed me that money for over a year but didn’t consider an extra bill to pay back the “getting around money“.

That little excursion was funny. Our first stop was in the western suburbs and I was talking about a Finer’s store that just opened in the city – and why not talk about it I’m in the industry. Out of the blue he just decided to ask whatever happened with that. I gave him a shorthand story to tell him what happened again and hoped that would be it. Well I’ve been talking about it all year, it escalated to if you come to Finer Foods you’d make more money.

We get to a man’s house in the suburbs and he was talking about a part that Anthony could get for a small sum. Anthony didn’t want to hear that thinking he should’ve fixed it himself if it was that easy. He was complaining about a cracked windshield and then saw holes in the trunk lid where a spoiler used to be. He got on the phone to someone telling them about the car, from that call Ant told the man he has to turn it down because he was actually getting it for someone.

As we left the area Anthony asked “You know that was a fake call right?” I didn’t think much of it honestly but he revealed what he just did out there. Just being very slippery and finding a way to get out of making a purchase. Although it sounded like from what he was picking at he didn’t want the car anyway. I guess in my experience sometimes it isn’t easy to just say no.

So anyway that was really the last time I saw him until one day in the spring next year I saw him at the Hole as he was about to watch a movie at the nearby cinema. And I also had a few odd phone calls with him where he runs down some of my more negative episodes at The Show. I’d say from that meeting on a fall day in 2016 is where our “situationship” began to go downhill.

You know here is the kicker. Blame me for allowing such treatment, however, isn’t it odd that in some way you’re being helpful at the same time as time goes on you’re the one being treated like crap. It’s possible he thought his behavior was OK and as per usual I wasn’t willing to say this wasn’t OK. And knowing him I could tell him and he still won’t budge. And then he has a problem as it turns out when I finally just “drop” him. It’s very odd…

Shoot “One final drop”

I just want to touch upon that post and Anthony deciding to inject Finer Foods in our discussions as yours truly begins to gain some momentum at Fresh Foods.

Think about this for a second, he’s starting his second stint with Finer’s while trying to say “I think you’ll like Finer’s better” or “You’d make more money there” and the purpose of that post from over two years ago was him begging for money for the umpteenth time. Isn’t that a bit odd? He’s somewhere that he can make more money and in reality he wasn’t much better off than I was and he’s suppose to have as much if not more experience than I do.

One thing to consider, since he’s the type that likes to use his connections – which amounted to a bucket of spit as time went forward as I tried to leave The Show – he sure could have “negotiated” a much better wage. Then again the money he cited once he requested cash in hand sounds like basic starter pay.

I also considered when he gave me a number as far as how much he makes that he sneezes at benefits. He was telling me he was negotiating with the national theater chain to be a manager they make mid $30K he wants another $10K on top of that. He doesn’t care about the benefits he cares about the take home pay. Not only that I consider when we were trying to get a job with the neighborhood cinema his answer when I hoped they pay benefits was “make your own benefits”. In other words buy your own and he’s telling me this at a time when I had none and if any employer would’ve been attractive for me back then it was benefits such as health insurance.

Hoopty

When I think about it now, as we pull off in his overheating hoopty from the barbershop where I met with him to make the “drop” as we rode away I asked him how much he made at Finer’s and judging from his body language, he didn’t expect that question. It was sort of like now I’m holding him accountable once I told him that I wanted that money back when he gets situated. His personality comes ready for almost everything however this he seemed a bit sheepish and squirrely as if he really didn’t want to answer that question.

Of course let me add the reason this came up was not just the fact that he begged for yet another small cash infusion. It was because he decided to continue selling Finer’s putting over their candy popcorn and how it was the best since it didn’t leave residue on his hands. I took that as another attempt to sell me on Finer Foods just to illustrate why he likes them so much and why I must like them too.

As I just stare at him while we were in the barbershop with as little response as possible he continues with “just get an interview. See how much money they’re talking. And know your worth.” While I have to continue reminding him that I’m in training for a new role which could lead to mgmt in the future. It seems as if he doesn’t want to hear that, my seeming growth might have been an issue for him and there wasn’t much positive feedback from him as time went on. Probably one reason why he always seemed to bring up D.B. at random back then.

One thing I never explained very well was another theory. Why did Anthony just insist in bringing this up? For some reason it was on his mind maybe it was for whatever reason one of those things that just remained unresolved even if I finally left The Show. Or perhaps this was one of those things he can decide to bring up at random at some point in the future to cause some defensiveness on my end. And again as I’ve recently pointed out he may have had a strange issue with my seeming momentum at the Hole back in the first half of 2017.

Either way, he got his money and told him that I wanted that money back and he gave me a quick answer as far as how much money he makes. For all I knew it could just be a white lie perhaps his pay is higher or lower, but he wanted to show how hard up he was. Especially since you know he needed money for his son’s medical bills that he couldn’t raise enough from his family.

