With what’s been going on in the world I’ve been thinking again. Well actually I have been thinking about it for quite a while. It really should’ve started during my hiatus over two years ago.
It back during the period between October ’17 to April ’18 I developed the idea that a job is nothing more than a means to an end. It’s true there are many ways one can make money and this is something that had been explored on this blog also (ex. how does one make money on YouTube).
At the same the thought process with that was merely that I had lost the job that I really liked and believed that I really grew at in that period. However, what if that company went belly up and lets say I created a new company I could attempt to recreate that culture. The culture at the Hole if not Fresh Foods as a whole is one reason why I returned to the company.
The lesson here is that no matter how much you like a job and how much a job or a company has done for you especially financially it can always be taken away from you. I won’t entirely go into the circumstances of my situation just about three years ago at this point and besides it’s been written about on this blog numerous times. The bottom line is that for whatever reason you may not have that job any longer.
Still, one focus on this has been about jobs. What else would I like to do and what entrepreneurial thing can yours truly do to make money independently? I still think about that chances are I probably won’t start a store although I do have thinks I have cared about such as movies, comic books, tech, etc. I’ve tried the world of finance and still have the culture shock of that in my system.
However, another part of comfort is I’ve never left home. A conclusion I came to recently in light of this unrest is that Chicago is part of my comfort level. Jack V works for a fortune 500 company and has the opportunity to go anywhere he wants. Yours truly can go to Wisconsin, Georgia, Mississippi, Iowa, Missouri, Texas, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, etc. Just about anywhere I wish as long as I can secure a job.
I’ve also been talking about going back to school although the time you might have seen this on the blog it was to go to a local university and attain a master’s degree. Well that’s my opportunity to go elsewhere. Find out how reasonable tuition is and hopefully find a full-time job to keep the money train going.
My first job the year before out of Mission College was at a college bookstore which had been one of the longest tenure jobs up to that point that I had. It’s what I mostly knew as a worker still trying to establish himself. It felt like a disaster.
The store manager that hired me briefed us newbies on how the customers at a local community college had a sense of entitlement as the government gave them the money for books. However they treat government aid as if it’s their money and as if they’re paying customers. I’ve always known students to be very dutiful as far as getting their books and as always they could be the worst customers. I should understand I had been one and it’s rarely good if you don’t have your materials for class.
There is a twist though my experience at college bookstores is usually during back to school rush. This time around I was responsible for textbook buy back and this could be a pain in the butt that the manager pulled me aside for. Either way I was getting paid while I waited for The Show to give me a call back with regards to my interview in October. Basically I met with them during a job fair for that company at a local college campus which I saw a lot of people there that I will be working with. I’m including both mgmt and regular workers.
I did new hire paperwork after I did my shift at the bookstore one night at another theater that company owned. As I recall later when doing new hire paperwork for the national theater chain years ago it was a nightmare. The man I would later know as our House Manager just handed me a phone with someone on the other end of the line asking me questions for that company’s tax purposes things I would usually skip over on a job application. I did the best possible, however, HM became a jack@$$ for some of his behavior that night. In a strange fit of reading people I know this was one man I needed to watch out for.
It seemed that company was a tad disorganized as far as orientation, new hire paperwork, or even training (though I have the least complaints about training). I hated having to go into an unfamiliar part of town at night by bus & train during the fall/winter. It was a while before I would actually get to see the facility I actually would be working in. When I did training at The Show itself one person actually quit on the spot already grumbling that there were other opportunities she needed to pursue and the theater job wasn’t it.
For the record the only training I missed out on was concession. For most of my roughly five years there I basically learned it as I went. Yours truly didn’t do such a bad job learning concession and had some wonderful people helping me out along the way. Of course as I learned as time went on there will be those who provided the headaches.
All the same the end of my time at the bookstore came when I got my actual work schedule for the theater and it overlapped the time I would’ve been at the store. It wast that time though I indicated that I could still work. The manager thanked me for the help and kind of demurred when suggesting that it would be OK if they needed me in the future. So while I showed up somewhat late for my shift it was actually my last day there forever.
Time for the excitement of working the job I should’ve had either during my high school years or even in college. The first night I worked was a sneak preview as it was invite only and set up for a party. There were screenings for older movies throughout the theater and it all lead up to midnight showings of movies to be released such as Avatar.
I even manned box office for a bit and was sort of uncomfortable and management sent me to the VIP balcony to help. Remained for the rest of the night until it was time for me to punch out.
