August 2021

Well I don’t know it’s been missed but let me update you all. Yours truly was associate of the week last month at my store. An unexpected accomplishment that came with a gift card for groceries. Made sure my boss allowed me the email that announced this honor. Perhaps after 10 years of working a regular job this was a compliment to yours truly.

For those of you just starting out, just come to work don’t try to be perfect. Sooner or later someone will notice it not to say no one ever has ever for me, however, consider that you will work with people who won’t appreciate you no matter what.

It seemed changing departments even for this pandemic might have been a good move hopefully to take me to the next level. Time will tell on that, however, I think things started getting rough in the other dept by the time the change occurred. Not necessarily to reign of error levels but close. Perhaps this was a good thing although I wasn’t happy about it for months after it happened. Though I’m still looking for the right opportunity to return.

A colleague from my old dept pulled me aside and offered me an “that a boy” for that accomplishment and she believed if I stayed on that team I’d have been stuck. I grew even more away from that environment. Noted that one of the people who we worked with just always seemed to act like they were threatened. No one can do anything to help or anything without them accusing her colleagues of making her seem incompetent. That person had some issues and thankfully they have since moved on. However while there that person just wasn’t very happy there and it often showed.

Of course there are other examples of people whom I worked with who foot that bill with varying degrees of pleasant/unpleasantness. Some of them were older and quite a few were younger. Most did a lot of complaining and quite a few made some boasts while they complained. Some knew to stay out of trouble and quite a few still liked to act as if they have their run of the place. Very few come up with a plan to leave and execute it.

It’s very easy to stay in one place and be very comfortable. I’d say as long as your making good money stick around, the moment your pay stagnates move on. Even if you’re happy with your pay or even growth, perhaps there’s something else you’d rather do you can always work towards that. At this point that’s my goal!

This month my mother and I will be going out of town for a reunion in an exotic location. Nope not the Carribean or anywhere outside the country. We’re having a reunion somewhere that has no ties to any family that we know of. It’s rarity as usually the reunions are organized where family lives. I told my mother she should get vaxxed me I just plan to wear a face covering and will only rest easy once we get home. If we had gotten her car serviced we could’ve drove as it’s not that far away from Chicago where this reunion will take place.

Perhaps another tale of awkwardness to come?

Beyond that not a whole lot to report. You probably already knew this.

As always stay optimistic even if a lot of the things I discuss on here doesn’t seem very optimistic.

March 2015

At this point I was working at the Hole for just about 2 months. I didn’t know that soon I’ll be working “full-time” for the first time in life. The transition wasn’t too difficult, however, I was in a different environment than expected. Or was I?

What I was doing at a grocery store wasn’t terribly different than for example a theater concession stand. Just a bit more prep work and certainly a clearer idea of what’s expected. The products weren’t as limited as a cinema – you know popcorn, candy, hot dogs, etc. However, I had to get used to what I was doing and when I first started looking at a jobs with Fresh Foods my inclination was to be at the front end ringing up customer groceries.

Either way, I had to do another call with the state’s unemployment officials in March ’15 as Gotham Bank had filed an appeal after benefits were approved even if it was just for no more than three weeks – from the time I got let go from that branch in December ’14 to orientation at Fresh in January ’15. As it was termed I got benefits with an initial payout then after continuing to register weekly for regular payouts after that. It wasn’t much but for a brief time I had some income coming, and still no overhead. 😛

The initial process was easy and under the guidance of a friend – no not the Friend I never told him directly what happened with the bank. There were no direct documentation that I had to sign just a lot of verbal warnings and what not. I think the only main warning I got was not from anyone in mgmt or otherwise any standing but from co-worker. And I had to guess at the final act which I was never told directly. When Ed and Stan pulled me into the office Ed fired off a number of offenses which I could easily categorize as issues with attendance (specifically tardies) and performance as a teller. A list of things that allowed him to determine that he just didn’t like what he sees. Made sure to reference the probationary period for Gotham which was about 90 days, and I was just about halfway through that once things ran their course there.

