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Food Deserts

February 26, 2014 — 1 Comment

A food desert is defined as any census tract that isn’t within half-mile to a mile of a full-service grocery store or supermarket and are serviced instead by convenience and corner stores.

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i started in the advertising business as a typesetter but my interest in design was peaked one summer when i worked at a printery.

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An epic tale

January 14, 2008 — Leave a comment

while i was in trinidad for my grandmother’s funeral, Viacom, the parent company of MTV and CMT, decided that they were going to subcontract/outsource/farm out payroll for permalancers (that’s what we’re called – we’re freelance on the books but we work 40 hours a week, we have to ask for time off, so for all intents and purposes we’re staff). the gist of the announcement was payroll was moving outside the company and we would lose 401k and paid holidays and our health care package would switch to the payroll company.

the holidays pay kind of irked me, but what really pissed me off was the healthcare, the new package sucked. the cap was $25K of coverage (not including hospitalisation) for the year, whether it was an individual or family and $2K for hospitalisation. that about started a riot. actually it started a protest at MTV NY at least. the freelancers started walking out on a daily basis from 3 – 4 in Times Square around the time TRL was going on, so after a couple days they sent out an email saying that those who were already on the existing health plan would keep it and the transition would be put off until February and during the intervening period they would convert some of the positions to staff.

in the midst of all this bacchanal i decide it might be time for me to make a move and see what’s out there. now this is where it gets interesting, the night of December 6, i go home and start to massage my resume and portfolio with the intention to get it up to date and start sending it out, get as far as i though i could and go to bed.  i get up the next morning and there’s an email from a recruiting firm on the email address that’s on my resume. i get all these crap offers on this address so i’m a little skeptical but it’s address directly to me and in my field so i respond and they ask me to come in the following Monday which i do and i hit it off really well. they tell me about the job and who it’s with and say they’ll submit my name as a candidate.

i agree not really expecting to hear anything so imagine my surprise two day later when i get a call from the HR offices of the company to conduct a phone interview. i spend an hour on the phone with the lady and at the end of it she tells me that she’ll pass my info and her notes to the director of marketing, the woman who would be my boss if i get the job. this is December 12, two days later i get a call asking me to come in to interview in person on the 18. i put my nice dan dan on and  go in and interview and the end of which i’m told, expect a call the following week for me to interview with her boss and the other managers that make up the department.

by this time i’m excited and kind of freaking out, the day after Christmas, my phone rings it’s the HR lady again and i have a two hour interview in two days to meet basically the remaining managers of the department and the head of the division and the end of which i’m told i’ll hear from them in the new year.

First week of the new year comes and goes and i’m not quite panicking but i’m a little edgy and then last Monday, i get a call from the HR lady asking me to come in one more time. this would make my fourth interview and i don’t know what to expect. it wasn’t so much an interview as a final opportunity for me to back out. i think they wanted me to realise that i wasn’t going to be working for a ‘hip’ tv company but a more conservative corporate client (and no i don’t have to cut my hair or my beard). i got the offer on Tuesday afternoon and after a little discussion with the wife accepted it.

so there is my little tale. i have to believe this job was for me. it’s the first job i’ve ever taken for the ‘right’ reasons – better pay, better benefits, opportunity for growth and i have a really good feeling about it and i start Feb 4, as the communications and concept developer. i’m going to miss CMT, i have some of the best co-workers there, but i think it was time to move on.

hey y’all

June 23, 2005

no. i haven`t turned country overnight, even with the job at CMT. although it`s more MTV than CMT here. it`s very young and hip and i feel somewhat like an observer. i`m not the oldest person here or the only person of colour (there goes my giant token belt buckle idea out the window), but i guess being the new guy i don`t quite feel as if i belong. everyone has been really helpful and pleasant, but i feel like i`m not cool enough to be working here.

but that`s probably my insecurities talking. even tattoo`d and pierced i`ve never though of myself as `cool`. or is it that i`d rather not be part of the cool crowd. whatever, this start as a quick post to let everyone know i was alive and enjoying my job, not a missive to my lack of popularity in high school and how it continues to affect me as an adult.

