Sunday, December 30, 2012

Pretty Girls Rock!

Men will always be men, no matter how successful they are the one thing they cannot control is their penis! Just ask Bill Clinton, Mark Sanford, Jessie Jackson, Arnold Schwarzenegger and the countless other intelligent prosperous men.  For the past six weeks I had front row seats in watching a Vice President of an organization in which I was transitioning, trust me it was real temporary stop, lol, make a complete ass of himself as he fawned all over one very attractive lady.  It was so obvious you could literally see the erection every time he past by her.

The crazy thing is the young lady is of a highly intelligent caliber, therefore the excuse of her moving ahead can be merited based on her productivity and results.  The issue was not of her caliber but of the obvious display of favoritism.  This VP would visit our office every other week and would not talk to anyone but her.  When on a conference call anything she said was deemed GOLD, anything anyone else said was SHIT! The one incident that solidified this experience was a visit to the main office in which I accompanied this young lady.  While visiting the VP only met with me once and it was with the person who he was obviously in love with.  During the day we separated as we went about our ventures.  Towards the end of the day I was looking for the young lady to let her know we'll be departing. When I couldn't find her I approached the VP who abrasively told me she was in a conference room.  As I walked to retrieve her, he scooted through the office like the Tasmanian Devil and ran through the cubicle maze to beat me to the conference room.  He had no idea that I was once a sprint runner so when I saw him do his dart dance, I went into sprint mode and beat his ass.  As I opened up the door he was huffing right behind me, LOL.  As I started to speak he began to interrupt.  I kindly continued to talk and said I won't be long and all I wanted to tell her is we'll be leaving in 15 minutes please be ready. She kindly agreed and I walked off, smiling and cracking up to myself.   This little incident clearly let me know this guy is NUTS and I really don't want to work for him.

Some may think other women may become jealous of these actions. Actually when we get older its the contrary.  I've been in corporate America for 25 years. During my tenure I was admired by those of high distinction. What I do know is looks fade and they're always be a young honey behind you. What I also know is men can be vindictive especially powerful men.  What this young lady doesn't see is if his advances in any way are not met the backlash could be damaging to her career at the company.  I'm not referring to him trying to sleep with her, but the mere fact if she misses a deadline cause she was dining with her husband may be enough to set him off.  While some may think the VP attraction is flattering its actually dangerous.

After witnessing this debacle after two weeks I found another job.  Part of my reasoning for leaving stemmed from 1) I will not be part of trying proving myself and have my results overlooked and 2) The young lady is the one who referred me; with this being said if she's up shits creek for not responding to his advances where would that leave me.  After my fourth week I gave my notice to HR not to my boss the VP.  When he heard of my notice he called the young lady and asked her why was I leaving, she said I found another opportunity.  He then called me which I do believe he should of called me first and asked 1) Why didn't I tell him first and 2)Was it personal? My responses were:
1) I didn't call you first because we hardly speak and I thought it was best to go to proper channels.
2) How could it be personal when again we hardly speak.

He went on to tell me he had an open door policy, and of course I disputed his claim with an answer you may have an open door but that's reserved for certain people.  At the end of our conversation he told me to make sure I hug the young lady and ask her to never leave the organization! As I rolled literally cracked up, I told him I think we all know how you feel and I do believe its inappropriate to give a hug on your behalf.  I wished him luck and hung up!

Personally I am thrilled to be out of there, God is good! I found something else that is suitable to my aspirations.  Yet I am equally thrilled at the lesson learned. I am proud that I quickly recognized what was going on and refused to try to challenge the system in proving myself.  This was an unworthy cause and sometimes we need to know when to get out quickly.  Before leaving I informed my colleague of my thoughts. Prior to I let her know it had nothing to do with her ability, her work is flawless.  Yet it could be challenged if his attentions are not met, she needs to be careful and recognize if someone is over flattering you there's some sinister aspect going on.  For him to berate everyone and always treat her like a corporate princess is raised eyebrows enough for everyone to see.  All I want is for her to raise her eyebrows and beware!

Peace Out,

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Interviews - Oh my God, Why!?!?!

