May 2014

imageI guess to continue ranting. Last month I wrote about my experience during the Streak Era where I tried to get a job with my mother’s company and although she was a higher up it just didn’t work. Just had to be late and the hiring manager proved to be a stickler for time and note that I tried to be responsible let that person know I was running behind.

Well for the moment I want to go back to an old standby story which was Anthony’s strange fixation on yours truly getting an interview with Finer Foods. So my interview with that neighborhood bank occurred early in May 2014. Sometime after that I gave Ant a call just to tell him about my visit to the cinema where we both tried to get jobs as managers.

Now I mention fixation. So prior to my interview with that bank he had been trying to call me or even sending me texts urging me to call his Finer’s contact. I tried to explain my actions via email to him even allowed that I could’ve followed up but his only response which was incomplete was still “When you call [Finer’s contact]”. The response to anything I say about this topic was never going to be to his satisfaction unless I did what he wanted me to do.

I know I told this story enough times the basic gist was he was worrying me about Finer’s at some point in the late winter months. I gave in because the Streak Era had seemingly stalled again and looked to him for a lead. He asked what happened with Finer’s I told him and he got to work. He told me to call his store manager and get an interview which long story short I did.

So I go up for the interview on a cold morning on the northwest side of Chicago and was hungry got lost on the way once I got off the bus. Was a bit late because of a course correction. And once I got to that store was kept waiting until an employee – not sure if she was even a manager – comes to speak to me asks if I was certain I was meeting with store manager. About an hour after I arrived she finally tells me the store mgr was doing a walk with his boss and he won’t be meeting with me wasting my time.

I was teed off, however, I was not very willing to just walk out. It would be fine with me if they told me something although it was become apparent as the waiting continued this was going to be a wash. They told me something finally instead of just keeping me waiting I shoot Anthony a quick text about the situation he tried to call me was in no mood just moved on. Until maybe two days after.

When he calls me and just wants to know what happened with the interview. Basically my text giving him a quick update wasn’t satisfactory enough. I attempt to explain he seems to interject with questions which I try to address, however, he finally arrives at “So did you call them?”. My answer was the wrong one and he gets livid letting me know that he heard I never followed up. Was just too frustrated and teed off to even think about that. Now this is where the disappointed father kicks in, he tells me to call them tomorrow and although I tell him to call me tomorrow he just hangs up.

After that he started trying to get updates making phone calls that I don’t answer or sending texts I won’t respond to. Again fixated on me getting up to his store on the northwest side of Chicago. He wants to know what happened after the last time we talk and no there was no follow-up my mind was on they needed to call me. Besides I had called them and essentially got nothing for it!

That was until I called him later trying to get things back to normal at the time. Started off talking about my recent visit to the theater we both tried to get jobs and he didn’t even acknowledge his next thought become “What happened with Finer’s?” Again just fixated on that whole drama and at that point the interview with that bank was behind me and I’m unsure when I finally told him about it. Don’t think it was that moment.

I’m sure I gave him as close to the shorthand version of what happened however he starts to analyze this. According to him he knew I was teed off, but now they owe me. He mentioned the whole situation about the store mgr with his boss. However, he goes further by stating that they fed me a line I accepted that and they sent me on my way. And then he tried to stir up some drama by stating that I tried to blame him for what happened because I just stopped communicating with him at that point.

My only response was to stop him from taking over the convo and just let him know that I wasn’t blaming him. Of course in my email I did take issue with how he flew off the handle when he called me sometime later after the non-interview. Of course he doesn’t address that he just says call his contact. One thing I have said overtime on this is that while he can’t be blamed for what his mgmt did as far as my interview, my issue was with his behavior immediately afterwards. However, I never quite went there in this convo just told him for the interview I didn’t blame him for that.

So we talk about other things and I want to tell you about one weird moment in our convo. Was trying to agree with him on something but I heard him growl over the phone which irritated me. Forget the subject hell he didn’t even express irritation with what was being said. The message for me with that growl was more or less just shut up and listen I’m not done talking or your point doesn’t matter.

Disappointed father….

I ask him if he’s meditating. He says “I’m listening”, but was so annoyed by his action I just tell him I’m done. He just keeps making his point as if nothing I said penetrated. Don’t even remember what we were talking about for his final point. Eventually the convo began to wind down and he suggested again that I call his Finer’s contact tomorrow.

This time I didn’t acknowledge his last request only stating “I’ll talk to you later”. Only he knows his response to my parting statement as we ended the call. He didn’t quite acknowledge my response at that point, however, it just shows how fixated he became on this issue. He was fixated that I start telling him about other banking interviews during the rest of 2014 he still felt the need to state “I really need you to call [Finer’s contact]”. So at that point it was probably about August or September and was some time away from finally getting a job offer with Gotham Bank.

Now in that instance all I did was get a phone number and with no plans to even follow up with this it was just filed away. This information is still around the house somewhere. 😛

Also consider that after that Finer’s episode where I got no interview he “arranged” for me to have an interview at another store he worked at near downtown Chicago which still resulted in no job offer. And while he did try to update me or even urge me to follow-up with them he wasn’t as all over this as he had been with Finer’s. And also note that over two years after the fact he still needed to ask what happened with that and led to his attempt to get your’s truly to jump ship from Fresh Foods to Finer Foods.

