Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My Fear of Hustling

Okay, I've been a cook, package handler, game room attendant, dock supervisor, mail room clerk, HR recruiter, telemarketer, professional gambler, and a few more job titles that I can't think of at this moment. Despite having worked a number of shitty jobs over the years at the heart of all of them, I've always been a hustler. In fact, the shittier the job, the better hustler I was. For instance, I used to sell mix cds on the 169 bus when I was a package handler at UPS. I was in college, barely scratching $150 per week, but I remember a number of individuals who sold bootleg cds when I was a student at SIU. I learned the game from them and kept my ear to the street and to the radio to keep up with what's hot and I would make sure that I always got the songs and mixes that everyone wanted. I considered myself a true hip-hopper back in those days who had a lot of hard to find music in my collection. Oh, how I long for the days of Napster and Kazaa when they were free and had hard to find music ranging from DFC, to the chocolate factory bootleg that made me hundreds of dollars.

With me being an artist you might think that I feel guilt about being a bootlegger back in the day. FUCK NO.. in fact I'm proud of it. I'd like to kick myself in the ass for taking the promotion to a part-time supervisor position even to this day, although I learned a different hustle, motivating men. In learning that hustle, I lost the fearlessness I possessed when I was selling bootleg cds to a bunch of individuals that I didn't know.. initially. I'd walk up to people and say "what do you listen to? Who's your favorite rapper? Singer?" Then I'd get them engaged in conversation (this bus ride was an hour), then BAM! I'd pull out my large cd collection that people were highly impressed with. Then I'd say "I can get you anything you want in that binder for $5 and if its not on that binder, get me the name of the songs you want and the order you want them in and I'll have em for you by the end of the week (this was before WI-FI cards and high speed internet).

Then I worked a bunch of telemarketing and sales jobs, I got used to hiding behind a phone when asking people to buy that I developed a fear of no because I got hung up on so much. When people heard me selling on the phones during a good economy I was told "man Glenn, you should sell cars. You'd be really good!" At that point, people had been belligerent so many times over the phone that I had said "I can't take these people being rude to me face to face." This fear had stopped me from selling to people in person.

Shortly after going into sales, I started experiencing a high level of success in local poker tournaments and in the $2/5 and $5/10 no limit games at the local casinos. I did this for a few years and got tired of the up and down swings of this lifestyle, not to mention that I saw that a lot of the bad players were going broke to myself and other pros so the games started drying up. I traveled down south to try to keep myself going, but eventually poor money management, loaning deadbeats, bad swings, and allowing too many railbirds to play on my bankroll temporarily forced me out of the gambling life. However, I was a hustler of a different sort on the felt. I'd play tight-aggressive for a stretch, then loose aggressive, then somewhere in-between. I had developed an ability to keep my opponents off balance and hustle them out of money based on my level of deception or hand strength depending on the situation. Now that construction jobs have slowed, there aren't as many bad poker players lurking around in the Chicago area poker rooms. The Majestic and Ameristar is dead, and while the Hammond Horseshoe has taken all the poker business from other local casinos, it takes an hour and a half for me to get there thanks to its location. No thanks!

Then I started playing online for low-stakes and won enough money to cover set-up fees and my first print run. Around this time, I started working square jobs again and initially I didn't have the time to sell my books. Then with my hours having been reduced at my job and me having spent my bankroll on the production of my book, I was forced to try to sell off my first print run with little success. The reason being: I was scared to walk up to people and ask them for $15. Now all of a sudden, I'm just like the man who sells Streetwise newspapers. People look at my book selling as a broke desperate author, no one wants to buy a book from a desperate author! I had forgotten how to hustle so I'm replaying all these negative thoughts in my mind and as a result I would sit in the train station and watch people enter while being scared to approach them; until one day I got tired of wasting my bus fare to not sell my book. This time I mustered up enough courage to approach a young white girl, who might have been a teenager and as I was trying to tell her about my book, something magical happened as I tried to hand her a copy. She said, "no thank you sir, I'm not interested!" I hesitated for a split second because I was amazed at how her rejecting my sales pitch didn't feel as bad as I thought it would. I then said thank you and moved on to the next person that looked like she fit my demographic, and now I'm a hustler again!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Arrogance and Humility

Earlier today I received a phone call from MH and although I was reluctant to speak to her, I decided to pick up the phone to hear what she had to say.

Me: "Hello"

MH: "Hey, how ya doing?"

Me: "I'm okay and you"

MH: "I'm okay."

Me: "Okay"

MH: "Happy Holidays to you Glenn." (after a brief awkward silence)

Me: "Thank you and Happy Holidays to you too MH."

MH: "Thank you"

Me: "You're welcome"

MH: "So what are you doing right now?"

Me: "Nothing, just enjoying the holidays. You?"

MH: "Watching TV with my family."

Me: "Okay"

MH: "Wow, you're a man of few words."

Me: "You asked me your questions and I answered them. Anyway, why did you call me?"

MH: "Why are you being so mean?"

Me: "I'm not being mean, but you called me MH. Where are you going with this?"

MH: "Don't you have anything to say to me? Don't you have an apology for me?"

Me: "APOLOGY? I got things to do, bye!"

I decided to end all contact with MH a week ago last Sunday because she falsely accused me of being behind a bad deed that she thought was being done to her. After the way today's conversation went, I have no regrets about my decision, although I am very disappointed. Last week, I couldn't get past the fact that she elected to not show any self-accountability for her actions after she found that I wasn't behind the deed and she still ignored the fact that I was hurt by her accusations. Not to mention that the actual deed wasn't bad at all and that one of her family members had actually sent her a gift.

