Embargo

A few weeks ago I learned something about the store mgr who fired me just about four years ago, Morley. You may have seen a quick post about that just about two years ago entitled Domino. Right now my plan is to share that information a bit later in a post to revisit that episode.

This information is regarding Morley’s removal from the company in 2019 and was received from a supervisor at work. I don’t know how he knows this information as I opted not to ask any further questions. Just know that this supervisor knows about what was going on up there about some of the managers. The first time we spoke about Morley I made sure to note that he got let go and the supervisor used his thumb to say out! Sort of like an umpire in baseball.

We went further to talk about another guy we knew Ruthless Roger. I’ve told him what I knew although what was omitted was how rough my relationship became with /goofball. Hearing this supervisor, the idea seemed to have been no one liked him. His personality was the type where he needed to come back down to earth and we generally agree that whatever happened at the Hole sent Rog crashing back down to the ground. Another thing is that as a manager he just wasn’t that good and a lot of people picked up on it.

I even told this supervisor that when our store receiver arrived from the Hole she saw me in my dept at the time and wondered “How did you wind up here?” My answer was it wasn’t my choice and her next question “Was it Roger?” My answer to that is yes & no, as yours truly were having some issues and Rog just didn’t give a $h!t. The supervisor just responded everyone knew as in knew something was up.

I even told the supervisor that a supervisor I worked with at the Hole offered not long before getting rehired that Roger was definitely on the verge of getting fired. Basically just a guess, anyone who worked with him knew that becoming a dept mgr wasn’t going to work out well for him. This is why we could call him Ruthless, however, how ruthless was he if he crashed and burned.

Which leads to the next part of this dialogue, I promised this supervisor to tell him why yours truly left the Hole (that promise was ultimately fulfilled). This promise was made because it was recognized by both of us had said more than enough about “Ruthless”. In this supervisor’s words we shouldn’t give him the glory by talking about him. Even if his attempt at moving up blew up in his face, he already has enough of a massive ego that perhaps he shouldn’t even be thought about anymore.

Perhaps this is one way of closing the loop on ’17. It wasn’t until recently that I recognize is as a year of calamity. A friendship that never should’ve happened started to get strained to the point of no return. The job that seemed to have gone very well just turned 180 degree got me dismissed in part due to the mgmt change with my team. My mother still having health challenges eventually retired because she lost her job at a bank that failed. Some unusual turn of events made worse that I eventually lost my job near the end of that year. It was a calamity and a slow burn.

I’ve written about the whole Reign of Error in various iterations since learning Rog was no longer the dept mgr at the Hole. And as far as the more recent series of Reign of Error posts my feeling is there hasn’t been a very adequate ending to that. Perhaps there isn’t a need, the ending is that yours truly returned to Fresh Foods and found out that /goofball got demoted from dept mgr to supervisor and eventually left the company.

Since that time yours truly received a number of accolades in addition to making over 10K associate hours and was made associate of the week this month. If my time at the Hole ushered in for my the so-called big money years, my second stint is even more so and I’m still not done. And another thing is that yours truly cut out the deadweight that only served to eat both positive energy and finances because he had none.

And the deadweight – well he’s been mentioned enough on this blog to be honest – yours truly still has his thoughts about him. Perhaps this has been said enough times, however, it will soon be time to close the loop on that individual as well. Meanwhile I’ll warn you, there is another post coming about the deadweight in the future.

Oh yeah the “embargoed’ information about Morley expect to see that in October which would be the two year point of his dismissal from the Hole. In fact this is what I had told the supervisor. Yours truly was looking up jobs on Fresh’s social network saw Morley’s store mgr job was up for bid. A colleague who was still there had sent a meme-like msg to me and I replied back that the store mgr at the Hole was open. The colleague responded “Uh yeah. Morley got fired on Tuesday for reasons unknown”. This was when the supervisor at my current assignment told me what he knew. It still blew me away, however, you will know in the next few months.

