Inspired

I realize that blogs can be a means of creative expression. Yes here many of the posts are based on my own real life events. I don’t know if you believe that there is a dearth of experience on my end. However I’ve written about things that has happened and it seems I’m still processing the data.

My last post I shared a track of music from the classic picture Midnight Cowboy. The character arc of Joe Buck – the “midnight cowboy” – is disturbing however in spite of his intentions he’s actually the most honest and true in that movie. What we see is two men – as Buck pairs up with the character of Ratso who initially hustles cowboy – on the lowest rung of society, hustling in a big city isn’t getting them anywhere, and the main characters are willing to do anything to survive. I never actually seen the picture itself nor read the novel on which it’s based, I’ve seen enough reviews or synopsis or even some clips to get the point of the story.

Midnight Cowboy (1969) trailer

Remember two years ago I wrote a premise for an Are You Being Served reboot. It would be more of a comedy although some aspects of that story will become serious. Especially since this reboot is really based on the drama of the time which was my dismissal from the Hole.

So my version of Midnight Cowboy is based on Planet Hustle. My situationship w/ the Hustler and that recent “recently” post triggered this interesting creative thought. It could take place over years and it will be as psychological as Midnight Cowboy is in reality. I just don’t see much redemption on anyone’s part in my story. There is no happy ending there at all, as there is in real life.

There is only a realization, however, the psychological part of the story is how do these two mismatched individuals become friends? How does these two coworkers go from a ride home to asking rude questions to an attempt at hustling – being hard-up and all that – to become a savior to becoming a friend and then back to a point of very little trust again? Is your head spinning yet?

I think this would be a great art house project. It might not win an Oscar nor do I imagine it would make much money in the box office. Hopefully I can create a story that audiences can relate to which would be my main point in this exercise.

I just wish I knew some filmmakers….

Bias

In writing this post, its something topical that belongs on my new blog I started earlier this month. It’s fitting, however, it goes in a different direction than where national headlines have been going at this point aside from that bug and the unrest.

To start I can’t say I’ve had many negative interactions with police officers. There was one memorable incident and it happened during a time of increased security efforts in the city. I was at a bad place at a bad time doing what I was doing. Thankfully so far I’ve not been stopped by police or even encountered a police officer with a severe bias against orange people….

What I can attest to is what I’ve only started to begin further hashing out – wait what am I talking about I’ve been hashing out for over two years now. I’ve had a number of bosses with varying personalities over the years and it’s either gone very well or it hasn’t. I could say I dealt with quite a few personalities at The Show and whether or not some of them had issues with me because I’m orange or because I’m a man or just because. My read on a fraction of those situations was that these just weren’t situations yours truly was going to come out good in.

The most recent encounter with mgmt that I wasn’t coming to win with was the man variously referred to as /goofball or Ruthless Roger or Rog. And any evidence of his bias as a red male is just based upon what I know about him or what I’ve seen with my two eyes or even hearsay.

I’ve written a lot about this over time. Once he took over my old department at the Hole he surely but slowly began to clear out the department. A few likely quit and others were likely let go although a few of them were seasonal workers. Some I wasn’t too upset to see go, there was one young man who could be quite argumentative with both mgmt and customers – especially at a company expected to bend over backwards to please customers. I could say if this was initiated by Rog, he might have in those situations used being seasonal as a way to ease them out of our dept.

However two of the more bizarre things I heard of for two workers from the Hole involved the temp log. It’s often been accepted practice that if you write down temps you made an honest attempt to measure the temperature of product. Well allegedly both of those unusual cases were accused of not doing so and they lost their jobs. I ran into one of them once I arrived at my new location and they said the regime of that period of time  – “reign of error” –  they sure were picking she’d state.

In another case we had a crew in our dept dedicated to making breakfast in the morning. One guy also orange seemed to come and go as he pleased he gets in very late and often leaves very early. Once Rog took over that was the end of that and ultimately he found a way to nudge him out of the way. It surprised me when this man – when I offhandedly said he’s the breakfast man – he was quick to say no he doesn’t do breakfast anymore. I tried to ask him what happened but he said he can’t say much of anything because he was written up on a final warning for being a “troublemaker”.

