Current

Recently at work a bus driver asked me at random, “How long have you worked here?” I thought about it and stated four years. At first I was thinking he was asking me about possibly working for the transit authority he’s with now. Instead he asked by name whether or not I’m familiar with a person there, I said no.

And there it is this month in 2018 is my four year milestone with my current location at Fresh Foods. It was an interesting start of this yet another era which essentially ended the Reign of Error. And got a few accomplishments along the way Associate of the Week, two perfect secret shops, and almost got promoted. Changed departments, witnessed the start and aftereffects of a worldwide pandemic.

Been an interesting four years.

Let me start with one thing here, the two men who hired me in 2018. Well they’re both no longer with the company. In fact one of them the store manager who spoke with me on a wet and rainy Saturday in 2018 got fired for reasons unknown. I feel like near the end I was $h!t to him although we hardly really interacted as time moved forward before his somewhat unexpected departure.

There was one odd incident where he came up to me very strongly and let me know of a customer complaint against me claiming I didn’t serve them and just went to the back. It wasn’t too long after I got back from a 15 min break. All I could say was I didn’t notice or paid no attention, he said OK sounds good and the last shot was “And next time be MORE HELPFUL!”

A colleague then connected that exchange with a young lady who worked with us in that period. I saw her when I came back to the dept she came to the store mgr seemingly upset. Little did I know that it had something to do with me. According to the colleague when I went on break things got busy and she got very frustrated by that so perhaps there was a complaint from a customer or perhaps she exaggerated things. Either way she decided to behave in an erratic way and I say this because it came out later that she didn’t mind announcing that she came to work high to other coworkers.

Hmm don’t know how I feel about that you’re high and you work with knives. Anyway I wasn’t too happy with her once I found out, she pretended not to notice or even said much about whatever got her upset to me. She chose to be a snake in that instance and about a week later she was no longer there. Her shifts were up for people to pick up, I also learned that she had a difficult time coming into work calling out once too often. One colleague later said, she just shot herself in the foot.

My primary report our dept mgr well mixed bag. I won’t say much about him because he gave me an opportunity. I feel as if things went downhill with him and it’s what sent me to another dept once the pandemic was in full swing. For one thing yeah sales weren’t what they needed to be to keep everyone where they were. Of course since it seems I couldn’t come back from lunch without a lecture on how I need to talk to leadership if there is a staggering of lunches during peak periods and perhaps some other issues. It took me some time to realize it probably wasn’t working anymore. I was stuck!

Feedback I got from former colleagues about our former dept mgr talked about not very good rapport, they butted heads, he was sort of a my way type, he was fake, another colleague told me that his ability to make more money to take on more shifts were curtailed by that dept mgr – even referred to him as an @$$hole although he wanted to like him as a person. And I do remember that he had a recognition, a positive one being the nicest guy at the store, however, I’ve seen the stern side and hear that he displayed that with others.

Another piece of feedback was from someone who actually worked in the mgmt office with him and stated that while he seemed like a nice guy he had difficulty even having tough conversations with people. Even noted a very passive aggressive streak in him. My only comment to the passive aggressive thing was to say that’s not a good trait for a manager which he agreed.

With that said whatever was going on with both, they’re no longer with the company. And possibly with the store mgr whatever got him separated it probably won’t ever allow him to return to the company. Though I do know he’s got an electronics degree so perhaps he can still use that with his extensive mgmt experience.

As for yours truly I got another raise and very close to realizing my goal of lasting somewhere as long as I had at The Show – almost five years. So the deal is, I’m not sure I’ll stay about my current location for another year. Perhaps for a bit longer I may remain with Fresh Foods, however, this is the time for me to be a bit restless. It’s very easy to just sit still and remain complacent however there are other milestones yet for me to accomplish. Perhaps I can still accomplish them at Fresh or try something else at some point though there is no better time than the present.

Another Fresh store is opening soon, well actually it’s a relocation. That store is actually moving to much larger digs in the near future. Hopefully there will be some opportunities there for me in the future, and as I still hope for some opportunities at the Hole as stated a few months ago it’s just time for me to let them go for now.

I met my mother’s accountant for the first time. Whenever the door rang my mother decided to start using the bathroom. And I find myself answering the door, especially when my mother lets me know she’s expecting the tax man.

He started mentioning that he has a grandchild who’s in law school and gave me info on a local institution that accepts on a rolling basis and told me that I need to take an LSAT. Well OK, not I can put my college degree to use although in this case go back to school. It’s something I’ve been thinking about and who cares if I work at a grocery store. This could springboard me to where I needed to be.

Something I will look into as I attempt to look towards the future.

Earlier this month I said it was time to move on from the Fiend and yet it seems I can’t help but vent. So I may have something later just want to write something that’s readable. Perhaps go back to last month’s post about respecting my body and dating and even children. I still have thoughts to share on that.

Beyond that I hope you’ve had a fantastic spring.

