Streak Era pre-game 2012

This was the year that I began job hunting as ultimately The Show really became a dead end for a variety of reasons. For one it was becoming apparent I wasn’t getting along with the mean girls of $h!tplace and this enabled the Fiend to get into my head even further. My income definitely wasn’t going up as long as I stayed there as my wages were stuck at the prevailing minimum wage at the time. Of course they were stuck at whatever hours mgmt set for regular workers at the time.

Socially I was $h!t to a lot of people, there were some allies however for a good period of time I wasn’t in the right state of mind perhaps until finally leaving The Show. If it seems as if you have to just about fight almost everybody at anytime it’s not a good environment for anybody. Just make a plan and leave in that case or mgmt might decide to side with those who really were causing problems and they eliminate you from the workplace. Strangely enough that rarely happened usually threats but nothing more perhaps mgmt liked easy scapegoats.

Anyway that year started with a bang and calmed down for a bit then summer explodes with issues. Almost like the previous year with Missy who after some time she just left me alone. Pushing her back gets her angry, ignoring her makes her angry, complying satisfies her, however, it may ultimately cause more issues. Especially if she’s willing to run to mgmt for any and all issues because well she did call herself a b!tch.

What an odd year and yet I wasn’t entirely ready to face that it was time to leave. To the Fiend’s credit it was his idea that I pursue the mgmt opportunity at a neighborhood cinema, which fell apart. Not only the prospects of getting the job, but the company itself later that fall.

To be honest looking at the job description before he approached me on this I was like not ready. However, Anthony to his credit said go for it. “You got the experience” he stated. So I went for it and just thought of it as my escape hatch and well you know the rest of the story.

However by the end of the year, I just decided it was time to leave of course it still took over two years from the time of my very first interview of the streak era in August 2012 until October 2014 when I finally got a job offer with Gotham Bank. And interestingly enough that era was started with a mgmt interview with the neighborhood cinema to ending with a mgmt interview with the national theater chain.

Long story short 2012 could be a year of calamity, however, not the year that 2017 became. I consider 2017 more of a calamity because what happened back then actually hurt as it was 180 degrees from how that year started.

I wrote about a crisis a few years ago and further explained it some time later. I feel as if the crisis was created more by the influence of Anthony who often didn’t mind stating that he felt I didn’t belong at The Show. At the same time I wish it was more apparent that it was time to leave The Show as nothing much was going on there to advance me further than where I was.

The time to make a change as slow as it turned out has begun. It’s just hard to believe a lot of these events happened a decade ago!

Diversion

imageI’ve been trying to write this post for quite a while now. It’s something of a continuation of what I’ve been talking about for most of this year. Anthony’s strange campaign shortly before the Reign of Error to just change jobs to chase more money at another grocer.

I’ve identified possibly the moment when he opened the door to that which was when a few days before Christmas he picked me up from the house so that he can go look at car on a Friday December day five years ago. We were on our way to the western suburbs when I started talking about a Finer Foods store that has just opened on the south side of the city that year.

Out of nowhere during this ride he just asks “Whatever happened with that?” I knew what he meant and simply tried to deflect that I told him years ago. He simply said remind him and basically gave a shorthand version of why it didn’t work back then. He nods as if he hears me but I get the feeling he really wasn’t listening he was getting something out of this.

Little did I know on that day that this was only the beginning. And it leads what happened a bit later on. Did Anthony bring this up because never had closure from what happened in 2014 when he tried to get me on board with Finer Foods.

Of course for the following campaign I’ve had to come to a few other conclusions which I have also discussed during the course of the year.

To start, why did Anthony seem to want me back in “Streak Era” mode? Why did wages become such a sticking point for me to move on to Finer Foods?

I think the Fiend liked thinking he can influence people to get them to do things that doesn’t suit the subject, but in fact suit him. Anthony stated for the record once that yours truly was making good money at the Hole and in the interest of getting promoted to a mgmt position per his own comments I was talking about getting promoted to buy/receive. Once that became a subject and a real possibility then here comes the “if you come to Finer’s you’d make more money.”

Of course the longer I associated with him the more data collected. One thing that could be seen is that he will expose his real thoughts and opinions. He could only temper them for so long and he couldn’t help but bring up some negative episodes as I sought to make some positive changes in my own life. Perhaps in making an issue of Finer’s this was his way of reminding me that I still failed to get a job at his store back when I was still job hunting to leave The Show.

