Complacency

I’ve written a lot about this over maybe the past year. Complacency is a dangerous thing, some have accused me of being complacent when at The Show. I have no idea what that really meant at the time.

It’s accepted that there was a comfort level. I knew the job at The Show, and just knew the people and their general attitudes which as time moved forward got into my head. And those other individuals had their own issues whether their own complacency or comfort level with their own behaviors.

All the same once the pandemic came into full swing last year I began to consider the issue of complacency in my then current position at the time. I was beginning to wonder about my own stagnation and worse still to move up or just move on was more difficult especially when the economy just started shutting down. There weren’t as many jobs going around as there normally would be in different times. And in some cases not many opportunities to move up.

For yours truly complacency can be a very easy trap to fall into. When things go on a normal routine then all the sudden it just switches whether by mgmt or even by coworkers then it can be jarring. However, as I’ve learned with the calamity of 2017 especially being complacent can prove to be dangerous. It almost was at the theater and it was at the Hole (something I want to finish discussing this month).

Here’s another thing to consider, I’ve been discussing the setback or the Reign of Error for perhaps the last year at length. The goal I had in my head back in 2017 was that perhaps my tenure at Fresh Foods would last just about five years almost like my time at The Show. It’s a good round number where who knows yours truly could try to do other things, unfortunately the setback of about six months ruined the non-consecutive tenure.

I got an award recently based on my time with the company which also came with a $50 gift card which I definitely used up for some provisions for home. It was cool to still have achieved that even with my setback, and yes that includes that one share of Fresh Foods stock which divested over a year ago. Thankfully that setback didn’t keep yours truly from achieving those things.

As for the current situation the pandemic I’m sure took a lot of people out of their complacency. Your’s truly was taken out of mine with a change in departments. However, I’m very slow about making my next move. There were opportunities out there however it’s never a wise thing to just rush into something without a plan.

Right now, I see positions at the Hole I could pursue though as explored last month should one go back to square one or wait for a higher-level opportunity. Too bad I’m not ready to take on the role of my former boss’ dept manager position which was just posted at my current store.

Either way in spite of the sixth month setback and the transfer due to the ongoing circumstances

Nuisance

A few things to rehash here. This was part of the drama of almost four years earlier and it ended halfway during the course of that year of Calamity 2017.

Actually I don’t know if I can call this drama. Yours truly never intended to leave the Hole or Fresh Foods Inc. Perhaps it was part of the “complacency” at the same time with things seemingly going in the “right” direction why would I?

I surmised at the time that Anthony was just jealous or at least that had to be part of his willingness to inject “if you come to Finer Foods, you’d make more money”. Now to this day I still don’t know where this comes from, but being jealous was an easy answer.

Though to be honest, perhaps I did talk too much about what I thought was my good fortune at the time. Perhaps he got tired of it and just decided to throw doubt into the wind because he knew he could. Who knows, but if he had an issue with how seemingly content I had been with where I was at the time that’s on him.

Of course couple his unneeded and unheeded advice with the fact that he was begging. Remember the episode One Final Drop, he brought up “jumping ship” for the last time. Either way I never took him up on his “lead”, at least until the Climax of the Reign of Error had passed and well still never got interviewed/hired with Finer’s.

Also I couple this strange “campaign” with the fact that well years earlier I tried to get on with them twice. Once for another store set to open and yet another at the Hustler’s insistence. Still got no offer and worse still with his connections and insistence the other case resulted in no interview even if I was at his old store to be interviewed. So I had that history in mind whenever he continued to bring it up, and as per usual I wasn’t as forceful to tell him then that I just wasn’t interested at all.

Finally I took the photo of the Finer Foods sign at a corner store somewhere on the South Side. It seemed fitting for this fictionalized company I created. Perhaps it’s time to create a fictionalized logo for both Finer’s & Fresh Foods. I got photoshop hmmmm.

I hope you enjoy this brief look back.

Feeling No Love

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I hinted a few days ago at how Anthony continued to bring up the name Finer Foods at random a few times when we were still “friends”. It was often at random the first time he wanted to talk about what happened a few years earlier occurred after I mentioned that I visited one of their newer stores. He wanted to know what happened with that and I knew what he was referring to. Unfortunately only he knows why he wanted to re-open the dialogue with regards to that.