April Fools

Allow me to announce for the record that I hope to ultimately decrease any future stories about Anthony a guy who I consider a fiend and not a very good friend. Time to move away and let go, especially since perhaps he isn’t thinking much about me anyway. He likely found another target since he is a user, however, that’s no longer my business.

As you see that is a minimal likeness of the man I knew for many years. He’s got those red beady eyes, a frown, a grimace, with a Guy Fawkes goatee. My artistic skills aren’t that great however I feel this is adequate if I wanted to show you how I truly view the Fiend.

Anyway here’s what I wanted to share with you.

Five years ago in 2017 before the “reign of error” I was trying to get into touch with Anthony. I felt the need to discuss with him and seek advice on a panel interview I would be a part of. One thing I did at first was to text him to see if he was available to chat. We exchanged texts perhaps I was trying to be jokey and he wasn’t really having it, in 20/20 hindsight he was crabby for some reason. When he’s crabby he just let’s things fly and sometimes yours truly can be a convenient target.

So anyway out of the blue he requests that I take off April 1. My response to was ask if he’s requesting off April Fool’s Day. Basically on my end perhaps there was some confusion and wanted some assurance that I myself wasn’t being pranked. His rough response via txt

“Stop with the @#$%^!*@_@$#!$# jokes. I’m asking you to take off because I want you to go somewhere with me.”

I had to calm him down as best I could and told him I wanted to talk to him anyway and ask if I can call him. He was OK with it so I dialed him up. Told him about the panel interview I would be part of where one of the supervisors and another supervisor from another store. I had to explain to him several times what my role was and this panel interview wasn’t for me though I was part of the process to ultimately hire another assistant mgr for the dept.

I don’t remember his advice but a lot of it was to just show some of the hire ups my boss at the time – and this was before Ruthless Roger – the HR person and a store mgr about my understanding of the role at the very least. To see my point of view on why I wanted to do this it was to at least see the process up close as far as what it takes to get promoted at Fresh Foods.

Remember you read that Ant was a bit crabby. Sometimes I might repeat “If you don’t mind me asking” and he comes back with “DUDE You can ask me anything YOU WANT!” and he did that to me twice during our convo. Again I can be a convenient target perhaps if I didn’t tolerate it he wouldn’t keep doing it. Either way he felt it was OK to just take out whatever frustration he had onto me and it wasn’t cool, especially if it comes from a friend.

Anyway I got my own frustration off as this was the same convo where he noted Finer’s. I had been updating him on possibly becoming a buyer as the next step for me during that period of time and it also seemed when I bring it up he wouldn’t support that. In that conversation he decided to be like “Hey, OK, Alright. If you come to Finer Foods you’d make more money“. At which point I just said tensely “YOU MUST HAVE A REAL HARD ON FOR ME COMING TO FINER’S”

That got his attention he tried to keep me calm and stated “No, no, no. I’m just saying, just saying”. I didn’t respond I just hoped my response and then subsequent silence would get the point across that there was no interest in that direct. Also this was the umpteenth time during that period when we talk about work that he would bring that up. Newsflash this proved to not be the end of it.

Eventually we ended our call and not long after that he sent me a sexually charged meme. It was a medication themed meme showing a curvy scantily clad woman talking about such side effects as high blood pressure, heart issues, etc. The implication is that there are health effects to having your fun with said scantily clad woman. And remember he was crabby right?

I wrote “is this covered by my benefits?” to roll with the meme. And he had to respond, “I don’t think you need to worry about your benefits and all because I don’t think you’re getting any to begin with”. My response “I really like your thinking”. He read it but had no response but just had to reply with something just a dick response.

So that was it although remember during that period he was sending me things other memes and some videos that were related to his interest in martial arts. There was really nothing else with that and one time asked him outright “Are you a bot?” and his response was to send me more of them.

So our convo took place not long before April Fools 2017. Little did I know our “situationship” would take a turn by at the very earliest in June. He would again borrow money from me and showed little inclination to pay back. He would be a bit of a troll near the end of our real communications. And at this point I didn’t think I would experience the event I refer to as the Climax of the Reign of Error.

That rather unexpected event was a primary reason with no real “falling out” that caused me to really distance myself from the man who in 2018 would become Anthony the hustler. I began to think more logically and reasonably about him and his actions after that point.

Diversion

imageI’ve been trying to write this post for quite a while now. It’s something of a continuation of what I’ve been talking about for most of this year. Anthony’s strange campaign shortly before the Reign of Error to just change jobs to chase more money at another grocer.

I’ve identified possibly the moment when he opened the door to that which was when a few days before Christmas he picked me up from the house so that he can go look at car on a Friday December day five years ago. We were on our way to the western suburbs when I started talking about a Finer Foods store that has just opened on the south side of the city that year.

Out of nowhere during this ride he just asks “Whatever happened with that?” I knew what he meant and simply tried to deflect that I told him years ago. He simply said remind him and basically gave a shorthand version of why it didn’t work back then. He nods as if he hears me but I get the feeling he really wasn’t listening he was getting something out of this.

