May 2014

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Been a while since doing one of these types of posts. Probably will retread on some events already chronicled although here I’ll just note some modern day things as well.

Anyway, this month I had two interviews at two different banks. To start my mother had worked on getting me an interview at her bank. Unfortunately the branch I’d have to interview with was on the northwest side a long way from the south side. I didn’t relish it but I wanted another option from “The Show” where I was just stuck until either they squeeze me out or leave them for another job.

I went up there and ran into a snag with the trains a delay here and infrastructure work on the way there upon transferring to another route. I call the branch mgr up there just to let her know that I was going to be late and never really offered an explanation. That didn’t matter because she found a way to use it against me. She hit me with a quick skills test and then ushered me out of the building saying “we’ll be in touch”. She just had to say to me during interview “you came in almost 20 mins late, I’m not impressed”. I later found out due to the changes at this bank she got let go and it was over two years before this bank would fail costing my mother her job. In this instance I tried to do the right thing and it didn’t matter, and for karma’s sake she’s gone because she directly gave me a hard time for my troubles. Might just have been a stickler for time more than she had an issue with my mother.

My friend Anthony – who likes to beg – kind of wanted to stay on me with regards to a job at his “Finer Foods” store. He had been working on me through the winter to call them back. They did call me but got sidetracked and another store called me which I took advantage of though unfortunately I never heard from them again. In fact I did try to get through to the lady at Anthony’s store asking him if she was there on one day he said no and really had nothing else to add. Just went on to the next thing.

All the same, when I finally got in touch with his store at his insistence I called his store mgr. Set up a date and time to hopefully interview with him. It didn’t go as planned and got sent packing after waiting an hour for him to come out and meet with me. The excuse was the store mgr was meeting with his boss on a store walk around. I was upset txt’d Anthony accordingly and never spoke to him until about two days later. While having to explain again what happened (and I had to explain again over two years later) he chewed me out for not following up with them. I had the idea that they’d call me – well they never did even if the associate who did see me did tell me so – and thus I never intended to call them back and worry them about the interview.

Anthony may never have understood this but his behavior during this time was enough to turn me off on working up there at his store. I never blamed him for the store director but his behavior killed this desire enough where when I called him and he decided to tell me to call his HR contact I just wouldn’t acknowledge and said “talk to you later’. That time I called him I was really trying to call him about something else, however, he just couldn’t let go of what happened with his store the previous month. He just had a laser focus on that and never mind that perhaps I moved on to other opportunities.

Meanwhile I continued to work at “The Show” with nothing really dramatic going on and had one more interview near the end of the month with another bank. I felt it went much better than the other interview with my mother’s bank (huge surprise actually), however, I didn’t get it. Though I went to a theater nearby the branch to watch the latest X-Men movie so it wasn’t a totally wasted trip. I consider this a rewards more than anything even if I didn’t walk away with a job offer.

This was the peak of the “streak era” as things did begin to heat up. In about 5 more mos my time at “The Show” would be drawing to a close the frustration of disrespect from my bosses at the theater and some of my colleagues (well calling them colleagues give some of them too much credit) was going to be at an end.

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On the spot…

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BREAKING NEWS!

Your hero – OK fine – yours truly is back at “Fresh Foods”! This is a fresh post and it all happened recently. When I learned I scored an interview I had to resist the urge to mention it here. Glad I did and it just means something to discuss later.

Meanwhile there is one more “Ruthless Roger” thought coming next week so stay tuned. That is one storyline that needs to be put to rest as now I have a reboot at “Fresh”.

So at this point four months into 2018 one resolution down. And as I said the easiest one to fulfill!

Opportunity

Before getting into this stream of thought just wanted to note the latest from my old dept at “Fresh Foods”. Looking at jobs at my old store I see that my old department is now looking for another assistant mgr. I was about to overreact and say Larry muscled someone out of their position & turns out that premise wasn’t entirely correct. One of the assistant mgrs that I knew who got promoted last year to that position from another store is leaving in a lateral move. So who knows it might be about the changes or she sees this as a better opportunity. At this moment all that can be said is only she knows. Meanwhile, something else has come up as far as jobs!img_1276

So the plot thickens got an email for another position I applied for at “Fresh Foods” different dept  at a different store closer to home though I’ll be doing more grocery type stuff. Unlike returning to my old dept at my old store, this is a full-time position which makes this not entirely my favored position but it gets me back to where I hoped to be. Unfortunately this is a closing position, however, it’s full time and somewhat closer to home in Hyde Park which is a great neighborhood instead of downtown Chicago.