There was a time and I don’t remember if this was before that or later that I was talking about how much I liked Fresh Foods. I had been with that company for just about two or more years at that point and his response to how much I liked where I was “I think you’ll like Finer’s better!” He said…

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Crossroads

Last year I talked about making changes and you never know if you don’t try. I talked about dwindling opportunities and such. This year I also talked about leaving your comfort zone.

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I’ve spent too much time sitting on my hands waiting for something. While waiting for something this year I got sent to a different department until my old department could get back to where it needs to be saleswise. I got the indication that this move was a very rough move and I’m not where it was expected for me to be! 

I’ve had more than a few days in this current reality where I was just sluggish and it shows to those who are paying attention. I try to remember that I have a job to do, but I recognize that my mind isn’t a good place. However, it isn’t as much about the situation at work as its life itself.

I worked hard and damn near got kicked out of school twice to pursue a prestigious college degree and have very little to show for it. It’s time that I do and it’s one reason why I started talking about YouTube earlier this year. The way I see it this is one way to actually use that fancy education.

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Either way, I recognize this is a tough spot to be in during a pandemic. There is some recovery but I have to realize the job market won’t just shift back to normal once we’re out of this thing. I’ll bet the job market will have changed permanently and that you better be able to market yourself very well in order to pursue more lucrative opportunities.

I’ve even thought about going the entrepreneurial route, and the next question is in what. So I think from this point forward I have some decisions to make. The hardest thing about this is to execute whatever plans you can make. My philosophy this year had also become just get started because life’s too short.

I’m beginning to realize this more and more these days. Life’s too short and perhaps I can no longer wait. If there’s something I want to do or need to do just get started and jump on it when the time comes. I just wish I had that mentality when I was 19

“You need a friend”

two boys sitting on bench wearing hats and long sleeved shirts

Before writing this post when someone turns around and says they think or it seemed like “you need a friend”, they may not always be trying to be your friend. It’s really a jarring thing to be told. It’s really jarring to hear someone who wanted to be your friend tell you that they felt so bad for you because they believed you had no friends.

Well this is one reason why I decided to cut ties to The Hustler. He knew what he was trying to do when he decided when we worked at the theater to connect. And it helped that out of being a good person I gave him a ride home and it enabled him to start probing with the question “How old were you when you lost your virginity?” when I first met him. Either way I was weakness rich enough for him to come in and decide that he needed to take me under his wing so that he can take advantage of yours truly more.

I would dare say he had really been one of the more honest people I met. Not long after the ride home and not long after he had started at The Show he was quick with his hand out asking for money. Which if you read the first savings episode he never got because I left him at the theater as he not only expected some cash, he expected a ride home as well. When he called me and left a voicemail I could tell the disappointment in his voice when he realized I was gone. It was definitely an episode of avoidance.

With this said I wanted to juxtapose something and this was a post I wanted to write. The time that Anthony was at The Show overlapped the period with Candice – a young lady of about 19-20 years old who tried very had to connect with yours truly. I originally wrote an episode I considered apocryphal which may have been when I first met her, however, I remember that episode I really don’t recall who that person was.

All the same when she did try to connect at one point it became “I tried to talk to you because it seemed like you needed a friend.” When she tried that I continued my jackass act with her as I kept acting like Stone Cold Steve Austin repeating WHAT? to her. Almost as if I didn’t hear her though in reality when I think about it now she just came on strong for someone who just came out of nowhere expressing interest with her boisterousness.

So Ant’s and Candace’s time at the Show basically overlapped that summer in 2011. While The Hustler remained another two years Candice would be gone by the fall.

Candice had become the one who got away. And because I never really found out her true motives I really don’t know what they are. I just know that my behavior towards her was very unwelcoming and she was the type that for a time would keep trying. She did snap at yours truly once when I wouldn’t respond to her after repeated attempts. I learned later her good buddy was the one-off foe Missy. She may well have for reasons only she knows genuinely liked me and did something about it.

I now find myself wondering if she’d have been the one thing that would have helped me avoid the time-consuming friendship with The Hustler. At this point I just don’t know, but would being accepting of a rather young rambunctious woman who all the sudden wanted to connect would’ve made the difference with an older man who had ulterior motives who also wanted to connect.