Writer’s block “Climax”

I’ve been struggling as of late as far attempting to conclude this latest series so perhaps I’ll push it back to next month. There were a few ways to approach this as I tell you about my last few days at the Hole.

To start, I didn’t really talk about this until two months after it happened on this blog. I hinted not long after it happened and then I started going on interviews afterwards, however, it was a minute before I started telling you the audience about what happened.

At first I told that I got let go and then ran into a former colleague who told me the same old bull$h!t was going on after I left – signifying that the situation hadn’t settled down then. And then the next time I began to talk about it more is when I learned /goofball was out at the Hole. I began to discuss more about my situation after that and began to work on returning to the company at that time.

Another angle was to tell the story as I told my mother. When I just outright told her was the previous evening when she was already gearing up to drop me off at the train to go to work. It was a rough conversation that she wanted to have right then. She didn’t receive the signal that was a bad time to insist.

I told her days later. Once I told her the justification, I can’t really describe her reaction perhaps she wasn’t that surprised. Perhaps she could see the excuse written all over that story. Perhaps it was as much of they just wanted to let me go more than it was the correct call. For just about six months I continued to process the fallout, however, my mother was with me on one thing once /goofball was out at the Hole she concluded that he rose to his level of incompetence.

Another angle to consider is what I’ve been talking about a lot at the outset of this new “creative direction” being comfortable and complacency. One main reason why this still remains on my mind was that I lost a job I had enjoyed. The unceremonious departures as orchestrated by /goofball and affirmed by Morley – who just about two years after my separation met a similar fate himself.

I always compare my time to the Hole or at Fresh Foods in general to the time I had at The Show. I had finally reached some semblance of an apex. I was making good money, well better money than the Show. I was growing as far as what I can do and sadly was on my way to some semblance of a promotion until /goofball showed up and made some changes.

Well I will also say that the previous regime took great care of yours truly. That’s not to say there weren’t issues, however, there were times where I felt as if they covered for me on some things where they could. I run into /goofball and he went by the book perhaps on some level I thought things wouldn’t turn 180 degrees and yet they did.

If I was to believe the whole incompetence angle, then we can say that /goofball would have a lot more on his plate than to try to save anyone’s job if he wanted to. If he could barely handle the job he accepted there wasn’t much room for anyone else whether friend or foe.

With this said I made some tactical errors during that period of time and some of them were with him. And perhaps others within the workplace at the time. I try not to blame everything on everyone else, I have to put some blame onto myself for not being on time especially.

As I also don’t mind stating the necessary changes that occurred as a result likely wouldn’t have happened if not for this result. For example cutting ties to an old fiend. For a period of time there was no stream of income for him to call on, and resultantly I realized there was no real reason to take a call from him. This was a situationship that needed to be re-evaluated.

I hope to soon put pen to paper on the Climax of the Reign of Error.

Before the “climax”

I wanted to revisit an Odds & Ends post from over three years ago. It was at a mark before the climax of the Reign of Error. As per usual I decided to re-edit the post but largely kept my thought process as it was back then. My goal wasn’t to change much other than to make that post as readable as possible.

Remember I wrote that I ran into my former boss – the one who hired me at Fresh Foods in the beginning – at his new assignment. He’s now a store mgr at the very same store I had actually ran into him randomly in ’17. And near the end of 2019 I ran into him again at the very same store though in a different capacity.

The tone of this visit was different than two years earlier. For one I didn’t know this yet but at the time I was close to losing my job, dangerously close. I was very unprepared to let him know how close to the edge I was teetering. However, he was attempting to look out for me even suggested positions to apply for to leave the Hole.

At the time he knew that things were getting rough, I admitted it was the new regime. Of course when I met him much later he thought about what happened after he left and he mentioned some of his predecessors not mentioning /goofball.

