Dojo

So back when we were a bit distant from each other the man I now refer to as the Fiend kept coming around basically trying to connect. So one night at work he pulled me aside and invited me to come to his martial arts school or dojo. I likely asked how much and all he would say is “we’ll talk about it”.

Ultimately I never took him up on his offer. Often my excuse was could I afford this or is this something I wanted to do. However during that period of time 2011 into early 2012 I just wasn’t sure of him. As stated often here, the red flags were flying as he kept coming around and some elements of his Fiend personality came out especially the disappointed father. He wanted to get all in your head and your life and I felt as if he crossed so many lines. Sadly I allowed a lot of this just couldn’t believe that he would get so into whatever he wanted to get into. Also he positioned himself as a valuable if not volatile ally.

Either way perhaps the money thing and my distrust of him worked in tandem. However, I think the distrust thing sort of subsided as time went on even if there were still reasons to distrust him which was also true back when we were friends. Even when we were “friends” some of his actions weren’t exactly friendly.

Of course agree or disagree with me but I’ve written quite a few of those stories here.

Anyway back over 10 years ago he was trying very hard to connect and he wanted me to know that he’s very heavy into martial arts. What I do remember is according to his claim that martial arts were all he knew. Everything revolved around martial arts, he even knew what moves an actor uses in a movie fight scene. He also told me that he owned a martial arts school and also remember I wrote a story about his attempt to get some money from me for his school. I didn’t deny him sadly, but then I also didn’t work that hard to accommodate him.

Anyway, in the time after he tried to beg money from yours truly after starting at The Show, this is probably when I should have recognized how lucrative his martial arts school wasn’t. Who knows this small cash infusion was really for himself and not this school. Still you can see how uninterested in going to his school I was.

Another consideration is that being somewhat familiar with that neighborhood. In fact his school wasn’t too far away from where I worked at Gotham Bank. That neighborhood was very sketchy and I didn’t enjoy having to close down that bank at night nor having to be there early in the morning before the branch was open to employees for the day. And I hardly wanted to come there to study martial arts especially at night.

I had went there twice as Anthony wanted me to help him with a project that he saw through by summer. He was organizing an event at the same neighborhood cinema where we both tried to get mgmt jobs. He wanted me to meet his “business partner” at the dojo and one day I did meet with him to just jot down notes. In reality I feel as if there was no real need for me to be there.

Actually on the day we were supposed to go to his school to meet with his business partner we just were hanging around downtown Chicago doing absolutely nothing but killing time. I finally got tired and asked him when were we going to the school. From what I recall he never said when we were going he just said we were going to meet at his dojo but he wanted to make some stops downtown.

We were just going from store to store and ate lunch somewhere. He made phone calls following up on job leads. Even went to some museum run cinema downtown to jawjack, with him about to leave at one point then stopping before we left so that he went back into the cinema to do more jawjacking. Eventually we went back to the south side and waited a few hours before we just called it a day. We met with his business partner on a Saturday. He also said he’d compensate me for my time although as you know it seems he has a knack for insuring that I pay him for his.

To that last statement i.e. he didn’t compensate me.

The last time the subject of me becoming a student at his dojo came up during the episode of The next to last drop…. The subject of me studying a martial art came up and he made sure to mention he was trying to get me to come to his school. Then out of nowhere I said, “I didn’t want to come to your school”.

At that point he just stops talking, stops walking, stares at me and then continues his conversation. He noted one place I could go to which sounded like it was connected with a church. He never connected me with them though which is another pattern he had begun to establish and perhaps I didn’t have any great interest anyway.

Also if you want to know the place where Anthony’s dojo was located is now a vacant lot. It was very shocking seeing while driving around one day that the building that housed his school had been demolished. If that school survives, I do not know where it’s currently located. I can’t even say for sure that the Fiend is still even associated with that school, if he ever really was as a business partner.

As you can see a lot of the things the Fiend had claimed when we were still talking I began to view with a grain of salt now. Some of this could be lies, hot air, or even delusions though that’s not to say there’s things said that weren’t at all truthful.

The next to last “drop” 2016

I’m still struggling to come up with a final post on the Fiend so I just simply have settled on this story. It will take place just before the episode election day. It was a nice fall day as we’re having currently in Chicago.

Whenever I talk about Anthony the Hustler/Fiend my goal is to tell that story straight. One thing that I striven not to do was to go on the attack against him. Perhaps the various monikers that I have given him including the more frequent ones in addition to a hard-up old man might skirt the line as far as personal attacks. And I also want to note that I strove not to really exaggerate my stories about him. As far as whether or not I was successful in my writings to stay away from attacking I’ll leave up to you all.

The monikers and stories I have written about him are based on my interactions with him. So a lot of what’s written are real life situations. And as stated before you will see a common pattern with what you read and it’s hard to really do anything with a lot of situations. For my purpose it’s just me collecting and analyzing the data.

Around this time in 2016 I answered a call from Anthony. I do recall that he had been calling and texting and for some reason we never did connect. When we finally did I said something sarcastic about not having a sense of urgency in responding or returning his calls. He had to respond to that wondering what’s wrong. In fact it seemed he was making an effort to read me when he did get me on the phone.

