Just visiting

img_3872Last month, I paid a visit to “The Hole”. I just slid right in after watching a movie nearby and hoping to see some of my former colleagues. To be honest I just avoided that store roughly until Rog was no longer there.

Most of what I wrote about “Ruthless” was based upon conjecture and some other facts noted by colleagues. This is stuff that I have gone over in other posts that it’s just not very important to rehash here. However last month when I ran into some of my colleagues we did go over it again and noted how my former boss just ruined it for everyone in my former dept at “The Hole”.

I spent a lot of time in the neighboring dept where a coworker Chuck was holding court. I think he saw me before I saw him although I told him that I now work at another “Fresh Foods” store. We did talk a lot about Rog and we were talking s**t about him. He saw some things first hand from him that proved questionable. Problem is well no one knows that he’s made some questionable decisions. Regardless he was the first one to recognize that Rog’s ego was a bit oversized and he’s going to find himself in over his head. That is exactly what happened.

All the same it was cool to see him again and talk to him again. We talked about the assistant store mgr I had to interview with to return there. Thanks to him I didn’t get it, he was hard to get through to. Chuck just said he might have been a bit racist – who knows. All the same I don’t look at it as a bad thing now because I’ve returned to the company anyway. An opportunity will be there for me to return to “The Hole” in the future, perhaps in a better position. When I originally interviewed to return in March, perhaps I didn’t show this store mgr much of anything to work with.  This paved the way for me to be picked up elsewhere.

So anyway I part with Chuck and head to my former dept where some of the people who were there from last year sighted me first before requesting one of them get the supervisor who I had been in touch with since Rog departed the scene. I expressed interest in returning to help them out and of course this was before I made full-time again. It is still something I’m keenly very interested in at some point this summer.

The folks of my former dept never mentioned Rog. My own shot to my former supervisor was “I don’t expect you to say too much, but I’m glad I missed the drama”. He told me some people are out of action joking that some associates kept getting hit by cars. On the other hand he mentioned the dept is coming back as far as sales. Besides they should be gearing up for the summer where the sales will be very strong. Who knows if that’s a parting shot to the now departed “Ruthless” and with Larry in charge.

Before making my way to “The Hole” I ran into yet another colleague – Bill (who I ran into on the train last year) – who was on his way home for the day. So I changed course and walked him to the train – this was before watching a movie that afternoon. And again we talked s**t about Rog we both agreed that man had no idea what he was doing and also confirmed that with Larry in charge the dept has operated far more smoothly. In his words no more bulls**t.

Though this incident happened after Rog departed we talked about what happened with another colleague who got let go. There was about to be a catfight in the dept and that took care of both participants’ jobs. At first it became a serious verbal confrontation and one of the ladies decided to charge at the other. What I observed based upon the story that was relayed to me was one of those ladies seemed to have an attitude that morning. In other words she was a “mean girl” who just so happen to run into the “Mean girl of ‘The Hole'”. And at least the “Mean girl of ‘The Hole'” was my mean girl as we had worked well together. The “mean girl” was basically a new hire who may have arrived after I left and could be a Rog hire which says it all.

With this said I told Bill when he told me his version of what happened “That is some ‘S**tplace’ type stuff“. What I just heard could’ve happened at the theater and depending upon the mood of mgmt we wouldn’t be certain if anyone would’ve gotten fired. At “The Hole” and before Larry returned there was some disarray thankfully store mgmt wasted little time in getting rid of both of them. Especially the one who seemed intent on committing assault by charging at the other colleague.

We talked about Rog’s supervisor hires both of who are no longer there. One of them who I had met listening to Bill proved to be a bad fit and it’s no wonder that after almost six months she got shipped to another store demoted to associate. If there was a tense situation she’d add to it and in Bill’s words not handle the situation like a supervisor. Considering her boss, I think I could see that if he proved to be useless as a mentor.

