change

i used to say you can find yourself in a good situation and you can always lose it. you say that thinking it braces you from the impact of what happens, and then it happens. in this case losing your job which happened to me recently at “fresh foods”.

perhaps i believe i’m more than capable of handling any problem as you see from the body of work on this blog, it’s not always true. in this case i couldn’t handle the new situation at work, a new manager with a new team. i didn’t trust them and they didn’t keep me from losing my job.

in writing this post i could talk about the grumbling from some of my now former coworkers. i can take it with a grain of salt now or perhaps not because it cost me my job. perhaps i was starting to be a grumbler as i had been at “the show”. when things aren’t going well i can be a grumbler just complain and get in the drama though in this case it’s not little teeny-bopper drama because I don’t know any better.

today on the train i ran into one of my former colleagues at “fresh foods” and without telling him what happened with me i asked him how’s it going up there. my expectation – genuinely perhaps some positive changes – he simply said “same old bullshi*t”. the new regime hasn’t changed yet, the situation hasn’t settled down though he hopes it does for the best – to which i simply crossed my fingers and hoped for the best with him.

what i told him when he mentioned the B.S. is “this is why i’m gone!” though i wanted to emphasize that i had the best job of my life and i blew it. in doing my best to adjust to a difficult situation i still didn’t do my best to adjust to it. i was just another worker at the end of the day that mgmt had to let go. they were right i did place myself into that situation getting onto an attendance probation where i couldn’t be late for six months and it just had to be one more time – which was out of my hands.

i asked my former colleague about my replacement on receiving another colleague who wanted to learn about buying. my former colleague said he’s still doing receiving though they have him back and forth between the sales floor schedule-wise. supposedly he was supposed to have been given a raise – just as i hoped to get the position of receiver and just like me – he evidently didn’t get it. the new boss who i’ll call roger didn’t pull through and my colleague who’s a math nerd and a wrestling fan i’m sure told because he can be vocal.

so right now what about yours truly? well i intend to reapply in six months. in light of what happened and how i feel about the new regime because of how it all ended i don’t know if i want to go back to that store assuming things haven’t settled down. it would be ok with me to apply at other stores than the one i had the chance to know. thankfully i’m allowed the opportunity to return…

now i do have my feelings about roger and don’t intend to demonize him. i will say that after perhaps a month of him being the new dept. mgr. i realized that i wasn’t feeling him. perhaps he had the same feeling about me. there’s a reason i don’t trust him and perhaps there’s a reason he doesn’t trust me.

if i couldn’t be on time, it gave him the ammunition. he may well have had a scrutinizing eye which i feel he had towards me at least. i also recognize that as a new mgr he had the right to make some changes and he made them. i could get on board or get out the way and to be sure some of those changes got me in the situation i was in.

perhaps i’ll talk about them more at length. this post had to be about me tonight! there are some lessons i need to learn from this, and I WILL figure it out!

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another interview

Concession Counter at Movie Theater

had another interview earlier this week at another theater – same company as the “dine-in show”. it was a different kind of interview with seemingly a more indifferent manager – may not be good or bad simply put he was a hard read. i think i got through on some responses which i will share some of his questions. not much different than the more personal young manager i interviewed with earlier this month.

a sort of take off on tell me about yourself. i had to describe what i’m passionate about. i mentioned that i follow politics, huge wrestling fan, and i like movies. these are things i enjoy doing the most. not a long drawn out answer, he essentially got the gist. and i recognize even mentioning politics could be quite dangerous in such a setting, however i tried not to say i support anyone just note that things are crazy right now.

one question that i still scrambled for as i did earlier this month – name a time when you had to interact with someone you didn’t know. i still kind of winged this one, not very good. regardless i kept it professional without giving an example other than noting something work related.

another question involved a not very good customer experience and what could be done to rectify it. i noted a time – which also happened before an interview – where i was buying something from Target and had a cashier who never acknowledged me. scanned my items and took my money with no word to me at all. not a very good experience. my response acknowlege me, say hello to me, engage me – although it’s possible he wasn’t in the mood, also say thank you, and let me know what my total is.