There are millions of Americans looking for jobs and are in desperate need of one.  In the same token there are also millions of American who are just plain sick and tired of working, the interview process and just giving part of their life away to a company who quite frankly can give two shits if you live or die.  With that being said here are a few things we are tired of:

  1. The interview process -  First of all stop asking applicants, "tell me about your resume", honestly didn't you look at it, did it seem to be a fit, why tell you about my resume and basically re-explain.  We are so tired of this BS question.  I am dying to tell an interviewer, "did you read it", "now what questions do you have", don't make me regurgitate what's already in front of you.  This process is stupid and a waste of everyone's time.
  2. What can you do for me - This question during an interview makes me laugh.  What can I do for you? Let me approach this a few ways 1) what attracted you to my resume, apparently you think I can do something for you, so you tell me what is.  The reason I bring this is up is the interviewer should know the ins and outs of the job and therefore is the one who recognizes you are the fit accompanied with the reason.  So, the question what can you do for me is basically null especially when they know the answer already. What an interviewer should do is fill in the gaps about the position regarding company culture, co-workers, management, deadlines, etc. And then ask how do you think on personal level you can fit in.  Ah, that makes more sense as oppose to you wanting me to sell myself when apparently on the surface you already like the product!
  3. The Callback - This goes out to recruiters, do not sweat me for my time, blow up my phone and emails; only for you to do the following: 
    1. Have about 10 other applicants from your agency also interview; which in turns reduces my chances.
    2. Refer me to a position in which some aspect I'm not completely qualified for just to pad your roster to the client
    3. Feedback - learn how to keep in touch even when an applicant doesn't get the job.  It would be helpful if you gave constructive feedback instead of dropping an applicant like a one night stand.
Personally I view Corporate America as toxic as heroin.  With all its methodologies, titles and bureaucracy it is no wonder nobody is chasing to go back to work.  I know some of the smartest people who have been out of work for 2 years plus, while they may be stressful in paying the bills, they are however some of the most stress free happy people I know.  While this re-election may finally bring about some jobs, Corporate America needs a make over in particular the interviewing process.  Stop treating people like they don't have experience, or as if they're desperate.  It's time to treat people like guess what PEOPLE!  Treat interviewees as if they're intelligent stop wasting their time and exercising your bravado/authority.  Your actions aren't impressing anybody it just frustrating a certain sector.  Most companies like to complain they're aren't enough qualified applicants yet the real issues is they're aren't enough qualified interviewers.  Get it together people stop the BS and get with the modern times and learn how to be REAL!

Peace Out,

Thursday, November 8, 2012

OJ vs Obama - Whitey Anger!

It may be just my imagination but white people are mad as all HELL!  They're mindsets are like OK we let you in one time, but twice, that's it, Damm it I am pisst off.  You know when white people say "damm it", all hell is about to break loose.  The clear realization that they are no longer the majority is freaking them out like no other! What makes matters worst they cannot even condemn one race, it's not a black, brown or yellow thing, it now seems like all colors are working together and white man particularly the Republican party is on the oust.  A perfect example of their venom towards this shift is the 400 crowd protest at Ole Miss.  Btw - what a waste of education if you're spending your time protesting a black man being president.  What the hell are you guys learning there? You would think this generation would have more sense than their Grandpappy's, but I guess not.  Blood is thick and so are the prejudices that run through it.  Check out this article courtesy of the MPB News.  Take note of the quote "The south will rise again."

Anti-Obama Protest at Ole Miss Opens Old Scars

Peace Out,

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Tea, the Beverage of Choice?

He did it again! Barack Obama is officially the President re-elect! We can all breathe a sigh of relief, take a long nap and overall just feel proud that we live in a democracy. Despite all of the rhetoric we the people have choose our leader.

While on a personal note I am elated that Barack Obama has been re-elected, I am equally saddened by the state of our country in particular the division of parties.  Historically the parties are meant to be divided, however the separation of today is much more visceral to the point where it's dangerous and irresponsible, can you say Donald Trump.

Throughout the legacy of politics parties have worked together for the betterment of America. During the Reagan years many Democrats worked with Republicans in implementing some of the social programs that are privy to us today.  During the Nixon years in which by the way he's the President who enacted Section 8 and was a Republican, he too worked with the Democrats, despite his Watergate issues (yikes).  The point here is we always found a way to compromise.  As we look at our current times we can only wonder, what happened? Why the change?

