the return

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during the course of the past couple of weeks i visited both “the show” and the “dine-in show”. i already know how many changes have occurred at “the show” as it bled many of the longtime managers i knew there and many of the employees. aside from a few exceptions it’s very hard to find someone who had been working there as long as i have.

* one of the people i didn’t care for was the house manager he was interestingly cordial the day i saw him – “it was nice seeing you“, he said. he was the main sh*thead there. i’m not explaining what that means. i went up to the lounge to check menu it hadn’t changed when i left one of the managers up there was someone i started with in 2009. she was at the hostess stand which is in a different spot now. it registered that i was no longer there. another person i recognized there was a young man working the concession stand i wanted to say hello but i was unsure if he remembered me and i didn’t want to ask the house manager if i could come in and speak with one of the supervisors who was a dear friend. i left not long after going to the bar.

if i may explain what a house manager is, essentially the house manager is the no. 2 at “the show” to the general manager. he’s the first officer or executive officer so essentially a commander riker to captain picard from star trek. though in this case i have far more repsect for cmdr. riker than the old h.m. at “the show”.

* didn’t intend to go in at the “dine-in” one of my young coworkers – francis – had made me just as i got up the escalator. i got a run down of all the changes many of the managers and supervisors had transferred to other theaters or quit. a precious few had gotten fired. it seems being a manager/supervisor at a theater in downtown chicago wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. this is more of an intermediate step than a stop on a career in the theater business.

* the general manager who offered me an opportunity to give more hours  – however i quit because my schedule at “fresh foods” near the end made it almost difficult – had moved on to a theater in florida. another manager transferred to a theater closer to my current job. others simply were on their way out the door for better opportunities – and that’s always a good thing. i told francis i had been applying for different positions there but never heard back he was incredulous as i had already worked there and knew the job.

before i left he seemed down because of all the changes to which i told him, that place wasn’t really a bad place to work. the question to ask is at what point are all the changes bad. he turned around and said when does one reach their breaking point. i told him i hope he doesn’t reach that point but exactly because this wasn’t a bad place to work. right now him and his coworkers say the “dine-in” sucks right now.

* i would say once upon a time i reached my breaking point at “the show”. after all i began to call the place where i worked “sh*tplace”. i was not in good shape there. in fact the day of my visit there a long-time security guard for the parking lot at “the show” joked that i did my shift real quick to which i joked so quick i’m not coming back. then he recognized they won’t elevate me move me up so i had to make a move and go somewhere that i could. he made a good point finding another job is always about bettering yourself especially financially and certainly with skills.

* one of the senior managers from “the show” moved onto the national chain with whom i formerly worked at the “dine-in”. he was a facility manager at the “dine-in” when i saw him i made sure to speak to him though he has the easiest job there he doesn’t have to deal with employee issues or customers for the most part just keep the building in good shape. another person who left “The show” to better themselves though it’s unclear what caused him to exit.

* the h.m. at the show i understand is likely unhappy although he’s probably going to stay put. he’s now feeling the pressure of no raises like those of us on the bottom rung. of course that tidbit is per our dear friend anthony as while he has his opinions on our former boss he got some info out of him. some real insider stuff.

all the same i simply say it serves him right for being a dick to many of us and now he’s feeling his own pressure. although it’s unfair to compare my pressure to his. he has children, me i only have student loans. just like him i wanted to make more money and all i got was minimum wage pay as they chose to cut hours for obamacare. now he knows what it’s like somewhat to stick with a job and not get ahead financially.

this leads me to say i can’t hold on to any grudges from that time. what goes around comes around. though he still has the position and the salary i shouldn’t feel that bad for him. certainly i can only wish i had his role & salary there but as of now i’m a long way from it. even then i can get to where he is now at “fresh foods” at least.

younger women at “fresh foods”

mary aka crazy vibes unfortunately i learned was let go from “fresh foods” a few months ago. she had that odd crazy giggle and was pleasing to the eyes physically, but i had decided that she had some issues upstairs. while i personally was attracted to her, her mental state kept me distant.

