October 2014

i think there have been a few other iterations of this post already. one was likely dated similarly to this one and others represent the period after the last two interviews of the “streak era” and my last two weeks at “the show”. so hopefully I’ll do something different here and if not well soon this storyline will be concluded in the next series of posts. perhaps no later than the middle of this month.

anyway, the situation at the show was beginning to somewhat turn. i gotten written up the previous month for taking too long on my break. i just about got into it with a b*tch of a senior manager who decided to bicker with me. she cut it off quick although she was determined to write me up.

i only refer to her that way because in a light moment in an office counting me down and taking to her colleague she came out with her saying “she can be a b*tch”. more often than not especially if some associate wasn’t meeting her expectation that tense side came out and a few times she directed it towards me. although through some intelligence that behavior came out because she found herself frustrated with her role at “the show” also.

anyway the young people were a bit more defiant especially if i try to tell them something. and at worse i may work with one young person who claims they forgot where their register was. and them expecting me to say something gets all upset when i call them out as lazy and wants to start a fight right there! though in reality the tension began the moment i blew them off – a teenage girl of course – when they decided it’s ok to speak to me. anyway no recovery with me there, that potential relationship is shot and good riddance.

i got two interviews this month and it was with a branch of “gotham bank” that hired me and a theater manager position that didn’t hire me. i feel as if i blew the theater manager gig for the national chain. not to say i was unserious but i did get to think about my frustrations and their knowledge of “the show’s” general manager. he wasn’t someone i really worked with often and i couldn’t describe him as a mentor. though as a manager he tried to be as above it all as possible even if some of his senior managers and supervisors just weren’t.

the gotham bank interview actually took place at a different branch from where i would be assigned. good interview where the branch manager got in on the interview and i wish i had worked with them in the long run. while considering the results this was the job that ultimately got me away from the show.

i turned in my notice to one of the senior managers who was the human resource point. i had already been discussing my job search with him anyway. after putting in my notice he gets a thank you card for giving me some “moral” support. other select mgmt i told as appropriate.

ironically two of the more problematic senior managers – the house manager & the b*tch – were incredibly curious about me leaving. more than i had expected them to be and i was semi-suspicious of them. if it was just cordiality for them, deep inside with me i just wanted to tell them to go to hell! although if anyone just wanted me gone it would’ve been them and i mostly worked the last few days of my notice.

btw, this month i fixed my teeth. funny part is that i got a new job with bad teeth and before starting my teller job i arrived at work with new teeth. also i cancelled that initial dental appointment for that procedure to do this interview. i really wanted to leave “the show”.

incidentally having arrived at the new job didn’t start off very well. i kept having issues with my timeliness and that didn’t look good. as time went on it was one thing to get nit-picked over another. it got to the point where i dreaded going to work and while things were bad at “the show”, i never felt the dread as i began to feel about the bank before i was eventually let go.

meanwhile it was registering more and more with some of the mgmt at the show that my time there was coming to an end. thankfully not because someone wanted me gone, but i said i was leaving. i know there were many who wanted yours truly gone and if not mgmt, but other associates. all they did essentially was allow me to find something better.

also my mother bought a new car and for the last time i drove her old vehicle – which remained at a dealer where she left it – to work and back into our garage. i shared a pic of it to my ig page it was the vehicle that ferried me to work when she allowed me to drive there. this was something i was going to miss for sure. the night time drives back home and on occasion meandering about on the way home.

regardless the “streak era” had ended. a new era away from the theater was about to begin. my mother got a new car. i also got new teeth – a flipper – which some of the coworkers noticed the difference especially when i open my big mouth. šŸ˜›

as i said my final good byes to some of the coworkers – and even noted this for some of my former colleagues – there was some apprehension as to my new role. it was less than ideal but again the offer i got was what got me away from “the show”. my situation with my coworkers and my pay wasn’t likely to change so this was the impetus for me to leave and finally. no more questions about whether or not i was “too comfortable” or whether or not i was trying to leave. i put in my notice and said BYE to “the show”.

all the same some people were coming out of the woodworks to wish me luck and shake my hand. others it probably didn’t matter too much to them they may know or perhaps for some odd reason glad i was out the door. regardless i worked my final night at the theater shook hands, got my final soft-drink in a courtesy cup, gathered my belongings, and after almost five years off to new adventures!

