Timeline

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Got a rough timeline as far as when Ruthless Roger quit his job at “Fresh Foods” and when Larry interviewed and ultimately got the job. While I’m not blaming Roger entirely for my firing which was the result of built up tardiness that got me hit with an attendance probation, he’s the one that I could say allowed it to happen. While I’m responsible for my tardies, I’d have respected him if he had even attempted to excuse that last tardy I with the delay slip from the transit authority. Either way now he’s no longer the dept mgr I have to worry about.

These events happened within the span of a three weeks and remember I just found out about these turn of events last weekend. Sometime in January, Roger was said to have quit possibly after a demotion. Of course has happens in large corporations presumably the job had been posted and opened the door for Larry to apply and interview for the now open dept mgr position. Just recently say within the past two weeks Larry interviewed and got the job that same day.

This helps solidify my thought that Roger’s bosses realized he wasn’t working out for my former dept at Fresh Foods. It was a rough time noticed even by the boss I had from when the store first opened, while I didn’t want to be downright negative with him I rightly stated that the new regime (i.e. Roger and his mgmt team) is why things in our dept was rough. Say at that point – before firing – that things just weren’t going well for yours truly at that and little did I know upon seeing my former boss that soon I won’t be working for “Fresh Foods”. I was under the gun or certainly on the brink, but if only I had a crystal ball.

All the same, I’m out of the door and Roger as it turns out was on his way out a bit later. Larry was waiting for that position to open up and store mgmt was looking to bring him in. And funny thing is, I wasn’t sure it would happen the store Larry had moved onto become a dept mgr was said to be closer to home for him. However, what I expect is that Larry has the experience as a dept mgr that in reality Roger didn’t exactly have even with being an assistant manager at the store where he came from which was also a strong store. It leads me to believe Roger was set up to fail.

Now with that said a lot of us who worked in that dept under Roger were somewhat bristling under some of the changes that were taking place. I know I was having been moved from receiving under BS reasons he needed to post for another associate buyer although we already had one because this was how it was supposed to have been done and he needed to do it before they just took it from him. It was an odd explanation, but I let it be if he had straight up said it was about the attendance – which effectively kept me from applying for the associate buyer job – I’d have accepted that. Unfortunately he just gave what I consider a BS excuse to not go forward to allowing me stay in that role it was an indication as far as how he was going to manage. Reality though I started realizing how I wasn’t feeling him & perhaps he wasn’t feeling me either.

BTW, I should note even after the probation he was all set to allow me to be the dept receiver. I was supposed to have gotten access to the systems I had largely waited all summer to finally get. This means I could really do some buying and not really need anyone around me to do these tasks at least on a slow day. Didn’t happen and he didn’t keep his word and probably more important I never stayed on top of him. Also remember I heard through another colleague that the person who replaced me on receiving should’ve gotten a raise and he didn’t get one. So just like he didn’t follow through for me to only get the position, he evidently at the time I heard this didn’t follow through on the raise for that colleague.

I recognize that I hadn’t been the only one many in the dept were feeling the way I felt. Granted it might have been only a handful, however, it was rough on a lot of us. Also bear in mind during this period we began to get short staffed because in part a lot of people had been let go – likely initiated by Roger who used the book to get them out or he found a way to let go of the seasonal people hired before he arrived – and certainly because many had quit. Perhaps they saw that he wasn’t the type of manager we had been used to and they chose to bail before they became a target. Something I should’ve done before he officially took over, there was another store that I should’ve been looking at for sure.

What I began to realize at least before I left that store was that Roger may not have been a good fit for that store. He came from a larger dept at a larger store this is the first time he was in charge of a whole dept experience wise. To start as the team had been composed before I departed he just didn’t mesh well. Now I recognize there are ways to handle it and he certainly took advantage of this especially using the book to do so perhaps there might have been signs for his bosses to realize he really wasn’t working out. Perhaps the sales were good and all the other measures for that dept, however, if his associates weren’t that motivated under him aside from fear of write-ups perhaps for his bosses that was a problem.

I had been upset about what happened with me for a while up until the time I learned he had been demoted and quit his job. Then I had to turn around and realize Roger had began to fulfill his mission, he was very by the book and set out to run the dept that way. It was his job to just stir the pot so to speak and shake us out of our routines. That was his mission and as far as success, well because he quit without a two-week notice it’s a mixed bag now.

