This Is the End

As mentioned in my last post, I was going to put up my “bye” post but didn’t know what to write other than “bye.” A few weeks ago, I went online and found these funny GIFs for the post and was going to write a post that same night…just didn’t know what to write.

Then, of course, my Macbook Pro decided to act silly (because that’s what Macbooks do), and I ended up dropping $200 on a new (used) motherboard (they call it a “logic board”), which I installed myself over a week ago. (In the meantime, I wrote my last post on my Dell laptop–yes, I have two laptops, and if you think that’s bad just try and guess how many cell phones I have. But the Macbook Pro is *supposed* to be for programming.) And now that I finally feel sure that I did well enough that this laptop won’t burst into flames, I’m going to be brave and spend more than 15 minutes on it so I can show you what I call my “bye” GIFs (again, I found them online–they’re not really mine).

twerk-lol

Let’s see if we can adequately sum this blog up…

Doesn’t it look like Beyonce is saying “Later, hoe”? That’s right, ya heard–I’m sayin’ LATER to you, you WordPress HOE!

That’s me being an @ss. I mean…not literally me, but…telling someone “later, hoe” is so me nowadays. The jobs and the people I’ve complained about throughout this blog will make you that way–“crunk,” as one of my “work friends” calls it/me.

And for my fellow football fanatics, especially college football…

You throwin’ me out, WordPress? Yep, pretty much. I suck just that bad, kind of like this quarterback did.

Oh my goodness–I remember the first time I saw this. When I first started this blog, I was a sportswriter on the side while working a migraine-inducing tech support job with a whole bunch of psycho clients calling in. And I worked with a psychob!tch I called “Female Tech Geek” (FTG) and several cool geeky guys. One of the cool geeks introduced me to LSUfreek, who makes these funny college football GIFs, and I laughed so hard when I saw this one. The funniest thing I’d seen, next to Dave Chappelle’s “Black White Supremacist” skit. Of course, it helps if you know about South Carolina, Steve Spurrier and Stephen Garcia–makes it funnier.

And, of course, there’s relationships. Though I have no GIF for that, I do have a song that kind of fits–but especially the chorus.

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Sick of Black Hair Stylists, Pt. 2

Part 1 has gotten to be a fairly popular post to which many black women are letting me know they can relate. So, I’m temporarily coming out of retirement to do a Part 2. I just had to let other black women know about my most recent experience at the hair salon. Black women, if you know hair stylists, please share this with them because this true story has everything I hate about going to the salon and dealing with black hair stylists. These women need to learn about themselves and change their ways!

So, I commented on Part 1 that I needed a touch-up on my relaxer so bad but had not been to the salon in a long time because I just didn’t want to go. Part of the reason for that is because, at the end of last year, my regular salon closed down. This was the best salon I’d found in the area since I moved back in 2011. It wasn’t perfect, but, like I said, it was the best I’d found around here. I did not have a regular stylist there because they had a lot of turnover. But almost everyone who did my hair there was very tolerable. Still, not having a regular stylist left me with no one to go to when the salon closed down, and stylists around here have a habit of either going to shops that are too far away or…well, going to shops, which I’m done with because they’re not professional. I only go to professional businesses, even though they cost more.

So, there I was, back having to go through finding somewhere decent to go and dealing with someone new. Not looking forward to it! So, I kept putting it off.

It came down to two choices–Macy’s hair salon, which is in the same shopping center as the Regis hair salon that closed down, and a Regis that is in another shopping center that is not close to where I live. I tried to go for the Macy’s salon, but every time I called I was sent to voice mail. I was very close to making an appointment with the far-away Regis, but my mother suggested we just go on over to Macy’s and make an appointment in person. I didn’t like this, because if I needed to cancel what would I do? To me, the hassle to make an appointment in the first place was bad sign #1. Unfortunately, I listened to my mother, and I made an appointment in person and made sure to get the stylist’s cell phone number in case I needed to contact her.

So, my appointment was Friday. Now, I like to be the very first appointment at salons because I know the later you come in the longer you’ll be there, because you’ll most likely have to wait. Against my better judgment and because I don’t have a lot of time to be picky about appointments since I work overnight most nights, I went ahead and took the 2nd slot for Friday morning. Naturally, I get there on time and the stylist’s 1st appointment had just shown up. So, I knew I was about to waste several hours on my day off at the damn salon.

Surprisingly, 20-25 mins later, I get in the chair. Now, I had gotten accustomed to the way the women at Regis typically conducted their business, which I think is full of really good practices–plus, I’ve had several hair stylists who would treat new clients the way women at Regis treated me. One of these good practices was asking the client questions before pulling out relaxers and just getting started. I could see this bitch already had a relaxer out and was not about to ask me anything, and I really did not want my scalp sizzling. So, I spoke up and told her I have a sensitive scalp and that stylists usually use Mizani sensitive scalp on my hair. She told me she was using Affirm sensitive scalp. Now, I had someone at Regis tell me one time that they were out of Mizani and she was using Affirm, and that shit burned. Then another time I had someone tell me she was using Affirm, and it didn’t burn. So, I wasn’t sure what to expect and didn’t want to argue.

It started out fine, but she is one of those stylists who wants to leave you sitting in the chair for 15 minutes with relaxer in your scalp. Eventually, that got to my scalp, and it was burning. She comes back and starts breaking it down, and she asks me if I’ve “been saved.” Oh, boy. I knew what was coming, but I had no idea how bad it was going to get! This bitch started going on…and on…and on…about God, started bragging about her husband and how much they have, talking about opening a new church. She would not…shut…up! I seriously could not find a way to let this bitch know my scalp was on fire because she was too busy telling me why I should believe in God! And she kept stopping what she was doing with my hair, walking in front of me and doing hand gestures with all of her obsessive lecturing, while I’m sitting there with my scalp burning and my Friday morning and part of my Friday afternoon being wasted with her bullschitting. She never once asked if my scalp was burning, which is something most stylists do several times while they are relaxing your hair.

And when she wasn’t talking about God, she was talking about how good she knows she is with doing hair, how professional she is, etc. Meanwhile, I can’t get a word in edgewise, she’s gotten base all over my face, ears and neck (so much that most of it was still on me when I finally got home–too bad it didn’t help at all), and she is flinging relaxer on my face. Then she takes me over to the bowl to wash all of the relaxer out, and she is still going on and on about God and her husband the pastor, preacher or whatever the hell he is, while she is washing out my hair (and my clothes, with all the water she got down the back of my shirt)! She was also making comments about remembering my being “cute” and “quiet” from another salon, which I quit going to because it was horrible.

Um, okay–newsflash: quiet people can’t stand being told they’re quiet, and my experience with straight black women telling another black woman she is “cute” to her face is that is code for “I can’t stand your @ss!” and/or “You think you’re better than everyone else,” especially if you’re quiet and especially if you’re light-skinned (which I am). It’s really not a compliment, and, even if it was/is, I don’t believe it/feel that way and don’t want to hear it. Just do my hair and, except for asking professional questions, be quiet.

Eventually, we get to the point where stylists start asking about how to style your hair and cutting your ends and all of that, and she turns into one of those pushy types. Now, you have to understand that I’m not like other black women–I don’t care anything about hair styles. I go to the salon strictly to get touch-ups. This bitch starts pressuring me about cutting my hair into a style, gives two options and then was basically like, “Which one do you want?” Um, bitch, I don’t want either–I want you to do what I told you to do! I didn’t want her cutting my hair at all, even to clip the ends, and she was like, “Your hair is uneven here and here” and this and that and “I can’t let you leave here like this.” Um, I don’t care–like I said, I go to the salon for a relaxer, nothing else. I don’t care what my ends look like–I don’t want black hair stylists clipping my ends because 99% of the time they cut…too…much! I can’t keep long hair for schitt anymore because of these bitches!

Finally, this bitch takes a piece of my hair on one side, the side she was saying had uneven hairs, and said she was only going to cut that one piece and nothing else. She literally took the other side of my hair and said she wasn’t going to mess with it. So, I agreed. Long story short, this bitch ended up cutting my hair all over. Cut, not clipped. She kept taking pieces of my hair and snipping, and when you do that over and over and over again you’re not clipping or trimming a person’s hair–you’re cutting it, bitches!