I have no real resolution to this however as not long after this I just stopped chasing him down. We didn’t really say much to each other for most of that summer into the fall. We didn’t really exchange texts or facebook messages. There were no real updates as far as when he expected to repay the money. And then who knows once he was ready to come back around and talk again it wasn’t to discuss paying back that small sum of cash, it probably was to beg some more because that’s the pattern of a man I have started calling the Friend.

Later this month I want to tell you about my last real phone call with him. While the end of our odd friendship was more drawn out process than that last call, it would mark the end of our “situationship” little did he know and little did I know. I got one hint for the direction, it was the first time after many years I had actually ran into Deranged Barney outside of my job.

Stay Tuned!

BTW, feel free to read and click through for the original post – One Final Drop.

The Tell

Allow me to further elaborate on a story I have been discussing a lot of lately. It was something further noted last month noting the Fiend’s persistence on finding a job with his store.

Now late in 2016 during the holidays I got a call from him wanting to finally pay back some money he owed. Two months before that he was begging for some “getting around money”. What this means was that he was borrowing money on top of the other money he already owed and was finally ready to pay yours truly back for the money he already owned. I never got back the getting around money and perhaps it wasn’t plainly stated.

Well he wanted me to go out with him to check out a car he found on Craigslist and our first stop was in the western suburbs. This was when he asked about what happened with the interview with Finer Foods two years in the past. And he told me to “tell me again” when I told him I already went over that.

Well he didn’t really listen in my observation just nodded as if he heard what I was saying. He probably just wanted to open the door to that convo for whatever reason. I made sure to note my frustration with that whole episode back then.

Well we go to this suburban house out west and we look at this car. Anthony was finding things he didn’t like a cracked windshield, holes on a trunk where the spoke used to be, and it was missing an inexpensive part that Ant insisted the seller should’ve replaced himself. This is what he did to get out of it.

He created a phone call, he let me know later it was a fake call. It was to some woman perhaps a fabled girlfriend or a sister or his daughter. He was getting it for a woman and he started telling her the situation and when he hangs up he tells the man he’s turning him down and why. Well the car was to be for him but he came up with a quick way to bow out of this sale, it was for someone else.

Aside from that perhaps a month or so later in the new year I got another raise. I’m sure I told him and we got on the phone – don’t remember of it was before or after my mom lost her job – I do remember telling him how much liked Fresh Foods. His answer “I think you’ll like Finer’s better!”

Taken aback I explained how many people I work with who formerly worked with them and their feedback as far as why I disagreed. He gave a very dry OK and dropped it that moment. Well we all know what happened with that and as stated before that proved to be a tell it was going to keep coming up.

Well, that was just a start and it becomes “if you come to Finer Foods you’ll make more money”. And he said that enough times where one time on the phone while telling him I was on an interview panel he starts again.

I was telling him about a probable promotion and how it could take me into mgmt (and we also know what happened with that). While he says “hey alright that’s good” and then “if you come to Finer’s you’d make more money”. At this point I have to yell at him that “you must have a real hard on for me coming to Finer’s”. Long story short it came back up at least two more times before the “blackout”.

He want letting that go for whatever reason. And my reluctant answers or a lack of one wasn’t stopping his mentions. It’s almost as if as things were going up at the Hole he decided he needed to convince me to go elsewhere. Didn’t understand.

Next month I plan to revisit the episode One Final Drop which was the last time he brought up Finer’s again. And then my last actual phone conversation with him. The Planet Hustle era was headed for a full stop from that point forward.

I’m working on one more post this month about him. I intended not to do more than one post about him this month but the next post about him will be more of an update. Most recent news about him as it relates to the “blackout”.

October – Dawn of the ‘streak era’

October has been something of a pivotal month within the last 6 or so years. I left The Show for a teller job at Gotham Bank. I also lost the job where I made the most gains in an unexpected fashion which we’ll explore further later this month (in addition to it being explored at different intervals and the aftereffects when it did happen)

I don’t want to dwell on either, but talk about what happened just about eight years ago. This time in 2012 I learned that an opportunity that I had lost became a dodged bullet. I had occasionally talked about a mgmt interview with a neighborhood cinema company.

To be fair I had an old “fiend” put me onto it. Earlier that year I saw a notice for this on that company’s website – I was a customer you see and often check showtimes. I really talked myself out of it because they were looking for experienced managers with a certain set of skills which I can’t say I really had. For example, I generally don’t use spreadsheets and evidently have no interest though if I wanted to be in business it’s a necessary skill.

Well Anthony put me onto it and was starting to get frustrated with the Show, and this was before the real weirdness that I got embroiled in. Also just note the year before I had largely kept my distance from him, however, as part of his rather paternal instinct or perhaps not even that he just needed an excuse to come around. So he was still giving unsolicited advice and I accepted this.

