What’s been happening?

The job has been picking up cases of this bug in recent weeks. We get text alerts on our phone and it seems we get notifications just about everyday as of late. Unfortunately we’ve learned someone has died of it in my dept.

I didn’t really associate with him although we did often work in close proximity. He dilligently did his job, what I can note was that he was short – well shorter than yours truly – and very pudgy. He wasn’t exactly the symbol of being physically fit. So I can visually spot a risk factor there although I can’t possibly know the state of his health.

Either way because he got sick put others under quarantine which led to our team being a lot more understaffed for the time being. Overtime is being offered it just lets me know this pandemic isn’t even close to being over. It didn’t burn out over the summer though at least we’re closer to a vaccine now than we were at the beginning.

I almost forgot I learned about the death after reading a note by the time clock after a day or two off. It dampened my spirits, the last thing anyone wants to know is that someone there died and especially from this ongoing bug going around. Well beyond that all one can do is to get on with it.

* Last month my mother lost one of her sisters. She was a younger sister who just made 60 this year, however, she had been sick for a period of time. I barely knew her as she spent a lot of time a part from the family. She’s had some issues in her youth that she had largely cleaned herself up.

She was married at the time of her untimely demise so she cleaned herself up long enough to find a husband. The only time I remembered her coming around and/or calling family was when she asked for money from my mother. I forget when that was it was in the 2000s or even the last decade I don’t remember. However, it seemed as if she was blowing up the phone lines for a small cash infusion.

Either way the last time I saw her I do remember which was after a family reunion the year I got kicked out of mission for the second and last time. Of course no one outside of me and my mother knew that at the time. I know that she was expecting more of a greeting than I was willing to give her at the time.

I was more focused on rubbing my hands with sanitizer and she was quick to move on to the next person. I suppose I wasn’t in the mood to be very touchy feely. Now in light of her untimely passing and just thinking about the last time I saw her now I feel bad.

I suppose you never know what the future is. Though couple that with the family reportedly never really saw her other than a very persistent ability from another of my mother’s sisters to reach out every once in a while. Just as I made a choice over a decade ago so did she. I could say she made a choice to grace us or more specifically yours truly with her presence only rarely. I still have no real idea that she was at my grandmother – well her mother’s funeral – although I have to admit I don’t know because I chose not to go.

* I have to add that I don’t like going to funerals. Because of my mother’s age and insecurity about driving at night I went to one funeral this year for one of my great aunts. So I wanted a chance to go to whatever services were for my aunt because we could go back to our family’s southern hometown to visit another relative who my mother learned her mind is starting to go bad. The relative was one of my dad’s aunt’s and she was the last survivor from his mother’s family.

Well owing to the pandemic in part and certainly my work schedule and how onerous it seems to insure that I won’t get penalized for not coming into work I just decided it wasn’t worth the hassle. I guess I’m a workaholic and it’s necessary in an uncertain time. We’re not even certain who the president will be although someone has declared they’re the president-elect.

Unfortunately I chose to not go and it seems my mother isn’t too unhappy about it. She didn’t really work too hard to make any arrangements to go as we heard other family were making plans. If I had went this would’ve been the first family gathering I’d have attended this year although under very sad circumstances.

* A question that was never asked. Why didn’t I go to my grandmother’s funeral?

The basic excuse is my work schedule. And perhaps I was concerned it was very onerous for me to try to get some time off to go to her funeral without being penalized. Also as I said I grew to not like funerals over the years. Perhaps I’ve just about seen them all to say I just don’t like them. Perhaps organ music, spirituals, hymms, remarks, preaching, caskets, etc just doesn’t have an appeal. Perhaps it’s not supposed to be an appeal other than to remember the live of the deceased.

Another part of this is that I worked at The Show as unlike now I didn’t get paid time off. During those years at the theater I hardly went out of town other than going to homecoming at Mission. What helps me to get out of town now is that I get PTO and thus I might take a week or so off to take a vacation.

For example I took a west coast jaunt years ago and what helped that was well I essentially got paid vacation for it. Not that it would’ve made it easier for me to attend a funeral out of town. But I do imagine that would’ve been a consideration at the time just as it could’ve been this time if I had been willing to make that effort.

* I do recognize that there was a period of time as I tried to build my income and my work experience that I missed out on time with my folks. When I went to Mission during my time at The Show I made no effort to connect with family of course the second time I went I had little choice there were no hotel vacancies and I couldn’t get a bus back to Chicago.