As we were talking he seemed to notice my silence as he starts talking frequently asking “What’s wrong”. He noted my lack of sarcasm on my call though usually when I get into that mode he would often get offended and will express it….like a disappointed father. Strangely on this day I was a tad subdued because if he’s somewhat putting on a full court press – not that he was blowing up my phone though he was certainly trying very hard to get in touch with me not like the later episode One Final Drop.

A few times I had to tell him nothing was wrong but if I was silent I was expecting him to get on with the point because I knew there was one. At some point he reached it which he stated “Another reason I wanted to talk to you. I need some money…”

Boo! I stated.

He didn’t understand in this moment that I had objected to his request for money. However I was going to give him some money I just wasn’t at the mode where I got sick of it although this was irritating to me for sure. It’s not like he was doing this frequently but it was enough times that it was on my radar. Up to that point if he’s getting something from me it was a free lunch. Either way to respond to his response to my “Boo” I just simply told him that was my sarcasm that he was waiting for.

We did meet later and he had no money for his lunch. When I asked him if he had anything he just shrugged. Basically I was paying for his lunch and I gave him some as he termed it running around money. He claimed he didn’t have enough money to eat all he got on this day was $100 that I took out of the bank for him. I think I expected him to pay this back later but then there was other money from way back when that I had expected him to pay back.

He infrequently does but sadly there are moments where he might ask to borrow money again. Sometimes money on top of money he already owes. Either way something was wrong with what was going on and I knew it. I mean I already knew it but just not enough will at that time to cut it off.

When we were eating I told him about the episode Petty in full. He would state for the record it shouldn’t have went that far with the House Manager, General Manager and the young woman Kelly. Then at some point he makes reference to me being virgin thinking it was funny stating how I’d fill my girlfriend up covering his smirk with his hand. He knew he was out of line but just didn’t have a filter, he never had a filter. And just like I said that I should’ve left him on the expressway during the summer of 2011 I should’ve got him and left him at that food place we were at and let him figure out where to get his money from.

Either way later on that day he got his money. We take a train back to my house where he left his hoopty. On the way back we were talking about taking martial arts classes he was suggesting something connected with a church that he never gave me info on. Somehow he mentioned that he had been trying to get me to go to his own martial arts school – the one he decided to ask for money where he just simply stated he needs some money – and then I told him ultimately that I didn’t want to go to his martial arts school. He just stopped as he was about to speak probably offended by that but then kept it moving.

I forgot to reference the episode Applications. This was when he stopped at a store near The Show when he saw a job posting looking for workers before the store opens to stock the shelves. He seemed very excited about it and he later utilizing some excuses tried to get me to do his application for that job. Well I didn’t want to do all that work for him on that day.

Then he calls me on the evening of election day upset over the man who won the election. And after I tired of his repetition over who he thought that man who became our president for one-term was. Then we pivoted to other subject including a brief lecture on how I needed to start dating or the women will start laughing at me.

And then we go to the holiday season of 2016. He called me the day before asking if he could bring me with him to look at some cars – basically he was looking for cars via craiglist presumably to replace his hoopty. Anyway he finally paid back some money he borrowed which didn’t include the money I gave him months earlier. He owed me that money for over a year but didn’t consider an extra bill to pay back the “getting around money“.

That little excursion was funny. Our first stop was in the western suburbs and I was talking about a Finer’s store that just opened in the city – and why not talk about it I’m in the industry. Out of the blue he just decided to ask whatever happened with that. I gave him a shorthand story to tell him what happened again and hoped that would be it. Well I’ve been talking about it all year, it escalated to if you come to Finer Foods you’d make more money.

We get to a man’s house in the suburbs and he was talking about a part that Anthony could get for a small sum. Anthony didn’t want to hear that thinking he should’ve fixed it himself if it was that easy. He was complaining about a cracked windshield and then saw holes in the trunk lid where a spoiler used to be. He got on the phone to someone telling them about the car, from that call Ant told the man he has to turn it down because he was actually getting it for someone.

As we left the area Anthony asked “You know that was a fake call right?” I didn’t think much of it honestly but he revealed what he just did out there. Just being very slippery and finding a way to get out of making a purchase. Although it sounded like from what he was picking at he didn’t want the car anyway. I guess in my experience sometimes it isn’t easy to just say no.

So anyway that was really the last time I saw him until one day in the spring next year I saw him at the Hole as he was about to watch a movie at the nearby cinema. And I also had a few odd phone calls with him where he runs down some of my more negative episodes at The Show. I’d say from that meeting on a fall day in 2016 is where our “situationship” began to go downhill.

You know here is the kicker. Blame me for allowing such treatment, however, isn’t it odd that in some way you’re being helpful at the same time as time goes on you’re the one being treated like crap. It’s possible he thought his behavior was OK and as per usual I wasn’t willing to say this wasn’t OK. And knowing him I could tell him and he still won’t budge. And then he has a problem as it turns out when I finally just “drop” him. It’s very odd…

Psychology

I’ve had to rewrite this post several times and to be honest it just seems to be a longer post for someone who is no longer considered part of my future. I met the Fiend a decade ago and my “situationship” won’t just be characterized as hell it was just a situation. The situation was just to his liking and he helped created it and yours truly just fell in.

