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.

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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.

 

“That’s a bad career move”

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Five years ago I was going through just about three months at the Hole. It wasn’t too long after I had started that I made full-time. Yes I was concerned if it was a good fit, what I was hired to do wasn’t much different than being behind a cinema concession stand. When I applied to work for Fresh Foods and to find a plan B upon realizing my new career in banking just wasn’t working out my goal was to stay as far away from customers as possible. That didn’t quite work out…

I applied to be a steward for my new department and instead found myself in a customer facing position. Well it can’t be said that yours truly didn’t have the experience and yes what I would be doing is somewhat different. At the same time it was familiar and the period I had been in up to that point was to leave behind the stink of $h!tplace. It was time to rehab myself after stagnation and the “failure” of working for Gotham.

However, allow me to go backwards about three months. In December 2014 I was maybe two weeks away from losing my job at the bank. Perhaps the same amount of time before scheduling my interview with my soon to be new boss at the Hole. I met with my old friend and former co-worker Anthony at a local greasy spoon on the near north side of Chicago. I paid for his lunch because he request it though he had this tendency to do this because he wants me to believe he’s hard up. He’s hardly got any money to play with to even buy some food….

Anyway he seemed impressed with the fact that I was Mr. Banker. To be honest there was some recoil at that moniker on my part. When I met with Ant my feelings about my new role was more or less $h!t. I even admitted as much to him, I was having a hard time with the new role I had accepted. What went bad, did so very quick and it’s something that is my responsibility and thankfully it was such a short time that it’s very difficult to dwell on.

One thing he made sure to state was “I had such a sigh of relief when I found out you were no longer at The Show”. It sounded like he had to confirm with people who were still there and although I told him what branch I was working it seemed no one remembered what company I went. Ant even assumed although I told him differently that I was working with my mother at a much smaller bank.

Sidenote: Gotham Bank is really another name for a major bank that does business throughout the country. How he could confuse that with a small neighborhood bank just shows how much he pays attention to what I say sometimes.

Also allow me to add that while I’m concerned whether or not a career in banking was for me at that point he might feign that it was his idea. Was it one I had pursued yeah, however, in reality it was for the wrong reason. Perhaps I did choose salary and certainly the possibility of benefits to pursue this path. It turned out the job I had accepted proved to be a terrible fit. If it was his idea based upon the idea that “it suits you” it just shows what he knows.

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Let’s fast forward back into the new year 2015. I texted him about being hired on at Fresh Foods and he lauded the fact that it was good news for the new year. At some point after I first started he called me up at work and we talk I tell him how much money I make per hour his response “NICE!”. Whatever I was saying was sounding good and my new role at a new company in the new year had that “new car smell”.

So then I meet with him at some point after talking to him on the phone. I think on this day we were supposed to see a picture. We went to that same greasy spoon to buy some food to sneak into the cinema with us. I don’t recall paying for his food on that day although he’s such a bad date with his unwillingness to as much as pay for both of our movie tickets.

After this we drop by a local grocery store as he’s looking for something to buy. I show him the approximate department that I work at the Hole. “You left the bank for that? That’s a bad career move! You could’ve been a personal banker!” That takes me aback because me working for Fresh sounded good with the pay and surely he’s heard of the company. Instead he turns around and $h!ts on it, the guy who seems to have inability to really settle down in any job since leaving the Show is criticizing the job I had just took on.

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We leave the store to head home for the day and as we wait for a train I approach the subject of Fresh again. He repeats his line “It’s a bad career move, dude”. I just reiterate that I like the move I made better, but he wasn’t having it until I put my hand on his elbow with “You know what I don’t miss about you? Your judgement”.

To explain that line a few times that day I engage in my own sometimes sarcastic and smart aleck responses with regards to some of the stupidity he spews. It cuts deep enough for him to just decide he needs to hit back. I often view it was me being me, but it sometimes ruffles his feathers and would angrily respond accordingly. Sometime he may even state that he’s “going to stop talking to you”. He never does and it’s probably because he needs something and I have a history of giving it to him and it’s probably why he still had the need to get into touch with yours truly.

Anyway once I make my statement I remove my hand from his elbow, he merely chuckles and then states “At least you left $h!tplace.” This was the last time we talked about my banking career and how much I could’ve made as a personal banker. Another time when we met I made sure to tell him I had such a hard time at that bank. Otherwise he dropped it, I think he respected my point once I did what I did.

However, what never ended in his unbelievable thought process was whatever happened with a company he had worked for Finer Foods. He tried to get me on board with them the year before and it fell apart. It took him just over two years to decide to ask “Whatever happened with that?” When he did I knew what he meant, fell right for the trap as we talked about another store that opened.