It was never directly stated but that type of thinking has been exposed in the past. However, the expectation the idea perhaps his attempt at Inception that I would just jump up and leave one good job for an opportunity for a few more pennies really exposes his own strategy. Since he left The Show I can probably count on one hand how many jobs he claimed to have.

To leave the show in fall 2013 he did security, then he went to Finer’s, then he was at this homegoods store, then he worked at some warehouse near O’Hare then he was disabled and started begging for money again, and then back to Finer’s again. When I finally ran into him unexpectedly at a hardware store he was in his security uniform. Surely I’ve only scratched the surface but those are what I know about if his own “resume” is correct.

Another thing I have recognized is that he had a sense of envy over my own progress at the Hole. I was very honest about him with my progression and wages. He seemed OK with it and of course enough to still come and beg occasionally back then. However, it still threw me off that he decided to offer that I’d make more money elsewhere. I should’ve done what he did with me when suggesting to others that they come to Fresh Foods “and do what with it?”

As stated in another post would making the switch for a few pennies more have only resulted in yours truly doing the same thing I have already been doing. Would I still have been working in the deli section having acquired no new skills? What exactly would I be leaving Fresh Foods for to begin with?

On top of that he had stated that he took the job at Fresh for some insurance benefits for his youngest son (the same son he blew up my phone for at least $100 which he’s failed to pay back). He’s supposed to be a negotiator right? So when he tells me how much he made at Finer’s his numbers weren’t that much better than mine. So yeah why exactly would I be thinking about jumping ship?

Ahhhh perhaps the envy might be in his words I have no overhead. No rent, no utilities, no girlfriend, no children, and just enough money for him to mooch off of when he needs it. He definitely weaseled his way into a position where he could get it. When he wants something he can just be determined he doesn’t stop.

Think about it he tried to call my phone a number of times over almost a two year period before he stopped. He thought he was free to write on my facebook page trying to reach out. He thought he can comment on my instagram until I blocked him and mistakenly I believed he had very little interest in that platform. He was determined to reach out at a time when I opted not to reach back and all I had to consider was all the data connected when he wanted to connect.

Needless to say I let that situation go on for far too long and that’s only served to further expose his true feelings about yours truly if what I’m hearing second hand is correct. The way he does like to go in on people he might still be sociable with is saying something. No integrity, no discretion unless it suits him, just a perpetually miserable person in general. To have him connected with me didn’t make me much better as a person.

Long story short I think of his Finer’s campaign during the calamitous 2017 as a diversion. Perhaps he wanted to distract me from the goals I had set upon that year. Of course what I do have to note is that I ran into some setbacks little did I know that hustled me out of the Hole very quickly. It was just a strange and a bad year for me. I do like to think I came back from it ultimately, however, it probably would’ve been a dark year had I made one decision in 2018. If I had responded to his initial attempts at contact when he called from a new number.

So let me finally state I feel as if his attempts at a diversion was to take me off my game at the time. Where I was there was some contentedness on my end and perhaps that didn’t suit him. The money whatever he thought that would be for me wasn’t enough. What was enough was a new boss who turned things upside down as it turned out.

However all that diversion did was another piece of data that caused me later to pull further back away from him. He may not realize this and probably will never recognize this, however, I’ve arrived at the point where he hasn’t earned an explanation not from my voice. And in the long run I just don’t think it doesn’t matter with him, he’ll only continue doing what he’s been doing.

Also you can add this link to this discussion as far as what ultimately led me to cutting all ties to the Fiend. If the Climax of the Reign of Error would have never happened who knows if I’d have finally done the deed to cut ties. For that time I tied myself to what I was doing at the Hole and it was unthinkable that things would go that direction and yet it did. Do I really want to maintain contact with someone who’s perpetually miserable that he’d really ride this to only say that I should’ve listened to him? I’m pretty sure that would happen.

A past decision

person walking on street between buildings

About seven years ago this month I got let go from my job at Gotham Bank. I have a few posts where I discuss what went wrong and my responses. Of course it led directly to my period at the Hole which proved to be better money than even the bank teller position.

I often like to state that I just jumped up and took the first job offer to leave The Show. That’s all my time at Gotham was. It could be viewed as a temporary position perhaps akin to going to that bookstore before going to the cinema as my main job. Although the difference is actually the bank was supposed to be the main gig, when accepting the job in the first place the crystal ball never said yours truly would have to find another job less than two months later.

