odds & ends

so it starts from roughly now until at the very earliest late september to hopefully early october at the latest “the show” storyline here at feeling no love will draw to a close. there’s not much new in talking about old incidents although until my self-imposed deadline i hope you’ll indulge me.

the individuals i could talk about are largely those whom all merge together with very little to distinguish them. i could write about managers but why and all i’m going to talk about is the complaining and my response to it. largely my response will simply put you to sleep because it’s not like i got into a major slobber knocker. regardless what i would write about or perhaps had written about is so small in the grand scheme of things why even bother?

just as easily as i could tell you the negative the only reason i’ll ever talk about the place where i used to work for almost five years is because something new happened. which is the case you will see below.

* i ran into one of my former supervisors – harve – during the course of the past month – exclusive of running into the house manager after during one recent visit to “the show”. harve got promoted to senior manager recently now he has a lot more pull if you will. i hadn’t always done right by him, but on this visit there i made sure to congratulate him.

i was somewhat there to be nosy, however, for this visit i had a purpose. the theater is located in a shopping complex and i was looking to make a purchase for an office chair at a furniture store. at this point i got to the shopping center shortly before as i turned out harve was about to open the doors for the day. and to think he opened the doors later than usual as from what i remember doors are normally open at roughly 11:30 for the first show at noon during the week.

i congratulated him told him where i worked and told him of my expected promotion without much explanation, wondered how often i was there knowing that i had been a film buff. to be fair perhaps he saw me on occasion outside of “the show” peering in and honestly i like the idea even three years later of being on the outside looking in.

the fact was when harve asked me about coming up to the theater i made sure to note that he knows my history and i’ve largely kept my distance so far. that’s regardless of the fact that on occasion since leaving i’ve made several visits though often rare as they were. regardless my feelings of that place has waxed and waned since leaving and i also realize man of the people whom i had issues are mostly gone having moved on to other opportunities.

i shook harve’s hand after leaving “the show” just after it opened for the day and headed back to the furniture store to go shopping. i made sure to tell him that he got me on social media and we should stay in touch. though now that he’s a big wig of sorts he probably is too busy now!

* before leaving “the show” in 2014 i got an email from another “fresh foods” store in response to an application. i’d have been working front end and although a part-time position – akin to the hours i’d already get at “the show” – it would’ve paid me $10/hr. that was much better than being on $8.25/hr especially if there were no concern for benefits. only thing is i’d have to travel further away from home and of course no set hours which means i’d have to really set a clear path as far as availability.

if i’d have gotten an offer for this job – which could’ve happened at least a month before handing in my two-week notice for gotham bank – it would’ve been possible for me to remain at “the show” and work both jobs. of course the changes that i noticed with some of the more cooler people leaving “the show” – firing or quitting – made it far more easier to call it quits with the theater.

either way little did i know that after chasing jobs – especially banks – that provided some benefits a company like the one that owned “fresh foods” would provide me benefits but only after completing a short probationary period. this would be one selling point to consider looking for employment elsewhere as much as more money would be!

unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be at that time. the front end manager at that store sent an e-mail and it took me a day or two longer to reply. and i got passed over for an interview. i was disappointed, but it was what it was and this was the one time i moved on! as it turns out i’ll have more opportunities with them later.

funny thing about this is i had been trying to get on with “fresh foods” for a while. and it almost seemed as i got more attention from “finer foods” – anthony’s favorite employer apparently – than from “fresh foods”. however at the right time i got the right job eventually.

* finally to sum up. i’ve began to believe long before writing this post that the more sh*t i talked about the place i used to refer to as “sh*tplace” i only serve to curb my own happiness if you will. i can’t appreciate the good that i have now, if i continued to dwell on the bad experiences i’ve had there. at this point it’s more important to remember the positives and certainly what i want to create for myself today.

since leaving “the show” i couldn’t have gone on two vacations within the past couple of years. “fresh foods” and “gotham bank” were the first jobs i had that offered paid time off. at the theater i’d have to request days off and i wouldn’t get paid for them. not cool but those were the parameters. this is just one example.

now i could count on harve as a professional contact. continue building bridges with the people from “the show” whom i got along with best. and of course continue to progress with my work life having been stagnant for so long at “the show”. may i continue to win!