in some respects she was very nice probably very cool. though because i made no effort to approach here – and there had been many opportunities – there was some distance. i probably never gave her a reason to really bridge the distance in my case i was unsure if i should’ve.

in that neighboring department there was a new young woman – of about 21 – who had been there since the summer. her body type resembles the young lady you see below though she left a lot more to the imagination than what you see here.
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i will call this woman mary jr. she seems a lot more playful – and probably in a less crazy way than mary. she’s thicker, younger, and has caught my eye and certainly the eye of other young men. like mary, junior seems to have a certain distance from me.

often mary jr might send a quick comment my way about my whistling for example – she doesn’t like it apparently. otherwise not much is said by me and typically she doesn’t seem to notice me. i rarely have much to say to her and it might be because there is an age difference and it’s certainly attributable to her playful and youthful demeanor.

as of now however she’s one of the most interesting women i’ve seen at work. my dilemma is how to proceed and i’ve never been very good at that.

part of me wants to resort to the whole anonymous not slipped in her locker and she may want to know who’s interested. i feel as if that won’t go over very well.

i like to think i look younger than my almost 40 designation, however, doing the note thing is really beneath me. would the best move for me who’s never been on a bonifide date with a grown woman – well over 21 mainly – is to be bold? and considering that i’m checking out women at the work place regardless of their age this is something i want to be careful with.

arguing with a nerdy girl

would you believe once that i told a young lady that “it’s a good thing i don’t care what you think”? well that didn’t go very well for me at that point.

one night at “the show” i had to seat theaters – we had reserved seating there. it was a saturday night and i just decided to cover myself with a walkie and a small flashlight. the walkie i just simply took without asking but decided if something is going on was worth having even if management didn’t agree. in which case i’d have given it up without question.

the small flashlight was for seaters especially when the theater is dark and you need to see numbers on the seats and the tickets with the seat numbers. while i barely did the job because it was such an obnoxious task dealing with obnoxious people who wanted to do what they wanted – even if it was a crowded auditorium. regardless it wasn’t so easy to switch jobs at this point, they took away the old scheduling system and we actually had to go through management to get a switch approved at least a head of time.

anyway my young coworker – we’ll call her nancy – saw that i had a flashlight and a walkie. at first she says i don’t need a walkie and then said i didn’t need a flashlight. this coming from a young lady who herself was carrying one of those flashlight wands which i never enjoyed carrying and never saw the point of it. her job was to check theaters and she was in my theater before the show started.

i tried to tell her why i had the flashlight which is for us to seat when the theater was dark but she got stuck on her idea that i didn’t need it. we went back and forth for a while until i finally just cracked on her and she didn’t like. “shut up talking to me”, she said.

finally i just told her you’re arguing with the wrong one and she stopped. sometimes it takes me time to catch up to her own feelings, but if i was cool to her at one point as time goes on i wasn’t to her. eventually after one more oddball moment the next night she wouldn’t say anything else to me until she got fired allegedly for theft later. nancy had been among the group fired in february 2013.

all i can do is explain my side of the story and say that i took what was available for me to do the job at hand. she decided to question it because she didn’t see the point. perhaps i shouldn’t have fed into it, however, i did and caused a quick argument. my only point was that she had no right to tell me how to do my job. she felt as if she had an opinion.

nancy was about 16 or 17 at the time who i would describe as nerdy. however what cost her that job later in my opinion was the crowd she chose to hang around. she associated with the thieves who later lost their jobs. how this happened was a funny story and later feel bad about it.