On my end, it’s difficult to determine if accepting that position was desperation more than just being ready to leave The Show. Can’t answer, perhaps I could’ve held out for something better and when you think about it what ultimately led me to leave well perhaps as draining as it was perhaps I could’ve dealt with that. From mgmt on down to fellow associates…

Well with the information available the choice that I knew to make at the time was made. I decided it was time to go. The bank called me to offer the job first and I also had a mgmt interview with the national theater chain and they didn’t offer me a job. Perhaps I could hold out, but then for how much longer. Perhaps I could hold out for Fresh Foods once they were ready to open new stores especially.

Well either way some opportunities did arise once it became apparent that my job at Gotham was increasingly precarious – as noted before in the past it was no longer a matter of if but when. Even got one interview with Fresh before scoring another one with the store that would become known as the Hole. Also told my mother than if Fresh Foods offered me a position I would leave the bank which may or may not have surprised her, however, she did state later that it was at that point she realized it wasn’t working out.

What I must own up to for this was that perhaps I brought some bad habits with me from The Show. The primary reason why I was let go from Gotham was performance and attendance. I recognize now that the job I accepted was just not a good fit not so much the position as the team I joined. As time went on my performance left a lot to be desired and definitely did feel like the odd man out. There were a few who stayed cordial and there were a few who let out their frustration. Just have to call it the way I see it, this didn’t work for me.

And when the inevitable happened I just didn’t look back. While I may not have been happy being let go, on my end there was a huge sigh of relief once I did come home after being escorted out of the branch. The only thing it lead to was for me to take on a position in downtown Chicago which was exactly what I wanted anyway…

So perhaps I didn’t exactly get the job offer I really wanted in the two years of job hunting to leave The Show. I wanted something like a mgmt position, hopefully I could work downtown, and was willing to settle for a similar position as the one I wanted to leave the cinema for. Only to end up in a bank branch near home in a much more sketchy neighborhood.

However in 2015 for the new year finally arrived at a job that for that period of time proved to be a true gamechanger. Once the store opened I worked full-time hours and even took a quarter pay cut per hour to accept the position. Started off as part-time and became full-time in more less than three mos. Then got a raise after six mos and by the end of the year got health and dental insurance. While I did get PTO at the bank it was something I took advantage of when I got hired at Fresh.

At least for that period of time I could forget about that bank for a little bit!

The future

img_0870

A few days ago I was walking near downtown Chicago and there is a Fresh Foods store I had been visiting for about a decade. I don’t remember how I found it, perhaps a Google search or something like that. Either way yours truly had been patronizing that location for a number of years before joining the newly opened store referred to as the Hole on this blog.

It’s a nice quaint small store that was somewhat common among the first stores in the Chicago area at least when Fresh arrived in town. And sadly it has outgrown its space which is not very apparent for me to be honest, however, it’s apparent to the company. Personally I like the space, however, there are much newer stores in the city where they have much larger quarters and it’s time for that store to follow suit.

I didn’t find anything to buy on this day, however, once I left there was a high rise development no more than a block away. Across the street from a major downtown church and I see Fresh’s logo and an empty space within this development. I confirmed at work later that this store will be moving there a relocation from their current space. It already looks like it will be a nice one.

That could mean a future opportunity that I can take advantage of which would be in the spring 2022. So I shall see what happens, it’ll almost be like a new store open except whoever worked at the old store will have dibs on future jobs there. This isn’t the first relocation I know about since I started with the company in 2015. The other relocation had my former boss open as an assistant store mgr.

I’m going to keep an eye on this situation and perhaps the right opportunity will jump out at me.

I had a talk with my supervisor I was bouncing stories off him about what happened with the Hole and some of the leadership I met since being with the company over six years ago – even with that brief hiatus between 2017-18. He has strong opinions of people whom he has observed himself being leadership, he strongly told me that one of the dept mgrs who left his role at my current assignment after just about six months left a lot to be desired in his ascension.

He had to temper my more judgemental comments, however, it causes me to think about what if I became mgmt. Some I’ve talked to over the years – many I consider friends have asked me about the mgmt thing. A few years earlier while at The Show I couldn’t understand why it was never happening. I felt as if I could do what some of those individuals could do and also recognize some of them and others I’ve met over time left a lot to be desired.