august 2014

during this month back in 2014, my job search began to heat up after a two-month dry spell. i got two interviews with “gotham bank” and no job offer to my disappointment, though finally i had some optimism.

at work well same old same old immaturity and conflicts abound with some of my young female coworkers and to a lesser extent a young batch of new hires. things didn’t seemed to have degraded like they have before. sooner or later i would begin not to recognize half of the new people coming in. some were cool and great to talk to and in one case gave them a brief history lesson, however, it was time for me to leave increasingly.

sooner or later the bat attitudes of my fellow work associate’s and perhaps the need of some managers to do a tense of job of managing me – with great unprofessionalism – made it easier for me to accept a future job offer at a neighborhood “gotham” branch. and again in spite of what would later happen i still look at it as more money with benefits after a probationary period and hopefully more hours than i had at “the show”.

i still spoke to anthony on occasion. earlier in the summer he had me speak to a manager at his new assignment – a bed and bath store near downtown. it was essentially a screening interview. anthony claimed that they will call me however by the end of the year i had never heard from them. he even said if i hadn’t heard from them give the store a call, however, i had simply moved on. if my performance in interview kept me on the backburner it wasn’t important for me to nudge them forward.

another thing we talked about was he claimed he had an interview with the national theater chain – with whom i later had an interview to be a manager – to become essentially an operations manager. he would attain the job equivalent of “the show’s” house manager. he evidently didn’t get it because he wanted them to come to terms as far as pay there was a $10K difference between both sides and anthony seemed to have sneezed at the benefits he wanted more money. so thusly he had to turn them down or they decided he wasn’t worth it. whom do you believe?

in the hopes that they could “come to terms” i asked him to keep me in mind. initially i had told him that i interviewed for a bank branch near o’hare and ultimately he found a job at a warehouse up there himself. his only answer was that he’d rather i went to o’hare “i know what’s going to happen before you do” he says. he also suggested this left-field job idea and worse than his idea for me to do security with him – airplane fueler…..WTF???

he tried to sell me on good pay, it’s UNION, with good benefits. i simply told him i got to think about it and promptly didn’t consider it much after that. one while he was keen on me working at a bank because he believes it suited me though he still has no idea that i crashed and burned at a bank later on. though i did let on as far as “quitting the bank” that i just had a hard time and ultimately couldn’t stand the assignment that i had accepted. though he’d still blow it off and say i could’ve been a personal banker…

i don’t know how many times i’ve told this part of my story it was time to start fixing my teeth and started doing so during the course of this month. mainly just with deep cleaning that involved numbing my gums. i never got many comments on my smile, but when i did they almost always seemed negative. at that point with newly purchased dental insurance it was time to get started on fixing my teeth.

beyond that as it turns out leaving the show was only two months away though it took another three interviews for that to finally happen.

negotiate

during the “streak era” my odd martial artist friend anthony had the need to advise to me to negotiate after interviewing with two competing theaters in 2013. seek a guarantee of some hours or even extra cash. really that advice went out the ear and out the other.

one reason was after suggesting if they don’t offer me more hours or cash i should be prepared to walk. be prepared to walk he says that conflicted with my thinking at the time. the reason why is because i wanted to walk away from “the show” not walk away from a job offer.

bottom line even thinking about negotiation didn’t matter if i wasn’t going to get the job in the first place. see this is why i call that period while working at “the show” the “streak era” because i had an odd streak of interviews with no job offers.

now another interesting situation. for the past two months or so i have been doing receiving for my department. a couple of coworkers have starting mentioning that i should see if i could get more money. basically receiving is my new permanent position now, but this period could be viewed as whether or not i can handle the position.

here’s the thing i probably should’ve been negotiating with our acting dept. manager. however i’m simply waiting for that position to become available to apply for. so far the only position that has been consistently posted for so far has been for team buyer.

it was something that i applied for the first time it was posted by was told that they only wanted someone with buying experience to apply and interview. on the buy/receive team there are normally three for our department. that team has effectively flipped one (the reciever) simply no-called no showed, two others (the buyer and the new reciever) have quit for new jobs. it just leaves the assistant buyer and at the moment yours truly.

