November 2017

This month I had two interviews after the Climax of the Reign of Error. Both were with the national theater chain and especially the cinema that’s referred to as the Dine-in Show I formerly worked for the previous year 2016. Neither one panned out as far as a job.

One hiring manager for the Dine-In Show seemed a bit funny speaking with a former coworker there who in spite of my statements noticed that the hiring manager jotted down in his noted my “limited availability”. To be honest that wasn’t a good interview and neither was the other one I had with a cinema that was closest to the Hole. The manager there was a difficult read though as always I kept up my optimism.

Remember what I have been talking about for most of 2021. Earlier in ’17 I had to hear a relatively insistent barrage of Anthony telling me that “if you come to Finer Foods you’d make more money”. One time I snapped at him because even after talking learning buying he still found a way to inject that quote in the convo. Of course there were two other instances where he found a way to bring this up, the last time was during the time where he wanted to borrow some money asking out of nowhere “are you thinking about JUMPING SHIP YET?”

To be fair I’m not sure where this was coming from. And I’m sure that his campaign which started long before Fresh Foods and even Finer’s started making some changes had to have been out of not really being able to let go of what happened about three years earlier when he tried to get me on at his store. It was very strange to have to explain myself again and I had difficulty explaining myself to him years earlier because he was more determined to $h!t on me for not doing everything possible to get an interview let alone get a job. Really oblivious to the fact that it’s hard to worry a hiring if they’ve just immediately showed you how much of a priority you were.

Anyway, after leaving the Hole I had applied to a few outposts for Finer’s and even a few subsidiaries. Just like a few years earlier when I did actually interview with Finer’s at a hiring office on the north side of town it seemed like there were some extra steps to even get an interview. They wanted me to call some number in order to schedule an interview. Well allow me to be irresponsible here, but I’m so glad I saved my money and even the last bit of compensation from Fresh to have no sense of urgency to have to work at Finer’s.

Another thing to consider is that unlike the streak era where Anthony wanted to be all over me finding a job away from The Show – even going so far to try to offer advice that wasn’t very conducive to me finding a job elsewhere – that I didn’t want to involve him. That’s why I had a communications blackout with him in the first place because I really didn’t want to tell him about the climax. I didn’t want him to know about the drama and how it consumed me and hear his own negative opinions about it.

Besides now I wanted to find something else and while at that point it wasn’t about making it to the next level I also knew his job leads likely won’t be that great. They weren’t great in the first place and in thinking about the references episode I got the feeling he would find a way to hold me back.

Another consideration with the Finer’s deal was the difficulty in getting hired back in 2014. Anthony’s insistence on me going to his store and the difficulty with that and his own response to what happened. It was enough for me to back away although later on he still tried to get me back to that. It was strange and odd and perhaps just his way of going back to the past because he never fully was able to let it go.

I feel as if from the summer of ’17 through the holidays after the climax just set the tone for the blackout and ultimately me cutting ties to the man I know refer to as the Fiend. My situationship with him hardly was of any major benefit to me. It might have helped get me an interview to be a cinema mgr or even his insistence might have helped me stay focused on leaving The Show. At the same time it was a lot of negativity and retreads and even some bad leads and worse still we just were never going to be on the same page.

He always had his own ideas which he thought was a better idea as evidenced by his earlier comment before that campaign that “I think you’ll like Finer’s better!” I rejected that immediately only for him to throw in the money deal. Which I can’t tell you for certain if he was right.

Could it be the union? I’ve heard the union for Finer’s isn’t that great. I always though make more money means negotiating and Anthony had sold himself as a great negotiator and found out that his pay wasn’t that much better than mine. I mean just about $100 or $200 more than mine which causes me to think is he getting any benefits because I know he doesn’t care about benefits. And it causes me to wonder if he was lying about going to Finer’s for benefits for his own son – which he borrowed money that summer for.

I suppose for me while I was still at Fresh Foods I didn’t have a concept of how much “more” money Finer’s could offer to pay me. In reality I wasn’t interested but who knows they would have to offer some game changing money that for whatever reason Ant wasn’t getting when he was working for them.