Sometimes you have to be a bit tough. I think some thrive more on being tough. Some could be a bit more artful in handling issues. I recognize that aside from taking care of employee issues they have to take care of business issues as well. There is certainly a juggling of important issues which one has to recognize is very difficult.

So I’ve gotten older and have been a bit more gun-shy on this. I’ve met quite a few young people who tried to play the commanding know everything role and more often than not either they fail when they get to that role or they don’t quite get to step up to begin with. Perhaps you don’t have to be the loudmouth and be able to tell people what to do to be successful.

Handling people hasn’t been a very easy issue for me on the job. I’ve learned that no matter how “right” you may be people still give you headaches. When people cling to a bad story I’ve learned there’s no way you can change someone’s mind when they just decide something. I should’ve learned from childhood to even adulthood when someone is paying attention to you and decided that whatever or however you’re doing something is an issue then it just blows up. And often this happens at the expense of the job well their job not really my job.

So yeah there will be issues to handle but I hope to take a different approach than the managers I’ve met over the years. I don’t want to take sides so quickly and I really don’t want to encourage workers to “snitch” on people at any time. In my mind the worst complainers are the least productive though I do get that some people’s productivity or lack thereof affects others. Regardless a hard job and I will no longer pretend that I’ve figured it out. Dealing with people whether coworkers or customers can always be a challenge.

There’s a guy I work with who’s willing to stay late while everyone else leaves for the night. His choice and though I’ve never discussed this with him I’ve heard he has no interest in making mgmt. Which is strange for someone willing to put in the time, however, he understands that he will lose some freedoms when he makes that move. Most important he’s not making a spectacle of himself thinking he knows everything and is super great at his job and thinking its his role to be very bossy.

I’ve met too many people like that and sometimes I could be that way. However one lesson to learn and in my case I did start in earnest a bit later is that you have to work with people. Yeah people may do goofy things and dig in on them, you try to help them, but then again don’t make it your job to correct them. No more than I want someone who isn’t in authority over me to just pour over my work they don’t want that either.

I found a sheet of paper from The Show which was an evaluation of whether or not I can become a crew lead. Basically I would be just over an associate, however, just below a supervisor. I learned from someone who claimed they turned down the position that this was only a quarter more than minimum wage at the time. No benefits which was true of supervisors of course once you reach senior mgmt level they you get benefits which reportedly didn’t satisfy one of the senior mgrs who we worked with.

Either way I wanted to step up and my ego suggested that I was educated enough, however, did they need an educated crew lead? So perhaps in looking back at this evaluation and meeting with one of the senior mgrs for this role I did not show why I could take on this role. So I feel as if getting promoted at all at the cinema where I worked for close to five years would’ve caused me to crash and burn quickly.

I wouldn’t have had a lot of authority and at some point the crew leads who remained started to lose some of those privileges. For example instead of getting a mgr for theater passes you could get the leads and it will be taken care of. One of them said mgmt took away that ability from them. Then again in the early days the company that owned The Show as going through some restructuring so at some point I learned that the position was eliminated. Still some were given roughly those same privileges sans pay I never was, which is fine as this is why I accepted the job at Gotham Bank in the fall of 2014.

So again if I want to be a supervisor/mgr this is something I want to think very deeply about. In the moments I applied I just jumped up and went for it and wasn’t always the best approach. With Fresh you have to come up with a plan and network. I did take part in those times when we used to have seminars to help people move up in the company. However, I’m sure I did leave a lot to be desired in my own performance and whether or not I could move up.

Now I try to be a lot more thoughtful. Perhaps I won’t be all the way there, but then I do consider the supervisors/mgrs that I have met over the years. A lot of them left a lot to be desired and overtime that made itself apparent. Some of them I just wonder how they made it to their positions and some of them knew it and moved on. Others still crash and burn.

Also I may like the authority, but at this stage income is important. What’s the money to take on such roles. A store mgr at Fresh can make six-figures and that’s definitely something that is attractive, however, again that’s more pressure. And another thing that I need to determine can I be successful in that role.

Some issues that are worth pondering…

Dojo

So back when we were a bit distant from each other the man I now refer to as the Fiend kept coming around basically trying to connect. So one night at work he pulled me aside and invited me to come to his martial arts school or dojo. I likely asked how much and all he would say is “we’ll talk about it”.