As far as Larry what to expect. Well Larry is coming back to run the dept I had worked for at “Fresh Foods” that experience I see as a plus. Also he had moved up fairly quickly during his stay at that store moved up from supervisor to assistant mgr to dept mgr. He probably will mesh well with whoever of the original characters that are still there. Hopefully he’ll be very keen to bring me right back once he arrives to take over next month. Furthermore whatever odd changes that Roger made, I would expect Larry to undo most of them. Larry may even decide the changes never made any sense, unless store mgmt decided they never made sense anyway.

Either way if when I return, perhaps I’ll see the transition. I can see what Larry does with that dept and see if it’ll be much better than under Roger. Perhaps he won’t be that much different, at this point all I can say is he will get a chance with me. Otherwise, I’d be very happy to go elsewhere for the right opportunity. Like I said, I will figure this out and of course do what’s right for me and that includes the attendance. The next time I write about “Fresh Foods” hopefully it’ll be because I’m back at work.

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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.

unusual

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I know that a few months ago it was stated by yours truly that the storyline of this blog – my time at “the show” – had ended i’m bringing it back because something new came up. it’s minor and not very dramatic, but it involves a former colleague who i ran into on the train. i hadn’t seen him – let’s give him a name brandon – since leaving the theater in 2014.

we talked about our time at “the show”. brandon claimed they asked him to become a manager he turned them down because he didn’t want them to “own” him. and they way i could see it, if “owning” him meant lousy pay with no benefits, then yeah it wasn’t worth it. we both noted that unless we made it past supervisor to the general manager level, there were no other opportunities for growth.

while i chose not to really go there with him on my part, i thought oh they asked him but they never asked me. allow me to emphasize that there is a good reason why it likely never happened, and it’s entirely acceptable to me. at some point i got past the fact that it wasn’t likely to happen shorty before i left. had to make up my mind to not care about it and just move on from there.

anyway i told him about keith who was our colleague that got promoted to supervisor after i left. told brandon that he got fired for dating one of the associates and through some snakey behavior by those people who he had thought of as friends gave his bosses the ammunition. bottom line his downfall was as a result of the behavior from a group of young women i would characterize as “the mean girls of s***place”. even keith would admit that – i made some hints to him while still there – the girls found a way to make him a target.

* btw, over a year ago i ran into another colleague who dropped by our dept. at “fresh foods”. we talked a little about our former employer and talked about the girls i decided to play counterpoint and wonder “perhaps it was me”. he corrects me and says no it was the girls, they tried to start some drama with him too. he remembered when i got into with some of them and even pulled me away one time when one of those mean girls just insisted on the very last word.

anyway we talked about harve who got promoted from supervisor to senior manager – you might have read about him last year. brandon noted that harve came in not long after or before him and it was about time that he got promoted to that level. he also noted that our house manager knew him and he got hired exactly to become a mgr. this in his mind explains why harve got promoted within months after getting hired as a staff member.

* which brings to mind anthony whom i’m led to believe that also knew him. in fact i was also led to believe anthony brought him there. thanks to the fact that harve might have been on that track anyway anthony grew to turn on him eventually. in his mind harve was trying to be like them – and to be like them in his mind and mine isn’t entirely flattering. of course as far as manager i had some very negative feelings about them.

of course we talked about what we’re doing now – not telling brandon that i got fired from “fresh foods” i told him that’s where i am now. he told me where he is now with some future plans in mind. he probably will get there unlike yours truly he was somewhat able from my observations to stay away from whatever drama the mean girls had little problem starting. he was quiet in ways that i wasn’t, to which i say good for him. perhaps he’d have been a good manager or fed into the craziness who knows.

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 perhaps 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.

so 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!

another interview

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had another interview earlier this week at another theater – same company as the “dine-in show”. it was a different kind of interview with seemingly a more indifferent manager – may not be good or bad simply put he was a hard read. i think i got through on some responses which i will share some of his questions. not much different than the more personal young manager i interviewed with earlier this month.

a sort of take off on tell me about yourself. i had to describe what i’m passionate about. i mentioned that i follow politics, huge wrestling fan, and i like movies. these are things i enjoy doing the most. not a long drawn out answer, he essentially got the gist. and i recognize even mentioning politics could be quite dangerous in such a setting, however i tried not to say i support anyone just note that things are crazy right now.

one question that i still scrambled for as i did earlier this month – name a time when you had to interact with someone you didn’t know. i still kind of winged this one, not very good. regardless i kept it professional without giving an example other than noting something work related.