At least for me before the climax the bet I was making was that a new position in buying would get me closer to that game changing money. We also saw how that worked out although I was working towards that Ant turned around and started talking about jumping ship. Like I said we were on entirely two different pages and we just were never going to be even remotely on the same planet.

Anyway to round this up I was looking at cinemas, retail, temp agencies or even transportation. I was looking at railroads especially, wouldn’t mind being a conductor or engineer and I do like to travel. Of course I know about the scheduling it probably could be a struggle.

Imagine being called up at any time to go to work. Sometimes it might be daytime or sometimes it might be nighttime. And transportation runs 24/7 although now is probably a good time to get into that industry as I know truck drivers are in demand. Who knows the air, rail and shipping industries are looking for people too. Hopefully that will involve game changing money as well.

Meanwhile as far as November 2017 goes I just had to stay optimistic….

Revisit: Dawn of the Streak Era

Let me repeat myself from some earlier posts. 2021 represents the whole decade since I’ve met Anthony the hustler. I told a story of the very early days where he tried to borrow some money and his reward for that attempt was no money and in expecting a ride home he got left at the job. He called my phone left a voicemail and I could hear the disappointment in his voice once he realized what happened.

What I didnt anticipate and perhaps I should’ve was that he was just getting started. That didn’t quite send the message that I didn’t want to be bothered. He still came around asking “Why don’t you speak to me?”

Well let’s skip ahead into 2012 and he put me onto this mgmt position at a neighborhood cinema which is a quick train ride away from home. I was cancelling myself out of that opportunity because way before he came to be about it I saw a posting on this company’s social media and decided I wasn’t ready for this. The hustler thought that I was because “You’ve got the experience”.

That particular summer got weird. The conflicts got weirder this was the summer I really regretfully began feuding with Deranged Barney. D.B. was a lot like Anthony once I pulled back he really starting coming around more. Usually just trying to spark a conversation usually it’s just me looking at him and not really responding. I know he’s talking to me but for a time I just showed very little interest in what he was saying. It causes me to wonder if anyone talked to him back then as I had to learn he just wanted attention which is what our feud gave him.

Either way the mgmt job I accepted and this was where yours truly felt this was a good opportunity to leave The Show. If mgmt is what I wanted to do perhaps I should pursue those opportunities when they’re available. One way to look at this is that this was another attempt by the man I know refer to as The Fiend to pull me in more. Trying to pull me away from Henry and his crew was met with mixed results and later on he didn’t mind reminding me of my ties with them.

He did start getting some money out of me making some weird proposition – a return for a small sum of cash. One time I told him to eat it as opposed to paying me back though perhaps the first time he borrowed me he paid that money back. He actually used that money for a hot dog from the concession stand, he got so excited once he was successful. Another lesson learned he never really strayed away from that programming as it turned out. Once he starts begging and is successful it continues.

At this point I was in a holding pattern for the mgmt job. It was a minute from whenever I submitted my resume via email to some point in August where I did finally hear from the theater owner and finally got an interview. I depended upon Anthony for updates as in why is it taking so long. I had allowed myself to be all in on this and it turned out to be a mistake.

I don’t want to go into the story as you’ll see a link to the original post anyway. I will say that my relationships at The Show was starting to take a turn. From the “mean girls of $h!tplace” to even the hustler (as it turns out this was one person I really needed to push away). It was a place I was finding myself at odds with almost everyone and needed this opportunity.

However long story short it didn’t work out. That interview and the resulting disappointment resulted in a period I now refer to as the Streak Era. A period where after as many as 15 interviews it only resulted in one job offer after over two years. What I hoped would be a home run only was the first at bat in the long run.

Please check out the original post here.

Also I’m getting to work on that shoot post regarding “Crisis” which actually could fit within the context of this revisit.

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….

March 2015

At this point I was working at the Hole for just about 2 months. I didn’t know that soon I’ll be working “full-time” for the first time in life. The transition wasn’t too difficult, however, I was in a different environment than expected. Or was I?