Ultimately I never took him up on his offer. Often my excuse was could I afford this or is this something I wanted to do. However during that period of time 2011 into early 2012 I just wasn’t sure of him. As stated often here, the red flags were flying as he kept coming around and some elements of his Fiend personality came out especially the disappointed father. He wanted to get all in your head and your life and I felt as if he crossed so many lines. Sadly I allowed a lot of this just couldn’t believe that he would get so into whatever he wanted to get into. Also he positioned himself as a valuable if not volatile ally.

Either way perhaps the money thing and my distrust of him worked in tandem. However, I think the distrust thing sort of subsided as time went on even if there were still reasons to distrust him which was also true back when we were friends. Even when we were “friends” some of his actions weren’t exactly friendly.

Of course agree or disagree with me but I’ve written quite a few of those stories here.

Anyway back over 10 years ago he was trying very hard to connect and he wanted me to know that he’s very heavy into martial arts. What I do remember is according to his claim that martial arts were all he knew. Everything revolved around martial arts, he even knew what moves an actor uses in a movie fight scene. He also told me that he owned a martial arts school and also remember I wrote a story about his attempt to get some money from me for his school. I didn’t deny him sadly, but then I also didn’t work that hard to accommodate him.

Anyway, in the time after he tried to beg money from yours truly after starting at The Show, this is probably when I should have recognized how lucrative his martial arts school wasn’t. Who knows this small cash infusion was really for himself and not this school. Still you can see how uninterested in going to his school I was.

Another consideration is that being somewhat familiar with that neighborhood. In fact his school wasn’t too far away from where I worked at Gotham Bank. That neighborhood was very sketchy and I didn’t enjoy having to close down that bank at night nor having to be there early in the morning before the branch was open to employees for the day. And I hardly wanted to come there to study martial arts especially at night.

I had went there twice as Anthony wanted me to help him with a project that he saw through by summer. He was organizing an event at the same neighborhood cinema where we both tried to get mgmt jobs. He wanted me to meet his “business partner” at the dojo and one day I did meet with him to just jot down notes. In reality I feel as if there was no real need for me to be there.

Actually on the day we were supposed to go to his school to meet with his business partner we just were hanging around downtown Chicago doing absolutely nothing but killing time. I finally got tired and asked him when were we going to the school. From what I recall he never said when we were going he just said we were going to meet at his dojo but he wanted to make some stops downtown.

We were just going from store to store and ate lunch somewhere. He made phone calls following up on job leads. Even went to some museum run cinema downtown to jawjack, with him about to leave at one point then stopping before we left so that he went back into the cinema to do more jawjacking. Eventually we went back to the south side and waited a few hours before we just called it a day. We met with his business partner on a Saturday. He also said he’d compensate me for my time although as you know it seems he has a knack for insuring that I pay him for his.

To that last statement i.e. he didn’t compensate me.

The last time the subject of me becoming a student at his dojo came up during the episode of The next to last drop…. The subject of me studying a martial art came up and he made sure to mention he was trying to get me to come to his school. Then out of nowhere I said, “I didn’t want to come to your school”.

At that point he just stops talking, stops walking, stares at me and then continues his conversation. He noted one place I could go to which sounded like it was connected with a church. He never connected me with them though which is another pattern he had begun to establish and perhaps I didn’t have any great interest anyway.

Also if you want to know the place where Anthony’s dojo was located is now a vacant lot. It was very shocking seeing while driving around one day that the building that housed his school had been demolished. If that school survives, I do not know where it’s currently located. I can’t even say for sure that the Fiend is still even associated with that school, if he ever really was as a business partner.

As you can see a lot of the things the Fiend had claimed when we were still talking I began to view with a grain of salt now. Some of this could be lies, hot air, or even delusions though that’s not to say there’s things said that weren’t at all truthful.

November 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Election Night 2016: time suckers SHOOT

Feels like the right time to revisit this episode from over five years ago. I can connect this with the last convo I ever really had with The Fiend and it turned into such an ordeal in my humble opinion. I think in both cases we just needed someone to talk to and for me in my last convo with him he wasn’t just not as willing to talk or listen as I feel as if I was on Election Day.

I may have been looking for reassurance because what led to the last convo I considered a bit triggering. It wasn’t so much that he just couldn’t empathize in that moment it was that he was in no mood to really listen to my thoughts on it. It’s one thing if it wasn’t something he really wanted to touch, however, in the months leading up to it he was mentioning a subject that was more or less a no-no for me. And at that for me to take on that subject I thought was a no-no for him however as stated in yet another post this was yet another way to further his own negativity.