He noted then that he’d write me a recommendation if I wanted to leave. With the situation of my attendance at the time even with his word, would have been a very tough sell. The situation I was in wasn’t my friend. I did think about it and was prepared to get to work on that, however, I just had to be late one more time.

I was tripping myself over this paragraph:

I also wish I could tell him that the guy who helped train him – as per an email that was posted not long before our old boss left our store – well he’s not happy. He’s worried that his coworkers and manager are talking about him behind his back. I also wish I could tell him that as a receiver the new boss elected to push me aside for some vague reason although I now know that it’s to put in people he knows. Again that’s his prerogative. What I didn’t want to do is make this situation so negative that he begins to wonder if I’m as much the problem. Besides his view of me having a good attitude is what allowed him to hire me in the first place!

I alluded to this in another post earlier this summer. One of the cooks in my department stopped me in the cooler while I was putting away product asking me if a coworker and /goofball had been talking about him. All I could say was that the coworker was actually sucking up to his boss and that no one’s name was mentioned at all. At this point he was insecure about his job and from what I heard because I eavesdrop sometimes he was suffering some health issues as a result of the drama at the Hole.

Consider what happened with that coworker is a sign of some of the changes occurring at the Hole under the man I would eventually identify as Roger at the time. He lost the assignment he liked the most although in his case he got shifted around, he even rightfully told his coworkers in the kitchen that if they didn’t have to also do breakfast, they could get caught up with their lunchtime production. He wasn’t wrong, however, he’s not in a leadership capacity.

The coworker even admitted to me later that there were some issues with the hot wells. I saw /goofball and a store manager working on the issues one morning. Even took some pics of the burned items on the wells. The coworker told me that he purposefully never mentioned the issues, he knew what to do so that they wouldn’t have these issues. However, since Roger came in on a sledgehammer of change the coworker held out on critical information.

Either way, not long after the encounter with my former boss I would experience the climax – which I hope to still share with you all before the end of the month. The ending of the story which I have shared was that part of the reason I returned to the company after a six month hiatus was the word of this old boss and Larry who took over my old dept at the Hole to come over to my latest assignment.

I never really told my old boss what happened near the end other than my disappointments. Perhaps he wasn’t that interested, but I thanked him for what the man who hired me at the other location had told me he had spoken for me. I had spoken to Larry since but never relayed that information to him and it’s worth it.

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.

2017

The irony of 2017 is that during the course of that year before reaching the climax of the Reign of Error, I had done a series of posts over the weirdness at The Show. While writing those posts I was experiencing my own weirdness at the Hole and it started during the summer a very short time compared to the last few years at The Show.

As 2020 is considered a year of great calamity for many around the world due to the pandemic of course and in this country we have unrest going on – by the way something’s going down in Louisville and other places in America as always I hope for the best.

Anyway this post is titled 2017 and for yours truly personally this year proved to be a year of calamity. It was a personal calamity more than anything, but it started off great and then it just turned 180 degrees in a territory where I never expected to be. I’m specifically talking about the job at the time, I just didn’t expect that I’d be out the door.

Well that wasn’t the only drama of that time and I mean a boss who was just very by the book and very unwilling to offer a break. Just looking for things to complain about. Of course this is something I’m continuing to hash out as time goes forward so I won’t dwell on this too much.

I also consider Planet Hustle. This proved to be the last year I really spoke to Anthony the hustler. It seems from roughly the holiday season through the last time I really spoke to him that summer we just weren’t on the same page. Perhaps we never were as he had his own ideas on what was necessary for me and I had my own. He’s willing to blow off my own ideas while bullheadedly promoting his own even if I show no interest.

Regardless consider this pattern, during the holiday season in ’16 – this was when my mother was in the hospital undergoing treatment – he pays me back some money he borrowed. This is when he decided to reopen the case of what happened with Jack V being employed with Finer Foods. And then here’s how the pattern come full circle, by the time of the episode One final drop he decided he needed to borrow more money.

