Hustler

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I’ve had to realize that an old friend Anthony – my martial artist friend who worked with me at “The Show” – is a hustler. I remember that he used to refer to those individuals who work 10 jobs as hustlers, he seemed to look down on that. Although to be fair at one point since I’ve known him he seemed to be working two jobs. Having done that myself during the course of this blog, it’s not entirely easy!

All the same, remember how he started off our work relationship. All I had to do is take him home in my mother’s car and he started asking questions and he probably was evaluating me. Next thing I know he asks the second question I thought was out of line which is “Can I borrow some money?” He hardly wasted any time doing so and even worse even if it caused me to back off since we just me it only served to cause him to change his strategy. I just wish that I had been smart enough to see that well he wasn’t going to stray too far from his programming.

I had to realize that he always had an agenda. When he caught himself looking out for my interests at work or even when I was trying to look for another job it was often about him. One time when I told him about an interview I got for a competing theater chain he suggested something counter-intuitive to me which was to negotiate and if I don’t get what I want be prepared to walk – and I was like “Huh?”. I don’t know what I wanted yet other than a job offer which needless to say I never got so when he asked about hours and such all I could tell him was that we just never got that. As far as that this should be the answer, if we never went there no job offer is coming at all!

This let’s me know – though years after the fact – that this was really about him. If I was more in interview mode than negotiation mode for a mere minimum wage job even if there was a possibilities for further opportunities at that company then it was doomed to fail. I’d have flopped anyway in spite of my best hopes and intentions and somehow he’d find a way to blame me for it depressing me further.

Not to stay negative on him but if it hadn’t been for him I wouldn’t have tried for that mgmt position at a neighborhood movie house. While I never imagined the disarray that took place there after that interview it was still a worthwhile experience. Sadly I was destined not to get the job whether or not I did well with that interview. While Anthony felt bad that it fell through that this was something he helped orchestrate largely because he knew I wanted this. I never told him the reason but if there was a reason this was my escape away from the place I knew as “S**tplace”.

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His tips that I took advantage of were for jobs that he was working. The opportunities at the local theater, “Finer Foods” (which didn’t work out for a variety of reasons outside of our control possibly), and finally a home goods store near downtown Chicago. Then this leads me to a conclusion for some reason he wants me close to him – and is probably why he wanted so bad last year for me to consider working at “Finer Foods”. All the sudden and with my experience at “Fresh Foods” he tried to sell me on it with a simple “You’d make more money” and with my experience trying to get on with them I’d start coming up with excuses which he seemed to ignore.

Another more potent conclusion with this: he wants me beholden to him. Ahhhhhh, for what he does for me I have to owe him something. Helping me to find a better opportunity – even when I’m not looking for one (especially when for a good stretch I was doing so well at “Fresh”). I could include his attempt to get me to buy tickets for myself and a ex-coworker from the theater which is one could conclude that well he treated that nice young lady like an object to be passed around. Regardless no matter how much he can claim I blew it, he was a lousy matchmaker as we never connected in the first place. Again as much as his need to direct me to his own jobs leads this wasn’t as much about me as it was him!

Also I had to realize that he may just be used to being a dominant person. Bad news is that he’s a dominant person that’s needy. The need is about money it could be he’s generally lonely. I feel he had an inability to connect with people beyond his need to just have to find a way to dominate the scene. So his need to provide unneeded advice isn’t always just directed towards me. He often does this to everyone though he should know who’ll listen to him and who won’t. In my case I’ve given him a reason to think I’ll listen to him even though he may also know that I won’t follow up.

All the same this is why I know he tends to overreact to things. Trying to check me before I make a mistake even though perhaps I wasn’t even thinking about that. Let’s say he asked me to send him something (probably a draft e-mail or whatnot he’s not that good with typing evidently) and then he might come back to me later when I type out one errant phrase. His dominant side also is a clue that he viewed our relationship far differently than how I might’ve viewed it. Perhaps he sees himself as a fatherly figure I could look at him as a brother but he just wants to be more over me than anything. This is not a friendship which is how I prefer to view our relationship. Well most of my relationships outside of family or romance.

