Next month I’ll be transferring to another store. I wish I can say it will be for more money or a higher level position, my only answer is that I’ve been at my current assignment for over four years and nothing will change as long as I stay put. This was what I told my current boss upon telling him my situation – filing an application and telling him about my soon to be new boss Gary.

Gary was one of the assistant mgrs at the Hole who figured in some way in the Reign of Error. My experience with him was cool back then unfortunately there wasn’t much he could do about our dept mgr at the time. Either way, I’m looking forward to this new start which sends me to the new store that opened in late April which for right now is the bright shiny new object.

I ought to kick myself in the @$$ for not taking advantage of the job positing before the opening possibly making $19/hr with experience. However, my only justification is that this would be a risk without knowing anyone in leadership over there at the time this store opened.

My current assignment is on the outskirts of downtown sort of like the Hole except that store was a bit closer and easier to get to. This new store is easier to get to at least via public transportation. I don’t know what the hours will be, if they will be days or midshifts or nights. All I know is that I’m back at square one, however, this experience will be a lot more close to what I had at the Hole. I’m up for the challenge and hopefully some opportunities will open up.

However, some considerations have come up. The pandemic these last two years have been interesting and have seen a lot of people opt to make a change in their careers. The boss who hired me at my current store has since moved on – and with that in mind my opinion of him dipped just based upon some aspects of his behavior towards me. I got jilted when pursuing a new position in my current dept. Others have sought promotions or moved onto other companies.

Recently an associate with the customer service team announced in the break room to some colleagues that she was leaving going to another grocery company to a distribution facility which pays significantly better than Fresh Foods. That’s not the only one from the job with her story and I’m hearing about some personnel issues with another team that needed support. They don’t have a full-team as I hear some of their associates have since quit and they no longer have a dept mgr as that individual has since moved onto another assignment. It seems in that dept – they make pastries – they haven’t been very solid since about the start of the pandemic. It seems every 6 mos or so they just spit out dept mgrs like candy. It’s either mgmt is not ready, can’t handle the position, it’s too much or they just found a better opportunity they couldn’t turn down.

Another aspect of what’s been going on is an inability by the company – or perhaps the store if that’s a consideration – hasn’t been willing to offer competitive pay to attract decent workers to change a situation for the better. Just a revolving door of people who for whatever reason have proven themselves unreliable. Not an unknown issue especially at Fresh Foods, you hire young people who just want a job and doesn’t care much about the company you get people who aren’t serious and would be very willing to quit at the drop of a hat.

Now most of this has hardly have anything to do with me, however, in recent months I’ve started talking a lot about the Streak Era. My goal over a decade ago was to pursue a better position with better pay elsewhere away from the cinemas. Of course in the years since I felt great about being paid a bit more than minimum wage with benefits and it has made a difference. My only frame of reference was being stuck for almost five yrs at $8.25/hr with no raises and no possibility of a promotion. Although I did go to a bank after leaving The Show and got paid more there, it wasn’t a net-gain given that my hours per week were largely limited especially during the probationary period at the time.

However, I had to come to a conclusion about where I am now. Perhaps I’m stuck or otherwise stalled again. There were some opportunities which I’ve discussed here one of which were botched and the other I get the feeling I was nothing more than a placeholder – that is there was no plan until there was a plan. So being jilted got me back at square one with not much feedback from anyone observing what I was doing and they just said next. And of course what affected my confidence was my experience in the deli dept before the pandemic forced that dept to have to transfer associates to other teams.

I’ve been very keen on noting that I’ve been making decent money since arriving at Fresh Foods not only in 2015, but upon being rehired with the company in 2018. I was hopeful about promotions which unfortunately didn’t happen whether thru “politics”, my own performance or other issues. I’m seeing others seeing how the grass is greener elsewhere which is causing me to ask the same question, is the grass greener elsewhere?

Perhaps it’s time for Streak Era 2.0. Unlike in the original Streak Era I wasn’t entirely sure what I was looking for other than the familiar. I also sought positions that perhaps should’ve been within my reach even at The Show though my position is actually well perhaps I just wasn’t ready to be at least a supervisor there. Perhaps yours truly set himself short back then and as I continue exploring that period of time we might further explore those themes. Perhaps to get to where I need to be in the future I have to be more willing to roll up my sleeves and make something happen. I’m not getting any younger, though another aspect of the Reign of Error is that I won’t be willing to rub in anyone’s failures in the long run.

