April

white graphing notebook

We’re going to go through the month of April and usually I might give you the flavor of the month from years past. This time we’re going to stay a tad current and I’ll have to admit I didn’t do the post expected last month. We’ll do some of those posts this month.

Well in this state a stay-at-home order was extended for the rest of the month. Which is certainly a bummer because I’m ready for the world to get back to some semblance of normal. This bug going around is really something and I know people are freaked out about it. I find myself taking my own precautions from it, however, I get the feeling we’re going to be wondering what were we worried about in the first place.

I noted last month that if I had been still working in the cinema business (certainly depending upon where I was on the “food chain”) I’d be sitting at home. I could hardly afford that right now and I’m glad to be working in an industry that is considered essential. Yeah it would be cool to ride this pandemic out at home, but like I said I don’t think I could afford that. I just have to do what I need to do and be very careful on public transportation and out in the world.

I’m still making some plans for my YouTube channel. I’m at 32 subs as I write this which was a very high growth curve from the start of March where I only had four subscribers. What can I do to cause further growth? I already announced some plans, but then what about beyond that?

I will be celebrating two years in my “reboot” with Fresh Foods this month. I had been rehired this time two years ago, and I know this seems to be a recurring theme now is the time to start making some plans. I have an eye on a couple of situations at the moment one of which includes my former boss – the one who hired me to the company years ago – with his new assignment as a store mgr. I saw that he posted for a new dept mgr at his store (which is the same dept where I am now and it was the dept he hired me for five years ago). I’m also keeping an eye on my former dept at the Hole, as some unexpected changes had occurred there since I’ve returned to the company.

A young lady that I’ve connected with over the years from Hillman College last month sent me a pic of herself. She has a knack for chopping off her lush hair and dying her hair exotic colors. When she asks about her next color I always suggest her natural color, and that was the pic she sent me her latest chop with her natural hair color. She gave me that and I think she likes me *says the teenaged boy who knew nothing about girls*….

As always I hope you all are safe and be well. Let’s get through this month, I feel this will be a difficult month with all the measures put in place by the different levels of governments in America. They say we might see a peak this month, the main thing is I can’t wait to see the point where we’ve flattened the curve on this bug.

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.

 

Dreams

I wrote about the idea of my dream earlier this year. As my birthday passed recently I’ve thought about it more and more. Even better I see that Tommy has finally realized his dream fairly recently, he wants to work on a farm and tend to some of his favorite animals.

Earlier this year I wrote that I’m just not sure what my dream is anymore. As always with life sometimes a dream can always evolve into something else. I dream of having my own family, my own home, paying off my out of control student loans, make six figures, go back to school to get a masters, running my own business, etc. I can have all those dreams and will have no idea where to start.

I thought about my childhood and the life I imagined back then. For example, I’ve hinted at this during my teenaged years the military had my interest. Having had some family in the military perhaps my goal was to move up the highest ranks of the military. Better yet, I wanted to emulate my heroes from one of my favorite science fiction TV series of all time although yes we’re not fighting any alien species at all so far.

picard-facepalm

Picard, the inspiration?

I find myself wondering lately how I got sidetracked from that. Well it didn’t help that during my high school years my dad had passed away suddenly. It’s been documented on this blog that he just couldn’t stop drinking. The addiction to alcohol caused my dad to neglect his health and as a result he passed away from a severe stroke.

At one point I just thought I’d be in the military. I get away from my dad’s anger (sometimes over things he could change but just wouldn’t and blamed others) and his alcohol. At one point in time the military just would’ve been my way to get away as it was unthinkable that I’d still be at home on guard for any temper tantrums while sober or worse while he was intoxicated. Then suddenly he died as his body couldn’t take his own abuse anymore.