The main crux of that situation is that as time went on he began to let me know what he really thinks of me. And as time went on I had to think about some of the statements he’s made towards me. Does one have to associate with someone who seem to have such a low opinion of them?

Worse still I call it a situationship not a friendship because as we’ve explored on this blog there was a reason he wanted to connect. He wanted help or support, but then turns around and says your life is out of order. He’s even more out of order than he realizes. Yes I’m talking about the requests for money on occasion. Good riddance.

As I’ve explored the situationship and the Reign of Error at the Hole were two main events that came to a head that year. One was years in the making the other was in a period of months. One situation I’ve learned to laugh at, the other I’m still processing the data compiled over nine years.

However, once the Reign of Error came to a head it helped make easier my decision to blackout communications with the Hustler. I’ve stated that he’d make me feel worse about the situation I found myself in. I get the idea that he’d never let me hear the end of it and will turn it into you should’ve listened to me about Finer Foods. It’ll be about his solution…

And once he’d start calling again – perhaps he needed something – during a time where I was unemployed helped me keep my resolve. Although even when I did go back to work, I still never went out of my way to contact him again.

So we’ll go back to the Reign of Error in the next post. Hopefully tomorrow if not soon as there were some revelations I hinted at earlier this summer that’s necessary to address. It’s not something I spoke about in the many times I spoke about the situation with /goofball.

Finally, I used climax for a reason. The day I got led by /goofball to store mgmt to be “separated” from Fresh Foods was a very dramatic moment and it was wrong in my mind. However, I used that term to say it wasn’t the end of my story and the reason I could laugh now is because whatever happened – oh to be the fly on a wall – it was really the beginning of the end of /goofball story. When I arrive at my last day at the Hole the title of that post will be Climax.

Now that I’ve dealt with 2017, perhaps 2020 isn’t this year of calamity for myself after all.

Bias

In writing this post, its something topical that belongs on my new blog I started earlier this month. It’s fitting, however, it goes in a different direction than where national headlines have been going at this point aside from that bug and the unrest.

To start I can’t say I’ve had many negative interactions with police officers. There was one memorable incident and it happened during a time of increased security efforts in the city. I was at a bad place at a bad time doing what I was doing. Thankfully so far I’ve not been stopped by police or even encountered a police officer with a severe bias against orange people….

What I can attest to is what I’ve only started to begin further hashing out – wait what am I talking about I’ve been hashing out for over two years now. I’ve had a number of bosses with varying personalities over the years and it’s either gone very well or it hasn’t. I could say I dealt with quite a few personalities at The Show and whether or not some of them had issues with me because I’m orange or because I’m a man or just because. My read on a fraction of those situations was that these just weren’t situations yours truly was going to come out good in.

The most recent encounter with mgmt that I wasn’t coming to win with was the man variously referred to as /goofball or Ruthless Roger or Rog. And any evidence of his bias as a red male is just based upon what I know about him or what I’ve seen with my two eyes or even hearsay.

I’ve written a lot about this over time. Once he took over my old department at the Hole he surely but slowly began to clear out the department. A few likely quit and others were likely let go although a few of them were seasonal workers. Some I wasn’t too upset to see go, there was one young man who could be quite argumentative with both mgmt and customers – especially at a company expected to bend over backwards to please customers. I could say if this was initiated by Rog, he might have in those situations used being seasonal as a way to ease them out of our dept.

However two of the more bizarre things I heard of for two workers from the Hole involved the temp log. It’s often been accepted practice that if you write down temps you made an honest attempt to measure the temperature of product. Well allegedly both of those unusual cases were accused of not doing so and they lost their jobs. I ran into one of them once I arrived at my new location and they said the regime of that period of time  – “reign of error” –  they sure were picking she’d state.

