Crisis past tense “shoot”

The post I wrote just about four years ago was really about me leaving The Show. There was a time I just felt pressure the question is from whom. Mostly external, and yet I won’t say I didn’t put any pressure on myself.

This post is really addressed towards Anthony he put on some pressure on his own, but I won’t say that others such as mgmt or coworkers weren’t doing the same. In Anthony’s case he’s stated for years he didn’t understand why I was working there – then again it could be said he doesn’t understand a lot of things. As for everyone else perhaps they felt like I didn’t belong there anyway, they wanted what they wanted for a coworker and evidently I wasn’t it. Whatever that it was.

There was a time during the streak era where I waxed and waned on leaving. Once I made up my mind that certain goals weren’t going to be achieved I no longer looked back. My decision and my moves were’t perfect, but I just decided that it was time to go. While some tried to turn negative that I was there over four years, it was more than a respectable amount of time. It was a stagnant amount of time I was making money, however, the wages were stagnant.

A lot of the people I had enjoyed working with well many of them were leaving including Anthony who left to bounce around at other jobs over time. This isn’t actually a career job where you stay until you retire as in the long run it’s just not lucrative. Anthony’s best advice when it comes to finding another job is to follow-up and then try to negotiate when you know one situation isn’t working. That’s almost like chasing away a potential job offer and lets me know we just weren’t on the same page. Thankfully a lot of the opportunities I had never reached that stage anyway.

What I can credit for this time was that I put in the work. Anthony I will credit him with one good opportunity the theater mgr deal that I took advantage of and that would certainly have been a step forward if it had worked out. The other opportunities that he led me towards that I tried to take advantage of well back to square one. Not to be too much of a “snob” I’m really still at square one.

All the other opportunities were at square one, however, they were at largely reputable companies where at least I have a foot in the door. For example I can say I have one foot in the door at Fresh Foods although I have enough “service hours” to get an award for my longevity. Even made associate of the week fairly recently.

Either way, I consider some aspects of the so-called crisis of 2012 to 2014.

Anthony was noting the dry spell I had for most of 2013. He made sure to note that another young man we worked with (and evidently one he didn’t think much of) was getting more interviews than me. He wanted to know why I wasn’t getting any interviews. What does he care whether or not I’m getting interviewed anywhere or how many?

Later on he noted (while he insisted on me chasing down Finer’s) as I started to get more interviews that I’m finally going to find something. Don’t worry about whether or not your getting the job as employers are showing interest and made up for the previous year’s dry spell.

Another example is that Anthony tried to make a comment where he stated “I really knew there was a problem when your mother didn’t try to help you find a job at that bank”. When I told him that my mother worked at a bank, but I wanted to get him off that subject and tell him this was my decision. Which is true. When I graduated from Mission College, I didn’t really want to work at my mother’s company at that point. I fully expected to get the right job on my own and not have to use my connections. And worse still when I was finally ready to pursue opportunities with my mother’s company my connections meant nothing if the commute to my interview and the hiring manager proved to be a stickler for time.

Of course Ant wasn’t the only one questioning why I was working at the theater instead of that bank. Like I said it wasn’t necessarily something that I really wanted when it was time to look for a job. Perhaps an indication that there were a lot of people who didn’t think I belonged at The Show. Perhaps I was better than than that.

Finally I wanted to note that Ant’s vision for where he thought I should be went from I should be on a yacht somewhere enjoying life. Perhaps I could go to a law firm who’ll pay for me to go to law school. Then eventually as it had been my interest to go to a neighborhood cinema to be a manager. Then doing security, then working at Broadway in Chicago to be a unionized usher, then chasing down Finer Food’s to being an airplane fueler. A lot of those ideas were no thanks but the the yacht thing seems cool and what if I had real calling to go into law?

Well I covered a lot of ground here but to address Anthony’s role in this crisis I realize he had his own self-serving reasons to get involved. There was something in it for him. Perhaps this satisfied his need for dominance and control (my favorite two terms for him). If I was successful thanks to him then he’d believe I’d have to be beholden to him. And even if I did finally accepted a job offer to leave The Show, as I learned later he still found a way to be unsatisfied with the direction I set upon.

Still that brief period of the streak era has set the stage for the era I’m living in currently.

Finality on Finer’s

Over the past six or so months I’ve written a lot about the events of No Interview 2014 or mostly about Anthony the fiend injecting that drama into the future as I begin to reach some form of “apex” at the Hole. It was jarring but I recognize that in some respects it’s still in my head. The reality is that that moment is really over, and it doesn’t deserve much thought even now. It’s not something I had no real invested reason to follow-up.