I’m still trying to figure out how I got sidetracked, due to my fluke honor’s grades in high school my mother expected I’d do well in college. It was not only her expectation, but those on her side of the family. I find myself wondering if I made the wrong moves back then. Even talked to my mom later about this, we just didn’t really discuss plans. She just had her expectations and had been frustrated when I just wasn’t moving fast enough. In reality I had no clue, what was the point of this college thing? I just didn’t understand…

I wonder where I would be if I just started building after high school as I’ve really started building in my 30s. To truly grow was slow going to be sure and although I’m a year older the building hasn’t finished and I won’t stop growing. I just realize at my own free will and with the information and knowledge I had at 18-19-20 I made the move that felt right at the time. I just wish I had been more money hungry back then as opposed to getting older and getting serious.

If yours truly had joined the service back then it just would’ve been a regular job and I’d be working as long as I don’t break any rules or regulations. The benefits would’ve been great and I’d take advantage of G.I. benefits to go to school if I so chose. It could’ve waited, if I wanted to go to Mission College it would’ve been there for me when it was that time.

These days I know one vague dream I have today, what if I ran something. It’s a recurring theme to talk about going into mgmt or take on a more serious role. Perhaps even start my own business. Definitely considering the degree I attained 10 years ago to make an impact on the world. Right now I’m not sure where to begin, but as long as I’m in good health that’s going to be an ongoing objective.

Back to school, maybe?

I’ve largely been talking about change & growth since starting this blog. So far the topic of discussion has often been advancing at Fresh Foods or even for a brief time when I worked at the national theater chain at the Dine-in Show. I’ve gotten the closest at the Hole and even had an interview for a higher position at my current store earlier this year.

One of my long-term goals is to make six-figures and at this point I’ve gone from doing it where I currently now to finding other options. I’ve even decided, it is time to return to school. Should I just enroll at the local community college – where I left without attaining an associate’s degree to transfer to the prestigious Mission College – and take a few business courses. This is something I had been interested in anyway even back in the day when I should’ve done it.

Going to Mission College definitely put me outside of my comfort zone for that time. Ive learned a lot from that experience and my only regrets were some of the mistakes I’ve made. One of those mistakes was depending upon financial aid to keep me enrolled. Would I have been better off choosing a lower-cost option or having my own skin in that game? Would I have been better off with a real plan once I graduated and especially while there?

So either way I like where I am now as my income is pretty good so far. I feel as if there’s a lot more going on for yours truly now than back during my 20s. If only I had the persistence as far as finding employment back in the day. This was the type of experience missing from back then being so wedded to a classroom and even worse it took some time to finish my degree.

Now I feel as if it’s time to step out of my comfort zone and move on to the next step so I can arrive at that six-figure mark. And in addition to taking some courses at my community college for my “enrichment”, now I find myself wondering if it’s time for a master’s. I do have a goal in doing so.

When graduating from that prestigious liberal arts college I had failed to take advantage of student services to really find a job in my chose field. This time around I need to do that so I can truly take advantage of a masters degree. This won’t just be a vanity project this must have a return on investment.

I’ve even identified one program of great interest and will continue to look into other programs. The program I like has some flexibility and while rigorous, seems like one that could ease me into other academic programs. Just pick a field: business, social sciences, humanities, etc. I could still stick with the field I got my undergrad degree in, however, I could dabble in other fields especially if it pertains to what I hope to study.

Since I do have a job at a fortune 500 company I hope to expand the research outside of Chicago. Perhaps take my job with me as I study elsewhere to finish my master’s degree. However I choose to do it, now is the time to come up with my plan and get going.

Meanwhile back at Fresh Foods I wanted to tell about a new posting for supervisor. We lost another one last month and there’s no need to make this a longer post than necessary. It’s a position to consider, however, there are others within the company to consider. Bottom line is we got something to talk about for now and also Jack just make a move man!

Change

adult book business cactus

I’m glad to write this post under different and more positive circumstances. Last time a post with this title was published it was to announce that I had been let go from a job that I really liked.

So I often consider this period of my life a period of significant change. I could start with graduating from college as the start of one significant change. Then I could look at leaving “The Show” as the start of another. And we’re still in the middle of those changes now.

This is the year I want to make some personal changes, although unfortunately I have no idea where to start. Perhaps I would like to change the circumstances of my social life, unfortunately I have no idea where to start. It could be at work, however, I worked somewhere that I became friends with many of my coworkers (hard to believe right?). Sometimes they were cool and in another case they really weren’t and it was time to cut ties.