So I guessed at what the final straw had been, I made sure to tell them what I had been told. Correctly I guessed one particular incident that happened that helped Ed make up his mind about my job there. I get a letter approving my benefits saying I was not at fault and the friend based on some of what I had been telling him determined that my training was an issue. Then again I will admit I was incompetent and uneasy in that role and as stated as time went on and didn’t get on well in my new role yours truly began to dread coming to work at that branch everyday…

For the record the hearing over the phone for the appeal had been cancelled I got a phone call for it the day it was supposed to happen. Actually in a fit of pretending to be my brother who hadn’t seen lived with us for over a decade I took a message that Gotham had rescinded their appeal. If the appeal from Gotham had gone through I’d have to repay that money and thankfully at that time it wasn’t necessary.

I had read up on the company and how they handled unemployment claims. It seemed they contested all unemployment claims and if they lost they will appeal. I had the unfortunately issue of being unable to find my schedule from the bank because in the initial phone call which was before my orientation for the Hole from what the agent told me over the phone there was some discrepancies as far as when that final act occurred. If I remembered the date the agent had told me correctly I wasn’t even at work that day and looked at a copy of my schedule from the bank still in my possession. If the appeal was rescinded I didn’t have to prove that.

However, one thing I could say for Ed one time he pulled me in the office and he got his dates wrong. While he was going to get me on something that given day, he was trying to mention something that we talked about on another day in the office and it was all wrong. I demonstrated that I do remember what we talked about everytime he wanted to talk $h!t to yours truly. Right or wrong Ed seemed to have some arrogance about him and this was not the first time nor the last time I encountered this from a manager. Problem is when they want to get you on something there isn’t much to say about it on my end and was still on the defensive in the long run….

Regardless smooth sailing in the new year at the new job. We started off with a decent crew in the beginning. A few we lost for a variety of reasons probably attendance related or otherwise just realized this wasn’t for them. However, I viewed my new job and company as yet another new beginning. Besides the hot shot job at the bank didn’t work out and that was supposed to be something of a new beginning from The Show.

Oh, yeah I like to talk about the big money years. Well 2015 was the start and it’s basically ongoing even with the hiccup that came later. Minimum wage in Illinois back in 2014 was still $8.25/hr. When I moved over to the bank I went up to about $3.25 more per hour than the hourly wage offered at The Show which was minimum wage. However starting off at Gotham the position was only 20 hrs a week and yes there were opportunities to add to your paycheck i.e. make referrals and never felt too comfortable doing that at the time. I think on Gotham’s version of a social network I saw there doing this for a year would get me, basically I wouldn’t make more money than I had made at The Show. Basically under my minimum goal of making $20K/year, my yearly income assuming no changes would still be roughly in the $10K/year range.

However at the Hole as time goes on that year, I get benefits mainly health insurance and dental. Also a raise after six months, and especially being lifted up into full-time status which means overtime and working up to 40 hrs a week I would ultimately reach that $20K/year goal in 2015. As far as benefits that would wait until a bit later I didn’t immediately get benefits or was unsophisticated about the company’s processes as far as enrolling in benefits once I became full-time. However, by the end of the year I’d get there.

After a couple of years of the streak era, I was going to achieve some of the minimum goals I had from roughly the start. A job with benefits and at a minimum make $20K/year.

500

Probably no big accomplishment, however, WordPress noted the latest milestone of 500 post on this publication. For those of you have been here since the beginning thanks for reading and your likes and your comments. Is the best still yet to come?

As a bonus since I’ve upped and started a YouTube channel for this blog. Here’s the world premiere of the original doggos in a park from about 2014. Yeah you saw a later version, now you see the archival version. Enjoy and if you have YouTube feel free to subscribe to mine. I also have an instagram you can find out through my about page.

 

Now, will we have yet another post tomorrow March 1st. Stay tuned.

Five years ago

Today was the day the streak era ended and I marked this five years ago by writing on a chalkboard I had set up in my bedroom marking that the streak has ended. The board had been tracking the interviews I took on during the course of that year.

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The significance is that this was when I got the phone call which offered yours truly the bank teller job at Gotham. I got an email and then a voice mail and then I called that recruiter at Gotham back and went through one step which was to go through some on-boarding steps with someone two states away. With that in mind I was soon a banker with Gotham.

I told a number of people I had worked with at The Show including Henry, probably Keith, and definitely Anthony. Anthony’s response was most interesting once I told him that the streak ended his response was “Cool! Go for it!” Of course reading into his response it could be interpreted as I needed his permission. Regardless before I said anything  to him I accepted the offer.