In another case we had a crew in our dept dedicated to making breakfast in the morning. One guy also orange seemed to come and go as he pleased he gets in very late and often leaves very early. Once Rog took over that was the end of that and ultimately he found a way to nudge him out of the way. It surprised me when this man – when I offhandedly said he’s the breakfast man – he was quick to say no he doesn’t do breakfast anymore. I tried to ask him what happened but he said he can’t say much of anything because he was written up on a final warning for being a “troublemaker”.

He wasn’t happy with the changes and couple that with him making the crew – they were green –  who would normally make food for the lunchtime crowd now had to make breakfast. They weren’t as much of a flowing machine they would normally be because they had the added responsibility for breakfast. Even the guy who got nudged out the way told them that they wouldn’t be behind on everything else if they weren’t having to also do breakfast. Everyone agreed.

I remember one day one of the green people had a talk with red Rog. I termed it as a suck up session based on what I was hearing while receiving in the cooler. While the green person was talking about customers, Rog was undeterred in implementing the new system. “It’ll get better he declared” and my view of this is that it pretty much didn’t until he was removed from his position as dept mgr.

And my orange “brother” came in an huff asking me if Rog and the green person was saying anything about him. Nah, I told him the green man was sucking up to Rog. He was trying to keep his job. That calmed him down as I told the brother the truth as I saw it.

My orange brother I learned was having some health issues. He left work early a few times to attend to it and I had to piece together a story by listening. The Reign of Error was beginning to take its toll on some of us. So if you remember a guy I refer to offhandedly a few years ago as Mr. Humphries – also a not very ambiguous about his sexuality orange man unlike the TV character I referred to him as – was trying to encourage the other orange man. Basically saying “feel bad for [Rog] because the bad he’s doing is going to come back to him”.

To go back to that green man for a moment, he couldn’t even escape Rog’s “ruthlessness” (I’m purposefully contradicting myself here as I don’t think Roger is particularly ruthless as if he had been he’d still be in a position of authority at Fresh Foods). In the dept mgmt offices a screen was up with one of the assistant mgr’s email. It was Larry from his new store where he had transferred to as a dept mgr months earlier at that point he was inquiring about the green man as he applied for a job up there. By the time I left that store by October ’17 the green man was still there, and he’s still there now where by the very next year in ’18 Larry would return to my old dept.

So something blocked it and my suspicion is that Rog found a way to write him up for something to effectively stop the green man from transferring. I did see him walk the plank with Rog pulling him aside. As I’ve began to learn when Rog pulls you aside it’s rarely good. I’ve seen it way too often.

I guess this begs the question. Do I think Rog had a bias against anyone who isn’t red? I’ve spent most of my life trying not to read into things and not looking for things to be upset about. It took me most of my life to realize everyone isn’t going to deal with you honestly and straightforward. Sometimes I haven’t always conducted myself that way either.

Regardless whether I wanted to acknowledge as others seemed to have a vested interest in making me acknowledge as my new role was beginning to be snatched away for reasons only Rog knew, something was up. And I suspect that whatever was up helped get him removed from his mgmt role with the company not long after I got let go. I heard a rumor that confirmed this though there’s no way to confirm that on my end. Someone stated that he referred to orange people as a bunch of gangbangers. And depending upon who hear that or who he said that to, it was a bad thing to say within a dept that had issues of respect issues at one point.

If that rumor is proven to be true then I viewed that as a man whos just nervous and perhaps holds some prejudicial views of certain people. It’s a lot more than just he’s a generally loathed person. But to be honest I just don’t know and will only speak of my own interactions with him in future posts.

Finally I just want to add that in one post I made reference to Rog’s racist suburb. What I heard about him once I learned he was no longer the dept mgr at the Hole is he used buying a house in the suburbs to move on. There were a lot of opinions on that and none of them seemed good – especially from those supervisors who knew a lot more than they could let on.

Either way I made reference to something that did occur in a suburb of Chicago late last year. Something happened at a Buffalo Wild Wings and the staff handled it badly and they got bad press. Some staff lost their jobs and who knows about the red man who had issues sitting with orange people who initiated that whole incident.