What I was doing at a grocery store wasn’t terribly different than for example a theater concession stand. Just a bit more prep work and certainly a clearer idea of what’s expected. The products weren’t as limited as a cinema – you know popcorn, candy, hot dogs, etc. However, I had to get used to what I was doing and when I first started looking at a jobs with Fresh Foods my inclination was to be at the front end ringing up customer groceries.

Either way, I had to do another call with the state’s unemployment officials in March ’15 as Gotham Bank had filed an appeal after benefits were approved even if it was just for no more than three weeks – from the time I got let go from that branch in December ’14 to orientation at Fresh in January ’15. As it was termed I got benefits with an initial payout then after continuing to register weekly for regular payouts after that. It wasn’t much but for a brief time I had some income coming, and still no overhead. 😛

The initial process was easy and under the guidance of a friend – no not the Friend I never told him directly what happened with the bank. There were no direct documentation that I had to sign just a lot of verbal warnings and what not. I think the only main warning I got was not from anyone in mgmt or otherwise any standing but from co-worker. And I had to guess at the final act which I was never told directly. When Ed and Stan pulled me into the office Ed fired off a number of offenses which I could easily categorize as issues with attendance (specifically tardies) and performance as a teller. A list of things that allowed him to determine that he just didn’t like what he sees. Made sure to reference the probationary period for Gotham which was about 90 days, and I was just about halfway through that once things ran their course there.

So I guessed at what the final straw had been, I made sure to tell them what I had been told. Correctly I guessed one particular incident that happened that helped Ed make up his mind about my job there. I get a letter approving my benefits saying I was not at fault and the friend based on some of what I had been telling him determined that my training was an issue. Then again I will admit I was incompetent and uneasy in that role and as stated as time went on and didn’t get on well in my new role yours truly began to dread coming to work at that branch everyday…

For the record the hearing over the phone for the appeal had been cancelled I got a phone call for it the day it was supposed to happen. Actually in a fit of pretending to be my brother who hadn’t seen lived with us for over a decade I took a message that Gotham had rescinded their appeal. If the appeal from Gotham had gone through I’d have to repay that money and thankfully at that time it wasn’t necessary.

I had read up on the company and how they handled unemployment claims. It seemed they contested all unemployment claims and if they lost they will appeal. I had the unfortunately issue of being unable to find my schedule from the bank because in the initial phone call which was before my orientation for the Hole from what the agent told me over the phone there was some discrepancies as far as when that final act occurred. If I remembered the date the agent had told me correctly I wasn’t even at work that day and looked at a copy of my schedule from the bank still in my possession. If the appeal was rescinded I didn’t have to prove that.

However, one thing I could say for Ed one time he pulled me in the office and he got his dates wrong. While he was going to get me on something that given day, he was trying to mention something that we talked about on another day in the office and it was all wrong. I demonstrated that I do remember what we talked about everytime he wanted to talk $h!t to yours truly. Right or wrong Ed seemed to have some arrogance about him and this was not the first time nor the last time I encountered this from a manager. Problem is when they want to get you on something there isn’t much to say about it on my end and was still on the defensive in the long run….

Regardless smooth sailing in the new year at the new job. We started off with a decent crew in the beginning. A few we lost for a variety of reasons probably attendance related or otherwise just realized this wasn’t for them. However, I viewed my new job and company as yet another new beginning. Besides the hot shot job at the bank didn’t work out and that was supposed to be something of a new beginning from The Show.

Oh, yeah I like to talk about the big money years. Well 2015 was the start and it’s basically ongoing even with the hiccup that came later. Minimum wage in Illinois back in 2014 was still $8.25/hr. When I moved over to the bank I went up to about $3.25 more per hour than the hourly wage offered at The Show which was minimum wage. However starting off at Gotham the position was only 20 hrs a week and yes there were opportunities to add to your paycheck i.e. make referrals and never felt too comfortable doing that at the time. I think on Gotham’s version of a social network I saw there doing this for a year would get me, basically I wouldn’t make more money than I had made at The Show. Basically under my minimum goal of making $20K/year, my yearly income assuming no changes would still be roughly in the $10K/year range.