It wasn’t long before I had decided that it was time to leave $h!tplace. I didn’t decide right away, but I realized nothing kept me there any longer. At the behest of The Show’s HR point I wrote out a short two-week notice. It’s short because it could’ve been a manifesto and believe me I wanted to. However, the “manifesto” remained at about two short sentences and it was hardly a “grievance”

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Of course, I’ve written too often this job didn’t work out and it only led me to the Hole at the start of the new year. I chose the job that wanted to hire me at the time to get away from a situation that no longer worked. Then the job I accepted didn’t work for me either, regardless yours truly did what he set out to do for over two years at that time!

Also when I shared a link to my instagram post with a friend and explained what it represented I told him that autocorrect on my phone gave $h!tplace with a capital S. Then he simply says “They don’t deserve it? Why not $h!tplace with a capital S?” I just thought it was a funny exchange….

 

October

This month has been considered an important one. Well yeah you might have seen that before and for two things.

  • this had been the month I changed jobs
  • this had been the month I had gotten suddenly and unexpectedly $h!tcanned

I won’t drone on and on about that second bullet. I will expand upon the first.

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After getting one job offer after 15 interviews within more than a two-year period I was apprehensive about leaving a job I had grown frustrated with. I’d been there since The Show opened and now I was leaving. It’s safe to say that I had essentially plateaued. This was something I owed to a number of factors which was in addition to some self-inflicted issues.

When I left I probably was treated as something of a weak-link on the job. Who likes having that feeling for a job that really isn’t that hard. It’s a job that I had somewhat enjoyed and often it depended upon who I worked with (as there are those who’ll turn it into an ordeal). At the same time I knew I deserved more than what I was getting at that point it time. It was time to go somewhere and make some real money. Although with this job I had the benefit of getting a regular paycheck for the first time in my life.

I used to say becoming a manager was one of the biggest what ifs I had when I left. I don’t think I missed anything, and also recognize that it’s a strong possibility that yours truly would’ve crashed and burned in such a role. If I wasn’t already doing well with them especially for B.S. reasons did I really want to work with them on a mgmt level?

What I do know is that once it was that time I knew I’d be leaving behind a situation I was most familiar with. It took me leaving to realize how comfortable I was up there at The Show. It was between the job that I knew, the coworkers I liked working with, and ironically the ones I didn’t like working with (or for example working with the “meangirls of $h!tplace“). I knew the situation and I was leaving for a bank branch to become a teller which proved to be something of an ill-fated venture.

Either way did I wish they tell me don’t leave – perhaps part of me said yes. I don’t know if I’d have accepted but it would’ve filled my ego up considerably. With this said I did dance around handing in my two-week notice, once I finally did I could officially start the clock on my departure and transition to the banking world. Yes it was easier to keep this job in case the bank job didn’t work out, but this was the time to go for broke and try something new. I had done the theater thing and it didn’t work out the way I’d have liked it to and that’s OK.

I could liken being at the Show to being in a bad relationship. For example I never understood why my mother endured the changes she went through with my dad. She had told me why she dealt with these changes until his dying day. Is it really easy to leave a relationship that isn’t a very good one? Why would someone remain at a job where they were miserable?

I only stayed there to do what I had set out to do in the end, to find another job and move on. I had to forget about becoming a manager, it was necessary to decide that it was never going to happen no matter how awesome I thought I was. It was time to find a job that would provide me with decent pay and benefits.

With this said my time at the theater led to the period I’m living in currently. I got the job with good pay and benefits. The bank didn’t work out, however, it lead me to the Hole. And this current period I look forward to what it could lead to in the future.

Milestone

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Alright this is the day I finally got my savings back to the $10K level. I didn’t realize I was so close until I log onto my online banking saw that I got paid and then got started doing my usual transfers.

Often when I go online – or actually I use a mobile banking app – I check my accounts especially for my pay. I transfer a portion of my pay to my savings and then make sure to pay off my credit card balance for the previous month. Once I do all that I see where I’ m at as far as savings and cash on hand.

I suppose now that the current goal has been reached time for another goal. Should it be $20K? Should it be finding other ways of growing my money? What’s next? Perhaps it’s time to talk to a professional….