See you in the new year.

Bad financial advice or “work”


Two write this I’m considering who was giving financial advice not necessarily if it was bad advice. For example there is a saying don’t accept financial advice from someone who’s broke. Well I was in that situation once.

The Fiend in addition to giving me advice on jobs especially the last one where after establishing myself he decided to just swing a convo to changing jobs for more money he would offer financial advice. In the beginning it was  trying to convince me to take my money out of the community bank where my mother set up my accounts in my teenaged years and put it instead in a credit union. Of course as fate had it, my community bank failed and now my money is in a credit union.

Another piece of advice was he wanted me to do business with a tax preparer of his choosing so that I could get a much larger tax refund. His sales pitch was that the first one was free. His justification for this was that he wanted me to get a larger tax refund so that I can get a car and a place. Basically get me away from my mother….

My way of killing that was to tell him that I get my taxes prepared for free anyway. My mother sends my tax info to a CPA every year along with her own information. I’ve never paid a dime for his services and well I’ve only met him earlier this year. 😛

I know what you’re thinking, yours truly is too old to be an entitled brat. Bear with me here.

I think his financial advice or in working me was more or less really about getting me to spend money. It could be to spend it on him because likely he doesn’t have any. Or perhaps he does he just likes to hustle people, bad trait of character and I heard it from somewhere. Just not from him…

I tell my mother this and she might state I may get a larger tax refund but I’d pay for it later. Meaning like the refunds I have now once the IRS corrects that money won’t be mine for long. They’ll find a way to get that money right back if I try to play the system as Ant wanted me to do by going with his tax preparer.

Remember the Hook up story? It was also a means to get me to spend money. He wanted me to buy some tickets for that comedy show with a woman whom we worked with. He wanted me to really go out and whatever I did outside of work alone wasn’t good enough. And of course if things had worked out as he’s working me I’d be spending money on that woman.

His work might be about independence and having something that’s yours – as opposed to living at home with momma – and I think there was an ulterior motive. I do think he wanted to pull me away from my mother, and he wanted to replace her. His goal was to be a father figure although in reality it was in his programming to engage in hustlin

That’s it isn’t it. The bad financial advice was to create the opportunity for me to become beholden to him. Taking advantage of his job leads and of course his financial advice and his insistence on me following his own plan – get a car and get a place – is part of his game. Remember he’s decided in effectively exposing himself that he needed to be my father figure, my male mentor.

In other words dominance and control and perhaps even eliminate anyone who might be a better influence. Those who could interfere with his game perhaps my gains after leaving The Show caused him some concern over whether or not I might still play his game.

I’d say any advice in his work he had to offer from the workplace to the job search to even financial matters – which I recognize he was only interested in for rather selfish reasons – was only for his benefit not my own. And unfortunately I fell for the trap. 😦

The snowball

I’ve recently taken one step to get out of debt well the hardest part of my student loan debt.

Since 2017 I’ve yet to get caught up on my student loans as well I’ve hardly paid them since that time. Yes it was possible to pay them off while being out of work from Oct. ’17 to Apr. ’18. The unexpected event of the “Climax of the Reign of Error” caused me to put paying off my loans on a very low priority.

Recently I had a call with the student loan people and one thing I thought was worth discussing was potentially settling those loans. I had my former banker mother on the phone and she largely took over, however, I think I was better off for it. For me the better deal possible to get this done was worth her getting on the line because honestly I have no clue on these matters.

I can tell you about Ramsey’s baby steps or even the debt snowball however negotiating a settlement on any debt particularly loans well not in my wheelhouse sadly. In my head as I was getting the information was that settling meant that I had to pay up in at least 90 days which could be extended to up to six months. I need to have that lump sum ready to go so, unfortunately to settle the loan and for what they want damn near close to up front not doable not with my savings at least.

My thinking I could settle and have up to 5 years – no more, no less – to pay off that settled amount. Well I won’t have five years to do that. Also if I defaulted and I was dangerously close to doing to they could recall the whole amount of those loans and I don’t have it. 😦 So some hard choices to make.