So basically I got an email from the dept mgr who sent me a pre-screen questionnaire. It took me a minute to hammer out good responses to the pre-screen. Though I’m sure it’ll come up in an actual interview I didn’t address why I no longer work at “Fresh”. The first question why did I want to work at “Fresh” and I emphasize that I was a customer first and enjoyed the customer service and it was a great company for which I was a part for almost 3 years.

The other questions took some thinking but hammered some responses out to send return email that morning. So I have a sense of completion about this inquiry and then let the chips fall where they may. I have to get past the pre-screen and then hopefully to the next step in the process. In the meanwhile I just have to not worry about it.

Of course I still want to go back to my old dept at my old store. My interest is big in working with Larry now that he’s replaced “Ruthless Roger“. I want to see how the team is working with Larry back after his year at another store. There is a basic idea of how it was with Roger at the helm so to speak. Perhaps full-time or not full-time it would be a sense of pride to be able to return there, it’s where I advanced the most in my work life. I was working at “The Show” for five years and mostly got s**t on for a variety of reasons.

Then again having a full-time job even in a different dept which could also mean better pay is nothing to sneeze at. Got to get in the game for this. This means how do I play this?

Before getting the email from this other store I got a tip from someone I worked with – which I responded that I had interview with a store manager earlier this month – letting me know that he heard I’m getting an interview. See I told you there are people there who are looking out for yours truly. Of course as of yet I haven’t heard from my old dept, something tells me that they’re making me wait as my 6 mos aren’t quite up as of yet.

The uncertainty of that interview earlier this month has now become a probable. So as this post goes up, I’m giving myself some positive vibes as of now. What this means is that the first store to make an offer essentially wins. Most important both must know that I’m in talks with another store in another dept. The plot begins to thicken!

Breaking News

I just found out over the weekend that Roger – who was my last boss at “Fresh Foods” when I got let go – is no longer with the company. I’m hearing some conflicting things regarding what happened. Either way he’s no longer there and one of the former assistant managers for my dept who we’ll dub Larry is returning to take over the dept. Also this makes it easier for me to try to return as I was in no rush to return to that dept under someone I’d dub Ruthless Roger.

In a post on FB, one of my former colleagues noted that Larry is coming back to be the dept. mgr. I sent her a private msg and she let me know that R.R. had been demoted and gave a two-week notice, however, he left before his notice was up. Of course to write it in short hand R.R. got demoted and then he essentially quit the company. I didn’t ask for more details the music to my ears was that he’s not there anymore. I made sure to note to her; now that he’s gone I shall return.

Speaking of this former coworker, I was supposed to work with her the next day after firing. I had sent her a FB msg that evening letting her know that I wouldn’t be joining her and why. Let her know R.R. was a goofball to which she agreed and referred to him as a puppet. Then gave her a prediction basically was going on in the dept at the time that I didn’t think he was going to last long and erroneously I gave him about 6 mos to crash and burn. Which could be roughly the time I had before being rehired.

Basically my prediction was also based on the idea that store mgmt would see what was going on in the dept especially low morale and they would take action. Realize that R.R. really wasn’t working out for our dept which had been a strong one until recently. So being demoted seemed to have been a sign that he was finally pushed out by his bosses. However on this, not so fast…

Later I had also gotten in touch with one of my former supervisors at “Fresh Foods”. While my main goal was to talk to either Larry or store mgmt about me coming back, we also discussed what happened to R.R. If you will an alternate version of events as stated by my former colleague. He couldn’t confirm nor deny whether or not he got demoted, however, his account was that he never put in his two weeks. So basically he just upped and quit with store mgmt upset with him because he left his position. It was said that the dept was doing great with him in charge. So now it could also be a case of he began to realize this position wasn’t the right fit for him.

Though on the one hand his changes and his need to be by the book probably somewhat caused many in the dept to have somewhat low morale including yours truly. I also learned from the supervisor that R.R. seemed to hate his job and wouldn’t admit it. While the dept was beginning to suffer some staffing issues with firings or even people who quit – some of which were likely initiated by R.R. – he apparently liked to leave work early. This while he often asked associates if they could stay extra time because we were at one point short-staffed.

Either way, I’m making plans to return for sure now and already filed some applications online. I know that I have some difficult questions to answer regarding my attendance. I heard from my former supervisor someone else who was let go based on attendance came back. Who knows if store mgmt went over R.R.’s head to bring that particular individual back and perhaps part of the drastic choice he made to quit.