And it goes without saying that I didn’t like my hair after it was done, let’s just save reading time by putting it like that. Plus, she used one of those really, really hot flat irons and was burning my scalp with it left and right (while running her mouth, of course)–she even burned my face, which now has a black mark on the right side!

Basically, it is Monday now, and Monday afternoon I washed my hair after spending $60+ to get it done on Friday. My hair smelled so bad, like burnt hair, that I was embarrassed to go to work last night. My hair normally smells bad after going to the salon, but this was just the absolute worst! And I don’t know if my scalp has ever burned as long as it has after this touch-up. I put oil, apple cider vinegar, etc, on it before and after I got sores, and still! It’s even still stinging in spots after washing it with cold water! The sores are healing, but the healing is making my scalp itch.

I would complain to a manager at Macy’s salon, except no one ever answers the phone and I have never seen a manager there. The phone rang several times while I was there Friday. The hair stylists simply ignore it. Between the type of service I received and the lack of business they’re getting by ignoring the phones, I am fairly certain that this salon will also be closing down in the future.

I am seriously starting to want to learn how to relax my own hair. I am running out of salons to attend in my area, and I am sick of these experiences with these bitch-@ss hair stylists. People have their point of view about black women and relaxers, but I seriously don’t care anything about hair beyond manageability. Because of this, I don’t want to relax my hair myself, and I don’t want whatever unknown issues come with having natural hair. It’s really that simple–it has nothing to do with wanting to be like white women or self-hatred. I’m just lazy as hell when it comes to hair. I would much rather hand someone money to have her spend a couple of hours doing schitt I don’t want to do for my hair, especially if it will make doing my own hair easier for a month or two, but it’s so hard to find someone who is not going to take you through a bunch of bullschitt and who is not going to hop from place to place and expect you to follow.

So, come time for my next touch-up, there I’ll be again–looking for some other place and some halfway decent black hair stylist to do my relaxer. [Sigh…]

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Women, Blacks and Computer Programming

I wasn’t planning on writing another post on this blog, with the exception of my “Bye” post–and the only reason that hasn’t gone up yet is because I don’t know what to write (other than “bye”). But I want to write at least a little bit more than that for the, what, two readers I have.

Perhaps it is not so bad that “it’s so hard to say goodbye,” or else I wouldn’t be posting the following, which may be enlightening to some who are interested in the following topic. And here it is:

So, I haven’t written a lot about this while keeping this blog, but I am attempting to transition into a career as a programmer or software (or web) developer. I’ve taken a couple of online classes, but I am sick of the online route and feel that I need something that is faster and more structured, as well as more in depth. This has led me to do some research on what is out there that might fit me.

I ran across some bootcamp classes, which…bootcamp sounds great to me. Nobody I’ve talked to about it seems to like the idea of my going to bootcamp. In fact, some of them don’t like it for some of the reasons why I love it, i.e. you learn a lot in a short amount of time. And, obviously, there’s the cost of bootcamp.

Anyway…not the point. The thing about the bootcamps is every bootcamp pic is full of whites and Asians, most of them male. These bootcamps are always like, “Oh, 95% of our graduates get jobs as developers within a few months of completing bootcamp”…but…all of their grads lack melanin, which leaves me wondering whether or not I’d be able to get a job after bootcamp (if I actually went). It’s not like I’m just black or just a woman and have at least sex or at least race in my corner–I’m both. This led me to do some more research–this time about women and blacks in this field.

Every time I search on this topic, I find articles and blog posts that wonder why blacks aren’t attracted to programming or why women aren’t majoring in Computer Science anymore. And there’s a lot of discussion, but I’m not sure I’ve ever actually seen a–for lack of a better word–“correct” answer. So, I’m going to cut the bullschitt and tell you my truth.

Why didn’t I study Comp. Sci, and why do I think blacks don’t become programmers or developers?

1) Frankly? Every time I think of all of those whites and Asians in those bootcamp pics, especially the guys you could tell are super geeky, I seriously ask myself if I want to spend entire workdays–or even bootcamp–surrounded by a bunch of geeky whites and Asians with whom I have nothing in common but this one interest.

For one thing, I am not a geek. I’m a nerd. There’s a difference. I think people who are attracted to stuff like programming tend to be geeks. Geeks and nerds usually have different personalities and different interests. I think nerds have more of a mainstream quality to them, to the point where sometimes you have to get to know someone before you realize he/she is a nerd. I’m incredibly capable of fitting in with “average” people and having conversations that don’t go above everyone’s head about everyday things. When I tell jokes, they’re actually funny to “average” people. Stuff like that.

I’ve seen definitions that basically switch the meaning of “geek” and “nerd,” but this is based on my daily observations–I think nerds are basically just more intellectual (in a broad range of subjects) and more quiet than everyone else, but geeks flatout don’t make sense to other people, tend to specialize in their knowledge and look odd, to boot. Think Jessie Spano (nerd) vs Screech Powers (geek) from “Saved By the Bell.”

Now, some of the “reasoning” and guessing I’ve seen as to why women, for example, don’t head towards programming involves the perception that it’s “uncool” or “uncool” people work in programming. This is not what I’m saying, so don’t get it confused. I’m not cool, not interested in it. I don’t particularly believe women are looking for cool careers/co-workers, but I do think a lot of women want to feel comfortable at work…and there are many things I can see with programming that can lead to some discomfort. This is doubly true if you’re a black woman. I’m not a teenager anymore. I’ve socialized for a long time, have worked for a long time, around all kinds of people. It’s way too complicated for a blog post, so all I can tell you is that 1) I know enough to know that dropping a fairly normal black–or even white or Asian (but especially a black)–female into a geeky white-guy space is going to be kind of awkward for everyone involved, and 2) you’re going to have a hard time finding a black person or a woman who is truly an all-out geek or even truly a full-fledged nerd, which further exacerbates what would surely be an issue of cultural fit in the workplace. Let’s face it–if you went out geek profilin’, you’d be looking for white or Asian guys. You profile black men in a different way. There are reasons for this.

The thing about it is, as I’ve written time and time again, cultural fit makes or breaks you on the job. Nobody’s going to convince me otherwise–I believe hard/good work and skill level have ridiculously little to do with advancing on the job or being treated well/fairly–and I think this is something most people understand on some level. It can keep you from getting your foot in the door, which is what led to my questioning whether or not bootcamp post-employment would work for me quite the same way it allegedly works for white guys and Asian guys and a few token non-black women. And other times, you can get through the door but get treated differently than everyone else once you’re inside.

This is not to say that my concern is discrimination, per se. It really is more so thinking about the kind of people by which I’d be surrounded and the awkwardness of it due to my lack of geekiness, my race and my sex vs the geekiness, race and sex of others. Discrimination is mainly an issue, for me, in terms of even being able to get hired in the first place.

2) Um…I’m almost 33 years old. So…when I was in high school deciding what I might want to major in during college–and then when I went to college–I don’t really remember much in the way of computer programming being offered. Now, that’s not to say there wasn’t anything. But…you’ve got to admit, that kind of thing has gotten more popular, more mainstream, and it’s all thanks to the tech explosion. So, you had an exposure problem back then that doesn’t exist to the same degree anymore. Now with cell phones and cell phone apps everywhere, how can studying Comp. Sci or wanting to find out how to develop programs not cross anyone’s mind? Frankly, if it weren’t for Androids and the iPhone, I don’t think I’d be looking into programming or development. It still never really would have crossed my mind.

So why is it that the number of women majoring in Comp. Sci has actually dropped now? Beats me. I’m surprised women ever were majoring in it…or anyone else, for that matter. But more so women…which leads me to my next point…

3) It strikes me that, back in the day, if you ended up in programming, there had to be a way for you to learn about that field’s existence. It wasn’t like law or medicine or teaching, i.e. something that’s very visible, sexy and/or overly-discussed. Something had to make those people say, “Hey, how do I get into this?”