One reason it’s still in my head is its part of the drama that can exist between myself and the fiend. Another reason is I do consider it a fail. For one thing one reason why I never opted to follow-up any further on this in spite of Anthony’s insistence is based upon his his anger when he “discovers” that I hadn’t followed up any further after being sent out of that store after waiting to be interviewed for an hour (i.e. I got no interview). Of course I can consider that I came along way on a cold day and had no breakfast and perhaps not enough sleep to get absolutely nothing accomplished and I had a nasty old man holding onto that disappointed father act give me a hard time over something that isn’t my fault.

Some business wasn’t taken care of and he showed no interest in my side of the story and perhaps he never saw my side of the story. He probably got stuck on the outcome didn’t go the way he wanted it to go and not only that in being a disappointed father he needed to point the finger at yours truly. And worse still he wanted to ride it until I made it right and followed up. And the most confusing part is that he still wanted to know what happened with it two years later and starting talking about how he thought “you’d like it at Finer’s better” or “if you come to Finer Foods you’d make more money”.

When he’d start his campaign I just remember how it went to get on with them with his insistence and with another part of the Streak Era & another number on the no job offer count. That causes me to think of a something crazy scenario such as the climax of the reign of error. One thing I should’ve learned about him when he’s dead set on something he doesn’t stop it could be a narrative or it could be a situation. It all has to suit him and his needs at any given time.

The bottom line is that I need to move forward from that era. If the outcome of the steak era didn’t suit the fiend too bad, it suits me just fine. I feel as if I’m better off now, the goal wasn’t to get stuck on working at Finer Foods although my mind was stuck on working at a cinema and how was that working out for me. The goal was the leave The Show and Anthony gets stuck on what happened with this opportunity or how much I could’ve made with a job that just didn’t work out for me.

As far as his later campaign. I know I said different things such as he’s envious of my success at the time at the Hole or he just never had that closure (whatever that meant to him back then). Lately I’ve hit upon another thought about this, it was all a diversion or distraction. I would expect he knew full well his campaign wasn’t going anywhere. Although one thought that refutes that is when he’s dead set on something he goes in full blast no matter what. However, I don’t have that closure since we don’t have the ties that we used to these days.

Meanwhile I’m still working on that “Crisis” shoot so stay tuned. If all goes to plan it will be the next post.

Revisit: Dawn of the Streak Era

Let me repeat myself from some earlier posts. 2021 represents the whole decade since I’ve met Anthony the hustler. I told a story of the very early days where he tried to borrow some money and his reward for that attempt was no money and in expecting a ride home he got left at the job. He called my phone left a voicemail and I could hear the disappointment in his voice once he realized what happened.

What I didnt anticipate and perhaps I should’ve was that he was just getting started. That didn’t quite send the message that I didn’t want to be bothered. He still came around asking “Why don’t you speak to me?”

Well let’s skip ahead into 2012 and he put me onto this mgmt position at a neighborhood cinema which is a quick train ride away from home. I was cancelling myself out of that opportunity because way before he came to be about it I saw a posting on this company’s social media and decided I wasn’t ready for this. The hustler thought that I was because “You’ve got the experience”.

That particular summer got weird. The conflicts got weirder this was the summer I really regretfully began feuding with Deranged Barney. D.B. was a lot like Anthony once I pulled back he really starting coming around more. Usually just trying to spark a conversation usually it’s just me looking at him and not really responding. I know he’s talking to me but for a time I just showed very little interest in what he was saying. It causes me to wonder if anyone talked to him back then as I had to learn he just wanted attention which is what our feud gave him.

Either way the mgmt job I accepted and this was where yours truly felt this was a good opportunity to leave The Show. If mgmt is what I wanted to do perhaps I should pursue those opportunities when they’re available. One way to look at this is that this was another attempt by the man I know refer to as The Fiend to pull me in more. Trying to pull me away from Henry and his crew was met with mixed results and later on he didn’t mind reminding me of my ties with them.

He did start getting some money out of me making some weird proposition – a return for a small sum of cash. One time I told him to eat it as opposed to paying me back though perhaps the first time he borrowed me he paid that money back. He actually used that money for a hot dog from the concession stand, he got so excited once he was successful. Another lesson learned he never really strayed away from that programming as it turned out. Once he starts begging and is successful it continues.

At this point I was in a holding pattern for the mgmt job. It was a minute from whenever I submitted my resume via email to some point in August where I did finally hear from the theater owner and finally got an interview. I depended upon Anthony for updates as in why is it taking so long. I had allowed myself to be all in on this and it turned out to be a mistake.

I don’t want to go into the story as you’ll see a link to the original post anyway. I will say that my relationships at The Show was starting to take a turn. From the “mean girls of $h!tplace” to even the hustler (as it turns out this was one person I really needed to push away). It was a place I was finding myself at odds with almost everyone and needed this opportunity.

However long story short it didn’t work out. That interview and the resulting disappointment resulted in a period I now refer to as the Streak Era. A period where after as many as 15 interviews it only resulted in one job offer after over two years. What I hoped would be a home run only was the first at bat in the long run.

