You know I’ve been wanting to talk about this for a while on here. It would’ve been perfect during the unrest over three years ago but then I hadn’t thought about it until recently.

So roughly during the winter/spring 10 years ago while at The Show, I was made aware of an allegation against one of our senior mgrs. I’m going to give him a moniker – Jacques – but let’s start with his hair style often resembled the style sported by The Beatles during their peak. He was a bit high strung and tight, very flamboyant in his behavior, he almost reminded me of the maitre’d on the TV program Hell’s Kitchen.

Jacques had allegedly (I never witnessed this) been overheard talking with another mgr – the one referred to as the HBIC we might discuss her further one day – and out of nowhere stated “I’m going to go watch these monkeys“. That is a statement that should’ve gotten him fired and potentially gotten her in trouble. I don’t know how many witnesses there were, however, I do know one of those stated witnesses had been let go in a “theft ring” at the cinemas back then.

If you want to know how I became aware of it, Anthony pulled me aside to let me know about it. I’m not sure why he opted to let me in on it. At one point I called it “drama” and he objected essentially to my use of that term in that situation. This incident allowed him to further his narrative about how The Show and its owners are both unfair and racist.

Of course the next question now becomes how exactly did he get involved with this? Anthony tends to talk to everyone so it probably started that way. Perhaps as even a loud mouth and cantankerous he may well have knowledge of the internal HR process of companies and he might have been a good resource to lean on. However, he may well have his own agenda in stirring this up. As you might know I don’t entirely believe everything he says anymore so now I just take a lot of what he told me with regards to this incident with a grain of salt.

His first move was to bring this to the attention of the GM who seemed to be glad to know about this as he tells it. Anthony later showed me a letter regarding this and when thinking about it is not clear who wrote the letter. Knowing how he texts the letter was far more professional than he could really write. I know this because during this time he had me type emails to those businesses or people he wanted to do business with. I don’t know if this coworker wrote this letter either. Regardless whoever produced this letter it was addressed to the GM, the HR person, and The Show’s company executives. It would be amazing that if this incident actually hadn’t happened that he had someone else outside of this situation to write this letter.

However, according to him he got blown off by the GM upon asking for an update and promised to cause some trouble in some way. He claims to know people although who he knows and who might actually follow-up is another question. Anthony told me later that the House Manager updated him that Jacques had been suspended for two-weeks without pay. The explanation was more or less a matter of them knowing Jacques for so many years and this wasn’t known to the employees because we really weren’t supposed to know. Again, this is something he should’ve been fired for and instead it’s a slap on the wrist. He lasted almost another two years – not too long after I had left – before he himself moved on from The Show.

With this said, if this happened did Jacques say he was going to watch these monkeys? Was it possible he was misheard or even his statement misconstrued? Well in 20/20 hindsight the man was a d!ck and was very loose with his words. I’ve witnessed this a few times myself with employees and a security guard noted how Jacques went at it with a customer using sarcasm. So if this incident happened, it was possible that he said what he said. Like a few mgrs up there he was unconcerned about what came out of his mouth and how it came out of his mouth though he wasn’t as flagrant as his colleagues as the HBIC

The coworker who allegedly reported this got promoted to supervisor almost a year later and she lasted in that role for roughly two years though as I had since moved on only she knows when exactly she did so. However, she herself was reported as a snake and was said to have a hand in the dismissal of another supervisor, my old coworker Keith. Still I just wonder why she was willing to work under someone (basically a supervisor works under a senior mgr) who showed very clear contempt for the workers. Although in all reality if Jacques did use such language and this coworker bears that in mind when accepting a promotion it was a relatively brief time anyway.

You know I don’t want to characterize all The Show’s mgmt as unprofessional there were some who were cool or even fair. Those were the exceptions more often than not. And unfortunately I often forget about the ones who called it as close to the middle as possible. Unfortunately I do remember the ones who I felt were unfair or just with a hair trigger temper looking to take their frustrations on someone or even just to throw under the bus.


dreamy man resting in hammock in woods

A few nights ago I had a dream about a random person from the past, I will refer to him as Barney. You may know him most of the time he’s mentioned on this blog I may use other monikers such as Mr. Deranged and you may see his avatar which is either Barney the Dinosaur or as a Teletubbie.

The dream involved me riding with my deceased father and driving along it seemed like we were on the inside of a shopping mall. Barney sees us riding past and for whatever reason opts to kick the side of the car. For me this was a sign that Barney wanted to cause a problem so I repeatedly told my dad to stop the car because for I wanted to confront him. He finally stops the car I step out to have words with D.B.

Now let me stop there and tell you what happened in the real world. My last real encounter with Mr. Deranged was on New Years Eve 2019 on my way downtown. He was on the train, I identified him as he sat across from me a good distance on the train sitting there grinning. I turn my attention back to my phone because if I stare at him for too long or even respond in anyway it’ll be viewed as an invitation. It’ll become more trouble than I want because there’s no real rationale with him.

So I noticed him between stops he may have gotten on at the last stop and he gets off at the next stop. I look up at him to further identify him, he never looks my direction again, and he steps off the train. Perhaps he did indeed get the hint that I won’t engage him at all! I would observe when he got off the train his face was blank with no further expression of any amusement as I had to learn him seeing me was evidently the highlight of his day. Kind of pathetic but eh….