He wasn’t happy with the changes and couple that with him making the crew – they were green –  who would normally make food for the lunchtime crowd now had to make breakfast. They weren’t as much of a flowing machine they would normally be because they had the added responsibility for breakfast. Even the guy who got nudged out the way told them that they wouldn’t be behind on everything else if they weren’t having to also do breakfast. Everyone agreed.

I remember one day one of the green people had a talk with red Rog. I termed it as a suck up session based on what I was hearing while receiving in the cooler. While the green person was talking about customers, Rog was undeterred in implementing the new system. “It’ll get better he declared” and my view of this is that it pretty much didn’t until he was removed from his position as dept mgr.

And my orange “brother” came in an huff asking me if Rog and the green person was saying anything about him. Nah, I told him the green man was sucking up to Rog. He was trying to keep his job. That calmed him down as I told the brother the truth as I saw it.

My orange brother I learned was having some health issues. He left work early a few times to attend to it and I had to piece together a story by listening. The Reign of Error was beginning to take its toll on some of us. So if you remember a guy I refer to offhandedly a few years ago as Mr. Humphries – also a not very ambiguous about his sexuality orange man unlike the TV character I referred to him as – was trying to encourage the other orange man. Basically saying “feel bad for [Rog] because the bad he’s doing is going to come back to him”.

To go back to that green man for a moment, he couldn’t even escape Rog’s “ruthlessness” (I’m purposefully contradicting myself here as I don’t think Roger is particularly ruthless as if he had been he’d still be in a position of authority at Fresh Foods). In the dept mgmt offices a screen was up with one of the assistant mgr’s email. It was Larry from his new store where he had transferred to as a dept mgr months earlier at that point he was inquiring about the green man as he applied for a job up there. By the time I left that store by October ’17 the green man was still there, and he’s still there now where by the very next year in ’18 Larry would return to my old dept.

So something blocked it and my suspicion is that Rog found a way to write him up for something to effectively stop the green man from transferring. I did see him walk the plank with Rog pulling him aside. As I’ve began to learn when Rog pulls you aside it’s rarely good. I’ve seen it way too often.

I guess this begs the question. Do I think Rog had a bias against anyone who isn’t red? I’ve spent most of my life trying not to read into things and not looking for things to be upset about. It took me most of my life to realize everyone isn’t going to deal with you honestly and straightforward. Sometimes I haven’t always conducted myself that way either.

Regardless whether I wanted to acknowledge as others seemed to have a vested interest in making me acknowledge as my new role was beginning to be snatched away for reasons only Rog knew, something was up. And I suspect that whatever was up helped get him removed from his mgmt role with the company not long after I got let go. I heard a rumor that confirmed this though there’s no way to confirm that on my end. Someone stated that he referred to orange people as a bunch of gangbangers. And depending upon who hear that or who he said that to, it was a bad thing to say within a dept that had issues of respect issues at one point.

If that rumor is proven to be true then I viewed that as a man whos just nervous and perhaps holds some prejudicial views of certain people. It’s a lot more than just he’s a generally loathed person. But to be honest I just don’t know and will only speak of my own interactions with him in future posts.

Finally I just want to add that in one post I made reference to Rog’s racist suburb. What I heard about him once I learned he was no longer the dept mgr at the Hole is he used buying a house in the suburbs to move on. There were a lot of opinions on that and none of them seemed good – especially from those supervisors who knew a lot more than they could let on.

Either way I made reference to something that did occur in a suburb of Chicago late last year. Something happened at a Buffalo Wild Wings and the staff handled it badly and they got bad press. Some staff lost their jobs and who knows about the red man who had issues sitting with orange people who initiated that whole incident.

I know I wrote a whole post insinuating racism. Yours truly is a long way from proving it, but with the news cycle being what it is this was just my accounting of what I suspect to have encountered just about three years ago. And perhaps a case could be made as far as whatever bias Rog had that yours truly was wrongfully terminated. Of course as also been written he wasn’t the only one involved with that and at least with another person involved with that situation the other domino fell.

I don’t want to celebrate anyone losing their job – even if they did deserve it – the thing is it’s just a sight to see what karma comes back to bite them in the long run.

New Blog

https://virginpopulism.wordpress.com/

I haven’t started posting yet, my goal is to write more topical posts there going forward. Let’s see what new adventures we might have there.

