Sunday, February 09, 2014

Opportunity & disappointments along with a "dodged bullet"

Back in November I wrote about my experiences in job hunting and gone through several iterations before finally figuring out what direction it needed to go. This post will be a bit different.

In that post there was an allusion to one of my first important interviews - back in 2012 - since I left Morehouse. It was for a management position at ICE Theaters often billed as the only Black-owned theater chain in the nation. The interview felt like a successful interview, but it didn't turn out the way I thought it would. After sending two follow-up e-mails to the owner of the company with whom I interviewed the second follow-up cut me out of the hiring process. :(

Basically the first response was positive and it sounded like there was a job offer coming with talk of next steps. Then I was still waiting for those next steps so another follow-up email was sent. At that point, she explained that with me not making the next round she chose those candidates with significant management experience.

While no job seeker should be entirely mad when that's the outcome, in my case I was upset. Only because as stated this process didn't turn out the way that I had thought. Go search for opportunities and this is going to happen whether you thought wrong about how the interview went or perhaps there was something going on behind the scenes that sealed a particular fate.

In my case who knows, but honestly my resume never screamed management material. According to a friend who was involved in the process I wasn't even supposed to be interviewed and yet there was an opportunity to pursue. Thank goodness for that opportunity anyway!

I did mention he was in the process! Basically he got through two rounds of interviews not only one with the owner but with the management under her as well. He definitely likes to follow-up and had been throughout his process until he no longer got a response from the owner. She simply wasn't responding to his e-mails or voicemails and he was getting frustrated. I ultimately told him some news that illustrated why she wasn't getting back to him.
On a Friday in October 2012, expecting a blockbuster weekend with Alex Cross starring Tyler Perry, the theater where I had my interview was graced with eviction notices brought on by a silent partner who is non-Black. Having found this news through an unexpected source - my own Sixth Ward blog - where one of the other bloggers had found the cineplex closed as he hoped to catch a show with his family.

When you think about it, if events had moved the way I had expected who knows if I would've remained employed. After the closure there were more press about this controversy but eventually after a week the theaters were re-opened under new management. The company where my friend and I would've worked simply moved their headquarters to their other remaining location on Chicago's west side.

Long story short not long after the eviction, the owners of ICE Theaters sold their interest in the Chatham  theaters. And then about a year after that the Chatham was again sold to another chain known as Studio Movie Grill. As for what happened with ICE Theaters curiosity got the better of me and I checked their website not long after the Studio Movie Grill news and found that it was down and was only left with an FB page that hadn't been updated since New Year's Eve 2013. I called the ICE Theaters number and went through menu options only to hear a recording that said as of December 13, 2013 their lone facility on the west side is only open for private events.

With that in mind, if things had worked out the way that I thought they would who knows what the future could've been. Perhaps I could've followed ICE Theaters to the west side and in about a year's time been out of a job. Either way this was just something that wasn't meant to be.


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