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DB? lol

Which also reminds me when we did talk last year and we go onto the subject of “The Show” he often seemed to discuss the negative. He may not understand that I don’t enjoy talking about it, but he does like to remind me about one time that I went off on “Deranged Barney” he seems to like for me to go over it again and again – another irritating thing he likes to do. When I called him after running into DB his response was to throw it back to me telling me I need to let it go and then just say what’s up man how’s it going. Essentially blowing off that I have no need to speak to that man again.

Beyond that he literally does run me down on the phone. From his words he told me that he felt so sorry for me, claiming that I had no one no friends, no male influence, he tried to take me under his wing as a mentor. Bear in mind when we first started working together he already came out to start begging for money. And based upon the knowledge that he had such a pitiful view of yours truly and likes to come on strong he just wasn’t the mentor or male influence that I needed.

And since he seems to like to mention that I’m a virgin – something I won’t discuss with him especially since he started off this way when we first met – and his need to dispense dating advice or even worse keeps recommending women I work with at the theater he seems to have some disgusting habits with regards to women. Granted – and surprisingly – he’s had some success with women that is he’s getting his d**k wet according to him and of course being a man in his 50s has several children. If only the grannies he claims to have f**ked realize that he’s showing their images – no nudes mind you just pics of women he’s connected with – letting me know how much action he’s getting.

Worse image he gave me was that one granny he claimed to have had relations with asked him to pull out. She used her hands to insure a “money shot” across the face. For some reason he wants me to know how nasty these women want it. With that said, why does he pursue grannies, because they won’t likely get pregnant. Though at the theater he did claim that he had relations with some of our younger coworkers who were largely in their 20s. Those silly young things like the wild @S$h0l3s as I now believe Anthony is.

Finally, I basically hadn’t heard from Anthony essentially since February when he called me from a different number. I noted that in another post he sent me a txt asking me to call him to which I never did. I just asked him who he was and he responded, simply decided that he probably wanted something. Thankfully he hadn’t really pressed that he wanted me to call him back since that time. Believe me if he really wanted something he’d put on a full court press and then when I did he’ll just comment hes been trying to get my attention and he just doesn’t understand.

I suppose for now he probably doesn’t need anything pressing – especially money. Perhaps he’s finally sensed that I’ve been frustrated with him. I also consider the fact that he’s borrowed money from me again & again and showed no urgency in paying me back. I realize our whole relationship was him looking to take advantage and keeping me in a position where he can continue to do so. Perhaps as he said he was glad that I found the job at “Fresh” and was happy that I left “The Show” that he just shows the side where he’s truly not happy for me. Perhaps that merely means that he’s losing control of yours truly.

Regardless I still feel as if he may try to get back in touch with me. When I tell friends or my mother about him they say a variety of things. They may say good riddance because I’ve not talked to him since last year. They may say he’s a sociopath and I should avoid contact at all costs. Part of me wants to tell him off which could prove to be dangerous as I view him as a troll akin to my so-called arch nemesis DB. So I’m not sure what the next move is right now, I do somewhat expect that he may try to contact me again!

 

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Just visiting

img_3872Last month, I paid a visit to “The Hole”. I just slid right in after watching a movie nearby and hoping to see some of my former colleagues. To be honest I just avoided that store roughly until Rog was no longer there.

Most of what I wrote about “Ruthless” was based upon conjecture and some other facts noted by colleagues. This is stuff that I have gone over in other posts that it’s just not very important to rehash here. However last month when I ran into some of my colleagues we did go over it again and noted how my former boss just ruined it for everyone in my former dept at “The Hole”.