So I get one important debt out of the way, perhaps with whatever contributions my mother offers. I eliminate one major debt in a short time and perhaps have to take a hit as far as taxes and certainly my credit score. However I no longer have to worry about it and that’s something I definitely want. I feel like this debt is strangling me and keeping me from doing the things I really want to do.

Now in the meanwhile I have to make some payments to get my current payments current and I have some time to decide as far as settlement. The number the student loan people were discussing was about 45% of the balance. In my research it was possible to get up to 50%.

The number the account manager was offering went down from the initial number they were able to offer. Could it go down more? Perhaps in the next few months we could get up to 50% of the balance settled. Let me repeat the settlement amount went down a few thousand on the call.

All I can say on this is that we shall see where we are once I’m close to current on these loans!

I must add this video of Dave Ramsey discussing the debt snowball. I think I’ve got a bit backwards at this point as I’m attempting to tackle the biggest debt as opposed to the smallest debt. And I also know that at this point I’m on baby step two. Just remember to keep $1K on the side for emergencies.

Comfort level revisited

I’m going back to a post I wrote two years ago this month and shared on my own facebook page on New Years Day asking the question “How does one get out of their comfort level?”

No easy answers but one simple answer I’ve encountered was to do something that you’ve never really done before. Another interesting answer is why leave your comfort zone?

And then I think about this. I like to talk about how at one point I went from making about $10K/year to $20K/yr. I consider that quite an accomplishment because going through the stagnation of working for minimum wage at The Show to go up about an extra $10/k yr in wages was a come up for me. And on top of that benefits, some paid time off (which I used for going out of town especially) it was a more comfortable position to be in compared with being at a barebones place such as The Show.

One thing I will add is that it’s very easy to complain. I’ve done a fair share of it and to be honest one thing that should sink in is that complaining is an unappealing trait. Sometimes I don’t like it when someone else does it and for me I try to catch myself as best I can. However complaining does no good if you’re unwilling to do something about it. Even if it means you have to, for example, change jobs.

Another aspect of comfort level is dating. And to be honest I’m not sure how to crack that issue. Can’t meet someone at work really because you could risk “creating a hostile work environment”. And meeting someone in public a complete stranger can be iffy also. And online dating well another can of worms explored here, it’s just difficult to really break out there.

I’m also finding that it can be hard to break out at work. You can make one bad impression and it marks you almost forever. Or a change in mgmt can just grind you to a halt as happened at the Hole just about five years ago. It just doesn’t take much although you have to do something about it and for some I’ve met at a job over the years many of their responses is to just move on – and that’s a valid response. It’s what was necessary after great hesitancy at The Show, even if me leaving for Gotham Bank only served to bring me to Fresh Foods.

Two years ago when writing the original post I was thinking about moving away from home and moving to a state I’ve never spent much time in. Or have hardly any connections there, it seems like an exotic locale even if the state in question could really be seen as unexciting and bland. Then again aside from living for many years in a college dorm still trying to get my bachelor’s degree, this is one challenge I’ve never had. And bolstered by one main fact, I work at a fortune 500 company with locations around the country. As long as I have that – and don’t suffer any major setbacks will be a good thing.

However, I feel as if this is the new challenge to break out of my comfort zone. One goal is to make six-figures perhaps make $100K/yr. Perhaps the opportunities are dwindling for that, however, if I can’t break out of my comfort zone I won’t get close.

The next to last “drop” 2016

I’m still struggling to come up with a final post on the Fiend so I just simply have settled on this story. It will take place just before the episode election day. It was a nice fall day as we’re having currently in Chicago.

Whenever I talk about Anthony the Hustler/Fiend my goal is to tell that story straight. One thing that I striven not to do was to go on the attack against him. Perhaps the various monikers that I have given him including the more frequent ones in addition to a hard-up old man might skirt the line as far as personal attacks. And I also want to note that I strove not to really exaggerate my stories about him. As far as whether or not I was successful in my writings to stay away from attacking I’ll leave up to you all.

The monikers and stories I have written about him are based on my interactions with him. So a lot of what’s written are real life situations. And as stated before you will see a common pattern with what you read and it’s hard to really do anything with a lot of situations. For my purpose it’s just me collecting and analyzing the data.