I'm more disappointed in MH after talking to her because of the arrogance she displayed towards the end of our short conversation. I was expecting more humility from her, but she decided to be arrogant and ask me whether or not I have an apology for her. She knows full well that I have no apology for her because I did nothing wrong. She made a false accusation towards me, and it was very malicious considering that she was accusing me of a reprehensible act. I was not very happy about the false accusations, but I'm even more disgusted by her expectation of an apology from me when I did nothing wrong! She knows that I did nothing wrong, but to expect an apology from her because I was offended by being falsely accused and feeling like a suspect. I am very offended by the arrogance that she displayed today.

I'm very disappointed in MH because she's a much better person than this. She's a beautiful human being, both inside and out. She's kind, personable, nurturing, ambitious, articulate, and intelligent. I expect better out of MH because she's a much better person than that. She's not arrogant by nature, but for her to speak to me in that manner was disgusting and offensive. I was hoping for an apology from her for making false accusations and assumptions about me, but she decided to show arrogance instead of humility. I wanted more from her last week when she made excuses to justify her false accusations, and I wanted more from her than her display of arrogance when she called today. Her lack of accountability has really disappointed me, because she's a much better person than this. I truly hope that she can identify her shortcomings and correct them because she is so much better than this.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Hustling and Heartbreak

Sometimes I believe that relationships are a lost cause for me until other people talk sense into me. I'm a good man; I swear I am, but I tend to fuck up my own relationships with women, except for the last woman. I'm not going to go into details about the last woman I was seeing because I'm learning not to speak ill of anyone. I will say this: I did a few good deeds for her and she accused me of something reprehensible before the last good deed was completed. After taking a day to think about it I had a chance encounter with her on the Sheridan train stop where I was selling my books and upon seeing her, I decided to break all ties with her. I liked this woman and thought that we had a future together until I realized that because she accused me of a bad deed she really expects bad deeds to be done unto her by the people she's dating. In a way, I feel sorry for her because I know that feeling of constant pessimism.

In fact, the pessimism that I'm referring to drove a wedge between me and KR that has yet to be overcome. Its funny that I encountered this not even a year after KR because I got to feel how KR felt when I walked out on her in such an angry rage. I feel like I can't say 'I'm sorry' enough times because that's how much I hurt her and then some. I picked a bad time to realize how sensitive she is by nature, but getting past that she's a sweetheart, but I digress. MH's pessimism has been triggered by events in her past that would cause for her to always suspect anyone who has her address. And for her to even fix her mouth to say that I could be capable of doing the reprehensible deed that she accused me of not only hurts, but tells me that she believes that she did something pretty foul in that warrants the kind of deed that she accused me of. This made me think "hmmm.. perhaps I don't know her as well as I thought. Ain't no telling what kind of dirt she might have done in her past, perhaps I should rethink this."

Its a shame because I really liked her and my kind deed blew up in my face. As I was breaking up with her, I could only think of how KR felt when I walked out on her after she had set up a great afternoon at her apartment.. I will not go into details. With KR, I started overthinking things and blew my volcano. Sometimes I think, "had I just been a little more patient we'd be planning a log cabin getaway instead of trading verbal shots at each other through a mutual acquaintance on our friends list." Then I would have never met MH, but I'm glad that I met MH because we both needed each other.

She needed me to allow her to realize that not every man is out to get her, and I needed her to explain to me that night how black women have gone through a lot and that because of this, black women need to be cherished and uplifted. MH told me that black women don't want to feel angry and be judged; they want to feel special. She also said the same for black men, but I'm going to hope for the ladies who read this blog to uplift them too. The truth of the matter is that my relationships tell the story of the hurt and trauma that both our black women and black men have experienced. I personally have a positive outlook on life in many areas, but realized that I viewed black women in a negative light by focusing solely on the negatives. While its true that both genders need work, I know in my heart that the only way to improve our relations is to actually cherish each other. I vow to do my part by cherishing the woman that I'm with in the next relationship that I decide to enter. I promise that relationship won't take place immediately because I realize that I need some unspecified time to actually digest what happened between MH and I before I enter my next relationship so that I avoid dropping this baggage on her.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Let's Be Friends -- Wait... No!

Let's Be Friends -- Wait... No!

I haven't known you for a lifetime
I don't know much about you
I do know that I can't stop thinking about you
Then that brings me to think about those fuck-ing text messages sent by me
I felt gorilla-like by my initial anger
I feel like one penny by my current remorse
Wanting you to come back
As I look at my footprint across your back
Its not fair to me, its not fair to you
I now know what it means to say what you mean and mean what you say
Instead, I chose to be mean

See I knew you liked me, admired me
Saw me, in a light that I could not imagine seeing myself
Instead, I construct walls and shoved you out the front door naked
After you've exposed yourself to me,
Beyond bras and panties
You exposed what lies beneath your tits
You made yourself vulnerable

Only for me to act like an animal
Its my ego
Instead of opening the floor for discussion
I shut the door because it didn't make sense to me
You're so trusting in me
I am so cynical
Looking at what's not going my way
Instead of looking at the better way
You are the better way
You are a great gift to me
Given to me by God
Father forgive me for blocking my blessing of she

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Glenn Gamble
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