I know I wrote a whole post insinuating racism. Yours truly is a long way from proving it, but with the news cycle being what it is this was just my accounting of what I suspect to have encountered just about three years ago. And perhaps a case could be made as far as whatever bias Rog had that yours truly was wrongfully terminated. Of course as also been written he wasn’t the only one involved with that and at least with another person involved with that situation the other domino fell.

I don’t want to celebrate anyone losing their job – even if they did deserve it – the thing is it’s just a sight to see what karma comes back to bite them in the long run.

The blackout

marketing office working business

No one’s home…

I know that since last year a lot has been written about the events surrounding the “reign of error“. Often I look at what happened with that period the one good thing that happened during that time – eventually yours truly would begin to cut ties with the Hustler. How did that come about?

Well as stated in another post – “One final drop” – I stated that the soft communications blackout started after his last text message to yours truly. He reminded me that he’s working on paying back the money he borrowed and reminded me of another piece of news that I had actually told him. Anyway I attempted to call him back after this and actually left a voicemail with him and he never returned my call.

At this point I just stopped trying to really chase him down. He was going to take his time repaying the money he found it necessary to borrow. It’s not like I hadn’t seen this before and the last time before that he borrowed money he took over a year to actually pay that money back. It was a good sum more than the outstanding he owes now, however, he did finally pay that back. That was until he needed some money again….

Once events ran their course at the Hole and I no longer had a job there I really didn’t want to talk to him. Things had been going well there and he knew there would be a mgmt change because I had told him. However we stopped communicating and he didn’t know what was going on. He to this day doesn’t know what happened with me.

I can’t believe that it was a long period of time where he just didn’t say a lot to me. No phone calls or texts, just from the both of us – a blackout. No communication at all through our normal channels, however, for a period after his last text message we exchanged messages on facebook. Usually sexually charged memes from him or in some cases flyers for his martial arts themed event he had been promoting. Usually in response I’d share links with him that should’ve been of interest but knowing him he didn’t bother. It seems as if nothing was really of interest to him at any given moment he might blow it off.

Until October we were exchanging messages on facebook with nothing really said between us. My mind hadn’t entirely shifted on him until events ran their course at the Hole and it was time to find another job. Strangely I didn’t lean on him for job leads primarily because most of his past leads never interested me. They were mostly for jobs he were keen on they were highly paid, union, and mostly very blue-collar and unskilled. He liked security, however, I chose my poison in that case as I’d rather deal with the unpredictable public than to sit in an empty building by myself during a night-shift.

I also knew that as things seemed to have went well at the Hole he suddenly decided to inject that I’d make more money at a competitor – Finer Foods – and even asked if I was “ready to jump ship, yet”. I was doing the buy/receive shifts with an opportunity for true growth and had gotten much closer in recent times to getting a real promotion. All the sudden Anthony starts his strange campaign continuing to mention that I’d make more money elsewhere. Often I show no interest stating something real crazy would have to happen before I’d even consider it.

SPOILER: something crazy actually did happen and it was the extreme thing I hoped wouldn’t happen…

Either way as far as what happened at the Hole, I definitely had it in my head that he’d have something to say about what happened. I’d get the feeling he’d make me feel far worse about it than I needed to hear at that point in time. I also got the feeling that the way things were going there and things were going great that he’d feel some strange satisfaction once he knew it fell apart (some of it was the mgmt change and some of it was of my own doing).

If you’ve read enough about him Anthony is a man who can be very easily dissatisfied. Since leaving The Show where we’ve formerly worked I know of seven jobs he’s held. It seems he held most of those for a number of months before he’d move on. Perhaps in one case he actually did suffer a work related disability as he was limping on one day that I saw him. So it doesn’t take much for him (even if the next job offered a few more cents when he tries to negotiate) to just jump ship.