a time when you came into a restaurant that was dirty. another thing that happened years ago was i was at a KFC and i saw a roach. i make sure to note that my general inclination was not to complain and expect that this was a one-time issue. others who were there made a big stink about it and made their disgusted sounds. however, one could see how seeing an insect in a place where they’re about to eat would ruin anyone’s appetite.

a time when you had to stay focused. i felt i was vague on this one, however, this is one i tried to rely on my experience at “fresh foods”. you work at a grocery store in downtown chicago and there are days where you’ll just get swamped with customers. main thing is to stay on task, keep your eye on customers, be accurate when you give the customers what they want, and especially when doing all those things stay focused.

biggest challenge in taking the job. basically companies change – as they had at “fresh foods”. another thing to consider in a theater is that we’re still in the service business and things happen and the trick is to adjust. a projector could go down, we could get busy at a moment’s notice. things like that.

also what would it take to be a successful associate at this company. one thing for sure is to know what this company offers to the customers and be able to sell that. know about the membership program and especially know about the movies. i never said this in the interview but never do a job and you’re not sure what you’re doing. either you weren’t trained well or you had little passion for it anyway.

what excites me about working for the company. again it’s to be back in the hustle and bustle of a theater. i already have an enthusiasm for movies and certainly i miss the excitement of people coming to the movies. especially to watch a long anticipated release.

finally i had to sell the manager who portrayed a customer a rewards program. which i believe i nailed though i was quite dry. since i use this rewards program i probably could’ve sold it much better than i had. i had to throw in that although you have to pay for the rewards program in the long run if you frequently come to the movies it pays for itself. i also had to mention “the show” saying they have a similar program though more of a membership than a rewards, but didn’t offer as much bells and whistles as this company’s program.

with that he opened the floor to questions which i kept focused on him. he told me how long he worked at the company, how long he’s been a manager, his favorite movie, whether nor not he likes the job, and how was the current location which he said it was the most challenging. think about this we’re in downtown chicago, bound to be challenges especially with the business.

so at the conclusion he just stated the thanksgiving holiday is coming up so hopefully decisions will drop on Monday. i take this as a good sign so my gut tells me this one could be a go. all i can say is time will tell on this.

btw, the house manager here is one whom i worked with over at the dine-in. i hope she pulls my application and says yes to me even if the manager i interviewed with didn’t. for now all i can do is relax and continue to plug away with applications.

also, there’s a reason for this and it’s not merely for a 2nd part-time job. some things changed for me unexpectedly recently and i promise it’s something worth talking about.

 

interview

img_1265

in light of some of the changes at “fresh foods” i applied & interviewed to return to the “dine-in show” that i had upped & quit. i hit a few bumps in the road which included they wanted to know why i left. my basic reason is that i made the determination that i couldn’t be fully available to the job when scheduled. it was basically because of my other job at “fresh foods”.

of course the interviewer tacked this on at the end of my interview before letting me know that he’s still interviewing and will make a decision by 5 PM on friday and this would never hear from them at that time. the interview didn’t go that well for me at that time, i wasn’t that comfortable with it. i didn’t prepare but for an entry level job these were questions that i should’ve been better able to answer.

for example, i need a better answer to the opener “tell me about yourself”. i did mention some aspects of my resume, but made sure to note considering the setting that i like movies. somehow i need to come up with more to answer this question and not seem like a deer in headlines. i also consider that as part of the opener for “fresh foods” almost three years ago the manager i interviewed with took to heart the fact that i like wrestling.

“name a time where you had to interact with someone you didn’t know”. not the first time i ran into that one and it caught me off guard. perhaps it showed and i got quite jittery with this one.

“what do you think the greatest challenge is if you take on this job?” Really? I pulled an answer out of nowhere to tell you the truth. to be honest it made no sense, but i tried to relate this to the job i applied for which was to be a busser at the “dine-in show”.