I spent a lot of time in the neighboring dept where a coworker Chuck was holding court. I think he saw me before I saw him although I told him that I now work at another “Fresh Foods” store. We did talk a lot about Rog and we were talking s**t about him. He saw some things first hand from him that proved questionable. Problem is well no one knows that he’s made some questionable decisions. Regardless he was the first one to recognize that Rog’s ego was a bit oversized and he’s going to find himself in over his head. That is exactly what happened.

All the same it was cool to see him again and talk to him again. We talked about the assistant store mgr I had to interview with to return there. Thanks to him I didn’t get it, he was hard to get through to. Chuck just said he might have been a bit racist – who knows. All the same I don’t look at it as a bad thing now because I’ve returned to the company anyway. An opportunity will be there for me to return to “The Hole” in the future, perhaps in a better position. When I originally interviewed to return in March, perhaps I didn’t show this store mgr much of anything to work with.  This paved the way for me to be picked up elsewhere.

So anyway I part with Chuck and head to my former dept where some of the people who were there from last year sighted me first before requesting one of them get the supervisor who I had been in touch with since Rog departed the scene. I expressed interest in returning to help them out and of course this was before I made full-time again. It is still something I’m keenly very interested in at some point this summer.

The folks of my former dept never mentioned Rog. My own shot to my former supervisor was “I don’t expect you to say too much, but I’m glad I missed the drama”. He told me some people are out of action joking that some associates kept getting hit by cars. On the other hand he mentioned the dept is coming back as far as sales. Besides they should be gearing up for the summer where the sales will be very strong. Who knows if that’s a parting shot to the now departed “Ruthless” and with Larry in charge.

Before making my way to “The Hole” I ran into yet another colleague – Bill (who I ran into on the train last year) – who was on his way home for the day. So I changed course and walked him to the train – this was before watching a movie that afternoon. And again we talked s**t about Rog we both agreed that man had no idea what he was doing and also confirmed that with Larry in charge the dept has operated far more smoothly. In his words no more bulls**t.

Though this incident happened after Rog departed we talked about what happened with another colleague who got let go. There was about to be a catfight in the dept and that took care of both participants’ jobs. At first it became a serious verbal confrontation and one of the ladies decided to charge at the other. What I observed based upon the story that was relayed to me was one of those ladies seemed to have an attitude that morning. In other words she was a “mean girl” who just so happen to run into the “Mean girl of ‘The Hole'”. And at least the “Mean girl of ‘The Hole'” was my mean girl as we had worked well together. The “mean girl” was basically a new hire who may have arrived after I left and could be a Rog hire which says it all.

With this said I told Bill when he told me his version of what happened “That is some ‘S**tplace’ type stuff“. What I just heard could’ve happened at the theater and depending upon the mood of mgmt we wouldn’t be certain if anyone would’ve gotten fired. At “The Hole” and before Larry returned there was some disarray thankfully store mgmt wasted little time in getting rid of both of them. Especially the one who seemed intent on committing assault by charging at the other colleague.

We talked about Rog’s supervisor hires both of who are no longer there. One of them who I had met listening to Bill proved to be a bad fit and it’s no wonder that after almost six months she got shipped to another store demoted to associate. If there was a tense situation she’d add to it and in Bill’s words not handle the situation like a supervisor. Considering her boss, I think I could see that if he proved to be useless as a mentor.

The other supervisor that I hadn’t worked with he said came for a store meeting and was never seen or heard from again. I laughed hard at that, but then later I realized she might have been the smartest one in that situation. Who knows if that happened before or after Rog departed, but I just wonder if she realized this just wasn’t going to work. Also bear in mind she was an external hire who knows if Rog had a hand in bringing her in or the panel who should’ve interviewed her just over-ruled him.

All the same an interesting afternoon I had back in May before Memorial Day. This all happened because I didn’t exactly desire to go home just yet. Just wanted to hang around in downtown Chicago and made an impromptu visit to my old store. It should be noted while it somewhat satisfied me that Rog didn’t last in that position as I had began to expect, it’s never pleasing when someone suffers such a decline professionally as he may have. While he may have earned it, I do want to believe that anyone can successfully recover if they learn from what happened

Regardless I remember my first major return to “The Hole” and my old dept! And believe it or not, felt the love! So to speak of course!