And amazingly during the last actually year that we were in regular contact he started his strange campaign for me to jump ship. I was never really interested remembering how it all fell apart and he was undeterred for quite a while when I didn’t show a lot of enthusiasm. Well I’d like to share some of that story later…

Lay of the land

This month two years ago I’ve learned about the departure of the man known on this blog as Ruthless Roger. Often as stated he was the man whom yours truly had worked for and in part thanks to him I lost my job at The Hole. That moment where he walked me into the store management offices so that his immediate boss Morley let me go has become one of the more dramatic moments of my working life.

I don’t want to dwell on it a whole lot yet. This is the time to set the lay of the land over three years ago. Back in ’17, yours truly didn’t expect some of the rapid changes that were occurring to the team as I knew it back then. At this point my department was at least two dept mgrs ahead of Roger’s arrival. It was this time that the boss we had since the previous summer announced to us that he put in his two weeks and he was leaving. I learned later that he just wasn’t quite working out for some reason and store mgmt wasn’t too pleased with him for some reason.

It didn’t depress me, however, it was as much of a blow as the man who hired me getting promoted to become an assistant store manager elsewhere. As it turned out he was cool at the same time there was uncertainty among the team as a few declared that they were planning on departing in the near future now that our then boss was leaving the company. At this point to see how the situation shakes out we have the remainder of the spring and summer to find out.

Well at some point our team came under the leadership of one of our assistant managers. And she was the one who assigned me to do the buy/receive shifts by the summer. I also had the opportunity to become a supervisor and failed once I didn’t get passed screenings. As an aside one of the supervisors she elevated eventually became one of the assistant managers at the Hole in my former department.

During that period began a slide as far as my tardiness. I had a number of mid-morning to afternoon shifts that I had done a real $h!t job of being on time for. Briefly Morley was our dept mgr and he had me sign paperwork for them. It would take time for those tardies to roll off the bad news it when they did it would be just in time for Rog, if he was looking for a target, to take advantage of.

Long story short there was uncertainty. However, I had no reason to think things would go the direction that they would eventually go during the course of that year. Perhaps in spite of the many changes occurring in such a short period of time there was no reason for me to think that yours truly would be sunk by a bad boss. As stated before there is a reason that he lasted roughly six months as a dept mgr, then sent to another store as a supervisor, and then eventually departs the company not long after that.

Soon I will tell the story of the first time I met the man I also refer to as /goofball. There was something of a lay of the land to that also. There is also an “apocryphal” story that occurred just about two years before that. Little did yours truly would know if that was the first meeting he would later become his boss in a few years.

Stay Tuned.

New Year 2010

My first job the year before out of Mission College was at a college bookstore which had been one of the longest tenure jobs up to that point that I had. It’s what I mostly knew as a worker still trying to establish himself. It felt like a disaster.

The store manager that hired me briefed us newbies on how the customers at a local community college had a sense of entitlement as the government gave them the money for books. However they treat government aid as if it’s their money and as if they’re paying customers. I’ve always known students to be very dutiful as far as getting their books and as always they could be the worst customers. I should understand I had been one and it’s rarely good if you don’t have your materials for class.

There is a twist though my experience at college bookstores is usually during back to school rush. This time around I was responsible for textbook buy back and this could be a pain in the butt that the manager pulled me aside for. Either way I was getting paid while I waited for The Show to give me a call back with regards to my interview in October. Basically I met with them during a job fair for that company at a local college campus which I saw a lot of people there that I will be working with. I’m including both mgmt and regular workers.

I did new hire paperwork after I did my shift at the bookstore one night at another theater that company owned. As I recall later when doing new hire paperwork for the national theater chain years ago it was a nightmare. The man I would later know as our House Manager just handed me a phone with someone on the other end of the line asking me questions for that company’s tax purposes things I would usually skip over on a job application. I did the best possible, however, HM became a jack@$$ for some of his behavior that night. In a strange fit of reading people I know this was one man I needed to watch out for.

It seemed that company was a tad disorganized as far as orientation, new hire paperwork, or even training (though I have the least complaints about training). I hated having to go into an unfamiliar part of town at night by bus & train during the fall/winter. It was a while before I would actually get to see the facility I actually would be working in. When I did training at The Show itself one person actually quit on the spot already grumbling that there were other opportunities she needed to pursue and the theater job wasn’t it.

For the record the only training I missed out on was concession. For most of my roughly five years there I basically learned it as I went. Yours truly didn’t do such a bad job learning concession and had some wonderful people helping me out along the way. Of course as I learned as time went on there will be those who provided the headaches.