Let’s fast forward during that pandemic year 2020. I would see him as I was about to get on a train going home and he got off that same train. In that instance I don’t believe he saw me but I was able to identify him. On this given evening he was wearing a face mask it was so nasty that it appeared to have a stain on it where his mouth is. It was so disgusting, he needed to change that mask! Thankfully all he did was hop off the train and he ran up the stairs out of the station. OK cool!

The final time I saw him he was walking away from one of Chicago’s commuter rail stations near downtown. I was on my way to work that day it was sometime in the early afternoon. Perhaps he just got off the train – I’ve heard from people that he lived in the northwestern suburbs so it’s possible that’s how he gets around. In any case, he was dressed in an old faded Bulls jacket something that I’d pay him money for and perhaps he’d take my lowball offer. He wore a pair of faded blue jeans and a worn out pair of Timberland boots. He also had those cheap heavy looking brass earrings that I observed he wore on a few occasions in the last few years I have seen him.

The strange thing about him was that he was doing this odd shifting of his eyes. Perhaps he was trying to avoid eye contact and I tried not to draw his attention. So I didn’t spend any time staring directly at him though I gave him a side eye waiting for him to try to approach. He never looked in my direction he kept it moving and I turned back to see if he would try to turn back and approach. He never did, GOOD.

If there was a time he would say something that was it, but he didn’t. Again perhaps he finally got the hint that I would not engage. However, in my dream I broke that rule.

In my dream, as expected my confrontation became an argument with him. I couldn’t reason with him in any way and perhaps there was some pushing involved. However, I can’t give you a real resolution because I woke up. Who knows in a situation with him, it would do nothing but escalate because that’s probably what he wants.

Thankfully it was just a dream and it wasn’t the only dream I had about him over the years but that’ll be another post.

This might be it for posting this month. Next month perhaps another Streak Era installment. And then perhaps discuss a milestone which I really achieve this month it relates to the Reign of Error. Also perhaps I can finally write about losing my temper at work and some other things I’ve had in mind from 10 years ago when I still worked at the cinemas.

Stay tuned.

A fib

unrecognizable woman with bloody wounds with word liar on lips

Sorry if this is a bit graphic, just the best illustration of the point for this post.

Three or so years ago I told you that there were some liberties taken with regards to whether or not I actually own my mother’s car. I was spotted once by a couple of coworkers and was even queried about this from a female coworker.

Most recently a coworker asked “what was the most expensive date you ever been on?”

Well I made something up quick and my basis was The Hook-up.

In which case I noted that this was actually a blind date and for some tickets to a comedy show at a downtown live action theater the tickets cost me $70. I also wanted to note that the date didn’t even like me and stated that I tried to compliment her and she was like “thanks”. While he didn’t respond to that at all my story was that this expensive date just didn’t go well. He even asked if she was “bad” and my answer wasn’t so much that she was bad she just wasn’t feeling me.

In the real world of course that date never happened. I just used the “drama” of that situation to create a totally made up story of a date that never happened though somewhat credible. Hopefully most men could relate to the story I tried to tell.

I’m sure there’s a man out there who went all out on a date spending a lot of money and for whatever reason it doesn’t go well. Perhaps in my story I point the finger at the woman, some dates it just goes that way. A woman isn’t feeling the man no matter how much he spends on the date. Either the vibe is right or it’s just not.

Of course as you know since this is based on something I told numerous times which I last discussed back in February. My former coworker I know as the Fiend decided that I needed to go out more and tried to get me to buy some tickets to this comedy show and he tried to present another ex-coworker as the date. Of course in his world because I didn’t do exactly what he asked me to do yours truly blew it.

In reality, I don’t believe she was feeling me. Perhaps she may never knew I was supposed to be her “date”. He was more of the middle man in this as if he tells the story, she called him for an update and realized the show was mostly sold out. And this wasn’t necessarily a blind date for me, I knew who I was supposed to go out with perhaps the other party didn’t. And the more he decided to rub this in the more clear it is to me that this was what he wanted as I was hardly enthused about this.

However, the coworker at my job needs not know the true story behind this. LOL.

Streak Era Fast Forward

I don’t want to go too far into the weeds on this one. This has been a topic that had been delved into often enough, however, I’ve been writing enough about what’s referred to as the Streak Era that this is an important episode to cover. So we’re basically going to revisit again the episode of No Interview 2014. I’ve written this initially as a two-parter and had revisited this topic every-so-often. Perhaps even damn near beat to death.

Perhaps this post was a further explanation of events and thought processes. Perhaps what I never talked enough about is my own thought process. That’s sort of an ongoing theme when discussing the Streak Era. The main thing I wanted to express was trying to find another job to eventually leave The Show.

I don’t want to further explain what happened with this as I feel as if I explained it enough. Perhaps I’ve even explained Anthony the Fiend’s stated position on this given issue. What about Jack V, yours truly?

Allow me to start with there were people whom I worked with at The Show had started at Finer Foods. That’s the company I referred to as a competitor in Chicago to Fresh Foods, a competing supermarket. Many had quit to work for them, others worked both jobs. Anthony himself at some point worked for Finer’s although his resume is a tad murky. I don’t know when he started there or when he had quit his last job or even when he ultimately left this store.

As far as my position on this all I really saw this as was another opportunity to leave the cinemas. Perhaps I heaped a lot more responsibility onto the Fiend than either he actually provided or even was willing to provide. I suppose I can’t verify that he was in the store director’s ear as far as yours truly. To be honest when I did go for the interview I wasn’t even sure which department I’d be working in. When pursuing jobs at grocery stores, I often went for the cashier position. I had been a cashier at a cinema surely I could do that, of course I hadn’t worked at the bank yet.