If I couldn’t be a manager at The Show, I could go elsewhere I figured. Of course when I did turn my resume in to that company there was a waiting game. First I got no response, Ant gave me another email address to send my info to and got a response. According to him he gave me a very good reference or at least put in a good word for me.

The theater owner gave me a basic timeline which ultimately got pushed back to near the end of that summer. Ant still found a way to get some money for a hot dog – literally that happened – and while I expected him to pay that back I told him to eat it for any updates. See I began to lean on him for information because I was ready to go.

Eventually she got back into touch with me, set up a date and time to interview which was a workday and I had a short turn around to get out of the interview and get to work later that afternoon. I felt very confident in my interview in hindsight did I show that for that role I was green. What I didn’t know back then is you have to do more than show you’re a hot shot to employees you have to do some housekeeping which depending on your level includes showing how much money the theater made.

What I had to learn in my later experience sitting on an interview panel for mgmt or interviewing to be a supervisor or interviewing to be a buyer is that you have to create a plan that has results. I’m giving you the basic idea but I hope you get the point have some new ideas and in some cases have some real numbers to back it up.

Well I thought the interview went well enough that I was waiting for the job offer and sadly none was coming. The notification of next steps especially after a follow-up email to her got pushed back a week – she did state a certain period to expect follow-up from her.

For Ant’s part he stated his expectations that if he knows about next steps then I’d know also. It seemed he thought we would be a packaged deal as he was part of that process as well. Over time I listened to the Hustler and start soaking in his own complaining about the company. With the weirdness around us I was starting to become unhappy. As I’ve stated on this blog a number of times I was ready to get out of there I needed this opportunity and thus put all of my eggs in one basket for this one.

So as the clock starts to tick and my confidence at an all time high at that point I wait for an answer. It seemed almost everyday for maybe a week Ant would text – he would offer no updates of his own – “did you hear anything?” And each time my answer was no. After one final time with no explanation he finally gave his own indication of an update “WOW!

According to him he got sent to the next round of interviews his own next step. He would be up for General Manager – and to be fair that call for experienced managers said nothing about what kind of managers that company was looking for. In my own head I was thinking something like supervisors or even senior managers and I was shooting for something resembling senior manager like at The Show. The power to really hire or fire.

Well the way I see it now she was making decisions or changing her mind as she went. Perhaps she had no clear idea of what she was really looking for. In my head if a GM was what she was looking for I definitely would say I’m not it. Not ready for that at all!

Not with my ideas for that theater. I would’ve tried to take some of the ideas from The Show which was a posh place to work or come to the pictures and bring it to the neighborhood. Bring a piece of downtown to those who may choose for their own reasons not to come to the movies in the heart of Chicago. There was a grill in the lobby that seemed to never be open when I do go to the pictures up there, how do we get that running on a consistent basis. The owner attributed this to a staffing issue….

Well anyway Ant suggested that I follow-up with her the next week and she finally told me the bad news via email. Yours truly didn’t make the cut for the next round, she wanted candidates with “significant management experience”. I was so bummed about that until I left the theater – The Show or $h!tplace – I was still whining and upset about these turn of events. I wasn’t going to leave anytime soon and that wrecked my confidence! It just seemed like such a sure thing.

I told Anthony what happened and he already begins to prescribe alternatives like look at other companies. I already hated job hunting I was loathe to do so because by experience it takes time and work. I was loathe to do so when things got weird at The Show. Then I got one great opportunity and after great anticipation dust!

This would set the tone for the next two years when after many interviews one out of 14 or 15 interviews I got no job offers. I’ve come up with one excuse for this, however, that may not be an explanation I was just on an odd streak that I was running until in 2014 Gotham Bank finally broke the streak.

So anyway this was an interview the Hustler wished me good luck and I hoped for the best, however, it didn’t work out and he wanted to be a listening ear. He proclaimed he might go a bit further and that was the conversation we had in an auditorium we were working when he said “I just don’t get you“. Turning that convo into one about how I was pushing him away.

Well this time eight years ago it was blasted in the press that the theater where I had my interview was shut down for a week. The theater owner’s company which operated the screens was evicted from the premises by their business partner who actually owned the facility. It was shocking and what that meant was that Anthony wasn’t getting the job either and there was no further opportunity for me with that.

Anthony had discussed possibly bringing me and some others from The Show to the neighborhood theater bringing their talents and work habits with them. He thought of me as an idea man and everyone else had their talents for good or bad. It just wasn’t to be.

Remember Ant likes to follow-up and often I liken it to groveling which is definitely beneath a man who is just stubborn and dominant. He likes certainty, however, after a while he no longer got a response when he tried to contact her. Perhaps the theater owner had things going on behind the scenes that she didn’t want to explain at all especially to those candidates she went forward with.

While I had continued to dwell on this for the last two years at The Show, as it turned out this was a momentary set back. Yours truly never fully let go of his idea of being a manager at a theater. I hoped for the best at The Show until it was just decided that it was time for me to move on. If they offered I don’t think it would’ve been accepted by me. In my head they waited too long for what is something they should’ve discussed but if they were in no mood to evaluate anyone for a raise….