In realizing this I know that if things were going well he might say it’s a great thing. On the other hand since I’ve mostly known him to be very hard-up and often struggled money-wise just based on his begging that in his psyche he’s not really happy. Do you get the idea that often he’s envious when someone is doing better than him? Do you get the idea that he keeps people miserable like himself?

With that being said once he did try to get back in touch with me around the time of that blizzard in the Chicago-area last year I had a number of choices to make if I answered. Do I take the call and talk about what happened the previous year? Do I take the call let the subject come up and lie to him about the job? Do I just ignore the phone calls?

The first two questions have been answered. I never took a call from him especially before the episode “on the spot” My mind had shifted away from him and I actually could view him as a user. He didn’t need me before he started trying to call me again. There was no need to lie about my situation if I just ignored his phone calls. This is where we are now.

Some of the issues that occurred between two years ago to even now have changed but the blackout endures. No more requests for money and indeed no more drama. No more father-figure antics that I never really asked for from a friend. Main thing is as of now no more ammunition for him to come through a door and assert himself.

Which reminds me, there was lately another attempt at contact. As I’ve stated it’s no longer important to make it major news, however, it was a very unusual attempt. Indeed it was akin to his comment to my status on facebook with regards to my interview (and again he really doesn’t know I’ve had an interview). Either way his last attempt on another social media site will be written in a future post.

Family reunion change & growth

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Work Drama?

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We had some work drama recently and little did I know that it was brewing. Over the past month we acquired a new worker from another store – she got transferred over because the other store she had been assigned to wasn’t doing very well. In any event, it’s generally agreed that she knows what she’s doing, however, one main issue she thinks she knows everything.

I was talking with a guy who works another venue and it’s safe to say he knows how to work it and he tries to train her. One problem, she thinks she knows everything and seemingly according to him training her just doesn’t go very well. Perhaps her personality is she doesn’t like for anyone to try to show her anything she will front as if she does. I’ve met people like that, and in my case they feel as if they need to show me even though they are WRONG!!! Often I just take it and then do what I want to do anyway and in a minority of cases they may escalate it (yes I’m referencing to those faceless, characterless “mean girls of $h!tplace”).

My encounters with her – we’ll call her Peg – has often been cordial. Has there been a few incidents of her overstepping her bounds with yours truly? Well I consider those minor compared with what has happened in the past, however, she has stepped up to me as if she was a supervisor. Let’s say when she saw some items on the floor that she saw was incorrect – and I saw them myself so I already know what the confusion was – all the same she sees this although she’s on another venue. She comes to me and knows that while I probably didn’t do it, she needs to inform me of her findings that particular morning. I basically say OK and keep working.

She was an mid shift working one morning and saw how things at my venue was presented. One thing I will say she has some good ideas, however, my issue and other’s issues has been how she goes about it. I tell her she should pitch it to our dept. mgr. Huge mistake, she screams out his name as unknown to me he was already on the floor walking around. Someone with that much arrogance about their own experience, will have no issue making suggestions. And the boss agrees with her, no big whoop-de-doo.

Then I come in one morning for my own mid-shift and learn that some personnel had been shuffled around. We have a mother-son duo working in our dept and they were now working together while Peg was sent down to another venue. Which is where I remained stuck because she and the mother – who really does know what she’s doing – were in meetings with mgmt about some incident between them. I don’t know what it’s about to be honest have heard a lot of hearsay on this but it’s safe to assume she walked onto someone else’s territory made some observations and decided it was OK to correct.

It lead to me to even mock her behind her back (yes I know profile in courage). It went something like this.

“I don’t think this looks very appealing and appetizing. I think it needs larger tomatoes and more cheese. It doesn’t look done enough, we need to put it back in the oven some more. Customers aren’t going to buy this anyway we need to spoil this out. I don’t even know what I’m talking about”

Which elicited a what from one of the workers who witnessed my own mocking. I had to tell him what I was doing but something tells me he already knows.