Struggled somewhat behind concessions on Christmas Eve and incurred the wrath of the immature young women who thought they knew everything. Little did I know different iterations of such characters would continue to be a thorn in my side. All the same I did alright and if anyone though I’d be short on a register fear not it didn’t happen.
I had to work New Years Eve and missed the countdown that I like to catch with Dick Clark’s Rockin New Years’ Eve. Thankfully it wasn’t long after that when I could go home. Even wished one of the managers a happy new years on the way out the door.
Interesting first few weeks on my new job and so many lessons learned over the years. Those lessons had to be mostly social as far as how to conduct myself at work. What I needed to learn at The Show – a place I grew to refer to as $H!tplace – is what informs me on how to conduct myself on the job. Believe it or not I’m still learning however I’m light years away from where I was at the start of the last decade. Believe it or not as much as I would say I could live without this experience perhaps it was necessary. Is it possible to blow a good situation if I just didn’t know how to conduct myself?
Still, working at a theater even with a college degree from a prestigious liberal arts degree was only the beginning and definitely not the end. It still enabled me to truly pursue other future opportunities, better opportunities in the long run.
I wanted to write a bit about some updates about the job and recently I became aware of something that happened at the Hole. I’m calling an audible here and thus I won’t write about that yet and those are relatively negative anyway. In one case what I wanted to update about the Hole involved that whole “fiasco” of two years ago!
I wanted to talk about career week at Fresh this week. Mgmt has seminars at the store to help inform us not only of upward mobility with the company but the steps associates can take to move forward. Especially key is all the subtle hints of whether or not you’re serious about the position you hope to take on.
It reminds me of a few opportunities I took to learn from higher ups about positions at a company. For example let us go to the national theater chain.
During my first few shifts there I wound up speaking with another associate there with a man who was a coordinator of all facilities with the region. He was an old gentleman who seemed very approachable and willing to field questions. I don’t remember everything I asked him or any of the associates for that matter. I do remember that I asked him about going from running a twin screen to 30 screens.
He probably started off as an usher or concessionist and moved all the way up to general manager within the company and eventually to mr. hot shot executive coordinating the upkeep of all theaters within a region. And his answer to my question made sense, to do that is a natural progression to go from two screens to more than 15 times the screens. If you’ve been a GM, it should be old hand to manage larger and larger theaters.
Then recently at work I ran into another hot shot executive from Fresh Foods’ global HQ. He came to our dept looking for something to eat and gave us the gist of his project at our store. While I took care of him I picked his brain as far as his background and he noted that he went from doing deli to becoming a dept manager to store mgmt and finally made his way into the IT field.
It’s very interesting to see where anyone can go in these companies as far as upward mobility. You get stuck in a rut and want to do something different go for it. Choose another store or choose another department. If you’re lucky you can definitely make it up the corporate ladder.
This is why I went to a session for career week with my store manager. Who gave us a run down of his time with the company having spent two decades with Fresh. And he started off young while in school (basically he remembers something about my background). Things just worked out for him he told us about all the locations he’s worked at. Basically he ran down things that I largely should’ve learned about him when I interviewed last year to get back with the company.
I made sure to ask the question. Say if I had applied for a job elsewhere and it’s expected of me to work a shift or two is this something I must arrange or is this arranged for me. Of course the answer is I have to establish the rapport with the mgmt of that team and follow through on it. It also has to be determined who pays for my time in the other department would my dept have to pay for the overtime to work a few shifts to learn that department and meet the team?
I know I’ve talked about going back to school in a recent post the main thing now regardless is take advantage of any opportunity to truly progress. As stated a few times on this blog change & growth.
I’ve largely been talking about change & growth since starting this blog. So far the topic of discussion has often been advancing at Fresh Foods or even for a brief time when I worked at the national theater chain at the Dine-in Show. I’ve gotten the closest at the Hole and even had an interview for a higher position at my current store earlier this year.
One of my long-term goals is to make six-figures and at this point I’ve gone from doing it where I currently now to finding other options. I’ve even decided, it is time to return to school. Should I just enroll at the local community college – where I left without attaining an associate’s degree to transfer to the prestigious Mission College – and take a few business courses. This is something I had been interested in anyway even back in the day when I should’ve done it.