Please check out the original post here.

Also I’m getting to work on that shoot post regarding “Crisis” which actually could fit within the context of this revisit.

The last call…

This is one memory I never went over since I cut ties to Anthony the hustler. The last phone call after the episode One Final Drop. Perhaps Anthony had no use for me after that moment and wouldn’t have noticed if I didn’t try very hard to contact him which was definitely true afterwards as it turned out.

So this time four years ago, I ran into Deranged Barney after leaving the Hole for day. I just looked up as I crossed the street and once we locked eyes D.B. greeted me with a twisted “Jyyyyackkk” and an insane cackle. I will admit this freaked me out on that day, but my answer was to just turn my head forward and cross the street. Since I believe Barney is deranged only he knew what response he expected, but this is when I simply put my plan of no response into place.

What happened at that point just about five years earlier just didn’t matter. It doesn’t have to matter even if someone like the hustler insisted that it must matter enough to just decide when he asked for a small cash infusion to ask whether or not yours truly and D.B. were about to fight. He still wanted to go over it years later and I recognize the hustler has his own reasons why this still matters to him five years later at that point.

Anyway I told only two people about the encounter Henry only because we were talking about meeting up at some point with another former coworker and that coworker suggested inviting D.B. which I told him I will walk out and leave. And Henry didn’t have much to say nor wanted to be bothered and can’t say I blame him. This was just more drama and thankfully useless drama as we never met up anyway.

And the other person I had to flush out was Anthony and it was a minute before he could be bothered. Just think a week or so earlier he was blowing up my phone because he found an excuse to ask for yet another small cash infusion. So I called him got no answer and texted him twice until he responded not the same type of full court press as he did me weeks earlier.

We got to talk before I got to my purpose for this call. He stated he was just getting off work and repeated that I was working on a promotion to buy/receive his response “Oh yeah that’s right”. Yeah he wants me to make management but taking the necessary steps just weren’t that interesting to him. He was ranting about a mother and her son he didn’t understand why her son was wearing a mohawk and a pair of boots in June. If he had his way that boy would be wearing a crew cut and sneakers.

It was a bit of time before I told him why I was calling him.

Yours truly: Guess who I ran into today.

The Fiend: D.B.?

Y.T.: *a bit taken a back* You know what that’s a good guess

T.F.: *after a bit of a pause* You need to let that go, you really need to let that go…

And then you wonder why he had the tendency to bring D.B. up. The only time I brought up D.B. was to tell him that he tried to friend request me on FB and I blocked him. And after that Anthony decided to start telling me where he’s seen him or when he’s seen him. Just random mentions when once upon a time I couldn’t get through a day without talking about him and now suddenly he’s a frequent subject.

Y.T.: I ran into him after work and he spoke and I just walked away without a word

T.F.: Oh that’s cold dude, that’s cold, that’s cold-blooded. That’s cold dude

Y.T.: I can’t believe you wont support that what should I have done

T.F.: Hey! What’s up man how’s it going?

Y.T.: You remember what he did right?

T.F.: I sure do.

Y.T.: I’m not interested

T.F.: Do you know if he’s working now

Y.T.: I don’t know

T.F.: Oh OK

Y.T. I don’t care.

T.F.: *objects*

Then he mentions another coworker he thought I had issues with. And to this day I still talk to this coworker who has his own frustrations with Anthony. I think this goes to one thing with the hustler he would drive wedges where he could. Perhaps I had issues with people at the job however it will be if these are people he don’t like then here comes the gaslighting. They’re the ones I must avoid but him he’s in my corner looking out for me. When I wrote the gaslighting post I shared the internal conflict I was between two warring factions.

So anyway we got derailed from talking about D.B. after that once he went with how I’m going to handle so and so with my final retort at least he has something to say which is “why I still even talk to you”. He quickly changes the subject and we never go back to Mr. Deranged.

At some point he proclaims that he’s so tired and about three times I tell him “go get you some rest I’ll talk to you later”. Each time he finds a way to keep the dialogue going. He wasn’t too interested in what I wanted to talk about initially he just switched that convo around like nothing. I think the last time he proclaimed he was so tired, he wanted to know my work schedule. For whatever reason he wants to know not only when I start but what time I get off. I guess that’s the one detail he wants to know.

So the last time we really talked as friends had me screaming at him “ANTHONY LISTEN! GO GET YOU SOME REST I’LL TALK TO YOU LATER!” He finally agrees and that was our last convo. Next month he sends a text reminding me that he plans to pay that $100 he’s borrowed and noted some news I had already told him about someone we used to work with at The Show. And that was the last contact until at least my birthday later that year and before he starts coming around writing comments on facebook or calling me from a new cell number.