However at the Hole as time goes on that year, I get benefits mainly health insurance and dental. Also a raise after six months, and especially being lifted up into full-time status which means overtime and working up to 40 hrs a week I would ultimately reach that $20K/year goal in 2015. As far as benefits that would wait until a bit later I didn’t immediately get benefits or was unsophisticated about the company’s processes as far as enrolling in benefits once I became full-time. However, by the end of the year I’d get there.

After a couple of years of the streak era, I was going to achieve some of the minimum goals I had from roughly the start. A job with benefits and at a minimum make $20K/year.

Five years ago

Today was the day the streak era ended and I marked this five years ago by writing on a chalkboard I had set up in my bedroom marking that the streak has ended. The board had been tracking the interviews I took on during the course of that year.

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The significance is that this was when I got the phone call which offered yours truly the bank teller job at Gotham. I got an email and then a voice mail and then I called that recruiter at Gotham back and went through one step which was to go through some on-boarding steps with someone two states away. With that in mind I was soon a banker with Gotham.

I told a number of people I had worked with at The Show including Henry, probably Keith, and definitely Anthony. Anthony’s response was most interesting once I told him that the streak ended his response was “Cool! Go for it!” Of course reading into his response it could be interpreted as I needed his permission. Regardless before I said anything  to him I accepted the offer.

It wasn’t long before I had decided that it was time to leave $h!tplace. I didn’t decide right away, but I realized nothing kept me there any longer. At the behest of The Show’s HR point I wrote out a short two-week notice. It’s short because it could’ve been a manifesto and believe me I wanted to. However, the “manifesto” remained at about two short sentences and it was hardly a “grievance”

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Of course, I’ve written too often this job didn’t work out and it only led me to the Hole at the start of the new year. I chose the job that wanted to hire me at the time to get away from a situation that no longer worked. Then the job I accepted didn’t work for me either, regardless yours truly did what he set out to do for over two years at that time!

Also when I shared a link to my instagram post with a friend and explained what it represented I told him that autocorrect on my phone gave $h!tplace with a capital S. Then he simply says “They don’t deserve it? Why not $h!tplace with a capital S?” I just thought it was a funny exchange….

 

References

I noted the streak era briefly earlier this month. Today’s story is more of an aside and even worse is not easily provable. All I have is the word of someone else and the man in question may never admit this if he did this.

Anyway this was a few months before I left The Show. I was still applying for jobs, going on interviews, and I suggest to a coworker – lets call him Woz – that he calls Anthony and see what he says as a reference. Because Ant knows Woz I suggest Woz use his ability to use one of his accents to throw him off the trail.

What was the point of this exercise? I was concerned about the increasing count and no job offer. Perhaps at this point I was just about 0 for 12 while job searching and had five more to go. Some of those jobs asked for references on their applications and Anthony was utilized for that purpose. Granted I have no way of knowing if any of those companies checked references, what I do know is that most of those interviews resulted in no job offer.

esquire

I don’t know what led me to ask Woz to call Anthony posing as a manager for this made up company called Esquire Theatres – named for a former cinema located in downtown Chicago. Perhaps I had that sinking theater that as talkative and occasionally vindictive Ant could be, it’s possible that he’s doing something to hold me back. It doesn’t take much for him to get upset and he wants to do something about it.

I wouldn’t be surprised if it was in him to hold me back from getting away from the job I referred to as $h!tplace because either I won’t follow-up on his leads. Or perhaps because he still hasn’t figured me out or whatever. What I knew is that there might be something going on with him and after a number of interviews to leave The Show starting in 2012 I got no job offers. It was a real strange streak.

So Woz actually does call Ant and eventually texts me his findings letting me know that I was  “a good guy, but very unreliable”. Ant’s words about what he thinks about yours truly. Drop in a light dig that could tank my chances if someone dared call him as my reference. Alas, I never really did anything with this information too much on my plate for that time. Sometimes it’s not so easy for me to switch gears until I just have to.