Well I had someone on the inside and that someone seemed to have been riding me on it. As I noted in many posts, his contact at his store called me and I got sidetracked. When he wanted an update he would text and it became clear what he wanted, “What happened with Finer Foods?”. I called him in a fit of frustration because nothing was happening either no call backs for applications or no job offer. The one interview I did have with Finer’s, there was no job offer.

Perhaps as with the cinema mgmt interview in 2012 I thought this was a sure thing thanks to presumptively Ant’s influence. Well if he had any it meant jack as well the store mgr “renegged” there was no interview. Anthony knew I was ticked at wasting that time of day for nothing, however, in trying to tell him again what happened at least in the two days afterwards he chose to be the disappointed father. He came down hard on me for not following up…

That response took me aback and I didn’t really know how to respond. I suppose he’s very good at getting you on the defensive when he wanted to. If I had any interest in working at this store on the northwest side of Chicago that interest had begun to wane. For him to just start bawling at me over this, as someone who didn’t want to be chewed out over a job I didn’t yet have he was out of line. I never blamed him – as even he accused me of when he insisted on addressing this subject – for mgmt’s behavior in this, but I can blame him for his own behavior.

As far as whether or not I really wanted this. Again I saw this as an opportunity to leave The Show, if I had gotten this job then were off to the races. However, things I think about now. If I stayed at home still, then the commute would be a consideration. Perhaps going from Chicago’s south side and then changing trains downtown to the northwest side that might be an hour + to get to work on a day-to-day basis. It wasn’t what I relished.

Another thing to be considered, is what would I be getting exactly with this job? My standards weren’t that high it was just anything was better than staying at The $h!tshow. Perhaps I might get paid better, though with this job benefits didn’t enter the picture or even paid time off. I suppose I never thought that much about the compensation at the time, my goal was to get the job and leave The Show. However, when I finally focused on working at a bank I did consider that I would definitely get benefits and better pay. Working for minimum wage and being stuck there wasn’t fun.

So anyway, why didn’t I follow up? My excuse was usually I expected them to call me as that’s what I had been told and they never did. However, I definitely didn’t like to be blown off like that. I was up there for an interview and they kept me waiting and then oh sorry we can’t interview you today. Would that sit well with you? It didn’t with me as my emphasis for my state of mind at that point was hungry, sleepy, cold and this made me more frustrated. My dear old “mentor” as it turned out was hardly understanding of this.

This is a situation where if they couldn’t be bothered to at least interview you – not necessarily a job offer – then why would you continue to chase them down. There were too many other opportunities to chase after than to chase down a grocery clerk position at one store in a big city. I can’t say that was my mindset exactly at the time, however, there were other positions that I really wanted at the time. There was no reason to just stay stuck on this as it seemed Anthony wanted to.

If I had stuck with Ant’s plan at that point in time where would I be today? Perhaps he’s be successful in worrying me about trying to chase them down and perhaps I’d still have no results from this. Perhaps I’d still get an interview and still no job with them at that point in time. He would only have me chase something I really didn’t want.

The way I see it today things worked out. I do work at a grocery store today, but for a long time I believed and still do work at a better company. However, both companies have gone through mergers and changes. And with Fresh Foods I know exactly what I would be getting. One has a better culture than the other, and even then today if I was too look for another job one goal I must have is to really get further out of my own comfort zone.

I don’t have to stick with retail or even cinemas. As you can see I’m still learning the many lessons of the Streak Era.

Streak Era: Emerging crisis?

Hello, my name is Jack V and in reality there was no crisis. It was just time to go.

Concession Counter at Movie Theater

I referred to a crisis a few times in writing about that period of time – the Streak Era – over a decade ago. I suppose it was just more drama than it really was. Perhaps this crisis was as much about the environment around me at the time or at the very least the people around me.

So up to this period of time back in 2013 I had gone through three interviews from the cinema mgmt interview to a bank teller interview and then finally up this point a position with the National Theater Chain. All of those interviews I viewed as an opportunity to ideally leave The Show. The feeling of it was time to go came as a result of the action of coworkers and some members of mgmt namely the House Mgr and a senior mgr I refer to as the Head B!tch in Charge. Let’s say during this period of time both were on my case for some reason although HM was at this point more so on my case than HBiC. With both worse incidents were coming, however, that’s not the focus of this post. Main thing was I was just stuck there whether I wanted to really face that or not.

I think part of my motivation for the whole Neighborhood Cinemas mgmt deal was a case of “I’ll show them”. I thought I could’ve gotten promoted at The Show and for whatever reason they never looked in my direction. Of course, I no longer think it was a bad thing it never happened as I do consider who I would be working with at the time. I felt stuck, not that I wanted to really believe I was stuck but the feeling was it’s just time to go. It seems the negative was hanging over me more than anything positive, that was quickly becoming my reputation deserved or not.

My first interview after the mgmt interview was for a bank teller position. I had a phone interview and the pay was certainly better than the show. Sadly I didn’t get it, though based upon how I felt I performed at the time I wasn’t too surprised. I probably didn’t connect well with who I interviewed with, not sure if he had a connection with the branch where the job was located. Either way, the interview was during the holiday season so perhaps in the New Year something would happen.

