april 2013

Amc-theatre

while i could turn this into an april fool’s post i’m playing this one straight.

in april 2013 i was ready to leave “the show” unfortunately the three early opportunities to have come up for me didn’t pan out. during this particular month i took a test for the local transit authority to become a station agent. it paid much better than the show at least $12/hr part time with benefits. sadly i didn’t get that job, i passed the test but couldn’t connect with them when they called me later.

also the previous month i had gotten a phone call from another theater of this national cinema chain. in february of that year i had interviewed from a theater right off the magnificient mile which did not result in a job offer. this was another fail and was further frustrated by some intervening events.

when they called me it was on a saturday night and at work. i had the next day off and didn’t call and waited until thursday to call them back. the person i needed to speak to wasn’t in, however, i was told in spite of the length of time it took for me to call them back to try back in the afternoon.

my friend anthony wanted me to meet with someone that afternoon though failed to tell me when. basically we spent most of our time downtown hanging out unbeknownst to me. i never told him that i needed to call these people from that national chain. we wound up going to his martial arts school for a meeting that never happened.

so on a friday night i worked early and intended to come home to make that call. except on my way back to the house my mother called me up from work insisting that i needed to go with her to get some bottled water from a neighboring suburb – because chicago has a tax on plastic bottles per bottle even in a pack. when all was said and done i was in no mood.

then on saturday exactly one week after the phone call i hoped to get to work early enough to make the call. my friend anthony wanted me to go back to his martial arts school to meet his business partner and it was a while before i returned home. then quickly got ready for work and drove my mother’s car to “the show”. so the dent in that plan was traffic coming into downtown chicago on cermak. by the time i had arrive to work there was little time for me to make that call.

after that i just said forget it. see this is what happens when i choose to procrastinate when i should just go for it. from this point forward began a long drought starting in march through roughly september where i had no interviews – hell no nibbles.

funny thing was that i had a nice stretch where i really had no serious issues with anyone at “the show”. yeah the female cliques of the time probably came up with something regarding me. for example a young lady wanted to drop some popcorn in a bin but because we already were having issues i wouldn’t move out the way and she just started talking shit about me for a good period of time with some of her like-minded coworkers. that’s the only one i can really think of.

recently i started to realize something. my friend anthony continues to hit me with it’s not the place it’s the people. he believes it even if i stick with it’s hard to separate the people from the place. unfortunately i’ve started to learn how “the place” brings out the worst in people. perhaps it’s as simple as how the people – management – chooses to run the place.

if there are conflicts between people over very small issues no matter what, and people are willing to start fights over it threaten people even get others to gang up on people there is a serious issue there. granted so many were so young but they really need a crash course on how to get along with people at work. it should take some time to get rid of people but with people willing to snipe their coworkers or just become problem employees they need a crash course of they need to go.

and just thing this month two years later, i found myself with a better job and hopefully better people at a better place. and on top that became a full-time employee with good benefits and paid time off. in time got my first raise ever!

however at that point in time, it was hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

january 2015

january-baby-names

at this point i was still unemployed however i was set to meet with my soon to be new manager at the store where i would be working. so i was on the road to getting back to work after the setback of getting fired from the bank the previous month. it would turn out to be an interesting year.

also the previous month i met with anthony. throughout the previous year he was giving me some job leads and i took advantage of two of them with no results. so he didn’t get me employed anywhere else, but i did at the bank. and he was happy for me.

in his words from that period of time he had a strong sense of relief that i finally left “the show”. he saw that i was frustrated during my job search and he saw that i was miserable. unfortunately i had a real tough time doing something about it and a lot of it was a self inflicted wound.

i never told him that i got fired from the bank. he’d want to know why and that’s not a can of worms i’d want to open. also i noted before he can be outspoken and was outspoken about my new future job.

the meeting before the new year i may have indicated to him that i was having a hard time at the job. i may have also indicated that the branch located closer to home in a not very good neighborhood was not where i really wanted to be. yet this is the job that got me out of “the show”.

needless to say i led him to believe that i had quit. he asked point blank if i left the bank for grocery to which i simply said yes. then he referred to it as a bad career move. reality is that a bad career move is getting fired in the first place. but i only wanted to tell him that. he calmed down after i pointedly told him that i don’t miss his judgement. only saying that he was still glad i finally left “the show”.