I think little boys get into things that make them ask that question more than little girls do. The best example I can think of is video games. And I’m not saying little girls don’t play video games. I played them, and I still do. Still, I’ve never been a “gamer” by any stretch of the imagination (I play sports games predominantly, which most gamers do not play). And “gamers” almost always are guys. Again, it’s like being a geek–there are female geeks, but they almost never completely capture the essence of being a geek the way so many guys do. Gaming is the same way.

My point is, if you play video games all the time and you love them, it’s your passion…eventually, you’re going to wonder about how to create a video game. Therefore, more little boys are going to wonder about it at some point and proceed to investigate how you can “create” games, programs, software.

Now, I think with the tech explosion and kids way too young to be having cell phones still having them…it’s going to be more of an equalizer for women and minorities, i.e. we’ll see more and more girls and young minorities grow up surrounded by and doing things that plant the programming seed. But when I was growing up? I don’t think that was the case.

The one thing I do still see is minority households–particularly black and Latino–seem to be less likely to have technology such as computers or cell phones in the home than everyone else. My sister, for example, has never had a computer with high-speed internet access in any of her homes (um, apartments). This means she has a 19-year old daughter who has never had a computer or laptop. She has kids who are even younger than that who have never had a computer or laptop. It’s unthinkable to me and probably to a lot of people. I actually grew up with computers, for the most part, and I don’t think most people my age can say that (I’m talking elementary school, we had a computer in the living room). It’s probably one of the reasons why I have been able to break into IT without a related degree or any certifications and perform as well as people who have Comp. Sci/IT-related degrees and certs. But kids like my sister’s kids? There’s no way in the hell they’re going to become programmers or for programming as a career to seriously cross their minds. Heck, I grew up with computers, and it never crossed my mind until the last few years.

4) One thing I will say [write]–and it has been flowing through this post without directly stating it–is that one thing people have to get over if they’re seriously going to discuss the lack of women/blacks in IT, including in programming…is that women are different from men and blacks are different from whites (and then, to go even further, black women different from white women and so on). The…end. I saw a blog post within the last week where the comments just kind of…[sighs]…got out of hand with this, “Well, women don’t have the brains for this…” and the “OMG, that’s ridiculous…” kind of stuff. I mean…I’m not even talking about brain chemistry. I’m talking about being raised a certain way, probably more than anything else, and then societal expectations/steering to some degree. I don’t have all the answers with that. I just think it’s a complicated, hard-to-explain thing, but if you’re going to talk about it or write about it you can’t ignore that there are just differences there. And the differences don’t just boil down to discrimination or mental capacity. I have articulated several of them.

5) Finally, one thing that keeps a lot of people from pursuing anything tech-related is the perception that it’s too hard to learn and some people just have some innate ability to “get” these things. But I think the best-kept secret is that technology is nowhere near as complicated as people act like it is. The geeks keep you well-fooled. They had me fooled for a while. Now I know that you don’t have to be a tech geek in order to understand some of this stuff and to do it for a living. The only thing that keeps jobs in the IT industry and IT people employed is people refusing to believe that and running to the nearest perceived tech geek for every little thing instead of figuring it out. I was one of the few people who would actually sit and figure stuff out, and google whatever I couldn’t (still do), and now I work in IT with a BA in psychology and a law degree. Now, some people aren’t smart enough to figure out anything tech-related, and that’s fine. But anybody who is pretty intelligent and who has the interest can get this stuff.

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Work-Life Balance and the Single Person

I’m starting to see what a lot of other single people, perhaps, already have learned–other people don’t think single people deserve work-life balance.

Now, I haven’t had anyone say this to me in person. But I have approached my current job a little bit differently than I have approached other jobs. I have indirectly let it be known that I am not one of those workers of whom you can just take advantage–that’s my friend Clara. I’m not worried about being the perfect employee or losing my job. I let people know that when the clock hits that time at the end of the workday, I’m gone.

Recently, a lot of changes have been made at my job. Essentially, everything I liked about my job is either now gone or likely will be very soon. The only thing that is still in the “very soon” category is a change being made to what time I have to be at work in the mornings and what time I get to leave in the afternoons. Nobody has told me that is about to change, but I’m not stupid. My job duties have completely changed, and the people I work with are totally different people.

They have me training with this guy, whom, I can tell, doesn’t seem to understand what my hours are at work. He’s the kind of guy who is very into his job, very dedicated. I’m not like that, especially not now that my employers have f*cked my job all up with these changes. Plus, I’m a contract employee and he’s not…so why should I be dedicated when my employer is not dedicated to me? You think this is true for every job. You also think it’s true that changes occur at every job. But neither of these things in a regular job is like how they are in a contract position. There is absolutely no stability in a contract job in any sense, no regularity or uniformity–you do whatever they want whenever, regardless of what you’re told in the beginning about the position or what you’re told while working the position. Contract jobs might as well never have job titles, at least not in IT, because the title won’t apply for long (if ever). And then to top it off, most contract jobs eventually end, usually in a year or less. Now that I understand this about how employers yank their contractors here, there and yonder with no regard for them, I will not be taking contract IT jobs ever again.

Given all of this, it should be of little surprise that I care little about what the company’s needs are, what their customers’ needs are. I will probably be getting tossed out of the company after my contract is up, regardless of how well I do, and I wouldn’t necessarily like to have my contract renewed there anyway. I plan to move to another city/state, and that has been my plan for a while and I am applying for jobs in those places…even have one interview lined up. So, I care about putting in my 8 hours and then getting the hell out of there. And even with a permanent position, frankly, I’d be the same way and have been the same way.

Every day this week, I’ve had to let this guy who is training me know that I get off work at X time, because he talks as if I’m going to still be around after that time or like I have time to stick around a little later and do XYZ. I flatout told this guy, “My supervisor said my hours are still the same, so until they say different I’m out at [X] time.” This afternoon, one of the other guys I now work with, this creepy guy, assumed I would still be around late, and my trainer heard me tell him what time I leave. Immediately, my trainer was like, “You’re ready to go home, aren’t you? Do you have kids you’re taking trick-or-treating tonight?” because it’s Halloween in the US.

Look, I know what that question really was–trying to find out if I have kids and is that the reason why I am adamant about leaving work at a certain time. Because having kids is the only legitimate reason for running away from your job, don’t you know. Especially if you’re a woman. My friend Clara lets people know she can’t stay late because of her son all the time or she’s leaving early because of her son, and people accept that. But with me, people are wanting to know why I “have” to leave at X time.

Three things:

1) Halloween is a fake holiday. It’s one of the most pointless days I’ve ever known. I especially can’t stand how there are grown adults who “celebrate” Halloween; they need to grow the f*ck up. Nobody should pay any attention to it, in my opinion, so it’d never have a thing to do with why I’m leaving work.

2) There’s so much wrong with thinking only parents have a legitimate reason to run off from work, including the fact that they probably are actually the main ones who need the damn money if they’re going to see any overtime pay from staying late. The average single person just has bills. Parents have bills and expensive-@ss kids. Yet parents are actually the main ones always trying to leave work early or on time. This guy at my job basically has a newborn, and ever since he had that kid he has never again worked a full day not called Monday (our busiest day) on the job. Yet he says he doesn’t have enough money. He’s an hourly contractor…hmm, he’s leaving after 4-5 hours of work…wonder why he’s not making anything.

He and I need to swap hours. Working 4-5 hours most days is my kind of schitt. They should have put someone like him in my new position (and they could have, but didn’t–wonder why?), where they’re talking about working overtime (which I loathe) and Saturdays (which is just sacrilegious and damn-near something to walk out the door over, especially if you love college football more than anything, as I do). Plus, let’s be real–who is more hands-on with babies and kids, moms or dads? What the hell does he need to be at home all the time for? All he’s going to do is say, “Here, hon, the baby is crying” or “Here, hon, the baby needs to be changed,” hand the kid to the mother and then go sit down in front of the TV or the computer. Sorry, men–I have had this kind of convo with dads before, and you guys just have no idea how little dads help with or do for their kids compared to the kids’ mother.

Ironically, the exact reasons why I don’t have kids are because I don’t want to have to care for anyone–financially or in any other way–and because I want a life and because I want my life to be about me. That includes work–I don’t want a life that is about work. This is where “work-life balance” comes in. Everyone I know who looks on the bright side when it comes to working overtime is a parent–usually, a man–and it’s always about the money.