I’ve been told that the Fiend is something of a narcissist. Well I don’t have the means, training, or ability to diagnose him as such. Some aspects of his behavior seems to inform of a psychopath, sociopath or narcissist spectrum. For my own purposes his behavior fall in the line I usually just stop at which is a user.

I do think he looks for people he can get something off of. If you remember he’s said to be engaged to be married. In my humble opinion he does seem to place a lot of value on sex. He wants to know when you lost your virginity and me not having much success or even seeking much success in that area it seems on some level he looks down on me for that. And that’s just a start to perhaps his real feelings about yours truly.

I wish it hadn’t took me this long to recognize that in some way his true feelings about Jack V were never good. It causes me to dispel the notion that we were ever friends. The fact that we even got close was because more than likely there was something in it for him. It could be a ride home or money from me for his needs.

It hits me that I can call him the Hustler because he wanted something. The Fiend is everything else perhaps his reasoning for why he had such a low opinion of me in reality. There were times he told me that he liked me personally and on the other hand he outrights lets me know his true thoughts about me. His true thoughts let me know that he looks at me in the worst ways.

I feel as if I encountered such behavior before perhaps in school. The Fiend will just discard you until you’re needed and it’s not about a final score. Perhaps that’s why when I started my blackout, he continued to try establishing further contact. I’m sure in spite of his negative notions about me, he just had a problem with me not responding to him. Perhaps it was my duty to respond when he comes calling.

Just consider a post I did earlier this summer hearing about him really talking about yours truly to another ex-coworker. He’s probably upset that in his words with no contact that I just dropped him.

Another way of looking at this is that perhaps the negativity he drops onto yours truly is really the negativity he feels himself. This same coworker believes the Fiend has some of his own issues with self-hate. Perhaps he hates his own background (possibly racial), has his own inadequacies (sexual or financial) or just hates his situation in general. All I can say at this point is that all of them are only his problem as far as Jack V is concerned.

I’ve been hearing that the wedding for the Fiend is now off because he couldn’t help but cheat. Not sure if this can be verified independently, however, if that’s truly what’s going on it’s no surprise. Anthony did show that he has a roving eye drooling over women he views as attractive. He states matter of factly how he can manipulate women into having sex with him – like it’s normal – and he portrays himself as not above satisfying his needs with women who are already in a relationship.

Also stated before I just don’t think he has any true idea about being in relationships romantic or friendship. I do think he’s a user whether for material things or just to satisfy his own needs. Beyond that perhaps it’s possible that in reality he’s just a lot more lonely than he realizes.

Oh yeah forgot one final piece to his psychology. Dominance and control are my favorite two terms as part of his fiend persona. One time we were talking and I got smart with him and he raised his voice with “DUDE!” because while I have to tolerate his personality he often can’t seem to tolerate mine. And his next statement was “If you don’t do it to your mother don’t do it to me.”

That was something when he feels as if I’m out of line he started saying. If you don’t do it to your mother why would you do it to me. My response was exactly how I began to read it.

“You’re not my dad” I responded. And he gets defensive saying “I didn’t say that”. The bottom line is that his personality quirk of dominance dictate that I have to treat him as if he was above me. I’m his lesser than and he more often than not conducted himself accordingly with yours truly.

And I consider that fact kind of hilarious when I recognize now that in the very beginning he chased me down and not the other way around. He gave me a reason to steer clear and he continued to come around until he got what he sought. And I didn’t do much pushing back even when knowing what he was doing.

Shoot “One final drop”

I just want to touch upon that post and Anthony deciding to inject Finer Foods in our discussions as yours truly begins to gain some momentum at Fresh Foods.

Think about this for a second, he’s starting his second stint with Finer’s while trying to say “I think you’ll like Finer’s better” or “You’d make more money there” and the purpose of that post from over two years ago was him begging for money for the umpteenth time. Isn’t that a bit odd? He’s somewhere that he can make more money and in reality he wasn’t much better off than I was and he’s suppose to have as much if not more experience than I do.

One thing to consider, since he’s the type that likes to use his connections – which amounted to a bucket of spit as time went forward as I tried to leave The Show – he sure could have “negotiated” a much better wage. Then again the money he cited once he requested cash in hand sounds like basic starter pay.

I also considered when he gave me a number as far as how much he makes that he sneezes at benefits. He was telling me he was negotiating with the national theater chain to be a manager they make mid $30K he wants another $10K on top of that. He doesn’t care about the benefits he cares about the take home pay. Not only that I consider when we were trying to get a job with the neighborhood cinema his answer when I hoped they pay benefits was “make your own benefits”. In other words buy your own and he’s telling me this at a time when I had none and if any employer would’ve been attractive for me back then it was benefits such as health insurance.

Hoopty

When I think about it now, as we pull off in his overheating hoopty from the barbershop where I met with him to make the “drop” as we rode away I asked him how much he made at Finer’s and judging from his body language, he didn’t expect that question. It was sort of like now I’m holding him accountable once I told him that I wanted that money back when he gets situated. His personality comes ready for almost everything however this he seemed a bit sheepish and squirrely as if he really didn’t want to answer that question.

Of course let me add the reason this came up was not just the fact that he begged for yet another small cash infusion. It was because he decided to continue selling Finer’s putting over their candy popcorn and how it was the best since it didn’t leave residue on his hands. I took that as another attempt to sell me on Finer Foods just to illustrate why he likes them so much and why I must like them too.