Around this time in 2016 I answered a call from Anthony. I do recall that he had been calling and texting and for some reason we never did connect. When we finally did I said something sarcastic about not having a sense of urgency in responding or returning his calls. He had to respond to that wondering what’s wrong. In fact it seemed he was making an effort to read me when he did get me on the phone.

As we were talking he seemed to notice my silence as he starts talking frequently asking “What’s wrong”. He noted my lack of sarcasm on my call though usually when I get into that mode he would often get offended and will express it….like a disappointed father. Strangely on this day I was a tad subdued because if he’s somewhat putting on a full court press – not that he was blowing up my phone though he was certainly trying very hard to get in touch with me not like the later episode One Final Drop.

A few times I had to tell him nothing was wrong but if I was silent I was expecting him to get on with the point because I knew there was one. At some point he reached it which he stated “Another reason I wanted to talk to you. I need some money…”

Boo! I stated.

He didn’t understand in this moment that I had objected to his request for money. However I was going to give him some money I just wasn’t at the mode where I got sick of it although this was irritating to me for sure. It’s not like he was doing this frequently but it was enough times that it was on my radar. Up to that point if he’s getting something from me it was a free lunch. Either way to respond to his response to my “Boo” I just simply told him that was my sarcasm that he was waiting for.

We did meet later and he had no money for his lunch. When I asked him if he had anything he just shrugged. Basically I was paying for his lunch and I gave him some as he termed it running around money. He claimed he didn’t have enough money to eat all he got on this day was $100 that I took out of the bank for him. I think I expected him to pay this back later but then there was other money from way back when that I had expected him to pay back.

He infrequently does but sadly there are moments where he might ask to borrow money again. Sometimes money on top of money he already owes. Either way something was wrong with what was going on and I knew it. I mean I already knew it but just not enough will at that time to cut it off.

When we were eating I told him about the episode Petty in full. He would state for the record it shouldn’t have went that far with the House Manager, General Manager and the young woman Kelly. Then at some point he makes reference to me being virgin thinking it was funny stating how I’d fill my girlfriend up covering his smirk with his hand. He knew he was out of line but just didn’t have a filter, he never had a filter. And just like I said that I should’ve left him on the expressway during the summer of 2011 I should’ve got him and left him at that food place we were at and let him figure out where to get his money from.

Either way later on that day he got his money. We take a train back to my house where he left his hoopty. On the way back we were talking about taking martial arts classes he was suggesting something connected with a church that he never gave me info on. Somehow he mentioned that he had been trying to get me to go to his own martial arts school – the one he decided to ask for money where he just simply stated he needs some money – and then I told him ultimately that I didn’t want to go to his martial arts school. He just stopped as he was about to speak probably offended by that but then kept it moving.

I forgot to reference the episode Applications. This was when he stopped at a store near The Show when he saw a job posting looking for workers before the store opens to stock the shelves. He seemed very excited about it and he later utilizing some excuses tried to get me to do his application for that job. Well I didn’t want to do all that work for him on that day.

Then he calls me on the evening of election day upset over the man who won the election. And after I tired of his repetition over who he thought that man who became our president for one-term was. Then we pivoted to other subject including a brief lecture on how I needed to start dating or the women will start laughing at me.

And then we go to the holiday season of 2016. He called me the day before asking if he could bring me with him to look at some cars – basically he was looking for cars via craiglist presumably to replace his hoopty. Anyway he finally paid back some money he borrowed which didn’t include the money I gave him months earlier. He owed me that money for over a year but didn’t consider an extra bill to pay back the “getting around money“.

That little excursion was funny. Our first stop was in the western suburbs and I was talking about a Finer’s store that just opened in the city – and why not talk about it I’m in the industry. Out of the blue he just decided to ask whatever happened with that. I gave him a shorthand story to tell him what happened again and hoped that would be it. Well I’ve been talking about it all year, it escalated to if you come to Finer Foods you’d make more money.

We get to a man’s house in the suburbs and he was talking about a part that Anthony could get for a small sum. Anthony didn’t want to hear that thinking he should’ve fixed it himself if it was that easy. He was complaining about a cracked windshield and then saw holes in the trunk lid where a spoiler used to be. He got on the phone to someone telling them about the car, from that call Ant told the man he has to turn it down because he was actually getting it for someone.