What I do know now is that the friendship I had with The Hustler wasn’t real. He did’t give a damn about anything other than what I could do for him. He would create a situation where I would need him or for him to come to the rescue.

And also who knows perhaps one was more honest and compatible than the other. Perhaps one relationship could’ve happened more organically with little or no manipulation. Most importantly perhaps one relationship won’t prove to be costly. For this I will never know.

Back to school, maybe?

I’ve largely been talking about change & growth since starting this blog. So far the topic of discussion has often been advancing at Fresh Foods or even for a brief time when I worked at the national theater chain at the Dine-in Show. I’ve gotten the closest at the Hole and even had an interview for a higher position at my current store earlier this year.

One of my long-term goals is to make six-figures and at this point I’ve gone from doing it where I currently now to finding other options. I’ve even decided, it is time to return to school. Should I just enroll at the local community college – where I left without attaining an associate’s degree to transfer to the prestigious Mission College – and take a few business courses. This is something I had been interested in anyway even back in the day when I should’ve done it.

Going to Mission College definitely put me outside of my comfort zone for that time. Ive learned a lot from that experience and my only regrets were some of the mistakes I’ve made. One of those mistakes was depending upon financial aid to keep me enrolled. Would I have been better off choosing a lower-cost option or having my own skin in that game? Would I have been better off with a real plan once I graduated and especially while there?

So either way I like where I am now as my income is pretty good so far. I feel as if there’s a lot more going on for yours truly now than back during my 20s. If only I had the persistence as far as finding employment back in the day. This was the type of experience missing from back then being so wedded to a classroom and even worse it took some time to finish my degree.

Now I feel as if it’s time to step out of my comfort zone and move on to the next step so I can arrive at that six-figure mark. And in addition to taking some courses at my community college for my “enrichment”, now I find myself wondering if it’s time for a master’s. I do have a goal in doing so.

When graduating from that prestigious liberal arts college I had failed to take advantage of student services to really find a job in my chose field. This time around I need to do that so I can truly take advantage of a masters degree. This won’t just be a vanity project this must have a return on investment.

I’ve even identified one program of great interest and will continue to look into other programs. The program I like has some flexibility and while rigorous, seems like one that could ease me into other academic programs. Just pick a field: business, social sciences, humanities, etc. I could still stick with the field I got my undergrad degree in, however, I could dabble in other fields especially if it pertains to what I hope to study.

Since I do have a job at a fortune 500 company I hope to expand the research outside of Chicago. Perhaps take my job with me as I study elsewhere to finish my master’s degree. However I choose to do it, now is the time to come up with my plan and get going.

Meanwhile back at Fresh Foods I wanted to tell about a new posting for supervisor. We lost another one last month and there’s no need to make this a longer post than necessary. It’s a position to consider, however, there are others within the company to consider. Bottom line is we got something to talk about for now and also Jack just make a move man!

Why did I never get promoted to mgmt?

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This is back when I decided to finally finish talking about my former employers at “The Show”. My time there had somewhat informed some aspects of how I conducted myself on some of my later jobs. (yes “Gotham Bank”, “Fresh Foods”, and even the “Dine-in show”)

I would like to say that I used my experience here to do better especially at “Fresh”. My time at that theater is one of the reason I look for growth take on new roles in addition to making more money and getting benefits.

Until I wrote this post it had often perplexed me that I never made mgmt. In this post from over a year ago I attempt to explain at least in my humble opinion why I never had the opportunity to truly grow at the theater. It’s as important and answer as any, and it also informs what I hope to do in the future.

Especially if I’m successful in taking on a new role at my current job. Also I may further expand upon this in the future!