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it’s candice’s turn…

img_1148-1in this post i’m going to discuss some remaining business and analysis regarding candice. you first read about her in a post titled “you make the call” and generally shows my response to her sudden interest in me one summer when we both worked at “the show”. it left me very uncomfortable in some respects and she was very determined to keep my attention until she stopped.

in later posts i referred to her as missy’s good buddy. missy was the one-off foe who spend the remaining time she had at the theater powering tripping because of her “connections”. with this in mind i now consider missy & candy (hey that rhymes) something of a one-two punch or good cop and bad cop – hint missy was the bad cop.

to illustrate this point one-time outside of a auditorium as a movie let out missy so incensed or out of control because i ignored her for most of my shift said one infamous thing to me and far more infamous than a threat – “if i’m a bitch, then i’m going to be a bitch”. candace was that probably not egging her on, though certainly not trying to calm situation down and besides i wouldn’t pay a whole lot of attention to her anyway during that time. regardless missy lost all control and as she lost it i strove to maintain my own. she wasn’t going to get me to say anything i didn’t want to and whatever i was going to say was going to get her going because she was already there.

now, candace was essentially laying down a welcome mat for reasons only she knew. when i tell this story to some of the young men i work with they don’t understand, the opportunity was presenting itself and you wouldn’t go for it – you BLEW it. it never got through that perhaps i had little interest in her and it was largely based on her young behaviors and certainly what i see as her aggression in trying to get my attention.

i have one theory as far as why everything happened and i’ve deduced it to one night that summer – before “the show” got particularly busy later that summer. the move in question on that evening was the purge and she – as far as i knew just arrived on the scene at that point. i walked up behind her, perhaps got a lil too close and told her to turn the radio down. unfortunately we didn’t have ear-pieces for the radios like most other businesses that uses walkie-talkie. we had to remember when we walk in a theater to turn them down while a movie is playing.

soooo i think at some point as the theater let out and we began cleaning we talked about the job and then forgot all about her. the girl in question somewhat matches my basic description of candice – a young girl (19 or 20), nice body, long real hair – that she probably put into a pony tail, and a nice face for sure. perhaps it set her interest signals off and in the meanwhile i just thought not much of this after that.

of course as stated in that long ago post she spoke to me as i rushed to the time clock having been running late and after blowing this off she walks up to me and blocks my path as i attempted to go around her. something really set off in her mind after simply not realizing or knowing that she was trying to speak to me and i didn’t speak back to her. basically this started a long summer trend where she tries to speak and i generally don’t respond. occasionally i’d just engage in sarcastic behavior finding it amusing to myself but not to her as she really wanted to talk to me and all i did was push her away.

one particular part of this story i noted was that a supervisor said hello to me as the theater was shutting down for the night and i spoke back. candice was behind concession and was upset that i spoke back to the supervisor – and this is because i mostly don’t just say hello back to her. she was seen just twisting and turning because of my general response to her wasn’t different than my response to the supervisor. in fact, the supervisor did ask, “why are you getting mad candice?”

one part of the revenge candice offered was one night when i had to close the floor at the theater. i left my walkie at the customer service desk thinking i didn’t need it anymore. minutes later candice who was off duty for the night came and found me and made sure i got that walkie back because another one of her buddies a supervisor decided that i needed a radio. as i complained she walked off without a word just back turned and probably satisfied with my response.

this other supervisor was a loud mouth and sometimes didn’t seem to have a steady mood with me from day to day or moment to moment. eventually after basically sh*tting on another associate at the theater she got herself fired. there is an official reason, but allegedly i can say she really got fired for treating someone badly.

one final moment not before mentioned. one day candice and two other young women were often seen huddled around auditoriums before the movie starts. everyone wasn’t supposed to be together like that. and one of those women were supposed to be doing rounds about the facility with me. and she didn’t like to do much work anyway – even if later she expressed interest in becoming a manager and it never happened.