As I just stare at him while we were in the barbershop with as little response as possible he continues with “just get an interview. See how much money they’re talking. And know your worth.” While I have to continue reminding him that I’m in training for a new role which could lead to mgmt in the future. It seems as if he doesn’t want to hear that, my seeming growth might have been an issue for him and there wasn’t much positive feedback from him as time went on. Probably one reason why he always seemed to bring up D.B. at random back then.

One thing I never explained very well was another theory. Why did Anthony just insist in bringing this up? For some reason it was on his mind maybe it was for whatever reason one of those things that just remained unresolved even if I finally left The Show. Or perhaps this was one of those things he can decide to bring up at random at some point in the future to cause some defensiveness on my end. And again as I’ve recently pointed out he may have had a strange issue with my seeming momentum at the Hole back in the first half of 2017.

Either way, he got his money and told him that I wanted that money back and he gave me a quick answer as far as how much money he makes. For all I knew it could just be a white lie perhaps his pay is higher or lower, but he wanted to show how hard up he was. Especially since you know he needed money for his son’s medical bills that he couldn’t raise enough from his family.

I have no real resolution to this however as not long after this I just stopped chasing him down. We didn’t really say much to each other for most of that summer into the fall. We didn’t really exchange texts or facebook messages. There were no real updates as far as when he expected to repay the money. And then who knows once he was ready to come back around and talk again it wasn’t to discuss paying back that small sum of cash, it probably was to beg some more because that’s the pattern of a man I have started calling the Friend.

Later this month I want to tell you about my last real phone call with him. While the end of our odd friendship was more drawn out process than that last call, it would mark the end of our “situationship” little did he know and little did I know. I got one hint for the direction, it was the first time after many years I had actually ran into Deranged Barney outside of my job.

Stay Tuned!

BTW, feel free to read and click through for the original post – One Final Drop.

“He knows you’re using him”

A coworker from The Show – well formerly from there anyway – still talks to the Fiend and let me know he’s been talking about me a lot. There have been some inklings of it over the past year and heard more now. I also hear that Anthony is engaged to be married, remember sometime last year I noted he’s showing himself in the lovely embrace of an older woman. I said some choice things to this friend in light of the Hustler talking about me behind my back.

Of course not a lot of this should be a huge surprise. Even back when he just insisted on coming around back then just about a decade ago he was doing things like this. Perhaps Anthony just has such a negative view of yours truly even then and even when on the surface he was seemingly a good friend.

Either way since I’ve cut ties to him as of 2018 this revelation only serves to let me know it’s working. If he’s really running me down about a lot of the things he’s known about me even back then to even insisting on knowing my sexual status the main conclusion he’s upset that I’ve simply dropped him.

Basically he’s upset that I won’t talk to him. Think about it the last contact I’ve had with him was in 2019 he called me on Christmas Day and I never responded to his call or text. The last time we’ve actually talked was just about four years ago and it was a convo that seemingly fell off the rails.

At the same time did I get upset, yes. I even said to the coworker when seeing him on my way to the job that I hope the Fiend’s marriage fails. Even going so far to predict that he’s going to get divorced, even the coworker joked for “the fourth time” as he’s aware of some of Anthony’s personal failings. I immediately regretted that and called that coworker realizing I stooped to the Hustler’s level as my comments represented what he would do.

We talked about it a while as we have been over the years. He’s aware of the rift and tried to address whatever Ant was trying to bring up about my time at The Show. Again not surprised since he seems to remember the past or selectively remembers what he wants to remember. I’m not a very good friend as he’s so hard up I had to pay for his lunch, or when he didn’t have a car he got treated to rides in my mother’s vehicle that she lent me to go to any late shifts I had or the money he’s borrowed (at one time for a hot dog from the concession stand). Oh yeah I’m some friend, in reality yours truly could say the same for him.

Now the title of this post is a quote relayed to me by this coworker as told to Ant. True to form the Fiend denies it claiming he’s given me gas money and paid back all money which he hasn’t. He’s never given me gas money for rides in my mother’s car. He only does so when it’s convenient for him and worst still he might still come around and borrow money on top of money he already owes.

So the last time I really spoke to him he borrowed $100 for his son’s medical bills, I specifically told him as we left that barbershop that when he gets situated I wanted that money back. Of course we don’t really talk for a few months other than a random text pledging to repay that money he borrowed. Then once the blackout starts he starts calling and I wonder why, another small cash infusion? So more money on top of money he needs to pay back.

Now it could be also said that I never adequately stood up to him. I know him well enough to know that he’ll only add stress. Perhaps he’s saying what he wants now because I dropped him and he’s still not happy about it. He couldn’t just move on and not talk about me – perhaps you could say the same for me. I just think that if I confronted him he’ll just deny and throw it back onto yours truly. He’s going to establish his dominance and try to re-assert his role as a disappointed father. He’ll never recognize why after so much time I finally just backed away.

I’m glad I have one less stress on my plate, however, my handicap is to dwell on this whole episode as I have been doing. It’s a lesson learned as I seek to become my own version of The Head of the Table.

What’s better?

I’ve been thinking about this for a while and my current journey has been really making smarter money decisions. My journey included associating with a man who’s own hot air is to show he’s got something going but only exposing that’s he broke and needy.