The other supervisor that I hadn’t worked with he said came for a store meeting and was never seen or heard from again. I laughed hard at that, but then later I realized she might have been the smartest one in that situation. Who knows if that happened before or after Rog departed, but I just wonder if she realized this just wasn’t going to work. Also bear in mind she was an external hire who knows if Rog had a hand in bringing her in or the panel who should’ve interviewed her just over-ruled him.

All the same an interesting afternoon I had back in May before Memorial Day. This all happened because I didn’t exactly desire to go home just yet. Just wanted to hang around in downtown Chicago and made an impromptu visit to my old store. It should be noted while it somewhat satisfied me that Rog didn’t last in that position as I had began to expect, it’s never pleasing when someone suffers such a decline professionally as he may have. While he may have earned it, I do want to believe that anyone can successfully recover if they learn from what happened

Regardless I remember my first major return to “The Hole” and my old dept! And believe it or not, felt the love! So to speak of course!

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In the weeds

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Another attempt at a “final thought” regarding our old friend (or perhaps enemy) “Ruthless Roger“. I tried it last month and had a meandering post about him as my boss with an introduction to some of his assistant mgrs or as I could call them lieutenants. One can only wonder if they also bristled under him if they viewed him as a d**k who wanted everything his way. It was said he was looking to make his mark and since he got demoted and shipped off to another store as a supervisor, likely safe to say he fell far short of it. In fact it’s safe to say he was in the weeds.

Whenever this subject comes up about Rog, the question continues to come up, “how did he get the job?” My best answer is often he got it the same way I could’ve gotten it, he applied, he interviewed, and they hired him. Of course it’s more nuanced than that, he had experience as he originally came from “Fresh Foods'” flagship location. When I recently told one of my colleagues that he was a supervisor and an assistant mgr at that store they wondered aloud that he came from such a large and profitable location and he couldn’t handle the dept he took over. When you think about it, after learning about his demotion that was my thoughts exactly.

Ideally if you want to move up in the company especially into supervisory/mgmt positions at “Fresh” you should be going through a very vigorous process. It will involve a firing line of questions from a panel, something I’ve only experienced once. One of my colleagues theorized that someone didn’t ask the necessary questions they just used Rog’s history & experience with the company as a reason to just hand him the position. My theory is also that he knew how to play the game and was able to interview well. Of course in light of how he explained why he was hiring another associate buyer now I have to call it into question somewhat. Perhaps it’s a matter of how interested he was in answering a question.

Also bear in mind last year that before Rog arrived it could’ve easily been Rayna who could’ve been the new boss. And let’s just say most of us in that dept wouldn’t have been very happy with her if it had come through. Store mgmt probably agree however they wanted her to stick around as one of the dept’s assistant mgrs. We did have a vacancy after all in that area with everything in dept mgmt leaving at that point.

Remember a couple of months ago I noted that one of my new colleagues Nick had noted that he wanted to transfer to my old dept and a supervisor (which he couldn’t/wouldn’t identify) told him to hold off because they were experiencing issues with Rog. No elaboration from Nick it was said as a matter of fact to him that is in other words “young buck save yourself the trouble you’re just getting yourself into a tenuous situation here“. Of course once Roger finally left the dept according to one of the supervisors I talked after hearing the news that things there have gotten better. The man who tried to make his mark made more of a mess of things there!

I’m going to say here what I’ve already said on this blog before though in a slightly different way. I always noted that Rog was very by the book which isn’t a bad thing, however the reality was he just had no idea how to really manage. You don’t need a book to be a manager, you have to be able to manage without using a book. Make some decisive decisions and sometimes do so without guidance. Granted it could be a double edged sword and however you arrive at your decisions you either got it or you don’t. Rog evidently didn’t have it.