either way this young woman asked if i was doing this, that or another and i simply said yes & no as i kept walking past the sisters. candice jumped on this immediately saying something undecipherable, and certainly it was about what i just said. another young lady who witnessed the whole convo – and whom i never said a whole lot to – simply chimed in with “he’s got a smart-ass mouth”. before i wrap up the storyline i’ll introduce you to her this particular one is called the “bullshark”.

otherwise after this candice and yours truly never had words cross paths with each other again and incidentally the next year i saw her on a train as i headed to the north side. i figured out who she was seeing some traits that reminded me of her and it certainly included a tote she often carried with her to work. if we made eye contact she’d immediately break it, but message clear that wasn’t the time to make a connection with her. she headed north and i got off at my stop.

now jack, why had you been responding to candice that way?

to be honest i kept doing what i was doing because it amused me. i never saw what i was doing as a rejection and it never occurred to me that candice would simply leave me alone. that being said her behavior was somewhat aggressive on some level especially the time she snapped at me behind concession as we both had customers to take care of – that was patently aggressive. otherwise her need to keep my attention was definitely aggressive and i wouldn’t respond to her.

as much as i characterize my response as a non-rejection it was certainly a reaction. remember i’m in my early thirties college graduate and working with young people who are still developing at a movie theater. here she comes matching me move for move repeating that “you know you heard me talking to you”. that behavior didn’t compute and any other times after that i just simply decided she was trying to hard and perhaps she did have an agenda. but then this agenda is really an unanswered question. was she really interested in me or did she really want to add to the gossip? btw, any gossip about me my goal was to remain blind and i tried not to care unless someone just mentioned it to me out of the blue.

now that i’ve grown a bit such then i did consider looking for candice on social media. the only social media i see her using is instagram and she had exhibited – because she’s young still – the need to show herself off. when you think about it most young women do like to show themselves off. i suppose the only question today is if she’d remember who i am and if she would ever connect with me on instagram. perhaps then i could attempt to explain some things as back then i had no willingess to explain some of my actions to her. besides my actions should speak louder than words even if they had been uncalled for.

all the same i’ve never really came up with a very satisfactory answer as to why i kept blowing off candice. to use the whole standing in my path thing was a bit of an excuse more than anything. to be sure it was irritating at the wrong time given my situation, but of course she may well have seen it differently. obviously there was a reason why she wanted my attention. and as stated once the more she continued the more sarcastic and oblivious i became.

one more tidbit here one time i was off of work and switch from my cap and uniform shirt and as i walked from locker room candice saw me and attempted to speak. she tried to compliment my hat but to whatever she said i basically kept saying “what?”. another coworker off to the side obviously saw this whole convo as awkward. candiace had to stop and say “i’m complimenting you” or “why are you being mean” or even at another point “i’m trying to talk to you because you seem like you need a friend”.

btw, in anger even missy said to me during her out of control moment outside of an auditorium, “you need a friend jack”. almost as if saying – and this was long before i ever started having real issues with colleagues at “the show” – that something was brewing and i had little idea.

all the same her reaction summed up her attempts to be friendly with me back then. i was being “yours truly” at the time, and she was essentially being pushed away for her troubles. as it happens for the most part when her attempts to reach out is rebuffed she often gave an exasperated expression before she just moved on. when i walk off with no word, exasperated. when i get sarcastic, exasperated. an odd cycle i established…

as far as ever finding a way to reach out, my only answer is that it’s probably not a good idea at this point. she’s likely moved on and forgotten about me probably found others who were more willing to give her the time of day. hell she actually did allegedly find someone who would give her the time of day while still at the show. and she had her supervisor call off for her when she failed to report to work on one occasion allegedly.

all the same it’s a lesson learned and perhaps i treated her quite unfairly. candice really wasn’t a problem, however, her approach of the time being a young woman just wasn’t appreciated. on top of that now I consider this a sign of my now growing frustration with my role at “the show” and candice was likely going to have a difficult time breaking through.