After that text I called him and left a voicemail that he never answered. I realized it wasn’t that productive to chase him down. My hope he’ll call me about paying that money back and it never entered my thought process that he might turn around and beg yet again. So I would say that last call marked a turning point in our “situationship” and up until losing my position at the Hole later that year this would be the beginning of me re-evaluating my friendship with the hustler.

For a man who chased me down wanting to connect. Looking out for me and trying in his own way to help me leave The Show. For a guy who claimed he’ll protect me at work where he can. And for someone who was taking advantage of the perks of hanging out with yours truly, I wish it didn’t take me a few years to realize I was being taken advantage of. And in reality Anthony was really not treating me very well.

I wish it hadn’t taken me years to learn that someone like him – and he’s not the first sadly – isn’t my friend. He wanted something I had and was willing to do what it took to get what he wanted. He was going to play the role of my friend and when he gets bored or even just tired I would be discarded until he needed something. So for whatever reason the old man was just looking for “supply”.

Next month I plan to revisit an episode I wrote about almost four years ago and I called it “Crisis.” I realize that this crisis I wrote about was really ginned up by him. While the basis of this post was me trying to leave The Show, I realize Anthony for reasons only he understands had a reason to push me away from the theater where we worked. Perhaps it somewhat explains why he tried to cajole me into working for Finer Foods even after things fell apart with that.

And finally I said I wanted to talk about the last day I worked with D.B. Probably one reason why D.B. still tries to “run-up” on yours truly. Our odd conflict caused him in part to get fired. It’s an episode I deeply regret today and is symbolic of my time at $h!tplace. I don’t know when but hopefully you will read about it on this blog in the future.

Odds & Ends

I’ve decided not to go for the position in my old dept because reasons. I asked the former buyer now assistant manager when the position will close and he had said it had closed already. Although it was still on our company’s social network for over two weeks. Still my gut tells me it’s not my time yet, and that’s fine until hopefully they might need someone else to help out on buy/receive.

The former associate buyer is going for it, he said so himself as he wants to go back anyway. However, one of the supervisors is going for it at this time as well. Who knows what’ll happen the new assistant manager believes that the former associate buyer might remain where he is for now.

I spoke to the supervisor days before the interview and it sounds like sales are going in the right direction at this point. Up 60% compared to where the dept was as the pandemic was in full swing and before I got transferred out. Perhaps we shall see what happens with the buyer thing and perhaps they’ll finally post for additional help to fulfill that role in that dept in the near future.

* I got an update on being my dept’s team receiver. The man who originally held the job might be coming back soon, however, to light duty. It seems he’s been sheepish about his condition. From what I was told he had his own issues with attendance evidently so perhaps there aren’t many who are upset if he just ups and quits. But then we have a month to see what happens with him.

At first I thought his absence was due to this bug. However, I got the idea that he was badly injured at some point. Again from what I was told the team receiver just isn’t forthcoming with details on his condition. Again we’ll see what happens.

I’ve been handling that young man’s duties for a while now. Recently I find myself really dividing my time between the floor and the backstock areas. Often by choice fairly recently my boss had me make some signs as we had an audit from a higher up checking on the accuracy of our retail signage. Regardless I call it real work as opposed to just putting stuff away as of late. To another receiver I called this “real work”…

Either way as far as moving up and making a few extra change I’ll remain diligent to see what positions are available to me. Certainly to pursue the ones that I really like and especially ones that I know I can take public transit to. I still got my eye on the Hole don’t think I’ve forgotten about them!

* Here’s a throwback for you.

I learned recently that the General Manager and his first officer the House Manager are no longer at The Show. From a dubious source I refer to as Woz I was also told that the GM was let go because it was discovered that he stole some cash. I wrongfully told Woz that I heard some inklings. Either way The Show on it’s jobs page is showing an opening for a GM there which has been up for just about a week now.

The little intelligence I know about the GM is that he painstakingly squeezes any profit he can out of The Show. He’s a real cheapskate and might explain why they just don’t believe in raises. Another thing we know about him is that he’s just not a people person, he’s all business. I sort of respect him because he’s aloof, many of the other managers just sort of get into stuff.

This allows me to someone revisit the episode Petty. That’s a case in point, HM gets involved with a case of “he bumped into me do something” and he digs right in. What helped to end it was GM got involved. I wasn’t budging from my position I didn’t see why HM got involved in it and if I have to say excuse me then so should the antagonist, Kelly. As a manager – something I never got promoted to do – I hope I’d handle it much differently than HM. The GM probably handled this the best way as HM couldn’t settle this and GM witnessed that we were going at it. GM probably got keyed in after I responded to HM’s very sad attempt at raising his voice at yours truly.

