holiday season 2012

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

positivity

movie-theateri talk so much negativity about “the show” consider the fact that i used to refer to it as “shitplace”. my decision long ago was only to just not be so vulgar and then enable me to say some positive things.

so let me tell you at times i dread a busy night, but it was cool to see people come to the show. sometimes it was a drag because not only you got the nice people you also got people who brought their attitudes to the movies with them. i could say the same for many of the employees but this post isn’t necessarily about them and i’ve said what i needed to say about them.

one cool thing about that job was the convenience, it was relatively close to downtown chicago. for a number of years there was little action there as it was located in a shopping center that was all vacant until my eventual departure. it was also the one job i was able to drive to and often park for free in the parking garage.

i was able to watch so many movies during downtime whether or not on an unpaid break. some of the people i met there – especially anthony – i’m still in touch with to this day. can’t say for some of the eligible and attractive young women i met. there has to be some form of effort with that on my part. of course there are many who won’t be worth the time of day.

also in part due to my work history – where i had little to no employment in my 20s – this was the longest tenured job i’ve ever held. a record hopefully to be surpassed by my current employers at a grocery store. even if i spent most of my time at “the show” frustrated it was something of a success and i learned some skill even if the young people around me never took advantage of some of the simple aspects of making sales.

another thing i should learn from this experience is that no one has any right to treat me with no respect and to find ways to quell any disrespect. and sometimes it matters not if they continue to persist which they will. the main thing is to not lose my head in the commotion keep cool and just remove myself from the situation.

another thing to consider is that talking one day with anthony he considered this gig a cakewalk. people liked to complain but it really was a simple job. my thoughts are that there are those who were just there to complain about the smallest issues while not doing a whole lot of work themselves.

of course one of my disappointments about this place was that i was never promoted. one way to fix that is to talk to the leadership. or at the very least find someone you can talk to about it and hope they will put your name forward. another thing to be mindful of is who you work with, you never know what’s going on in their minds and it may blindside you.

another friend of mine learned that with other coworkers but only after i had left and he got promoted to supervisor. he got let go because some of the workers with whom he worked before promotion decided to make him a target. either way another lesson learned.

bottom line i miss some of the excitement of the movie especially being on the inside. although i work at a grocery store now and get paid much better than at “the show” the excitement is of a different type and can’t compare to the theater. in fact it’s one reason i returned to the business briefly almost a year after leaving.

even though i don’t consider “the show” my scene anymore sometimes i return to it just to reminisce. i have yet to go to a movie there since i left, but it would be worth it at some point in the future. another thing anthony liked to say is that it’s not the place but it’s people and i’ve accepted that he’s right. just one thing it can be hard to separate the people from the place.

now i can finally consider from where i come from to where i am today. life is always about growth and there’s still more to do. maybe i’ll cross paths with the theater business again and maybe i’ll move up in that world the day i do. in the meanwhile what am i going to do where i am now?

college graduate “job”…

job_hunt

how jack v got the job at “the show”

it was almost simple as how i got my current job at a grocery store and my recent part-time job at another company. i applied like you usually would but i chose a much more indirect way to get the job.

now as i’ve stated i learned how to find a job real quick and that was to apply with college bookstores. which i did not long before interviewing with “the show” before they opened. and in fact my first post college job was actually with a college bookstore…surprise, surprise.

through a real estate website i found out about a movie theater about to open near downtown chicago. i found the corporate website and sent an e-mail indicating my interest. for a while i heard nothing until eventually i got an e-mail from them letting me know of a job fair which i attended.

ultimately i got the job with them although it was a while before i heard back from them. orientation was so disorganized and i compared them with another company in the same theater business years later. new hire paperwork seemed to have taken a long time and one of the managers handed me a phone to ask some questions that asked about whether or not i had received government assistance. it was annoying but i got through it. other than that not a very smooth experience.

it didn’t help that i had to do this halfway across town in an unfamiliar area and do so in the evening. thankfully this was only for a brief time and soon i’d be doing far more at the facility where i will be working.