the next month i paid an unintentional visit to “the show” for the first time in about four months. ran into a coworker who was about to come in to work and i just found myself following him into the facility. saw one of the managers who i was somewhat close to, i sort of regret the convo we had as i was rambling and still harbored some negative feelings. but it was cool to see some changes there.

for example, instead of the pop towers i used during my time there now the theater had those freestyle machines. create your own soft drink concoction that was really cool. i saw some of the supervisors there who greeted me and then some of the silly young people i met who merely shot me a brief smirk and for what who knows and who cares. i also learned one of the senior managers had finally moved onto another job and he needed to believe me. apparently the only necessary change wasn’t just for me to finally leave. 😛

for a good period of time since starting this blog i often wrote about some of the negative about getting fired from the bank and some of my misadventures at the show. however after getting hired at a grocery store this time two years ago being briefly on unemployment more positive changes were on the way and in good time too.

happy new year 2017

new-years-resolutionone of the main accomplishments that i’ve noted on this blog fairly often was leaving “the show”. i had been stagnant there and it seems i ran afoul of people who i appeared to have rubbed the wrong way. in some case many of them were just looking for a problem anyway.

but there are plenty of valuable lesson i’ve learned two years after i left. if you have to fight with almost everybody at a job it’s time to go. if pay and job growth is stagnant it’s time to go. if there’s nothing one can to to change one’s position at a job and everyone – especially management – is against you no matter what it’s time to go.

it’s been a great two years my pay has gone up for sure. i’ve really started saving money about six years ago starting with tax refunds. and aside from a few times when i had to pull from savings or overdrawing my checking account i’ve been saving money in earnest for about 4 years. usually with small amounts from paycheck to paycheck.

although with that i missed the boat about 16+ years when when interest rates were much higher than they are now. as of now i have more savings now, than i had when i was getting survivor’s benefits as a minor during & after my senior year of high school.

all the same the more i progress especially in this new year, the more i can progress financially. it’s a long time in coming, but hopefully the best is yet to come. as long as there is that optimism this will be a great year for me.

joyeaux anniversaire

100-wonderful-happy-birthday-whatsapp-status-wishes-01

it’s that time of year again celebrating my birthday. now i really want to take stock of what i want to accomplish in this new year.

so many things to accomplish beyond financial goals. yeah i can always take care of money, but now i need to focus on some more personal goals. it’s my hope to explore those goals as i go forward on this blog.

yeah now i’m much closer to 40, but then so what. life isn’t over it’s still moving forward and hopefully i can accomplish some things before i get over that hump. especially in achieving some of my personal and financial goals.

on the other hand…

two years ago at least two days from my birthday i was fired from the bank. i’ve told that story numerous times on this blog. a few days after my birthday recently i drove through the neighborhood where i formerly worked at that bank.

no new changes other than that branch has closed during the ensuing two years. one night i drove to the hospital where my mother is for the time being and see that the branch is about to be turned into a fried fish establishment. a short-order food place which amazes me somewhat.

a pizza place was nearby when i worked there and that place is gone now. the pizza place had been a bank customer anyway. also nearby is a laundromat is still open.

i consider this one place i’ve been. my first new job since leaving “the show” and it wasn’t a rousing success. indeed this definitely wasn’t the assignment of my choice but during a very frustrating period of time they were the ones who hired me.

but as i consider where i am working now which is back in downtown chicago i see that in this old neighborhood there are some changes. change is of course always good, however, the only change is the tenants of the strip mall where the branch was located. and even then in that neighborhood, there’s still not a lot of action that exists in the downtown area.

at this point i’m not upset that i was unceremoniously dumped from this bank. and i’m not too upset that the branch has closed since i left. just a sign that i achieved one goal after that only short-term set back.