My observation about women has been that women who have kids tend to know on some level that their life is not theirs anymore, it’s not about them–so they don’t even think that way. They think in terms of what their kids (or husband) need, what’s best for their kids. Kids need things that cost money, however much time you’d rather spend with them. My observation about men is that the vast majority of men care more about making money than the vast majority of women do, for a variety of reasons–probably the three biggest are status, attracting women and what they were taught about being a man growing up. As a single female, I have totally different concerns, concerns that really don’t involve making money. These different concerns leave me trying to figure out how to explain to the moms, dads and single men I know why I value my free time far more than I value the extra money I’ll get by working on Saturday (the extra money being something I don’t value at all). Yet all of them will be home on Saturday or enjoying some activity outside the home and outside of work.

3) Why do I “have” to leave at X time? Because that’s what time I’m scheduled to leave. And I have every right to leave at that time. Whether or not I have kids is immaterial.

One more point before I go–not too long ago, I was reading an article online where the author wondered why people speak of “work-life balance.” Is working really so bad and do people hate their jobs so much that they need to categorically separate it from the rest of their life, the author wondered. At that point, I wondered where in the hell this author has been her entire working life. Seriously, she must be part of the lucky 10-15% of people who loves their job. Ever notice how it’s always writers with real writing jobs, always entertainers who have officially “made it,” always people who work in the media, always people who make big bucks who love their jobs? Gee, I wonder why. No wonder they can’t relate. I know they didn’t start at the top, but the point is they’re there now and now they don’t “get it.”

Pay me a ridiculous amount to dish sports on ESPN three hours a day, and see how much I love my job. Pay me to write ridiculous articles about how I can no longer relate to mere commoners who need work-life balance because I make enough money to actually pay bills and eat as a writer as opposed to having to write on the side like 90% of writers do (myself included). Or how about those ridiculous articles about “do what you love for a living”? You do know that the average person “loves” things that either don’t pay, don’t pay enough to make a living or require expensive schooling only to be shut out of jobs because that person has never had a job in that industry, right? Oh, I forget–you no longer relate to the mere commoner because you’ve got the rare cushy, enjoyable writing job that actually pays bills.

Over the past week, I’ve confirmed that, yes, work and life have to be separated for most people, including myself. I am largely in that category where what I’d love to do generally doesn’t pay enough to make a living (writing and/or technical repair). I would agree with people who say to find a job you can tolerate, but that’s easier said than done. So, my best solution is to find a job I can actually do for the most amount of money I can get, because if I’m going to hate every job I get at some point then I might as well focus on the money. It’s not easy, because caring about money isn’t my nature. But I made more money at my last job, and the positives to that were now I have surpassed my initial savings goal and am on to my next savings goal (which I am close to meeting)…and I have still been able to buy everything I want (except a Mercedes), take trips everywhere I’ve wanted to go and enjoy myself outside of work. Although I hated my last job, it created a pretty decent work-life balance and I never had to work late or on Saturdays.

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The Dying Art of Friendship

Today was my monthly “skip work” day, just one of my many sage life philosophies. I firmly believe that, unless you are someone who actually loves work (hell no), loves your job (hell no to the 10th power) or can’t afford to miss work (either for your pocket’s sake or your job security’s sake), everyone should just take a day to him/herself, preferably once a month, in order to stay sane. This is how I live. Judging by how many people–grown adults–I saw at the mall this afternoon, I would say I’m not the only one.

This means that my best friend Clara was at work today “by herself.” She begged and pleaded with me to come in today, but I told her no because I was losing my mind and it was just time for that skip day. She wanted me there because I am entertaining, but also because there is a lot of drama at work and she needs someone who is on her side. It is becoming a high school-like environment replete with tattletales, vindictive bitches, phonies, people choosing sides, wimps and very little work–which leaves more time for people to be fake old-@ss vindictive tattletale bitches. Clara paid me back for not coming today by texting and calling me with updates on all the bullschitt I was missing, as if she didn’t quite get that missing all of it for one day was my intent.

I firmly believe that some of the things that happened today would not have happened had I been there. Clara talks a good game to me, but I’m really the only one whose mouth shoots bullets directly at these @ssholes. Consequently, people don’t fuck with me. But…they will still fuck with Clara, and today they did.

When I write that Clara talks a good game to me, I mean that she complains a lot and puts on a tough act like she’s going to do/say something about these things making her complain. But mostly, she just complains every day. Now, I’m fine with complaining–in fact, I love that she is a complainer. I’m one, too, and most people just won’t put up with a complainer. So, complainers only have each other. But, as I’ve told her, things really need to be said to people’s faces and then you need to move on. Plus, she goes on and on way too long. Vent for 10 minutes, then let it go.

I’ve written other posts on my blog about friendship, and, for those who don’t know, this is going to be one of my last posts as I am ending the blog soon. I have lamented losing my friends, including the last woman with whom I was romantically involved. Some of these people I have described as lost friends don’t even know I view them this way. They still contact me via text, Facebook, email or whatnot. But we are no longer friends, in my mind. I will elaborate in a second.

I’ve also mentioned briefly here at times that there is another female at work, Sharon, who hangs out with us but whom I have considered Clara’s friend and not mine. The word “friend” has been used among all of us, but there has always been something about Sharon…at the very least, I have felt we don’t have anything in common. That’s not always make or break, as you can learn a lot from people who are different from you. But on top of it all, Sharon is dull, and it’s damn-near impossible for a dull person and an introvert who hates people anyways to be friends (not to say all introverts hate people, but I do). I mean, what are the two going to talk about? Nothing. That’s why almost all of my friends are outgoing and talkative–they complement my personality, allowing the friendship to work.

Today, I think I realized why I don’t care for Sharon and why I have never considered her a friend. Sharon is the typical female “friend.” The drama at work bothers Clara and me. Clara wants to talk about it. Sharon doesn’t want to hear it. I don’t necessarily want to talk about it, especially not as much as Clara does, but I respond to what Clara says and agree for the most part and have told her at times in a nice way that just sitting around complaining isn’t the answer–she has to do something.

I told Clara about Sharon weeks ago because, although Sharon has never said she doesn’t want to hear it, I could read her body language and behavior while Clara vents and tell that she doesn’t want to hear it. I said, “Listen, you need to watch talking about this with Sharon, because I can tell she doesn’t want to hear it. Just talk to me about it, because I don’t care and I get where you’re coming from.” Clara was in agreement, and then she went right back to going on and on and on–immediately. Meanwhile, Sharon just sits there, says nothing and plays with her cell phone.

Sharon’s philosophy for dealing with drama is to ignore it. So, she doesn’t agree with my being direct with people about what I think and how I feel or telling people to fuck off, and she doesn’t agree with Clara’s complaining. Even though Clara is being targeted by this jack@ss at work and it affects me, as well, I don’t think Sharon “gets” what the problem is and she isn’t the slightest bit supportive. The only time she’ll say anything is to imply that we’re overreacting. Indeed, Sharon told Clara today that Clara and I are “too sensitive.”

I almost guarantee, Sharon wouldn’t have said that if I were sitting there because she knows she would have been the target of a “fuck off.” The difference between Clara and me is Clara only thought about telling Sharon that she’s full of schitt–I would have done it, and I would have told her that she needs to find another crew to sit with from now on. Some @sshole is basically doing schitt that could lead to Clara getting fired, and Clara is too sensitive because she’s angry about it and tired of it…

Look, I don’t recall anyone asking Sharon to be our friend–quite the opposite. She came up to us one day and said, “You all are having too much fun over here; I want in!” And now that it’s not all fun and games, she wants to sit with us and look miserable because we’re upset or because we’re having a real conversation about politics, for example, and not just joking around.

Sorry–real friendship is not about being entertained. You take the good with the bad. When your friend is upset, you sit there and you listen and be supportive. I don’t care how much you can’t stand complaining or how tired you are of hearing it. You don’t sit there and say, “Oh, you’re too sensitive,” or pout because your friend isn’t being particularly funny today. If you can’t handle that, move on–and that’s why I would have told Sharon to go sit somewhere else if I had been there.