I don’t plan into delving into this anymore because there’s just hearsay and I seemed to have the thirst to acquire knowledge of whatever drama there is (or perhaps there isn’t much drama here). At this point his sudden departure makes it possible for me to return in the near future. And I need not have the consideration that – and it was at hinted when store mgmt let me go – they could possibly hire me over R.R.’s head. Now it’s Larry who I’ve worked with for almost two years so things might return to some type of normal as they were before Roger arrived.

While I somewhat accept that my firing was based on the situation I found myself in. Things built up until I was in a situation where R.R. was strictly by the book, found myself late thanks to a train that fell behind schedule due to a passenger issue, and basically it was manager’s choice. I fell into the category of manager’s choice and they made a call that didn’t go my way. I’m not concerned who made what call exactly what I figured happened was that R.R. punted the ball so to speak to store mgmt and they followed their procedures and chances are that’s where it went. Although in spite of the fact of the tardies, they lauded me as a good worker. Hell they even counted the points because I did what I could to not be late again and I was close to beating that probationary action.

So anyway I need to look at this as water under the bridge. It always flows downriver to another body of water and it’s time to not worry about the past. As of now while I’m eligible to re-apply in 6 mos which would be up in April, the bottom line is I want to return to work right now! Hopefully yours truly can say that he’s back at “Fresh Foods”.

job hunting

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the “apocalypse era” meets the “streak era“. man what a depressing era working a job i was beginning not to like anymore and looking for a job with no results for a good period of time. changed strategies, moved too slow on some opportunities, had people putting pressure on me (i.e. anthony), then crazy coworkers at the job, had interviews though no job, had anthony help me with leads get interviews no job or no interview. then it ends with a job that didn’t start off very well and lost my job only to find another one where i lasted far longer.

had some bites and no job so far – even decided to apply to my friend anthony’s favored employer “finer foods” with no bites. had interviews with the national theater chain – especially the “dine-in show” with no bites. which also lets me know i need to put myself in a better interviewing mindset. btw, i never told anthony – my imperious martial artist friend i met at “the show” – that i’m out of work and don’t want him to start campaigning for his favored outcomes which may not be in MY best interest.

my mother suggested it’s OK to try “the show” again. while i attempt to give out the idea of how uninterested i am in that possibility, i have thought about it on occasion before my current situation. in the last few years i know some things have changed, many of the managers i knew back then have left for other opportunities. the coworkers i knew by the time i left have also moved – and yes that includes people i worked well with as well as the troublemakers. i recognized that there have been many new things occuring at “the show” since my very last shift there..

all the same, the thought has crossed my mind only to be nixed by the idea that my price has gone up. some of the managers i knew from my time – especially if they’re senior managers – are still up there. while i know who i may target if i seek to “negotiate” my return, i often get the feeling that my price could be seen as too high. that price may not necessarily be only money, just that some of what happened back during my time i’m not going to let happen again. i’m not too scared to seek other opportunities if i don’t like where i’m at.

that said, i see this only as a desperation move. at what point do i find that i have no other options but to try to return to “the show”? and for me to go back there at what point would it even be worth returning? of course i have to consider is it worth it for the managers who know me to summon my return. hopefully these aren’t questions i won’t seek to have answered as of now.

on the other hand, this is the apocalypse era. my mother isn’t working anymore – she wants to go back to work but it won’t be a full-time job as she had for most of her adult life. she’s not in a position to do some of the things she had been doing for me. it becomes a case of do what i must do to earn a living for myself.

that means if you’ve been a hot shot executive (well I wasn’t actually) and you get laid off perhaps you may not find a comparable job – what do you do? do you accept a lesser position? do you accept a “mcjob”? do you try your hand at being a bank teller? do you accept a sales job? in my case and i dread this is to go back to a job where for the most part i had a largely awful experience as time went on.

btw, i did humble up and try college bookstores though no bites with that either. for the most part the semester has started at chicago-area local universities so thus perhaps i won’t hear anything yet. for the moment all i can do it continue plugging away

best case scenario i’m back at a “fresh foods” store though not necessarily where i had been working for three years. the main change will be greater attention to my attendance and hopefully get myself in a better position when i return. like i said the easiest resolution to fulfill in 2018 is to find another job. be worried if it’s about to be 2019 and i still haven’t found anything.

rough

probably should’ve written this before the new year but eh.