I had a discussion with a coworker one evening and while he might agree with me that it’s best not to be broke. He might turn around and say don’t allow that to be your selling point because the woman might only see $$$ signs. Hard to argue that and I also know broke men seem to be able to get action with women.

It’s probably something to find a woman who doesn’t care if you have 5 pennies or $5 million. That’s the one worth her weight in gold I’m sure, good character hopefully. I suppose having money in the bank in my own view is an asset, however, is it possible to still miss the point.

I would imagine most women wouldn’t want a broke man. Or we could go even further there is a segment of women who might nitpick over the type of job a man has. For example I’ve explored that some women might treat a blue collar man differently than a white collar man. Some women might not take very serious a grocery store clerk for example even if said clerk was generally a good dependable man while a white collar man has the issues of say a J.R. Ewing.

Dallas – JR Slaps Sue Ellen and on second thought they deserve each other don’t they?

So I suppose when I presented the idea of whether or not it’s better to have money to keep a woman he comes up with if a woman really loves you, money isn’t necessary except a roof over your head and electricity. Hmmm, this complicates things doesn’t it? I suppose as a man I still have to create a home for her to stay.

My mother and I one day were talking about relatives – I have an uncle who seems to come up short often and she mentioned one of my first cousins who though says she has money issues is still able to pay off a luxury car she has purchased. I don’t have a great relationship with either and more so my cousin than my uncle whom I’ve rarely heard from over the years. However I just had to say something and it’s based on my own personal experience.

I can speak to the gifts of my cousin, she’s sociable and I don’t associate money issues with sociable. With this said I know very little about her finances so there isn’t much for me to criticize. Then again my viewpoint is always about abundance you don’t need to have small cash infusions in order to take care of your basic needs such as rent, food, etc. And as far as I know my cousin hasn’t come around for any at least from my mother and what she did get from my mother was basic advice like if you want to save some money put it in a bank far from home for example. If you live in the burbs find a bank in the city and open an account.

Well, my comments sort of backfired as my mother might make some real world comments like who will you leave your money for or you got money but are you enjoying life. I still would say I’d rather have my nest egg while I’m able to use it than be utterly broke. And in my personal experience there is exactly a broke person who definitely isn’t happy about life although as a gift he can be sociable. He could use that to solve his issues with money although it’s getting much later in the game for him at this point.

However, many questions to unpack. Is money necessary for a mate? Does money help you find a mate? Does money allow you to enjoy life?

I could also ask if money brings happiness, though there is a flipside here. Having an abundance of money probably isn’t the key to happiness, however, when it comes to relationships something there has to bring happiness right?

April 2014: No interview

I wrote a two-parter about this two years ago. It was basically about this period of time where I was still at The Show and still looking for another job and Anthony presented himself to help me get a job with this grocery store I call Finer Foods. It really began perhaps in January or February that year and his store actually called and I got sidetracked because Finer’s corporate starts blowing up my phone wanting yours truly to interview for one of their newer stores. Thinking that this would be a closer option than where Ant worked, I went for the newer stores.

Long story short that didn’t work out for me. The interview didn’t go well as much as I tried to keep up my optimism and at one point tried to get Ant involved. He didn’t take the bait just gave me a terse answer and my response to that was to forget about it. It was maybe a couple or more weeks after his contact had called me to interview. Strangely enough after that he started blowing up my phone and often sent texts asking “What’s going on with Finer’s?” He just had a one track mind about that until I was ready to talk about my frustration with the job search that was getting to me and it was in my head that he was the answer. True to form he swung that convo right back to what happened with Finer’s and I had told him about the earlier interview.

Well as illustrated in the two part story it wasn’t smooth sailing at all. I made a phone call to his folks up there at a Finers store he claimed to be working at. Ant hit me with a quick “interview” question when he called me at random a few days before that “interview”. He was making plans as if he was my boss and we had a nice convo and then it was time to interview for real. Well hence the title of this post and the earlier two-parter there was no interview. I essentially got blown off by the store manager with whom I was going to interview. It’s accepted that something came up, a higher-up came by for a walk and that threw things off. I was very unhappy and frustrated with that though shook hands with an associate who gave me this bad news and left the store in a huff…

Well I told him that day in a text and he still wanted me to further explain. As in the text telling him the store manager was instead meeting with his bosses instead of interviewing yours truly. When we finally connected his question was “what happened with the interview?”. Well I never really had the chance to really tell him when he hit me up. He started interrupting and asking questions until he found out that I never really followed up with them. I had no reason to in my mind, they said they’d call me they never did. I also had no interest if I had called them set up an interview and still got nothing. It just wasn’t worth it.

So basically the gist of this anecdote is that he just dug right in on this. He was just very intent on getting me refocused on trying to follow-up with them and get an interview. Letting me know to call his contact at that store, the contact who called me to interview in the first place and chose to interview elsewhere. Basically he made up his mind seemingly that this was an opportunity I must not only pursue but this was an opportunity that I must be successful in.

There was another opportunity he tried to get me to partake in a few months later which also resulted in no job offer – at a “homegoods” store. At least with that I could say there was an opportunity to actually speak with a manager which was termed a screen ultimately and sadly no job offer as a result. And of course he wasn’t as all over this as he was insistent on Finer’s. He made some assurances that I’d hear from them which never happened and with that as Finer’s suggested yours truly should call them if I never heard from them.