In some respects years later I’m glad it never happened. The idea had occurred to me that yours truly would’ve crashed and burned. Considering the mgmt and the employees it would’ve been stressful when things need to run smoothly in my opinion. Even in perfect circumstances that doesn’t always work out that way.

Anthony would hang in there for at least another year to enjoy the rides in my mother’s luxury car and getting some money or even lunch paid on my dime on those late nite rides home. He would complain about pay as he seemed to have the need to nickel and dime any job willing to offer him a job. He would even try to suggest I try to nickel and dime jobs during that time when I was trying to leave The Show!

Either way that period just about eight years ago, was a hard lesson learned. A very necessary one at that.

Finally putting my eggs in one basket. Well that wasn’t really said at the time, that’s the situation at hand in that time period. However, that term would come up for another idea that the Hustler would just get into almost two years later. Another interview that actually never happened but he was deadset on.

Calamity: Reign of Error

brown and green leaved trees covered with fog

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.

Savings revisited

The post that I wrote over a year ago with that title is a tad tongue in cheek with the added reasoning, that I saved some money at that point in time. This whole episode started off strange and took place during the time that the Hustler started working at The Show over nine years ago.

I probably could’ve revisited this odd episode last month but never got around to it, and note I went through a whole month without mentioning him. Either way it was strange to see a graying older man working with us in uniform at that point in time. Yes we need to work and get a job where we could find one, however, how did things kick off in the long run he found out about me and I let him in.

Allow me to state admittedly the video is a representation of the “let me in” phrase. More than it’s meant to represent the Hustler. What I will admit though is that in my post at the end of last year about his last attempt at contact I had referred to him as a fiend as opposed to being a friend. Moving on…

I told him about some minor aspirations I had while we were talking, he seemed strangely curious about me in the beginning. He wanted to know why I never got promoted there, well to start aside from trying to be a “crew leader” the year before evidently they weren’t hiring for that at all. I also learned at various points during that year after his arrival that he was under consideration for a supervisor role, more on that later.

Anyway my tactical error in the beginning was I gave him a ride home in my mother’s vehicle. For whatever reason it gave him license to ask a number of very rude and personal questions such as “How old were you when you lost your virginity?” He knew I got a degree from a liberal arts college and indicated that I was interested in teaching and remember I just met him “NO! You can’t handle it!” Those were two moments that I could’ve kicked him right out of the car and left him on the expressway to figure out for himself how to get home, but I didn’t I went to his house on the east side of the city.

As I got closer to his part of the city I remember that he complained on the way about all those shuttle buses along the way. There was a concert taking place at an abandoned property the city hoped to redevelop and those buses were there to take care of those people. He had nothing positive to say about that at all. I dropped him off and just remember yours truly had to work with him.

At some point we exchanged facebook friend requests and phone numbers because I didn’t mind being a good coworker. I might need something and as it turned out he needed something. He did call me one evening before coming into work and he was already going to call in a favor, he wanted to borrow some money.

This is where I send you to the Savings post to see the story itself. I just wanted to give some background on the situation. Now I want to give you a conclusion of what happened in the weeks afterwards.

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Well, I didn’t work too hard at reconnecting with him. However, I was never forceful as far as telling him to buzz off, he kept finding reasons to come around. One day on the floor he walked right up to me as I was on my cell phone at that moment, I look up and he asked with some emotion “Why don’t you speak to me?” Translation, you owe me your time and I demand it. He reminds me that I have his phone number and facebook to be in touch.

For the most part I avoided him after that and one night he just walked up to me and asked for a ride home. I gave him a ride home, again had no real wish to say no. The fact that I left him at the theater after asking for some money should’ve gave him the answer he needed but we’re talking about Planet Hustle. That was when I told him I shouldn’t be driving anyone home in my mother’s car per her instruction he seemingly understood, but was later able to get that privilege back. There was a period of time where I limited my interactions with him but if that paternal instinct kicks in he’ll come around.

As stated the red flags were flying and in light of the changing situation at the job during that particular summer I ignored them. He served his purpose during that time, but found myself wondering if he might have indirectly caused some things. He’s not particularly loyal unless he’s getting what he needs and even then he’s still not loyal. Should’ve learned Jack V…well it took some intervening issues years later for me to realize this.

What helped to turn the situation around for the next year was his plug to be a theater manager at a neighborhood cinema. I put my eggs all in one basket for that one and didn’t get it – the start of the streak era. One night we were working and we were discussing future opportunities with this local theater and out of nowhere he states “I just don’t get you

At that moment I look back confused and he stated “Sorry for changing the subject, but you keep pushing me away”. I would say this was the moment the distance began to change. He didn’t want any distance and largely we got closer.