As we left the area Anthony asked “You know that was a fake call right?” I didn’t think much of it honestly but he revealed what he just did out there. Just being very slippery and finding a way to get out of making a purchase. Although it sounded like from what he was picking at he didn’t want the car anyway. I guess in my experience sometimes it isn’t easy to just say no.

So anyway that was really the last time I saw him until one day in the spring next year I saw him at the Hole as he was about to watch a movie at the nearby cinema. And I also had a few odd phone calls with him where he runs down some of my more negative episodes at The Show. I’d say from that meeting on a fall day in 2016 is where our “situationship” began to go downhill.

You know here is the kicker. Blame me for allowing such treatment, however, isn’t it odd that in some way you’re being helpful at the same time as time goes on you’re the one being treated like crap. It’s possible he thought his behavior was OK and as per usual I wasn’t willing to say this wasn’t OK. And knowing him I could tell him and he still won’t budge. And then he has a problem as it turns out when I finally just “drop” him. It’s very odd…

Shoot “One final drop”

I just want to touch upon that post and Anthony deciding to inject Finer Foods in our discussions as yours truly begins to gain some momentum at Fresh Foods.

Think about this for a second, he’s starting his second stint with Finer’s while trying to say “I think you’ll like Finer’s better” or “You’d make more money there” and the purpose of that post from over two years ago was him begging for money for the umpteenth time. Isn’t that a bit odd? He’s somewhere that he can make more money and in reality he wasn’t much better off than I was and he’s suppose to have as much if not more experience than I do.

One thing to consider, since he’s the type that likes to use his connections – which amounted to a bucket of spit as time went forward as I tried to leave The Show – he sure could have “negotiated” a much better wage. Then again the money he cited once he requested cash in hand sounds like basic starter pay.

I also considered when he gave me a number as far as how much he makes that he sneezes at benefits. He was telling me he was negotiating with the national theater chain to be a manager they make mid $30K he wants another $10K on top of that. He doesn’t care about the benefits he cares about the take home pay. Not only that I consider when we were trying to get a job with the neighborhood cinema his answer when I hoped they pay benefits was “make your own benefits”. In other words buy your own and he’s telling me this at a time when I had none and if any employer would’ve been attractive for me back then it was benefits such as health insurance.


When I think about it now, as we pull off in his overheating hoopty from the barbershop where I met with him to make the “drop” as we rode away I asked him how much he made at Finer’s and judging from his body language, he didn’t expect that question. It was sort of like now I’m holding him accountable once I told him that I wanted that money back when he gets situated. His personality comes ready for almost everything however this he seemed a bit sheepish and squirrely as if he really didn’t want to answer that question.

Of course let me add the reason this came up was not just the fact that he begged for yet another small cash infusion. It was because he decided to continue selling Finer’s putting over their candy popcorn and how it was the best since it didn’t leave residue on his hands. I took that as another attempt to sell me on Finer Foods just to illustrate why he likes them so much and why I must like them too.

As I just stare at him while we were in the barbershop with as little response as possible he continues with “just get an interview. See how much money they’re talking. And know your worth.” While I have to continue reminding him that I’m in training for a new role which could lead to mgmt in the future. It seems as if he doesn’t want to hear that, my seeming growth might have been an issue for him and there wasn’t much positive feedback from him as time went on. Probably one reason why he always seemed to bring up D.B. at random back then.

One thing I never explained very well was another theory. Why did Anthony just insist in bringing this up? For some reason it was on his mind maybe it was for whatever reason one of those things that just remained unresolved even if I finally left The Show. Or perhaps this was one of those things he can decide to bring up at random at some point in the future to cause some defensiveness on my end. And again as I’ve recently pointed out he may have had a strange issue with my seeming momentum at the Hole back in the first half of 2017.

Either way, he got his money and told him that I wanted that money back and he gave me a quick answer as far as how much money he makes. For all I knew it could just be a white lie perhaps his pay is higher or lower, but he wanted to show how hard up he was. Especially since you know he needed money for his son’s medical bills that he couldn’t raise enough from his family.