I even did my act for the mother who had to deal with peg that fateful morning. She laughed and then kind of went into default yeah I need to do this over thanks for the input. I also tell her that I was mocking so-and-so without revealing who, but something tells me she also already knows.

In any case, I hear in light of this Peg seems to have already rubbed her supervisors the wrong way. From what I can tell about her, she’s a bit of a busy body who probably should’ve applied for the open supervisor/trainer position in our dept. It appears she hasn’t, however, her personality is dominant and thus she may well be the type who wants to be large and in charge yet no desire for the responsibility.

Time will tell if she will ultimately right her ship or if she goes bye-bye because finally something broke the camel’s back.

Savings

I have never really gave a sequence of events for the night that Anthony the hustler who after starting his job at The Show was quickly willing to ask yours truly for money. It wasn’t long (perhaps a week, my memory isn’t that clear anymore) after I offered him a ride home on the south side and inquiring about my life rather rudely. Little did I know the door I had opened.

Not long after this we were waiting for the train one evening and – well he almost directed me – we connected on facebook and I gave him my cell phone number. In my mind why not, I might need a work related favor from him, however, little did I know he was going to be quick to ask an even bigger favor than I had expected from him.

One night during the week, I had a shift that started at 6 PM or so and my mother allowed me to drive her car that evening. At some point before leaving home I saw on my phone (a Blackberry that was out of style as soon as I had bought it) that he had called. What does he want I thought at the time and chose to ignore it because he can’t want something so soon after we just got connected.

So I drive to work, and in those days I carried a tote bag with me to carry my uniform and work hat. Usually I take it into the building with meto our locker room where I would change into my full uniform before going on duty for the night. At some point Anthony finds me doing my rounds on the floor. He may have asked me about his phone call, however, he fell into his pitch asking “Can I borrow some money from you?” about coming up short and needing a few dollars until payday when he promises to pay yours truly back – hence one part of the reason for the title of this post. Which threw me off badly alas my mind wasn’t willing to just say NO to a guy who just asked for money a short time after I had just met him….

So anyway this bothered me all night long until I ran into Henry who was also working that night. I was led to believe The Hustler not only was expecting some cash, he also expected to get a ride home that night. I told Henry the story and he suggested I leave him there. Thus I hatched my plan.

I made sure when I made it to my unpaid 30 min break that I got my things out of my locker and put it in the car. It was in preparation for my quick getaway from The Hustler who had marked me to be used rather quickly (and I wonder if it was based on that weird conversation we had on the ride to his place). It probably didn’t even take 10-15 mins to get my belongings.

Once it was close to my quitting time, Anthony starts coming around and following me. Believe me I was nervous as hell very uncomfortable about doing something so impolite, but what Anthony did was also impolite and it was a problem for me at that point. He was expecting a ride home and some cash. I don’t remember how I got away from him, perhaps mgmt called him away or something. However as soon as possible I clocked off for the night, ran to the car, and drove off! I had successfully ditched Anthony….

Hence the other main reason for the title of this post. 😛

When I got home I saw that he called and left a voicemail. I start to listen to the voicemail he calls out my name and I could tell the disappointment in his voice. I didn’t finish listen I immediately deleted the voicemail. He never spoke of what happened that night again, and Henry joked later that Anthony was upset when I left without him because he had wanted to get a hot dog with the borrowed cash. The only response from Anthoy offered for that evening was a later attempt by him to connect again asking “Why don’t you speak to me?” So if that was a sign of anything because I never told him to buzz off after that it wasn’t a signal of deterrence and he was going to keep coming around.

And also I knew enough of his background to find his quick request for money strange. He had left his job as a mgr at a dollar store to take on a minimum wage job (of eight and one quarter) at a movie theater. He also told me that he was once a hot shot mgr at a local grocery chain from which he retired at 40 (seriously?). For a man in his 50s, why is he going around looking for someone to mooch money off of when he should be in a far better position than he was then or even is now.