Feeling No Love

as jack v continues to finish the storyline involving “the show” we explore why a promotion to mgmt never happened. in this post one reason why it wasn’t likely to happen.

manager-employee

the primary reason why I left “the show” was because of growth as yours truly wasn’t growing at the theater. having worked there for five years especially since it opened it meant nothing not only to the coworkers but to the managers – many of whom came and went over the years. many likely began to view me as a drag and why because everyone had an awful opinion of me. it’s possible that i helped to create this opinion but if someone wants to complain it’s easier for me to say i don’t want to work with them.

it leads to one opinion as to why it never happened was my inability to get along or relate to…

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signals

let me start off by saying using a video of a railroad semaphore signal seems a bit counter-intuitive, but i assure you this video is relevant as far as this awkward subject. it’s all about whether or not someone is giving you the go-ahead signal. trains run the same way either you got to wait & let a train pass before proceeding or you got the all clear and the train can continue to move forward.

do you remember nicole? while barely mentioned on this blog or at least her story she featured in one story i wrote regarding my cousin natalie. my cousin took a greater interest in the story at the time than i wanted and simply shut down any attempt at a convo based upon this by offering nothing but silence. natalie who does like chatting kind of got the hint and left it & me alone…

as far as nicole, well it’s a cautionary tale with a variety of tactical errors. and to be fair it was a case of jumping a gun and the signs were in front of me that she was giving me a stop signal. with regards to if i was looking for signals from nicole, i wanted to see a proceed signal and sought to interpret and overthink them to the point where it was favorable. well it never happened and i hung around with her for far longer than i should have…

this was the biggest ouch of my life. i wanted to believe nicole was going to be my girlfriend and my belief proved to be wrong. as it turned out i made a mistake and as a result nicole probably still doesn’t want to speak to me to this day. it’s possible from my obsessive attempts i only served not to cultivate a relationship, but only cultivated avoidance. who knows if she’s ever moved from her negative feelings towards me, i know i still have my negative feelings about her.

a typical post where i talk about the women and describe them physically. this time i won’t, overtime i had to convince myself that although i thought nicole was attractive my view of her has changed and that includes her attractiveness. over the years i have thought her attitude when she wanted nothing to do with me made her very ugly to me. though these days i accept my role in how things simply went due south at the time.

having met her through my first room mate at “mission college” one mistake i had made was assuming her niceness/friendliness was a signal of interest. it was when i decided to express interest and the reasoning that she described it as a misunderstanding which wasn’t what i wanted to hear. these days i try to pay attention when a girl seems interested only to just pull back when i try to reciprocate. my goal is to try to avoid making assumptions in some cases i can be too cautious and a girl with a wandering eye can go with who’ll give her the attention.

another error was situational as i attempted to ascertain whether or not she was going to my campus to play pool i asked her if she was coming over. she was like you know maybe i don’t know we’ll see, then i felt dejected and walked away. someone touched my back & shoulders when i left. i was in a courtyard during a weekly student block party and there was a stairway into a yard with students standing around.

now i figure it was someone else who probably did the touching. probably steadying herself or perhaps himself coming down that hill and i was the only stable object nearby. problem is i wanted it to be nicole and made the mistake of asking her which began to cause other problems as it was an excuse to express interest. she couldn’t say whether she did or she didn’t and i never looked back when it happened so it’s possible she didn’t thus it wasn’t a proceed signal. unfortunately i didn’t want to believe that and held onto it for a long time until fairly recently.

another error was waiting for a signal of any sort and making assumptions based upon it. like one time i was singing to myself leaving “hillman” and nicole was horrified when she saw me. except i took that as a signal of interest because she had a horrified look on her face on that occasion. well now that it’s been interpreted by me as a proceed signal although almost a week before she gave me the signal i should’ve heeded – she wasn’t interested. regardless interpreting these signals as “interest” it caused me to further awkwardly make my presence known.

eventually it was all for naught and someone i didn’t know finally came around and told me to leave her alone. too bad this was before the iPhone and quality mobile photography. it got really scary and reality was it was entirely my fault because i failed to pay attention and heed her signals. i wanted proceed signals, but she actually sent stop signals.

for all that happened then i feel bad because if she knows my room mate whom we’re still somewhat in touch although only friends on fb at this point. he’s never said anything and when sh*t hit the fan i learned my lesson. he’s never mentioned anything about that whole episode with me even though i know there had been opportunity to do so.