Now as far as election night 2016 I don’t know what he was looking for other than to rant even as he was patrolling a grocery store parking lot on the graveyard shift. As far as I remember we never really talked about that election that year. It was a most unusual election and the results was for many unexpected. Perhaps he took an outcome for granted and it freaked him out very easily.

I think he really exposed his own hell, fire, and brimstone alarmism on a night where I was just ready to call it a night. I didn’t have the same type of alarm that he did as far as who was winning. When I think about it, just wasn’t sure where that election was going just knew that neither candidate for President appealed to me though it appears Anthony had picked a horse and wasn’t happy.

He chose me to call and repeatedly referred to the man who became President-elect a racist, rapist and declared there was going to be a race war. He also declared that he was going to move to Canada and this country is screwed. I was not in the mood for a real political discussion and definitely didn’t want to engage with someone who was very upset and unglued. While trying to have a balanced approach I told him the other candidate wasn’t all that he just stated that “we’d be screwed even less under her”. This was when I asked if we could change the subject and he agreed.

Of course we talked about a range of subjects in that moment but here’s where the convo just went into a strange direction. He asked if I saw the latest Marvel Comics picture Dr. Strange. When I answered in the affirmative then he asked “who did I go with?” When I answered no one he launched into a strange lecture about how I needed to start dating or all the women will start laughing at me – oh right that’s encouragement.

He noted that I was a loner “which is just fine with you” but I “make good money so you really don’t have an excuse”. He made a pitch for me to again use PoF.com. I just said OK as if to say this convo isn’t going any further and he had to keep it going “I know what that means. Give me one reason why you can’t do it.” I didn’t give him a reason just my typical way of dealing with something like this is to say hardly anything as if to say I’ll consider it.

To give some background he knows I like to go to the movies but as a “mentor” it was important for me to take someone to the movies. That was his priority, why I have no clue as stated many times on this blog he’s a disappointed father that’s his schtick. I just think in his mind he feels like what suits him is for me to have some female companionship. On the other hand while he claims to get a lot of action with the ladies to one time graphically telling me one sexual encounter with a grandmother during that period I just see a man who’s just single and chasing pu$$y not really companionship.

Aside from the fact that since I cut ties now he later became engaged. YaY him as long as he’s serious which I suspect he probably isn’t but that’s not my business anymore.

Anyway as for PoF.com he’s mentioned that site to me before. When we were still working at The Show we were regularly taking the train back to the south side from work and he would start mentioning that site frequently. His main selling point was to predict that “you could get laid by next week“. As far as how his campaign went I just wasn’t interested. I checked out the site and saw nothing I really wanted to connect with out there.

I usually just demurred and stated that I didn’t see the point and I liked connecting with women who went to school at Hillman College. Well not specifically Hillman I was more referring to connecting with women on Facebook before they had their own dating services. He was not deterred it was his mission to get me to connect with a woman as me being a man without a woman was just an issue for him.

He would at that point probably 2012-13 just would follow up with me. Did you finish your profile? Did you upload a profile pic? I usually just said no and probably cited finances as far as why I just didn’t have much interest. For those of you who have kids, you put on the pressure then you find out how uninterested the kids are in your ideas here’s a good example.

Anyway until election night 2016 he brought up PoF.com again and as it turned out for the last time. The difference between 2016 and just about four years earlier was that this time he dropped the sales tag of you could be laid by next week to just get a date and get you some female companionship before you turn 40.

However, as far as me not having much success with women he couldn’t help but continue to take his shots. Even kept mentioning the name of one young lady he insisted I take to a comedy show at a downtown theater which fell apart because I just wasn’t into it. He wanted to keep blaming me for what happened with that until I saw the confused look on his face with no further answer beyond “you blew it with her.” The look on his face was basically I’m no longer buying that answer and he knew it. He ultimately left it alone.

Anyway let’s turn this 180 degrees and discuss how he ranted about some women near the end of our convo. First I had to listen to him rant about the elections now I had to hear a rant about how he was talking to a woman over time and some other woman he knew decided to interfere with the motive that “she was lonely and she didn’t want her girlfriend to have anyone“. My advice which I hope was sensible – and could probably be easily ignored by Anthony – was he should just leave them alone which he easily agreed stating that he already has. There I go being a friend to someone who really was no friend of mine.