in the meanwhile we have a new dept. manager, the acting manager is on her way out of the door soon moving on to another store in another part of the country. now it’s time to begin strategizing negotiating not only for the receiver position, but for a potential raise with hopefully some set days off. and then feeling out the new boss and try to anticipate some of his thinking.

so far he seems ok. who knows how long he’s been an assistant manager having only recently been promoted to a dept. manager. it seems i have the tendency to work for very successful teams on some level “the show” was a successful team in spite of everyone being out for themselves. better yet the “dine-in” was another successful team although i may hear from those who say otherwise.

btw, as for the buyer position there were so far two takers one of who include our own assistant buyer who didn’t get the position. it’s safe to say for some reason the panels who have interviewed them have determined neither was a good fit for that position. who knows what they’re looking for and at this point it could be asked why don’t they just begin to train someone if they lack the necessary knowledge or skills.

as far as the job and the dept i have started with from day one, lot of changes. especially a 100% flip in managers, i’m beginning not to recognize my team anymore. not a good feeling and definitely not having worked at a place with high turnover. perhaps that’s just the current reality i have to adjust to currently.

btw, during the streak era it was all about finding another job. get more money or hours wouldn’t have matter. for example at Gotham bank I got paid more money at least 3.25/hr more than the then minimum at 8.25/hr, however, I lost 9 hrs from the almost 30 I got at the show. at this point it was about getting a job offer to leave “the show” everything else hopefully would fall into place.

the return

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during the course of the past couple of weeks i visited both “the show” and the “dine-in show”. i already know how many changes have occurred at “the show” as it bled many of the longtime managers i knew there and many of the employees. aside from a few exceptions it’s very hard to find someone who had been working there as long as i have.

* one of the people i didn’t care for was the house manager he was interestingly cordial the day i saw him – “it was nice seeing you“, he said. he was the main sh*thead there. i’m not explaining what that means. i went up to the lounge to check menu it hadn’t changed when i left one of the managers up there was someone i started with in 2009. she was at the hostess stand which is in a different spot now. it registered that i was no longer there. another person i recognized there was a young man working the concession stand i wanted to say hello but i was unsure if he remembered me and i didn’t want to ask the house manager if i could come in and speak with one of the supervisors who was a dear friend. i left not long after going to the bar.

if i may explain what a house manager is, essentially the house manager is the no. 2 at “the show” to the general manager. he’s the first officer or executive officer so essentially a commander riker to captain picard from star trek. though in this case i have far more repsect for cmdr. riker than the old h.m. at “the show”.

* didn’t intend to go in at the “dine-in” one of my young coworkers – francis – had made me just as i got up the escalator. i got a run down of all the changes many of the managers and supervisors had transferred to other theaters or quit. a precious few had gotten fired. it seems being a manager/supervisor at a theater in downtown chicago wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. this is more of an intermediate step than a stop on a career in the theater business.

* the general manager who offered me an opportunity to give more hours  – however i quit because my schedule at “fresh foods” near the end made it almost difficult – had moved on to a theater in florida. another manager transferred to a theater closer to my current job. others simply were on their way out the door for better opportunities – and that’s always a good thing. i told francis i had been applying for different positions there but never heard back he was incredulous as i had already worked there and knew the job.

before i left he seemed down because of all the changes to which i told him, that place wasn’t really a bad place to work. the question to ask is at what point are all the changes bad. he turned around and said when does one reach their breaking point. i told him i hope he doesn’t reach that point but exactly because this wasn’t a bad place to work. right now him and his coworkers say the “dine-in” sucks right now.

* i would say once upon a time i reached my breaking point at “the show”. after all i began to call the place where i worked “sh*tplace”. i was not in good shape there. in fact the day of my visit there a long-time security guard for the parking lot at “the show” joked that i did my shift real quick to which i joked so quick i’m not coming back. then he recognized they won’t elevate me move me up so i had to make a move and go somewhere that i could. he made a good point finding another job is always about bettering yourself especially financially and certainly with skills.

