I have something that I didn’t tell you from over the past summer. No huge secret but for the first time since 2019 when I interviewed for associate buyer I had an interview. I consider it something of a retread, however, my interview was with the National Theater Chain.
Every once in a while I might file an application usually with those cinemas that are in downtown Chicago especially since the Climax of the Reign of Error. Of course there were two interviews with the NTC during that period neither resulted in job offers. And every now and again I get a nibble, and even got one before the economy shut down due to the bug in 2020. There has been a few other nibbles since then however, I took up this one with a theater which had just opened up earlier this year.
For the interview it started with an e-mail and while I didn’t immediately respond I just said the hell with it. So I replied told the mgr when I would be available, he said cool and then I just got ready for that day. What I hoped to do was schedule this interview on a day when hopefully my mother had nothing going on and turned out I was wrong. She had a medical appt on that day, so basically I drop her off at her appt, I drop the car off at the house and then took the train to where the cinemas were.
The cinema was actually a space used by another company which went bankrupt due to the pandemic. I had actually been there years before to check it out, spoke with an associate who couldn’t pronounce the name of the latest release at the time Spectre. I saw there was a gift shop right where the lobby was. Instead of a box office there was a series of kiosks for customers to buy tickets. The associate was standing around to help customers who were “challenged”. And then I walked back out of the building, never saw a movie though there were opportunities to go up and interview with them and never did.
The building is located on the north side of Chicago and in a commercial development full of stores which I hit up such as a sporting goods store and a Finer Foods was nearby also. I just browsed until it was time to get ready for the interview. Now remember the NTC took over the space from another picture exhibition company. So the set up from that other company was never fully changed for NTC’s purposes. There is no person in box office and there was no guest services desk and there was a bit of a crowd of young people up there on this day. It was no earlier than 12 noon to 1:00 PM on this day.
It took me a minute to figure out who to approach there was an older man doing maintenance work, I approached. I can easily identify a mgr/supervisor for NTC and he wasn’t one. His role seemed to be to fill all the sanitizer stations within the building. I simply told him that I had an interview and told him who had contacted me. He sat me down near the bar and said he’ll get someone out to speak to yours truly. Another guy who was dressed as a mgr/supervisor came by, asked if I had an interview and said someone would be right with me. Well he wasn’t the one who interviewed me. 😛
A much younger man who couldn’t have been much older than 21 sat me down at a table in the bar area and we had the interview. As per usual the questions were mostly situational and I would basically shoot from the hip with my answer. Went for the old standbys mentioned a time where I thought an area at a business wasn’t clean and mentioned the produce dept at the Finer’s nearby was very cluttered more than I was used to at Fresh Foods.
Another answer I gave was about how I think if you got a good team around you that passes the time very quickly. If everyone was on the same page to get some work done that goes a long way. They asked me about how I feel about accomplishing a task I give examples of doing receiving for the produce team and how it’s a difficult job and then once it’s complete I gained satisfaction. Now it seemed as if this young man was rushing me as he was quick to end the interview before I finished asking questions.
I told him that I formerly worked at The Show and he lauded it as a very nice facility and it was (though don’t worry I have been very negative about them on this blog however I just temper my comments in this situation). I had to ask him how long had the NTC been there, were there any plans for that place for example is it a “dine-in show”. Other than that I walked away recognizing that I probably won’t get a position there.
No big issue with that, it’s not like my hopes for the future was hinging on this. Unlike 10 years ago! This was just an exercise I didn’t take it that seriously. I tried to dress appropriately, still had my baseball cap on. Wore a button down shirt and a pair of dark slacks. If nothing else, just take myself out of the comfort zone and just because I wanted to do it.
The mgr did let out quickly how much the job paid. It didn’t move the needle for me one way or the other. I did tell him I work full-time for a grocery store and I do make more than the wage he noted. Taking this job would be extra money if I can get the availability just right. Perhaps he did that to let me know this isn’t the job for me, however, if I didn’t want it that wouldn’t have been the deciding factor. The cinemas aren’t exactly spitting money at prospective employees especially if they’re young and silly even in a time when these businesses need workers
Another note, well they may not have known I was coming though they didn’t entirely waste my time. The mgr who interviewed me didn’t even have my name down nor any details from my application. Indeed I didn’t come that prepared with a resume of my own, like I said I didn’t take this interview that seriously.
If you want to know every now and again I still do applications for the NTC. No further nibbles since June of this year, however, now I realize that this is a retread. If there was anything this was a signal that it was time to do something different. The same old thing isn’t really working.
As a matter of fact I’m working on something with Fresh Foods right now with the idea that if I stay in one place for a long time I stagnate. I’ll say more about it later, however, I’ve been chasing jobs in the cinema business and hoping for the best at Fresh Foods for a while that now I wonder if it’s just time to just move forward. Perhaps Fresh after almost 8 years had served its purpose for me.