So I would get my next opportunity by the end of February with the National Theater Chain. It wasn’t the job that I really wanted, however, I could stick with what I knew and hopefully thrive better than I did at The Show. Seemed like a foolhardy plan, however, I was advised by someone (Anthony) to get a foot in the door. There was an NTC location near downtown that would call me on a Thursday for an interview.

I returned the call from a supervisor there on a Friday. Once I got the supervisor who called me on the phone she immediately hits me with “Why do you want to leave The Show?” I was caught off guard and stumbled through the response only stating that I wasn’t growing there. We went through a quick pre-screen and scheduled an interview for that coming Sunday and I do believe that was an off day for me. She told me that her manager would also be part of this interview.

I told Anthony about this and offered the unsolicited advice of if I don’t get a guarantee of some hours “be prepared to walk”. Huh? I’m not trying to walk away from a job offer, I’m trying to leave The Show. Walk away from what? Hold out for what? I wanted to leave….I was more or less convinced that staying there was out of the question under all circumstances. What am I sticking around  for if my income nor career there was growing?

The interview I thought went well. The manager tried to get me with a likes and dislikes question, considering my state of mind it was likely very difficult to come up with a solid like and I really didn’t want to discuss dislikes. You see where this is going, it could lead to badmouthing my then employers which is something I wanted to avoid. What probably didn’t come through was that yours truly just wasn’t growing at The Show. Then the manager abruptly ends the interview with the parting words “if you don’t hear from us, don’t take it personal“. Wait, I thought this went well…

With that stated as I wanted to leave The Show I suppose the question that might pop-up into a hiring manager’s head might be if you hate where you were, is it possible you’d also hate it here? That was a question never asked, but that never occurred to me during that period of time. I pursued a mgmt position at the Neighborhood Cinemas, however, would I have hated there with the added responsibilities? The cinemas owner picked up on something also as her parting shot was that she knows “you’re frustrated but everything will work out OK”. Then again I wasn’t in the most positive of spirits in both of those particular situations. For most of the Streak Era I really wanted to leave a workplace that was beginning to become more and more toxic as time went forward.

About a week after the interview Anthony and I was out near downtown, he was following up with a job at a security firm whose offices was located nearby the NTC Cinemas where I had interviewed. I hadn’t heard anything and since he was into following-up, we pretty much decided I needed to go in and follow-up with them. I asked for the hiring manager (or perhaps HR manager) and when he came out I realized he wasn’t the one who interviewed me.

So here goes my follow-up and I don’t really remember what I asked nor remember the sequence of events. He did ask when was my interview and then stated that if I hadn’t heard by that point then I probably didn’t get it. This was not the answer I wanted to hear. He would then ask who did I interview with, and then he told me that the manager who interviewed me would be working tonight. He suggested that I give him a call that night.

Meanwhile Ant was looking at the showtimes at the ticket counter and suggests we see a movie right there and right now. I say no, let’s go. He starts to object, then I repeat with more bass in my voice “LET’S GO!” He realizes that my follow-up didn’t go that well. You see I did get an answer just not the answer I wanted.

We later go get a bite to eat and he starts talking. He begins to work on me. He starts talking about this is what I wanted and we should go back down there catch that movie and catch that mgr off guard. He’ll be surprised and he’ll give an answer such as “oh yeah, I’ll get you in the next round”. Coming from him it was just more pressure, I finally just told him that I’ll just call that manager tonight. We went home after that.

Of course I never called that manager, I suppose it was just time to move on from this. There were going to be other opportunities, this one wasn’t meant for me at that time. Anthony tried to follow-up later and ask if I spoke to him my indirect response let him know that I hadn’t. We never talked about it again after that, but he let me know he was disappointed. Going forward his best advice was for me to just keep applying to those jobs that never gave me a response. Wasn’t very useful advice, but then I was expecting something he couldn’t offer which was how do I get the job. He really doesn’t have the answer to that question other than to express his prowess in getting a job for himself which isn’t necessarily what I needed to get the job.

If you want a lesson here, avoid badmouthing your current or previous employers. Check your attitude if you finally do get some bad news, especially when it comes to a job that you interviewed for. So I don’t think I badmouthed The Show, however, perhaps I did during my interview stepped out of bounds with regards to my background or even in trying to address why it was time to leave. Perhaps they picked up my feelings about the job I had at the time which caused me to refer to it as $h!tplace.

Whatever happened with this interview, it was clear that my attitude was going to become anytime I don’t get a job offer it meant that I would remain stuck at The Show. The more I hit that realization, the more I created this crisis in my own head. While I had offered an alternate explanation for why it took two years to leave The Show for another job, part of the answer was my interviewing. Perhaps another part is mindset, if things weren’t going well at The Show how do I present my best face to have a very successful interview?

Either way I attempted to remain optimistic and in 2013 I just knew I’d find a new job that year.

The hook-up shoot

Valentine’s Day is coming up so I wanted to retouch bases on something that was somewhat relevant about 10 years ago. I refer to this episode as The Hookup.

About a decade ago, the man I now refer to as the Fiend was trying so hard to get me to buy some theater tickets to see a comedian at a downtown theater in Chicago. Long story short I never got those tickets and by extension I never went out with the young lady I refer to as Greta whom he wanted me to take out. My answer was just a lack of real interest, and he probably picked up on it but was undeterred as this was what he wanted.