Not long after this I do two more interviews and finally get a job offer from Gotham Bank which I accepted. This job enabled me to finally leave The Show after almost five years after the theater opened. And Gotham did have a section on their application where I could put down references and Ant was one of them. Either they didn’t call my references or Ant was in the mood to put in a good one who knows. It doesn’t matter I got the job anyway!!!!

As far as Anthony’s response I did kind of pose a scenario to him once as far as why it took so long to get a job offer over two years after I started interviewing for jobs. I decided in part one reason it wouldn’t happen was because of my teeth. I had to force him to look into my mouth to see the dental work I had done. He’d seen me a handful of times since I left the theater and it seems he didn’t notice. Perhaps it was something he never paid much attention to anyway.

When he does see the dental work his first question was “Why did you need to do that?” I don’t remember what I told him but I hinted this was one reason why I never did get ahead when I was job hunting. Even stated that perhaps if I had never gotten that dental work done I wouldn’t have found the job at Fresh Foods. He quickly dismissed this assertion by saying “I don’t think that’s it. I think it’s all in your head”. He quickly changed the subject and wouldn’t address this further.

I did note that for that interview that resulted in an offer with Gotham, I hadn’t yet done the dental work – where I get the bad teeth removed and was fitted with a flipper – I still had bad teeth when I went on the interview. In fact I cancelled the appointment for this major work to do this interview. Perhaps it was in my head, perhaps it was meant for me to work for just over a month at this bank branch.

And perhaps some of the other interviews which resulted in no offers was because of my teeth, or I didn’t interview well or because of bad references. Perhaps all the above.

What I do know now is if you allow the man I now know as the Hustler any possible power over you, he’ll use it. In this case, if he knew he had the power over whether or not you’d have a better job he could decide whether or not you’d get it or lose it. Since it seems he’s not stable himself, he could be the reason he holds you back. Even if you can’t prove it…

 

September 2009

I was at quite an unusual crossroads 10 years ago. Yours truly was not too far away from 30 and just attained my undergrad degree from the prestigious Mission College. Because I hadn’t really planned very well for graduation I just wasn’t sure what was next.

It could’ve been military, I hadn’t planned to return to school yet. If I did then I really needed a viable plan for that (incidentally I was considering going into teaching as one idea however that was later). Whatever money I had was beginning to run out and since I came back home, my mother was beginning to worry me with ideas.

So I hit up the jobs I’ve had success with at that time such as college bookstores. No bites until maybe in November of that year. Also I got a lead from a real estate blog which enabled me to send a cold e-mail to a company which would later open The Show and it’s funny that actually got me somewhere. Otherwise my first job out of school was still months away.

Otherwise, I still had to figure out what’s next. Had some opportunities within my chosen major, however, those didn’t work out. It didn’t help that my GPA after so many self-created trials and tribulations wasn’t that great. So all I could do to exist as an ex-career student is plug away trying to get my life jump started. I stayed on course for that degree when it was probably easier to just switch gears and move on to something else.

Also I liked to talk about over the years on this blog my teeth. They weren’t yet in bad shape but at this point I already got diagnosed with a gun disease, however, this was the time to really take care of it. I got my last cleanings that fall until I was ready with some dental insurance (“dennal plan”) just about five years later to really get started treating my condition. As far as the relationship goes my mother who largely took care of my dental expenses at the time wasn’t having a great relationship with the dentist (who incidentally went to Hillman College that sister college I’ve told you all about). It wasn’t long before she no longer used them.

So at this point in time I had the optimism of being a recent college graduate, however, it went up and down. There was not a lot of optimism and it almost matched the year when I was actually out of school and my mother began to worry me about finding a job. Just anything and her only excuse was because her elders did it to her.

Man, I’m still learning even now that making plans are hard.

Still by the end of that year things would somewhat begin to stabilize.