positive tales of working at “the show”

it seems most of my posts about the show with few exceptions have been negative. i noted on occasion that many of the people i met were quite cool and they were a joy to work with. not only that many of us will speak say hello and many even ask what are you up to today. generally cordial, the trouble makers will often avoid saying much to me they either know they will get a chilly reception or they may just have their own odd issues still – whatever those are.

sometimes though a busy cinema is exciting, the activity is important to a business any business. although this activity can on occasion bring out the crazy in some people. there are high maintenance people out there who are already on edge about something and they need to bring out out on someone. sadly i have been on the receiving end of this. sometimes the wrong managers take advantage and decide it’s ok to talk sh*t.

even though i returned to the business briefly with another company at the dine-in show i still miss the screenings. when some promotion company organize a free advance screening for a coming attraction. those are cool the worse parts are insuring customers choose their seats and getting everyone lined up. like i said the crazies come out not just on the weekends for new movies, also for these screenings.

there was once an elderly woman who waited long for a screening. she complained to us though there was little we could do other than tell her someone else makes the call to let customers in. she was so upset she announced she’d never come back to our facility again. to be fair to “sh*tplace” it was not necessarily our fault that she had to wait until the promo reps allowed us to move the line forward.

i never understood finicky people over their food. people wanted a “fresh” frozen pizza or a pizza that was less burned. funniest story about that i had a customer who looked at their pizza gave it back to me later claimed it was burned. one minor problem though i never challenged them on it, the pizza wasn’t burned at all. it was all just an excuse! in this case i put it back in the warmer and it was quickly sold – so no small fortune was lost in this process. šŸ˜›

want to hear an odd story about a “secret shopper”. one weekday after school was out for the year we were swamped with families and their children. a temperamental woman was virtually hissing at another lady claiming “i’m next! I’M NEXT!” it didn’t matter though all registers had no line.

this same hissing made some noise getting our attention “HEY HEY HEY HEY HO HO HO HO”. she only wanted to tell us that our containers for salt were empty and that she’s a secret shopper and they pay attention to that. this woman merely wanted attention! >-(

our theater was a zoo with all types of people. women wanted to see the movies they wanted to see and often gravitated towards feminist or romance cinema. we got young people or young people from the “hood” who often gravitated towards horror, action or comedy.

we also had the people who were just out and decided to drop by the theater and had little idea what to see so often we had to answer questions about what the movies were about. one infamous question with regards to this is a vague “what’s good?” or another infamous question “what’s scary?” oh and i forget sometimes we get hit with a scent of marijuana because some people come in after getting a hit. and of course that’s not to say people whom i worked with didn’t smoke that stuff, and for the record i’ll only smoke that if i’m terminally ill. sorry tmi and hopefully that never happens.

finally i just want to say it never occurred to me how they show the pictures. most movies before the 21st century used film reels provided by the distributors. “the show” used hard drives that were delivered to them often via a courier. so if there were any issues, a computer could be used to fix them. sometimes a lens had to be changed especially for a 3D movie. since my role at “the show” never could include projection this was not something i concerned myself with much unless a customer’s experience was somehow impacted which either meant a customer complained or i knew there was a problem already and was proactive about getting it fixed.

one thing i will say about my time at the theater, it gave me an invaluable experience especially when it comes to dealing with people. and with this in mind it includes both coworkers, managers, supervisors, and customers. as much as i may say i had a not very good experience, perhaps i’m a long way from saying that i’d have done something different other than how i’d approach the situations i found myself in there.

positivity

thumb-up-terminator pablo M R

on this blog i sometimes talk about positivity though it seems as if i never practiced enough of it. i’ll admit that it’s my tendency to dwell on some of the negative incidents that have happened in my life. unfortunately “the show” is no different as it took up a significant amount of my time.

so allow me to be somewhat positive about my time at “the show”. as much as i dwell on those incidents with rambunctious and very take charge young people who were very willing to let you know to your face that they don’t value you as a coworker. there are some positives and as often stated i’m often in touch with many of these individuals from “the show”.