I have no real resolution to this however as not long after this I just stopped chasing him down. We didn’t really say much to each other for most of that summer into the fall. We didn’t really exchange texts or facebook messages. There were no real updates as far as when he expected to repay the money. And then who knows once he was ready to come back around and talk again it wasn’t to discuss paying back that small sum of cash, it probably was to beg some more because that’s the pattern of a man I have started calling the Friend.

Later this month I want to tell you about my last real phone call with him. While the end of our odd friendship was more drawn out process than that last call, it would mark the end of our “situationship” little did he know and little did I know. I got one hint for the direction, it was the first time after many years I had actually ran into Deranged Barney outside of my job.

Stay Tuned!

BTW, feel free to read and click through for the original post – One Final Drop.

What’s better?

I’ve been thinking about this for a while and my current journey has been really making smarter money decisions. My journey included associating with a man who’s own hot air is to show he’s got something going but only exposing that’s he broke and needy.

I had a discussion with a coworker one evening and while he might agree with me that it’s best not to be broke. He might turn around and say don’t allow that to be your selling point because the woman might only see $$$ signs. Hard to argue that and I also know broke men seem to be able to get action with women.

It’s probably something to find a woman who doesn’t care if you have 5 pennies or $5 million. That’s the one worth her weight in gold I’m sure, good character hopefully. I suppose having money in the bank in my own view is an asset, however, is it possible to still miss the point.

I would imagine most women wouldn’t want a broke man. Or we could go even further there is a segment of women who might nitpick over the type of job a man has. For example I’ve explored that some women might treat a blue collar man differently than a white collar man. Some women might not take very serious a grocery store clerk for example even if said clerk was generally a good dependable man while a white collar man has the issues of say a J.R. Ewing.

Dallas – JR Slaps Sue Ellen and on second thought they deserve each other don’t they?

So I suppose when I presented the idea of whether or not it’s better to have money to keep a woman he comes up with if a woman really loves you, money isn’t necessary except a roof over your head and electricity. Hmmm, this complicates things doesn’t it? I suppose as a man I still have to create a home for her to stay.

My mother and I one day were talking about relatives – I have an uncle who seems to come up short often and she mentioned one of my first cousins who though says she has money issues is still able to pay off a luxury car she has purchased. I don’t have a great relationship with either and more so my cousin than my uncle whom I’ve rarely heard from over the years. However I just had to say something and it’s based on my own personal experience.

I can speak to the gifts of my cousin, she’s sociable and I don’t associate money issues with sociable. With this said I know very little about her finances so there isn’t much for me to criticize. Then again my viewpoint is always about abundance you don’t need to have small cash infusions in order to take care of your basic needs such as rent, food, etc. And as far as I know my cousin hasn’t come around for any at least from my mother and what she did get from my mother was basic advice like if you want to save some money put it in a bank far from home for example. If you live in the burbs find a bank in the city and open an account.

Well, my comments sort of backfired as my mother might make some real world comments like who will you leave your money for or you got money but are you enjoying life. I still would say I’d rather have my nest egg while I’m able to use it than be utterly broke. And in my personal experience there is exactly a broke person who definitely isn’t happy about life although as a gift he can be sociable. He could use that to solve his issues with money although it’s getting much later in the game for him at this point.

However, many questions to unpack. Is money necessary for a mate? Does money help you find a mate? Does money allow you to enjoy life?

I could also ask if money brings happiness, though there is a flipside here. Having an abundance of money probably isn’t the key to happiness, however, when it comes to relationships something there has to bring happiness right?


I got another raise recently, but we’ll read about that in a moment.

Just about a decade ago I was at The Show and during most of the winter and spring hours had been cut. The basic excuse was that no major pictures were coming out and it just didn’t justify giving everyone 30-39 hours – oh yeah as a regular associate we couldn’t work more than 40 that’s reserved for mgmt. Anyway I went from five days a week to three days a week.

Our scheduling manager I heard was only distributing hours equally to everyone and not according to perhaps who was actually productive. Of course the loudmouths said something and a few of them got accommodated and they weren’t necessarily deserving either. I’m not a complainer and glad to have a job – and even with my mother saying this isn’t good which had upset me – I just took this. I was still getting paid and very loathe to really look for another job. The drama hadn’t really hit yet but I had some goals if my career actually took off at the theater.