Of course as I get other interviews primarily with banks, and when we started talking again I’d update him he decided to bring up Finer’s one more time terming it as “I really need you to call [his Finer’s contact]”. I wrote the name of his contact and the number to the store down just to move it forward and never do. By October of 2014 I finally do get a job offer to Gotham Bank after a number of interviews with different branches for that company. And that’s with no help or intervention from the man I often refer to as the Friend.

It’s amazing that although I left the bank after a brief period of time and Ant benefitted somewhat from my gains at Fresh – because he tends to beg – he still decided at random one day when meeting with him that he still had to ask regarding Finer’s “Whatever happened with that?” Attempting to cut that off I tell him I told you about that a long time ago and he still insisted “Well tell me again”. Well there’s a tell isn’t it, it was going to kick off something that would last through at least the summer of the “Calamity of 2017”.

I feel as if his insistence on going to Finer’s then and by 2017 goes to his dominance and control. I was doing pretty good at Fresh Foods and all the sudden it becomes “I think you’d like Finer’s better” or “If you come to Finer Foods you’d make more money”. He’s very easily dissatisfied pick any job I knew that he held after leaving The Show he would leave a job quickly because something happened that got him upset. Then he might turn around and tell me “I need some money”. Though to go back to his dominance, he knew he could get in my head and often it would be difficult at times though not hard enough where he’d let it go. I mean he is bullheaded…

One theory I have which I explored earlier in the year is that perhaps he got tired of how much it seemed I liked it there. On my end there was often a lot of good news though are there some negative things that happen of course and often I overlooked that. At the end of the day yours truly got what he wanted after many years of “flat wages” where my pocketbook begins to expand. Perhaps he was envious that yours truly was seemingly gaining some momentum as he himself begins to stagnate (yeah don’t really know if he is, but easy to judge if he comes around looking for a small cash infusion).

Perhaps also in his need for dominance and control a lot of this was for yours truly to be beholden to him. That yours truly must owe him for his help or advice, even if that advice didn’t result in any real positive benefit. Whatever yours truly does it must suit his own sensibility and yeah there is a history of that. He could be as bad as a meddling relative who insist they have your best interests at heart and will go buckwild and get involved without your permission. Though as I had to learn later he has a funny way of deciding what he needs to get involved with. And another part of his history is that a lot of it was really self-serving and especially once the red flags started flying around.

So either way whatever was going on here was all about him. I didn’t really want to push back on him, but I also had to learn pushing back may not change things if he simply made up his mind. So perhaps back in 2014 he just made up his mind that I needed to follow-up on Finer’s and it still didn’t work out the way he wanted it to. He couldn’t slow down when there was just no effort on my part to really follow-up after things didn’t work out the way I wanted it to.

And now, we just have one more post about that for a very brief time a very strange ongoing story.

Applications

I used to fill out some of Anthony’s job applications, and then one night I just got fed up. If you want to know why this practice started.

At some point during the course of my first year at the Hole I offered to send the Hustler some requisitions that I thought he would be interested. Some of these positions were mgmt, and knowing he had worked with alcohol made sure to send him jobs in that area. I had arrived at the period of it’s working out for me so I don’t mind helping out people who I consider friends get to where I am.

Well Ant had the tendency to make this an ordeal. Some of those requisitions were internal. So once I sent a screencap of a requisition to him (because outsiders weren’t expected to apply) however he complained he couldn’t see anything. When sending a direct email he might reply back that he’s interested, then I might tell him to apply. Though most of the time if it’s an internal requisition I might tell him that and leave it to him to follow up from there. Besides, he’s got the gift of gab and talks himself into things. He seems to have an inability to really communicate what he wants….

At some point he just says if I see something he might be interested in apply for him. That is he’s leaving it for me to do his work for him which I did for a bit of time. Perhaps for the Dine-In show and for Fresh Foods until just forgetting all of his log-ins and told him to reset which as far as I know he never did. Perhaps he just isn’t comfortable with doing online applications for whatever reason. It brings this to mind.

At The Show we had utilized an online scheduling system which allowed us to put our shifts on the board if we want to trade or drop shifts. It was very easy and ultimately mgmt used this as a way to d!ck with us. I didn’t mind taking advantage of that system when possible sometimes the outcome was great and occasionally it wasn’t that good.

Regardless one day Anthony saw his schedule and saw mine decided he wanted to switch a Saturday night shift. He wanted to work later for whatever reason and I worked later, in exchange I had to work his midday shift. He told me to put my shift on the board and put his name on it. Well I was waiting for him to accept that trade and meanwhile everyone else but him had been picking up that shift. Yours truly had to reject those requests and then repost, however, it got closer to my shift and I just said forget it!

Then no more than a day or two before that shift he starts to send messages

Anthony: Will you traid with me? (yes that was how he spelled trade)

Yours Truly: * didn’t know what he was saying so I ignored this and some time later he responds*

Ant: Would you please answer!

Y.T.: Trade? * I finally realized what he was saying *

Ant: Whatever. Are you going to do it?