Either way there was a period of time it wasn’t very important. I want to make a effort to connect with people I care about more than I want to connect with people who really aren’t that concerned other than our blood connection. I feel as if just as my late aunt had I denied them at times the opportunity to connect the opportunity to grace them with my presence.

However, I feel as if the same rules apply as they do with the Fiend that I continue to mention on occasion. It comes out that he really doesn’t have a very positive view of yours truly. In his sense of domination and paternal instinct that attitude comes out. I have every right to pull back family or not.

Another blog in the future?

I’ve been thinking about starting another blog. Perhaps when I’ve settled on it there will be a link posted here. Likely it will start publishing by the time of this blog’s 5th anniversary.

What is expected to be seen there is more topical posts. Things that are really incompatible for this blog and there are some posts here that aren’t very compatible. Hopefully there will be some tie-ins to my YouTube channel.

I’ll be happy to let you know once I set the place up. This blog isn’t going anywhere if you like seeing updates from my life as it unfolds.

Outbreak

I never thought I would work somewhere that would get heavily affected by a “pandemic”. I never thought I would see a run on toilet tissues, paper towels, sanitizer, etc and see empty shelves. People panic and things you take for granted in abundance now you see on empty shelves.

Basically I work with food anyway and lately I’ve been more fastidious about keeping my counters sanitized and my hands washed. Now what I think about more is my elderly mother who’s hardly out there in the world getting sick with a virus that now she’s far more vulnerable for. Though she’s not suffering some of the conditions that makes one more vulnerable to the debilitating effects of this disease.

What I’m somewhat OK with is that for those who aren’t vulnerable it’s only contagious. It’s spreadable and thus you won’t get very sick though that’s not to say you’re won’t feel some effects. It just means you have to maintain social distance from others to keep them from falling ill.

Thankfully the many measures to really combat this are mostly common sense such as washing your hands or covering your mouth when you sneeze or cough. Since I wasn’t prescient enough to buy more hand sanitizer I have to make do with what I still have in short supply at home. It’s too bad about the panic buying once it became clear that this virus is spreading.

Either way I’m looking forward to when we finally reach the peak of the bell curve and when we do reach that point society can get back to some sense of normal. I thought 9/11 was something, but as it turned out we haven’t seen anything yet.

Be well…

Information

A few days ago I made a mistake. We had a new security guard at work and it seemed he liked to go around chat. He stopped at my venue to introduce himself and let me know if I needed him let him know. He told me he’s rotated at other area Fresh stores including the Hole. Hey wait, I used to work at the Hole although it’s been a few years.

He gave me a run down of some of the managers there starting with Morley (as you should know he’s the one who fired me over two years ago and he’s no longer with the company). I thought he said Morley was bad, well he never said his name just described his ethnicity. I committed one faux pax here – the mistake as it were – asked him what happened. I was just about to tell him to not answer especially once I saw the look on his face he was coming up with something to say and he just confirmed what I already knew, Morley was history.

The new store manager at the Hole he put over and seems to like him. He believes that manager has his back. The man who I interviewed with to attempt a return to the Hole well he doesn’t really like him that much either. Sounds like a personality clash there, perhaps that was one reason why I didn’t get to return close to two years ago.

No matter the information I got seems encouraging although to be fair, things are evolving up there. Perhaps not good perhaps not bad, just evolving. There has been changes since I left that store over two years ago. With managers in all departments and people moving on and people getting demoted or fired or whatever. Sometimes I forget that life is a state of flux and that’s OK.

As I’ve often said it’s more likely that I would return to the Hole than it is that I would return to The Show. And yes, The Show had also evolved since I worked my last shift over five years ago. I could still call them $h!tplace, however, that was then and perhaps  that moniker is for a place that years in the past.

Either way expect a part two to this post soon. I like to lurk on Fresh’s social network and see what’s what as far as jobs. I see some people that I worked with at the Hole have moved on to either another store or to another department at the Hole.

Back to the modern day

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Before the new year I actually ran into my former boss from the Hole, the one who hired me before the store opened over four years ago. What I didn’t know at the time was that when I ran into at a local Fresh Foods store that he had been promoted. In fact, and the irony is I had last ran into him at that store just about a mere week before getting let go from the Hole over two years prior.

He was still an assistant store manager at the time and was only at that location to help them out. Seemingly knowing how rough things were at the Hole he seemed to be suggesting that it’s time to leave for a moment too bad I didn’t see out help or advice with the situation I had been in. It was cool running into him then and even better he expressed interest in returning to the Hole or possibly being at that store. Two years later not only did he return now he’s running the operation.