in the meanwhile i’m working at the college bookstore until i get my actual schedule from “the show”. it seems to be an acquired skill, but speaking up is one way to insure you get what you want from any situation. i e-mailed them about any extra hours and they finally gave me my schedule.

it was time to quit that college bookstore job. it was a cool job to have worked there like any job it seemed particularly difficult our manager briefed us on how even though many students use government assistance to attend they still have a sense of entitlement to textbooks they didn’t exactly pay for.

still this job prepped me for the future long-term assignment at the theater. it didn’t prepare me for everything but at least i had some more experience under my belt before having to quit this job. was glad no more early mornings and transfers and much closer to downtown chicago.

taking shape

jack v before he is able to return to that liberal arts college…

i had started this year off with no clear plans. no job for that time although before the year was over i’d held three jobs. did two trips of out town to indiana and the south. and then two more one-nights to the liberal arts school in georgia.

after i left the second job of the year i went to the school to attempt to register. i sent an e-mail to cover my bases although i waited a minute before i made a move. it was almost the end of extended late registration and the financial aid counselor told me i won’t likely finish the process in time. she suggested i get in touch with them later that fall and work things out with them so i could return the next term.

since i had been out for over a year i had to re-apply and had been accepted. so it was a matter of getting my affairs in order so that i can finish what i started. when you think about it, it was inconceivable at the start of the year that this was possible. still my eventual return to the college in spite of my pessimism was in the future and there were some other steps to achieve before then.

during the course of that fall i was still looking for another job. i feel as if during that period it was easier to not put some effort into the search, but during this period i had gained some valuable information. still my experience was spotty in the worst way and i’d have a tough sell on my hands.

after leaving a store filling an application i ran into an old friend from high school who shall be called cecil. he was walking down the street and i went over to him when i saw him. he was on his way to work at a local entertainment center with a short order kitchen, games and rides. i followed him there after some updates on what we’ve been doing since graduation. he suggested i put in an application which i did before leaving.

before they called me instead of calling the liberal arts college, i again took the bus down to georgia to talk to the financial aid counselor. which after a few stumbles i accomplished getting financial aid before leaving the campus again that evening. with a little income earned the previous year i still had to take out some loans, however, i got some grants to play with. i had actually accomplished the unthinkable at this time and the path was cleared for me to return to school in the new year.

meanwhile the next month i got a call from that place where cecil worked. had two interviews with them one manager was more in charge of hosting as this place hosted parties. another manager would interview me the next day for a different role and that was who hired me.

as the month went on it seemed like a miserable time and something that i wouldn’t see again until time went on at “the show”. thing is i only worked there a month as it was time for me to go back to school and restart that process. the money and hours weren’t good but one milestone was that this was the first non-temporary job i held and i didn’t last long.

what happened here was that the young people i worked with took advantage of this idea of seniority. one young man irritated me engaging in some form of managerial behavior on my last day there he tried to say i needed to come in on saturday. funny thing was i already handed my notice to one of the managers that i wasn’t coming back after that friday. i never reported in on his word at all.

btw, cecil started to take advantage of seniority to start telling me what to do. and even reverted to some of his high school behaviors as in slapping me upside my head. i could’ve said something to stop it, but instead i just chose to not participate. not sure if this sent a message, however, i wasn’t going to play that then. he even engaged in some of the teasing at work and i was starting to get irritated with him when he referred to me as a nerd instead of by my name.

so whatever he enjoyed after working with me for almost a month he wasn’t happy when it turned out i was leaving. when i saw him in his regular station at the kitchen he seemed to have an attitude and was distant. when i said that job blows – repeating something that he said – he turned around and said testily “find something else”. i only laughed and it took me a minute to process what was going on and went on my way asking him to “wish me luck”.

irony of ironies, this was the one job i got away with a no call/no show. for a while as i worked i didn’t get paid and so when i saw one of the managers i made sure he got a note of those days i worked with the times that i never got paid. it may have explained why one weekend i just decided not to show up for work. plus it helped that it snowed heavily that weekend. either way it was funny when the manager told me i can come back on my breaks from school. alas i never took him up on this offer and the last two shifts i worked there was never paid.