some were cool and good to talk with even if on occasion what i may be saying isn’t what they want to hear. and yes some of them – like anthony – has the tendency to want to take advantage of the situation. i’ll still say that it was worthwhile knowing them and even then if it wasn’t for anthony i may never have started looking for another job even if it took over two years to finally leave the theater.

there were many good times there and often with the right people. i also miss the occasions where i drove to work with me sometimes taking alternate route too and from work. also i’m lucky that no one knew to do something to my mother’s vehicle especially if i raised the ire of some many at the job. on top of that many of them decided i wasn’t going to do much about it.

the ones i did well with i try to bring them with me although many have so far not took the plunge. some have found better positions and that’s definitely a good thing. many of them it would be cool to bring them with me to my current job and beyond.

if you’ve read this blog you got to know anthony a little bit. an outspoken older gentlemen who means well but seems to have the ability to talk down to people. on the other hand he’s a bit of a fighter who looks at the big picture. through him i knew about the ways “the show” used obamacare to cut hours. he was good at learning the lay of the land there in ways i never considered. when we first met he came on strong and caused some distance and still can come on strong.

there’s a man named henry who we’ll meet again in another post. he was very good at his job to the point where he often was an usher on weekends and was an unofficial trainer. good to talk about and also knew the lay of the land. on the flip side, he sure had some drama in his life if you judged my his fb page years ago. he left and found another job months before i had.

also there a man name keith who became a manager within months after i left. he gave me the definitiveĀ  low-down on what it’s like to move up to the supervisory level not long after he got fired. the worse thing about his termination was that the people he thought were friends were the ones who turned on him and helped get him out. he probably still hasn’t figured out why they did what they did. as happens with young coworkers in a place with no structure at all!

there’s an older lady name kristi whom i worked with the first two years. i haven’t stayed in touch with her much over the years although i gave her a quick update on what happened at the show since she left. which managers got fired and moved on. she was a cool ally to have and it’s too bad that she left the job due to illness.

those are just some examples. i texted keith once not long after he left “the show” that i’m very glad i never burned bridged with everyone. i began to believe i was that bad, then he concurred with my next statement “the people who worked with whom bridges were burned were just looking for excuses.” so i could dwell on the negative aspects, but what i will choose to do from this point forward is to remember those i worked well with!

also i forgot to add with the many managers and supervisors i interacted with – which does include someone like harve – i’ve offered thank you cards to two senior managers who were helpful during the “streak era”. unfortunately neither are no longer at the show, although with one i have his phone number and perhaps i should just dial him up in the near future.

september 2014

blackberry-photos 168

little did i know at the start of this month that the “streak era” was about to end. it all started two years before with the interview at a smaller theater chain who had some background issues and cost me a potential mgmt position. lately i started getting interest from banks especially “gotham bank”. i had an interview to start off this month which unfortunately resulted in no job offer.

meanwhile the previous month i had started working on my smile. i started off with some deep cleanings although now the plan was for me to eventually pull out the loose and failing teeth. yeah in my early 30s i will eventually receive false teeth in the form of a flipper and eventually a dental bridge. it was past time as i just put it off until it was really time and kept getting embarrassed over it. one way to look at this, as i continue to interview for jobs i can at least finally look my best in addition to a visit to the barber and dressing professionally.

anthony had started campaigning again for me to work with him at his “finer foods” store on the northwest side. i had somewhat brusquely ignored his suggestion that i speak with the hr person at his store. it was as a result of an attempt to interview with a store manager who on the day i went up there early one morning instead was meeting with his district manager. anthony yelled at me on the phone for not following up and i avoided him for a while until i found something i wanted to talk about only for anthony to simply pivot without response to my subject about what happened with “finer foods”.

this time i didn’t turn it down, simply just wrote this down though with little plans to follow-up with this. as the summer began to wind down i was getting interest from jobs although for some i opted not to respond to all of them. going up to my “friendly” martial artist store on the northwest side actually remained near the bottom of my list considering what happened earlier that year.

as far as “the show” nothing of great note happened. i got called out by mgmt for taking too long on my breaks, which i blame on my general unhappiness with my job at the theater. the senior manager who wanted me written up for it was up my *ss for some odd reason anyway, but became strangely cordial after i finally handed my two week notice. i gave her an excuse and as often seems to happen she wants to get tense.