I don’t have friends who just want to be entertained and can’t have real, substantive conversations. I won’t have those kind of friends. And the whole reason why I have ditched a lot of my friends or no longer consider them friends is because there is no such thing as a friend who isn’t there for you, supporting you. Our society nowadays has bought into this whole thing of, “Oh, we can go years without talking, and one of us can call the other one day and pick right back up where we left off. That’s real friendship.” No, that’s a bunch of crap. This person has not been there for you, and you have not been there for that person. You barely know each other anymore, to be honest, let alone have a friendship.

To me, friendship is not something that is in theory, one-sided or enduring long stretches of silence.  And buying into friendships that are about entertaining people, good times only, labeling people who want to talk about their problems every now and then as “negative” or “sensitive,” or only talking to each other once every three years is just another way for us to avoid building and sustaining real relationships with people–relationships that take work. After all, isn’t that really why the divorce rate is so high in the US? People have just gotten lazy with relationships, and not even just with romantic relationships. Nobody wants to do the work anymore, and nobody cares about anyone besides self anymore.

So, this chick Sharon is going to keep following us around, looking for entertainment. And she’s going to say the wrong thing in front of me, and she is going to find herself taking a bullet from my mouth. I grew up tolerating a lot of bullschitt from people–was harassed by bitches in elementary and junior high school, have dealt with racial crap all of my life, I’m a lesbian–and the older I get the less I tolerate. I do not exist to entertain dumb bitches who don’t have an intellectual thought anywhere in their heads. Apparently, Clara and I are on the same page about Sharon, too. When I told Clara she wouldn’t be by herself because she’d have Sharon at work today, she turned up her noise–even my mother noticed and asked me about it later. Afterwards, I asked Clara about it, and she remarked that she doesn’t have anything in common with Sharon and that Sharon never has anything to say–she just “exists.”

I died laughing at the “exists” comment. It sparks thoughts of inanimate objects just sitting there, not really contributing to my life. I think that’s how I will refer to all of my “friends.” “Aren’t you and Leslie friends anymore?” Me: “No, she just exists.”😛

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Operation Find A Job Pt. 6–More Realistic Standards

6) You Need To Lower Your Standards. When all else fails, perhaps before you dip into being less than honest, check into your standards. A lot of people who have degrees have a standards problem, and a lot of people who had good jobs but got laid off have a standards problem. People with degrees want to go directly from college to a job that pays at least $50,000 a year, and people who had a job paying at least $50,000 a year want another job that is exactly like the one they lost that pays the same as or more than what they were making before.

Sorry. But you gotta do what you gotta do if you’ve been looking for a job for a long time and nothing has worked. If that means taking a pay cut, you take a pay cut. If that means doing something different in a different field for a living, do something different in a different field for a living. If that means doing something for which you perceive yourself to be overqualified, then you take a job for which you’re overqualified.

I also think people have incorrect ideas about being overqualified/underemployed. I could easily say I’m overqualified for the work I do. In fact, my “best work friend” Clara often talks about how a lot of people where we work have degrees and are overqualified, which is definitely true for her (she has an IT degree and has worked better IT jobs with higher pay prior to this one). But to me, unless their degree is in IT, Computer Science, Computer Engineering or anything like that, they are not overqualified–they are alternatively qualified, like me. IT has nothing to do with what I studied in school–nothing at all. So, taking entry-level IT positions doesn’t make me overqualified just because I have a college degree and a professional degree. In fact, when you’re making a career change or trying to break into a field that is different from the one for which you prepared in school, you’re going to have to start at the bottom in that field. You don’t just get to skip over step 1 because you’re past step 1 on a totally different track.

And even still, I’ve noticed that a lot of people with IT-related degrees had to start with the same garbage IT jobs I have worked. So, in a way, I am doing better than these people are because they spent years in school studying this schitt and are exactly where I am. At some point, will someone get an IT job over me because they have a related degree plus the experience? Yeah, I’m sure. That’s the way it should be, though. I still have every confidence that I will be fine in my chosen field. If that’s not the case, I will go back to [a cheap] school.

I’ve seen a lot of people turn down jobs because they “only” pay $12/hr. Um. So, remaining unemployed is somehow better than making $12/hr? Get over yourself. It looks worse when you’re applying for jobs to have a big gap on your resume, or to admit you’ve sat around doing nothing but applying for jobs, than to work a $12/hr job. In fact, you eventually reach a point where not having a job keeps you from getting one. So, get over your degree or your previous job and take that job that’s not good enough for you. And if you already have a gap, you might have to take my advice about being less than honest (see “Operation Get A Job” Post #2).

I’m not one to hate on certain majors, but most majors are general and don’t career-track you–at least not without getting a masters degree or Ph.D or another advanced degree (and oftentimes, not even those advanced degrees help). The mistake a lot of college grads make is they take a general degree and apply for all kinds of jobs that seem “prestigious” without having anything to show as to why they’re qualified for these positions, just thinking a college degree or a nice school name should do the trick. They don’t. As mentioned in #1, you’re predominantly “qualified” for low-paying jobs that have a customer-service aspect to them. You’re almost certainly not going to be able to take an English or philosophy degree into a healthcare or business position (love English and philosophy–minored in both and enjoyed them immensely, particularly English courses–I respect these subjects, but I’m just being honest and realistic). I know it’s a hard pill to swallow for new grads when they start realizing this, but this is how it is now.

If you have to move back in with your parents, move back in. If you have to work two jobs, work two jobs. You gotta do what you gotta do. Let go of your ego and your expectations, and stop worrying about appearances–these things are getting in your way.

Pt. 1–You’re Not Focusing Your Job Search

Pt. 2–Your Resume Isn’t Cutting It

Pt. 3–You Don’t Know How To Apply

Pt. 4–You Need To Learn How To Interview

Pt. 5–What Employers Value

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Sharing Your Space

When I posted a while back that I am close to ending this blog (or moving it, but most likely ending it), this was one of the last posts I wanted to do. I am just now getting to it.

When I went to Chicago almost 2 months ago to visit my sister, we talked about some of the problems her youngest child is having with his siblings. I am also the youngest child in my family, and her youngest child and I are remarkably similar. I don’t think it’s necessarily a birth-order thing since, although I am the youngest child, I have more characteristics of someone who is an only child and I do usually feel as if I’m (and wish I were) an only child (except, for as everyone points out, I’m “spoiled”…and, to me, an only child ought to be spoiled, too).

Anyways, my sister’s youngest child shares a room with his sister, which I think is stupid because they are both a little too old to be sharing a room and not be the same sex. However, my family’s weird logic was to give the oldest child, a boy, his own room because he’s the oldest. The girl is a pre-teen and is developing her own life, so she kicks her little brother out of the room all the time and neither of his siblings want to spend time with him. He has made the basement kind of his own room because he doesn’t really have anywhere to go.

My sister also described how he gets bossed around and how his siblings get mad at him when he won’t do what they want. I tried to remind my sister that she did the same thing to me, but she was completely shocked and has no recollection of this. My sister and I also shared a room for quite a bit of my life growing up. I don’t particularly remember getting kicked out of the room, although I’m sure I did on some occasions. But I do remember making the living room my own room.

I’m starting to really realize that not liking people and not wanting to be around other people much is weird to most people for whatever reason and that most people feel a need to socialize. And I can point to several different reasons why I don’t like most people and prefer being left alone. But I realized after that Chicago trip that one of the reasons I don’t like being around people is because my parents made me share a room with my sister for years, making being alone pretty challenging. For years, I was robbed of my own space to enjoy as I wanted to without dealing with anyone else and robbed of my own privacy. When I finally got my own room, I loved it. I always knew I was going to college–and going away to college–and the one thing I dreaded about going away to college way in advance was having to share a room. And today, I would say that was hands-down the worst thing about college–having a roommate every year (except senior year when I finally got a room in a single-room dorm). Way worse than exams, even Chemistry exams. I vowed to never share a room again, and when I went to Michigan for law school I had my own room all three years.