Little did I know on that day that this was only the beginning. And it leads what happened a bit later on. Did Anthony bring this up because never had closure from what happened in 2014 when he tried to get me on board with Finer Foods.

Of course for the following campaign I’ve had to come to a few other conclusions which I have also discussed during the course of the year.

To start, why did Anthony seem to want me back in “Streak Era” mode? Why did wages become such a sticking point for me to move on to Finer Foods?

I think the Fiend liked thinking he can influence people to get them to do things that doesn’t suit the subject, but in fact suit him. Anthony stated for the record once that yours truly was making good money at the Hole and in the interest of getting promoted to a mgmt position per his own comments I was talking about getting promoted to buy/receive. Once that became a subject and a real possibility then here comes the “if you come to Finer’s you’d make more money.”

Of course the longer I associated with him the more data collected. One thing that could be seen is that he will expose his real thoughts and opinions. He could only temper them for so long and he couldn’t help but bring up some negative episodes as I sought to make some positive changes in my own life. Perhaps in making an issue of Finer’s this was his way of reminding me that I still failed to get a job at his store back when I was still job hunting to leave The Show.

It was never directly stated but that type of thinking has been exposed in the past. However, the expectation the idea perhaps his attempt at Inception that I would just jump up and leave one good job for an opportunity for a few more pennies really exposes his own strategy. Since he left The Show I can probably count on one hand how many jobs he claimed to have.

To leave the show in fall 2013 he did security, then he went to Finer’s, then he was at this homegoods store, then he worked at some warehouse near O’Hare then he was disabled and started begging for money again, and then back to Finer’s again. When I finally ran into him unexpectedly at a hardware store he was in his security uniform. Surely I’ve only scratched the surface but those are what I know about if his own “resume” is correct.

Another thing I have recognized is that he had a sense of envy over my own progress at the Hole. I was very honest about him with my progression and wages. He seemed OK with it and of course enough to still come and beg occasionally back then. However, it still threw me off that he decided to offer that I’d make more money elsewhere. I should’ve done what he did with me when suggesting to others that they come to Fresh Foods “and do what with it?”

As stated in another post would making the switch for a few pennies more have only resulted in yours truly doing the same thing I have already been doing. Would I still have been working in the deli section having acquired no new skills? What exactly would I be leaving Fresh Foods for to begin with?

On top of that he had stated that he took the job at Fresh for some insurance benefits for his youngest son (the same son he blew up my phone for at least $100 which he’s failed to pay back). He’s supposed to be a negotiator right? So when he tells me how much he made at Finer’s his numbers weren’t that much better than mine. So yeah why exactly would I be thinking about jumping ship?

Ahhhh perhaps the envy might be in his words I have no overhead. No rent, no utilities, no girlfriend, no children, and just enough money for him to mooch off of when he needs it. He definitely weaseled his way into a position where he could get it. When he wants something he can just be determined he doesn’t stop.

Think about it he tried to call my phone a number of times over almost a two year period before he stopped. He thought he was free to write on my facebook page trying to reach out. He thought he can comment on my instagram until I blocked him and mistakenly I believed he had very little interest in that platform. He was determined to reach out at a time when I opted not to reach back and all I had to consider was all the data connected when he wanted to connect.

Needless to say I let that situation go on for far too long and that’s only served to further expose his true feelings about yours truly if what I’m hearing second hand is correct. The way he does like to go in on people he might still be sociable with is saying something. No integrity, no discretion unless it suits him, just a perpetually miserable person in general. To have him connected with me didn’t make me much better as a person.

Long story short I think of his Finer’s campaign during the calamitous 2017 as a diversion. Perhaps he wanted to distract me from the goals I had set upon that year. Of course what I do have to note is that I ran into some setbacks little did I know that hustled me out of the Hole very quickly. It was just a strange and a bad year for me. I do like to think I came back from it ultimately, however, it probably would’ve been a dark year had I made one decision in 2018. If I had responded to his initial attempts at contact when he called from a new number.

So let me finally state I feel as if his attempts at a diversion was to take me off my game at the time. Where I was there was some contentedness on my end and perhaps that didn’t suit him. The money whatever he thought that would be for me wasn’t enough. What was enough was a new boss who turned things upside down as it turned out.

However all that diversion did was another piece of data that caused me later to pull further back away from him. He may not realize this and probably will never recognize this, however, I’ve arrived at the point where he hasn’t earned an explanation not from my voice. And in the long run I just don’t think it doesn’t matter with him, he’ll only continue doing what he’s been doing.

Also you can add this link to this discussion as far as what ultimately led me to cutting all ties to the Fiend. If the Climax of the Reign of Error would have never happened who knows if I’d have finally done the deed to cut ties. For that time I tied myself to what I was doing at the Hole and it was unthinkable that things would go that direction and yet it did. Do I really want to maintain contact with someone who’s perpetually miserable that he’d really ride this to only say that I should’ve listened to him? I’m pretty sure that would happen.