I would like you to start following that blog if you’re very interested. It’s aptly named for a reason. 🙂

“Showed me up”

Alright let’s try this again! This very post got deleted because I had failed to save this on the wordpress app and closed it out. As a result an older unedited version overwrote the post that was published. Dang it!

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I found myself telling this story recently after arriving at my two year anniversary of my “retcon” at Fresh Foods. I started with the company over five years ago and have seen so many changes which also included my 6 mos. hiatus.

At some point during my first summer in 2015 with the company I ran into a man who’ll be dubbed Harrison or Harry. For the remainder of this post we will call this individual Harry as in real life he shorted his real first name to the first three letters. It was sort of cool how he identified himself it was simple and short. In some respects it help to somewhat reinforce his personality as I saw it at the time.

The first time I recall Harry was when I arrived for my night shift and probably within an hour or so he was going home for the day. He and another young man was there helping us out from another store. In fact the store I often shopped at when I still worked at The Show. There would be another shift where I’d have to work with Harry.

I had opened our deli case one morning and doing my usual routine. We often put product in the case and it takes us a minute to garnish. I’m usually a minimalist when garnishing however my learning curve with that wasn’t that good I’ll admit. Perhaps it’s not good to admit that my goal is to do just enough and make minimum effort to make the product look good.

So I opened that particular morning and I see Harry come in past the department. He may well have peeped the case on the way in. He reports to our department and then I see him go to the front of the case and he’s grabbing items from the back. In my head I’m thinking what is he doing. What he was doing is he was going to work re-garnishing the case to his standards. It just wasn’t good enough for him.

Once he was done he went and got one of the supervisors who was in the kitchen behind us. Then one of the assistant mgrs walked by he was so impressed he took out his iPhone and snapped some shots of the case. And then he came and pulled me aside not only to show-off the wonderful job he just did for yours truly, he also wanted me to know this is how you’re supposed to garnish. That man just showed me up, he just had to!

Harry just couldn’t resist taking this one opportunity to show off his skills. He often spoke not only to our management to show off what he did, he even talked to even store management. Look at this wonderful job I did and did it all by myself!

I’m going to give him his due though he does a great job and takes the effort to present the food. Yours truly just did what he knew to do at the time, however, was Harry the right teacher? I find that he just likes to bust you out if it wasn’t done the way he thinks it should be. Not so sure that’s a good thing to insure people learn the lessons you want them to learn in the long run.

Because Harry just enjoyed showing off his skills and was shamelessly promoting I just had to ask him why wasn’t he in mgmt. His only response was to state that it’s in the cards. Another coworker who experienced behavior I considered very hyper at the time just thought that Harry was just too comfortable in the role he had to go for a higher position like that. I could read his actions as that of a person who was taking control of a situation, however, he really doesn’t seek a position with those real responsibilities.

The next episode I remember where he really made a spectacle was one day he designed to rearrange the deli area to his liking. The people who already knew him working with him for years noted themselves that he’s trying to turn our department into the department he worked at his own store. However, what he did at this point wasn’t entirely wrong my issue was how he went about it.

I would say his goal was to make our workspace more efficient and he was going to fix it. He was empowering himself to make the changes that he deemed necessary to make. He rearranged the furniture and got upset when he saw the filth behind the furniture. Harry had enough of a sense of entitlement to try to get a supervisor to look at this. At this point he was just looking for something to complain about.

He tried to tell one of our assistant managers of what he saw and that mgr took Harry to the back for a quick word. One of the supervisors – actually Larry who later got promoted to dept mgr for my now old dept at the Hole – showed no sense of urgency when Harry got up in arms over the dirt. By my eyes, I got the idea that he was finally giving our dept mgmt a headache in that time.

I had later heard little things about Harry such as he got himself to the point where if he wanted some OT he never had to call our store to ask, he could just come in. That lasted until he did come in one day and mgmt told him they had no more OT to offer him. So it seemed we could expect to see him at least once a week and then at some point we hardly ever saw him again. I would go to his store sometimes and see him working with me usually avoiding him. I don’t characterize our interactions as clashing, but our styles weren’t going to mesh. He might stress himself out, however, based upon how he was it was nutty working with him. Although admittedly I picked him brain on somethings, however, did a lousy job implementing them. Yours truly was still learning.