And those experiences with roommates and my sister are part of the reason I live with my parents. When you’re single, it’s hard to afford to live by yourself. Most people you see either have roommates or are married or live with a boyfriend/girlfriend–they don’t live alone unless they have a pretty good job (which I don’t). Being that I am nowhere near marriage or dating, the options really do come down to living with family or living with roommates. Plfff. Parents all day, and I don’t care how old I am or what other people think about it. I get my own room and don’t have to deal with some idiot to whom I’m not even related and all their selfish nonsense.

See, I know from experience that when you share space with someone there is sacrificing to be done–and usually one person sacrifices more than the other. And that person is usually me. When you share a room with an older sibling, you have no power and no rights when it comes to the room or what happens in it. If you’re sharing with an older girl, you’re going to sleep when they get ready to. You’re sitting there listening to every dumb phone conversation. You’re listening to whatever music she wants to listen to, and you’re watching whatever dumb TV show she wants to watch. And this is not even mentioning how you’re treated, which is never good, as my nephew is learning. That’s why the living room became my room, and I would have slept there if I had been allowed to.

College is not altogether different. Most people–though not I–seem to believe in fully making themselves at home wherever they go, regardless of who is around. So, I had roommates who played music whenever they got ready to, gave our dorm room phone number to every Tom, Dick and Harriett until I just wanted to throw the phone out the window and who wanted to watch ABC soap operas when I wanted to watch CBS soap operas. The worst part? These chicks would have friends over whenever they felt like it, including friends sleeping over from their home state. Bitch, I don’t even want you here; what makes you think your friends can come over whenever you please?

I’ve kind of wondered since college if it would ever really be possible for me to live with a romantic partner and be happy. I’m really not sure if I could. It’s hard to believe, but it has been over 10 years since I last shared space with someone who is not actually a blood relation to me, and I am not any closer to wanting to share space or having to consider anyone else in what I do when or having to deal with someone else who needs to make our space uniquely theirs in their own way. Plus, my romantic relationships are always, again, skewed towards what the other person wants or needs (gee, I wonder why), which ultimately makes me unhappy, pissed and resentful. I think living with someone would turn out much like it always has, then.

So, I have advice for parents who have several kids or people who plan to have kids: make sure you have enough money for a house with enough rooms for each kid to have his/her own room, and if you don’t just keep your damn legs closed. Sharing a room is torture for at least one of the kids. It was so bad that I try to forget I even have siblings now and would have to get a place big enough for my wife to have her own room if I ever got married.😉

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11 Things That Don’t Make Sense

1) Why Do Republicans and Democrats Hate Each Other? After All, They’re Basically the Same.

Yes, you read that correctly–they are pretty much the same. Now, I admit, I like to rib Republicans every now and then. But I’m no Democrat, and I really dislike President Obama and criticize him often. As someone who is neither Democrat nor Republican and who refuses to vote, I can step back and look at both political parties and its members and see what no one else can–they are essentially the same. Between the politicians in each party, there really is no difference–they’re all full of schitt, and that’s why I don’t vote. Between the members, the only real difference is one group is full of people who are prejudiced as hell but are in denial about their prejudices because they don’t want to feel like they’re bad people…while the other group is full of people who embrace their prejudices–some even proud of them–and many of them don’t really see anything wrong with having those prejudices. Frankly, I’m closer to belonging to the latter group, except a lot of the prejudices the latter group has hurts people like me (black, lesbian, female, close to poverty).

2) Why Do People Talk About Overweight People In Front of Other Overweight People?

It just amazes me how many times I find myself sitting with people who are talking about other fat people, as if I’m not one. The last time it happened, I almost said, “Hello?? I’m fat! Or do you need glasses?” And I probably will next time. Now, if it’s a fat person doing the talking, that might be one thing–depends on the conversation. It’s never okay to talk about overweight people degradingly in front of another overweight person (or, really, at all). But if you’re a twig sitting there running your mouth and you have a fat friend in the middle of it all, you’re an idiot, plain and simple. What are you thinking?

3) Why Do Teachers Think It’s A Good Idea To Tell Students To Pick A Partner Or Teammates? Don’t They Have Any Idea That They Are Scarring Some Students For Life?

This type of thing ought to be common knowledge by now. We’ve seen it enough on TV. There is always at least one kid who just doesn’t fit in or is disliked and made fun of by everyone else. Why can’t teachers and coaches just fucking do the pairing themselves instead of embarrassing the hell out of some poor young’un who has no friends or athletic ability? If you’re one of the cool kids, yes, you want to pick your partner. You don’t want to get stuck with your morbid enemy or the loser who has a crush on you that is unreturned. Or if you’re picking teams in gym class, naturally you want to win. But the cool kids will live, because they still have their crew at the end of class. And gym is just gym–doesn’t matter one bit, no money on the line, no national championships. It’s the kids whom you’re showing to the entire class as being the odd man/woman out who will remember it forever and have insecurities and self-esteem issues. So, damn what the cool kids want, teachers–if you’re going to have special projects or teams in gym classes, you do the pairings.

4) Why Do People Think Blacks Have A Community?

I have struggled to find the right wording for this question. But basically, people seem to think blacks stick together and support each other and always have each other in this cold, cruel world when nothing could be further from the truth. There’s this book, “The Myth of the Model Minority,” which I read some years ago that, as best as I can remember, had me shaking my head at the way it seemed to hold “the black community” on a pedestal relative to what Asians have. Back when I was at Michigan, I had a gay white male friend who said something to me that was very close to “a lot of gays are alone but black people have each other.” And I always have to wonder–what exactly do Asian people, gay white people or straight white people know about being black? Apparently, not much. To me, it’s as clear as day that black people are divided and work against each other more than they support each other–and when I say “as clear as day,” I mean that if I were white I’d look at black people and go, “Wow…I know why we hate black people, but why on earth do they hate each other so much?!?!”

Because black men hate black women. Black women hate black women. Black men seem to think black women hate black men because black women won’t just be quiet and submissive, or smile and say yes to any and every black guy who approaches them for a date. Black people, particularly black men, commit more black-on-black crime than any other group commits against blacks. And black men and black women hate black people who “aren’t black enough” or aren’t stereotypical, whatever that means in any individual black environment…because it doesn’t always mean the same thing. And, contrary to what non-black people think, it doesn’t always mean that black people hate educated, proper-speaking blacks. When I was at Michigan, I wasn’t stereotypical in the sense that I didn’t hang with mainly black students and didn’t go to all these “Black Law Students” events and meetings and didn’t stand around with other black chicks talking about other black female students who “don’t know they’re black.” For a black person in the projects, it means something entirely different. Bottom line–plenty of black people are alone and alienated by other black people.

5) Why Do Men Think Making Fun of Women They’re Interested In Is A Good Idea, and That the Woman Is A Bitch If She’s Not Amused?

Men seem to think that various forms of harassment in general are a good idea when it comes to approaching women, but “jokes at the lady’s expense” and just plain picking on a woman seem to be near the top of their come-on list. Who in the hell told you fellas this was a good way to get a woman? Or are you just trying to see if she’s rug material (i.e. a doormat)?

News flash–women aren’t like men. It seems to be the case that men take joking and teasing as a sign that they are in the clubhouse. Male friends do that to male friends. It’s not okay to make fun of your wife or girlfriend or female friend, let alone a chick you just met or barely know. If a woman you know and have established that kind of relationship with seems to think it’s cool, that’s one thing. But even then, there are lines to not cross or she’ll get pissed–even though this almost never happens with your male friends. Again, women and men are different. Women don’t like to feel like they’re being laughed at or belittled–we get quite enough of that on a regular basis. And 9 times out of 10, your love interest who is laughing at your garbage is just doing it to be polite, as socialized. She doesn’t find being the butt of your joke to be funny, trust me.

6) What the Hell Does “Not Taking Yourself Too Seriously” Actually Mean, and Why Is It A Good Thing?

This has always sounded to me like an empty, meaningless statement that excuses stuff such as my #5 and makes the person who is offended the one at fault. I don’t know if that’s true because stuff like “knowing how to laugh at yourself and not take yourself so seriously” is so damned far beyond me. I just know that hearing or reading stuff like that makes me want to punch someone. Similarly far beyond me is #7…

7) When Did Acting And Dressing Like a Ho Expressing Sexuality Become A Good Thing?