Anyway what a strange up and down conversation. Frustrating, tiring and a bit long lasting two hours, I didn’t go to bed until the wee hours of the morning. I missed some of the results but that’s OK did some catching up as I wanted to follow this one.

To give you a break down this happened about a month after the episode of The Next to Last Drop. I do hope you follow the original Election Day post.

Also it was election day somewhere in the country on Tuesday, hopefully you did your civic duty.

Back to the modern day for the moment

As I write this my mother is at home after an almost week stay in the hospital. She had an episode right in front of me where she “passed out”. As far as I’m concerned she was still conscious, however, as she tried to get into her car for her regular appointment I noticed that her head wasn’t steady and then she fell. Had a gash on her head for her trouble which was stapled by the E.R. and spend one night in the hospital.

Fast forward to when she returned to the E.R. to get the staples out and a few days after that she gets a call from the hospital. They gave her a heart monitor due to her episodes with “passing out”. They found something that likely occurred while she was asleep and told her to come to the E.R. as soon as possible and that turned into seven days. Seven days I was home alone taking the car to work as I had been for a while a lot of my schedule lately were early mornings. Most of the days she had been away I was working and my next off day was when I could take her home from the hospital.

Aside from talking about work or even my “situationship” what have I often discussed – financial independence. This episode causes me to further work to get my affairs in order and who knows when the inevitable will happen. I want her to see me get my affairs in order before she goes. Sadly dad isn’t here to see how my life turned out and while my mother was in the hospital she noted his recent birthday.

This is one reason why I have been saving the money I have been. I was asking questions about paying property taxes here in Chicago they’re due twice a year and the county won’t allow you to pay in advance. In fact my mother was upset that she just let the deadline to pay the property taxes slip by and I was able to share a link to paying those bills online so she got them done. At least the house is paid for and my mother isn’t prone to putting a home equity loan just to have some extra cash thankfully.

Right now the house isn’t so lonely, however, I need to stop being so hesitant or cautious as far as moving forward with my life. I think I’ve stuck around at home long enough. I can still help her when I can and she does have another son who lives with his own family halfway across America who has the “perfect life”.

I’m just sorry that these ongoing health issues and even the loss of her job at a neighborhood bank earlier that year had somewhat derailed the plans that I started to lay once I left The Show. It’s not her fault it’s just the situation and of course I’ve ran into some other setbacks as well in addition to the more pressing setbacks.

Perhaps I’m coming off as selfish but I recognize how I hadn’t really progressed the way I would’ve liked to. Perhaps I should’ve been in my own place or certainly have been able to secure a much better job by now. The issue now is to just get started.

Also I dreamed about my dad one night. Probably as a result of a convo I had with my mother the night before. Over the summer an uncle – one of my dad’s brothers – had passed away. I saw an unrecognizable name amongst the brothers and sisters and she talked about how dad actually talked to this then unknown to me half-brother and also got a cousin from his mother’s side of his family tree to come to our home to visit. One good thing about dad was that he was willing to talk with his mother’s side of the family.

In any case the dream was that my dad was driving mom’s current car. Part of me wanted to ask him how was it driving the car. One weird thing about my dad is that he really didn’t want my mom to own a car, he wanted to be the only one with a vehicle. Anyway to even think of asking a question is just recognizing that he had been away for a while. I seem to have a tendency to dream about him as if the events of over 20 years ago never happened.

Another strange thing about these dreams is that with him around I’m still at home. On the ride with my dad I was sitting in the back seat with mom riding shotgun. I have been convinced that if he was still around more than likely I wouldn’t still be at home. Perhaps I’d be in the military as it’s very likely he’d have been an influence in that decision.

Regardless I was in teenager mode in the dream which was certainly the last time he had seen me when he was living. Sometimes I like having those types of dreams.

Climax revisited

Another critical thing that happened this month during the past decade was my dismissal from the Hole. I call that day now and forever the climax of the reign of error. I wrote briefly about one of the after effects of that period which is yet another mgmt change at my former store in my former dept.

I don’t really want to rehash what happened back then although I do have a story to share about that moment. I relate it to what happened during the past few months and note the similarities and differences. However that will be another time.

I have to say that it’s something that I have to take responsibility for as stated here on occasion. I had the wrong boss to play around with and perhaps I was in a situation that perhaps allowed some complacency. It was something that I had taken for granted, however, once a new boss was installed all bets were soon off. It’s like he honed in on something he didn’t like and he pounced immediately. What makes this story laughable was that the situation didn’t work out for him either.