I was gone from Fresh Foods for six months and not long before the “reign of error” I saw that Harry had finally left his home store and found a position at another Fresh store in another state. Once I returned I couldn’t find him on Fresh’s social network and that likely means he’s no longer with the company. I suppose that mgmt opportunity never materialized for him or he didn’t want it anyway.

Once I arrived at my new assignment after my brief hiatus I asked a couple of colleagues whom I figured worked with Harry about him. Only one agreed that he could be annoying, however, I told both about his behavior. One was a bit more open about how he was as a coworker, the other hardly commented. They both were unsure about what happened with him later, one even thought he got promoted to a supervisor.

Hmmmm, while it’s great that he can show what he can really do in that role I get the idea he would be an absolute headache for not only the people he’ll supervise, but the mgmt team as well. From what I can tell through my own digging he never rose to that role, however, only he knows and I have no inkling to talk to him in the near future.

I just wanted to add that in passing two women at work were talking about him one day years ago. One lady not from my department though helped us out occasionally could not remember his name was talking with one of my dept’s supervisor about how he was busting his moves on her but she already knew it wasn’t going to work. Saying some key words like he didn’t work at the Hole, but another location and the supervisor asked “Harry?”. They both agreed that he was making some bad moves as far as how he related to the women he worked with even briefly.

Enough

There were a few post I had in mind for this month that I hoped to have shared with you last month. And then it was decided that they’re not important. One reason for this is basically writer’s block another reason is continuing a circus of years past that I realize it’s draining to even discuss.

I wanted to tell you about more about the drama from a few years ago Anthony the hustler’s push to get me to work at his Finer Foods store. He might have pushed and stayed on topic and even convinced me to do it his way. To be fair, I wasn’t entirely comfortable with it and it failed. He can turn around and assign blame, however, in my mind when I expected an interview and ultimately a job yours truly got neither.

In the long run it doesn’t matter since I found another job elsewhere later that year – over six years ago. The irony was that he wanted me to cold call some connection he picked up – and who knows if it was a real connection – that would enable me to enter a job that “suited me“. I definitely wasn’t very comfortable with that and without his or anyone else’s help I got the job that “suited me” until it didn’t.

And last month I wrote a post about him beginning his “campaign” – “come over here to Finers you’d make more money” – while things hummed along at the Hole…before the Reign of Error.

However, my epiphany is that I need to move on. Surely for those of you who continued to follow this, it’s a conclusion you’ve long realized. And the many posts about this person have always trended towards the negative. Those stories only serve to really bleed together with very little to distinguish any of them other than a different story but same conclusion.

I often like to say that I’ve had the greatest sense of peace since the last time I spoke or saw him. It feels as if I told a lie, the peace comes from ending communications or better yet not giving a response to his increasingly rare yet persistent attempts at contact. The peace I don’t feel is that he got very close and I treated him as a friend only to realize years later that our situationship was very unequal. It served him the best and served me the least in reality.

At this point I’m hoping this post will be the last time he will be mentioned here. For this blog it’s probably enough of this very uninteresting soap opera that unfolded over the years. I often said if he tries any attempt at contact it won’t be broadcast news but I’ll let you know. Now my goal is to put this situation into the back of my mind where it belongs and turn my attention to things that will better yours truly.

Overthinking

I wanted to actually follow-up on the episode “You need a friend“. I intended to write this statement about the Hustler who is considered the most honest dishonest person I ever met. He was honest about what he thought about yours truly as it was communicated to me personally and certainly about his intentions.

I find myself wondering why I still got so entangled with him and often linked it with his inability to really back off. He does, however, I realize now that when we first met at The Show he knew exactly what he was doing and indeed why he was doing it. He’d do anything it took to achieve his objectives and know that he will continue to do so if there is an opportunity available for him.

For what happened back then I pushed one person away and he comes right in. And at the time he needed to be pushed away and I also know that could be dangerous or maybe not. He has a big mouth and will use it although it’s better he talks about me like a dog because he didn’t achieve anything than because he was my friend.

Someone reminded me of fool me twice shame on me, however, as a person who understands friendships it’s just as easily shame on him. Shame on me for allow this person to persist in my personal space thinking that he’s a necessary part of it. Shame on him for continuing to go on even now thinking business as usual will continue. It can not…

I also want to add the person I had pushed away Candace once I wrote that post it began to become apparent how much that wasn’t a guarantee. For a person who comes to quick conclusions and jumps on those implications what if he saw something empty there. What if he painted a picture that only served to damage that potential relationship. Perhaps he starts rumors or if things happened the way they didn’t initially with yours truly being more friendly and approachable to Candace, yours truly could still be in some ways vulnerable.