I didn’t respond and we go to my scheduled shift on Saturday and he starts making me feel guilty for not taking his shift. I could’ve gotten off earlier due to his efforts, however, in my point of view it my expectation was he’d go onto this site and do what he needed to do to pick up my shift. For whatever reason he didn’t and found it much easier to worry me about it instead of figuring out how to pick up that shift. Of course by the time he started trying get this done it was a bit too late at that point.

So the last time he tried to get me to fill out an application it was for a job he seemed more interested in. He wasn’t that interested in working for Fresh Foods evidently. Basically this was a day where we went to lunch on my dime and he wanted to borrow some money. When I asked him if he had anything he shrugged his shoulders like I don’t have nothing pay which I just let slide. When we were eating he decided to make some crude reference to how he’d feel so sorry for my girlfriend and how yours truly would just start to fill her up……

Anyway after lunch we stop at a local shop near The Show which had a posting in a window for early morning workers to just stock the shop before it opens for the day. He made sure to talk to a manager up there the way I expected him to do for Fresh Foods if he was so inclined which evidently he wasn’t. I don’t remember all she said to him, but I’m sure she instructed him to apply online.

Not long after that one night I was on the computer and he started texting my phone. He says that store lost his information – how does that happens especially if the company itself is a reputable one – and he also further states that his computer is acting up. He’s letting me know he wants me to fill the application out for him. And like a dummy I get started and see that there’s more work than I had really intended to devote on that given late night. The application was asking for information only he would know.

I got so frustrated and just told him that more information was needed before going forward. He texts back “call me“, and never do. Before turning my phone off it showed that he called me because he was evidently motivated to get this done. I just couldn’t keep doing his work for him and besides seeing him in action talking to managers in a few places he likes to making hiring him a supreme court case. When applying for him I do the bare minimum, why should yours truly do the work he knows to do himself?

He never discussed it again and for a while I continued to send him requisitions from Fresh although again no evident interest from him and at some point he started talking about going back to Finer Foods. Even though he may well have found a job with Finer’s I may still send him requisitions on occasion which only stopped once the “Climax” happened….

Here’s another reason why I used to share Fresh requisitions with him. When he regained the privilege of rides in my mother’s car I told him that an electronics store down the street from The Show had called me. When pulling out of the parking lot near The Show he started getting mad “You know you are wrong Jack! With all these leads I gave you?” In other words he’s letting me know he thinks I’m holding out on opportunities for him.

Perhaps in reality he wants to know what I’m working on. This wasn’t long after the interview with the neighborhood cinema and it’s finally time to start moving on. Ultimately I never was able to get an interview with that store and it only led to me telling him what opportunities I’m pursuing, especially before he himself finally left the theater about a year later. As it turned out it was really not my obligation to tell him what leads or what jobs I’m pursuing. If nothing else it led to him offering his own useless advice like following up or worry a hiring manager or negotiating.

Another thing to consider with this situation is in reality those opportunities are not what he’s interested in. Perhaps he didn’t really care about going to that electronics store for example, but it just served as a means for him to just try to get into my head.

I’m so glad to cut out this useless noise….

Climax of the Reign of Error

I got to admit the climax forced yours truly to slow his role. At least that’s the conclusion I’ve had to come to years later. I put the climax on part with the situation involving the Hustler/Friend. As it turned out the whole calamity of 2017 would prove to be a turning point with our odd friendship.

I went from reaching what I thought of as an apex to my time at the Hole to a bit of a collapse. He’s as much part of the story as Roger or Mr. Boastful in my mind with 20/20 hindsight. He’s one example of someone who wasn’t in your corner and just wasn’t on the same page with yours truly. Everyone who you expect to be with you, often isn’t.

Mr. Boastful had some of the same interests as myself, I even considered him something of a friend. I had to conclude that he probably could speak the same language as the Hustler, except for one thing it actually got him somewhere. Once Rog decided to pull me off of buy/receive and post for the role that I couldn’t interview for Boastful went right for it. I had no choice but to suck it up, however, I thought some of his actions back then indicated a certain form of cockiness. As I accepted this, my view of this is one of us were moving up as Roger’s trend had been to bring in people he knew.

I even let Boastful in on meeting our mutual former boss at another Fresh store one day when I had been shopping. Even discussed possibly using some pull to leave, thankfully the smart thing I never told him was that I was on the verge of being let go due to the attendance probation. He knew points were an issue, he just didn’t know how bad. When the climax happened he probably knew then, if he took the time to think about it.

However, since he was getting in my head about it someone had to tell me he felt threatened. He had been ambitious seeking opportunities to move up. I tend to move slowly, however, he’ll go ahead and take the opportunities. Once I got out of the way he had the green light to go for it, however, as indicated in some earlier posts he was waiting for yours truly to make a mistake. There wasn’t much yours truly could do about that, however, he sure was letting me know he was paying attention to the situation. He probably wasn’t the only one either. Still the nagging feeling in the back of my head even now just lets me know what was in his head. Perhaps by my seeming ascension he indeed got threatened….

I should mention Roger, I was told belatedly that his issue has been that he stepped on a lot of toes trying to be real strict. Never really was familiar with that cliche, however, someone explained to me that it denotes trying to establish dominance. He wants everyone to know that he’s the boss and you will answer to him and he will take action which included termination. He wanted to be a hard-ass a term used by one of my former supervisors, and as noted many times on this blog he lost his hot-shot boss position in no less than six months.