there were other minor incidents with coworkers, however, nothing much really happened. as much as i hate to tease you all, but these involved individuals who remain non-descript with not a whole lot to distinguish them. and i also attempt to bear in mind their general youth.

however by the end of this particular month – little did i realize – my time at “the show” was drawing to a close. also i finally got started on improving myself by working on my long suffering smile. and set me up eventually for another job i will get by the start of the next year. no one could’ve told me that the job offer i accepted wouldn’t work out for me.

bottom line the streak era after so many interviews with no job was finally ending in october!!!

wedding season

going backwards in time just a tad from going away to "mission college". very recently my brother shared some pics of his family. this month he's celebrating his 17th wedding anniversary. the year he married he returned to college and finished his baccalaureate degree. he also gained admission to a law school in texas and after getting married would move there.

you know what this means he's getting married and i have to join his wedding party. it was expected i suppose, but never something i wanted to do. perhaps it was the introversion as i knew eyes would be on me. well not entirely but my family both sides definitely had their expectations.

funny party was that i danced with someone at the wedding and cousin natalie who came up for the festivities just decided to force herself to giggle at every unfunny thing i said. wasn't in the mood for her no matter what. even funnier still no one laughed at a random remark she made upon learning i was going to a bar to meet with an uncle – who for some reason was absent from my brother's wedding. and i wasn't going by myself my mother and two other uncles were coming. i was still underage at the time.

now to set up what happened way before the wedding my brother and i had been at odds. my time in community college was a bit of a struggle, i wasn't working and my brother chose to ding me on both at the time. he saw something wrong with the picture. perhaps there was – and yes he was coming on too strong – at the same time well i was a bit aimless at the time. my brother never gave me something to work with at the time, no one did other than their expectations.

my mother during this period randomly suggest "don't you want to join the national guard?" not sure where this came from and besides i wasn't sure what i wanted to do, got this college thing stuck in my head. though ironically enough i did speak to the navy that summer, but never made a move at all. funny thing is we did discuss this and she was somewhat involved with my meetings with recruiters from the armed services, however, her expectation as wrong as it turned out to be at the time was that i'd be very successful in college.

soon the wedding was over and the "pretensiousness" of the new couple were moving to a whole other state. no more ceremony, pomp & circumstance, family, or even snooty bridesmaids. time to get back to reality.

which reminds me, during the course of that year after my brother and i had a serious falling out wholly unnecessary might i add i called an uncle who lived in virginia. we talked for a couple of hours and suggested at random that i come out there – perhaps a week, perhaps a summer. then i told my mother. became a whole drama that in small ways i attempted to quell.

didn't happen that way! my mother brought it at random to her sister in-law when i told her to "keep your mouth shut". then we went up to visit a great-aunt in wisconsin and it came up again. this time i said nothing but i really had no intention on talking about it. but it was something very exciting and again another expectation that i would go out east to visit with him.

my mother even told people at work and as i handed her my resume to look at just quickly changed subjects saying "you won't do what i ask you to do" quickly pivoting to making reservations to head out east. she mentioned someone at work asked her about the trip and my mother well had no answer as i was still at home and the summer was almost over.

my thinking on why i didn't just go out to visit my uncle. it may have had little to do with the fact that my mother starting talking about it. at the time i thought about money i had my savings account but it would be my first trip without my mother since my dad passed away. she would've paid for the ticket to go out there, however,, what else would i have to contribute. i suppose the random mentions of this when i least expected damped my interest…

one finally coup de grace was claudine my retired military officer aunt who started to take an interest in this. early that summer – before my brother's nuptials – my mother met claudine and her daughter in our southern hometown. at the time claudine lived in maryland and she was already talking about sites we could visit there.

and my thought really was i was out there to visit my uncle not you. what are you doing getting involved with me going out there and trying to convince me to come out. claudine even went so far as to note "you better come out here, the summer is almost over". she wanted me to come out there and made the same level of effort as mu mother.