The future

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A few days ago I was walking near downtown Chicago and there is a Fresh Foods store I had been visiting for about a decade. I don’t remember how I found it, perhaps a Google search or something like that. Either way yours truly had been patronizing that location for a number of years before joining the newly opened store referred to as the Hole on this blog.

It’s a nice quaint small store that was somewhat common among the first stores in the Chicago area at least when Fresh arrived in town. And sadly it has outgrown its space which is not very apparent for me to be honest, however, it’s apparent to the company. Personally I like the space, however, there are much newer stores in the city where they have much larger quarters and it’s time for that store to follow suit.

I didn’t find anything to buy on this day, however, once I left there was a high rise development no more than a block away. Across the street from a major downtown church and I see Fresh’s logo and an empty space within this development. I confirmed at work later that this store will be moving there a relocation from their current space. It already looks like it will be a nice one.

That could mean a future opportunity that I can take advantage of which would be in the spring 2022. So I shall see what happens, it’ll almost be like a new store open except whoever worked at the old store will have dibs on future jobs there. This isn’t the first relocation I know about since I started with the company in 2015. The other relocation had my former boss open as an assistant store mgr.

I’m going to keep an eye on this situation and perhaps the right opportunity will jump out at me.

I had a talk with my supervisor I was bouncing stories off him about what happened with the Hole and some of the leadership I met since being with the company over six years ago – even with that brief hiatus between 2017-18. He has strong opinions of people whom he has observed himself being leadership, he strongly told me that one of the dept mgrs who left his role at my current assignment after just about six months left a lot to be desired in his ascension.

He had to temper my more judgemental comments, however, it causes me to think about what if I became mgmt. Some I’ve talked to over the years – many I consider friends have asked me about the mgmt thing. A few years earlier while at The Show I couldn’t understand why it was never happening. I felt as if I could do what some of those individuals could do and also recognize some of them and others I’ve met over time left a lot to be desired.

Sometimes you have to be a bit tough. I think some thrive more on being tough. Some could be a bit more artful in handling issues. I recognize that aside from taking care of employee issues they have to take care of business issues as well. There is certainly a juggling of important issues which one has to recognize is very difficult.

So I’ve gotten older and have been a bit more gun-shy on this. I’ve met quite a few young people who tried to play the commanding know everything role and more often than not either they fail when they get to that role or they don’t quite get to step up to begin with. Perhaps you don’t have to be the loudmouth and be able to tell people what to do to be successful.

Handling people hasn’t been a very easy issue for me on the job. I’ve learned that no matter how “right” you may be people still give you headaches. When people cling to a bad story I’ve learned there’s no way you can change someone’s mind when they just decide something. I should’ve learned from childhood to even adulthood when someone is paying attention to you and decided that whatever or however you’re doing something is an issue then it just blows up. And often this happens at the expense of the job well their job not really my job.

So yeah there will be issues to handle but I hope to take a different approach than the managers I’ve met over the years. I don’t want to take sides so quickly and I really don’t want to encourage workers to “snitch” on people at any time. In my mind the worst complainers are the least productive though I do get that some people’s productivity or lack thereof affects others. Regardless a hard job and I will no longer pretend that I’ve figured it out. Dealing with people whether coworkers or customers can always be a challenge.

There’s a guy I work with who’s willing to stay late while everyone else leaves for the night. His choice and though I’ve never discussed this with him I’ve heard he has no interest in making mgmt. Which is strange for someone willing to put in the time, however, he understands that he will lose some freedoms when he makes that move. Most important he’s not making a spectacle of himself thinking he knows everything and is super great at his job and thinking its his role to be very bossy.

I’ve met too many people like that and sometimes I could be that way. However one lesson to learn and in my case I did start in earnest a bit later is that you have to work with people. Yeah people may do goofy things and dig in on them, you try to help them, but then again don’t make it your job to correct them. No more than I want someone who isn’t in authority over me to just pour over my work they don’t want that either.

I found a sheet of paper from The Show which was an evaluation of whether or not I can become a crew lead. Basically I would be just over an associate, however, just below a supervisor. I learned from someone who claimed they turned down the position that this was only a quarter more than minimum wage at the time. No benefits which was true of supervisors of course once you reach senior mgmt level they you get benefits which reportedly didn’t satisfy one of the senior mgrs who we worked with.

Either way I wanted to step up and my ego suggested that I was educated enough, however, did they need an educated crew lead? So perhaps in looking back at this evaluation and meeting with one of the senior mgrs for this role I did not show why I could take on this role. So I feel as if getting promoted at all at the cinema where I worked for close to five years would’ve caused me to crash and burn quickly.

I wouldn’t have had a lot of authority and at some point the crew leads who remained started to lose some of those privileges. For example instead of getting a mgr for theater passes you could get the leads and it will be taken care of. One of them said mgmt took away that ability from them. Then again in the early days the company that owned The Show as going through some restructuring so at some point I learned that the position was eliminated. Still some were given roughly those same privileges sans pay I never was, which is fine as this is why I accepted the job at Gotham Bank in the fall of 2014.