Regardless if anyone wants to think about one cosmic reason for what happened. Why did I “point out”? Why did I have to be late that one last time? Why didn’t mgmt at the Hole from Rog to Morley accept that delay slip from the transit authority? Those are questions that may never be answered. And again this is something I want to cover at a later time.

Long story short, aside from those unanswered questions the “cosmic” reason for this very disappointing result is what I have been talking about since 2018. I’ve already discussed yet another after effect of this era which was my situationship with the Fiend had changed. And I’ve also written what I consider now the strains within what I would now refer to as a very odd friendship.

I feel as if possibly remaining at the Hole even in a somewhat diminished capacity would likely mean that perhaps I’d continue that situationship. More requests for money or even more negativity. Once I started on a new course during that summer he really ramped up his negativity. Even decided to engage in the diversion of trying to get me to leave for his preferred company and “make more money”.

However, if I suffered an unexpected reversal and had no “decent money” coming in why would I help him? Why would I accept a message to call an anonymous person who turned out to be not so anonymous because he merely changed his phone number? I realize a lot of his actions weren’t reasonable overtime and seemed to change with his moods or even his needs. Why did it take me so long to finally do something about it?

Of course I might emphasize there was a strong possibility that I’d have to listen to his negativity about the bull$h!t that happened at the Hole. Perhaps he’d start off positive but knowing his general patterns he’d probably find a way to question me as far as why this happened and how it happened. He’d be a disappointed father who’d determine that I’m unreliable and what happened showed why. Of course this is coming from someone who never had a real plan that hopefully would propel me forward other than chasing other jobs that would provide nothing more than another few cents on top of what I already make anyway.

Well to change the subject slightly with this pandemic and what happened at my current assignment I suffered another reversal. Perhaps it’s only served to put some things into perspective and perhaps to reinforce what I’ve determined since the “climax” which is that a job is nothing more than a means to an end. One can work to earn money however there are other ways, however, while you’re working why not maximize your potential while you’re at a company. If it’s not possible then move on!

What I hoped would work out at the Hole didn’t which I can attribute to my own complacency and the changes occurring in such a short period of time back then. Perhaps that’s a bad habit that I need to really take care of NOW. This was yet a hard lesson I need to take to heart.

The Hole

I found out last month that Larry was going into IT and was leaving the Hole thus his job was posted and unfortunately he was replaced by….Rayna. I haven’t maintained much contact with her since I’ve left the Hole, in fact when I’m in the store or in the neighborhood I’ve avoided her. Just felt that there was nothing there for me to even think we’d have a decent relationship.

She was the one who delivered the paperwork for the attendance probation along with an assistant store mgr. It was a weird affair when they tried to give me a “pep talk” I just tried to show hardly any reaction, the worst reaction was going to come a bit later at the climax. The assistant store mgr was more worried about me being upset at the time. What does he care unless he wanted a reaction?

Anyway I can’t believe I see her as the dept mgr for my old team at the Hole. She finally got what she wanted, as she was over there in 2017 to get the role and was deemed not ready. I wonder how much has changed since she transferred to the Hole and became another assistant mgr here. If she wasn’t ready four years ago how is she ready now?

Anyway I used to say it was more likely that I would return to the Hole. I don’t know about that now, perhaps it’s just time to move on from that fantasy. So many changes and so many people who I’ve worked with have finally moved on either to other companies within the store or within the company or whatever. Perhaps my plan to say it’s not that easy to get rid of me isn’t going to happen so easily.

Another fantasy I’ve had was to show up the people who were characters within the “Reign of Error” people like Morley or Roger or even since he’s still with the company as of now Mr. Boastful. If Rog ever thought of me any further beyond sending me to store leadership with the knowledge that on that day I was let go how upset would he be that I got his old job instead? And proved far more successful in that role than he was?

Would I ever be ready for that possibility? Is thinking that way a mistake?

Anyway as for Rayna who knows what the future might hold for her. She’s got what she wanted finally the question I might have to ask is whether or not she’ll be successful. Part of me thinks it will last six months and she’ll have to step down. I heard too many things about her past or what witnessed some issues to think that this will be a successful endeavor.

Meanwhile as a continuation of the most recent post, where do I go from here? Still working on it!