Gift of gab

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I’m writing something of a prequel post before sharing hopefully tomorrow what happened once I was fully committed to that path. The path I’m referring to was ultimately getting hired at a bank during the Streak Era when I had no success at securing a job offer until Gotham Bank wanted to hire yours truly.

Anthony makes an appearance in this post, but remember we were friends and I had learned to lean on him for advice on finding a job. One of the things I marvel at him for was his ability to just go into a place and start talking to mgrs about jobs. He would go up to a mgr and try to talk his way into a job, though I admired the moxie there weren’t many results from it. Mainly it seems he often never got a job from it, though only he knows why it never worked out.

One day at work we were talking about the jobs I had been pursuing (which I often focused on what I knew which was the movie theater business, the national chain which at the time I viewed as the promised land). Either way as I begin to talk about the job hunt Anthony decided for me that these jobs just weren’t for me and decided I should pursue banking because without no real explanation he thought it “suited” me. His justification confused me but he really had no further explanation.

He knew my mother worked at a bank and he did loudly argue why she never tried to get me on at her job. I had to tell him that this was what I wanted, if I had wanted it perhaps I’d have been working there. Though in reality I had no idea what I wanted once it was time to start looking for a job. All the same just consider that I tried it a year later with my mother’s company and came away without a job offer.

Either way, since Ant decided he needed to get directly involved he got to work over my head on this. One day he called me letting me know he has a contact at a bank downtown and suggested that I give that contact a call. There is one catch I can’t mention him at all, this will be a cold call with nothing to fall back on and I needed to use the “gift of gab” to talk my way into a job. And I thought, what a tall order he’s trying to get me to do.

Another catch is for some reason, he would never give me the contact information he claimed to have. So on this I have no idea what he was waiting for and besides this was something he thought I should do. I don’t remember if we talked more about it or what, however, what I ultimately told him was that I won’t call this contact unless I could find a job to apply for. In other words, I’m not going to cold call anyone with nothing and this means not without having something for them to pull up as far as an application.

What I’ve learned about Ant is that he would try to do an end run around the application process. He tried to talk to a GM at another theater trying to see if he could send his resume and the guy merely just repeated that he needs to file an application through their company’s website. And other situations, I just know what he portrays often is that he knew someone who put in a good word for him and eventually because of his experience someone called him back and got the ball rolling.

Yeah that’s great if you’re some high priced talent, but really impractical for someone who I’ve only known to pursue relatively low-stakes jobs. Remember so far he’s mostly been working low-level jobs in grocery and security at least for the last few years since leaving the theater where we formerly worked.

I also want to illustrate for you how he did finally arrive at The Show where he did attempt to hustle money of yours truly as quickly as he could. According to him he had left a mgmt gig at a local retail chain – according to him he burned a bridge. Anyway once he quit that job he made a call to the wife of our house manager who later called Ant up. Next thing I know on the floor of The Show we have an older guy working with us. Strangely he’s curious about yours truly once we begin to work together.

To get back to what happened with this supposed banking hot shot. I kept blowing Ant off as time went on. He would ask me if I found anything to apply for and often my answer was I hadn’t. My idea was very narrow as far as what job I wanted to apply for and saw that if I was only looking for a teller position that there different levels such as teller I, teller II etc. I never saw what I thought was a basic teller position to apply for and once Ant kept getting the same answer from me eventually he would just drop his design.

Of course if you want to know what happened afterwards I will refer you to the story where he tried to borrow money from yours truly for his dojo. As for myself well the next year after he left the theater I had really began applying for jobs at banks attempting to end the rut and had finally found one who’d hire me. The branch that did hire me help me recognize that perhaps Ant was wrong and perhaps that business didn’t exactly suit me at all.

That’s the story I want to tell you all next!

No interview 2014 pt. 2

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The reason I’m telling this story in full is because this illustrates the evolution of my friendship with Anthony. It became him helping me get the next opportunity away from The Show. Often I would say he came up 0 for 3, in spite of him putting in a good word for me in all Rthree opportunities including the one for theater mgr with the difference being he never worked there. Usually a person on the inside helps you get the job in this case however it didn’t work out that way.