In the weeds

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Another attempt at a “final thought” regarding our old friend (or perhaps enemy) “Ruthless Roger“. I tried it last month and had a meandering post about him as my boss with an introduction to some of his assistant mgrs or as I could call them lieutenants. One can only wonder if they also bristled under him if they viewed him as a d**k who wanted everything his way. It was said he was looking to make his mark and since he got demoted and shipped off to another store as a supervisor, likely safe to say he fell far short of it. In fact it’s safe to say he was in the weeds.

Whenever this subject comes up about Rog, the question continues to come up, “how did he get the job?” My best answer is often he got it the same way I could’ve gotten it, he applied, he interviewed, and they hired him. Of course it’s more nuanced than that, he had experience as he originally came from “Fresh Foods'” flagship location. When I recently told one of my colleagues that he was a supervisor and an assistant mgr at that store they wondered aloud that he came from such a large and profitable location and he couldn’t handle the dept he took over. When you think about it, after learning about his demotion that was my thoughts exactly.

Ideally if you want to move up in the company especially into supervisory/mgmt positions at “Fresh” you should be going through a very vigorous process. It will involve a firing line of questions from a panel, something I’ve only experienced once. One of my colleagues theorized that someone didn’t ask the necessary questions they just used Rog’s history & experience with the company as a reason to just hand him the position. My theory is also that he knew how to play the game and was able to interview well. Of course in light of how he explained why he was hiring another associate buyer now I have to call it into question somewhat. Perhaps it’s a matter of how interested he was in answering a question.

Also bear in mind last year that before Rog arrived it could’ve easily been Rayna who could’ve been the new boss. And let’s just say most of us in that dept wouldn’t have been very happy with her if it had come through. Store mgmt probably agree however they wanted her to stick around as one of the dept’s assistant mgrs. We did have a vacancy after all in that area with everything in dept mgmt leaving at that point.

Remember a couple of months ago I noted that one of my new colleagues Nick had noted that he wanted to transfer to my old dept and a supervisor (which he couldn’t/wouldn’t identify) told him to hold off because they were experiencing issues with Rog. No elaboration from Nick it was said as a matter of fact to him that is in other words “young buck save yourself the trouble you’re just getting yourself into a tenuous situation here“. Of course once Roger finally left the dept according to one of the supervisors I talked after hearing the news that things there have gotten better. The man who tried to make his mark made more of a mess of things there!

I’m going to say here what I’ve already said on this blog before though in a slightly different way. I always noted that Rog was very by the book which isn’t a bad thing, however the reality was he just had no idea how to really manage. You don’t need a book to be a manager, you have to be able to manage without using a book. Make some decisive decisions and sometimes do so without guidance. Granted it could be a double edged sword and however you arrive at your decisions you either got it or you don’t. Rog evidently didn’t have it.

Also you’ve heard variations of the idea that he wasn’t a good fit for that position, rose to his level of incompetence and/or in over his head in the job. Perhaps Rog had no idea about the position he accepted even if he had the necessary experience. My words for this had often been that he was set up to fail. Who knows perhaps the people who gave him the position did it to him or Rog did that to himself. One way to look at it, to be able to move up and manage a dept has to be something you want and I believe Roger did want it. Even if it turns out he had some deficiencies…

Finally, I visited my old store (which from this point forward will be referred to as “The Hole”) and dept last month. I spoke to a number of colleagues who gave me their own takes on what happened in my old dept with Rog. Also spoke to one of my former supervisors expressing some interest in possibly going to that store to help them out. This is something worth talking about at a later time.

Meanwhile, it’s time to lay off good ole “Ruthless” for now…

Pay Day

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Well there have been other pay days since I returned to “Fresh Foods“. It just seemed to be a nice title to a new blog post which marks a day that isn’t monumental but very important. Just reminds me of two stories to relay..