so after i new years i left that place for good and i have little idea what happened to cecil after that. for all i know he may have moved on to the next job and to be honest he didn’t strike me as ambitious. for his behavior that brief time other than working he never wanted to advance beyond adolescence. perhaps one day i’ll find out what became of him.

the place itself is no longer open. the owner had closed this place down for good and sold via auction all of the equipment. this occurred no more than two years after i had left. so the many young characters i left behind who knows where they went if they stayed there through closing. perhaps they went to college or found new jobs who knows.

what i know is that after this i moved on to the college again where i had a longer and year rough stay. after this period i had a much longer period of unemployment. school would take up most of my time.

there will be more devoted to my time as a 20ish male virgin.

 

misadventures

of jack v who returns home after one term away and had to come up with plan B…

at the start of 2002 i went away to that private liberal arts college. again i had no plan for that at least financially i expected my mother help pay my way but tuition was expensive she would later determine that she would never borrow any more money to send me to school – in effect i was on my own.

funny thing is i never graduated from the community college. at that point i saw no point in getting an associate’s degree i was just ready to move on for my bachelor’s. i chose this school for it’s history and the all-girl’s school across the street. it was a great school and had the prestige i craved and figured i may not have succeeded in the ivy league at least.

either way what didn’t help my position was i didn’t do so well away from home. had some freedom but my grades were terrible and even worse had very little of my own money at the time. when i came home that summer my mother was already on my case about getting a job.

it was a tall order at the time. i had attempted to find a job while in community college no takers but to be honest i was not that serious. i wanted what i wanted which was a bank or retail job. also remember many employers had paper applications back then…soooo i still have to go to these places and ask for a paper application. not sure if i was smart enough to look for any website that would allow me to apply for more jobs.

there were a precious few hits during the course of the year. my expectation was to go back to school and that’s what blew my first opportunity at a retail store for a museum at navy pier. then i had group interviews the rest of the way and none of them netted me a job even for the holidays.

my mother started having me sit down and we plan for job hunting. to be honest i didn’t want to hear it on the other hand she’s doing this because she didn’t see much progress. this is what she wanted and my options weren’t getting better. i took a temp assignment working on election day as a precinct worker helping voters but that was all until the end of the holidays when it was time for back to school at one of the local universities downtown. it was temporary, but it helped me get some needed job experience to place on my resume. never being employed in the first place was a huge problem.

of course this wasn’t the only problem, my mother still wanted her associate’s degree. while i had little plan beyond returning to the liberal arts school my mother insisted that i go back to finish the associates degree. in fact two of my aunts brought it up in conversation. i tried to offer a bullshit answer, but i realized they’re bringing it up because mother told them about it. it really was her expectation that i would finally graduate with an associate’s.

ultimately in a fit of stubbornness – for which she said very little – i registered but only for just enough classes where i still would be short. she knew what i was doing she later told me, but decided to choose her battles. ultimately she never got the associate’s degree and i continued to rack up debt until i finally-finally-finally got my bachelor’s.

in the meanwhile as i finally found something even if temporary i still had another year with no clear plans. this story is coming up next.

disappointment

i’m going to start about four years ago before i get to the main point of this post. four years ago was the start of my two year long job hunt which ended….two years ago. i started essentially in summer 2012 and then ended by fall of 2014.

what kicked this period off in earnest was a management position at a neighborhood theater that i had frequented for years. the company was owned by a woman who it seemed wanted to do right by the community. it seemed we had a good interview and expected to get the job.

basically a friend of mine – anthony – put it in my head that this was a done deal, he was also involved in this process as he wanted to work for this particular company also. while i had nothing but seemingly good news regarding my interview he responded with shock in his texts with me that i never heard from her. indeed he had interviewed and advanced to the next round but after I send her a quick follow-up email she cut me out of the process as i didn’t have significant management experience.