Also you’ve heard variations of the idea that he wasn’t a good fit for that position, rose to his level of incompetence and/or in over his head in the job. Perhaps Rog had no idea about the position he accepted even if he had the necessary experience. My words for this had often been that he was set up to fail. Who knows perhaps the people who gave him the position did it to him or Rog did that to himself. One way to look at it, to be able to move up and manage a dept has to be something you want and I believe Roger did want it. Even if it turns out he had some deficiencies…

Finally, I visited my old store (which from this point forward will be referred to as “The Hole”) and dept last month. I spoke to a number of colleagues who gave me their own takes on what happened in my old dept with Rog. Also spoke to one of my former supervisors expressing some interest in possibly going to that store to help them out. This is something worth talking about at a later time.

Meanwhile, it’s time to lay off good ole “Ruthless” for now…

Reflection

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I saw the new Avengers picture and it put me in the mood to finally finish and publish my final thoughts on “Ruthless Roger”. That picture left me a bit depressed because it wasn’t a good ending, but what can I say that’s life. And yet, there will be a sequel to it next year. 😛

To start, the last day I worked for Rog he came in and spoke to every one especially me. Of course this was before he pulled me to his bosses to be s**t-canned. Later that morning he called a huddle where he mentioned the two supervisors who were coming onto the team – he said they’ll be great. Of course as it happened by the time Larry arrived onto my now old team, they were no longer there. Both had moved on.

I remember that for some reason I felt he was just looking at how I was cutting some brisket. I usually do the best I can with brisket as there is no easy way to attack this tricky of meats to prep and cut. In his case he was just looking not saying a word and while I could just be like “WTF are you looking at?” I tried to fish for a comment. He’s the boss he could criticize me, bottom line don’t just stare at me and my work you creep! 😛

For most of that day he didn’t really say much to me other than hello when he came to the dept in the AM and not saying much of anything before the huddle looking at me cut brisket. We’d pass by each other around the store we looked in each other’s direction but nary a crossword between us until it was time. I won’t say our interactions were rough, but as time went on especially with his dumb explanation for why he was shaking up the buy/receive team by taking me off it was rough going.

One reason I wanted to write this post was to show in what ways his position could’ve improved there. He didn’t have to step on people and write people up just to make himself look good. In as a mgr one of the things he used as bullet points on his LinkedIn was corrective action. He used that to document his expectations. Of course as to why he’s no longer a dept mgr and got bumped all the way down to supervisor I feel as if he didn’t have a team around him that allowed him to be successful in that role.

* I said I was going to talk about his mgmt team – his assistant mgrs or lieutenants if you will. I spoke about Arielle who was at my new store when I got onboarded again at “Fresh Foods”. When the previous dept mgr left Arielle who just got promoted as an assistant mgr for our dept in the spring took over the schedule.

Not to blame Arielle for the conduct of the schedule but with her doing the schedules it was more random than it seemed to have ever been. It’s one reason why I’m gone, for a while I had nothing but receiving then all the sudden oh yeah you got to do a mid-shift instead of mornings! WTF?

What’s unclear to me was if this was partially Rog’s direction. The previous boss would tell us if she had to tweak the schedule not much communication from the assistant mgrs on this. The schedule was going to be the schedule, Rog himself had to tell me he’s not going to give anyone set days though gave another lame excuse. His words, “make the schedule more normal”. He did discuss a predecessor who gave people weekends off which apparently Roger had an issue with. Also he complained about having two days off together he prefers them broken up, he complains as if he doesn’t write his own schedule (you know who does write dept mgrs schedules?).

Anyway back to Arielle, she was cool when I saw her any my new story but I have a different idea of her as one of the lieutenants. When she got promoted and as time went on I felt as if she gave an air about her. I could term it as she felt she was above us, although that’s not the best way to put it. She may well have been cool with other members of the team who knew her from other stores however I got a different vibe from her. I wasn’t feeling this vibe.

Of course, allow me to be fair to her. She was newly promoted to mgmt – she had been a supervisor at another taking that beginning step. To start since she was somewhat green she probably needed a mentor the previous dept mgr was on her way out of the door. Roger was just coming in and as it turned out he wasn’t the one to mentor her. Remember, he doesn’t entirely have the slightest idea of what he was doing. So I will say this for her, if she had anyone else but Rog it wouldn’t have been so rough.