How do I know I defeated HM? It seemed once we were sequestered in the mgmt office GM & HM were just trying to tell me how it’s a common courtesy to just say excuse me. Except the frustration of this situation just got in my head and I wasn’t accepting that. I cut off GM and told him for the last time I’m not saying excuse me to Kelly until she says excuse me to me. The GM in frustration said nothing and turned to HM and HM had a problem he took it from there. Not that the aftermath was handled more smoothly by HM in the long run….

Also it seemed GM had backed HM over the years and its a wonder that HM remained as a manager. Well what I do know is that if mgmt don’t like you they’ll hurry up and hustle you out. Perhaps on some level that was how many of them felt about yours truly. It took me a minute to finally leave and thankfully I left on my own terms. However it became clear among some of them that my presence there was an issue to them it could be performance, though it might just be serious personality differences too. I think that’s sad a manager can’t work with a person due to personality differences. Perhaps they’re in the wrong job not just yours truly.

All the same whatever dubious story Woz told and as of yet I’m unsure how to verify. It just means more significant changes has happened at The Show or $h!tplace. It could be good it could be bad, but just time for someone else to run it for now. Perhaps I should re-apply. 😛

Anyway I consider Woz’s story to be dubious but I can believe due to this pandemic the company that owns The Show has opted to make a few changes in the long run. I would much believe that in the long run than any attempts to skim money.

* Oh man I can’t believe it’s been going on seven years since I left The Show. If you can’t tell over the years on this blog, I’ve been counting the time away. I like where I am now however as have been experienced in the last few years I shouldn’t get too comfortable or complacent. When it comes to compensation my standards still aren’t very high. At the same time where I am now isn’t necessarily where I’m destined to stay. That’s just fine with me.

Some of my young cohorts thought I’d still be at the theater. At some point it was time for me to leave, one confused young lady when I stated what my future would be which was “hopefully retired” stated confused “retired….from here”. I suppose she just had to say something, but no need to take stock in anything she needs to say. Others have especially her peers I just attribute her sphere of influence to immaturity.

Regardless what an era which I often look at in terms of character building. Certainly in terms of rebuilding and just getting established. Outside of a classroom I didn’t have that or never really actively created that. Also I should know how to conduct myself with people however one lesson learned is don’t take $h!t from anyone. And still be careful if you’d rather earn a paycheck until you can say I don’t need a boss and you can support yourself on your own.

Either way I do find myself wondering where many of the young people I have worked with are doing now. And there is some inkling one works in a variety of kitchens and wouldn’t be too surprised if he becomes a chef. Another seems to be doing blue collar work judging by some of his instagram posts – hmmmm if only I had that vision years ago. Some have joined the armed services, others have graduated college, and others may have left the theater but not doing anything much different. However, I’ve never been so relieved to have quit $h!tplace as I have been right now.

Earlier in this pandemic, when cinemas closed down I recognized that this is when I would be out of work. Perhaps have to file for unemployment and in this case I wouldn’t be fired just laid off. So free money for as long as it’s available. However, I’m much happier to be getting out of the house to work at a grocery store as opposed to be sitting at home though I could live without many of these controversial mitigations.

* Future plans this month. Well I still plan to visit my episode where I have my last real convo with Anthony. It was regarding an encounter with yet another strange person I met from The Show whom I call Deranged Barney. I suppose I should be through talking about a man I know call The Fiend and I’m not. Though it seems like that story line needs to wind down as well I’ve really said what was necessary.

Another thing about Planet Hustle I’ve explored was leaving The Show and I wrote a post years ago about The Crisis. These days I feel as if The Fiend created a crisis in the ways that only he could. A lot of gossip and manipulation to get me to go into his direction. I’ll leave it up to you if he was successful or not. That’s another direction I can go.

Another thing I have great relief over is The Fiend can no longer stay in contact and decide to just inject his influence. If something is going on that doesn’t “suit him” he’ll try to do something about it. If that means he goes negative he will. If that means he’ll inject a piece of advice that isn’t necessary he will. Whatever his advice it will always suit him and not really be the best for me. Perhaps more accurate these are things he would do more than this is what I must do.

I suppose another lesson from my time at the theater is that I can see some patterns and tendencies better than I used to. Too bad that it took a few years for these lessons to stick. I just need to be better able to cut things off before it really becomes an issue. Reminds me of a meme…

An ongoing process.

Decisions, Decisions

More changes in my old dept, the longtime lead buyer for my old dept has moved up to assistant manager. And I saw recently that my old dept is now looking for a buyer. Could your’s truly step up to the plate?

Well I spoke to my old dept’s former associate buyer. He still doesn’t like his new assignment and it’s been a year. Sounds like a lot more work for him. He has to pitch in when they’re short, he has to deal with different vendors as a buyer, just a lot of things he’s just tired of. However, I can assume he’s a shoo-in for taking on that lead buyer role.