Often on this blog – a male virgin blogI talk about work. I do believe that is important and in a period of change it’s important not to be stuck. It’s important to grow which is one reason why I left the theater. One of the most important changes I want to make is to truly grow beyond the types of jobs I’ve typically held during my working life.

So this is the year to make some important and key changes. Will it help me in my personal life? I can definitely do something about my professional life. As I’ve been saying (or perhaps I haven’t said it enough times) now is the time to make some plans and then execute them. Now is the time, otherwise the window of opportunity will slowly but surely close.

Finally just to add, I used to say to friends or to myself that I’d give anything to make $20K/yr. That was the standard once upon a time especially since during the course of  my time at “The Show” it’s hovered between $11K to $12K/yr. These days I’m in the $20K/yr range so over time of working at “The Hole” and even with the supplemental job at the “dine-in show” I could say there was a year I made $25k+ per yr.

My new goal is six-figures. Perhaps it might take some time, but the way I see it now is the time to plan to make that goal. I’ve learned that reaching that goal would be easily attainable if I became a store mgr at “Fresh Foods”. However I reach that goal it’s the one attainable long-term goal I can achieve.

Meanwhile I need to make some social goals also…

Similarities

person writing on white book

I sometimes wonder why I seem to emphasize work as opposed to the fact that I’m a virgin on this blog. And sometimes I realize there isn’t a whole lot of difference between finding a girlfriend as opposed to finding a job. Both is about presentation and for a job I sometimes get that down. Of course as far as a girlfriend I’ve done pretty lousy.

For both it doesn’t take much to turn off a prospective employer or a prospective mate. Sometimes it’s what you say or how you say it. Sometimes it’s how you present yourself. Sometimes it’s what they think you have. Sometimes they come to a very quick judgement as far as who you are or what you’re about. Sometimes how they arrive at their conclusions to reject or accept isn’t always very fair, but that is what you have to deal with.

You have to make a living somehow so whether you talk about a job or you talk about love regardless you have to find a way to get yourself out there. I had to years ago when I realized I wasn’t going back to school for a semester. Just fill out applications and prepare yourself for an interview. Then prepare yourself for the first day on the job. And perhaps the same for a lady prepare yourself for meeting her, then prepare yourself for the date, and if you’re lucky perhaps you’re ready for marriage. (and yes I know as far as relationships there is rarely a clear path and it depends on the people involved).

man and woman eating ice creams

I’ve done online dating with very little success for myself. I don’t have many opportunities outside of work to meet available women. Hell I would love to make a move on available women at work, but I have to consider that their psychology may not be where they weren’t open to dating a coworker. I’d have to tread lightly and realize that when attempting to “woo” a coworker there is often very little room for error.

At the same time you want to be that provider, and then realize that some women don’t appreciate that if you fail to give them attention. Or what you do for a living just isn’t exciting enough for them. Perhaps you’re not making enough money for them. Yeah whether we’re talking about a young person or an older person (who ideally should be more settled in their lives) dating is very tough.

I suppose as of now, my goal is to work on what I know I can have some certainty on. Perhaps just as I should always be looking for that special women, I should also continue to look for the right job and continue to strive to make more money. As much I would like both I feel as if finding that special women will happen when I least expect it because the ones I would want it to be they seem to have other plans.

retool!

remember last year – 2016 – that i mentioned that i attended a community college before transferring to the prestigious “mission college”? that i had been forced by my mother to return after only a semester away from home because she really wanted me to finish my associate’s degree? well funny story is that i’m thinking about going back…

as to be expected with young people i don’t always make big picture decisions (actually do be fair even adults don’t always make big picture decisions) i didn’t handle my academic career very well at all! when i attended community college, what i really lacked was a plan. during my time i just went through the motions, took some classes that i knew could be transferred out to an undergrad institution. also to be fair, the same thing could be said of “mission” there was no real plan their either just get that prestigious degree and figure it out from there.

at “mission” i majored in a social science and since getting my degree in 2009 have done very little with it. now i realize i should’ve taken some business courses back when i was in community college, doing so would probably have helped me find a job during the period of time where i had few job skills. i graduated from high school without taking anything that could translate into a job.