“are you excited for working for our company?” this i really tried to answer honestly. sometimes i do miss the excitement of a new release the hustle and bustle of the roving crowd. even if i may complain about those customers you can’t please it’s still very exciting. it’s a genuine answer i do miss that.

they did ask about dealing with difficult people you saw an example of that answer above. you realize difficult people have a problem that really hasn’t nothing to do with me or you or anyone. they need to direct that negative energy to someone who directly affected them. in my case i need to let it bounce off of my back – and to be honest with you guys that has been my Achilles heel.

regardless i think even after having one interview in 2016 and two in 2015 (one each for the theater and at “fresh foods” before getting hired at both) i’m out of practice. perhaps i need to get myself into that interview mindset again. if i don’t then on some giveme questions i’ll be caught flatfooted.

btw, since this was the theater i quit immediately from and made sure they knew that i had been an associate there. made sure to note that – when they wanted to know why i left – i made a determination that i wasn’t going to be available for them thanks to the fact that i had another job at the time. hopefully that was enough to satisfy an explanation, especially if i choose to pursue opportunities at other theaters with that company.

as of yet, i still haven’t heard from them. hopefully if i had a better interview then it’s possible how i left the “dine-in show” wouldn’t matter. alas there’s only one way to find out, get another interview and then be determined to perform better. perhaps that interview will be more to my liking. the day of my interview seemed quite hectic a lot of people waiting in the lounge area.

another possibility is that one of the managers at the “dine-in show” now works for the theater i frequent. it’s one place that i’ve been applying for years and once had the chance to become a manager there. now i have an possible in and she recognizes me, thus perhaps i could just broach the subject and see where it goes as far as a job. she’s basically the assistant general manager there last i heard so this may be my way in. and hopefully she might be the one who could overlook any issues i may have as far as how i left the “dine-in”.

we shall see how i approach it, if i feel bold…

the story line ends

iphone4s1-10-2014 138on this day – november 1st – i declare at an end the story line on this blog with regards to “the show” a little bit later than i expected, but better to do it now. with respect i had a couple of posts in mind before ending it then i realized what was the point. especially with mostly non-descript people who were hell bent on their actions at work.

many of these people i won’t say much to them again and didn’t say much to them while at work. it’s safe to say that in some respects i fell into my anti-social tendencies, but then in some respects many i’ve worked with had them too. even if they may hide behind being social with those they’re most comfortable with. for the most part i did the same!

all the same, now if i ever bring up the show again it’ll only be for new developments. perhaps i visited up there or was in contact with someone from “the show”. this doesn’t mean simply seeing them on the train, it means we spoke and got updates on our current lives. it’s cool that there was no hard feelings with those i spoke with from “the show” the others i’m sure i won’t exist to them at all wherever we come across each other.

at this point i have to move on from this. sometimes this is a forgotten point, the past has nothing new to say. now to just learn some lessons because as often stated on this blog i gained a lot from my experience at the theater. i had to learn to deal with people – customers, colleagues, and managers. and with this in mind, in dealing with people you do have to deal with them in a business context.

to be honest there is one more post to share about “the show”. it’s about my old friend anthony and it’s something that you can expect as the next post. it’s not about “the show” exactly, but he was attempting to get me to go out to the chicago theater with someone we formerly worked with. it blew up in his face more than anything and he’ll still find an excuse to bring it up.

otherwise anything involving “the show” especially from my past…

FIN

it’s candice’s turn…

img_1148-1in this post i’m going to discuss some remaining business and analysis regarding candice. you first read about her in a post titled “you make the call” and generally shows my response to her sudden interest in me one summer when we both worked at “the show”. it left me very uncomfortable in some respects and she was very determined to keep my attention until she stopped.

in later posts i referred to her as missy’s good buddy. missy was the one-off foe who spend the remaining time she had at the theater powering tripping because of her “connections”. with this in mind i now consider missy & candy (hey that rhymes) something of a one-two punch or good cop and bad cop – hint missy was the bad cop.

to illustrate this point one-time outside of a auditorium as a movie let out missy so incensed or out of control because i ignored her for most of my shift said one infamous thing to me and far more infamous than a threat – “if i’m a bitch, then i’m going to be a bitch”. candace was that probably not egging her on, though certainly not trying to calm situation down and besides i wouldn’t pay a whole lot of attention to her anyway during that time. regardless missy lost all control and as she lost it i strove to maintain my own. she wasn’t going to get me to say anything i didn’t want to and whatever i was going to say was going to get her going because she was already there.