I tell you, I think young white female pop singers started this nonsense, particularly in the early 2000s, with their dumb songs and videos. There is just a lot of mistaking being 9/10ths naked, dancing provocatively, singing ridiculously explicit lyrics and sleeping around for “being sexy.” You don’t need all that to be sexy or to let other people know you’re sexy. Worst of all, some women now mistake these things for empowerment. And then they still want to know why people judge them or treat them a certain way for how they look and/or act, and “it’s not fair.” Clearly, they do not live in the real world. We’re all judged and treated a certain way due to how we look, so be ready to deal with the consequences of your choices. If you’re not ready for that and, instead, are going to whine, how is it empowering?

Long story short, it’s still not a good thing–but not everyone has all of their screws in tight, so they don’t get it.

8) Why Do, Like, Half of All People Who Work Out On A Regular Basis Smoke and/Or Like To Get Drunk and Still Think They’re Living “Healthy”?

I actually do like to work out; I just don’t particularly care for “eating right.” So, whenever I go all in and work out regularly and eat right, the most unhealthy thing that ever goes into my body is junk food. The last time I did this, I slotted in an unhealthy piece of food every day (like donuts) and a soda every day when keeping up with calories while making sure I still got the fiber, the protein, etc, that I needed…just so I could keep my sanity. Otherwise, the most unhealthy thing is, very rarely, a beer. I am just not into alcohol, and you’re not about to ever get me to smoke anything.

What I don’t understand is why is getting drunk every Saturday or Sunday (depending on your sport…or if you’re in a frat, every Sat and Sun), smoking MJ and smoking cigarettes so much more acceptable than eating crap or being a couch potato? Why is one type of person disgustingly unhealthy and the other isn’t? We’re both disgustingly unhealthy (and actually, my doctors tell me I’m pretty healthy, great blood pressure…I have bad knees, and I know I’m overweight for my size, but other than that…you’d be surprised). I would say that you can work out and eat all the bird food in the world, but if you’re putting bad substances in your body often you’re not that far ahead of me, if you’re ahead at all (and if you smoke, you’re not going to convince me you’re ahead of me health-wise).

9) Why Do People Project Their Own Bullschitt Onto Others?

Yeah, it’s psychology time. Let’s talk about projection–that’s basically when someone says that other people have a flaw that is actually a huge flaw in that person who is running off at the mouth. For example, the Lazy Fuck at my job is always calling my friend Clara and her friend Sharon lazy, and I am sure that he has called me lazy before or has insinuated that I am lazy…because we won’t do his job for him while he takes long lunches and texts/talks on his iPhone. Not surprisingly, Lazy Fuck is a Democrat. Gee, I wonder if there is actually a correlation between people who project and people who are political members of the denial party. I know full well that I’m lazy, but I also know I’m not lazy at work. I’ll call in fake-sick (and I do) and stay home and be lazy before I sit at work and fuck off.

10) Why Are There Over 300 TV Channels and There Still Is Never Anything Good On?

Now, the exception is if you like sports. But I still find myself twiddling my thumbs way too often to have so many gotdamn channels. No games on Tuesday and Wednesday nights = a waste of an expensive-@ss cable package. And I don’t think Jewish white boys necessarily have any business writing comedy sitcoms (on account of their not being funny), and I certainly don’t think catty Barbie wannabes should have 50 million different reality shows…so, typically, I don’t watch TV shows. So, again, no games on Tues and Weds mean I get roughly 10 hours of sleep those nights because I have nothing to do but hit the sack.

11) Why Do Southerners Think They Should Greet Everyone?

And not all do, but far too many do. I’m from the South and everything, but I’ve visited other places and have lived other places. In many ways, I have been de-Southernized. But having my toes in different parts of the US, I believe that it’s perfectly okay and acceptable to not acknowledge people you don’t know. And it’s not rude if you don’t acknowledge everyone you pass by. It’s okay to not act like you know and are friends with people you actually don’t know and aren’t friends with. What I don’t understand is why other Southerners don’t believe this. It’s a huge cultural issue I have with my co-workers, and my friend Clara, who is originally from Louisiana–which I don’t even consider part of the “real” South, culturally (and neither are Florida, Texas and, like, half of Virginia and half of Arkansas–Louisiana, Florida and Texas are too diverse to truly be part of real Southern culture, plus Texas is like its own universe)–are on opposite sides of this discussion all the time. It’s tough to explain, except maybe to say that I never feel like I’m alone, not being watched and actually have privacy/private space unless I am locked up in my bedroom. Ironically, in bigger cities outside of the South like Chicago and New York, you can be on a subway full of people and feel like you’re alone, not being watched and are in your own world.

Gosh, I miss being almost completely ignored in Chicago.

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Putting People In Their Place

I don’t care where you work or what you do for a living, it seems like there’s always something about your job. Right now, I’m realizing there are some crazy people where I work. And I had to verbally jack one of them up last week in front of several people. Or as my mother says, I cursed him out without using curse words.

Because I am sure I don’t have many regular readers, let me just explain these key things first:

1) My attitude at my blog is generally pretty different from my attitude in person. Here, I’m always saying I can’t stand people and am always cursing and being an @ss. In person, I am quiet and pretend to be friendly. Yes, pretend. I’m so-fucking-not. I just want most people to fuck off. But because being sociable and agreeable are damn-near job requirements nowadays (especially in most of my previous jobs, which had strong customer service elements), I know that I have to cool it at work, be fake to some degree and then just come to my blog and complain or complain to my work friend Clara.

2) In general, I don’t actually have trouble getting along with people. Ironically, the closer I am to someone to whom I’m not related, the more difficulty I have getting along with them. This especially and particularly applies to my girlfriends. But people with whom I work and other people I barely know? If I have an issue with them, I’m never the only one who does–which indicates that person is the real problem.

3) As a black female, there is a part of me that doesn’t like to get bitchy with people, especially in front of other people and especially if those people are not black and/or are male. When men go off, it’s okay. When women go off, they’re being emotional. When black women go off, they’ve got an attitude problem or are “difficult.” In other words, as a black person and a woman, I inevitably become a stereotype. And whatever I say in anger may be correct and valid, but it gets lost in the stereotype and nobody cares what I say or said.

4) Admittedly, at my current job and at my previous job I take/have taken off work a lot and leave early a lot. At my previous job, it was largely because I had a bit of a health scare and was going to the doctor…and then it was because I was looking for another job. At my current job…my last post mentions how I went to Michigan for a football game a few weeks ago, and I wrote that I would have quit my job if I’d been told I had to work instead of going on my trip. That’s simply because, recently, my mentality has become that I don’t want my life to be work-eat-sleep. I’m not married, don’t have kids, don’t have obligations other than student loans. I want to spend as much of my time as possible doing things that are worth it and things I like to do, and being at work is not one of those things. The Michigan trip was incredible, and I need to do things like that more often–I don’t need to sit around saying, “I can’t take off work” like I used to do. I cried off and on for a while when I left Michigan–at the airport, on the plane, at home–which means I am not there enough…I definitely miss it, so the trip would have been worth my job. I focus on doing my job well and completely when I’m there, and then I leave when I don’t have anymore work to do.

All that out of the way, allow me to connect the dots. There’s this @sshole at work. He’s Filipino. He’s a lazy fuck who spends 25% of the work day messing with his iPhone instead of working and another 30% of the work day completely away from his workstation instead of working–including longer-than-allowed lunch breaks. And he’s the type of guy–I think we all know him–who doesn’t run schitt but really is self-important and badly wants to run schitt…and, thus, acts as if he runs schitt when he doesn’t. I thought only white guys did this, but I was wrong. Oh, and he’s not just an @sshole–he acts like a little bitch. He whines. He goes on and on long after he should. And he will run and tell, even though he’s in his mid-40s.

I mentioned here when I first started that job that I don’t have a lot of work to do. That’s still true so many days. At some point, to get more work my work friend Clara–who is really now more like my best friend, work or no work–showed me how to do part of her job and I do that. She has shown me more and more, until now I know how to do most of what she does and do most of it. So, she had to find work to do and started helping Lazy Fuck and this other chick, Sharon, with their work–which I think she did mainly to help Sharon, who usually has a lot of work and is friends with Clara (Clara, Sharon and I hang out, but, really, I only consider Clara my friend). When I would run out of work, I started helping Lazy Fuck and Sharon, too. This was before I knew we could get away with going home early, to be honest with you. I am fine with helping others, to a degree, but I’d rather be at home, frankly.