Funny thing about this was that he sort of took his foot off the gas on this until according to him Greta called him to ask about this comedy show. I never updated Anthony on it, just simply put it in a pile of things I just didn’t view as a priority. I saw the ticket prices which were much higher than to go to The Show for example and I just thought about the money and definitely put it on a low priority.

Now for one thing, why did Anthony just have this strong belief that I needed to go out more. That was his statement every time I started coming up with excuses and when I tell this story I might emphasize that he’s a bad matchmaker. For whatever reason he wanted to see me with a woman and have made various statements to that end. So he chose for whatever reason Greta, I never chose her. And he was not smart enough to allow things to really develop he just thought get them on this date.

Of course, I can’t say there was a real plan. He never fully revealed his plan other than I was supposed to take Greta out. Of course since the plan didn’t fully get executed I get blamed for it. And overtime – until I finally just stopped communicating with him – he’d find a way to bring it up. In his world, I blew it with Greta and of course I failed to adequately stand up to that decrepit old man. And who knows if that would’ve mattered.

Regardless after over four years from 2013 to about 2017 he’d find a way to bring it up. Usually in response to something that I said, however, increasing he would just bring it up by himself and the last time was during the episode One Final Drop. I just decided my response was to throw back “I blew what? What did I blow?” beyond “I blew it with Greta” there was no answer I just saw his face go blank. And one thing I realized about this is that it was all about him. Usually when he brings it up, often it’s in response to what I had said perhaps something that would lead to him thinking about that time I blew it with Greta. The last time he brought it up with no encouragement from yours truly it was for whatever reason on his mind.

And here is an interesting question to consider. If things worked out and I went on this date and Greta was feeling me or I was feeling her how would this work in the long run? Is this what Ant would want for yours truly? If he was about control and dominance would it be in his best interest for me to have a girlfriend? Something tells me that if things actually did develop between us he’d find a way to sabotage it and perhaps he’d blame me for it in some way.

You know, I had to think about this for a second, there was a time during this period perhaps after this episode that he started to give me some “beauty suggestions”. For example, he suggested I grow a beard like he does and let it go gray. In his words “women like that and it’ll make you look distinguished”. My best answer to that was being young still at the time there was a time for that and I wasn’t there yet. And stating further “I want a babyface”. Which later became a repetitive yet silly debate.

T.F.: You don’t have one

J.V.: But I want one

T.F.: But you don’t have one

J.V.: But I want one

One time we were in an auditorium cleaning having this discussion let’s say there was a break in the “debate” and then he starts right away with “You don’t have one”. Funny thing is after getting a haircut one time Anthony had come over to me and had to state with regards to the babyface remark that he can see it a little bit. He actually gave me that one.

Of course consider one thing. I did refer to him as a decrepit old man. He is not a very good looking man, he’s not aged well. He can groom himself well as there are pics to that effect. However, he’s balding he often has a frown even his smile isn’t that appealing. I like to refer to him as perpetually miserable and it’s on his face. I’m supposed to take that type of advice from him?

Anyway in the next post lets go back to the Streak Era. Later this month 10 years ago I had an interview with the National Theater Chain which I hoped would enable me to finally leave The Show errr $h!tshow. He was somewhat involved with this, however, not a major factor given that well I still walked away from this with no job offer.

Stay tuned.

Focus – Fresh start

A feature of this blog since about the beginning was how was work. And since starting this blog I’ve many ups and downs. For two years I had a pretty good ups, though there were some downs. My statement on this is that from the time I was hired at the Hole through the Reign of Error was basically a great period for me. Consider that my wages had stagnated when I was still at The Show.

And of course also consider that as I cut off one relationship from The Show – yes I’m talking about the Fiend – I had to hear about some bad stuff from back then allegedly from his own huge trap. When I still talked to the Fiend I try to emphasize today’s good news. Sadly I might emphasize I’m better off now than I was at The Show. At some point he tried to dig in on the negative from The Show, you see he can be an energy sucker.

So second hand I was the worst worker, I was rude to customers, the meangirls of the $h!tshow constantly complained, nobody liked me up there. In his world I was horrible and why is that because right now I’m horrible, perhaps in his world I always was horrible. If he’s really saying those things to someone who knows me, I don’t think this came out of nowhere. He probably has always believed those things, he is the type that just takes a position no matter what the reality is. Besides he does have a very fractured relationship with the truth.

And then I consider the situation later during the Reign of Error at The Hole and even my situation at the store (which needs a new name) where I got rehired at Fresh Foods. That turned quickly less than ideal and in my humble opinion I feel some actions by leadership at my new assignment was very unfair as time moved forward. I had one final job review with them after leaving the deli team and the funny thing about it was even though I consider that a very negative review I still got the largest raise ever at Fresh. They revealed a laundry list of deficiencies and issues and another thing that sort of hurt that because I’m very low key that I merely blend in and don’t stand out. I feel as if the leadership let me know where I stood with them and it wasn’t good.

However at the midpoint of my time at this old store I get transferred and as time goes forward while I had some disappointments there, things turned around for me. I one time became associate of the week and even was in the running for that store’s associate of the year. Perhaps the criticism of the leadership or even some of my former coworkers in that dept was all shown to be bull$h!t. I won’t say they were wrong, however, they had unnecessarily developed a very negative opinion of yours truly and there was nothing I could do to turn that around.