* Before Arielle we had two other mgrs come to our dept to become lieutenants. The first one was Rayna and the other was Gary. Both had come from other stores and were already assistant mgrs at their respective stores. Rayna had almost 20 years experience at “Fresh” coming from a nearby location. Ironically she came to our store looking into being our dept mgr long before Roger had arrived on the scene to take the job.

She didn’t get rave reviews upon arriving to learn our dept. Rayna seemed resistant to learning the systems that worked for us. If we had a way of doing things and someone tried to tell her how it’s normally done reportedly she’d just shrug her shoulders and express little interest in what we do. It sounded like arrogance in some respects, however, in the long run I don’t think she interviewed for the now open position. Somehow she was transferred to our dept, and from some who know her it was rumored that her old store was trying to get rid of her.

It was said Rayna had stayed at one store for most of her two decades at Fresh and when she did get promoted to mgmt some of the people who worked with her long enough really didn’t take her seriously. Reportedly she did what was necessary to move up in the company especially any trainings so it’s not like she kissed butt all the way to the top. At the same time she had the whole respect thing going.

As a matter of fact one time she called a huddle and most of us while she was conducting it bascially seemed to go about their business as if she didn’t exist. Rayna was tougher on us just to be a mgr and likely because we didn’t know her, however, we didn’t entirely have much respect for her either. It was just funny how people including yours truly just focused on getting some work done as she talked. Beyond that she’d just give an edict we’d ignore like for example how much breads to prep to make sandwiches. We’d just realize what she said made no sense and just do what we already were doing.

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* Finally we have Gary who came from a store that had closed. It felt like an odd fit at first, however, he kind of mellowed out and was actually cool. Of course he was still a mgr and we still had to be careful with him. Remember our situation was changing and many of the people we knew were being replaced by Arielle, Rayna, and Gary. As a matter of fact I handed Gary the transit delay slip only for him to give it to Rog who in two days time I learned meant nothing to excuse the last tardy. Of course this is assuming this was Roger’s call and not his own bosses.

Anyway Gary’s experience was that when his store closed he was running his dept. His store was small sales wise and his dept had no full mgr if you will. Perhaps he could’ve ran our dept instead of Rayna or Rog, but one problem was our store was too busy for Gary. He’s in his 20s and I’m sure even for him changing his environment meant that he’d have to adjust to more activity than exists in his former store.

One thing I would say for him is that knowing I formerly worked at a movie theater, he would recommend movies. He bugged me about It which thanks to my lack of interest in horror I just avoided. He even suggest I get a pug for a dog, and that’s one suggestion I would take up. Furthermore he expressed concern about my attendance probation unlike Rog he wasn’t ready for me to go yet, of course this was before that last tardy.

* When I interviewed for my new team they did ask why I left “Fresh”. I admitted that I had pointed out – my company used a points system to track attendance – and they were mostly due to tardies. I made sure to explain that what happened was a fluke in my mind though they knew from speaking to other mgrs who knew me like Larry that well they said I had some issues with tardies. So hey no big secret to be had there. I was highly recommended apparently by a variety of people.

This helps me realize what happened last year with Rog was just a perfect storm. Perhaps it was meant for me to leave and yeah I got myself in this situation and unfortunately it wasn’t so easy to adjust to it. As much as I could look at this as a situation of incompetence it really was a situation that’s correct. Yes a different outcome should’ve occurred but it didn’t work out that way. The reason why I may go back and forth on it is based on whether or not Rog was working out as a boss and it turns out he wasn’t.

As stated anyone who talks about him, doesn’t have much good to say about him. After my situation I definitely didn’t have much good to say about Roger. It’s not important to make this about like or dislike because for all I know he didn’t make it personal. I’ve had mgrs make some situations personal – i.e. they for some dumb reason didn’t like me. However, it did become clear that he was a terrible boss. I got let go by a terrible boss, especially one who just never strayed too far away from the rule book.