now, candace was essentially laying down a welcome mat for reasons only she knew. when i tell this story to some of the young men i work with they don’t understand, the opportunity was presenting itself and you wouldn’t go for it – you BLEW it. it never got through that perhaps i had little interest in her and it was largely based on her young behaviors and certainly what i see as her aggression in trying to get my attention.

i have one theory as far as why everything happened and i’ve deduced it to one night that summer – before “the show” got particularly busy later that summer. the move in question on that evening was the purge and she – as far as i knew just arrived on the scene at that point. i walked up behind her, perhaps got a lil too close and told her to turn the radio down. unfortunately we didn’t have ear-pieces for the radios like most other businesses that uses walkie-talkie. we had to remember when we walk in a theater to turn them down while a movie is playing.

soooo i think at some point as the theater let out and we began cleaning we talked about the job and then forgot all about her. the girl in question somewhat matches my basic description of candice – a young girl (19 or 20), nice body, long real hair – that she probably put into a pony tail, and a nice face for sure. perhaps it set her interest signals off and in the meanwhile i just thought not much of this after that.

of course as stated in that long ago post she spoke to me as i rushed to the time clock having been running late and after blowing this off she walks up to me and blocks my path as i attempted to go around her. something really set off in her mind after simply not realizing or knowing that she was trying to speak to me and i didn’t speak back to her. basically this started a long summer trend where she tries to speak and i generally don’t respond. occasionally i’d just engage in sarcastic behavior finding it amusing to myself but not to her as she really wanted to talk to me and all i did was push her away.

one particular part of this story i noted was that a supervisor said hello to me as the theater was shutting down for the night and i spoke back. candice was behind concession and was upset that i spoke back to the supervisor – and this is because i mostly don’t just say hello back to her. she was seen just twisting and turning because of my general response to her wasn’t different than my response to the supervisor. in fact, the supervisor did ask, “why are you getting mad candice?”

one part of the revenge candice offered was one night when i had to close the floor at the theater. i left my walkie at the customer service desk thinking i didn’t need it anymore. minutes later candice who was off duty for the night came and found me and made sure i got that walkie back because another one of her buddies a supervisor decided that i needed a radio. as i complained she walked off without a word just back turned and probably satisfied with my response.

this other supervisor was a loud mouth and sometimes didn’t seem to have a steady mood with me from day to day or moment to moment. eventually after basically sh*tting on another associate at the theater she got herself fired. there is an official reason, but allegedly i can say she really got fired for treating someone badly.

one final moment not before mentioned. one day candice and two other young women were often seen huddled around auditoriums before the movie starts. everyone wasn’t supposed to be together like that. and one of those women were supposed to be doing rounds about the facility with me. and she didn’t like to do much work anyway – even if later she expressed interest in becoming a manager and it never happened.

either way this young woman asked if i was doing this, that or another and i simply said yes & no as i kept walking past the sisters. candice jumped on this immediately saying something undecipherable, and certainly it was about what i just said. another young lady who witnessed the whole convo – and whom i never said a whole lot to – simply chimed in with “he’s got a smart-ass mouth”. before i wrap up the storyline i’ll introduce you to her this particular one is called the “bullshark”.

otherwise after this candice and yours truly never had words cross paths with each other again and incidentally the next year i saw her on a train as i headed to the north side. i figured out who she was seeing some traits that reminded me of her and it certainly included a tote she often carried with her to work. if we made eye contact she’d immediately break it, but message clear that wasn’t the time to make a connection with her. she headed north and i got off at my stop.

now jack, why had you been responding to candice that way?

to be honest i kept doing what i was doing because it amused me. i never saw what i was doing as a rejection and it never occurred to me that candice would simply leave me alone. that being said her behavior was somewhat aggressive on some level especially the time she snapped at me behind concession as we both had customers to take care of – that was patently aggressive. otherwise her need to keep my attention was definitely aggressive and i wouldn’t respond to her.