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the story goes that she went at it with one of the senior managers. it’s possible he said something crazy and dug in. it’s also possible she wasn’t much different either. she got pulled into the office and somewhat intimidated presumably – adding this element of this story myself – she told them that she stole. with the management being what it was at the time, that took care of her job.

i only laughed at the time but as time went on i felt bad. i laughed when i heard the story or rumor as i prefer to treat it. when i heard she got let go i was somewhat surprised. but then the way she went off at me digging in to her own opinion as i had during that moment in the auditorium probably was an indication of her youth.

many of the people i didn’t get along very well with were very young. they knew everything but actually not enough. they probably learned to play the politics and point fingers and had been successful with it. however, doing that only lasts so long and if you do that with the wrong managers it won’t look good for you. it seems they get away with that nonsense there.

long story short with nancy there was no reconciliation. i took care of her once after she was let go and handled this professionally. i pretended this was the first time i met her although i knew who she was. she may not have forgotten the history no matter how short it was as it turned out. i do hope however that she learned from that experience not with me, but as far as the job.

odds & ends

i found out recently that my boss – who replaced the boss who hired me after getting a promotion – put in his two weeks. he’s leaving the company and he hadn’t been our department manager for a whole year. that means a whole lot more change after two years at the store.

his surprising departure wasn’t the only one. we’ve lost a lot of people due to attendance and some outright quit.

one young man who had been without a doubt a very enthusiastic coworker decided to quit out of the blue. the sequence of events had been he put in his two weeks, he had found a new job at a burger joint and was very enthusiastic about it. and then one day just stopped coming in for his schedule shifts.

i added him on fb recently and his statuses indicate that he likes it so far. time will tell, but because of how he chose to depart even after giving his two weeks might make it difficult for him to return. we’ve had others leave only to return later. one of those individuals also quit recently.

our department is woefully short staff although at the moment we could get some relief. they posted some jobs for our department and a posting for our new dept. manager. so i’ll have to take a wait and see attitude but to be honest at this new development i was very disappointed. i hope our soon to depart boss is doing what’s best for him and that would take the sting away at least.

back to the enthusiastic young man, one of our more experienced coworkers talked about him. someone else told him the news as he never knew. he asked where’s the stability, 401K, etc. all we can say now is that he’s doing what he believes is best for him now. another coworker said he wasn’t getting the respect he thought he deserved or the recognition.

to which i say, yeah i hear that. i worked somewhere that didn’t give me respect. i got the job done, but then there was something else i didn’t do to their satisfaction. of course some of this was a self-inflicted wound for example at “the show” i didn’t get along with people. perhaps it was in part my personality or because i worked with people who were looking for conflicts. sometimes it wasn’t me who fired the first shot.

but what i will say for the young man is that everyone noticed when he essentially stopped showing up. people loved him and respected him it was bad business how he left the store. as another worker put it, he goes all in with everything he does. whenever he started his job and liked what he saw he committed and forgot about his old coworkers.

it almost reminded me of when i transitioned from “the show” to the bank. it wasn’t entirely smooth, missed a couple of shifts because of the new job. one day was when i had to report  to the branch and they weren’t flexible not that they had to be. the last day was the day after my last worked shift, the next shift was during the time i had to go to off-site training for the bank. i could’ve easily said forget them, but turning in my notice was my form of forget them and worked most of my remaining scheduled shifts.

the people i got along with at “the show” probably noticed. the ones who found some issues with me likely didn’t and it’s none of my business whether they were glad i was leaving or had little response to it. probably didn’t matter if i left to find something much better than what i had done for almost 5 years. all i can point out is that some of the senior managers noticed and for the smallest issues they gave me grief, they couldn’t believe i was finally leaving.

however, now as i plot my next move after these developments it’s time to determine which direction i should go. the point to make more money which is important but then what else. i can’t sit on my ass and expectt nothing more than stability. i stagnated at “the show”, i should always strive to progress now that it’s been two years since i left the movie theater.

january 2015

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at this point i was still unemployed however i was set to meet with my soon to be new manager at the store where i would be working. so i was on the road to getting back to work after the setback of getting fired from the bank the previous month. it would turn out to be an interesting year.

also the previous month i met with anthony. throughout the previous year he was giving me some job leads and i took advantage of two of them with no results. so he didn’t get me employed anywhere else, but i did at the bank. and he was happy for me.