Finally this sums up some opinions of his period on my former team. I have no respect for that man, he’s nothing more than a place holder, he’s controlled by someone else, he’s all for show, he wasn’t going to last long, etc. I wonder how many people were sad that he was gone?

If you want to know what would’ve been my reaction if I had remained there to see him get cast aside and potentially shipped off elsewhere I don’t know. I do know that although the opportunity to return to my former team didn’t pan out, I’m glad it didn’t. As the team tries to move beyond that drama of Rog’s reign I’d only serve to re-awaken it trying to get a more complete story. Perhaps that would’ve been a bad move on my part and perhaps I’d have been as bad at Roger.

However, I can only imagine what would happen if I do run into Roger again. This time Rog is nothing more than a supervisor or associate who was formerly my boss. I don’t know if I would just be seen smiling and he’d report me for a hostile work environment (I can see that happening if he is a s**t talker). I don’t know if I’d just ignore him and just shake my head at him. Hopefully it’s not an answer I’ll ever find out later.

Now is the time to put that odd era to rest!

The return

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The final thought on “Ruthless Roger” is coming this weekend. This will ultimately end the chapter on the odd period which has just ended as I’m currently employed again with “Fresh Foods”. Just more observations and I work with someone who worked with Rog at another store.

* When Roger first started as our boss, he decided to work on a drain near my venue. This was during the day and at that point I was starting to get those weird mid day shifts – remember I had been doing receiving for about two months. My venue had food which is to be served to customers. As he pulled a brush out of drain he pulled a lot of debris up and warned us to back up because of airborne spores. He says these spores could make us sick. He says if he calls in sick we’ll know why.

I feel as if Rog let his OCD get the better of him on this particular day. Who knows if somehow he was already picking on the smell from the drain or it was in an e-mail and he just decided to do it during the day. For the most part when we have to clean drains like that we would normally wait until almost closing to get it done.

I don’t know if this was incompetence or just bad timing, but I thought about this fairly recently. Whenever I talk about Roger – mostly with people outside of the company – based on the tidbits I note it has been said that he “lived up to his level of incompetence”. For some it was based on this one thing I noted from one of my former supervisors, he just didn’t know how to run a kitchen.

* At my new job one of the new colleagues I work with said he tried to get on at my old store. I told him what happened with me and why I’m there and while it’s far easier to say oh my tardies got me out instead my answer was about Roger. The reality was that there were some issues with him, even if I couldn’t know how bad it was other than the morale. I could definitely say with him in charge it wasn’t very good, even if his LinkedIn profile says he improved it.

This new colleague we’ll call Erick said that he came to our store one time probably while Rog was still there. He inquired as far as whether or not the team was hiring anymore people. According to Erick, he was told by a supervisor that he should hold out as they were having some issues with their boss – with Rog. So he remained at his store for the time being. I tell him he should try again now because the new boss there Larry is proving to be a better fit than Roger.

Then I began to go back and forth near the end of my first night on the new team with a young man named Kent who wanted to know how my old dept was. I told him it was dicey towards the end even though it was cool working there before Rog got there. Erick quickly figured out why my then boss was such a problem anywhere.

* Kent seems like a temperamental young man and was really fired up about Roger. He has more history with him than I did as Kent worked with Rog at another store. In fact, the store where Rog was an assistant mgr. Kent claims that on a job review, Rog had put down that he looked confused. I’ll bet it’s because he said something confusing and Kent just made it clear he had no idea what he means.

Kent even gave me another nickname for Rog, “minuteman”. I think I have some experience with this especially when I was doing receiving. Remember on two occasions I had been pulled aside for the receiving. He wrote me up for some of the later tardies. Of course now that I know is m.o. I recognize that anytime anyone is  led to the office with him nothing good comes of it. Roger was looking for excuses probably found some with Kent and of course yours truly.

Anyway that’s how he got his nickname. He always comes to you and says “got a minute”. And I’m sure at some point many of them realize he’s pulling you aside for some BS. At some point many who have been subjected this realizes that nothing good comes from this minute. I was told that he never really says anything to you unless he needs to pull you aside.