as much as i characterize my response as a non-rejection it was certainly a reaction. remember i’m in my early thirties college graduate and working with young people who are still developing at a movie theater. here she comes matching me move for move repeating that “you know you heard me talking to you”. that behavior didn’t compute and any other times after that i just simply decided she was trying to hard and perhaps she did have an agenda. but then this agenda is really an unanswered question. was she really interested in me or did she really want to add to the gossip? btw, any gossip about me my goal was to remain blind and i tried not to care unless someone just mentioned it to me out of the blue.

now that i’ve grown a bit such then i did consider looking for candice on social media. the only social media i see her using is instagram and she had exhibited – because she’s young still – the need to show herself off. when you think about it most young women do like to show themselves off. i suppose the only question today is if she’d remember who i am and if she would ever connect with me on instagram. perhaps then i could attempt to explain some things as back then i had no willingess to explain some of my actions to her. besides my actions should speak louder than words even if they had been uncalled for.

all the same i’ve never really came up with a very satisfactory answer as to why i kept blowing off candice. to use the whole standing in my path thing was a bit of an excuse more than anything. to be sure it was irritating at the wrong time given my situation, but of course she may well have seen it differently. obviously there was a reason why she wanted my attention. and as stated once the more she continued the more sarcastic and oblivious i became.

one more tidbit here one time i was off of work and switch from my cap and uniform shirt and as i walked from locker room candice saw me and attempted to speak. she tried to compliment my hat but to whatever she said i basically kept saying “what?”. another coworker off to the side obviously saw this whole convo as awkward. candiace had to stop and say “i’m complimenting you” or “why are you being mean” or even at another point “i’m trying to talk to you because you seem like you need a friend”.

btw, in anger even missy said to me during her out of control moment outside of an auditorium, “you need a friend jack”. almost as if saying – and this was long before i ever started having real issues with colleagues at “the show” – that something was brewing and i had little idea.

all the same her reaction summed up her attempts to be friendly with me back then. i was being “yours truly” at the time, and she was essentially being pushed away for her troubles. as it happens for the most part when her attempts to reach out is rebuffed she often gave an exasperated expression before she just moved on. when i walk off with no word, exasperated. when i get sarcastic, exasperated. an odd cycle i established…

as far as ever finding a way to reach out, my only answer is that it’s probably not a good idea at this point. she’s likely moved on and forgotten about me probably found others who were more willing to give her the time of day. hell she actually did allegedly find someone who would give her the time of day while still at the show. and she had her supervisor call off for her when she failed to report to work on one occasion allegedly.

all the same it’s a lesson learned and perhaps i treated her quite unfairly. candice really wasn’t a problem, however, her approach of the time being a young woman just wasn’t appreciated. on top of that now I consider this a sign of my now growing frustration with my role at “the show” and candice was likely going to have a difficult time breaking through.

why did i never get promoted to mgmt?

as jack v continues to finish the storyline involving “the show” we explore why a promotion to mgmt never happened. in this post one reason why it wasn’t likely to happen.

manager-employee

the primary reason why I left “the show” was because of growth as yours truly wasn’t growing at the theater. having worked there for five years especially since it opened it meant nothing not only to the coworkers but to the managers – many of whom came and went over the years. many likely began to view me as a drag and why because everyone had an awful opinion of me. it’s possible that i helped to create this opinion but if someone wants to complain it’s easier for me to say i don’t want to work with them.

it leads to one opinion as to why it never happened was my inability to get along or relate to many of the younger coworkers. especially as often stated the young women i worked with came up with excuses to start complaining and in reality it was all just a simple distraction and misdirection. remember many of the worst ones moved on to other jobs or got themselves fired for stealing.

in the meanwhile i don’t respond to this fit of complaining very well. if i dare run my mouth it only escalates and they dig in. they come to their conclusions and no matter what i say i’m lazy, i don’t want to do any work, i’m lazy, i walked off on customers, etc. once someone realizes they can get under your skin they go much further.

either way as i strive to be reliable – even if i have issues with tardies – better yet strive to be the model worker they want mgmt notes some of the small mistakes i make and blow them up. it’s as if they can relate to the kids who just started working and causing problems because no one pulled them aside to tell them you can’t just go after people like this. many of them have grown to be comfortable behaving in this way whether after years or months or weeks. perhaps as if it’s their so far natural inclination.