I won’t entirely blame him for it, he may have talked himself up but in the long run didn’t have the influence he believed he had. It was the case with Finer Foods and the third opportunity at another retail store he had worked for. So with this said I never blamed him for what happened with the interview that never happened, I only blame him for his behavior afterwards.

In the last post, Anthony had finally reached me two days after the non-interview as I was about to get on the train to go home after getting off my shift at the theater. His first question once I answered his call was “What happened with the interview?” I begin to answer my way and he’s quick with a question. Seemingly he’s trying to find holes in my story, he was looking to go on the attack. Once he got out of me that I never called them, he quickly fires off “That’s the problem, YOU DON’T FOLLOW UP!” He then states that he heard that I never followed up, problem is if he let me finish my story I would’ve told him that I was told they’d call me. It may not have made much of a difference for him.

I repeat OK as there was an awkward silence letting me know he was pissed (and I can only imagine his aged grizzled face showing his anger). He assured me that he’s still on the phone. He takes a deep breath and tells me to call them tomorrow. I may have agreed to that but before he quickly tries to usher me off the phone I tell him to call me tomorrow. He ends the call once I said that with no acknowledgement. His quick flash of anger has me taken aback and is an important reason why I never try to call his store again to reschedule the interview.

So for the rest of the night into the next morning I consider whether or not I should call them, however, I had very little interest and never do. Later that day Ant texts “What happened?” Now he wants to know what’s going on but because of how he went off the day before as I attempt to explain, I really began to avoid him. Unfortunately with no explanation on my end as to why I won’t call them he presses on.

He tries to text me saying call the store they’re looking for me. He also states that I should call because they have positions to fill, however, he’s keeping this alive when I was in move on mode. I did what he wanted me to do, went up got sent away with nothing and realized this wasn’t really worth it. Meanwhile he treats this as the only opportunity I need to consider.

Even better by the time I finally connected with him I had other interviews lined up, the one for my mom’s bank where although I called the branch mgr that I was running late she still had a problem and never heard from them again. Otherwise I finally did call him later that month, and while I intended to discuss something else he ignored that and when into “What’s going on with Finer Foods?”

Basically he goes into how they now owe me and I need to give them a call. He was even trying to go on the defensive claiming that I blamed him for what happened. Just bear in mind I sent him an email explaining what happened and he’s the type that still wants me to explain what happened almost as if what I’m telling him he just needs to hear it from my mouth not a written explanation. However, he acknowledges that I was ticked off and trying to calm him down I reassure him that I don’t blame him for what happened.

What I should’ve told him and he probably blew this off when I fired off a quick email during the radio silence is that I do blame him for his behavior. His quick flash of anger was as important and not being interviewed when I was at his store. It was the reason why I backed off ultimately, if I’m getting yelled at for something out of my control and for not doing everything his way. Better yet for realizing that those folks never valued my time by not interviewing me this just wasn’t worth it for me.

So he tries one final time before we end our call to tell me to call his HR contact tomorrow. My response tensely without acknowledging his request, “I’ll talk to you later!” We hang up and meanwhile I’m finding other opportunities. Ultimately I started getting interest from other banks, although I used one more job lead from Anthony which also goes nowhere.

By late summer either August or September I got a few more interviews under my belt and one day Anthony calls me. And once he again he says “I’m going to need you to call [his Finer Foods HR contact]”. I write this down though I don’t know if I’ll do it, but it just shows how bullheaded he was. He was set on getting me up here at his store even if he had to wait a few more months for things to settle down. In the long run as I find other opportunities I never did.

We never addressed this again until over two years later when I talk about another Finer Foods store that opened and once I get entrenched at Fresh Foods and he asks the pointed question “What ever happened with that?” Really Ant? You’re going to ask about something I consider ancient history, it still remains in your mind after two years and I had moved on to other opportunities?

I’ve gone over the first time Anthony had tried to borrow money, and then a second time he tried to borrow money. Well how about the last time he borrowed money? That’ll be the next post in two days!