Hello, my name is Jack V and in reality there was no crisis. It was just time to go.
I referred to a crisis a few times in writing about that period of time – the Streak Era – over a decade ago. I suppose it was just more drama than it really was. Perhaps this crisis was as much about the environment around me at the time or at the very least the people around me.
So up to this period of time back in 2013 I had gone through three interviews from the cinema mgmt interview to a bank teller interview and then finally up this point a position with the National Theater Chain. All of those interviews I viewed as an opportunity to ideally leave The Show. The feeling of it was time to go came as a result of the action of coworkers and some members of mgmt namely the House Mgr and a senior mgr I refer to as the Head B!tch in Charge. Let’s say during this period of time both were on my case for some reason although HM was at this point more so on my case than HBiC. With both worse incidents were coming, however, that’s not the focus of this post. Main thing was I was just stuck there whether I wanted to really face that or not.
I think part of my motivation for the whole Neighborhood Cinemas mgmt deal was a case of “I’ll show them”. I thought I could’ve gotten promoted at The Show and for whatever reason they never looked in my direction. Of course, I no longer think it was a bad thing it never happened as I do consider who I would be working with at the time. I felt stuck, not that I wanted to really believe I was stuck but the feeling was it’s just time to go. It seems the negative was hanging over me more than anything positive, that was quickly becoming my reputation deserved or not.
My first interview after the mgmt interview was for a bank teller position. I had a phone interview and the pay was certainly better than the show. Sadly I didn’t get it, though based upon how I felt I performed at the time I wasn’t too surprised. I probably didn’t connect well with who I interviewed with, not sure if he had a connection with the branch where the job was located. Either way, the interview was during the holiday season so perhaps in the New Year something would happen.
So I would get my next opportunity by the end of February with the National Theater Chain. It wasn’t the job that I really wanted, however, I could stick with what I knew and hopefully thrive better than I did at The Show. Seemed like a foolhardy plan, however, I was advised by someone (Anthony) to get a foot in the door. There was an NTC location near downtown that would call me on a Thursday for an interview.
I returned the call from a supervisor there on a Friday. Once I got the supervisor who called me on the phone she immediately hits me with “Why do you want to leave The Show?” I was caught off guard and stumbled through the response only stating that I wasn’t growing there. We went through a quick pre-screen and scheduled an interview for that coming Sunday and I do believe that was an off day for me. She told me that her manager would also be part of this interview.
I told Anthony about this and offered the unsolicited advice of if I don’t get a guarantee of some hours “be prepared to walk”. Huh? I’m not trying to walk away from a job offer, I’m trying to leave The Show. Walk away from what? Hold out for what? I wanted to leave….I was more or less convinced that staying there was out of the question under all circumstances. What am I sticking around for if my income nor career there was growing?
The interview I thought went well. The manager tried to get me with a likes and dislikes question, considering my state of mind it was likely very difficult to come up with a solid like and I really didn’t want to discuss dislikes. You see where this is going, it could lead to badmouthing my then employers which is something I wanted to avoid. What probably didn’t come through was that yours truly just wasn’t growing at The Show. Then the manager abruptly ends the interview with the parting words “if you don’t hear from us, don’t take it personal“. Wait, I thought this went well…
With that stated as I wanted to leave The Show I suppose the question that might pop-up into a hiring manager’s head might be if you hate where you were, is it possible you’d also hate it here? That was a question never asked, but that never occurred to me during that period of time. I pursued a mgmt position at the Neighborhood Cinemas, however, would I have hated there with the added responsibilities? The cinemas owner picked up on something also as her parting shot was that she knows “you’re frustrated but everything will work out OK”. Then again I wasn’t in the most positive of spirits in both of those particular situations. For most of the Streak Era I really wanted to leave a workplace that was beginning to become more and more toxic as time went forward.
About a week after the interview Anthony and I was out near downtown, he was following up with a job at a security firm whose offices was located nearby the NTC Cinemas where I had interviewed. I hadn’t heard anything and since he was into following-up, we pretty much decided I needed to go in and follow-up with them. I asked for the hiring manager (or perhaps HR manager) and when he came out I realized he wasn’t the one who interviewed me.
So here goes my follow-up and I don’t really remember what I asked nor remember the sequence of events. He did ask when was my interview and then stated that if I hadn’t heard by that point then I probably didn’t get it. This was not the answer I wanted to hear. He would then ask who did I interview with, and then he told me that the manager who interviewed me would be working tonight. He suggested that I give him a call that night.
Meanwhile Ant was looking at the showtimes at the ticket counter and suggests we see a movie right there and right now. I say no, let’s go. He starts to object, then I repeat with more bass in my voice “LET’S GO!” He realizes that my follow-up didn’t go that well. You see I did get an answer just not the answer I wanted.
We later go get a bite to eat and he starts talking. He begins to work on me. He starts talking about this is what I wanted and we should go back down there catch that movie and catch that mgr off guard. He’ll be surprised and he’ll give an answer such as “oh yeah, I’ll get you in the next round”. Coming from him it was just more pressure, I finally just told him that I’ll just call that manager tonight. We went home after that.
Of course I never called that manager, I suppose it was just time to move on from this. There were going to be other opportunities, this one wasn’t meant for me at that time. Anthony tried to follow-up later and ask if I spoke to him my indirect response let him know that I hadn’t. We never talked about it again after that, but he let me know he was disappointed. Going forward his best advice was for me to just keep applying to those jobs that never gave me a response. Wasn’t very useful advice, but then I was expecting something he couldn’t offer which was how do I get the job. He really doesn’t have the answer to that question other than to express his prowess in getting a job for himself which isn’t necessarily what I needed to get the job.
If you want a lesson here, avoid badmouthing your current or previous employers. Check your attitude if you finally do get some bad news, especially when it comes to a job that you interviewed for. So I don’t think I badmouthed The Show, however, perhaps I did during my interview stepped out of bounds with regards to my background or even in trying to address why it was time to leave. Perhaps they picked up my feelings about the job I had at the time which caused me to refer to it as $h!tplace.
Whatever happened with this interview, it was clear that my attitude was going to become anytime I don’t get a job offer it meant that I would remain stuck at The Show. The more I hit that realization, the more I created this crisis in my own head. While I had offered an alternate explanation for why it took two years to leave The Show for another job, part of the answer was my interviewing. Perhaps another part is mindset, if things weren’t going well at The Show how do I present my best face to have a very successful interview?
Either way I attempted to remain optimistic and in 2013 I just knew I’d find a new job that year.