another question involved a not very good customer experience and what could be done to rectify it. i noted a time – which also happened before an interview – where i was buying something from Target and had a cashier who never acknowledged me. scanned my items and took my money with no word to me at all. not a very good experience. my response acknowlege me, say hello to me, engage me – although it’s possible he wasn’t in the mood, also say thank you, and let me know what my total is.

a time when you came into a restaurant that was dirty. another thing that happened years ago was i was at a KFC and i saw a roach. i make sure to note that my general inclination was not to complain and expect that this was a one-time issue. others who were there made a big stink about it and made their disgusted sounds. however, one could see how seeing an insect in a place where they’re about to eat would ruin anyone’s appetite.

a time when you had to stay focused. i felt i was vague on this one, however, this is one i tried to rely on my experience at “fresh foods”. you work at a grocery store in downtown chicago and there are days where you’ll just get swamped with customers. main thing is to stay on task, keep your eye on customers, be accurate when you give the customers what they want, and especially when doing all those things stay focused.

biggest challenge in taking the job. basically companies change – as they had at “fresh foods”. another thing to consider in a theater is that we’re still in the service business and things happen and the trick is to adjust. a projector could go down, we could get busy at a moment’s notice. things like that.

also what would it take to be a successful associate at this company. one thing for sure is to know what this company offers to the customers and be able to sell that. know about the membership program and especially know about the movies. i never said this in the interview but never do a job and you’re not sure what you’re doing. either you weren’t trained well or you had little passion for it anyway.

what excites me about working for the company. again it’s to be back in the hustle and bustle of a theater. i already have an enthusiasm for movies and certainly i miss the excitement of people coming to the movies. especially to watch a long anticipated release.

finally i had to sell the manager who portrayed a customer a rewards program. which i believe i nailed though i was quite dry. since i use this rewards program i probably could’ve sold it much better than i had. i had to throw in that although you have to pay for the rewards program in the long run if you frequently come to the movies it pays for itself. i also had to mention “the show” saying they have a similar program though more of a membership than a rewards, but didn’t offer as much bells and whistles as this company’s program.

with that he opened the floor to questions which i kept focused on him. he told me how long he worked at the company, how long he’s been a manager, his favorite movie, whether nor not he likes the job, and how was the current location which he said it was the most challenging. think about this we’re in downtown chicago, bound to be challenges especially with the business.

so at the conclusion he just stated the thanksgiving holiday is coming up so hopefully decisions will drop on Monday. i take this as a good sign so my gut tells me this one could be a go. all i can say is time will tell on this.

btw, the house manager here is one whom i worked with over at the dine-in. i hope she pulls my application and says yes to me even if the manager i interviewed with didn’t. for now all i can do is relax and continue to plug away with applications.

also, there’s a reason for this and it’s not merely for a 2nd part-time job. some things changed for me unexpectedly recently and i promise it’s something worth talking about.

 

the story line ends

iphone4s1-10-2014 138on this day – november 1st – i declare at an end the story line on this blog with regards to “the show” a little bit later than i expected, but better to do it now. with respect i had a couple of posts in mind before ending it then i realized what was the point. especially with mostly non-descript people who were hell bent on their actions at work.

many of these people i won’t say much to them again and didn’t say much to them while at work. it’s safe to say that in some respects i fell into my anti-social tendencies, but then in some respects many i’ve worked with had them too. even if they may hide behind being social with those they’re most comfortable with. for the most part i did the same!

all the same, now if i ever bring up the show again it’ll only be for new developments. perhaps i visited up there or was in contact with someone from “the show”. this doesn’t mean simply seeing them on the train, it means we spoke and got updates on our current lives. it’s cool that there was no hard feelings with those i spoke with from “the show” the others i’m sure i won’t exist to them at all wherever we come across each other.

at this point i have to move on from this. sometimes this is a forgotten point, the past has nothing new to say. now to just learn some lessons because as often stated on this blog i gained a lot from my experience at the theater. i had to learn to deal with people – customers, colleagues, and managers. and with this in mind, in dealing with people you do have to deal with them in a business context.

to be honest there is one more post to share about “the show”. it’s about my old friend anthony and it’s something that you can expect as the next post. it’s not about “the show” exactly, but he was attempting to get me to go out to the chicago theater with someone we formerly worked with. it blew up in his face more than anything and he’ll still find an excuse to bring it up.

otherwise anything involving “the show” especially from my past…

FIN