Of course in talking about this, there is a point. As I made my most recent move to the store I now refer to as Flagship 3, one of the things that I must learn to do is not allow the past to follow me. I feel as if any situation can be turned around and of course if people are deeply holding those negative points of view it will be difficult. However, I recognize that it’s not necessary to allow this to mark myself in my own head.

The past is over. Everyday is a new start and I also don’t have to bring past events with me. No one at my new store needs to know how things turned out at the Hole or even later on. I’m at Flagship 3 for a new start, perhaps to reinvigorate my current career although I may recognize that it’s time to find other opportunities.

One mistake I made just about five years ago was that I did discuss once too often the Reign of Error at The Hole. And again I let that situation mark me and while I felt as if it was a motivation for me to do better. It was still a weight upon yours truly. This time around I want to release that weight and then some from the last six years. Perhaps the next four years at this new location will prove to be another great period.

So almost a month after I made the move, I must dedicate myself towards looking forward. If I continue to dwell on past negativity, that makes it very difficult to move forward.

Mr. Boastful update

You know I’ve been having trouble finding a topic of discussion beyond me changing jobs (actually transferring changing jobs within the company). Perhaps this is the perfect time to talk about some loose ends.

Last month I wrote about a character I refer to as Mr. Boastful. Sometime in the fall after being a buyer/receiver for over four years about, he got bumped down to a cook. He had transferred stores twice during that period. He was officially a team receiver for over a year at The Hole, and then for over two years he was a buyer at a store I will refer to as Flagship 1 and then he moved onto be a buyer at another store Flagship 2. And then after maybe about four months his job title changed to cook.

I’m on the outside looking in so at Flagship 2, I can’t say what happened only Mr. Boastful knows. I can conjure up a story in my head and say this move didn’t quite work out for him. Perhaps it wasn’t going to work out for him for long if he maintained his outspoken attitude which is why I call him Mr. Boastful.

I gave a quick sequence of events over time starting in about 2017. I can tell you that once the Reign of Error commenced with our boss Ruthless Roger and he was starting to make changes or moves, Mr. Boastful was right there paying attention. Being an opportunist, seeing a potential opportunity, basically waiting for yours truly to fail so that he can take advantage. Once a requisition for a position did come up and I got hit with that attendance probation I couldn’t go for it and it immediately comes out that he applied.

And here was the real problem I had with his behavior during that period of time. It’s not so much that he was going to get the position that I had, it was that he was very much into rubbing it in on yours truly. He was essentially gloating about this and that was my problem the more he just insisted on doing so. Couple that with him starting to talk $h!t about it way before he got into that position.

I feel as if there was a lot of uncertainty during that period of time which started to hit me in some ways with the tardiness – all of it unintentional however those issues had built up long before the summer. And also Rog’s need to be very by the book by his measures which unfortunately made that issue much worse for yours truly. This is why I call this era the Reign of Error, not so much because of any errors by yours truly – though I could say I make a lot of “tactical errors” – it’s because the main error was this fool was allowed to live up to his level of incompetence.

Anyway, I suppose Mr. Boastful’s boorish behavior has lasted in my mind. And I got one more piece of news for you as far as that goes, he’s no longer with the company. I looked for his name and couldn’t find him on the company’s social network. My best theory on that – if I held to my own narrative – is that he didn’t want to be cook. For someone who had proven himself to be very ambitious and cocky I could see him viewing being a cook as a step down from where he wanted to be. I believed that the move that happened at Flagship 2 wasn’t something he really wanted. From what I recall he never expressed interest in being a cook, whenever he pursued other positions when I worked with him he wanted to be a supervisor although he sort of quieted down on that once he started doing the buy/receive.

I also consider now what my motivations were at the time when I took on the role. Was this something I really wanted? My goal was to make mgmt at the time. Also I never really learned numbers which is what’s necessary to do buying. I did have product knowledge though I didn’t know about all the products of the dept or even how much product the dept needed to make whatever the dept needed to sell. I feel as if I didn’t get the education that Mr. Boastful – whom I felt put on a show to illustrates how much he wanted this – actually sought out.

So while I didn’t like his behavior I’ll have give it to him that he got what he sought out. He clearly played the game, I would dare say he outplayed me however in his need to talk he had to let me know what’s up. It worked for a while, though I wonder if he somehow did himself in ultimately.

Either way I might have looked at this practically like I didn’t have to deal with customers of course that changed. And also consider I’ve had other opportunities that didn’t work out for me at the new store and even in a new dept. Perhaps on my end something was missing in both recent cases. Thankfully it wasn’t a case of “unfriendly competition” perhaps just a case of I just came up short anyway.

I suppose if I was still attempting to pursue such positions in the future, perhaps I need to evaluate whether or not these are opportunities worth pursuing. These are added responsibilities which it seems I haven’t been able to show that I can handle. And as stated it’s very easy to be comfortable and complacent and I’m getting too old for that. Something has got to give even if that means I want to leave Fresh Foods in the near future as I made the move to Flagship 3.

So, I have some serious thinking to do. Will an opportunity open up for me at my new store? Will I prepare myself adequately for that role and for the interview? And how do I address someone who is very willing to challenge me in every way once I get into such a position? I would never do it anyone to be honest even if I knew someone was doing a $h!t job, however, it’s more stressful when someone decides to do it to yours truly.