in his words from that period of time he had a strong sense of relief that i finally left “the show”. he saw that i was frustrated during my job search and he saw that i was miserable. unfortunately i had a real tough time doing something about it and a lot of it was a self inflicted wound.

i never told him that i got fired from the bank. he’d want to know why and that’s not a can of worms i’d want to open. also i noted before he can be outspoken and was outspoken about my new future job.

the meeting before the new year i may have indicated to him that i was having a hard time at the job. i may have also indicated that the branch located closer to home in a not very good neighborhood was not where i really wanted to be. yet this is the job that got me out of “the show”.

needless to say i led him to believe that i had quit. he asked point blank if i left the bank for grocery to which i simply said yes. then he referred to it as a bad career move. reality is that a bad career move is getting fired in the first place. but i only wanted to tell him that. he calmed down after i pointedly told him that i don’t miss his judgement. only saying that he was still glad i finally left “the show”.

the next month i paid an unintentional visit to “the show” for the first time in about four months. ran into a coworker who was about to come in to work and i just found myself following him into the facility. saw one of the managers who i was somewhat close to, i sort of regret the convo we had as i was rambling and still harbored some negative feelings. but it was cool to see some changes there.

for example, instead of the pop towers i used during my time there now the theater had those freestyle machines. create your own soft drink concoction that was really cool. i saw some of the supervisors there who greeted me and then some of the silly young people i met who merely shot me a brief smirk and for what who knows and who cares. i also learned one of the senior managers had finally moved onto another job and he needed to believe me. apparently the only necessary change wasn’t just for me to finally leave. 😛

for a good period of time since starting this blog i often wrote about some of the negative about getting fired from the bank and some of my misadventures at the show. however after getting hired at a grocery store this time two years ago being briefly on unemployment more positive changes were on the way and in good time too.

holiday season 2012

 

a very bizarre and bad year was finally ending. some conflicts really came up during the course of the year with a number of young women and a really unhinged crazy older guy. the young women only know their motives maybe they were trying to score some points or maybe it was just their natural inclination to cause conflict and drama. don’t know but 2012 seemed to be a year that attracted those types and they made their moves.

many of them didn’t last the whole year some quit probably tired of the job probably found other opportunities and some got fired. they scored their points and really got nothing for it and moved on. still their effects are still with me to this day even if i never have to see or speak to them ever again.

the older guy was a nutcase who often advertised at least with me his social media video channel. what i saw i didn’t like and unprofessionally began share that non-sense because he kind of irritated me and also found a way to score some social points on me. he had me somewhat confused and upset, but he being who he is still wasn’t in with anyone at the job. however, because of his mentality people actually thought him scary and i was the only one who messed with him.

one problem, i couldn’t always break through to him. my actions which i deeply regret today were to just be outright mean to him because while i tried to be indifferent to him he still like to try to have a conversation with me. i simply wasn’t going for it and he never immediately picked up on it. when i publicly went after him at work it was a show, but it only made him relevant. it also didn’t help when it was often instigated by a mischievous coworker and sometimes i started it regardless it helped me decide that i had everything to lose while he had nothing to gain or lose.

with that episode that is now my conclusion, this lonely and very deranged man was looking for relevance. he behaved like an internet troll and although i knew who he was i gave him the attention he needed. i should’ve just not fed the troll.

for going after him i was rewarded with a number of social media videos that has him mention my name. one got him fired by the end of the summer because he portrayed a superhero who cuts off my head. this is what a deranged person does and it took me going off on him one last time before he got fired and i was the subject of many other videos after that.

to be honest i took me a while to cool off from this. even worse people were wondering why i kept talking about it. they were right i should’ve shut up about it, but i wasn’t smart back then. in fact i would set this as a sign of clear frustration with my role at “the show” and finding myself taking it out on people i worked with. a pattern that didn’t change until i finally left.

also, i may add that those who wanted to look down on me as a person found nothing but excuses. the feud with mr. deranged may have knocked me down a peg in some peoples eyes no matter how i justified it. but there are other reasons but only the ones who engaged in their behaviors towards me know for sure.