So again if I want to be a supervisor/mgr this is something I want to think very deeply about. In the moments I applied I just jumped up and went for it and wasn’t always the best approach. With Fresh you have to come up with a plan and network. I did take part in those times when we used to have seminars to help people move up in the company. However, I’m sure I did leave a lot to be desired in my own performance and whether or not I could move up.

Now I try to be a lot more thoughtful. Perhaps I won’t be all the way there, but then I do consider the supervisors/mgrs that I have met over the years. A lot of them left a lot to be desired and overtime that made itself apparent. Some of them I just wonder how they made it to their positions and some of them knew it and moved on. Others still crash and burn.

Also I may like the authority, but at this stage income is important. What’s the money to take on such roles. A store mgr at Fresh can make six-figures and that’s definitely something that is attractive, however, again that’s more pressure. And another thing that I need to determine can I be successful in that role.

Some issues that are worth pondering…

What could’ve been?

I’m having trouble as far as trying to come up with a follow-up post to the shoot from earlier this month. Then I realized let me expose an “easter egg” for you. I showed a few scenes of grocery stores on my instagram page within the past two months and one of those scenes are actually of a store that I had interview with in 2014 during the streak era.

The store in question I had an interview with during the Streak Era was with a company I call Finer Foods which does represent a real life company owned by a major corporation and it was located not too far away from downtown. It was a bit closer to home than the store the Fiend wanted me to come work for and they were looking to hire people as it was a new store that had yet to open.

To give you a basic timeline. In January or perhaps earlier in February 2014, Anthony had sent me a text asking if I wanted to work for Finer’s. I reply, Yes. He said I should be hearing from someone and I do, however, around the same time Finer’s corporate offices came calling. This was one that the ball was dropped I will admit because the acceptable option back then for yours truly was a shorter commute which meant the location closer to downtown.

As with other interviews during that period of time I had to take some steps before receiving a job offer unfortunately there is hardly any guarantee. That period is called the streak era because I went through a number of interviews until October 2014 and failed consistently to get a job offer. So this interview was the seventh of about fifteen interviews and the count would be zero and seven.

I had to go through a phone screen successfully and then had to do an in person interview. I had to change trains and then walk a bit to get to a hiring center which either used to be a daycare center or a hair salon. The people doing the interviewing were wearing uniforms consistent with Finer’s which was in those days a white shirt, black pants with a black necktie.

I hardly talk about interviews however it wasn’t long before this interview that I learned it was a bust. I just couldn’t read the interviewer and while I kept up my optimism it wasn’t going the way I hoped it would. Perhaps I tried to hard to show that hiring me was a good choice and hopefully move up the chain if you will. The interviewer wasn’t showing enough enthusiasm and had no reason to believe she was going to offer me a position.

So I didn’t leave in great spirits although I did “hope” for a phone call. Worse still she suggested not the store I was originally told by someone in the corporate offices over the phone, she mentioned yet another store on the north side of town which seemed like a much better commute than going to the northwest side of Chicago.

Another thing that threw me off about this interview, I forget what questions I asked – and it probably wasn’t very good anyway – but her answer was to tell me that she never worked or doesn’t work for a store. She probably was an HR person as I can only imagine those are the only ones whom a company would trust to make hiring decisions. One question she asked me threw me off and wasn’t sure how to answer “What frustrates you?” To answer that in the context of a job without talking about all of your life’s frustrations is not exactly a very easy task. I don’t remember my answer all I can say is that one can only do the best they can with that question.

It’s almost like being asked about your tardiness or just general attendance. I feel like once that’s on a manager’s radar and while it’s an easy fix you can’t win with that question.

Anyway at some point after that I reached out to Anthony regarding his contact the one who had called me. I only ask if she was at work on that day, he only answers NO. Though I made the assumption that he washed his hands of it and decided that one word answer was as sign that I was being blown off. Just decided it was OK for me to pursue those opportunities I really want.

Of course as time went on into the next month I get bombarded by single-minded texts and missed phone calls by Anthony with primarily one question, “What’s going on with Finer Foods?” As things just slow to a crawl again with no potential prospects coming along I break down and give Anthony a call thinking he has some connections I can use to leave The Show. He characterizes me blowing off his store for a soon to open store for his company as “putting all your eggs in one basket”. Meanwhile as you might have figure he later tries to have me put all my “eggs into his basket” and pursue the opportunity he had set up for me. Well consider that a move that didn’t work the way he nor yours truly wanted it to.

Last month for the first time I ever I paid a visit to that store. Nothing remarkable about it I figured quickly it had the same layout as the previous tenants. Unlike Fresh Foods in the same situation Finer’s didn’t take a significant time to design & build out their spaces. I came looking for some typical items to purchase. And it was an interesting visit, one can only wonder what would’ve been had it worked out back then.