I think this month I will skip discussing the Streak Era and talk more about that period next month. Also I may cover the story involving the Fiend and Greta next month. One topic I’ve been trying to figure out how to write is the idea of losing your temper at work. So perhaps this article will be the last posting for this month.

How has 2023 been for you all so far?

Streak Era extended?

shopping business money pay

For the most part I define the Streak Era as between August 2012 – my mgmt interview with the Neighborhood Cinemas – to October 2014 – got a job offer to be a bank teller at Gotham Bank. Now the point of this post is whether or not I could extend the Streak Era into at the very least January 2015 when I finally got a job at Fresh Foods.

How in the meantime I put in my two weeks at The Show, worked two weeks at both The Show and the bank. My final week at the cinemas I was also training at a Gotham Bank facility in downtown Chicago away from my branch located closer to home. And then work at Gotham from that point forward until being separated from there at this point in December. So perhaps another Streak Era situation seemingly.

In this case well the original Streak Era was just basically I was ready to leave The Show and well it was a process before getting the interview at the Neighborhood Cinemas. I was having one hell of a summer with primarily Barney and the collective I call the Meangirls of the $h!tshow or $h!tplace. Well while that drama was going on I continued to wait for the interview which does happen, however, I don’t get the job to my dismay.

And the weirdness after that was ongoing although in spurts now I was having issues with mgmt in addition to other coworkers especially the Meangirls of $h!tplace. And then Anthony the Fiend was being more of a hustler and also being more of a disappointed father. Also my job search which was ongoing after that Cinemas mgmt debacle just was going not far as my final count from 2012 to 2014 was 1 for 15.

However, when I started at Gotham was I in the best spirits? I probably wasn’t, this was me going from what’s the most familiar and comfortable to another culture. Going from a picture exhibition business to a bank, this I will admit was a cultural shock. All told your hero Jack V was far from mentally ready and sadly brought some bad habits with me. If I felt that mgmt at the bank – represented by Ed – was going to be hostile towards me it was possible I’d be hostile back. Perhaps because of what had been going on at The Show while this was a new start let’s just say there were moments I were a tad combative.

It was easy to sense when the coworkers at the bank were going to be hostile. For the most part it was never my goal to be hostile then again I wasn’t happy and perhaps this started early on. Let’s just say if things started off rough in the first place, it never got much better. And even if I tried to stay optimistic, there wasn’t much to be done on my end. Perhaps my fate was sealed.

The last time I was in the office with Ed and he dressed me down for logging into my station after my scheduled time this let me know this wasn’t working out. There was no answer that would satisfy him and it appeared no matter how much I asked for instruction he didn’t say anything else other than an exaggerated “alright”. He was frustrated with my progress but then I had to recognize that perhaps he just wasn’t the right boss for me. In 20/20 hindsight he was very impatient and in how he conducted any office time with yours truly it seemed he wanted me to catch up to him.

With this said I do recall he had to manage two different branches not just the one I worked at. So if he gets a report regarding yours truly, he might have to come down to address me. I can accept he just didn’t have time and it was just easier for him to just cut a struggling worker loose under the guise of “not working out”. I was under a probationary period and never appreciated how everyone would be watching me for any mistakes and also they used this probationary period to justify never having to write me up or even to adequately inform where I was in the probationary process.

Indeed on my last day there, Ed outright said for the record that he just didn’t like what he saw. Now again, he was barely there he probably saw a snippet when he was there heavily informed by supervisors who were there at the bank when he wasn’t there. However, it’s too long ago to characterize this as unfair. I accept that this position just wasn’t a good fit for yours truly.

So let’s say I had to do a count of interviews from after I left The Show. Before being let go from Gotham I already had an interview with Fresh Foods, down the street from The Show. I didn’t get it probably due to my expected availability anticipating that perhaps the bank gig would work out. In reality I’m doing this to quit the bank eventually because it was no longer a matter of if but when. However, conventional wisdom for me at the time was I need to avoid the implication that I’m trying to leave the bank after just starting there. And since The Show was nearby some references to the cinemas were made by the store mgr I interviewed with who said she was a customer there.

And then I got into contact with my future boss at the new store opening that I would refer to as the Hole. And then had two other interviews after him for positions with the store until he hired me which extended into the day after New Years’ 2015. I also got a phone call from the National Theater Chain however their facility was a long way from home and I just couldn’t garner enough energy to even want to interview there. I also followed up with the NTC cinema which was very close to the Hole to see if they were hiring the day I got separated from Gotham, they said they weren’t so I just hoped for the best with Fresh Foods after that.

So really I had four interviews with two stores, different mgrs and departments for Fresh Foods and got an offer – so one for four. And the funny thing is, I never got the jobs I thought I could pursue. Perhaps my first inclination was to be a cashier well that didn’t work out and two interviews were for those positions. My next interview was really to be a porter, however, my new boss saw I had customer service experience and put me in a customer facing position when he hired me. The next interview was for actually butcher although I would be dealing with seafood mostly but then I needed knife experience for that. It was after speaking with them that my boss finally hired me!

So for whatever happened with Gotham Bank. Well I had a hearing for unemployment and while it seemed like an uneven experience it seemed their lack of communication or write-ups and especially from mgmt or supervisors help me get unemployment. No communication on the final act just a laundry list of gripes – although I’m not saying this to be offhanded it does seem the justification for the separation was intended to be overwhelming. I guessed correctly as far as the final act which ultimately allowed me to get no more than three weeks unemployment before I started at the Hole. The final act as I was told by the unemployment agent over the phone was basically a mistake on the teller line.