Between summer of 2011 and roughly into the fall of 2017 with him around were some odd years. I’m still learning to beware of who I allow in my space and what information to share. And thankfully this has been one year where as far as contact it’s been largely quiet from him.

Oh wait, forgot to explain. I heard various things about Anthony becoming a supervisor at the Show especially from Henry’s crew. Who knows how far that could’ve went but I’ve heard more on that from Ant himself since we both left the Show. He attributed never getting close to that role as they couldn’t control him. He also let out that he wanted a certain wage in order to take on that role. Remember he likes to negotiate and insure that others know to negotiate as well. Evidently the bosses at the theater said never mind.

Either way I had to explain what I wrote earlier in this post without having to later write another post about the Hustler.

Project Excel

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The events of this moment of my life happened halfway during my senior year of high school. I don’t know how much of this to tell and that may come later, however, this post has remained a draft and in light of my current situation its come back to mind.

My mother and I had talked about this event over the years. She always says that she was trying to help and when she brings it up at random – as in to turn this into a disappointment – I’m always defensive about it. However, on my end the position had often been I’m defensive because of how it all ended. Not because I never did this Project Excel – pre-college – program, but because I didn’t keep this from becoming a thing.

The reason why this situation became an episode that I was very unwilling to give a teacher at school who I’ll identify as Ms. T – T was for Tenacious – an answer as far as my decision on this program. I don’t know if it’s indecision on my part although to be honest I just thought she’d move onto the next person. However for roughly the next month as this took place during January and February, she would come around at random and just check on me and often I was annoyed with this.

One memorable follow-up during this period was she came to my class probably pre-calculus to follow-up on me, she straight up said she tried to call my house but no answer. Well I knew what likely happened I was probably on the internet using a dial-up service that’s why she couldn’t get through as my mother would often express frustration at not being able to call home while I’m online. So anyway in the absence of a direct answer she continued to come around.

Things eventually came to a head, and I was forced to let my mother know about it. And that was something I dreaded, because in my youthful mind it was inconceivable that Ms. T would continue to chase me down. In this case, she never asked me if I was interested and I never told her. She just had me call my mother at work one day at school and my mother got excited and gave her blessing. Even at 18 I still needed parental permission to do this program, however, other than not wanting to be bothered and thinking it would go away I’m in something that I never really consented to.

Ms. T never bothered to ask me in a school office that day, she just insisted right there that I call my mother. It just never occurred to me that this would go that far and it just did. So I dreaded the moment my mother would ask for the forms she needed to sign, I hoped she too would forget about it. I don’t want to tell that story yet though.

I’ll just say that in the ensuing years she did express that she had been frustrated that I showed no progress in my direction in life. And she left me defensive when she brought it up, just something to bring up and that’s it. I never understood that strategy from anyone at all. It’s like keep that burden in his head no matter what. You made a mistake you’ll never live that down!

In later years and not making a direct reference to this I actually told my mother that if she was concerned about what was next in my future I had news for her I had no clue. I took the ACT and made an average score. Taking the ACT takes cash, I didn’t have much aside from my late father’s social security survivor benefits. Applying to school takes cash and so does tuition books etc it was a bit overwhelming and during my senior year I proved to be in very little rush on that.

I could even note that my mother was with me on two visits with military recruiters back then and she showed very little interest. Granted once I turned 18 it was all on me anyway, but what exactly did I need, why the hesitation? I had no idea but my answer to that was we never really discussed this. I also knew what her expectation was – and of course she immediately used the term steered and that was never my point – it was to go to college and do very well. I was never sold on it until I enrolled at a downtown community college just before the end of the registration deadline.

When I was still 17, I visited with a armed services recruiter and they definitely were working on me. They even provided me a form that my mother could sign so that it would be guaranteed that yours truly would enlist upon high school graduation. My mother didn’t want to sign, not so much it was a bad idea but I do think she didn’t want me to sign up for the military just yet. She expected me to go to college, it was what she wanted but what was necessary to be successful I was woefully deficient in that endeavor.

I think a real discussion could’ve made some difference back then and I also know that yours truly wouldn’t have made it very easy. It would’ve been hard to really pin me down on some things, I know this because later on she did try to pin me down on some things – let’s say about finding a job over the years. But in this case as far as what’s after high school it was really necessary.

Instead during the second-half of my senior year of high school her solution was force me into a program just because I had nothing else in the pipeline. I think I told her the basic story, a lady at school was chasing me down, never gave her an answer either way, next thing I know you get a phone call from this woman and I’m in it anyway. And it forces me to figure out how to get out of this situation and the ending was less than ideal at least from what I had envisioned, however, that’s another story for another time.

I also hit upon one thing as I write this. The year before my dad had passed away roughly this same time except during my junior year of high school. I think now during this period with my mother’s actions it only served to expose her fatalistic tendencies. She began talking in terms of she doesn’t know how much longer she’s going to live or I may not be around much longer. She wanted to see me do something right now!