oh yeah i forgot how do i get along with my fellow coworkers. not very well and don’t get me wrong i made a few key mistakes one of which had been bizarrely spreading rumors. i caught the attention of an aggressive and panicky senior manager who wanted to know what i knew and how i knew it. yet i was accused of decreasing morale except morale was already bad and not getting better. i think mgmt at the time were picking their targets and picked the ones who weren’t squeaky wheels.

either way as i could wonder how some of the managers/supervisors got promoted i wondered why it never happened for me. one conclusions was that for whatever it was they were looking for that wasn’t me. in some respect for who i’d have been working with and for my inability to really get along with some of the coworkers today i can at least say that i wasn’t ready for even supervisory duties.

i had often looked at the compensation – pay slightly above minimum wage and no benefits – it helps me decide i didn’t miss anything. after leaving i was glad i never got promoted up there. i began to make more elsewhere without getting promoted there or better yet in fact without waiting for an increase in the minimum wage.

i may often still fantasize about joining a mgmt team at a movie theater at some point in the future i at least can still say that today i have more options. especially with not only 5+ years of theater experience, also almost 3 years of grocery experience. i can even include minimal experience at a bank!

what i can also emphasize is that in my current position now i have growth on my side. there are plenty of opportunities where i am and need to allow myself to stay in place as i had at “the show”.

negotiate

during the “streak era” my odd martial artist friend anthony had the need to advise to me to negotiate after interviewing with two competing theaters in 2013. seek a guarantee of some hours or even extra cash. really that advice went out the ear and out the other.

one reason was after suggesting if they don’t offer me more hours or cash i should be prepared to walk. be prepared to walk he says that conflicted with my thinking at the time. the reason why is because i wanted to walk away from “the show” not walk away from a job offer.

bottom line even thinking about negotiation didn’t matter if i wasn’t going to get the job in the first place. see this is why i call that period while working at “the show” the “streak era” because i had an odd streak of interviews with no job offers.

now another interesting situation. for the past two months or so i have been doing receiving for my department. a couple of coworkers have starting mentioning that i should see if i could get more money. basically receiving is my new permanent position now, but this period could be viewed as whether or not i can handle the position.

here’s the thing i probably should’ve been negotiating with our acting dept. manager. however i’m simply waiting for that position to become available to apply for. so far the only position that has been consistently posted for so far has been for team buyer.

it was something that i applied for the first time it was posted by was told that they only wanted someone with buying experience to apply and interview. on the buy/receive team there are normally three for our department. that team has effectively flipped one (the reciever) simply no-called no showed, two others (the buyer and the new reciever) have quit for new jobs. it just leaves the assistant buyer and at the moment yours truly.

in the meanwhile we have a new dept. manager, the acting manager is on her way out of the door soon moving on to another store in another part of the country. now it’s time to begin strategizing negotiating not only for the receiver position, but for a potential raise with hopefully some set days off. and then feeling out the new boss and try to anticipate some of his thinking.

so far he seems ok. who knows how long he’s been an assistant manager having only recently been promoted to a dept. manager. it seems i have the tendency to work for very successful teams on some level “the show” was a successful team in spite of everyone being out for themselves. better yet the “dine-in” was another successful team although i may hear from those who say otherwise.

btw, as for the buyer position there were so far two takers one of who include our own assistant buyer who didn’t get the position. it’s safe to say for some reason the panels who have interviewed them have determined neither was a good fit for that position. who knows what they’re looking for and at this point it could be asked why don’t they just begin to train someone if they lack the necessary knowledge or skills.

as far as the job and the dept i have started with from day one, lot of changes. especially a 100% flip in managers, i’m beginning not to recognize my team anymore. not a good feeling and definitely not having worked at a place with high turnover. perhaps that’s just the current reality i have to adjust to currently.

btw, during the streak era it was all about finding another job. get more money or hours wouldn’t have matter. for example at Gotham bank I got paid more money at least 3.25/hr more than the then minimum at 8.25/hr, however, I lost 9 hrs from the almost 30 I got at the show. at this point it was about getting a job offer to leave “the show” everything else hopefully would fall into place.