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so now big picture thinking have taken over, even if i took on a business degree at a community college i could still transfer to undergrad and majored in a social science field. at least i have something for employers to look for whether in the social science field or elsewhere that would’ve allowed me to be more marketable than i had been when i graduated. and hopefully i’d have some work experience to back it up also.

now even though i have my baccalaureate degree, it’s time to go back to community college. this time my plan is to get an associate’s in business, i’m doing what i should’ve done back in my early 20s. and now i wish i have come to this conclusion sooner especially while i was working at “the show”.

i will admit this article my mother shared with me has finally allowed me to reconsider this. of course now i’m thinking about it as i’m without job at the moment, however, i’ve decided it’ll be under serious consideration when i go back to work. while i’m sure there are plenty of people with business degrees out there, having gone back to school recently will give me an edge.

misadventures

of jack v who returns home after one term away and had to come up with plan B…

at the start of 2002 i went away to that private liberal arts college. again i had no plan for that at least financially i expected my mother help pay my way but tuition was expensive she would later determine that she would never borrow any more money to send me to school – in effect i was on my own.

funny thing is i never graduated from the community college. at that point i saw no point in getting an associate’s degree i was just ready to move on for my bachelor’s. i chose this school for it’s history and the all-girl’s school across the street. it was a great school and had the prestige i craved and figured i may not have succeeded in the ivy league at least.

either way what didn’t help my position was i didn’t do so well away from home. had some freedom but my grades were terrible and even worse had very little of my own money at the time. when i came home that summer my mother was already on my case about getting a job.

it was a tall order at the time. i had attempted to find a job while in community college no takers but to be honest i was not that serious. i wanted what i wanted which was a bank or retail job. also remember many employers had paper applications back then…soooo i still have to go to these places and ask for a paper application. not sure if i was smart enough to look for any website that would allow me to apply for more jobs.

there were a precious few hits during the course of the year. my expectation was to go back to school and that’s what blew my first opportunity at a retail store for a museum at navy pier. then i had group interviews the rest of the way and none of them netted me a job even for the holidays.

my mother started having me sit down and we plan for job hunting. to be honest i didn’t want to hear it on the other hand she’s doing this because she didn’t see much progress. this is what she wanted and my options weren’t getting better. i took a temp assignment working on election day as a precinct worker helping voters but that was all until the end of the holidays when it was time for back to school at one of the local universities downtown. it was temporary, but it helped me get some needed job experience to place on my resume. never being employed in the first place was a huge problem.

of course this wasn’t the only problem, my mother still wanted her associate’s degree. while i had little plan beyond returning to the liberal arts school my mother insisted that i go back to finish the associates degree. in fact two of my aunts brought it up in conversation. i tried to offer a bullshit answer, but i realized they’re bringing it up because mother told them about it. it really was her expectation that i would finally graduate with an associate’s.

ultimately in a fit of stubbornness – for which she said very little – i registered but only for just enough classes where i still would be short. she knew what i was doing she later told me, but decided to choose her battles. ultimately she never got the associate’s degree and i continued to rack up debt until i finally-finally-finally got my bachelor’s.

in the meanwhile as i finally found something even if temporary i still had another year with no clear plans. this story is coming up next.

Directness

girl-fllirting-main

you know i have to really figure out how to get to the heart of what i’m looking for with women. unfortunately with some women you just have to read between the lines of what they want. women value aggressiveness, but it seems they want it only in men they favor.

i’ve talked to women whether directly or online – social networking or online dating. it’s really hard for me to get to the point of “hey i want to go out with you“. that also means they have to be on the same page with you.

either way i think i have held myself back as far as communicating what i want with any particular women. in some cases there are good reasons good precedents in some cases with women i went in one direction only to find that i’m not favored in anyway by them.

so i only can guess with any woman you would have to walk a tight rope and hope that it’s your turn to keep her. in the meanwhile i just need to determine how to get a situation with a woman to turn in my favor. again how to become that him.