* one of the senior managers from “the show” moved onto the national chain with whom i formerly worked at the “dine-in”. he was a facility manager at the “dine-in” when i saw him i made sure to speak to him though he has the easiest job there he doesn’t have to deal with employee issues or customers for the most part just keep the building in good shape. another person who left “The show” to better themselves though it’s unclear what caused him to exit.

* the h.m. at the show i understand is likely unhappy although he’s probably going to stay put. he’s now feeling the pressure of no raises like those of us on the bottom rung. of course that tidbit is per our dear friend anthony as while he has his opinions on our former boss he got some info out of him. some real insider stuff.

all the same i simply say it serves him right for being a dick to many of us and now he’s feeling his own pressure. although it’s unfair to compare my pressure to his. he has children, me i only have student loans. just like him i wanted to make more money and all i got was minimum wage pay as they chose to cut hours for obamacare. now he knows what it’s like somewhat to stick with a job and not get ahead financially.

this leads me to say i can’t hold on to any grudges from that time. what goes around comes around. though he still has the position and the salary i shouldn’t feel that bad for him. certainly i can only wish i had his role & salary there but as of now i’m a long way from it. even then i can get to where he is now at “fresh foods” at least.

odds & ends

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my friend anthony is again trying to get me to work with him at “finer foods”. i met with him recently – he hit me up for some ca$h again – and he casually said “are you thinking of jumping ship?” at this point my only answer is no.

then he suggested get an interview see what kind of money they’re talking. even during the heat of the “streak era” he was into telling me about negotiation. especially when i was entertaining leaving “the show” for another theater. of course negotiation is out of the question when you’re not getting the job in the first place.

* that brings to mind a botched interview  back in april 2014 he wanted me to have with the store he then worked on the northwest side of chicago. i called up the store director at that store and set a date and time. when i think about it today he the s.d. was a very fast talking guy as if he was very busy. as it turns out perhaps he was in over his head.

i went to the store and was a little late because i’m not that familiar with that part of town. i was kept waiting for a half-hour before someone came out to speak to me. this person then asked if i was sure i was meeting with the s.d. then my attitude came out. simply put i spoke with him if he assigned me to anyone else i’m not aware of it. i was kept waiting for almost another half-hour before finally being told the s.d. was meeting with his district manager and won’t be able to meet with me and sent on my way.

so on the day when anthony sent me a quick text suggesting i try for his new “finer foods” store a big “wtf” came across. the last time he brought this up i quickly just stated “you must have a hard-on for me working at ‘finer foods'”. he quickly backed off stating that he was just stating with my experience i could get more out of it.

now back to what happened. i texted him quick telling him there was no interview and why – and just think a little over an hour before he was wishing me good luck. no luck needed no one interviewed me and they kept me waiting to tell me they weren’t going to interview me. almost two days later he shitted on me for not following up. why would i want to follow-up with people who didn’t respect my time? they made a mistake they should follow up with me.

* with this in mind i’m thinking anthony was giving me shit because my job search up to that point was netting me no results. nothing was working for me between august 2012 to october 2014. he had little problem noting that i don’t really follow-up on these interviews. perhaps he was doubting my ability to really score the job.

after that dust-up i avoided talking to him via text and phone for a while and he maintained a laser focus on getting me to talk to his hr contact up there. i sent an e-mail explaining my actions and he though the appropriate reply was when i call their hr. i was a long way from wanting to go back up there when that blow-off attempt at an interview happened.

* and yet i found my way at “fresh foods” later without the experience at “finer foods”. having worked with people that formerly worked at that establishment i’m not too unhappy that i never got my opportunity. it seems many left them behind very unsatisfied whether it was the pay or the culture. who knows why anthony seems to like them so much – aside from the fact that they’re union.