I heard so many negative things about Finer’s as a company that I find myself wondering if working there would’ve worked out for me in the long run. At this point who knows, I feel as if it took a few months after this at least into 2015 to find a move that in the long run worked out best for me.

And if you haven’t done so already follow me on instagram

What’s new

Lately at work I’ve been stuck with a bunch of nights lately, and I’m not happy about it. One way to look at this is well if I got there at 7 AM by the time I get off with no coffee I’m going to doze off when going home on the train. On the other hand if I have to go in later I sleep in. Going in early has drawbacks, but so does going in later and especially if I take public transit.

Either way I’ve been trying to decide how to put an end to these constant nights. Everyone once in a while is one thing, just about every night is another. Really this began before I left the other department and even then it wasn’t this consistent. I’m trying to avoid being a whiner because I’ve already worked with a number of those types anyway in my work life.

Either way I wish I had some more midshifts because at least I won’t just be leaving work at around 10:00 at night. I’d be fine leaving work at 8:00 but those are not the shifts I’m drawing lately.

I do want to express alternatives I’ve been looking at as been discussed occasionally since the pandemic started. Sadly some bad habits crop up when looking into these alternatives for example leaving the store and/or going to another department.

Last month I found out that one of my old supervisors from my old dept had left to go to my old store the Hole. I ran into him one day going there and shopping, I had little idea that he left my assignment. He was with us for a short time from just before the pandemic so more than a relatively respectable amount of time. According to him he just wanted to work at the Hole because it was more convenient for him and closer to home.

Well there’s one possibility going back to my old dept and taking his spot. So far my old dept hasn’t posted for another supervisor, they also lost an assistant mgr as he took on the same role at another store again closer to home for him. So far my old dept hasn’t posted for another assistant mgr and no I don’t think it’s the right role for yours truly right now. Supervisor I wouldn’t mind interviewing for, and then again who knows they could just elevate their trainer into that role if they so chose. If they feel there is a gap in coverage then that could be a step in the right direction.

One of the supervisors – actually he was a trainer when I tried to get back with the Hole just about three years ago – has moved onto another store. He’s now an assistant manager in a different department. I haven’t contacted him since he’s no longer on facebook evidently. That means my old dept at the Hole should be looking for another supervisor and so far see no such evidence of that.

You know it might just be sales don’t support doing any hiring for any higher level positions as of late due to the pandemic. Remember I always stated it was more likely for me to return to the Hole than it is for yours truly returning to The Show. However, the holidays come and gone and I see nothing is still going on with my former department. Perhaps this whole thing has really did a number with the old team which I know is a much different team today. Regardless while my old team at my current store has hired new people although there are people (mostly part-times unlike yours truly) who got shunted away to other departments were surely told they have “dibs” on any future hiring that just hasn’t happened assuming they don’t want to go back to that department.

I had passed up one opportunity I could be interested in. It was at the store closest to The Show meaning a return to the old neighborhood as it were. I would be a receiver in yet another dept so it would be up my alley and expectantly earlier start time. That posting was up for a couple of weeks and I see it has since been taken down. Perhaps they found someone they want to interview or they just had no takers so far. It’s something I do want to get back into which I why I hoped the Hole would finally post for those positions by now.

When I first wrote this post I found a position that Larry has finally posted for at my old dept at the Hole. It’s a part-time position and right now I’m just not interested in that. I’ll keep my eye out for something I think I could apply for there. Meanwhile I just need to keep my options open. Meanwhile let’s go back to the close I had already written.

Unfortunately there goes my handicap. Going for what I want instead of taking the opportunities available. I want to return to the Hole with some of the changes there, however, nothing for me to pursue. I can’t help but hesitate with opportunities other than the Hole or even my current assignment. I just need to create my plan and work the plan….

Otherwise that’s what’s been happening with me so far this year. Here’s hoping 2021 is a better year.

Climax of 2017

On New Years Day 2018, I was out of work. I had two interviews from the jump with the national theater chain I had been employed during 2016 – the Dine-In Show which I also had an interview and didn’t get an offer. I had also been interviewed with the theater I had been trying to get on board with when I was still at The Show up until 2014 which resulted in no-offer.

I was still dealing with the ouchie from being let go from the Hole and although I knew that Ruthless Roger wasn’t going to last long with a paucity of updates about the situation at that point I was beginning to believe in a different narrative. Perhaps Rog might actually work out in his role, he’s fulfilling his role as a change agent trying to inject some new blood into my former department. I was just about a month away from realizing that it hadn’t worked out and he was no longer in charge of my former department. And it was time to re-apply with Fresh Foods.

I know I promised a Climax of the Reign of Error post, there isn’t much I feel is necessary to write right now. I’ve written a few times about what happened – my train was running late due to an unforeseen emergency got a late slip because it wasn’t in my control and certainly by Rog and definitely by Morley it was justified as corporate never said anything and no one else had been affected so you’re out BYE. One part of the story to be told was Rog just hours before the end of my shift snuck up behind me to escort me into the store mgmt offices only for him to walk back out coldly. On second thought I do want to hash that out.