When I interviewed in April to return to the company I also had to go through a store mgr who ultimately told me they’re going to offer me the job. During the interview he twice had to take phone calls from associates who were calling-in saying they can’t make it to work. Then the mgr states that it’s pay day no one wants to come in to work. This was actually on a Saturday so the associates got paid the day before on a Friday. It makes me wonder what they were doing.

Oh yeah I forgot some people like to go out and party. I generally don’t do that so I may not entirely relate but I can believe many go get some beer and have some drinks with their peeps. Perhaps they go clubbing or to a bar or even a night on the town with their honey. Who knows but evidently pay day means make a whole display of it by spending instead of just growing your money gradually as I’ve started doing in my working life.

I hate to do this to you, unfortunately the next anecdote involved “Ruthless Roger“…

Last year we had an associate who seemed a bit wayward. Nothing outwardly wrong with him, but some of my conclusions is formed from the hearsay I heard later. This employee we’ll just call John Doe had the tendency to call off although he just started and then at one point he asked Rog about when he’s going to get his paycheck. I was told by Gary – one of the assistant mgrs for the dept – that Rog told John Doe that he would get a paycheck on Friday. So he came to work on Friday and I did see that associate stroll past the dept. He was supposed to work that day and John Doe never even bothered to arrive at his station. According to another colleague, John Doe was reportedly seen outside of the job getting a hit of weed.

Not that I know much about the procedure with regards to paychecks, however, if the pay day is on Friday and the last day of the previous pay period ended on Sunday perhaps you should get a check that Friday. For me I have direct deposit although that went out of the window when I lost my job last year. Once I returned I got a check and I chose to wait a couple of days after pay day before picking up my check at the store. Although at some point when I got on-boarded thru “Fresh’s social network” I input the necessary information for direct deposit.

Just bear in mind in years past I wouldn’t normally discuss the period where I would enroll in benefits. This is normally in November & December however once I was no longer employed with “Fresh” that was out of the window. This time around I’ll just talk about the benefits as I get them and I’m actually off on pay day this week which is quite nice.

Positivity

img_2067The news so far keeps getting better for me, I was told I’m a full-timer again. I started off again at my new job with “Fresh” as a part-timer and now with little or no process I’m working full-time again. It’s almost as if “Ruthless Roger” was willing to knock me down and well I got right back up again. They tell me this all happened because it’s almost as if I never left for 6 mos a small amount of time passed before I had to start all over again.

With this said and I mentioned this in another post – that I had taken down however it will return at a later date. Rog is no longer with “Fresh Foods”, I just couldn’t find him on “Fresh’s social network”. Remember last month I found him listed as a supervisor at a suburban store and now he can’t be found out there at all. Who knows what happened? I don’t plan to dig much further beyond this though I do wonder if Kent knows this and he was at work at the time I saw this.

Anyway, keep the good news coming!

Updates

img_2339I’ve been keeping up with my old dept since returning to “Fresh Foods”. While my final thought on “Ruthless Roger” seemed to have ended in a whimper – perhaps unnecessary when you think about it – I did introduce three of Roger’s assistant mgrs in that post. One of those managers dubbed Rayna I see on the company’s social network is “on leave”.

What I probably never stated in that post was that she was one of the people who I would expect Larry – the current dept mgr whom for now I won’t be working for – to ease out of her role there. He hired another assistant mgr for the dept and suddenly Rayna is on leave. I couldn’t know for sure what’s going on here – that is she could have a legitimate reason that is personal why she’s on leave such as she’s sick, injured at work, etc.