It comes up every now and then and it’s only now that I concluded that his sudden demise – even if I think he did it to himself due to his substance abuse – really affected her. It’s caused decision making processes such as this over the years. A lot of what happened in this episode was unnecessary in reality, in my estimation it could’ve gone differently and it didn’t. It went the way it was supposed to.

The problem is, I handled this the way a child would. I absolutely resisted as I really had a problem with this. I didn’t know this was dangerous, however, if things had gone the way it would’ve in my head back then perhaps it wouldn’t be so bad. It was just too bad that in this moment, my mother wanted to be all over it.

TO BE CONTINUED….

One final drop – revisit

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Hot hoopty!

I’m revisiting the post I wrote around this time last year to consider this something of a milestone. It’s been over three years since I really last talked to Anthony the hustler. The events of this month three years ago – or in 2017 – marked the last real time I talked to him as a friend. It took some other events to cause me to reconsider our “situationship” however this month essentially marked the beginning of the end.

I called back to some of the events of this period of time in a pair of posts earlier this year. I noted his insistence on mention a certain character who I will close the character arc on him in the near future. And also Ant’s need to all the sudden expect me to chase money and consider working elsewhere in spite of how things had been going at the Hole during that period of time.

Well it took things going in a downward direction back in the latter half of ’17 which really caused me to blackout any communications with the Hustler. I was in no mood for any begging and I definitely had no intention of tell him my own sob story about how it all went wrong at that time. I just knew as I wrote that post last year also that I’d be even more depressed about it once it did come out.

It took me many years to realize at least with the Hustler trying to become part of my space, that yours truly was really under attack by him. It was unlike anything I really experienced the out of line personal questions, early requests for money, and even his seeming inability to realize I was backing off. Some of this I can recognize he knew what he was doing in some of these instances, for him it was an attempt at establishing a mentorship but as time goes on I view this as yours truly was a target for him. I fell right for the trap.

The red flags were flying all around the longer I maintained contact – essentially I’ve known him for the better part of nine years at this point. I like to believe the best in people and for a time I did believe the best in him. However, I know what it all lead to and I’m very glad that it’s over.

I must also add yes, I did write a post two months ago that I have no further stories to tell about him and that it’s probably time to stop talking about him on this blog. I recognize that I had broken that promise. In this instance it was necessary to note a milestone that seemed very unthinkable over three years ago.

Finally it must be noted that I’ve made some online efforts to cut any attempt at contact. While I haven’t blocked him from calling he hasn’t hit my phone since Christmas Day. If blocked any attempt at communication through facebook though it may be possible he could try to comment on those statuses he can actually see. I blocked him on twitter (which he doesn’t seem to use anymore), instagram (which aside from a few likes on some of my posts there he rarely seemed to use it), and even linked in (which he also seemed to rarely use). Time will tell if he’s finally gotten the hint, however, I’m trying not to be complacent.

The lesson with that individual is that he came around because he needed something. I found myself recognize how much he tried to chase me around once he made his purpose known. So I realize in this I made some mistakes, it causes me to realize that in dealing with people like him yours truly just has to be more forceful in keeping someone like this out of my space.

May I meet people who truly belong in my space.

Revisit

I’ve been wanting to tell this insignificant story for a while since it happened on New Year’s Eve. Unfortunately this story can’t be told without injecting the infamy of a man I’ve referred to as the Hustler. The hustler had the tendency to bring up the name of this just as infamous though lame character you know on this blog as DB.

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D.B. aka Douche Boy?

On New Year’s Eve on the way downtown to catch a movie before 2019 turned into 2020 (and way before this bug became a problem in the USA) I actually was face to face again  with the man also referred to as Mr. Deranged. OK let me explain again DB, Deranged Barney, or Mr. Deranged. Not to confuse you all, but I wanted to illustrate to whom I’m referring.

So to bring up DB is to also note how often Anthony the hustler couldn’t help but inject DB in some conversations at odd moments, especially since I finally arrived at my new job at the Hole. I told Ant that DB actually tried to friend request me on Facebook while I was still at The Show and I blocked him. Yours truly had arrived at the space that it’s just time to let that character go and move forward. I just had no business following anything he does online as it was sheer stupidity and it only served to shave points off of my own IQ.

Anyway some random mentions of DB by the hustler until the blackout period.