nicole as a student at “hillman college” was a freshmen when i first met her as a transfer student. i was gone for a year and a half returned to establish relations which incidentally i had done so seeing her at “misson’s” recreational hall playing pool. when i greeted her and after we closed our convo, she greeted me with a flirtatious look but only after she indicated that there was someone who didn’t like her hanging out with men. i can safely consider this a mixed signal, though certainly for me i saw it as proceed when it should’ve been a stop because she wouldn’t give a clear answer as to whether or not she’s spoken for.

with this said since she was a year or so older at this point and certainly had a direction for her life being a junior when i returned to “mission” perhaps it was a bad time to approach her for dating. who’s to say she already had other things that stressed her out it could be her studies, other men, family life, etc. meanwhile i was just returning and although i was older probably did lack a direction. it’s possible whenever she saw me i lacked a direction and she could probably tell “there was no there, there”. i literally came in with not a whole lot to show for myself at least not at that point in time and that could include the idea of “no potential”.

so a few conclusions. i could relate this to what happened with candice years later. i missed candice’s signals because i chose not to pay them much attention. and she’d directly let me know it was a problem for her when i continued to blow off her signals. basically candice was looking for something with me and i for whatever reason chose to not heed her “go-ahead” signals. i’m a long way from saying this was a matter of caution – to avoid misinterpreting her signals – or just a matter of avoidance from a rambunctious young woman.

with nicole i was looking for her proceed signals and she got pissed because i wasn’t heeding them. the signals essentially was a no-go and i was again oblivious. even had some dear friends at college told me i should leave her alone and even that advice wasn’t enough for me to end my own semblance of a chase. and once again i wanted the signals i wanted which basically was, “come here big boy”. the actual signal was, “get lost big boy”.

candice – i can’t say what my problem was with her. perhaps it didn’t take long for me to realize there was nothing there from me with her. what i say later seems more like an excuse now, regardless at the time she insisted on my attention it seemed a little too much too soon at the time. i don’t know whether or not i can call this a missed opportunity or a dodged bullet.

nicole – only she knows why she wasn’t interested in me. perhaps i wasn’t showing that “mission-man mystique” which is believable. perhaps my awkward attempts to give her attention at one point was a little too much too soon also. could certainly be a botched opportunity or more accurately a non-starting opportunity. sometimes i wonder if this also had been a dodged bullet.

 

you make the call!?!

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now that it is football season – and i rarely watch football anyway – it seems appropriate to bring this back. this time it’s under slightly different circumstances unlike the first post of its type which involved candice.

anyway this time it’s mary jr. or as i could call her ms. thickems. unfortunately there won’t be an opportunity to follow-up with her although the last time i saw her at work i mostly avoided her. bottom line she no longer works at my store a disappointment, but eh she’s someone i would describe as “perfectly imperfect”. not a supermodel, but her physique was an attractive one.

all the same before the end came for her at work, i picked my spot with her. essentially i just went for it no pretend, no chat, just went cold. and it started with her noticing that i was there later than usual. for most of the past summer i had been working early mornings doing receiving and with me being a creature of the night crew for the most part she noticed. every now and then made reference to it.

she pointed her laser thermometer at me on this particular evening and it caused me to ask her, “you want to be my fb friend?”. once it dawned upon her what i was asked she slowly stated “i don’t use fb”. with that said i knew she was somewhat lying, she’s on fb or otherwise i wouldn’t have asked. of course this doesn’t mean that she spends that much time on that site. i accepted that answer and as far as my schedule told her that’s going to change i may be there later as time goes on and then awkwardly walked away.

now knowing that she has a number of social media profiles i could just start following her or add her. on the other hand i believed it was better to ask her before i do. it was definitely a goal to see if she was ever thinking of me in that way. as i started she’s not the finest thing like wine, but she definitely “perfectly imperfect”. i’d definitely open my mouth to be fed by this thick and bubbly young woman.

so you make the call. should i follow up? should i just leave her alone at this point? just let her be now that she’s no longer employed at “fresh foods”?

no-go

going back to my stream of thoughts that began late last month allow me to give a timeline. during the month of july, there was a family reunion in georgia which came on the heels of my attempt to go away to school at "mission college". the liberal arts school that "mission" represents is in georgia.

that experience was cool but academically and financially it didn't do me a whole lot of good. had more freedom but little experience in dealing with it. even met a young lady – nicole – whom i wanted to meet again even if there was uncertainty if she actually did like me like that. though that story came to a very hostile end much later.