needless to say i was upset because i needed this and to be sure this would’ve gotten me away from “the show” and the drama there quickly. i really thought this could be a good fit to bring my experience from working near downtown chicago and start a program to turn the neighborhood facility into a posh place that you would expect to only see downtown. it sadly didn’t happen for me that way and i whined about it for a long time especially as my job search was netting me zero results until October 2014.

as for anthony he didn’t get the job himself and the behind the scenes drama of this businesswoman with whom we both interviewed got blasted in the news. her business partner conducted a takeover of this business and ultimately it resulted in a decline where she appears to no longer be in that business in almost a year’s time. it was really sad and one way to look at it is that we both dodged a bullet because some shit began to hit the fan.

well this is one example of staking everything – my livelihood especially – on one position. i was ready to leave “the show” at that only to find that well i may have been ready but no one else was yet ready to give me the job. it never occurred to me that i wouldn’t get that management job and that makes this extremely disappointing.

let’s fast forward four years later. i wrote here recently i was up for a promotion at my store. an interview was scheduled at first only to be canceled due to some technical issues at the store. there was a tentative date only for that to be pushed back due to meetings upon meetings upon meetings. then a bombshell recently.

one of my department assistant managers told me that there is an expectation that the position i was seeking – essentially a trainer supervisory role – could be eliminated due to budget issues. i had to process this but then i wasn’t too upset, disappointed yeah because i was looking forward to this one although for now it wasn’t meant to be.

i didn’t take this hard at all. what can be said was that things happen and that is that. i was gung ho but that just means for now i can relax. i’m still a regular employee for a bit longer. i didn’t really take advantage of the many past opportunities to move up at the store so that’s on me and the one i did go for may not happen for me.

at least for now, i need not stake my livelihood on a promotion as much as i think i’m ready for additional responsibilities. i had my promotion last year to full-time status which was an unexpected development but very welcome. the different between now and four years ago is that this will not bother me a whole lot for the moment and i know there will be other opportunities to take advantage of.

indeed i thought about this. what if say my current job enabled me to get the experience to go back to the movie theater business as a manager. one way to look at it if this was something i really wanted to do. as it turned out even though this was my first management interview experience it proved not to be the last and better opportunities came up later in spite of that initial disappointment.

by the way, the song of choice was no accident. it seemed fitting to use this James Bond theme for this post. “for you, i have to risk it all” seems to be good background music for this post especially for the subject matter.

theatrics

statelake

a friend of mine whom i’ve hinted in various posts – for example he helped me unsuccessfully find a job away from “the show” or tried to get me into online dating – got me intrigued with another drama. it involves “the show” even though he just like i had long since quit.

in a move i considered counter-intuitive he helped his son and daughter get jobs there. i really wanted to ask what he was thinking in doing that knowing the history we both have up there. he’s a guy who don’t mind standing up to things especially picking the right battles such as the one where a manager put their hands on his daughter.

then he called me one day to ask about the minimum age for both of my jobs which my reply was got to be 18 for both. he was upset because the managers at “the show” seemed to balk at the idea that he only needs to do one position there which is basically just do the lobby.

now this is my thinking and it makes sense. he needs to stay away from the drama which the other kids around his age may bring to work with them. he’s basically a lone wolf if he stays on the floor although he may still have to interact with everyone. either way i think this is the logic behind this.

later he lets me know he got a job with his son at another local theater. in fact we both have a history with this theater located closer to our respective homes as we interviewed with an entrepreneurial outfit for a management position there only to get nothing for our efforts – in my case kicking off a very frustrating period. the situation is much better there with new owners and he still has some connections there so he used them to help get his young son a job there.

still he will have to leave when he becomes 18 because this theater will serve alcohol and the expectation is that he’ll start working at “the show” in the fall. good arrangement but i would rather – if he and i complained about that employer – that he needs not send his children to “the show” for a job.

btw, we mostly complain about the managers and at least many of them have left especially since i left. however they have been replaced by other managers so who knows how much different that place has been without them.