Back to the modern day for the moment

As I write this my mother is at home after an almost week stay in the hospital. She had an episode right in front of me where she “passed out”. As far as I’m concerned she was still conscious, however, as she tried to get into her car for her regular appointment I noticed that her head wasn’t steady and then she fell. Had a gash on her head for her trouble which was stapled by the E.R. and spend one night in the hospital.

Fast forward to when she returned to the E.R. to get the staples out and a few days after that she gets a call from the hospital. They gave her a heart monitor due to her episodes with “passing out”. They found something that likely occurred while she was asleep and told her to come to the E.R. as soon as possible and that turned into seven days. Seven days I was home alone taking the car to work as I had been for a while a lot of my schedule lately were early mornings. Most of the days she had been away I was working and my next off day was when I could take her home from the hospital.

Aside from talking about work or even my “situationship” what have I often discussed – financial independence. This episode causes me to further work to get my affairs in order and who knows when the inevitable will happen. I want her to see me get my affairs in order before she goes. Sadly dad isn’t here to see how my life turned out and while my mother was in the hospital she noted his recent birthday.

This is one reason why I have been saving the money I have been. I was asking questions about paying property taxes here in Chicago they’re due twice a year and the county won’t allow you to pay in advance. In fact my mother was upset that she just let the deadline to pay the property taxes slip by and I was able to share a link to paying those bills online so she got them done. At least the house is paid for and my mother isn’t prone to putting a home equity loan just to have some extra cash thankfully.

Right now the house isn’t so lonely, however, I need to stop being so hesitant or cautious as far as moving forward with my life. I think I’ve stuck around at home long enough. I can still help her when I can and she does have another son who lives with his own family halfway across America who has the “perfect life”.

I’m just sorry that these ongoing health issues and even the loss of her job at a neighborhood bank earlier that year had somewhat derailed the plans that I started to lay once I left The Show. It’s not her fault it’s just the situation and of course I’ve ran into some other setbacks as well in addition to the more pressing setbacks.

Perhaps I’m coming off as selfish but I recognize how I hadn’t really progressed the way I would’ve liked to. Perhaps I should’ve been in my own place or certainly have been able to secure a much better job by now. The issue now is to just get started.

Also I dreamed about my dad one night. Probably as a result of a convo I had with my mother the night before. Over the summer an uncle – one of my dad’s brothers – had passed away. I saw an unrecognizable name amongst the brothers and sisters and she talked about how dad actually talked to this then unknown to me half-brother and also got a cousin from his mother’s side of his family tree to come to our home to visit. One good thing about dad was that he was willing to talk with his mother’s side of the family.

In any case the dream was that my dad was driving mom’s current car. Part of me wanted to ask him how was it driving the car. One weird thing about my dad is that he really didn’t want my mom to own a car, he wanted to be the only one with a vehicle. Anyway to even think of asking a question is just recognizing that he had been away for a while. I seem to have a tendency to dream about him as if the events of over 20 years ago never happened.

Another strange thing about these dreams is that with him around I’m still at home. On the ride with my dad I was sitting in the back seat with mom riding shotgun. I have been convinced that if he was still around more than likely I wouldn’t still be at home. Perhaps I’d be in the military as it’s very likely he’d have been an influence in that decision.

Regardless I was in teenager mode in the dream which was certainly the last time he had seen me when he was living. Sometimes I like having those types of dreams.

Meanwhile….

The other day I talked with a colleague at work who was sitting in an office completing their performance review forms so that they can get a raise. He remains in my old dept and for over a year dropped down to part-time status as he wanted to go back to school and finish his undergrad. He had the need to change careers, which is a good thing.

He wasn’t very optimistic about whether or not he’ll actually get a raise considering what’s been going on for almost the past year. We’re in a period of great uncertainty as we’re learning this bug has spawned a few mutations which thankfully are reportedly not very lethal, however, much more easily transmissible. And it seems for now the vaccine should could cover these variants…

Regardless back to the situation at hand he was considering what the sales might be and I just told him it pays to be more optimistic. You just never know although when mgmt wants to pick they will. The way I see it, yours truly still got his raise last year and who knows what the sales were not within my former dept but the whole store in general. Sales probably aren’t what they would be in general in far more normal times. However, once he meets with his mgmt he’ll know what the picture looks like.

As far as yours truly, well I’m still looking for some opportunities. Just about two years ago a store opened a bit closer to home it’s a straight shot down the street towards a nearby suburb and perhaps I should’ve looked into it before that store opened. However, I really liked working downtown and that mentality still haven’t escaped me. The only time I applied for a store in the neighborhoods was when another store was about to open closer to home and interviewed for a supervisor position although I don’t think it was a great interview. There were some lessons for that as there were lessons for my attempt for associate buyer just about two years ago.

Regardless what has my attention is a full-time position posted for my old dept at this other store. I guess one consideration is that it would get me right back where I started, while I want to progress. Also at yet another store there is another full-time position still within the city, however, a lot further north from downtown which means a much longer commute. I don’t take that opportunity as seriously as the one much closer to home. But then who knows that might be the one that works out, that’s how these opportunities seem to work out to be honest.

Believe it or not it’s been over six years where I started off at the Hole. I didn’t know if I wanted to be in a dept other than the front end doing cashiering. As happens unfortunately you get a bit comfortable and you don’t want to pick up and leave. That was true in 2015, it’s sort of true even now. I was just getting off of what happened at Gotham near the end of the previous year and that was a situation that proved it wasn’t working out. And considering that before getting the job offer to be a bank teller, I had also earlier interviewed to be a manager at a cinema near what would later become the Hole.