this was why i really was looking forward to the management interview i had for a small theater chain. it would’ve been an escape and the interview went well but it wasn’t meant to be. on the surface my time at a premier downtown movie theater with no management experience made it easy for the owner i met with to cut me out of the process.

while it hurt and i dwelled on it for the next two years there were some other issues at play with that company. know that as it unfolded back then it should’ve dulled the pain a little bit during that difficult period of time.

also the house manager – the number 2 guy at the show – decided to “pinch” me for being late. the guy was a dick to be honest and promised to write me up the next day for my excessive tardies, he never did. and because i didn’t like his plan and how he decided to talk so tough I gave an attitude and he also decided to find things to pick about.

by the end of the year i had an interview with a bank that didn’t pan out. i don’t think i gave it my all when it came to a phone screen. but then i figured in the new year there will be other opportunities to find another job. by the end of 2012 there was still no immediate escape for me.

so the one escape i took near the holidays of that year was that i went to another downtown theater in a span of a week i saw two movies. i saw skyfall – james bond – which was something i was looking forward to. then i saw lincoln which was a biopic about abraham lincoln’s legislative campaign to free the slaves. to be honest i nodded off during the early part of that film and that theater was paaacked people really came out for this movie on new years eve.

that spring i paid my first visit there just to check out it – the movie was this means war. a coworker had worked there and said he was fired though he never said what he was fired for. i just decided to check out this facility and it was nice and different. seemingly “the show” seemed somewhat bland in comparison although it had an urban feel to it. the newest hip place to catch a movie compared to this other facility which had been open almost 10 years but still looked great.

to be honest i just wanted to make some comparisons and later on it was to determine if this was somewhere i wanted to work. the theater by my house i saw how they did things then i saw how this other theater did things. then compared that with “the show” just to observe mostly and of course catch a movie.

this established a pattern that lasted until i finally quit the business in fall 2014. instead of taking advantage of free movie tickets i chose to go to another theater to catch a movie. i just saw no reason to catch a show at a place i was finding myself largely at odds with. so when i left this place and had to go back to work at “the show” it was back to reality.

either way after the holidays and after several disappointments with my beginning job search i had to deal with a little more frustration for the next year and 10 months…

holiday odds & ends

thanksgiving-day

i worked on thanksgiving. at the show it would just be a day paid at the regular rate, but at the grocery store it’s a day paid at double time. a five hour shift paid as if i worked ten hours. awesome moving on up in the world! afterwards i caught a movie which is not far from where i work unfortunately it wasn’t a holiday themed movie an action thriller and it was good.

sat around the house the next day just decided to not go anywhere. it was ok and it never occurred to me how dark it gets earlier and earlier. needless to say winter is coming and here in chicago we’ve been spoiled with the nice weather for most of october and november.

saturday guess who i saw – hugs. i never thought i’d write about her again she came by her former store to see her old coworkers with her boyfriend. ahhhhhh, she’s such a sweet young woman if i shot my shot i’d find a way to screw it up. she came to the store around xmas last year and never had the chance to speak this time i did and let her know i missed her. more accurately i missed working with her. she still works with the company at a location in boston.

btw, i applied in november to return to the movies as a worker. supplemental income of course and even though i rarely use it free movie tickets also. perhaps the goal could always be being a manager at a theater the main goal i have right now is to move up in the grocery business. in the meanwhile i can treat the theater gig as just a fun distraction more than anything. even better hopefully a better environment.

this time i applied to the facility near my store. next i may apply to the one that i helped to open last year. i somewhat miss that place but my attendance was shitty there. if i do it, i need to insure that i’ll be able to come to work and this means i have to make some arrangements with my main benefited employers also.

oh yeah i saw one of the managers at the new show on the train. wasn’t in a position to get their attention, but i wonder what would have happened if i did. perhaps i’d indicate my interest in returning in some capacity. that’s a bridge i never crossed unfortunately.