Who’s to say the Hustler wouldn’t come in and say are you sure she’s for you? Are you sure you can trust her? Are you sure that she fits your image? Don’t you think you need another type of girl in your life? I can imagine a picture vastly different from the one in front of me from my own POV being painted and with him as the puppet master. Perhaps Candice did get away, perhaps she was never really an answer. As stated what happened during that period years ago is so far in the rear view mirror and the events that occurred in the wake is set in stone.

I just know his past history and it’s astounding to me that while he may have to adjust tactics I know what he’s doing as he continues to attempt in roads with yours truly. Thankfully the last attempt at contact was on Christmas Day with his odd request for directions. Funny thing is I get the idea that it will be a while before he finally ceases on his own, however, my plan will be to do all that is necessary to kill any further desire by him to continue his attempts at contact. I’m seeing that ignoring alone doesn’t end his desire for contact and shows that he still has little going for him even now.

I realize also that he among other subjects on this blog such as my history at The Show or what happened with Ruthless Roger has become frequent fodder on this blog. I suppose you can add the Hustler to this mix. Something was never right with this odd situationship and I’m glad to have finally recognized that it was never going to be for my own benefit. Hopefully with this I can finally stop overthinking the events that took place and with the outcomes set in stone.

“You need a friend”

two boys sitting on bench wearing hats and long sleeved shirts

Before writing this post when someone turns around and says they think or it seemed like “you need a friend”, they may not always be trying to be your friend. It’s really a jarring thing to be told. It’s really jarring to hear someone who wanted to be your friend tell you that they felt so bad for you because they believed you had no friends.

Well this is one reason why I decided to cut ties to The Hustler. He knew what he was trying to do when he decided when we worked at the theater to connect. And it helped that out of being a good person I gave him a ride home and it enabled him to start probing with the question “How old were you when you lost your virginity?” when I first met him. Either way I was weakness rich enough for him to come in and decide that he needed to take me under his wing so that he can take advantage of yours truly more.

I would dare say he had really been one of the more honest people I met. Not long after the ride home and not long after he had started at The Show he was quick with his hand out asking for money. Which if you read the first savings episode he never got because I left him at the theater as he not only expected some cash, he expected a ride home as well. When he called me and left a voicemail I could tell the disappointment in his voice when he realized I was gone. It was definitely an episode of avoidance.

With this said I wanted to juxtapose something and this was a post I wanted to write. The time that Anthony was at The Show overlapped the period with Candice – a young lady of about 19-20 years old who tried very had to connect with yours truly. I originally wrote an episode I considered apocryphal which may have been when I first met her, however, I remember that episode I really don’t recall who that person was.

All the same when she did try to connect at one point it became “I tried to talk to you because it seemed like you needed a friend.” When she tried that I continued my jackass act with her as I kept acting like Stone Cold Steve Austin repeating WHAT? to her. Almost as if I didn’t hear her though in reality when I think about it now she just came on strong for someone who just came out of nowhere expressing interest with her boisterousness.

So Ant’s and Candace’s time at the Show basically overlapped that summer in 2011. While The Hustler remained another two years Candice would be gone by the fall.

Candice had become the one who got away. And because I never really found out her true motives I really don’t know what they are. I just know that my behavior towards her was very unwelcoming and she was the type that for a time would keep trying. She did snap at yours truly once when I wouldn’t respond to her after repeated attempts. I learned later her good buddy was the one-off foe Missy. She may well have for reasons only she knows genuinely liked me and did something about it.

I now find myself wondering if she’d have been the one thing that would have helped me avoid the time-consuming friendship with The Hustler. At this point I just don’t know, but would being accepting of a rather young rambunctious woman who all the sudden wanted to connect would’ve made the difference with an older man who had ulterior motives who also wanted to connect.

What I do know now is that the friendship I had with The Hustler wasn’t real. He did’t give a damn about anything other than what I could do for him. He would create a situation where I would need him or for him to come to the rescue.