I could look at that whole situation and say it was meant for me to be in that neighborhood where the Hole was located. And for over two years it worked out for me. Not the way I envisioned in my head, however, it was much better than being stuck at The Show still making over $10K per year still after almost five years. I got a bit more although now six years later and with a refresh I’m closer to $30K per year. And I feel as if I’m still not close to my goal of moving up.

Aside from that tangent remember when I talked about working a lot of nights. It seems they listen when I sign off of a sheet at the end of the night. I say I want to learn to make signs they allowed me that opportunity, they gave me to opportunity to learn a new task and they allowed me a night to do so – even got a talking to about not using a cut-glove when doing it. And while there was some interest in me doing some receiving in my new department I asked to do that just in an effort to get some days instead of these constant nights. Well they’re giving me those shifts for the first time in months…

I felt a bit miserable doing these shifts in the beginning. I would be in a cooler a lot more than when I did receiving in my original department. There were a lot more items to put away than in my original department, so to think it’s a real workout than what I feel as if I was used to. At the same time I’m trying something so that it won’t be so late when I get home. And my favor I somewhat know how it goes and it might make it a bit easier to get back to the goal I started on before the climax of the reign of error.

Meanwhile this winter seems quite relentless with the cold weather and we just got hit by another heavy snowfall which I had to dig out of the nex day. Perhaps it’s time to consider a much warmer locale, however, they’re getting hit by winters they don’t often expect….

Either way still working and we’re not yet halfway through 2021….

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.

Familiarity

photo of buildings during nighttime

Although I answered HarleyQ in the recent post when she asked the question about transferring out of my comfort zone it caused me to want to further expand that post. I went from talking about changing jobs and remaining comfortable and complacent in the roles I have accepted so far to considering whether or not I should leave my hometown.

In my answer I liken this to changing jobs (on my own terms) back in October ’14. The time to have left in reality was over two years ago before and I was very gungho for that, however, in my mind I needed a job to leave for. I had to work for that for over two years until I finally got a job offer to leave for.

I told a senior manager at The Show that I was leaving. At that moment I believed that was the right thing to do upon getting the job offer to go to Gotham Bank, there was hardly anything there for me to stay. I knew the job which was my comfort level and I knew some of the workers, especially the ones I felt that I could work with and the ones who were trouble. Although some of the managers were beginning to move on I knew them too for good or for bad. I left a job of almost five years with great familiarity, however, I knew it was stagnation no reason to think I would grow there.

There lies the catch-22 I was leaving the familiarity and taking on a role where I had no familiarity. A new environment does wonders, then again the new environment is the unknown and once I did turn in my two weeks with that aforementioned senior manager I did so with trepidation. Did I really want to leave?

Although I knew it was the right thing perhaps in a way I wasn’t really set to go. I made those decisions turned in my notice and never asked the rescind it. Your’s truly was still somewhat unsure about what I was doing. Even then once I realized it wasn’t working out in the long run, I had also decided it would be a failure if I tried to get my job back at The Show.

As far as transferring out of my comfort zone I feel as if I may have that same hesitation. To leave the familiar is hard. I know the Chicago area for the most part leaving would be hard. I chose going to Mission College because where it was located it had decent public transit, but it was still an unfamiliar land.

I also consider my elderly mother who’s going through some of her current health challenges. We’ve occasionally discussed the possibility that I could take on a job outside of the Chicago area. Nothing serious comes of it, however, there are a few options I’ve noted where yours truly would want to go.

green grass field under blue sky

Iowa?

The pic I used in that last post I used a search term Iowa. It seems like an unlikely new direction for me, and especially for a state I’ve only passed through a handful of times. Most of us know Iowa as a place of agriculture, college football and even minor league baseball. I could find a decent sized city and be OK because it’s unthinkable to live in the sticks.

Someone suggested Georgia where Mission (not a real school but does represent my alma mater) is located and I basically just balked. Everyone is moving to Georgia and yours truly would rather start trends not follow them. 😛

Either way making a physical move to another city or another state is a difficult undertaking. Especially difficult without having a plan that could include a job or even a school to attend.

As always something under consideration for now.

Comfort level

green grass field under blue sky

With what’s been going on in the world I’ve been thinking again. Well actually I have been thinking about it for quite a while. It really should’ve started during my hiatus over two years ago.

It back during the period between October ’17 to April ’18 I developed the idea that a job is nothing more than a means to an end. It’s true there are many ways one can make money and this is something that had been explored on this blog also (ex. how does one make money on YouTube).

At the same the thought process with that was merely that I had lost the job that I really liked and believed that I really grew at in that period. However, what if that company went belly up and lets say I created a new company I could attempt to recreate that culture. The culture at the Hole if not Fresh Foods as a whole is one reason why I returned to the company.

The lesson here is that no matter how much you like a job and how much a job or a company has done for you especially financially it can always be taken away from you. I won’t entirely go into the circumstances of my situation just about three years ago at this point and besides it’s been written about on this blog numerous times. The bottom line is that for whatever reason you may not have that job any longer.

Still, one focus on this has been about jobs. What else would I like to do and what entrepreneurial thing can yours truly do to make money independently? I still think about that chances are I probably won’t start a store although I do have thinks I have cared about such as movies, comic books, tech, etc. I’ve tried the world of finance and still have the culture shock of that in my system.

However, another part of comfort is I’ve never left home. A conclusion I came to recently in light of this unrest is that Chicago is part of my comfort level. Jack V works for a fortune 500 company and has the opportunity to go anywhere he wants. Yours truly can go to Wisconsin, Georgia, Mississippi, Iowa, Missouri, Texas, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, etc. Just about anywhere I wish as long as I can secure a job.

I’ve also been talking about going back to school although the time you might have seen this on the blog it was to go to a local university and attain a master’s degree. Well that’s my opportunity to go elsewhere. Find out how reasonable tuition is and hopefully find a full-time job to keep the money train going.

For this moment things under consideration.