Kent told me that Rog had little problem sending everyone home because he likes going home early. In fact one of the supervisors said that about him, he seemed to prefer going home early. He’ll just announce to the crew that they’re all good and they’re free to go home. So in other words, I’ll bet that you could have dirty floors and may not have finished all your tasks before he decides he’s ready to go home.

Kent’s read on Rog. He got what he wanted and it turns out he’s not cut out for this. He probably was on the verge of losing job or getting demoted because he wasn’t making any money or labor was high. I’m not familiar with labor but perhaps it’s not a good thing if you let people go, hire not very good employees, and morale is bad people may not want to come to work. Meanwhile you ask people to stay later because you created a situation where you are understaffed chronically!

* My read on Roger. I think he tried to make his mark thinking he had it all figured out. Instead the situation became far more chaotic which I noted before I got s**t-canned last year. When I asked about the new regime to one of the supervisors his only answer, “they’re working on it”. He hadn’t gone full on negative on Rog, but even he figured out something was up.

What I never minded saying in past posts was he was set up to fail, he didn’t know what he was doing, he just wasn’t the right fit for the team we had, or and this is a bit more subjective most of us just wasn’t feeling him. I found articles that gave list of horrible boss behavior and some of those lists told me as much as I needed to know about Roger. It’s between what I’ve experienced and what I suspected.

As Kent stated, Rog got what he wanted and he didn’t last having been shipped off to a supervisor job in the suburbs. Who knows if I’ll ever run into him again? Would I just be another forgettable person who he made an enemy of unnecessarily. Kent says there are only so many times you can continue to step on people. Hopefully someone at “Fresh Foods” can recognize this.

Meanwhile what if I can reach or exceed Rog’s current level in 6 mos. 😛

Updates

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My last stream of thought on “Ruthless Roger” will have to wait til next week. As stated my goal is to wind down this latest work drama storyline. Now that I’m back at “Fresh Foods” though not at my original store, it’s just time to turn the page. This means I get to look through “Fresh’s” social network and see what’s what.

Within days of my interview and rehire I regained access and this enables me to set my direct deposit and look over my benefits (it seemed to be something of tradition to discuss my benefits). Of course another background check which is always an ugh!

First, what’s the story with Roger? Is he really gone from “Fresh”? The answer is no. While I may not entirely be certain what happened between January and now, he’s on the social network. He indeed got bumped down all the way to supervisor at a suburban store near his home. Who knows if he actually got demoted and who knows if he really thought he was likely getting s**t-canned. His time as my dept mgr was definitely a rough period for yours truly and anyone else who bristled under his style.

Larry took over the dept in March and posted two supervisor positions. Neither of the two supervisors Rog had brought on the team (through what should’ve been rigorous circumstances) remain with the team. He brought in one from his former store. She got went to another store however it’s not in a supervisory position. The other supervisor who was actually an external hire is no longer with the company as I can’t find her at all on the social network. I’ve only had the opportunity to work with one of these new supervisors and she seemed OK, but then beyond that who knows?

Rog that summer had hired a buyer who quit that fall for another job outside of “Fresh”. He seemed cool, though not entirely what I was used to – or actually what Wil as associate buyer was used to. People seemed to complain about him, however, I had no issues with him. Not to say he didn’t earn his job, I could view him as  a political hire.

One reason I got bumped off the buy/receive team aside from the tardies – if that was the deciding factor as Rog never said for sure – was that he decided to hire on another associate buyer. We already had an associate buyer in Wil so his reason for posting for another associate buyer: “because this was how it was supposed to be done and he wanted to get one before they took it away from him” (huh?). The person Roger did hire according to Wil is working out in his role so another who earned his role.

Arielle is someone you’ll hear more from in a later post. She was brought to my old dept last year to become an assistant mgr. We spoke briefly at my new store as she was on duty moonlighting for this personal shopping service whom “Fresh Foods” contracts with. She used to work at the store where I will be as a supervisor before joining my old team for a promotion.