As for me with my current assignment I’ve been allowed to do the receiving. It’s a lot more product than I had to deal with in my old dept, however, for the most part I really don’t have to deal with customers though as of late I put product on the floor especially if there are empty slots. I feel as if that slows me down, but then yours truly hasn’t been the quickest draw in the room.

If you’re asking me if I’m ready to essentially be my dept’s lead buyer honestly I don’t know. I’m tempted to pitch being ready for the position of team receiver and would like to recommend that to the new leadership of my old dept. Especially if I’m just not ready to assume that responsibility.

When I went for associate buyer a few years ago it was a fail. I have to admit that and it was a minute before having to recognize that. It was the feedback of my then boss although not necessarily the feedback from others on the panel at that time. There were some things were on the right track on, just my presentation was terrible. Interviewing is always a pressure cooker regardless of the job you’re pursing from janitor, to burger flipper to an executive manager. It has been more iffy for me than not over the years and there were very rare occasions where it just clicked.

Also, depending upon the job you can’t just do the same thing on other successful interviews with an interview for a better position. So that last interview over two years ago was another lesson. I like to say I’m used to winging it on most entry level interviews where I got the job. Can’t do that for higher level positions.

Regardless I have some decisions to make…

Odds & Ends – late pandemic edition

Originally the clever title of this post was vaccine edition but changed it later, I have no plans to get the vaccine unless the job requires it. I don’t remember the last time I had been vaccinated was it back in high school or grade school? Hmmm, perhaps it’s time get a physical to see what vaccinations are necessary other than for this bug.

My mother should be ahead in line for this vaccine as she’s elderly and probably needs it more than I do. I was in on a call with her doctor where it was discussed though she’s still debating it. My answer is that she should go ahead, but as for her and the rest of you if you have questions ask before you do the deed. Allow medical professionals to put any doubts out of your own head. Sadly the doubts are out there when everyone should just find out the facts for themselves with people they trust.

* Earlier this year I noted that Larry from my old dept at the Hole had finally posted back then though for a part time position. I chose not to pursue it because in contravention of my own advice with regards to this vaccine, I didn’t ask enough questions. For one thing my biggest concern was for my own full-time status would it get bumped down to part-time. And would it lead to me getting the position I had hoped to achieve even during the “reign of error”?

Well this new posting is full-time, however, here’s my hesitation. I feel as if it brings me back to square one. A lateral move when it’s more important in my mind to get roles that allow me more responsibility and especially higher wages.

I suppose here’s the big picture at least yours truly would be back at square one but in the paint to get back what your’s truly felt was lost just about four years ago. And if that meant I’d have to apply and interview that would be alright with me. At least this time around there is a fair opportunity and no issues with points in this case.

What is recognized is that team has changed so much since the calamity of 2017. Many of the people I had gotten to know since opening are gone. To be honest my fear before the main one was realized which is getting let go is that yours truly would be the only one left. Everyone else is gone for a variety of reasons and my thought had went there even back then.

If yours truly goes back I just know aside from some of the leadership there won’t be a person there who opened the store with me or had been there any length of time before my separation. Also add to this we have this pandemic going on and there was some attrition as a result as many were transferred outside of the dept as I have been. Also the store is located near a lot of the unrest of downtown.

* When I first wrote this post, there was another posting from the Hole which is a different dept and it’s definitely a receiver position. Basically my role is to maintain the backstock area and of course receive and store product accordingly. I’m working in that dept right now and occasionally entrusted with doing the receiving especially while our main receiver is out of action. If that position came up I’d take it, however, it means I start earlier than I had been. Though it means no more nights unless I make another change.

I talked with one of my supervisors about it told him about both the full-time in my old dept and the receiving position. He offered some good information and good pointers. If I don’t get a raise and normally transfers come with a bump in pay it’s just not worth it. A receiver position is guaranteed raise the other I just don’t know, but I had been thinking about reaching out to the mgrs I know at least in my old dept. Besides I expressed my interest in buy/receive to them then and Larry himself gave me a bit more info than the other had.

He let me know about the leadership in that other dept and says they have a solid team. And alerted me to the associate store mgr – the one who interviewed me over three years ago and it went down in flames. Not many good things according to my supervisor were said about him. And I consider that usually they rotate those positions around every couple or so years in his case he’s been in that role for over three years. Might be saying something who knows…

Either here’s my thought process, the receiver position is worth it. On the other hand if I can go back to my original dept and parlay that into going back into the buy/receive area. I’d like to find a way to talk myself into that. The scary part remains could I succeed in this gambit?

* I wrote about dwelling in the years since I first started this blog. I think it’s time to stop dwelling on one situation which was the Reign of Error. As far as I’m concerned it ended in reality the day of my return to Fresh Foods. There are ups and downs it’s going to happen no matter what, however, it was triumphant even if it wasn’t the story I really wanted to tell.