One of the main changes that I've witnessed since Obama took office in 2008 is the emergence and the affect outside groups have had on a party, in particular the Tea Party.  The Republicans complain the Democrats do not have a backbone yet their the ones who succumbed to the whims of this radical party who give a poor reputation to the original intent of the Tea Party.  Never in the history of politics have we seen a party become demoralized, negatively influenced and exercise poor judgment as result of coupling with a group of radicals.  Republicans we need you, the nation needs to become one.  Despite disagreements we can still make this the America it should be.  Stop drinking the tea! Give it up, be you, regroup. Re-acquaint yourself with original morals of the Republican party.  After all you're the ones who freed the slaves, don't retract what your party has done all to align yourselves with a group who clearly lacks vision and intelligence.  Drop them peeps!

While I'm sure parties will continue to disagree at least the disagreements would be based on merits and not on radical speculation.  American let's come together and stop the bull! The people who have voted you in have done so with the confidence that egos and tea will be left at the door so you the elected officials can walk into chamber and continue to make this the land of the beautiful and home of the brave!

Peace Out,

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Vote - Am I My Brother's Keeper!

Every time I hear the phrase "Am I My Brother's Keeper" I think of New Jack City.  Contrary to the premise of New Jack City, this phrase has wandered through the minds of many within the Black community throughout this election.

Many pundits have insinuated that African Americans vote for Barack Obama because he's black.  While I disagree with the overall statement I have to concur that part of me does vote for Obama because he looks like me, acts a little like me and for some reason I kind of think he knows what we go through as a person of color. After all before he became President he was just another black man, regardless of the white in him, which biologically was clearly wiped out. When you see Barack Obama and hear his name you think Black, period!  But while white people love to contend this is a race thing, then they should also be brave enough to admit that they too will vote for Romney because he's white! Here's where the difference lies if Barack Obama was a "Herman Cain" for the most part black people wouldn't even bother; it would be Clarence Thomas all over again.  However with white people who are suffering just as much as we are and are part of the 47% will still vote for Romney not only cause he's white but because Barack Obama is black!  This act of ad hominem which appeals to the feeling of prejudices rather than intellect is what has drove this country apart.  I truly hope for the sake of this country and the well being of all Americans that we vote based on issues, resolutions and overall betterment of America!  Despite who you choose, choose for the right reasons not just for same color!

Check out this article by Slate, excellent perspective on white voting!

Peace Out,

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Message

Don't push me cause I'm close to the edge, I'm trying not to lose my head - The Message by Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five (Mellie Mel).  The Message was one of those songs that had it's  first lyrical conscious rap.  This song will remain timeless for a myriad of reasons.  However, its main lyric or should I say "hook" has been my corporate personal mantra for the past few weeks.  By the way my first rap corporate mantra is DMX's Ya'll Gonna Make Me Lose My Mind; works every time when an "all hell break loose" moment is about to erupt :), but for now let's talk about pushing people close to the edge.

Recently a situation occurred in which I facilitated a training session with staff and managers. The managers were belligerent, discounted everything I said, was disrespectful to their staff and worst of all sucked out any positive energy.  It was almost as if the Dementors from Harry Potter were present.  As the session ended I was extremely happy that the terror had now ceased; this happiness was very short lived as I heard the dreaded words, "Blacktina, there's been another class scheduled for this group with different team members but the same managers.  Y'all know I had an "aw shit" moment, mouth curled, eyes rolled, head shaking back and forth you name it moment. But wait there's more, just when I thought it couldn't get any worst, an email was sent to me my by the two Senior Managers requesting a meeting on training suggestions.  While part of me cringed at the thought of talking to these Senior Managers who I will refer to as Heckle and Jeklyl, I knew in my professional heart I had to concede and grant this request.  In an effort to appear fair and embody the team player mentality I agreed to the meeting and sent out the invite. Well unbeknownst to me Heckle and Jeklyl planned on having some sort of battle royale meeting in which I would be the weaker opponent. This little plan came to light when I noticed my meeting invite was forwarded to five additional managers.  As I retreated back to the "aw hell no" moment I quickly decided not to hold this in and take a minute to cool off which I normally would do. Nope, I decided this was one of those times where someone was trying to push over the edge and in the words of Mellie Mel "I was about to lose my head"! With this mindset I sent am email and stated the following:

Heckle and Jeklyl
To my understanding the proposed meeting was intended for Heckle, Jeklyl and myself.  I now see the meeting has been forwarded to several managers.  The presence of others managers who weren't on the original invite lend the impression that this would be an "attack" session in which I would be the one being attacked.  Considering the behavior of all managers during our last training session, it leaves me little to believe the contrary.  The purpose of this email is to set clear expectations, I will not be involved in a meeting reminiscent of the OK Corral. I want to be very clear this meeting is to take place between us three to provide training suggestions with the intent of enhancing training.  If your intentions are to alter materials then I suggest you contact the course Program Manager who will be more than happy to assist; other than that I have no problem meeting with the two of you as long as the conversation is civil, insult free and productive.  