Going to Mission College definitely put me outside of my comfort zone for that time. Ive learned a lot from that experience and my only regrets were some of the mistakes I’ve made. One of those mistakes was depending upon financial aid to keep me enrolled. Would I have been better off choosing a lower-cost option or having my own skin in that game? Would I have been better off with a real plan once I graduated and especially while there?
So either way I like where I am now as my income is pretty good so far. I feel as if there’s a lot more going on for yours truly now than back during my 20s. If only I had the persistence as far as finding employment back in the day. This was the type of experience missing from back then being so wedded to a classroom and even worse it took some time to finish my degree.
Now I feel as if it’s time to step out of my comfort zone and move on to the next step so I can arrive at that six-figure mark. And in addition to taking some courses at my community college for my “enrichment”, now I find myself wondering if it’s time for a master’s. I do have a goal in doing so.
When graduating from that prestigious liberal arts college I had failed to take advantage of student services to really find a job in my chose field. This time around I need to do that so I can truly take advantage of a masters degree. This won’t just be a vanity project this must have a return on investment.
I’ve even identified one program of great interest and will continue to look into other programs. The program I like has some flexibility and while rigorous, seems like one that could ease me into other academic programs. Just pick a field: business, social sciences, humanities, etc. I could still stick with the field I got my undergrad degree in, however, I could dabble in other fields especially if it pertains to what I hope to study.
Since I do have a job at a fortune 500 company I hope to expand the research outside of Chicago. Perhaps take my job with me as I study elsewhere to finish my master’s degree. However I choose to do it, now is the time to come up with my plan and get going.
Meanwhile back at Fresh Foods I wanted to tell about a new posting for supervisor. We lost another one last month and there’s no need to make this a longer post than necessary. It’s a position to consider, however, there are others within the company to consider. Bottom line is we got something to talk about for now and also Jack just make a move man!
I’ve been talking about promotions, making six-figures, and jobs I’m interested in perhaps yours truly has lost sight of what’s his dream. Since graduating from Mission College years ago, I’m still trying to figure out my dream. The opportunities to realize my dream will begin to dwindle.
I remember the year before I graduatedp my uncle stopped me near the end of yet another family reunion and he asked me point blank “What is taking you so long?” Of course this is the moment where he’s giving me some tough love although he made a few mistakes in doing so going after rather irrelevant observations. He was ready to dismiss what I’m currently trying to do at that point because in his words “you’re losing”.
It was taking me a minute to finish college and I will admit my share of mistakes during that time and even lost focus a few times but I was regaining focus to move on. His toughness, when I think about it now didn’t really add anything. After his pledge to “stay on my @$$” I never really heard from him again – even after getting my direct cell phone number – aside from an e-mail of congrats stating “You’re going to need us pretty soon”. Suggesting I need the family’s charity which I never asked for to be honest.
Aside from that the reason I chose my major at Mission was because I had a dream career in mind. The problem is that well I had no real idea how to achieve it. I never really approached my professors about potential opportunities which was a huge mistake now. I never really approached the career counselors at least for liberal arts majors. I tried to do just about everything on my own, and had a hard time because where does one start when they do it on their own. For me, it was truly a daunting task however the reason I was at Mission College was for the prestige nothing should be daunting for a future “Mission Man”.
Regardless what’s my dream right now? Well when I finally graduated I was depressed by one thing, I had very little work history meaning not much experience with flipping burgers or frying chicken (and I had no desire to). Yeah I got a few shifts in at different periods working at college bookstores or even took part in a research project as part of my major at Mission. Otherwise all I knew to do was just stuff you expect college students do to studying for tests, do research papers, etc.
Once it was time to get out there and find a job all I had was a very prestigious and expensive piece of paper a liberal arts degree. And that piece of paper I had to learn carried no guarantees of gainful employment. I had to prove myself before getting the job and had nothing to present. I was woefully unprepared…
I may have expressed frustration over my time at The Show it was OK that worked there for close to five years. It’s also OK that I have my current job at Fresh Foods, perhaps both are “beneath me” at the same time I’ve finally learned something valuable. One lead to the other and hopefully will allow me to eventually find my dream job. All I can to is continue learning as I go, but I need not wing it as I had college.
Since starting my working life one goal that I had was to for lack of a better term “run something”. I wanted to be a manager at The Show, however, it never happened for me and I suspect I made a few key mistakes with them there. Perhaps nothing I did would allow it to happen for me during that period. I’m glad that based upon how I would’ve gotten compensated and the mgmt team up there that it never happened. I still have a what if in my mind about being a theater manager, but for me to do that it was time to seek out other opportunities. I just wasn’t going to adequately grow there.