Most of the cast of characters that I knew when I got s**t-canned are no longer there. Some may have been let go or moved on to other jobs outside of the company. If Rog was proving to be an awful manager who wasn’t looking out for anyone then why stick around unless you really liked it. That would’ve been me, but I certainly was getting ready for other challenges within “Fresh” and outside the company. Besides I hadn’t entirely let go of the idea of being a movie theater mgr.

At least now I know some further facts from Jill’s FB post. Now I know the extent to the changes at my old dept at “Fresh”. Meanwhile as I continue to write and edit the final “Ruthless Roger” post, now is the time to focus on today!

Not so serious secrets

img_0036It took me about a month after running into Cliff in February to text Henry about one of the senior managers at “The Show” that he was close to. Cliff told me that she moved on from the theater to a corporate position with that company. And I thought about the drama that Anthony told me about a few years ago about this senior mgr putting her hands on his daughter – whom he orchestrated a job for her up there.

I never told Cliff about this story and I suspected that this interesting change was as a result of that drama. Could my assessment be wrong yes, because evidently her bosses like her to be able to shunt her off to a corporate position away from the theater and the associates. Did they like her or was this a sort of punishment? Hard to say, though I did want to mention that to Henry I chose to hold my fire on informing him of my suspicions. He had no idea about this – he had been pretty close to this senior mgr – and he didn’t have much to add.

Later I texted him about another former senior mgr from “The Show”. I worked with him briefly when he was the facilities mgr at the “Dine-in show”. I saw him in the box office area working so I assumed that apparently he moved on to my regular movie theater near my former employer at “Fresh Foods”. I’ve always suspected that he has a easier job at this national theater chain than at “The Show” he had to do a little bit of everything there, now at the national chain he just had to worry about the facility. No customer issues, no associate issues, just issues that I’m sure he knows how to handle with his two hands!

So anyway we got to texting back and forth and then a question came up, “Am I still working for ‘Fresh’?” I never responded to that question, however, when things move forward on my return I may well answer that question. Most likely tell him the truth and talk about the mgmt change in my dept and how I didn’t survive. However, note that this particular mgr is gone now and I have been summoned to return. For right now, and while he may somewhat be suspicious that question remains unanswered.

As far as my former colleagues from “The Show” only Keith who himself got let go almost a year after I left that theater knows. Hell I even told him about what happened with my then boss to which he responded in txt with LOL. Anyone else I just pretended as if I still work at “Fresh”. That includes Cliff & Brandon, who as far as I know have no idea that I’m actually unemployed at the moment.

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* More recently I was going out one day and my mother just flat out asked about when I was going to re-apply at “Fresh”. Well I have been telling her that since I learned my then former boss was no longer there that I’ve been applying to return at various jobs with that company. It seems that goes over her head, since on occasion I feel like talking about him and how it was with him as a boss. She’s the one that says I should chalk this up to a learning experience.

Regardless I had to parse my words a bit on this given morning since well it was necessary to be clear. It was important to state that since learning my former boss was no longer there I’ve been applying. Besides the worst that could happen is my application won’t be going forward. As far as this 6 mos thing I just explain that it’s about not to merely reapply however it’s about eligibility for rehire. This month would be my 6 mos and to be honest it was my hope that I would be back by now. Didn’t work out that way, but as I stated it seems they might be making me wait for the moment.

For this moment I just chalk this up at least with her to confusion. She somehow thinks I haven’t been applying which I have been. I’ve never told her that there have been two responses to my applications so far and have had an interview as a result. Unfortunately as of now it feels as if it’s not happening yet. However, it’s more important to stay positive and hope for the best as I hope to return…

I just wanted to also note that the night after being let go last year at “Fresh” my mother was gearing up to drop me off at the train the next morning. I had to tell her I wasn’t there anymore and never explained what happened until a few days later when I knew it was time to cool off from it. Unfortunately that night she kind of kept trying to get an explanation and she’s not the type who’ll just let it go. I just wasn’t in the mood for explaining that night.