Either way I didn’t know that this month Roger was on his way out as dept mgr for my old department at that point. I was still applying during the cold of winter establishing a new routine as the previous routine was unceremoniously changed over two months earlier.

You know the climax was hard because my mother was unemployed from earlier the year before. She lost her job when her company was taken over by banking regulators. I lost my job and had a not as healthy senior citizen mother at home. I knew that yours truly was going to be the primary breadwinner although at least my mother had her own retirement to lean on. Regardless with me out of work she had a different role at that point than she would’ve had in different times.

At that point all yours truly could do was continue plugging away though for the moment just avoid Fresh Foods until I was close to getting out of that 6 month period before I could reapply.

It wasn’t until I stated on Facebook that I saw Black Panther that Anthony/The Hustler/Fiend had been flushed out. He actually wished me a happy birthday out of the blue the year before, however, I really hadn’t heard much from him since the summer before. I never communicated to him about the job loss and once the soft blackout with him commenced he had no idea how things just began to go 180 degrees in a whole different direction. I often get the feeling he’d take advantage of such disarray…

Regardless all he had to do before he started trying to get into contact was attempt to comment on Facebook “you never said what theater you went to” once I noted seeing Black Panther. I deleted the comment feeling a bit irritated that he was attempting to repeat a schtick that was no longer amusing at that point.

I suppose not much to report for that period of time. Just hopeful as one can be in a somewhat different circumstance.

I do want to add however that I heard different things about Roger’s last few days at the Hole. I heard from Wil who was the associate buyer that until Rog had departed he hardly spoke to anyone. Two supervisors noted that he had bought a house in the suburbs and evidently didn’t want to commute into downtown any longer – sounds like an excuse doesn’t it. Even one supervisor somewhat expressed such a thought to yours truly when I contacted him. I heard through the grapevine – not from those aforementioned supervisor – that he was pulled aside once he referred to his department as a bunch of gangbangers. Yeah that’ll do it, and once hearing that I just started laughing because it made sense.

Either way while I was buying into the hype in my own head that he just might work out, the reality was that he may well have been exposed while finding people he can get rid of. Eventually I will have more of a complete picture once I return to work in the spring.

Lately as we head into the holidays

Sorry to have not been updating as much as usual. I had some posts in the pipeline I had been working on and find myself less than satisfied with them. My birthday had also just passed so I wouldn’t be too upset if anyone left some belated birthday wishes.

Work has largely been uneventful had quite a few nights lately. Something I’m just not happy with, but what can you do? Options with jobs are largely limited right now. Especially at Fresh Foods, but then unfortunately I can have a one track mind about that…

Of course two of the more dominant subjects on this blog recurring was about the Hustler and the Reign of Error. There’s not much I want to write about the Hustler although the last time I saw his fb page I see him in the loving embrace of a woman. That may mean I may not hear much from him unless that falls apart. I could say he’ll find a way to alienate her, however, allow me to be optimistic and hope for the best of the couple. It seems like a mismatch she is older and very attractive she takes care of herself very well. The Hustler aka the Fiend is very grizzled, I would dare say he’s led a hard life then again he’s always looking for drama so his face reflects that.

My mother is doing OK, getting older and may be in line for the vaccine for this bug. I hope she just doesn’t buy into it hook line and sinker, but hey she is also at the most risk for this thing. I’m just glad that I hadn’t brought anything home with me, though for the most part I have been as careful as possible about it. Usually when I come home I spray disinfectant usually in the kitchen since I usually leave some items in the kitchen until my next work day.

I shared a pic with you all on instagram on a night where I was grocery shopping and beginning to see the shortages. It’s always temporary but it was jarring to see at the beginning of this crisis back in March how bare store shelves were. We could talk about dairy, produce, canned goods, meats, toilet tissue, sanitizer, disinfectant….could I go on. I’m just glad when this vaccine goes to those who need it most we can finally get out of this crisis as I just know there are many who are growing tired of it.

I’m still working on the Climax and sorry to not be as forthcoming on it. My goal as a writer is to be as satisfied with the finished product as possible. Hopefully I get some time off and can finish it soon.

Finally allow me to leave you with the theme from Midnight Cowboy. It’s a movie I’m not that familiar with though I see through synopsis that it has some familiar themes of loneliness or male alienation. I suppose it’s relatable in that case, however, with work that can change. Yes?

Current situation

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Pandemic grocery shopping

You know I never did a proper second anniversary at Fresh Foods post – well reboot anniversary. The problem is it got mired in this whole pandemic business where in this part of the world we’re slowly but surely returning to normal. Even if we still got to maintain social distancing and all that. We’re not all the way there, but we’re on course.