What a strange series of events with this guy. And again disappointed father, just a domineering man who feels as if it’s his role to call all the shots. What did I get out of this? Well let me see rides in my mother’s vehicle, me giving him small cash infusions, and occasionally free lunch on my dime. And with  not much respect for my efforts.

Have I said enough times I’m glad to have finally cut ties with him.

Family off limits?

I wanted to share this video from a former mobster Michael Franzese. A lot of what he says on a variety of subjects is interesting and even he had to chime in on what happened with Will Smith at the Oscars two weeks ago. I don’t want to delve into this too much although I want to share some thoughts as I watch the video below. You can further check out my thoughts on Will Smith over at Virgin Populist.

Well Franzese discusses the slap at the Oscars and whether or not you should touch family in the comedy aspect. Should Chris Rock have made a joke about Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett? Well my story doesn’t exactly rise to that level and I’ll explain.

During the “streak era” Anthony and I were talking one day at work and he decided to make a comment along the lines of “I just knew there was a problem when your mother didn’t try to get you a job at that bank”. One way to look at it, an older man like myself with a college degree working minimum wage at a movie theater this forwarded his idea that I just didn’t belong. To be fair there were others who expressed that opinion whether negatively or even in some respects positively.

My response was more of a deflection than anything only to state that was my decision. It was my decision to work at The Show and it was my decision as far as whether or not I wanted to work at my mother’s bank where she was a manager. And as it turned out later it definitely wasn’t her decision as far as whether or not it was her call alone as far as getting a job at her bank a neighborhood lender close to home.

About a year later, I finally just made the jump and applied got an interview not long after filing application. They still did paper applications which are rare these days. And I didn’t get back to the branch manager who called me right away. When I did it seemed like a brief convo before the branch manager was ready to interview me at her branch located on the northwest side of the city actually it was close to O’Hare airport.

It was a bit of an ordeal to get up there as I still had to depend on public transit while on the way I needed to call the branch manager to let her know I’m running late. I was trying to do the right thing and respect her time and it didn’t matter. I wasn’t getting hired.

The branch manager was a talker who discussed her faith and mentioning God’s will. I tried to explain my lateness and noted that I had to change trains downtown and she questions that. She was already trying to determine if I was lying. Also since she was a talker I just wasn’t in a talking mood either, just ready to get this interview over with. She mentioned during the interview that I was tardy anyway.

The first time I was answering some questions about future ambitions such as mgmt – a usual tactic then for my interviews. She came back with “After coming to this interview almost 20 mins late, I’m not impressed”. The other time she had to ask some hypothetical of whether or not a manager at The Show would rate my on-time performance. She had me take a quick basic math test and while I passed it wasn’t going to matter, she just let me know there were other candidates and we’ll be in touch. Never heard from her again.

Of course I have to note this when I tell this story. Not long after this interview she got let go from that bank. She just got caught up in the changes going on there, I’ve mentioned them here so I won’t rehash.

The point here is whether or not my mother was mgmt there had no bearing on whether or not I got a job there. Yeah, it’s great to have a leg up. At the same time no results from this exercise sadly no job offer and I remained at the cinema until October when I took the teller job at Gotham Bank. It just showed what my dear old fiend’s opinion was worth – a bucket of spit.

I did eventually tell him what had happened. See, during this period he was demanding an answer for what happened with Finer Foods as in this case I was getting some other opportunities such as this bank. At first I told him it was a job freeze as far as finding another job, then later told him it was because my tardiness for interview and what later happened to the hiring branch manager. He laughed at that last point about the branch mgr but thankfully didn’t add any further thoughts to that whole situation.

Either way if you want to know I thought he was out of line for he said regarding my mother. As you may have gathered perhaps you thought this way already or you read along overtime with yours truly that Anthony is opinionated and will cross boundaries accordingly. He will say what he believes is necessary to say right or wrong and in this case he was wrong.

Only he knows what he was trying to accomplish with his crack about my mother and the bank. Perhaps he wanted me to believe she failed to help me out as her son who was forced to accept a job working minimum wage at a cinema and the job wasn’t quite working out. Or perhaps he wanted to work me up about where I was anyway and where I should have been in his opinion. Who knows however whatever motives his conjecture regarding me or my mother was not really his to make. He also never any further comments along these lines after that.

As it turns out if it was simple in his head, it really wasn’t in reality as it didn’t work out for me. The whole attempt at working in banking didn’t work out for me as you know with my brief experience at Gotham. And if the neighborhood bank had worked out for me in a few years time perhaps it is possible that I’d be looking for another gig anyway.

And bear in mind once I found another job quickly after leaving Gotham he tried to $h!t on the move to a grocery store anyway he was still determined to tell me that I’d have been off being a personal banker. However, by that moment I was down on working at a bank and became excited about my next move which proved to be a better one.