Needless to say it hadn’t, by 2014 my time at this place would be history. I moved onto a job that if I had been applying to jobs in 2011, I was slowly starting to pursue which was in the banking field. A branch of Gotham Bank was one of my first call backs and something dumb happened, I heard the voicemail and somehow it got deleted. It was hard to call them back and find out who called me.

Regardless, to get to that rosey salary – whatever that entailed – takes some time. And perhaps at this point I thought making roughly $20K/year was a great salary. Surely a better set of wages after a year than just about $10/K which was true of my income after a year at The Show.

And come to think of it, when I share the numbers of working at The Show I gave you the wrong numbers. Perhaps i was looking at gross income on my tax returns instead of my adjusted take home income. If I say about $10K/yr I really mean just about $9K/yr and bear in mind that’s not average salary it may well be closer to $10K/hr if I average it out over almost five years. These were truly the lean years but the place I formerly call $H!tplace fulfilled something I needed back then which was regular income.

Fast forward about a decade later, and I work for a company where one could really grow their income. You won’t be richer than the stockholders, however, there are real opportunities to apply for so that you can get your income up. I really hype up my job with Fresh Foods and probably lots more than I should have. I’m mostly pleased and while there were some negative experiences overtime with this company I got to make over $20K to $29K per year.

At this point I went from minimum wage which used to be $8.25/hr to finally cracking $17/hr for the first time. It’s in my head that this is a good liveable wage. It’s something I look forward to adding to that as long as I remain with the company.

Sometimes I like to look at where I had been to where I am today. It feels great to get out of a situation that wasn’t working and finding a situation that does. However one thing is certain now isn’t the time to just be comfortable.


In a recent post over at the other blog I shared a video that illustrates some steps you can take to get into control of your finances. It’s something I’ve begun to take more seriously now. My deal has been saving, however, my goal is to take control of my student loans which is the massive amount of my debt.

I’ve told you over time of my dealings with the Hustler. He knows I have student loans, and don’t really recall telling him how much. He knows my mother isn’t in the best shape healthwise and lost her longtime job and the last time he still came around looking for a small sum of cash.

The worst part is the man is in his 50s and he still has to resort to begging. And the history he has of it for whatever excuses he has – which included buying a hot dog from concessions one time – just let’s me know this is a recurring pattern he knew who to chase down for his needs. He knew how to adapt so that he can pull his target in.

Meanwhile what were my considerations?

Well I had one real setback which was the Calamity of 2017/Reign of Error. That was a setback, I had saved more money from the time I was at The Show to my time at the Hole that surpassed the money I had back when I was 18-19-20 years old due to having survivors benefits from my dad. It was an accomplishment though just a small fraction of the debt I hold. My optimism, allowed me to think it’s possible to whether the difficulty of holding such a large debt.

I made my goal of making $20K a year perhaps about 5 or 6 years after leaving the theater where I made nothing more than $12K/yr. I used that to put more money away and certainly to put a dent in my debts. Then here comes the set back and it was necessary to put a dent into my savings. In this case it was more to eat, and yes certainly it was to pay some of those debts though at this point I had an income issue which was for a brief period of time none were coming in at all.

The real income issue is making more which is why my long-term goal is six figures. There was someone at work who said be more realistic and in their mind – not the hustler thankfully – they were miserable where they were and saw no opportunities there. However that is an ongoing financial goal that I do have it will enable me to finally finish my debt once and for all and do other things I would like to do.

However, I can’t do that if there are people coming around looking for a small cash infusion. I definitely can’t do it only working $20K/yr and yes there were some good opportunities to get ahead. Unfortunately those opportunities lead to the idea that I just needed to slow down. Yours truly was forced to slow down ad realize that it’s not yours truly’s job to take care of those who come around looking for something. Will there be anything left for yours truly if anyone comes around looking for a handout and expects any without question.

So on this Easter as it closes, that’s where I’m at now. That’s why it’s time to follow Ramsey’s seven baby steps. And my income, my financial resources belong to me and only me. I should be allowed to do with it as I please. There is no obligation to anyone else, and especially outside of any family relationships.

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.