I think I still have some thoughts about that time. Thoughts that no matter how small needs to be address, however, at the end of the day yours truly had spent too much time on it and it’s time to move forward. The people I had been concerned over have moved onto to where they needed to be. And my goal is to worry about myself.

Perhaps the one thing that hasn’t escaped me is there is a chance I failed to play the game. It’s just me hoping for the best and often the opposite happened. The goals that I had weren’t realized and perhaps there is still a way to go on my end. However I realize sometimes you have to change with the times and I shall.

Another part of going back to square one is going back to where I started. Going back to the past, am I? Or is going back to where I started just a way for Jack V to say you can’t get rid of me that easy.

Perhaps there is another story of the end of the Reign of Error to tell yet. Time will tell.

Stay safe, and hopefully you’re ready to be vaccinated. 🙂

March 2015

At this point I was working at the Hole for just about 2 months. I didn’t know that soon I’ll be working “full-time” for the first time in life. The transition wasn’t too difficult, however, I was in a different environment than expected. Or was I?

What I was doing at a grocery store wasn’t terribly different than for example a theater concession stand. Just a bit more prep work and certainly a clearer idea of what’s expected. The products weren’t as limited as a cinema – you know popcorn, candy, hot dogs, etc. However, I had to get used to what I was doing and when I first started looking at a jobs with Fresh Foods my inclination was to be at the front end ringing up customer groceries.

Either way, I had to do another call with the state’s unemployment officials in March ’15 as Gotham Bank had filed an appeal after benefits were approved even if it was just for no more than three weeks – from the time I got let go from that branch in December ’14 to orientation at Fresh in January ’15. As it was termed I got benefits with an initial payout then after continuing to register weekly for regular payouts after that. It wasn’t much but for a brief time I had some income coming, and still no overhead. 😛

The initial process was easy and under the guidance of a friend – no not the Friend I never told him directly what happened with the bank. There were no direct documentation that I had to sign just a lot of verbal warnings and what not. I think the only main warning I got was not from anyone in mgmt or otherwise any standing but from co-worker. And I had to guess at the final act which I was never told directly. When Ed and Stan pulled me into the office Ed fired off a number of offenses which I could easily categorize as issues with attendance (specifically tardies) and performance as a teller. A list of things that allowed him to determine that he just didn’t like what he sees. Made sure to reference the probationary period for Gotham which was about 90 days, and I was just about halfway through that once things ran their course there.

So I guessed at what the final straw had been, I made sure to tell them what I had been told. Correctly I guessed one particular incident that happened that helped Ed make up his mind about my job there. I get a letter approving my benefits saying I was not at fault and the friend based on some of what I had been telling him determined that my training was an issue. Then again I will admit I was incompetent and uneasy in that role and as stated as time went on and didn’t get on well in my new role yours truly began to dread coming to work at that branch everyday…

For the record the hearing over the phone for the appeal had been cancelled I got a phone call for it the day it was supposed to happen. Actually in a fit of pretending to be my brother who hadn’t seen lived with us for over a decade I took a message that Gotham had rescinded their appeal. If the appeal from Gotham had gone through I’d have to repay that money and thankfully at that time it wasn’t necessary.

I had read up on the company and how they handled unemployment claims. It seemed they contested all unemployment claims and if they lost they will appeal. I had the unfortunately issue of being unable to find my schedule from the bank because in the initial phone call which was before my orientation for the Hole from what the agent told me over the phone there was some discrepancies as far as when that final act occurred. If I remembered the date the agent had told me correctly I wasn’t even at work that day and looked at a copy of my schedule from the bank still in my possession. If the appeal was rescinded I didn’t have to prove that.

However, one thing I could say for Ed one time he pulled me in the office and he got his dates wrong. While he was going to get me on something that given day, he was trying to mention something that we talked about on another day in the office and it was all wrong. I demonstrated that I do remember what we talked about everytime he wanted to talk $h!t to yours truly. Right or wrong Ed seemed to have some arrogance about him and this was not the first time nor the last time I encountered this from a manager. Problem is when they want to get you on something there isn’t much to say about it on my end and was still on the defensive in the long run….

Regardless smooth sailing in the new year at the new job. We started off with a decent crew in the beginning. A few we lost for a variety of reasons probably attendance related or otherwise just realized this wasn’t for them. However, I viewed my new job and company as yet another new beginning. Besides the hot shot job at the bank didn’t work out and that was supposed to be something of a new beginning from The Show.

Oh, yeah I like to talk about the big money years. Well 2015 was the start and it’s basically ongoing even with the hiccup that came later. Minimum wage in Illinois back in 2014 was still $8.25/hr. When I moved over to the bank I went up to about $3.25 more per hour than the hourly wage offered at The Show which was minimum wage. However starting off at Gotham the position was only 20 hrs a week and yes there were opportunities to add to your paycheck i.e. make referrals and never felt too comfortable doing that at the time. I think on Gotham’s version of a social network I saw there doing this for a year would get me, basically I wouldn’t make more money than I had made at The Show. Basically under my minimum goal of making $20K/year, my yearly income assuming no changes would still be roughly in the $10K/year range.