I expressed interest in working with him again and he said he’d reach out to my leadership as  far as opportunities at that store. I made sure to note and thank him for how I returned to the company, he stated it was the easiest letter of recommendation he could write. I hate to note the disappointment of what happened and got the peaks and valleys statement, I guess ups and downs. We parted as he was actually speaking with someone else at the time, and all I did was stand off to the side hoping to wave at him once he looked in my direction.

With this said I just had to get the word out and especially reached out to two people who I thought needed to know. One of whom is Jill who is no longer with the company. The story as far as this is most interesting and likely could keep her out of the company.

Jill was the one who told me that Ruthless Roger was no longer the dept mgr of my former team at the Hole. She also was the first to note who was going to take over the department who was dubbed Larry once I found out. I never returned to the Hole incidentally after that also within weeks of that communication she was also let go. This was first told to me by a colleague who was long gone by the time of the “Reign of Error“.

I wrote an accounting of what happened with that as I encountered a colleague Bill when he was leaving work one day. There was a fight at the store and from what Bill told me it sounded as if Jill was just caught up in some young cantankerous young woman who probably didn’t want to be at work that day. I could believe no hands were being thrown and it does sound like they had to be pulled apart or separated. And unfortunately Jill lost her job and for her aggression the other party well she’ll figure it out one day.

So Jill who herself could be a tad cantankerous was also very good at her job. She was even associate of the year at our store. And then this which I could say was the result of a leadership vacuum. Larry hadn’t yet arrived to take over the dept full-time and chances are if none of the assistant mgrs wanted to step up to run the dept that left someone from store mgmt to run the team.

Incidentally when I mentioned that Morley had been let go (she already knew by the time I reached out) she expressed a strong reaction. She said his termination served him right, yeah like I said strong reaction. As it turned out she wasn’t the only one, and it seemed Morley had made a few enemies who were happy that he lost his store mgmt position. WOW!

Anyway I told others about my plans with regards to Jill including my mother and they advised that I needed to stay out of it. Jill suggested forwarding her number to our former boss, I merely send her his email telling her to congratulate him and mentioning that there was an open position available at that location. Though I pledged to give her word of a position at my assignment once they become available.

All the same I was advised to stay out of this because I just don’t know enough about what happened with her back then. I don’t know who fired her, and I got a word of another colleague and her word about her actions in that incident. In fact she termed her dismissal as a “wrongful termination”. The one I presumed fired her is no longer with the company (the one she expressed a strong reaction), however, no idea if it was him.

So either way I hope she got in touch with our former boss. In theory he could hire her over and dept mgr’s head but I know in the workplace that’s not so easy. I think they have good rapport so I don’t foresee any issues as far as her returning. However with this company she might have a much easier time than working two jobs to make ends meet. And she is one person who I believe deserves a second chance.

Which I have to add, I intend to write a tad more about what happened that led up to the Reign of Error. As stated often I’ve only learned to laugh at what happened over two years ago. Come to think of it my second run with Fresh Foods led to yours truly getting two raises before the end of his first year back. One was a hike in the minimum wage, another was a regular raise which was barely anything, and then the last one was the company raising the price floor. If Rog wanted me gone, he’s gone from the company and my paycheck is looking much better. Of course that’s not the only measure.

Starting next month I will set the scene. What set off the chain of events that led to the Reign of Error?

Dream: Retire early?

I’m sorry I missed this from CBS’ Sunday Morning over the summer. Chronicling that there are plenty of folks who are working stiff that want to quit their jobs or retire early.

The story you see above shows a got working a hot shot job with my dream salary six-figures and he was still miserable. Once he went through orientation and learned some of the people leading it was only phoning it in until retirement. He just knew that no one there was really passionate about their job at that particular company. He went from that six-figure job to working in journalism at a magazine.

Then we see a doctor who’s happiest moment was turning in her pager so that she could pursue her passion as an artist. Perhaps she wasn’t as happy as a doctor even though certainly that is a prestige profession to be sure.

It causes me to rethink some things. I’ve often stated my goal is to make six-figures now I wonder if I should get myself into a position where I can retire early. And also perhaps I should have really been down (nor allow anyone else to be down) on myself for having to leave a “prestige” business which was banking to work at a grocery store. And then go back to the cinemas business for a brief time thereafter.

I know I’ve talked a lot about my goals at least does anyone out there desire an early retirement?

