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

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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.

odds & ends

* recently i went to my bank to deposit my federal tax refund. most of it is being used for bills the rest is being saved. the bank i went to was empty as it’s undergoing a transition having failed earlier this year. this bank was where i had my savings account since i was 18. now it has me thinking i should change banks though i was keen on doing it when the failure occurred i’ve since been taking my time and still thinking about it.

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* speaking of that bank, my mother recently went there to clean out her office. she hadn’t seen the inside of that place since she went on medical leave again in december. she was why i had an account there in the first place starting a savings account for me so that i have somewhere to deposit the social security checks for my dad. all the same all the changes that occurred the failure and ultimate sale to another bank happened while my mother was on medical leave. because of these changes she never returned to work. that’s a story in and of itself however.

* for this now i call this current period “the apocalypse”. i could compare this period to the “streak era” from 2012 to 2014 where i was getting interviews but no job offers. this period is far more different and of significant change which led to my mother’s unexpected retirement. that day was coming sooner or later and now it just means she’s not in the position to help me anymore and i’m literally going to be on my own. i see it as a positive development however there was some uncertainty as there had been when i left “the show” in 2014 to become a bank teller

* what led to this period is a bit of an interesting story and happened long before my mother was diagnosed with a compound fracture in her hip/thigh area. the real effects of this new situation involved insurance. when my mother’s employer sent a check to pay premiums the insurer sent the check back because that company no longer exists. the new company had their own insurance and insisted on using that instead of paying for what already existed. it resulted in my mother having to scramble to seek further treatment from her hospital when a nursing service called her to say her insurance was cancelled and no nurse would come to the house. so my mother further scrambled to get medicare and then get some form of tweener insurance.

* it finally connects in my mind that it’s more or less all me now. definitely a scary prospect, however, because of my mother’s condition it makes some goals more difficult. for example i’m interested in moving out, however, that plan is tempered by the fact that mother isn’t as mobile as she used to be. another wrinkle is that i may possibly choose to leave home and when i do my mother may choose to sell her house. she doesn’t want to be at home by herself and i really don’t want her to sell off the house.

* in this new era of significant change i have some decisions to make. especially now that i’m about to head into the 2nd half of 2017. the decision i make will allow me to be far more comfortable about even thinking about dating in the future. besides if i get nookie from any prospective woman the last place i’d want to take her is home where my retired mother lives.

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milestone – leaving “the show”

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guess what i found today among the junk i need to throw away in my bedroom? at “the show” i wore a number of hats one of them was as an usher who sat theater guests. so i had a seating schedule from the very last night that i worke there.

dear white people – ouija – the equalizer – john wick – st. vincent – gone girl. they were all movies that were showing that night and from this night i was leaving the theater business for the time being. it was a somewhat interesting night that proved to be a milestone and i was pessimistic this day would come. it finally did!

a few of the managers wished me a good luck even if in some cases they had to be prodded. some of the “foes” didn’t say much, probably didn’t know i was leaving if not outright indifferent. many of the managers couldn’t believe – even if some had relatively rough relations with me – i was leaving them.

trust me it was past time. i emphasize that at “the show” i was never paid more than minimum wage – which was then $8.25/hr – and no benefits. while i got less hours from – you know let’s give them a name – “gotham bank” my pay went up to $11.50/hr and eligible for benefits in 90 days. the great period of frustration was about to end and it was time to start a new chapter.

to set up this period of time during the course of that particular week i was doing some training in downtown chicago at an office for “gotham bank“. it made it somewhat easier to come down and work my last few days at “the show”. they were all shifts that started at 8:30 AM to about 5:00 PM. as it turned out this was the easiest part of the new job.

i told one of the supervisors to find me on fb using an e-mail address. i shook hands with a colleague, a security guard who i got to know, and one of the senior managers. another supervisor came out with best wishes unexpectedly, she likely didn’t know i was leaving someone probably told her that night. i got a courtesy cup of water got my things and out of the door i went. i was hearing a tune from the butler as i walking from the theater for the last time as an associate.

i feel as if this is something to frame. this was my last night there and after that i wasn’t coming back to work. i was already talking about skipping my last schedule day there because during the time i had been scheduled i was still doing the training at the “gotham bank” office. a bit of a conflict though now that this was about the end of my two-week period it didn’t matter.

one era ends a new one starts and that means off to new adventures starting with the bank.

 

growth

i almost had the opportunity to interview as a “fresh foods” supervisor at my home location and home team. sadly i couldn’t get past the screen gave a relatively vague exampe which i told my manager recently cleaned up some details. the decision was already made and the example was the only one that came to mind quickly enough.

of course i was disappointed, however, i chalked it up as another loss as far as moving up. i won’t count this one only three times have i even gotten a change to interview for a management/supervisor position whether it’s movie theaters or at “fresh foods”. “the show” never would look at me in that way and rarely gave me the opportunity that i will write about here.

my manager approached me about a possible promotion which certainly comes with a pay bump. it will mean that i will likely have to come to work at 5 AM everyday (which certainly would mean less sleep or i have to go to bed earlier). it’s basically a buyer/recieving position and it’s one more step towards management. my presentation for supervisor was weak, but this would look good on paper. especially if i show the aptitude my manager expects with my attention to detail.

heh, funny my attention to detail got me in trouble at the bank. in the intervening time between leaving the show and arriving at “fresh foods” i showed none of it at least to the bank.

while i have a shift to see what i can do in this role next week, i have to wait until one of the department’s buyer/reciever will finally give his two weeks and move on to a new job. so for the moment there is no job for me yet and i remain in my simple clerk role.

as i’ve stated before one reason i left “the show” in 2014 was to find a job where i could grow. i was stagnant there and now where i am i have the opportunities. what it takes is for me to grasp them.