before going back home in a state of uncertainty about whether or not i'd be able to return i went to a family reunion meeting picked up by an aunt from campus. then was sent back to campus via cousin natalie and her husband who attempted to talk my head off the whole way back. then on to the reunion where i still had uncertainty about my eventual return.

not long after the reunion my mother went on a cruise so i was at home for a whole week as she sailed around the Caribbean with her sisters. even still have a t-shirt from that period of time. then eventually my mother came back and not long after that one quick question, "are you going to register for classes at the community college?" well my answer was negative basically and she mumbled under her breath that i needed to finish those last few credit. before saying very clearly "it's your life".

little did i know, this was a warning sign. she was setting her expectation without just coming out and saying that this is what she wanted. she already hinted at it before i left for "mission" i was a few credit shy of an associate's degree and had little interest essentially in attaining it. perhaps this was me being 21-22 years old and trying to have it my way.

then because i hadn't yet found a job right away she started sitting me down convinced that i needed help strategizing. she starts putting on the pressure, though sadly finding a job takes time. bottom line this would ultimately help me return to "mission" although it was decided at this point it wasn't going to happen that particular year.

one thing that came up during those "strategizing" sessions was i needed to have this sense of completion and finish the associate's degree. my inclination was to reject that to my mother's disappointment. and i came up with excuses to not go back and clearly this is something that was just on her mind no matter what i said. it really bothered her that i could get a degree just like that and i wouldn't do it! unfortunately trying to convince me didn't work.

when it came closer to registration it was less of a discussion than simply a command – "go and get registered". ultimately i did, however, it was only for just enough classes where i'd still be short of the degree. when it was time to pay for the classes i went to the college that afternoon just to wander because i hope that at the end of the deadline it would be too late to pay. so i came home and not long after arriving my mother shows up from work unannounced. she wants the phone number and when they close which i complied quickly, however, she expected more from me and in a huff told me that "i wasn't even trying". she went back to work to get those two classes paid for.

during my time at community college, she was never in a huge rush to pay for me classes. she was giving me everything and i offered very little in return, taking it for granted. however, i showed little enthusiasm and she wanted this more than anything.

sometimes i wonder if her family put a "bug" in her ear. two of her sisters called the house and outright asked me if i was getting my associate's, and for the most part i only offered a bullsh*t answer. put without proving it my first thought was she was telling them that i would return to finish my associate's and they decided to make it part of the conversation.

as my mother just made it clear i needed to finish the associate's degree she advertised this as a way to really help me find a job. she also used her future demise as an argument. and of course as my reticence to really have this as part of any job application – perhaps in light of my naive belief that an undergrad degree would solve everything it didn't – she merely suggested just leaving it off my resume which was a direct contradiction to this would help me find a job.

all the same at least i never had to answer for my response to this attempt at parental coercion. i was very tempted to tear up this degree in her face to show how i'm not proud of it at all. she probably wouldn't have been entirely moved by it as she got what she paid for. it was what she wanted and for my young mind that wasn't enough for me. thankfully this never happened.

to continue my stream of thoughts what happened when i returned to my community college in spite of myself. what was the difference between spending one term at "mission college" vs. starting my undergrad career and a community college.

honesty box digits

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Here’s another good one from my days fooling around in the honesty box. Actually got a girl’s number although not sure if it was real. I’ll explain.

you said,
I\’d like to work at being a friend of yours.

they said,
Sounds good to me! What would that take?

you said,
A phone number could start. 😛

they said,
oh really…I wanna know who you are though!!! Boo.

you said,
You will, I hope! Of course I know that I’ll have to make myself known. Still I hope that when I do, I’ll have your #. 😛

they said,
You can have it…name first…

you said,
I think I’m ready now! 🙂

they said,
Name please.  Last time asking 😛

you said,
I think I gave you a name. lol

they said,
2**-2**-5***.

I never called this number. Ultimately this young lady would become a married woman although I have at times wanted to reach out to her. The unfortunate thing is if there was an opportunity here I didn’t take it. 😦

Also I know she’s been married for a while I also discovered she’s with child. Congrats to her still boo-hoo for me because I never took my shot.