And also who knows perhaps one was more honest and compatible than the other. Perhaps one relationship could’ve happened more organically with little or no manipulation. Most importantly perhaps one relationship won’t prove to be costly. For this I will never know.

Five years ago

Today was the day the streak era ended and I marked this five years ago by writing on a chalkboard I had set up in my bedroom marking that the streak has ended. The board had been tracking the interviews I took on during the course of that year.

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The significance is that this was when I got the phone call which offered yours truly the bank teller job at Gotham. I got an email and then a voice mail and then I called that recruiter at Gotham back and went through one step which was to go through some on-boarding steps with someone two states away. With that in mind I was soon a banker with Gotham.

I told a number of people I had worked with at The Show including Henry, probably Keith, and definitely Anthony. Anthony’s response was most interesting once I told him that the streak ended his response was “Cool! Go for it!” Of course reading into his response it could be interpreted as I needed his permission. Regardless before I said anything  to him I accepted the offer.

It wasn’t long before I had decided that it was time to leave $h!tplace. I didn’t decide right away, but I realized nothing kept me there any longer. At the behest of The Show’s HR point I wrote out a short two-week notice. It’s short because it could’ve been a manifesto and believe me I wanted to. However, the “manifesto” remained at about two short sentences and it was hardly a “grievance”

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Of course, I’ve written too often this job didn’t work out and it only led me to the Hole at the start of the new year. I chose the job that wanted to hire me at the time to get away from a situation that no longer worked. Then the job I accepted didn’t work for me either, regardless yours truly did what he set out to do for over two years at that time!

Also when I shared a link to my instagram post with a friend and explained what it represented I told him that autocorrect on my phone gave $h!tplace with a capital S. Then he simply says “They don’t deserve it? Why not $h!tplace with a capital S?” I just thought it was a funny exchange….

 

September 2009

I was at quite an unusual crossroads 10 years ago. Yours truly was not too far away from 30 and just attained my undergrad degree from the prestigious Mission College. Because I hadn’t really planned very well for graduation I just wasn’t sure what was next.

It could’ve been military, I hadn’t planned to return to school yet. If I did then I really needed a viable plan for that (incidentally I was considering going into teaching as one idea however that was later). Whatever money I had was beginning to run out and since I came back home, my mother was beginning to worry me with ideas.

So I hit up the jobs I’ve had success with at that time such as college bookstores. No bites until maybe in November of that year. Also I got a lead from a real estate blog which enabled me to send a cold e-mail to a company which would later open The Show and it’s funny that actually got me somewhere. Otherwise my first job out of school was still months away.

Otherwise, I still had to figure out what’s next. Had some opportunities within my chosen major, however, those didn’t work out. It didn’t help that my GPA after so many self-created trials and tribulations wasn’t that great. So all I could do to exist as an ex-career student is plug away trying to get my life jump started. I stayed on course for that degree when it was probably easier to just switch gears and move on to something else.

Also I liked to talk about over the years on this blog my teeth. They weren’t yet in bad shape but at this point I already got diagnosed with a gun disease, however, this was the time to really take care of it. I got my last cleanings that fall until I was ready with some dental insurance (“dennal plan”) just about five years later to really get started treating my condition. As far as the relationship goes my mother who largely took care of my dental expenses at the time wasn’t having a great relationship with the dentist (who incidentally went to Hillman College that sister college I’ve told you all about). It wasn’t long before she no longer used them.

So at this point in time I had the optimism of being a recent college graduate, however, it went up and down. There was not a lot of optimism and it almost matched the year when I was actually out of school and my mother began to worry me about finding a job. Just anything and her only excuse was because her elders did it to her.

Man, I’m still learning even now that making plans are hard.

Still by the end of that year things would somewhat begin to stabilize.

Writing process

The writing process can be difficult. I could emphasize quantity over quality which is what I did earlier this year. Sometimes quality is hard.

It’s hard to really decide what to share at any given time and how much to share. It’s always been a challenge and sometimes I feel as if longer doesn’t always mean better. Somethings I want to leave in I just decide to leave out.

With that being said I’m working on a couple of posts and I’m still working on the quality. However writing something of quality takes time and sometimes it’s a bit frustrating and tedious when I as the writer still isn’t satisfied with the finished product.

At the same time, however, I feel as if I posted a number of items where the quality just wasn’t that great.