GQ: What It’s Like to Be an “Old” Virgin

You can count me in as one of those people who have remained a virgin later in life. In my case I just haven’t found the right one, and to be honest I’ve always beleived in finding the right one. Actually I fell in for finding the one and got quickly rejected….

All the same there are a number of people out there who had experienced what I experienced and in some cases as noted in GQ they lost it later also. Some were underwhelmed, some lost it to an escort, and some just got it over with. I find myself wondering where I will find myself once the right one came along.

I hope I won’t fall into the camp of just getting it over with. Hopefully I can feel genuine attraction and companionship with the women I’d do it with.

Lately

I know I promised one thing, but isn’t time for a break. Calling an audible. Let’s get back to today for a second. We can get back to the hustler later. Meanwhile….

I’ve been looking on Fresh Foods’ social networks checking out available jobs throughout the company. I saw that my former assistant mgr Gary who works at a suburban store as a dept mgr finally has a posting for a buyer in his dept. Which caused me to reach out to Wil who remains the associate buyer at The Hole. He had expressed interest in working with Gary as a buyer and that particular store was closer to his home.

I made sure to mention it to him but to my surprise he wasn’t interested. According to him Gary never reached out to him and thus he probably won’t try to get it. It means my return to The Hole in a higher level position isn’t so assured as of now. He’s not going anywhere and perhaps the people who are there including Mr. Boastful as the team receiver aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

We had talked about another buyer position at another store. I had just gotten through the process for associate buyer at my current assignment so I felt as if it wasn’t time yet. Although if I dance around and wait for my time the opportunities for yours truly will slowly but surely dwindle. Perhaps I should’ve went for it, and with Wil I know what he went through when he went through the process of becoming a buyer at another store.

So I continuing looking for those opportunities that are a great fit for me. That’s up my alley based upon my experiences. Perhaps the time will come where I will return to The Hole. And still this remains my year!

Settling

I’ve run into this on occasion. I got myself a nice liberal arts degree from the prestigious “Mission College” and I’ve since worked at a grocery store or a movie theater. And as opposed to real questions such as why hadn’t you found a job in your field, I’ve gotten outright judgement from a lot of people including someone like an Anthony (which I would like to explore later).

The judgement have mostly come from younger people who often have unrealistic goals for their lives. They may expect six-figure for their first jobs. Problem is I’m being judged by young people who really haven’t been out there in the work world other than getting their first jobs.

Many of them may not have experienced setbacks in their education although some also already know they don’t want student loans so college isn’t for them. Smart move though I wish I had been as smart. So I could discount their outspoken comments because they’re just starting their journey through life. Although let’s just say even as somewhat older than many of those younger coworkers, I was in the same boat as them. I had never really established myself by the time I arrived at “The Show”.

On the other extreme you have Anthony “the hustler”. I know enough of his background to know that for his boasts about what he had done during his career I’ve realized he’s got very little to show for it. I somewhat base this off of his need to hustle money off of yours truly. I really expected that in his 50s he’d have a much better plan than finding a coworker to mooch money off of. Although I leaned on him for job leads and occasionally he might have the expectations that I could be a “professional” he had a dearth of ideas for breaking into those fields.

So the above vid from almost eight years ago causes me to question if since finally graduating from college years ago in spite of many set backs, have I sold myself short? Have I done nothing more than exist at relatively easy jobs?

As I prepare for an interview coming soon those many questions began to hit me now. All I can say is I’m taking advantage of the opportunities I’d be interested in now. As I’ve always said, I will never know if I don’t try. And if I hesitate to take on roles that might be up the alley of a man who holds a college degree the windows of opportunity will slowly begin to close.

Meanwhile it’s about time for a Valentine’s Day post which you can expect tomorrow night….

Ending January strong

As we close out this month which has been very cold in Chicago. Not that unsual, however it has me longing for more warmer locales during this winter. This blog has gotten over 1000 likes. Current tally is 1058 though not reflected in the screencap below.img_5948

I also wanted to note that I end this month continuing a consecutive posting streak on this blog. Though at this point with this post it’ll be extended to 13 14 days I screencapped this two days ago. 😛

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Also I should add many of the top posts in the sidebar were published this month. Thank you for your likes and your comments. I don’t know if I want to keep this “furious” schedule during February though my plans now are expected to be as close to “Valentine’s Day” oriented as possible. Of course nestled with some other subjects too.

I want to observe some milestones from last year with regards to my former job at “The Hole”, however, let’s let the clock turn into February before executing those plans.