* his pay blows mine out of the water i’m real close to where he is only about a dollar difference. he claims to get $900/wk take home and i make about $200/wk less. he throws around the know your value thing but i know mine now perhaps in terms of intra-company promotions or even changing companies. which ironically i consider say between a grocery and a theater. though when i accepted the job at the “dine-in show” i didn’t negotiate pay.

now that i’m largely on target for a promotion which could surpass anthony’s level of pay it’ll only take something crazy for me to jump ship. right now i may consider a intra-company transfer even at the same level before going to “finer foods”. sooner or later i can just tell him to forget about that fantasy.

oh yeah and also bear in mind he just returned to that company starting off as part-time. he hopes to make full-time, however, where he had been at first he claimed there was too much red-tape for that to happen for him. i’d say for now i have a better deal.

crisis: past tense

Concession Counter at Movie Theater

i began to realize that i was in a bit of a crisis from roughly 2012 to 2014. this was the “streak era” and that crisis involved confidence. some of my coworkers weren’t confident in me because they wanted to create drama and sometimes that drama included me.

often i point the finger at the young girls who created their cliques and targeted people they don’t like. who knows what exactly their purpose was other than to flex their muscles but that’s what it is. the mgmt clique was another group that one had to be concerned about they actually could cost anyone their job and especially if they wanted to trust the accusation of the young clique.

working with people who are quick to throw you under the bus for the least reason causes a crisis of confidence. also, the general atmosphere among associates had been that we’re replaceable anyone could do the job. it doesn’t matter how well one may do the job, their attitude could easily become you may do it well but you’re expendable. when you think about it the cooks from the upstairs lounge learned this attitude and they all just quit, they were tired of it. all our mgmt did was find someone to replace them.

i was never confident that i was doing the job mgmt expected. what i faced is that even though i never got fired the job got done but you run into one person that picks over this & that. perhaps i may not often be a problem however when there is depending upon who’s on duty it gets magnified quick. there was a general issue with morale and mgmt of the time really wasn’t help. it doesn’t matter who you clamp down on!

another set-up when i was working at “the show” i was in my early 30s. just graduated from “mission college” was a bit optimistic about my future. i really believed that my degree would open some doors for me and sadly it didn’t open any during my time at “the show”. bad enough i was working at a movie theater but those who knew i had a college degree found a way to use it as a cheap shot. and towards the end my longevity was used as a cheap shot.

funny part of this story is that i rarely dreaded coming to “the show”, think about it. i had been doing it for five years almost and in some respects there had been far worse periods than the “streak era”. the only time i ever dreaded coming to work was when my brief time went on at “gotham bank”. i really dreaded going to work there until they cut me loose.

the “streak era” crisis was really i couldn’t GET OUT OF THERE. i had already decided i’m not going to leave the show unless i found another job during this period. this was my mindset, me getting fired didn’t enter into my thinking. i went to work with the belief that in order to find another job it was good to be working a job. unfortunately i fill out applications, get interviews and for a good period of time no job offers. essentially the crisis became why won’t employers hire me?

i suppose this is why i may still talk about “the show”. the moment i worked my final shift there really should be the end of the dwelling, but as established with me not so fast. there are plenty of stories to tell from my time. even if many of the people i worked with who caused problems only merge together with no distinctions between them.

now i can say that if yours truly deserved more i’m there now. i got something out of my time there, it helped me get to where i need to be now. here’s hoping i continue to learn these many lessons.

regroup

career-growth

i’m in training for a different position than my current one at “fresh foods”. this is more of an administrative role than a customer service role and as state one that could place me on track for mgmt. this is the growth i often talk about that i missed at “the show”.

for the most part it seems like a smooth transition and it feels strange essentially being the new guy again. the difference this time is basically already knowing the people who i’d be working with. i’m not joining an existing team – or more commonly being part of a new team – with whom i mostly never met before applying, interviewing and accepting a job.

it’s more work than i ever have undertaken in a long time perhaps aside from some of those days at the show where i did really have to earn my meager pay. still worthwhile in the long run.

to explain my work history during my 20s was terrible. although i had attained a college degree, my lack of experience probably would’ve held me back big time. it was easier to get a job in retail and hope for a future opportunity in a field where i attained my degree. that or make enough money to go back to school for an advanced degree.

on this blog i feel as if i spent time badmouthing “the show” or perhaps some of the people – managers and coworkers – i worked with. well what i try to remember was that it was worthwhile to work there almost 5 years while i never before had such solid work experience. working through my frustration during the course of five years there only set me up for today’s growth.

growth is important for this new period i will refer to as “the apocalypse” and my hopes are to achieve some important goals. perhaps as time goes on it’ll be worth sharing them.