work is fun, i`m busy. i`m not doing design work and i don`t actually mind, i was a little burnt out. i`m helping manage workflow for the in-house creative and marketing departments here, so i get the best of both worlds; to use my anal retentive organisational skills and to see new and interesting design.

i decided that if i was going to work for CMT i should have clothes to play the part. do you have any idea how hard it is to find ass-less chaps in 42 long? or hat big enough to fit my dreads?

actually i`m kidding. i`ve been too busy enjoying my sense of freedom. i knew my old job was frustrating me but i didn`t realise how much until Friday when i was finally out of that place.

i`m looking forward to starting work tomorrow even though i`ve been sleeping late and lazing about the house. i`m not on the schedule for the store until tomorrow either. it must be the Jamaican in me, but i feel somewhat that Living Color sketch with the guy taking vacation from just one job. i`m trying to remember if i was this edgy last year before i started working.

in the interim, i`ve been cleaning out my computer and enjoying the sublime role playing parody Kingdom of Loathing. i`ve never been much for role playing games, when D&D was getting popular with my peers i discovered that Scrabble; although viewed on the same geekiness scale; was also being played by cute girls and decided that i`d take my chances with the ladies instead. Kingdom of Loathing is too much fun to take as seriously as D&D which is why i think i enjoy it so much.


June 16, 2005 — Leave a comment

the likelihood that there will be an exit interview is slim and none. although now that i`ve had 24 hours to look back on it, the whole process was very strange.

in the process of handing my resignation in, my boss asked me if i wasn`t giving them two weeks` notice in light of the work that had to be produced and seemed genuinely hurt that i wasn`t. so i had to remind her that she had been advertising my position for the last three weeks so she could have one of the respondents to her ad start immediately. plus this is the same woman that never responded to the vacation request i`d put in since April and then further exacerbated the situation by suggesting that i hadn`t accrued any time off to take said vacation. she hasn`t done anything to endear any goodwill from me.

and just when i though it couldn`t get any stranger, it did; she played the race card. she said i`d hurt her as a `brother`. i was stunned. where was this racial love when she was advertising my job and screwing me out of my vacation?

i`m so glad to be out of this place, i feel better than i have in weeks, i don`t care about the vacation, fighting over it is not worth my piece of mind. i should get paid for this week, but my soon to be ex-boss let the hr/office manager leave for the week without saying a word to her about my departure on friday. so i`m not going to have a cheque for the week on friday or a letter promising that it will be covered in the next payroll and i`m a little worried about that.

i try not be nasty, not because i don`t like to, to the contrary i do it far to well, i seem to revel in a down and dirty fight especially when i feel i`m being taken advantage of. not getting paid would definitely be one of those situations.

it`s done. i`ve handed in my resignation and it seems somewhat anti-climactic. thus far it looks like i`m working out the rest of the week, but i`m not sure what mood swing is going to be this afternoon. all my stuff is packed, all personal traces have been removed from the computer, i`m ready to roll.

i`m not going to fight over my accrued vacation time, i pretty much want to shake the dust of this place off my feet and be done with it. i met some really nice people here, but i can`t work here anymore, i`m taking this shit home and i didn`t travel how many thousands of miles and suffer through all manner of humiliation to take a shitty day at the office home to vic.

i`d planned to hand in my resignation one way or another today, the fact that i got another job at this point is icing on the cake. thanks for all the good thoughts.

i`m trying to keep my head up, i really am, but it`s really difficult. i`m going to get fired, it`s not paranoia when your boss is advertising your job. the retail job is fun and everything but pays half the hourly rate of what i`m making now.

i`m sending out resumes and not even getting rejection letters. that`s particularly demoralising, i`m not even good enough to respond to? the possible project that the placement firm liked me for is on hold so that`s out. although the woman at the placement firm is doing the best she can. she`s got me a possible supplemental job and she`s saying they can get me a number of temp positions based on my skill sets.

the $1,000,000 questions or in this case the $x an hour questions are — will it match or exceed what i`m making now, can i temp 40 hours a week and should i resign before i`m fired?

i was trying to find official photos of the store opening on saturday but thus far; zip. i did however find a flickr gallery of one of the many that stood in the line this weekend.

the rest of the photos are here

edit [6/12]

i`ve found has a two part video of the opening here and here.