meanwhile my uncle was silent we never talked about me coming out there at least since the phone call. he didn't encourage me one way or the other he put the idea out there and the women in the family after knowing about it started working on me. essentially it didn't work as i wanted to discourage this behavior.

btw, i never figured out how claudine found out about it. perhaps her and her brother talked about it or perhaps my mother brought it up to her at random. she decided to put on her own pressure. other than that the summer of that wedding, was laregely uneventful

no-go

going back to my stream of thoughts that began late last month allow me to give a timeline. during the month of july, there was a family reunion in georgia which came on the heels of my attempt to go away to school at "mission college". the liberal arts school that "mission" represents is in georgia.

that experience was cool but academically and financially it didn't do me a whole lot of good. had more freedom but little experience in dealing with it. even met a young lady – nicole – whom i wanted to meet again even if there was uncertainty if she actually did like me like that. though that story came to a very hostile end much later.

before going back home in a state of uncertainty about whether or not i'd be able to return i went to a family reunion meeting picked up by an aunt from campus. then was sent back to campus via cousin natalie and her husband who attempted to talk my head off the whole way back. then on to the reunion where i still had uncertainty about my eventual return.

not long after the reunion my mother went on a cruise so i was at home for a whole week as she sailed around the Caribbean with her sisters. even still have a t-shirt from that period of time. then eventually my mother came back and not long after that one quick question, "are you going to register for classes at the community college?" well my answer was negative basically and she mumbled under her breath that i needed to finish those last few credit. before saying very clearly "it's your life".

little did i know, this was a warning sign. she was setting her expectation without just coming out and saying that this is what she wanted. she already hinted at it before i left for "mission" i was a few credit shy of an associate's degree and had little interest essentially in attaining it. perhaps this was me being 21-22 years old and trying to have it my way.

then because i hadn't yet found a job right away she started sitting me down convinced that i needed help strategizing. she starts putting on the pressure, though sadly finding a job takes time. bottom line this would ultimately help me return to "mission" although it was decided at this point it wasn't going to happen that particular year.

one thing that came up during those "strategizing" sessions was i needed to have this sense of completion and finish the associate's degree. my inclination was to reject that to my mother's disappointment. and i came up with excuses to not go back and clearly this is something that was just on her mind no matter what i said. it really bothered her that i could get a degree just like that and i wouldn't do it! unfortunately trying to convince me didn't work.

when it came closer to registration it was less of a discussion than simply a command – "go and get registered". ultimately i did, however, it was only for just enough classes where i'd still be short of the degree. when it was time to pay for the classes i went to the college that afternoon just to wander because i hope that at the end of the deadline it would be too late to pay. so i came home and not long after arriving my mother shows up from work unannounced. she wants the phone number and when they close which i complied quickly, however, she expected more from me and in a huff told me that "i wasn't even trying". she went back to work to get those two classes paid for.

during my time at community college, she was never in a huge rush to pay for me classes. she was giving me everything and i offered very little in return, taking it for granted. however, i showed little enthusiasm and she wanted this more than anything.

sometimes i wonder if her family put a "bug" in her ear. two of her sisters called the house and outright asked me if i was getting my associate's, and for the most part i only offered a bullsh*t answer. put without proving it my first thought was she was telling them that i would return to finish my associate's and they decided to make it part of the conversation.

as my mother just made it clear i needed to finish the associate's degree she advertised this as a way to really help me find a job. she also used her future demise as an argument. and of course as my reticence to really have this as part of any job application – perhaps in light of my naive belief that an undergrad degree would solve everything it didn't – she merely suggested just leaving it off my resume which was a direct contradiction to this would help me find a job.

all the same at least i never had to answer for my response to this attempt at parental coercion. i was very tempted to tear up this degree in her face to show how i'm not proud of it at all. she probably wouldn't have been entirely moved by it as she got what she paid for. it was what she wanted and for my young mind that wasn't enough for me. thankfully this never happened.

to continue my stream of thoughts what happened when i returned to my community college in spite of myself. what was the difference between spending one term at "mission college" vs. starting my undergrad career and a community college.