However at the Hole as time goes on that year, I get benefits mainly health insurance and dental. Also a raise after six months, and especially being lifted up into full-time status which means overtime and working up to 40 hrs a week I would ultimately reach that $20K/year goal in 2015. As far as benefits that would wait until a bit later I didn’t immediately get benefits or was unsophisticated about the company’s processes as far as enrolling in benefits once I became full-time. However, by the end of the year I’d get there.

After a couple of years of the streak era, I was going to achieve some of the minimum goals I had from roughly the start. A job with benefits and at a minimum make $20K/year.

Climax of the Reign of Error

I got to admit the climax forced yours truly to slow his role. At least that’s the conclusion I’ve had to come to years later. I put the climax on part with the situation involving the Hustler/Friend. As it turned out the whole calamity of 2017 would prove to be a turning point with our odd friendship.

I went from reaching what I thought of as an apex to my time at the Hole to a bit of a collapse. He’s as much part of the story as Roger or Mr. Boastful in my mind with 20/20 hindsight. He’s one example of someone who wasn’t in your corner and just wasn’t on the same page with yours truly. Everyone who you expect to be with you, often isn’t.

Mr. Boastful had some of the same interests as myself, I even considered him something of a friend. I had to conclude that he probably could speak the same language as the Hustler, except for one thing it actually got him somewhere. Once Rog decided to pull me off of buy/receive and post for the role that I couldn’t interview for Boastful went right for it. I had no choice but to suck it up, however, I thought some of his actions back then indicated a certain form of cockiness. As I accepted this, my view of this is one of us were moving up as Roger’s trend had been to bring in people he knew.

I even let Boastful in on meeting our mutual former boss at another Fresh store one day when I had been shopping. Even discussed possibly using some pull to leave, thankfully the smart thing I never told him was that I was on the verge of being let go due to the attendance probation. He knew points were an issue, he just didn’t know how bad. When the climax happened he probably knew then, if he took the time to think about it.

However, since he was getting in my head about it someone had to tell me he felt threatened. He had been ambitious seeking opportunities to move up. I tend to move slowly, however, he’ll go ahead and take the opportunities. Once I got out of the way he had the green light to go for it, however, as indicated in some earlier posts he was waiting for yours truly to make a mistake. There wasn’t much yours truly could do about that, however, he sure was letting me know he was paying attention to the situation. He probably wasn’t the only one either. Still the nagging feeling in the back of my head even now just lets me know what was in his head. Perhaps by my seeming ascension he indeed got threatened….

I should mention Roger, I was told belatedly that his issue has been that he stepped on a lot of toes trying to be real strict. Never really was familiar with that cliche, however, someone explained to me that it denotes trying to establish dominance. He wants everyone to know that he’s the boss and you will answer to him and he will take action which included termination. He wanted to be a hard-ass a term used by one of my former supervisors, and as noted many times on this blog he lost his hot-shot boss position in no less than six months.

Rog had the tendency to sneak up, to just walk up on yours truly and he did that on three occasions. It could be a means to intimidate and certainly to dominate. The first time he did this was not too long after he decided to make a big show out of yours truly being essentially out of uniform.

  • The first time I was on my way back from a 15-min break and was headed back to the floor. As I was headed back to the floor when I heard someone call me name out of nowhere. It was Roger just turning around a corner, he wanted to have a talk with yours truly in the office about fruit flies, empty boxes, food debris, and fruit flies because he found something else to complain about. I don’t remember for how long he was on duty on that given morning, but evidently something he felt necessary to address in that fashion.
  • The second time I was just about to do a box bale after finishing my receiving on that day. This wasn’t long after pulling me off the buy/receive thing. He had interviews for associate buyer – a position I couldn’t even interview for because I was on that “probation” – and as I was working I turned around and he was right behind me. Even made sure to note that people usually don’t like him sneaking up on them like he just did me (then why does he do it if he often gets negative feedback?). All he wanted in that instance was to have me cover for Mr. Boastful who had an interview for that position on that day.
  • The last time he did this on the day I actually consider the Climax of the Reign of Error. My last shift at the Hole, I was doing temps on my station and was no more than an hour and a half waiting for quitting time. Out of nowhere I hear behind me “Jack, come with me” in Rog’s nerdy baritone. From there he escorts me directly to store mgmt offices because that last tardy I had it was a means to get rid of yours truly.

That’s where I’m going to leave this! I will say that once he was all hush-hush at this moment I knew what was coming. But that meant after things run their course, he wasn’t going to hit me with anymore bull$h!t, however, what happened next is why he’s definitely in my book of infamy to this day.

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….