One the other hand, remember what I said in another thought about Roger. It’s possible that once it was decided that he was going to be demoted and shipped off to another store, he probably was put on leave. When I know of situations where a mgr is probably going to be cut loose or demoted this is what often happens. Another mgr at my former store I noticed was suddenly off his dept’s schedule & on the social network was put on leave. Then he found his way to another store as an associate…

So unlike what happened with Arielle who left for a lateral mgmt position at another store, it’s hard to say what’s going on with Rayna. I did ask a former colleague and he says she was at work on the day I saw him. At this point I was like nevermind, I wanted to turn this into drama I said. So who knows what this was about and why the social network records her as being on leave.

So Rayna remains in her position in my old dept. Who knows what the story was as far as her being on leave. It was probably nothing as it turned out she just wanted some time-off probably. It wasn’t about Larry coming in and cleaning house of associates who just didn’t fit. In my opinion Rayna didn’t fit, yet she remains there! I suppose in this case there is no there, there!

To describe Rayna at least somewhat better than in the “Reflections” post, she had almost two decades experience at “Fresh Foods”. She came from another store last year and initially she was interested in becoming our new boss. I don’t think she got interviewed and by the summer Rog had snared the job.

My understanding of her rise in the company was that she worked to move up to leadership meaning she took advantage of any training so that she could move up. However, most of her two decades had been at one store where everyone basically knew her. In other words, it had been alleged that no one took her seriously. With this in mind I felt as if she was tougher on us, and it helped that she really didn’t know us nor we knew her.

When she did arrive as support for our dept she was not well received. Some would characterize her behavior at trying to learn our systems as arrogance with her showing little interest in how we did things. Even our acting mgr said she’d talk to Rayna about her behavior showing such unfortunate behaviors as “micromanaging”. Somehow even though I don’t think she even interviewed for the job, she was allowed to stay in our dept and filled one of the vacant assistant mgr positions in our dept.

One time Rayna called a huddle and during this huddle most of us went about our business as if she wasn’t speaking. It’s was pretty hilarious though certainly disrespectful to her. For my part as she spoke I was trying to get my work done as she spoke to us about dept news. Another time she gave an edict to reduce the breads we were prepping and having asked another colleague who has more experience with that venue he simply told me to just keep doing what we’ve been doing. Basically I ignored the edict and she likely didn’t follow up.

Well now we’re done with Rayna. In a future post I want to further turn my attention back to Roger. And I’ll give you a spoiler, I wonder if many of you believed that I pointed a finger at Rog for being let go from “Fresh Foods”. Perhaps with my tone, that’s true even if I avoided directly answering that question. So the next post it’s necessary for me to just admit that I probably over estimated his role in me getting s**t-canned.

Awkward

I orignally wrote this post back in 2016 and for some reason I took it down. Now it’s back. Of course with some minor edits!
mr-bean-face-703x350This awkward moment I never told until now. Sometime last year at my job I ran into a woman who I had a tendency to poke on fb and messaged once with a tepid thank you reply. I never went got much further than that, but I’m sure I sent a friend request as I often did and got no response and quickly forgot about it.

Not long before I left “The Show” I had ran into her. Found that she had eventually moved to Chicago and she was right in front of me. Being the person who has this great ability to dwell on past events no matter how inconsequential I basically avoided her behind the concession stand as she stood around with a friend. It seems women rarely go out by themselves…

Let’s fast forward a year she shows up in my department one evening before closing and I realize she’s not a shorty. Hoping that my coworker was available to take care of her I grudgingly had to help her. Yup still me dwelling on past inconsequential events.

Anyway she requested some ingredients on an item she had been interested in. Provided those ingredients and then she wanted to sample them before she made her choice. I served her wanted to know if there was anything else she needed offered her a sample and even stated she’s free to sample the next time she dropped by. She just simply stated that she was on a diet before moving on.

Such an awkward moment, but I think it was handled professionally. The dangerous part is attempting to reach out to her and the possibility that now she knows where I work can cause some problems. Thankfully so far I have yet to see her again so that’s a plus.

Forgot to note this connection…this young lady also went to the same all-girls school – Hillman College – as janice, nicole, carina, and jennifer.