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…

December 2014

at this point i had been gone from “the show” for almost two months. my new job at the bank wasn’t going very well and it wasn’t long before i was cut loose. my saving grace strangely enough was a series of interviews afterwards would get me back to work in the new year.

the branch i found myself at wasn’t a very good fit. the team i worked with seemed to be looking for an excuse to criticize me. my performance made it easy for them & i was a big mess. regardless without going into much details my firing involved attendance and job performance.

still what i will say is that i didn’t do very well with the leadership at that branch. my manager was a stickler for time and my immediate supervisor was a rough one. i don’t think i got on very well with her at all.

either way, i grew to not like it there and began fantasizing about the manager position i interviewed for at another theater in downtown chicago. i didn’t get it but i still imagined what if i had. it was what i knew at that point.

i had decided the previous month to start looking again. funny part was when i got the job offer from the bank in october i had calls from other employers looking to interview me. i never responded and only one came from a job in downtown chicago which was a grocery store – that’s another story.

either way before the bank let me go i had one interview also the previous month and amusingly it was at a grocery store not far from “the show”. one frequently patronized by me while for a period of time working nearby. i didn’t get it unfortunately which i attributed to my anticipated work schedule at the bank.

i had to answer for starting a new job and looking for another. my answer sort of hedged my bets to say i was looking for more hours in addition to the limited amount of hours starting at the bank. to be honest, i had decided that if the store hired me i would quit the bank even though i really just started. well the bet wasn’t a good one and who knows probably should’ve just been honest, just didn’t want to look bad.

either way i was going to have a date in the unemployment line. the day it happened i didn’t want to go in but did so only to be told the bad news in an office at the branch. it was snowing that day so after about half an hour back out in the elements figuring out the next steps. which was just go back home, follow-up on a job application to another theater, and then upon realizing i was being paid to not work go downtown and catch a show. at that got to the show early enough to catch not just one but two shows.

so i was fired on a friday, the day before i finally called the manager who ultimately hired me and successfully passed a phone screen. the day after the firing i would meet with him for the first time the start of a series of three interviews which resulted in a job in the new year.

oh i almost forgot after i got fired it was time to install the permanent bridge in place of the failing teeth that got pulled. two months earlier i was issued a flipper now another piece of the puzzle of change has been completed. a new job, new teeth, unfortunately a setback, and then in the new year a rebound.

benefits

benefitslast year i wrote about getting some benefits. benefits had been one of the reasons i left “the show” i.e beyond free movies i got jack. other than that i found two jobs that offered the benefits i had been looking for primarily health i never thought beyond that.

this past summer the associated of my company had a benefits vote to choose various options in addition to some new offerings. something i took advantage of even if what i would like didn’t go forward such as for example identity theft protection.

either way one evening i just decided to explain to my coworker the compensation/promotion structure with my former employers at “the show”. i told him matter of factly that if i got promoted to manager – well actually supervisor level – i’d get no benefits. to which he retorted that if one gets 40+ of work they should get benefits.

i had to explain to him that the company itself could find a way to skirt the law so that they wouldn’t have to provide benefits. for example, they can just turn around and say supervisors can’t work more than 40 hours they can only work 35 hours a week. boom don’t want to provide benefits that’s a way out. i’d get paid slightly better but that’s all.

now, having left “the show” over two years ago i know my worth. i spend most of my working life hovering around the minimum wage and then suddenly with a job at the bank and then moving onto a job in the grocery business my income went up. i say this to say i wanted to get to management/supervisor level at the show.

to get up to full-management – that is for “the show” senior management – i’d have to go through the supervisory level. as time went on i was no longer interested even if deep down i never got there for reasons semi-unknown. and when leaving that company and figuring out what other companies offered whether i had standing over other employees or not it turns out perhaps there was no boat to miss.

if i understood correct senior management is a salaried position and they get the benefits. not sure the extent of the benefits but they got them. and as with supervisors there seems to be a subjective process in who gets promoted, that is they choose you. you don’t get an opportunity to apply for such positions.

either way i learned of one of the senior managers through a coworker. she had quit suddenly and unexpectedly apparently she had been unhappy for a long time. that coworker claimed she was working a part-time job as a bank teller for better benefits and was forced to quit when her bosses found out. and my worker mentioned this tome as it was time for me to interview with the same bank that this manager briefly worked for.

well what does this mean, well even the hotshot senior managers who should’ve had it made still weren’t getting what they’re due with their positions with the company. perhaps on that level there was no boat to miss either. just as with getting to the supervisor level.

now i had to explain to my friend getting to the senior manager level is like getting into what we call store leadership. the store managers are considered salaried however department managers are still considered hourly. now supervisors are considered as shift managers and they’re the level of the supervisors under the various department managers.

so basically we both agreed that this was a shitty deal. this year we do it all over again and decide which benefits we want to take advantage of for the coming year.