happy father’s day

you know on this day i have to mark this year as 20 years since my dad passed away. actually he had passed away in march of 1997 as a result of a stroke. severe high blood pressure took him out of this existence.

the last night he left home no one had any idea he wasn’t coming back. he worked the night shift for the public schools and it was surely a lonely job. hell i spent the night with him at work once. doing rounds in an often big empty building is surely very lonely.

at the same time he chose the job, not much different than how i chose some of my jobs. they hired you and nothing much going on so go ahead and take it so that money can be earned. however on this fateful night it turned out to be a bad thing.

why is because he’s working in a big building and was found on the floor. probably was making his rounds and collapsed, whenever that incident happened there was no one around to help him. whoever came to the school in the morning had to find him.

now this may have nothing to do with my virginity however i had a basic understanding of relationships thanks to my parents. my dad as described was often an angry man and at times took it out on his family. sometimes he wasn’t drunk when he did it.

so either way he didn’t really get along that well with my mother – yet she wouldn’t leave him fearing he couldn’t handle that. my dad ballooned in weight the years i knew him in part due to his alcoholism and appetite. if anything my dad was unappealing increasingly to my mother. something even he noted himself in a drunken rage one night.

unfortunately he seemed unwilling to really deal with it. attempting to quit drinking cold turkey didn’t seem to work for him. he already had issues with high blood pressure and had a Rx for it. sadly i’m of the understanding that if it was a choice between medicine and alcohol he’d often choose alcohol.

the appetite part came in this way. for example my mother noted that when they were out driving my mother suggested they stop somewhere to eat. my dad might  stop to eat but barely touch his food or he’d just say he’s not hungry. either way later on he gets his nip….

this was a man who needed help and wasn’t seeking it. if nothing else he had the benefits for it or perhaps the connections but i know nothing about whether or not he sought help for his addiction and his emotional issues. all i know today is that he never got the help he needed and he’s no longer with us.

to be honest i wanted to write this post since march which is the month he passed. never found the time or inclination. so apologies if this is just simply a downer father’s day post for you all.

june 2009

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as a counterpoint to how i started the month of may, i will start june with a triumph. may 2009 i finally graduated from “mission college”. not a very high performing GPA but in spite of myself i made it. the next task paying off my student loans.

it almost felt like a repeat of summer 2002 as it took time to finally find a job – although a temp job around the holidays of that year. now i had more time on my hands than i did while at school. though i was going to experience the pressure again that my mother wanted to place on me. she wanted me to get out there and go to work, however, finding a job takes time. no matter how often i pound the pavement.

when you think about it, at that point in time i had no anthony figure to guide me on a path towards finding a good job. he often imagined me going the posh law school route or perhaps banking. law school fine and go into law banking took more than what i thought i had during the course of summer 2009.

regardless, i received countless e-mail congrats from my mother’s coworkers and family. though i never responded to any of them. while i basked in my triumph, honestly i never wanted to be bothered with the communiques. many of those same people (i.e. family) were wondering how long was it going to take for me to finish.

one of those emails came from cousin natalie who called the house looking for mom. of course when that happened she had been at work and the next subject involved congratulating me. i was like “ok” not even trying to say thank you and then she turned around and asked “did you get my e-mail?”

wanting to cut this attempt at reaching out off quick i simply said that i got a lot of emails. that killed this right there and she didn’t know what else to do or say other than “ok, bye”. even worse she and her husband visited the house the next month after graduation to visit my mother i didn’t bother coming upstairs. my mother suggested i was scared of my family had an opinion and went with it.mcg

either way reality was beginning to set in. no more admiration of the women at “hillman college”. yeah there was always fb, but i won’t be able to check out the new batch. it’ll also be harder to connect with them if i no longer go to school down there. besides it took me a while to learn women like connections if you’re in no way connected to them even second had you have no chance at all.

in the meanwhile by the end of the year i would be employed. my mother had her opinion that i would’ve been better off finding a job through the alumni network whom i had little interest in joining. besides alumni organizations costs money and i had little. sadly i had to depend on my own experience at the time.

i didn’t start getting interviews until that fall – especially an early one with “fresh foods”. that was a bad one that i’ll admit today but thankfully it wasn’t the only one.

also found out about a theater about to open near downtown chicago that became “the show”. sent an e-mail to corporate and eventually got info on a job fair they held. also relied on the old temp college bookstore standby job at a community college on the west side. that kept me employed until “the show” was ready to open.

other than that i had some optimism regarding my college degree. hopefully this could open some doors as far as jobs. well i never realized i’d have some far more trying times…

may 2007

so i go way back for this one 10 years ago. so the actions set in motion from this period would likely set the tone for the next 7 years at least. i will begin to explain.

i was at “mission college” still plodding and largely floundering. i was actually a senior and it turns out i won’t be graduating that spring. i had my ass handed to me in several of my courses during the course of that year. mostly Fs with a splash of D’s and D+’s. and by the end of this summer i would be kicked out of school again and had to fight my way back.

yeah remember that brief blurb i wrote about a girl named nicole (yeah the post involving my cousin) well during that period i had also been kicked out of mission and appealed for re-instatement. i chase after some woman and got nothing for my troubles and almost lost my opportunity to get a degree from this prestigious college.

all the same i made quite a few key mistakes and paid for it with bad grades. i was lucky to come back out alive the next semester when i fought my way back in with an appeal armed with a spreadsheet determining which grades should count. if only i was that much of a genius so that this didn’t happen in the first place.

now why this sets the time tone for the next seven years – from 2007 to 2014 – because this would be the one time i just said fuck it. i was finally alright with letting this go. no more designs on getting a prestigious degree from “mission college” and i could jump start my life during what was left of my 20s. just come home and start job hunting and get my life in order.

while this life wasn’t exciting it was unconventional. this also would mean no more looking at those “hillman college” women as a college student. no more student loan debt, studying, expensive books or even courses made difficult.

i can only imagine what i would’ve done if i never got reinstated. i know i’d be looking for another job and i’d have to explain what happened with my school. why i never finished my degree and better yet where have i been since i really hadn’t held down employment. i’d have been a very risky hire surely.

then i wonder if i’d have found myself at “the show” and perhaps i’d be in a better situation in my early 30s if i had never finished at “mission”. to be honest i have little idea today. if graduating from “mission” was my goal i reached it to my surprise…

april 2013

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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

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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

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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.