2017 was rough my mother lost her job after being out of action due to her health issues from the previous year. she was still at home recovering on medical leave when the company she worked for had been taken over by government regulators. and the worst part about this is that the insurance she had been dependent upon was cancelled by the new owners of her company.

then later i lost my job in a somewhat similar fashion. there was no takeover by regulators just a new boss whom i wasn’t feeling and the lates started racking up to the point where i found myself on an attendance probation and on an awful day where i ran late they let me go two days after that. i lost my job but i was getting the sense that the department was beginning to deteriorate though at this point i’m glad that i could return as some point in the future. just think i’m almost halfway there to returning.

also i didn’t go anywhere last year. the year before i took an amtrak train to a family reunion. another year i made an appearance at “mission college” for homecoming. a worthwhile quick jaunt. i said this year my goal is to find somewhere to go and likely without family around which will be determined by whether or not i can find a position.

near the end of last year i had several opportunities to go back to work and didn’t get any of them. two of them are with a national theater chain which i saw as short term until possible returning to “fresh foods”. one interview was awful the other probably marred by an indifferent interviewer whom i had some difficulty reading.

the beauty of 2018 is that there is no where else for me to go but up this year. like i said at the end of 2017, i think finding another job will be an easy goal to achieve. hopefully it won’t be drawn out as it had been before leaving “the show” in 2014. meanwhile, my mother has no job and while she’s healthier than she was in 2016, i still have to remember that she’s still a senior citizen.

in the meanwhile, i had begun to forget about the current era i have arrived in. while i was working i feel as if i can handle this newly christened “apocalypse era”. at this moment with a job, i have fight a little harder than ever.

Change

I used to say you can find yourself in a good situation and you can always lose it. You say that thinking it braces you from the impact of what happens, and then it happens. In this case losing your job which happened to me recently at “fresh foods”.

Perhaps i believe I’m more than capable of handling any problem as you see from the body of work on this blog, it’s not always true. In this case I couldn’t handle the new situation at work, a new manager with a new team. I didn’t trust them and they didn’t keep me from losing my job.

In writing this post I could talk about the grumbling from some of my now former coworkers. I can take it with a grain of salt now or perhaps not because it cost me my job. perhaps I was starting to be a grumbler as I had been at “The Show”. When things aren’t going well I can be a grumbler just complain and get in the drama though in this case it’s not little teeny-bopper drama because I don’t know any better.

Today on the train I ran into one of my former colleagues at “fresh foods” and without telling him what happened with me I asked him how’s it going up there. My expectation – genuinely some positive changes – he simply said “same old bullshi*t”. The new regime hasn’t changed yet, the situation hasn’t settled down though he hopes it does for the best – to which I simply crossed my fingers and hoped for the best with him.

What I told him when he mentioned the B.S. is “this is why I’m gone!” though I wanted to emphasize that I had the best job of my life and I blew it. In doing my best to adjust to a difficult situation I still didn’t do my best to adjust to it. I was just another worker at the end of the day that mgmt had to let go. They were right I did place myself into that situation getting onto an attendance probation where I couldn’t be late for six months and it just had to be one more time – which was out of my hands.

I asked my former colleague about my replacement on receiving another colleague who wanted to learn about buying. My former colleague said he’s still doing receiving though they have him back and forth between the sales floor schedule-wise. Supposedly he was supposed to have been given a raise – just as I hoped to get the position of receiver and just like me – he evidently didn’t get it. The new boss who I’ll call Roger didn’t pull through and my colleague who’s a math nerd and a wrestling fan I’m sure told because he can be vocal.

Ao right now what about yours truly? Well I intend to reapply in six months. In light of what happened and how I feel about the new regime because of how it all ended I don’t know if I want to go back to that store assuming things haven’t settled down. It would be OK with me to apply at other stores than the one I had the chance to know. Thankfully I’m allowed the opportunity to return…

Now I do have my feelings about Roger and don’t intend to demonize him. I will say that after perhaps a month of him being the new dept. mgr. I realized that I wasn’t feeling him. Perhaps he had the same feeling about me. There’s a reason I don’t trust him and perhaps there’s a reason he doesn’t trust me.

If I couldn’t be on time, it gave him the ammunition. He may well have had a scrutinizing eye which I feel he had towards me at least. I also recognize that as a new mgr he had the right to make some changes and he made them. I could get on board or get out the way and to be sure some of those changes got me in the situation I was in.

perhaps I’ll talk about them more at length. this post had to be about me tonight! There are some lessons I need to learn from this, and I WILL figure it out!