I'm sure you could guess Heckle and Jeklyl's reaction. First let me tell you I was dealing with a white woman and a black man.  The black man by the way is married to a white woman and it's clear he has little respect for his kind (other situations provide credibility to this statement, that's another article :)).  The first response was from the white woman who did one of their common responses "I'm sorry you were offended, those were not my intentions."  Black guy's response "I think you mis-interpreted our intentions." Honestly, I knew I had them backed in a corner; my email was professional yet candid and to the point. Basically a translation of my email was "Um, hell no you said between us and I'm not about to get set up, so either y'all chill and leave as is or bounce boo and check your situation with the next one."  This whole little debacle did end with me just meeting with one of the Senior Managers, the Black guy, who apologize profusely regarding their behavior in my last class and only wanted to convey if I can skim over some topics they are not using and provide greater detail on processes his team is using.  I agree but I also told him this could of been conveyed in an email and you really didn't need 7 managers on a conference call to tell me that.  Again he apologized if it appeared as such.  BTW - Notice between the two Senior Managers the fake brotha is doing all the apologizing. Can you imagine the conversation between him and Ms. White Senior Manager about how to approach this situation, Arsenio throwback, things that make you go hmmmmmm.........

This scenario taught me a few things:
1) Never be afraid to call a spade a spade; if you feel it to be true then call it out
2) The truth will set you free; if you don't exercise it you will be imprisoned with some bullshit handed your way and
3) Remain professional and have your facts straight. Corporate America loves to see the angry black woman/man it gives them justification.  However, just because we want to avoid that stigma doesn't mean we shouldn't defend ourselves, we just need to learn how and when!

After all was said and done I was proud of myself. Yes I patted my back, wrapped my arms around myself gave me a big hug, hell I wanted to kiss myself in the mirror I was so proud!  As I get older I know one thing I like to sleep at night and there's no way I could sleep peacefully if I could let bullshit like this go on throughout my day.

Hope you enjoyed this story!

Peace Out,

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Truth Will Set You Free

It's that time of the year again where elections and feelings are running high. Either you're a die hard Obama fan or loving you some Romney; either way when it comes to the election and these spectacular debates the one thing that resonates with everyone is truth.  As in who's the truth??  According to the last presidential debate Romney seemed to be himself in which some critics have characterized his performance as the "true" Romney.  Obama on the other hand was viewed as tired, inexperienced and docile to Romney, which forms the questions was this the true Obama?

For many African Americans I think we know this wasn't the true Obama, however, his actions were very truthful to how some of us act when we're in professional debatable scenarios with white colleagues. Yes I know race isn't everything but to us African Americans and Latinos our interactions with the white race will ALWAYS be about race and how our positions are displayed.  For example if I'm in a meeting and I oppose an initiative I'm viewed as aggressive, my white counterpart is viewed as passionate.  If I ask too many questions I'm dumb and not on target, my white counterpart is inquisitive and insightful.  If I appear confident when my boss or colleague is addressing me then I'm arrogant; my white counterpart is assured and is deemed with leadership qualities.  Get the picture!

As I looked at Obama's demeanor during the debate it was as if he was afraid to be himself.  It was almost as if he were more concerned that his appearance did not offend Romney, because such offense might be mistaken as a disrespectful badgerer.  It was obvious that his performance was lackluster and just plain ole terrible! But I wonder was it really that bad or is it really bad that we have to act a certain way in order for us not to be misjudged, and if so when are we able to show our true selves?