Rog had the tendency to sneak up, to just walk up on yours truly and he did that on three occasions. It could be a means to intimidate and certainly to dominate. The first time he did this was not too long after he decided to make a big show out of yours truly being essentially out of uniform.

  • The first time I was on my way back from a 15-min break and was headed back to the floor. As I was headed back to the floor when I heard someone call me name out of nowhere. It was Roger just turning around a corner, he wanted to have a talk with yours truly in the office about fruit flies, empty boxes, food debris, and fruit flies because he found something else to complain about. I don’t remember for how long he was on duty on that given morning, but evidently something he felt necessary to address in that fashion.
  • The second time I was just about to do a box bale after finishing my receiving on that day. This wasn’t long after pulling me off the buy/receive thing. He had interviews for associate buyer – a position I couldn’t even interview for because I was on that “probation” – and as I was working I turned around and he was right behind me. Even made sure to note that people usually don’t like him sneaking up on them like he just did me (then why does he do it if he often gets negative feedback?). All he wanted in that instance was to have me cover for Mr. Boastful who had an interview for that position on that day.
  • The last time he did this on the day I actually consider the Climax of the Reign of Error. My last shift at the Hole, I was doing temps on my station and was no more than an hour and a half waiting for quitting time. Out of nowhere I hear behind me “Jack, come with me” in Rog’s nerdy baritone. From there he escorts me directly to store mgmt offices because that last tardy I had it was a means to get rid of yours truly.

That’s where I’m going to leave this! I will say that once he was all hush-hush at this moment I knew what was coming. But that meant after things run their course, he wasn’t going to hit me with anymore bull$h!t, however, what happened next is why he’s definitely in my book of infamy to this day.

The Hook-Up Revisited

Disinterest

As I revisit this long ago episode I wrote about during my hiatus from Fresh Foods, I just have to share this brief dialogue from my last real major episode with Anthony the Hustler/Friend during One Final Drop. Among other things that we had talked about when he asked to borrow more money he brought this up for the last time

Out of nowhere he brings this up, he said I “blew it with Greta” and then I hit him with “Blew what?”

Fiend: You blew it with Greta.

Yours Truly: I blew what?

Fiend: You blew it with her.

Y.T.: What did I blow?

Fiend: You blew it with her.

Y.T.: What did I blow?

And then I continue to ask that question and he was done answering. Perhaps he was going to hold onto it anyway, but that wasn’t getting him anywhere. That was my attempt to absolve myself of any feelings of “guilt”. There was no need for any guilt if in reality I had little interest in his scheme. I had no interest in a comedy show and in reality no interest in this “date” with Greta.

When I think about it now, this was all unfair to Greta. Perhaps my lack of interest in Ant’s scheme at the time as this whole thing was about me and in reality it was more about him. I had no real interest in spending my money for a comedy show at a major venue in downtown Chicago. And when we visited her at her job on the north side on a snowy and cold February day in 2013 there wasn’t much of a basis for yours truly to really attempt to connect. Even if I did drop a compliment on her which she seemed underwhelmed.

I told another friend of mine this who still talks to Anthony or he heard about it at some point with the Hustler. I tell him that Ant was really a bad matchmaker as there was just very little opportunity to really connect with Greta before this “date”. However in my humble opinion he had no real basis to try to make a match when he took the foot off the gas pedal on this. This was something he wanted and it went up in smoke, and if I believe his story Greta was mad with him and he tried to point the finger at me.

That’s why I had to ask him “What did I blow?” What was there to blow? Was she that keen on meeting with yours truly? I saw no hint of that and no opportunity on my part nor his to create that opportunity. On my end I felt as if I was being forced into this and as per usual did hardly anything to push back.

This was probably another episode of the fiend asserting his dominance and for years after this it would continue. He’d find a way to bring this episode up and even after I did retort in that barbershop back in 2017, I’m sure it still wouldn’t have been the end of it. He’d hold onto it using his disappointed father schtick to forward his dominance.

Come to think of it, the Hook Up episode was as much of a fail as the initial episode with Finer Foods and even D.B. He views them as fails. I didn’t keep up the pressure with Finer Foods to get an interview let alone a job with that company and as for D.B. there wasn’t much to do to end that conflict other than just not giving him his supply of attention because going back and forth with him gave him exactly that. And Greta in his mind is just another fail as far as dating women. All a fail according to him and it matters more than what I felt where the positive developments going on the last time I actually met with him as a friend and the last time he borrowed money.

We’re going to get to the climax of the Reign of Error however I feel as if Anthony had begun to really expose himself and his attitude more and more in 2017. If some new developments were occurring at the Hole at the time he didn’t care. He just mentions how I’d make more money at Finer Foods or instead of supporting my move to be a buyer he might still suggest I need to be a supervisor instead. Perhaps he didn’t like it when I went against his mentality as a disappointed father.

Not sure what else to add to this, I expressed the thoughts that was necessary to express. I’m certain however that there will be more thoughts on him to share in the near future. I feel as if whatever stories that’s on my mind about the Hustler will ultimately be expressed and it will be time to move on.

You’re free to read up my original Hook-Up post as well. Consider this your Anti-Valentine’s post. 😛