Also as I write this the pandemic seems to have disappeared from the headlines for a moment as cities – including Chicago – seems to be under some major unrest. I could state that people being forced to sit at home for almost three months have caused people to become very restless. All it took was an unfortunate incident involving a police officer showing his blatant disregard for a man’s life. Unfortunately people are fired up enough to cause violence and looting!

Meanwhile, since most of our mgmt in my dept are self-isolating we’ve had mgmt from another store come over. Well the other store is the Hole and some of the support we got including one of the assistant mgrs – although talked about but not seen so far that will include Rayna. Anyway the other assistant mgr was the one who got promoted from porter to supervisor to mgmt. The other was a supervisor who tried to help in the process of getting back at the Hole, and that didn’t quite work out so well.

And even on one day ran into Larry who was helping out our department. I was hoping to work with Larry at the Hole but for now it has to be a few shifts. With at least the assistant mgr and the supervisor I expressed interest in the now vacant roles of associate buyer and receiver. The people who held those roles have moved on within the company itself though unfortunately there was a reason why both haven’t been posted and won’t likely be posted for a bit of time.

I’m told the buyer they do have basically has nothing to do since their dept isn’t doing much as far as sales. We’re not exactly in normal times unfortunately and it could be a minute before that changes. What this means is my old dept isn’t ordering and receiving product that they normally would.

Regardless I still consider it a possibility to pursue when that time comes and as always stated it will be more likely that yours truly will return to the Hole – even if it’s a situation with very little familiarity – than returning to The Show. At this point the waiting game will continue although when seeing Larry this should’ve been a topic to broach. While he has to listen to his bosses, he’s the one who’ll make the job requisition.

As for continuing to write about the events leading up to the climax of the “reign of error” I’ve hit a bit of writer’s block. I felt as if I’ve written most of the accounting I could of the era before /goofball’s ascension to dept mgr. So there will be some more installments I’m just trying to determine the direction and chances are I will repeat myself. The goal remains to just stay on the timeline as far as what happened until I left.

Also, for my anniversary at my current assignment I felt as if it was important to talk a little about that. What happened and who said what. Yet another situation of repetition, however, it’s as important to note also. I do guarantee that we will get there in due course.

Before the outbreak

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Actually I was supposed to go to an interview back at the dine-in Show – operated by the national theater chain – where I had worked for roughly 8 months during 2015-16. My last interview there was after being let go from the Hole and months before the actual end of the Reign of Error. That interview didn’t go well and it seemed based on the people who I still knew up there it was very likely I wasn’t coming back at that time.

Regardless, this time around before the quarantines, the order to serve only take-out foods with no dine-in, and before the stay-at-home orders I had the opportunity to interview to be a porter at the dine-in Show. Basically I would transport food orders to moviegoers in their respective auditoriums. I’d be eligible for tips and it’s something I have some experience in due to my previous stint there.

I didn’t go, it was a workday and it didn’t really end until I punched-out for the day. Before these lockdowns and the dire predictions of the spread for this bug that’s going around right now this was a normal day. It wasn’t too uncommon for someone to come up at say 3 PM when I would’ve gotten off to walk-up and expect to be served. The person who’d take over for me wouldn’t come in before I clock off for the day.

So when it got that busy near the end of the day, I wasn’t entirely in good spirits and decided at that moment that I wasn’t going. In my favor they didn’t call me to schedule an interview this was basically an open interview. I was invited to an open interview via e-mail and people just had to show up and get interviewed. It’s basically like going to a job fair which Fresh Foods might have at their stores at certain intervals. The way I see it you never know what you would get with such a gimmick. Some of the people I work with now, were hired through such an event.

Either way I never saw this as a big loss if I just decided not to show up. Perhaps it might not look so great for me in the long run, however, this is a basic entry-level job and I wasn’t interviewing for a mgmt position. They may not have such a great record of who came in and who didn’t, I was just on a list of people they invited to interview. Also the porter job wasn’t really the job I wanted if nothing else it enabled me to work elsewhere just as it was the case when I was in my honeymoon period at the Hole four years ago.

So not long after this pandemic struck, a week had passed after the interview where the state government and federal governments start issuing their orders to stem this pandemic. I also found out while looking for jobs with the national theater chain that theaters are closed right now until this pandemic is over. Therefore they’re not doing any hiring currently.

If I had gone to this open interview when would I have started? Would my start date have been pushed back thanks to this bug? Even if I had started would I still have a job once it became clear that movie theaters around the country would be closed due to this bug?

Just think about it for a second if I had still been working at The Show and the dine-in Show I’d be out of work. It’s a good thing I work at a grocery store otherwise I’d be sitting at home making NO money. And it’s unclear if I would’ve returned to work at a theater especially if they just decided it wasn’t important for me to return.

To be fair, I’d rather be working but then it’s kind of cool to be sitting at home letting the world heal from this bug. It’s not something I can hardly afford at the moment, but then again if I’m serious about becoming a YouTuber perhaps one day I can afford to sit at home and wait out a major bug outbreak. It’ll have to remain a dream for now.