Of course, the funny part was that after I had started at Fresh and was no longer getting unemployment Gotham Bank filed an appeal about a month after that. I prepared not knowing how to defend myself other than to state that the date the other hearing provided for the final act was a day that I had been off. My only gambit was to show they did a bad job of getting their own facts straight. Thankfully that appeal hearing was cancelled I learned over the phone.

So the extended Streak Era was over and seemingly smooth sailing after that.

Holidays 2013

green christmas tree with orange bauble

My last holiday season of the Streak Era and my employment at The Show wasn’t very joyous. Perhaps just a sign of things that just weren’t going to go my way. I feel as if this was the most miserable I had been since I worked with this particular company.

Mgmt often portrays working holidays as MANDATORY. Meaning don’t you dare try to get any of the holidays Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years off. If you have plans go to mgmt, of course if you’re good with them then they accommodate you. If you’re not good with them then you know you’re going to get what you’re going to get, and if you don’t like it quit!

Weeks before Thanksgiving I had got myself into a weird situation with one of the senior mgrs, some mgmt saw me walking around aimlessly on a slow evening and decided to start taking action. I felt as if I was being singled out, but there was one person who was probably on my case and I call her the HBIC – the Head B!tch in Charge – and once I got frustrated with one of the supervisors once he reported to her game on. But she’s a small part of the situation here.

Anyway usually for the holidays you have to get a sheet which allows you to prioritize which holidays you prefer not to work or at least the shifts that you want. A bit of a slippery system but if holidays were MANDATORY you had to choose. So basically you get three choices. I suppose I was indifferent to working on Thanksgiving so I suppose I often gave it a three. Christmas was a two, and the one day I really wanted off or at least to not work that evening was New Years Eve.

For the most part over the years I was lucky more often than not I didn’t have to work Christmas or New Years. This year I worked both Christmas Day and Christmas Eve – and on Christmas Eve no big issue since well they close early on that day. Christmas Day I was hoping they’d send people home, however, the big show at that point was The Wolf of Wall Street sooooo needless to say that day got very busy!

New Years sucked. I had to work New Years Eve that night and hoping to get home before midnight asked my mother to pick me up. However, it was snowing on that given evening which meant my mother wasn’t going to gun it to pick me up. So we brought in New Years Day 2014 on the expressway instead of at home.

New Years Day I had to come back in the morning, probably not that early, perhaps 9 AM or so. One of the mgrs allowed me to work a few hours and allowed me to go home early which was cool. However, I started off the New Year in a diminished spirit.

Another interesting incident that happened during this period was there was a conflict emerging between me and another one of the “meangirls of the $h!tshow” let’s call her Wassa. She had always been a thorn in the side over the years just had a very bossy disposition and she decided to start something with me when I was trying to help close the concession stand. She decided to start criticizing my sweeping as she decided to come near me to pour herself a soft drink. After a few words and some smart alecky responses from me, Wassa quickly turned with the harsh parting words, “This is why NO ONE says anything to you, and this is why I won’t say $h!t else to your @$$. You’re a fcuking idiot!”

And it spilled over to when I tried to get my register counted down by a supervisor. She was about to get off work anyway so she blows me off and Wassa decided at that moment to point her thumb at me and I take umbrage. She rolls her eyes and says she’s going to say what she’s going to say. I object the supervisor now has to calm things down and Wassa’s last retort was “Can somebody tell him I DON’T LIKE HIM?” And that was the last straw I blew up someone had to pull me away from her because she was going to make it worse she wanted a fight and she was getting one. My real anger was on display and she shuts up finally, however, her response once that coworker pulls me away was to act like my anger was a threat to her.

Regardless after that anytime she’s around I had a sense of dread there was a sense of conflict for me so anytime she approached me the negativity from her or even me would come out. And worse still she was basically seasonal, she goes to school the rest of the year comes back for holiday and summer break which is long enough to cause as much drama as possible. She always liked to complain about how “petty” the Show was and yet as a college student who could get internships she’d come right back to work. While she seemed to want to be friendly let’s not forget she has a bossy demeanor and when not happy can be downright abusive and she had been in the past towards me on one occasion. She might come around friendly on one day and then another time she treats me with hostility. I remember that hostility from her so when she comes around rying to shake hands with me I remember the hostility. Now if you respond to her negativity in kind she will turn around and act like a victim.

Anyway this was a snapshot of my last holiday season at The Show. And upon arriving at the Hole after New Years 2015 it gave me a glimpse of what I was missing while working at the cinemas. Time and a half on selected federal holidays such as Christmas, New Years, MLK, etc. I wouldn’t have gotten that if I stayed at a cinema, especially The Show which was a barebones operation. And Thanksgiving Day was double time and it wasn’t MANDATORY, you could sign up for it and mgmt may or may not schedule you. Of course another thing is that Fresh and perhaps most retail stores were closed on Christmas so that’s one guaranteed holiday off. I suppose this was the pain I had to go through to get to this point at least seemingly.

UPDATE: I have a few other posts planned before New Years or I’m optimistic before Christmas we shall see. Also there is a recent update coming soon. Of course here’s a bit of a spoiler, a change in coming and I think of it as a good change. Can’t wait to let you in on it.

Also I have to do another edition discussing the Streak Era of which the post you see above was part of that period of time although again the focus needs to be the job search from that period of time.