  • I met with Ant one day and we were browsing at a store then all the sudden he hits me with a question: “When you become a manager at Fresh Foods, how are you going to handle someone like a DB?”
  • There were a few times where Anthony either tried to tell me that he saw DB or just decided to make reference to him such as “yeah I forget ole boy. Dude who wanted to be an entertainer”. Usually I tell him that I don’t want to talk about him only for him to mention DB again later.
  • One time he told me that he ran into DB at a suburban cinema stating for the record that he was glad they never made eye contact because he didn’t want to say anything to him. However, Anthony has stated that he doesn’t always try very hard to be bothered with people he doesn’t like.
  • Another time we were going to lunch and we took a bus to a restaurant. I was talking about a young man trying to holla at some hot chick on the train one evening when I was coming home from work. I told him such things as this man was on the train begging for money and was sucking his thumb while talking to this young woman. While he seemed genuinely disgusted and amused with this characterization. His final comment was out of nowhere: “He crashed and burned like DB”.
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That came out of nowhere and it shows he had been paying attention to some of my retorts over the years about DB. Another coworker had characterized Barney as something of a virgin who begs for everything but has very little to offer. At the same time, there was literally no reason to bring up that name in that last bullet I brought up. Also the irony of that bullet was that Anthony at that moment had met with me to borrow some more money. Man I was sooo easy wasn’t I?

Eventually these random mentions eventually evolved into “yeah I remember that time you went off on DB” and any variations thereof. I might talk about where I had been at The Show vs where I was at the Hole and where I expected to be. It didn’t matter, the past held far more weight with him than what I hoped to accomplish. Only he knows what that stuck in his head only to recognize how the negative sticks in his memory very easily than the positive. Perhaps I’ll helped keep the negative going and he just fed off of it, who knows…

The last time we met and the last time he borrowed money he hit me with that “I remember when you went off on DB” only for me to hit him with “if I recall correctly you weren’t there that night and if you had been that incident wouldn’t have happened”. Probably true since at one point in time, the Hustler for ulterior motives only he truly knows positioned himself as an ally. Perhaps in retrospect a fair-weather ally….

Well he probably didn’t expect that but tried to explain himself

Anthony the hustler: They told me.

Yours Truly: Who are they?

ATH: The people who were there.

At that point I sit back thinking it was over until…

ATH: So what happened?

He wants me to tell him the story of what happened again! He already knows because he keeps bringing it up and some other parties told him about it. Do you get the idea that he was just fcuking with me?

Anyway I try begin telling him again to my annoyance and all he does as I attempt to explain is him further realizing where the story was going.

ATH: So DB kept going?

YT: Yes

ATH: So were you two about to fight? *using his fist to simulate a fight*

YT: No! It’s over! It’s over!

Anthony responded underwhelmed and we move on to the “last drop

So while he seemed to want to reminisce about old stories involving DB, when I called him about my newest encounter with Mr. Deranged he seemed uninterested. I was looking for a listener and went to the wrong person as it was less understanding and more judgement as in he thought I was cold for not giving DB a response. It was rude in his opinion in spite of the history no matter how many years it had been. Just think earlier that month he was blowing up my phone – while in this instance I did have to chase him down – to give me his latest sob story as far as why he needed money.

Which leads to the very last time I ran into Deranged Barney.

I was on the train going downtown when at some point I was scanning the train with my eyes. Me and DB locked eyes. I had tentatively identified him and it can’t be said when he got on the train. Perhaps it was the same time I got on the train just about two stops earlier or perhaps it was at the stop the train had passed up.

Still, I had just finished recording the scene outside of the train and was about to check my phone when I looked around the train. I see DB starting to grin at the sight of me and as per policy in situations like this didn’t give him the response he wanted. Unusual for a man who likes to make a scene when he’s into something – and with regards to fairly recent history between us – he just got off the train with utterly no word to yours truly. It’s like he finally got the hint, he’s not going to get any reaction. Well only he knows perhaps on this particular time of day he was a tad more rational and I’ve never known him to be rational.

I did look at him again to be sure I identified him. Who knows this would be more footage for my YouTube channel if he had decided to greet me in his obnoxious style. But he just got off the train and never looked in my direction. I went downtown to catch a movie for New Years Eve!

There is one thing discussed here in this post that I do want to discuss and that’s the time I went off on DB. I’m very sorry to say that happened too often, and I have great regret of my behavior. It was a few years before the realization that yours truly should’ve lost his job as a result of that incident. Others had hinted at it and the reason or reasons he got let go and not me are rather eccentric (to say that is an insult to eccentrics). As often stated, yours truly was not very smart to stooping to his level as he was already there. He wanted something and that something was the beginning of the clash.

Either way I want to tell that story which is more than 8 years in the making in the near future. The night I went off on Deranged Barney.

Finally, the Douche Boy reference was random and was introduced by someone who was a tad more familiar with this story. The real life reference to DB well I will never reveal it here, however, Douche Boy is closer to the truth than you realize.

“Showed me up”

Alright let’s try this again! This very post got deleted because I had failed to save this on the wordpress app and closed it out. As a result an older unedited version overwrote the post that was published. Dang it!

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I found myself telling this story recently after arriving at my two year anniversary of my “retcon” at Fresh Foods. I started with the company over five years ago and have seen so many changes which also included my 6 mos. hiatus.

At some point during my first summer in 2015 with the company I ran into a man who’ll be dubbed Harrison or Harry. For the remainder of this post we will call this individual Harry as in real life he shorted his real first name to the first three letters. It was sort of cool how he identified himself it was simple and short. In some respects it help to somewhat reinforce his personality as I saw it at the time.