Perhaps I can truly grow at a grocery store. Move up in the ranks (I did interview to become an associate buyer earlier this year) and perhaps even go corporate since I do have a college degree :P. However who says I got to make my career in either movie theaters/entertainment or grocery/retail?
Perhaps eventually my long term dream job is to work for myself. Scariest part with this is, how does yours truly finally achieve that dream? What ways can I truly make an impact in the world as a Mission alum is expected to make one? All I have to do is make a move no matter where I am now.
I’ve run into this on occasion. I got myself a nice liberal arts degree from the prestigious “Mission College” and I’ve since worked at a grocery store or a movie theater. And as opposed to real questions such as why hadn’t you found a job in your field, I’ve gotten outright judgement from a lot of people including someone like an Anthony (which I would like to explore later).
The judgement have mostly come from younger people who often have unrealistic goals for their lives. They may expect six-figure for their first jobs. Problem is I’m being judged by young people who really haven’t been out there in the work world other than getting their first jobs.
Many of them may not have experienced setbacks in their education although some also already know they don’t want student loans so college isn’t for them. Smart move though I wish I had been as smart. So I could discount their outspoken comments because they’re just starting their journey through life. Although let’s just say even as somewhat older than many of those younger coworkers, I was in the same boat as them. I had never really established myself by the time I arrived at “The Show”.
On the other extreme you have Anthony “the hustler”. I know enough of his background to know that for his boasts about what he had done during his career I’ve realized he’s got very little to show for it. I somewhat base this off of his need to hustle money off of yours truly. I really expected that in his 50s he’d have a much better plan than finding a coworker to mooch money off of. Although I leaned on him for job leads and occasionally he might have the expectations that I could be a “professional” he had a dearth of ideas for breaking into those fields.
So the above vid from almost eight years ago causes me to question if since finally graduating from college years ago in spite of many set backs, have I sold myself short? Have I done nothing more than exist at relatively easy jobs?
As I prepare for an interview coming soon those many questions began to hit me now. All I can say is I’m taking advantage of the opportunities I’d be interested in now. As I’ve always said, I will never know if I don’t try. And if I hesitate to take on roles that might be up the alley of a man who holds a college degree the windows of opportunity will slowly begin to close.
Meanwhile it’s about time for a Valentine’s Day post which you can expect tomorrow night….
To be honest, I wish I had taken philosophy more seriously in college. I took a few courses in political theory, however, I don’t recall much Immanuel Kant. I’ve heard the name somewhere for sure though not sure if it was while at “Mission College”.
remember last year – 2016 – that i mentioned that i attended a community college before transferring to the prestigious “mission college”? that i had been forced by my mother to return after only a semester away from home because she really wanted me to finish my associate’s degree? well funny story is that i’m thinking about going back…
as to be expected with young people i don’t always make big picture decisions (actually do be fair even adults don’t always make big picture decisions) i didn’t handle my academic career very well at all! when i attended community college, what i really lacked was a plan. during my time i just went through the motions, took some classes that i knew could be transferred out to an undergrad institution. also to be fair, the same thing could be said of “mission” there was no real plan their either just get that prestigious degree and figure it out from there.
at “mission” i majored in a social science and since getting my degree in 2009 have done very little with it. now i realize i should’ve taken some business courses back when i was in community college, doing so would probably have helped me find a job during the period of time where i had few job skills. i graduated from high school without taking anything that could translate into a job.
so now big picture thinking have taken over, even if i took on a business degree at a community college i could still transfer to undergrad and majored in a social science field. at least i have something for employers to look for whether in the social science field or elsewhere that would’ve allowed me to be more marketable than i had been when i graduated. and hopefully i’d have some work experience to back it up also.
now even though i have my baccalaureate degree, it’s time to go back to community college. this time my plan is to get an associate’s in business, i’m doing what i should’ve done back in my early 20s. and now i wish i have come to this conclusion sooner especially while i was working at “the show”.
i will admit this article my mother shared with me has finally allowed me to reconsider this. of course now i’m thinking about it as i’m without job at the moment, however, i’ve decided it’ll be under serious consideration when i go back to work. while i’m sure there are plenty of people with business degrees out there, having gone back to school recently will give me an edge.