All the same the end of my time at the bookstore came when I got my actual work schedule for the theater and it overlapped the time I would’ve been at the store. It wast that time though I indicated that I could still work. The manager thanked me for the help and kind of demurred when suggesting that it would be OK if they needed me in the future. So while I showed up somewhat late for my shift it was actually my last day there forever.

Time for the excitement of working the job I should’ve had either during my high school years or even in college. The first night I worked was a sneak preview as it was invite only and set up for a party. There were screenings for older movies throughout the theater and it all lead up to midnight showings of movies to be released such as Avatar.

I even manned box office for a bit and was sort of uncomfortable and management sent me to the VIP balcony to help. Remained for the rest of the night until it was time for me to punch out.

Struggled somewhat behind concessions on Christmas Eve and incurred the wrath of the immature young women who thought they knew everything. Little did I know different iterations of such characters would continue to be a thorn in my side. All the same I did alright and if anyone though I’d be short on a register fear not it didn’t happen.

I had to work New Years Eve and missed the countdown that I like to catch with Dick Clark’s Rockin New Years’ Eve. Thankfully it wasn’t long after that when I could go home. Even wished one of the managers a happy new years on the way out the door.

Interesting first few weeks on my new job and so many lessons learned over the years. Those lessons had to be mostly social as far as how to conduct myself at work. What I needed to learn at The Show – a place I grew to refer to as $H!tplace – is what informs me on how to conduct myself on the job. Believe it or not I’m still learning however I’m light years away from where I was at the start of the last decade. Believe it or not as much as I would say I could live without this experience perhaps it was necessary. Is it possible to blow a good situation if I just didn’t know how to conduct myself?

Still, working at a theater even with a college degree from a prestigious liberal arts degree was only the beginning and definitely not the end. It still enabled me to truly pursue other future opportunities, better opportunities in the long run.

 

November 2014

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I had transitioned from the theater to the bank fully this month and was struggling. The transition didn’t go very well at all. I find myself wondering what I went for broke for. Yours truly did do what I set out to do, however, I was being handed my @$$.

Often when I talk about what happened I just stop at issues with attendance and performance. My attendance owing to some tardies – not really thinking much about how they handle issues with timeliness – kind of soured the relationship early with a boss like Ed who was a real stickler for time. Regardless it was this month that I realize almost half-way into my probationary period that this wasn’t the right fit for me at all!

Perhaps more accurately I wasn’t the right fit for them. All the same the last tense conversation about my performance with Ed I realized it was time to find another job. I started to apply at jobs for Fresh Foods from already open stores or stores to open later. And later that month got a phone call for a store not far from The Show which I had an interview and didn’t get owing to my anticipated availability assuming I still remained at Gotham Bank.

Just one problem, if I got this job it would’ve been my ticket out of the bank. I was already trying to bail, that job wasn’t working. It was a stressful situation to be in, however, there I was. Either I found another job first & quit or I get $h!tcanned. The way things were going it seemed this would be a matter of not if, but when. Regardless I got started getting ready, I had already experienced that it took time to finally find something to leave the theater. I just figured it would take time to finally find something to leave the bank for at least.

Also during this month I had also applied for the open positions for the store that would become the Hole. By the end of the month I did get a call from the man who would become my boss in the new year. I almost blew it once we got into December but we did finally connect and had the opportunity to interview.

The interesting part of this was while I’m sure I applied for different positions at the store what I did in this case was apply for a porter position. Having gone through trials at two jobs dealing with customers one I really despised that I just left and the other I was beginning to despise that sooner or later I would leave it was my dream to avoid any customer facing jobs. I never had a job like that without say dealing with security (especially in a building by myself during a night shift). So this would be something different although once I did get onboarded with Fresh my job would be a customer facing position anyway.

Finally once I finally departed from The Show in October I realized in the next month it would be just about five years since I started with that company. And it’s amazing that it’s been just about 10 years since I started there. It’s very amazing how time flies and just think the month before it was beginning to weigh on yours truly that nothing would’ve really changed for me once I really did approach the five year mark.

Also I had an interview for a mgmt position with the national theater chain. While disappointed that I never heard from them again it was a boost for my ego before getting that call for Gotham Bank. Probably wasn’t the best interview in the world, but the fact that I even got their attention as an outsider astounded me. However, once I started at the bank and it began to go downhill I only fantasized about the job that I could’ve had before accepting the offer with Gotham.

It’s amazing to note that I started the streak era for a mgmt position at a neighborhood thater and ended the streak era with another mgmt position at the national theater chain (although I didn’t score a job at either). Still I did get a job somewhere and did what I set out to do find another job and leave The Show. Regardless of how it all turned out, I at least have that accomplishment as important as it became for me out of the way.

And as I don’t mind saying as of late, what happened that year led to the period I’m living in currently.