The first time I recall Harry was when I arrived for my night shift and probably within an hour or so he was going home for the day. He and another young man was there helping us out from another store. In fact the store I often shopped at when I still worked at The Show. There would be another shift where I’d have to work with Harry.

I had opened our deli case one morning and doing my usual routine. We often put product in the case and it takes us a minute to garnish. I’m usually a minimalist when garnishing however my learning curve with that wasn’t that good I’ll admit. Perhaps it’s not good to admit that my goal is to do just enough and make minimum effort to make the product look good.

So I opened that particular morning and I see Harry come in past the department. He may well have peeped the case on the way in. He reports to our department and then I see him go to the front of the case and he’s grabbing items from the back. In my head I’m thinking what is he doing. What he was doing is he was going to work re-garnishing the case to his standards. It just wasn’t good enough for him.

Once he was done he went and got one of the supervisors who was in the kitchen behind us. Then one of the assistant mgrs walked by he was so impressed he took out his iPhone and snapped some shots of the case. And then he came and pulled me aside not only to show-off the wonderful job he just did for yours truly, he also wanted me to know this is how you’re supposed to garnish. That man just showed me up, he just had to!

Harry just couldn’t resist taking this one opportunity to show off his skills. He often spoke not only to our management to show off what he did, he even talked to even store management. Look at this wonderful job I did and did it all by myself!

I’m going to give him his due though he does a great job and takes the effort to present the food. Yours truly just did what he knew to do at the time, however, was Harry the right teacher? I find that he just likes to bust you out if it wasn’t done the way he thinks it should be. Not so sure that’s a good thing to insure people learn the lessons you want them to learn in the long run.

Because Harry just enjoyed showing off his skills and was shamelessly promoting I just had to ask him why wasn’t he in mgmt. His only response was to state that it’s in the cards. Another coworker who experienced behavior I considered very hyper at the time just thought that Harry was just too comfortable in the role he had to go for a higher position like that. I could read his actions as that of a person who was taking control of a situation, however, he really doesn’t seek a position with those real responsibilities.

The next episode I remember where he really made a spectacle was one day he designed to rearrange the deli area to his liking. The people who already knew him working with him for years noted themselves that he’s trying to turn our department into the department he worked at his own store. However, what he did at this point wasn’t entirely wrong my issue was how he went about it.

I would say his goal was to make our workspace more efficient and he was going to fix it. He was empowering himself to make the changes that he deemed necessary to make. He rearranged the furniture and got upset when he saw the filth behind the furniture. Harry had enough of a sense of entitlement to try to get a supervisor to look at this. At this point he was just looking for something to complain about.

He tried to tell one of our assistant managers of what he saw and that mgr took Harry to the back for a quick word. One of the supervisors – actually Larry who later got promoted to dept mgr for my now old dept at the Hole – showed no sense of urgency when Harry got up in arms over the dirt. By my eyes, I got the idea that he was finally giving our dept mgmt a headache in that time.

I had later heard little things about Harry such as he got himself to the point where if he wanted some OT he never had to call our store to ask, he could just come in. That lasted until he did come in one day and mgmt told him they had no more OT to offer him. So it seemed we could expect to see him at least once a week and then at some point we hardly ever saw him again. I would go to his store sometimes and see him working with me usually avoiding him. I don’t characterize our interactions as clashing, but our styles weren’t going to mesh. He might stress himself out, however, based upon how he was it was nutty working with him. Although admittedly I picked him brain on somethings, however, did a lousy job implementing them. Yours truly was still learning.

I was gone from Fresh Foods for six months and not long before the “reign of error” I saw that Harry had finally left his home store and found a position at another Fresh store in another state. Once I returned I couldn’t find him on Fresh’s social network and that likely means he’s no longer with the company. I suppose that mgmt opportunity never materialized for him or he didn’t want it anyway.

Once I arrived at my new assignment after my brief hiatus I asked a couple of colleagues whom I figured worked with Harry about him. Only one agreed that he could be annoying, however, I told both about his behavior. One was a bit more open about how he was as a coworker, the other hardly commented. They both were unsure about what happened with him later, one even thought he got promoted to a supervisor.

Hmmmm, while it’s great that he can show what he can really do in that role I get the idea he would be an absolute headache for not only the people he’ll supervise, but the mgmt team as well. From what I can tell through my own digging he never rose to that role, however, only he knows and I have no inkling to talk to him in the near future.

I just wanted to add that in passing two women at work were talking about him one day years ago. One lady not from my department though helped us out occasionally could not remember his name was talking with one of my dept’s supervisor about how he was busting his moves on her but she already knew it wasn’t going to work. Saying some key words like he didn’t work at the Hole, but another location and the supervisor asked “Harry?”. They both agreed that he was making some bad moves as far as how he related to the women he worked with even briefly.