October has been something of a pivotal month within the last 6 or so years. I left The Show for a teller job at Gotham Bank. I also lost the job where I made the most gains in an unexpected fashion which we’ll explore further later this month (in addition to it being explored at different intervals and the aftereffects when it did happen)
I don’t want to dwell on either, but talk about what happened just about eight years ago. This time in 2012 I learned that an opportunity that I had lost became a dodged bullet. I had occasionally talked about a mgmt interview with a neighborhood cinema company.
To be fair I had an old “fiend” put me onto it. Earlier that year I saw a notice for this on that company’s website – I was a customer you see and often check showtimes. I really talked myself out of it because they were looking for experienced managers with a certain set of skills which I can’t say I really had. For example, I generally don’t use spreadsheets and evidently have no interest though if I wanted to be in business it’s a necessary skill.
Well Anthony put me onto it and was starting to get frustrated with the Show, and this was before the real weirdness that I got embroiled in. Also just note the year before I had largely kept my distance from him, however, as part of his rather paternal instinct or perhaps not even that he just needed an excuse to come around. So he was still giving unsolicited advice and I accepted this.
If I couldn’t be a manager at The Show, I could go elsewhere I figured. Of course when I did turn my resume in to that company there was a waiting game. First I got no response, Ant gave me another email address to send my info to and got a response. According to him he gave me a very good reference or at least put in a good word for me.
The theater owner gave me a basic timeline which ultimately got pushed back to near the end of that summer. Ant still found a way to get some money for a hot dog – literally that happened – and while I expected him to pay that back I told him to eat it for any updates. See I began to lean on him for information because I was ready to go.
Eventually she got back into touch with me, set up a date and time to interview which was a workday and I had a short turn around to get out of the interview and get to work later that afternoon. I felt very confident in my interview in hindsight did I show that for that role I was green. What I didn’t know back then is you have to do more than show you’re a hot shot to employees you have to do some housekeeping which depending on your level includes showing how much money the theater made.
What I had to learn in my later experience sitting on an interview panel for mgmt or interviewing to be a supervisor or interviewing to be a buyer is that you have to create a plan that has results. I’m giving you the basic idea but I hope you get the point have some new ideas and in some cases have some real numbers to back it up.
Well I thought the interview went well enough that I was waiting for the job offer and sadly none was coming. The notification of next steps especially after a follow-up email to her got pushed back a week – she did state a certain period to expect follow-up from her.
For Ant’s part he stated his expectations that if he knows about next steps then I’d know also. It seemed he thought we would be a packaged deal as he was part of that process as well. Over time I listened to the Hustler and start soaking in his own complaining about the company. With the weirdness around us I was starting to become unhappy. As I’ve stated on this blog a number of times I was ready to get out of there I needed this opportunity and thus put all of my eggs in one basket for this one.
So as the clock starts to tick and my confidence at an all time high at that point I wait for an answer. It seemed almost everyday for maybe a week Ant would text – he would offer no updates of his own – “did you hear anything?” And each time my answer was no. After one final time with no explanation he finally gave his own indication of an update “WOW!“
According to him he got sent to the next round of interviews his own next step. He would be up for General Manager – and to be fair that call for experienced managers said nothing about what kind of managers that company was looking for. In my own head I was thinking something like supervisors or even senior managers and I was shooting for something resembling senior manager like at The Show. The power to really hire or fire.
Well the way I see it now she was making decisions or changing her mind as she went. Perhaps she had no clear idea of what she was really looking for. In my head if a GM was what she was looking for I definitely would say I’m not it. Not ready for that at all!
Not with my ideas for that theater. I would’ve tried to take some of the ideas from The Show which was a posh place to work or come to the pictures and bring it to the neighborhood. Bring a piece of downtown to those who may choose for their own reasons not to come to the movies in the heart of Chicago. There was a grill in the lobby that seemed to never be open when I do go to the pictures up there, how do we get that running on a consistent basis. The owner attributed this to a staffing issue….
Well anyway Ant suggested that I follow-up with her the next week and she finally told me the bad news via email. Yours truly didn’t make the cut for the next round, she wanted candidates with “significant management experience”. I was so bummed about that until I left the theater – The Show or $h!tplace – I was still whining and upset about these turn of events. I wasn’t going to leave anytime soon and that wrecked my confidence! It just seemed like such a sure thing.
I told Anthony what happened and he already begins to prescribe alternatives like look at other companies. I already hated job hunting I was loathe to do so because by experience it takes time and work. I was loathe to do so when things got weird at The Show. Then I got one great opportunity and after great anticipation dust!
This would set the tone for the next two years when after many interviews one out of 14 or 15 interviews I got no job offers. I’ve come up with one excuse for this, however, that may not be an explanation I was just on an odd streak that I was running until in 2014 Gotham Bank finally broke the streak.
So anyway this was an interview the Hustler wished me good luck and I hoped for the best, however, it didn’t work out and he wanted to be a listening ear. He proclaimed he might go a bit further and that was the conversation we had in an auditorium we were working when he said “I just don’t get you“. Turning that convo into one about how I was pushing him away.
Well this time eight years ago it was blasted in the press that the theater where I had my interview was shut down for a week. The theater owner’s company which operated the screens was evicted from the premises by their business partner who actually owned the facility. It was shocking and what that meant was that Anthony wasn’t getting the job either and there was no further opportunity for me with that.
Anthony had discussed possibly bringing me and some others from The Show to the neighborhood theater bringing their talents and work habits with them. He thought of me as an idea man and everyone else had their talents for good or bad. It just wasn’t to be.
Remember Ant likes to follow-up and often I liken it to groveling which is definitely beneath a man who is just stubborn and dominant. He likes certainty, however, after a while he no longer got a response when he tried to contact her. Perhaps the theater owner had things going on behind the scenes that she didn’t want to explain at all especially to those candidates she went forward with.
While I had continued to dwell on this for the last two years at The Show, as it turned out this was a momentary set back. Yours truly never fully let go of his idea of being a manager at a theater. I hoped for the best at The Show until it was just decided that it was time for me to move on. If they offered I don’t think it would’ve been accepted by me. In my head they waited too long for what is something they should’ve discussed but if they were in no mood to evaluate anyone for a raise….
In some respects years later I’m glad it never happened. The idea had occurred to me that yours truly would’ve crashed and burned. Considering the mgmt and the employees it would’ve been stressful when things need to run smoothly in my opinion. Even in perfect circumstances that doesn’t always work out that way.
Anthony would hang in there for at least another year to enjoy the rides in my mother’s luxury car and getting some money or even lunch paid on my dime on those late nite rides home. He would complain about pay as he seemed to have the need to nickel and dime any job willing to offer him a job. He would even try to suggest I try to nickel and dime jobs during that time when I was trying to leave The Show!
Either way that period just about eight years ago, was a hard lesson learned. A very necessary one at that.
Finally putting my eggs in one basket. Well that wasn’t really said at the time, that’s the situation at hand in that time period. However, that term would come up for another idea that the Hustler would just get into almost two years later. Another interview that actually never happened but he was deadset on.