On the spot…

We’re approaching an anniversary, when I wrote this post last year I had just been rehired at Fresh Foods. It effectively ends the era from the previous year called “The Reign of Error“. Not much to say about this moment, just starts a reboot with the company. I finish what I started and will continue!

What got me out, however, and some of the circumstances of it well I have only learned to laugh about it now. I don’t know why I still even devote much thought to it. Regardless as far as the dept mgr involved it didn’t entirely end great for him in spite of his massive ego.

Feeling No Love

pexels-photo-567633.jpegBREAKING NEWS!

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

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

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

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Streaks & likes – records

First I broke the previous streak at 9 though with this post the streak of consecutive posts will be extended to 10.

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And the previous post about online dating breaks the record for all day likes on a post which is 13. Of course the post with the most likes of all time at 17 is also about Online Dating. The previous record was for likes to another records update.

That is all!

Milestone

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Roughly during this period of time four years ago I was sitting in this downtown Chicago Corner Bakery Cafe (which I had visited this week to mark this milestone) and made a phone call that would bring me to “The Hole”. I had been engaged in phone tag with my soon to be new boss until I just decided to call. It was a phone screen that got me an interview for that coming Saturday evening scheduled with the assumption that I would just getting off from work at the bank. Although there should’ve been a decent period of time before the interview once I had been home.

Oh yeah the job at “Gotham Bank” figures. It just wasn’t going well and it was a matter of when they let me go. So let me further set up the time line I was at this Corner Bakery Cafe on an off day. I had worked the day before and then the day after I would be let go from the bank.

I had left “The Show” to become a teller at a bank branch on the south side and it just didn’t go well. Perhaps a lot of it was on me and all I will say is that what happened was based on attendance and performance. This wasn’t the most ideal job I had accepted, yet it was my ticket away from the theater. If I could’ve made it there perhaps I’d have made it anywhere, instead it didn’t work out. Although one silver lining is that in the new year at “The Hole” I’d find a job in downtown Chicago again!

Still as far as ‘The Show” goes, I can’t believe it’s been four years. It’s a milestone I like to mark and even remember the exact dates of significant events. The last day at “The Show”, the first day at the bank, the day I got let go from the bank, and the first interview for “The Hole”, and even the day I got hired at “The Hole”.

Regardless I now view it as a minor milestone. An important one to be sure, but in the grand scheme of things it’s a long ago milestone that I had ached to reach. I’ve reached it and I’ve been gone from the theater for four years and now what’s next? And yes it’s safe to assume that there will to be bumps in the road.

Letting go

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It’s something that I still must practice. L I’m in the process of letting an old friend go, and he might still be sniffing around for the moment (and I may update you guys if anything new comes up). I’m learning to let moments go into the ether. I’m also learning to let people go that have no value to yours truly.

I’m learning to let go of temporary moments and some moments are easier to let go of than others. And if nothing else the moments in time that have left a mark have become nothing but lessons learned. That’s what they need to be at this point.

I’ve been tempted since ending whatever storyline I had about “The Show” to bring up some situations I never wrote about here. I’m resisting that urge because as I had decided last year it’s time to let go. I could break it down into people whom I clashed with, but it’s not important. All individuals involved are no longer part of my future.

And finally what happened at “The Hole” last year was also a temporary situation. And as it turned out temporary for me and temporary for others involved. Regardless it’s over and my brief period of unemployment is over. For all parties involved it was time to move on. What happened has, and no sense in dwelling on it just move forward and prove some people wrong.

But then is that not life? You have to keep it moving. One could dwell on all the bad, but then what happens when you allow it to weigh you down? And most importantly don’t allow anyone else to weigh you down with the past.

Every now and then I still would go by “The Show” just look at the place where I formerly worked never walked in. When unemployed it had been a lot more frequent. Lately I’ve chosen not to even go by, and as I stated once it’s no longer my scene. That idea satisfies me more than being on the outside looking in. All I do when there is not only looking at where I been vs. where I am now, it’s having a look into the window of the past.

The next post I’m marking the milestone of leaving “The Show” again, however, I’m also marking the end of my time at a bank. Then how it came to be that I found another job so quickly once things went downhill with my then new bank teller gig. Though I’m glad that too proved to be a temporary situation.