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.

odds & ends

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my friend anthony is again trying to get me to work with him at “finer foods”. i met with him recently – he hit me up for some ca$h again – and he casually said “are you thinking of jumping ship?” at this point my only answer is no.

then he suggested get an interview see what kind of money they’re talking. even during the heat of the “streak era” he was into telling me about negotiation. especially when i was entertaining leaving “the show” for another theater. of course negotiation is out of the question when you’re not getting the job in the first place.

* that brings to mind a botched interview  back in april 2014 he wanted me to have with the store he then worked on the northwest side of chicago. i called up the store director at that store and set a date and time. when i think about it today he the s.d. was a very fast talking guy as if he was very busy. as it turns out perhaps he was in over his head.

i went to the store and was a little late because i’m not that familiar with that part of town. i was kept waiting for a half-hour before someone came out to speak to me. this person then asked if i was sure i was meeting with the s.d. then my attitude came out. simply put i spoke with him if he assigned me to anyone else i’m not aware of it. i was kept waiting for almost another half-hour before finally being told the s.d. was meeting with his district manager and won’t be able to meet with me and sent on my way.

so on the day when anthony sent me a quick text suggesting i try for his new “finer foods” store a big “wtf” came across. the last time he brought this up i quickly just stated “you must have a hard-on for me working at ‘finer foods'”. he quickly backed off stating that he was just stating with my experience i could get more out of it.

now back to what happened. i texted him quick telling him there was no interview and why – and just think a little over an hour before he was wishing me good luck. no luck needed no one interviewed me and they kept me waiting to tell me they weren’t going to interview me. almost two days later he shitted on me for not following up. why would i want to follow-up with people who didn’t respect my time? they made a mistake they should follow up with me.

* with this in mind i’m thinking anthony was giving me shit because my job search up to that point was netting me no results. nothing was working for me between august 2012 to october 2014. he had little problem noting that i don’t really follow-up on these interviews. perhaps he was doubting my ability to really score the job.

after that dust-up i avoided talking to him via text and phone for a while and he maintained a laser focus on getting me to talk to his hr contact up there. i sent an e-mail explaining my actions and he though the appropriate reply was when i call their hr. i was a long way from wanting to go back up there when that blow-off attempt at an interview happened.

* and yet i found my way at “fresh foods” later without the experience at “finer foods”. having worked with people that formerly worked at that establishment i’m not too unhappy that i never got my opportunity. it seems many left them behind very unsatisfied whether it was the pay or the culture. who knows why anthony seems to like them so much – aside from the fact that they’re union.

* his pay blows mine out of the water i’m real close to where he is only about a dollar difference. he claims to get $900/wk take home and i make about $200/wk less. he throws around the know your value thing but i know mine now perhaps in terms of intra-company promotions or even changing companies. which ironically i consider say between a grocery and a theater. though when i accepted the job at the “dine-in show” i didn’t negotiate pay.

now that i’m largely on target for a promotion which could surpass anthony’s level of pay it’ll only take something crazy for me to jump ship. right now i may consider a intra-company transfer even at the same level before going to “finer foods”. sooner or later i can just tell him to forget about that fantasy.

oh yeah and also bear in mind he just returned to that company starting off as part-time. he hopes to make full-time, however, where he had been at first he claimed there was too much red-tape for that to happen for him. i’d say for now i have a better deal.

regroup

career-growth

i’m in training for a different position than my current one at “fresh foods”. this is more of an administrative role than a customer service role and as state one that could place me on track for mgmt. this is the growth i often talk about that i missed at “the show”.

for the most part it seems like a smooth transition and it feels strange essentially being the new guy again. the difference this time is basically already knowing the people who i’d be working with. i’m not joining an existing team – or more commonly being part of a new team – with whom i mostly never met before applying, interviewing and accepting a job.

it’s more work than i ever have undertaken in a long time perhaps aside from some of those days at the show where i did really have to earn my meager pay. still worthwhile in the long run.

to explain my work history during my 20s was terrible. although i had attained a college degree, my lack of experience probably would’ve held me back big time. it was easier to get a job in retail and hope for a future opportunity in a field where i attained my degree. that or make enough money to go back to school for an advanced degree.

on this blog i feel as if i spent time badmouthing “the show” or perhaps some of the people – managers and coworkers – i worked with. well what i try to remember was that it was worthwhile to work there almost 5 years while i never before had such solid work experience. working through my frustration during the course of five years there only set me up for today’s growth.

growth is important for this new period i will refer to as “the apocalypse” and my hopes are to achieve some important goals. perhaps as time goes on it’ll be worth sharing them.

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.