Final lesson for yours truly. Be careful of what I say about my background. You never know how someone will respond to that information. They may decided at some point to treat you with hostility. Also I could’ve really let him know that his comments about my mother are out of line even if this was constructive criticism.

And in line with my attempt to work for the neighborhood based bank, I only went for it because I was ready to leave The Show. That was true for quite a few interviews I had from 2012 to 2014 and some of them I was more excited about than others. At the same time, was I entirely sold on working for a company where my mother was a mgr? Not at all and thankfully I wouldn’t be working directly for her as her being my mother could often be difficult enough…

Regardless Anthony’s comments were out of line and whatever perceived issues there were are only between my and my mother alone. And of course in light of my change of perception of our “situationship” thank goodness for her!

April Fools

Allow me to announce for the record that I hope to ultimately decrease any future stories about Anthony a guy who I consider a fiend and not a very good friend. Time to move away and let go, especially since perhaps he isn’t thinking much about me anyway. He likely found another target since he is a user, however, that’s no longer my business.

As you see that is a minimal likeness of the man I knew for many years. He’s got those red beady eyes, a frown, a grimace, with a Guy Fawkes goatee. My artistic skills aren’t that great however I feel this is adequate if I wanted to show you how I truly view the Fiend.

Anyway here’s what I wanted to share with you.

Five years ago in 2017 before the “reign of error” I was trying to get into touch with Anthony. I felt the need to discuss with him and seek advice on a panel interview I would be a part of. One thing I did at first was to text him to see if he was available to chat. We exchanged texts perhaps I was trying to be jokey and he wasn’t really having it, in 20/20 hindsight he was crabby for some reason. When he’s crabby he just let’s things fly and sometimes yours truly can be a convenient target.

So anyway out of the blue he requests that I take off April 1. My response to was ask if he’s requesting off April Fool’s Day. Basically on my end perhaps there was some confusion and wanted some assurance that I myself wasn’t being pranked. His rough response via txt

“Stop with the @#$%^!*@_@$#!$# jokes. I’m asking you to take off because I want you to go somewhere with me.”

I had to calm him down as best I could and told him I wanted to talk to him anyway and ask if I can call him. He was OK with it so I dialed him up. Told him about the panel interview I would be part of where one of the supervisors and another supervisor from another store. I had to explain to him several times what my role was and this panel interview wasn’t for me though I was part of the process to ultimately hire another assistant mgr for the dept.

I don’t remember his advice but a lot of it was to just show some of the hire ups my boss at the time – and this was before Ruthless Roger – the HR person and a store mgr about my understanding of the role at the very least. To see my point of view on why I wanted to do this it was to at least see the process up close as far as what it takes to get promoted at Fresh Foods.

Remember you read that Ant was a bit crabby. Sometimes I might repeat “If you don’t mind me asking” and he comes back with “DUDE You can ask me anything YOU WANT!” and he did that to me twice during our convo. Again I can be a convenient target perhaps if I didn’t tolerate it he wouldn’t keep doing it. Either way he felt it was OK to just take out whatever frustration he had onto me and it wasn’t cool, especially if it comes from a friend.

Anyway I got my own frustration off as this was the same convo where he noted Finer’s. I had been updating him on possibly becoming a buyer as the next step for me during that period of time and it also seemed when I bring it up he wouldn’t support that. In that conversation he decided to be like “Hey, OK, Alright. If you come to Finer Foods you’d make more money“. At which point I just said tensely “YOU MUST HAVE A REAL HARD ON FOR ME COMING TO FINER’S”

That got his attention he tried to keep me calm and stated “No, no, no. I’m just saying, just saying”. I didn’t respond I just hoped my response and then subsequent silence would get the point across that there was no interest in that direct. Also this was the umpteenth time during that period when we talk about work that he would bring that up. Newsflash this proved to not be the end of it.

Eventually we ended our call and not long after that he sent me a sexually charged meme. It was a medication themed meme showing a curvy scantily clad woman talking about such side effects as high blood pressure, heart issues, etc. The implication is that there are health effects to having your fun with said scantily clad woman. And remember he was crabby right?

I wrote “is this covered by my benefits?” to roll with the meme. And he had to respond, “I don’t think you need to worry about your benefits and all because I don’t think you’re getting any to begin with”. My response “I really like your thinking”. He read it but had no response but just had to reply with something just a dick response.

So that was it although remember during that period he was sending me things other memes and some videos that were related to his interest in martial arts. There was really nothing else with that and one time asked him outright “Are you a bot?” and his response was to send me more of them.

So our convo took place not long before April Fools 2017. Little did I know our “situationship” would take a turn by at the very earliest in June. He would again borrow money from me and showed little inclination to pay back. He would be a bit of a troll near the end of our real communications. And at this point I didn’t think I would experience the event I refer to as the Climax of the Reign of Error.

That rather unexpected event was a primary reason with no real “falling out” that caused me to really distance myself from the man who in 2018 would become Anthony the hustler. I began to think more logically and reasonably about him and his actions after that point.

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!

img_0403

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.