I don’t have an excuse for me holding out on her with this information. There has been some progress but it won’t necessarily be progress if I’m not back at work. Part two in the series of thoughts regarding my former boss will be the next post in a few days. It will be about how things went wrong with me as far as the job.

Recently

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A test of maturity is how to deal with a situation that you weren’t happy with. I’ve worked with people who have little issue letting me or anyone else know how unhappy they are working with them. Sometimes it’s very legitimate – for example perhaps you’re in the way – on the other hand sometimes you wonder how one deals with a complainer. To be fair it’s much easier to complain that to just keep it moving.

At some point one had to answer not for a terrible boss – and of course how could anyone – but for your own actions. For example my attendance issues which got me let go last year. Do I feel as if “Ruthless Roger” put a target on me, probably there just isn’t a lot of proof if the tardies put me in that unfortunate situation. If there is anything I can point to with that, the whole situation for the last 6 months of last year was most tedious because we had a whole new regime take over the dept.

With this said, I interviewed with my old store last week. Since learning that Roger is no longer the mgr of my former dept I had been applying to any position available in that dept. Of course it seemed as if every position I applied for saw me get rejected as the job status kept going to “no longer under consideration”. However, one of the store managers called me up recently to schedule an interview. I’m not sure if he remembers but he was in the mgmt office when Roger ushered me into the office to walk back out when the “guillotine” fell. Even though they were going with this he said “don’t think we like this” even in spite of the delay slip from the transit authority.

When I called the store mgr back, he asked why I no longer worked for the company, I told him. No frills though I just had to add the it’s a lot more interesting that being on attendance probation and was late one more time. I just had to note until that last tardy which was due to a delay on the trains that I was close to beating that probation. So anyway interview was scheduled for mid-week and I got ready to prepare to the extent that I could.

Upon going back to the store for this attempt at a return it felt like old times to get off at the train stop nearby. Because I was running out of time as far as hanging out before the interview. I headed straight to the store and unfortunately there was a short line at the customer service desk, in fact one of the people in line was an associate who wanted to buy a gift card then use gift card to buy her food…yeah more complicated than necessary. Anyway, I checked in after that and had a bit of a wait before the store mgr came out.

Ran into one of the former associates who was doing his paperwork. He had also been let go by Roger and remember what I’ve said earlier no one seems to have a good story about him as a manager. There was often something dumb with him that I hear about from either a supervisor or an associate. More indicative of the fact that he really had no idea what he was doing. Also that in making his many changes he proved to be more in the way than he was helping.

What did this associate we’ll call Danny say? Nothing specific just that Roger could be bossy and wanting things his way. Much agreed on that point he was like that with me, remember he was a by-the-book manager. That proved to be problematic as he showed he didn’t really know how to run the kitchen. The book didn’t really help him in some of those regards. This was even noted by one of his supervisors whom I talked to recently.

Anyway upon greeting Danny, I simply told him “The nightmare is over”. Of course nightmare is probably giving him too much credit, but he’s coming back to a different dept that is now being run by Larry. When I told him who came back to be the mgr, it seemed that he liked that. My comment, “the dept now has someone who knows what they’re going.” Danny agreed and furthermore I stated that “Roger trying to have things his way got him nowhere as he’s not here anymore”. I further told Danny that although I heard many stories, Roger simply upped and quit.

Ran into another colleague who himself bristled under Roger some of his “goofball” changes affected him. He seemed a lot more cheerful on this day than he had been when I left. Things were looking up far more, though there were more to tell him when I officially come back. I was telling Danny more than I should’ve…

After all this the store mgr came out after a few minutes to meet me for interview which we did in the sitting area near the checkout lines. That will be a story for another time. As I write this I’m struggling to write an artful thank you note. Trying not to be very presumptuous about getting my job back at the same time hoping to increase the chances that I will return. Although to be fair it’s much easier to do nothing when in doubt. Problem is, I don’t like playing the waiting game especially since it’s my great interest to return and work with Larry…