Recently while being interviewed I noticed that I was very uncomfortable with my speech, demeanor and overall conversation.  When I left the interview and got in my car I played my mixed CD of Biggie, Blackstar, Tribe Called Quest, DMX and Nas.  I felt relieved that I was done but more importantly I felt like ME! The sad part of assimilation for African Americans is we really can't be ourselves and if we can't then how in the world do we pretend to be happy when we have to act for at least 8-10 hours a day and I mean some serious Oscar winning performances.  This revelation made me realize that within certain circumstances like interviewing I have to be me! No I will not issue a response like "Gurl, I'm saying....",  but I and like many others have to find that median where we're not selling out to be sold out and remain true to ourselves.  First and foremost many of us are innately intelligent whether its academic or common sense, we need to understand that assimilation shouldn't mean dimming our light so others can shine.  Would this mean my chances of success are slimmed, maybe it is, but I do know it may also mean that my happiness and inner truth will be happy as all hell!  Maybe if President Obama can find his median and display his truth perhaps he will have a successful debate! Let's keep our fingers crossed that President Obama can set the standard of display that if we oppose you it doesn't mean we're Nat Turner and about to revolutionize, for God's sake all we want is to be able to be our TRUE selves!

Peace Out,

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Tom and Sadie Please Sit Down!

Oh Tom and Sadie, smh..... Honestly I personally detest using these terms for the sole reason that I'm smart enough to know the Tom(s) and Sadie(s) did what they had to do to sustain their sanity.  However, for the purpose of this article I need to somehow identify my characters so Tom and Sadie it is!

Being black in Corporate America, I'm purposely omitting the term "people of color", not all of those of  "color" experience what black person(s) experience.  Our presence in corporate consists of defense, overly intelligent, hard working, the teflon approach (we take a lot of crap and just have to shake it off half the time), and a strong sense of teamwork. The one thing that some of us have mastered and some of us just can't seem to wrap our heads around is the "kissing up" technique.

Being a black/hispanic woman I have enough on my plate.  I can commit to working hard, doing more, ignore stupidity even deal with the Prozac population.  But the one thing I can not and will not do is kiss up! For those of you who are confused with kissing up vs teamwork, let me give you a couple examples.

1) The boss tells a stupid joke, it's not even funny in any manner.  Kiss up Tom will crack up like he's at a Chris Rock concert.  Non-kisser person may give a little smile, this smile is only meant to acknowledge regarding the attempt of being funny.
2) Your boss informs the staff there is no more office space and we all have to sit in the hallway until something becomes available.  Sweet Sadie responds "oh that's cool we can greet everyone who's coming in" mind you we are NOT receptionists. Non-kisser will oppose being subjected to being placed in a demeaning location, will argue the violation of respected privacy and will challenge management to seek alternatives.

As you can clearly see there's a stark difference between Tom and Sadie vs Non-kisser.  The problem with this situation and it's a sad one, is unfortunately for us Tom and Sadie look like us and presents a cosmetic notion that we should all act the same.  In the true form of the way God made us, no two people are alike; regrettably for Mr./Ms. Boss they so wish we were!  Because the wish is so intent and will not be granted for everyone, the Non-kisser appears to be confrontational, adversarial, and difficult to work with.  Hence affecting positive performance reviews, promotions and a huge like-ability reduction.  All of this because Non-kisser refuses to suck up!

It's a shame that in today's world there is still the expectation that we need to kiss up to get ahead.  It's not about our education, our commitments or contributions, rather how much and how good can I kiss up to you.  Personally my job is not make anyone feel good, yes I am a strong proponent of all well balanced friendly work environment; however, I am equally passionate about rewarding based on productivity and meaningful contribution.  I have witnessed many passovers and layoffs of extremely intelligent individuals who did not practice laughing at every joke, who refused to be demeaned for any reason.  I truly hope one day, Mr./Ms. Boss whether white or black get over the you have to make me feel good, save that shit for your Man or Woman.  We are not here to provide that service.  It's almost reminiscent of slavery when anything Massa did, for example, if he laughed you laughed even if he called you a Stinky Monkey who ate Shit!  My advice to the Tom(s) and Sadie(s) the next time you compromise yourself remember a few things 1) you have to keep it up and that in itself is more detrimental than eating poison and 2) the more you do it the more you set us all back!  How can we move ahead when we still have to coon! In the words of Dave Chappelle (paraphrasing), "you'll get tired of the cooning".

To the rest of us who not only battle the daily wars of Corporate America but have to deal with our "sistahs/brothas" as a challenge, all I can say is keep doing you. Do not compromise your values, ethics and inner morals. Think of your ancestors and how far we've come that we demand to be respected and not faulted cause we don't grease the lips and kiss up!  One day our descendants will put an end to this, but it starts with us.  Black people chill, know your worth and exercise the value that comes with it!

Peace Out,