Lately, Lazy Fuck has been acting as if Clara and I work for him and as if we’re obligated to help him and Sharon. He acts like this even if we have other work to do, especially with Clara. One day last week, I had almost finished my work, looked around and saw that there didn’t really seem to be much work left for others to do–including Lazy Fuck (LF). So, I decided I’d go home when I was done. LF comes over and asks me to help him. The amount of work he had was nothing he couldn’t handle with the amount of time left in the day, so, basically, this @ss was wanting me to do his work while he goes and socializes with other Filipinos or is nowhere to be found, like usual. So, I said I was leaving, and he started questioning me about what time I arrived at work like he was my boss and telling me he wants me to stay and help from now on.

That’s when I started getting pissed, but I didn’t say anything. Clara and I basically do him a favor–we don’t work for him, and our supervisors never told us we’re supposed to do the kind of work with which we help LF and Sharon. On top of it, like I wrote before, he spends more than 50% of the day not actually working. So, naturally, Clara (who is also Asian) and I start talking about all of this because LF was getting more and more persistent and harassing about “helping” him and Sharon, even when they don’t have a lot of work.

The next time he approached me about helping, he wouldn’t take no for an answer, even though I told him I had other work to do. I tried to ignore him, I really did–but he wouldn’t shut up or leave me alone. So I blasted his @ss, because I decided that I wasn’t about to put up with being harassed on a regular basis. And that didn’t even include telling him about how lazy he is and how he needs to do his own work, which I wish I had remembered to include. I basically told him 1) I don’t want to hear that “team work”/”help others” schitt because that’s bullschitt–plenty of people around there don’t help other people, and he doesn’t ask anyone else to “help” except for me and Clara, 2) he ain’t no-fucking-body, so he needs to quit giving me orders and get the fuck out my face, and 3) when I decide to help out at work I make the choice on where I help, unless my actual supervisors tell me otherwise. No means no. Now take the curse words out, and that’s pretty spot-on what I told him…but “get the fuck out of my face” was unmistakably in my voice.

So far, intended result achieved. So, it was worth it. And if I have to do it again, I will.

But Clara harped on it all day after I did it because she was shocked, including “joking” about me killing everyone at work, and Sharon was making indirect comments implying that I should have just ignored LF and needed to calm down or I overreacted. No, Sharon’s just a fucking wimp who, apparently, will put up with being harassed by people. And Clara was probably shocked, as was LF when I told him to go away (yes, I actually said that–twice), because people make assumptions about quiet people. “Quiet” doesn’t mean I won’t curse you out when you deserve it. It doesn’t mean I will let you run over me, either, especially given that I want most people to fuck off to begin with. Clara doesn’t believe me when I tell her I don’t like people, and I remember she told me about a month or so ago that I am just “shy” and have “trouble expressing” myself. Err…no. There was absolutely no trouble with expression when I lit into LF.

Listen, people–especially women–it’s okay to speak up and not take bullschitt. Most of the time, it works out for the best when you let people know bullschitt time is over. Every time I can recall going off on someone in the past few years, I’ve gotten my way as a result (except romantic relationships, and sometimes even then). So, so what if some people see me as an overly-emotional woman or a black bitch? It’s better than being, as I said, a wimp who tries to justify it by saying “just ignore it.” Ignoring problems doesn’t make them go away. Sometimes you can talk things out with people rationally and get your way, but sometimes you can’t or you’re put in a position where you snap. And with some men, you have to be a complete @ss for them to get the message–and I think LF was one…especially since he still harasses Clara the same way he used to harass me.

And don’t be like so many people who talk about what they’re going to do and then they never stand up to anyone, or who complain to everyone and never do anything about it. Clara does both of these things, in my opinion, though she tells people off to some degree–just not like I do it.

Clara has said before that she likes to be liked, and I’m sure that’s why a lot of people don’t “start” mess. Of course, I don’t really give a fuck about being liked–I’m the wrong race and wrong sexual orientation (and the wrong race/sex combination) to care about that kind of schitt anyways, so plenty of people–probably most–already don’t like me. Plus, it’s not as if I like them. But you–you win some, you lose some. Not everyone will like you, and they don’t have to. So, don’t keep making excuses and putting up with garbage.

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Football Gametime Etiquette

Well, those of you who know already know this is the best time of the year–football is back. A lot of people prefer the NFL. I love college football myself and am a diehard Michigan Wolverine. Now, I spent an ojo de la cara to go to the Michigan-Notre Dame game this past weekend, and, though the experience was worth every penny and I’m glad I went to the game, I seriously contemplated after the game whether or not I ever wanted to do it again (before I went right back to making plans to attend the Rose Bowl in California).

Why?

Due to the lack of gametime etiquette in the stadium.

Now, it’s not like this was my first time going to a football game, but this was the first time the etiquette was this out of hand. And I wasn’t the only one who had a problem with it, as I heard an old bitty behind me outside the stadium after the game whining and giving her laundry list of etiquette issues.

This is not a Michigan thing, I’m sure. That’s why I’m posting this message which I’d like to reach football fans far and wide. This is my football gametime etiquette guide for those who attend football games.

Let’s begin:

1) Um…sit the fuck down. I mean, really. If you’re standing, people behind you are forced to stand…and standing for 4 hours at the Michigan-ND game wasn’t exactly what I wanted to do. I bought a ticket for a seat, not for concrete to torture my feet muscles. I know the game was a special occasion–hell, that’s why I ponied up the dough for this game, and I would have quit my job if they had told me I had to work Friday instead of fly up to Michigan, just so I could see Michigan beat ND for the last time at our stadium. But not everything is worth jumping the fuck up and refusing to sit down. “Woo, the running back ran for 2 yards…let’s stand up and get in everybody’s way!” Come on, now.

2) Along the same lines, contrary to popular belief, plenty of women like football. Plenty. So, if you’re a big, tall-@ss man and your seat is in front of a chick, you need to get the fuck out of the way. I don’t care how you do it, but you need to do it. There is really no amount of neck contortion a woman behind a man can do to see the game. It’s probably easier for a guy to duck down a bit and still see what’s going on than anything else. Plus, men are often the first ones who want to stand up in everybody’s way when something happens, and it’s just thoughtless to stand whenever you feel like it vs out of necessity, regardless of sex…but especially so if a woman or kid is sitting behind you.

Stated another, perhaps more acceptable way–be courteous to those around you. You know how expensive seats are, and 9 times out of 10 the person behind you is a fellow fan of the same team, particularly if you’re at a home game. If we’re on the same side, let’s act like it. If we’re not on the same side, let’s show some class anyways. Same goes for noticing whether or not a kid is near you, because plenty of people take young people to these games.

3) Don’t act like you’re the offensive or defensive coordinator. Now, I’m a little guilty of this, admittedly. But there just always seems to be one or two white guys in your section who just have to be heard and just have to spend at least 30% of the game coaching loudly from, like, row 45. If you were the coach, you wouldn’t be in row 45; you’d be on the sideline. If you want to encourage the defense on a critical 3rd down, that’s fine–“come on, D, get an interception” is not coaching. Nobody cares. But if people actually turn back and look at you after something comes out of your mouth, that’s a sign you need to hush. You’re either “encouraging” too often, too loudly or you’re coaching without being on the payroll.

4) Sit in your seat. Don’t be partially in the next seat, and don’t have your @ss hanging all off the back of the bench. My knees really don’t belong in your @ss, especially if you have pink bumps all over it like this one dude at the Michigan game did…dude, I’m glad it turned out I was in the wrong seat, or else who knows what kind of ointment I would have ended up needing for my knees after the game…

5) Sit the fuck down. Yeah, I know I already listed this one, but I can’t stress it enough.

Other tips:

-Taking pictures…okay, this one goes with just the general idea I have tried to stress in several points above about being in the way, blocking people’s view and being courteous. You don’t have to hold both arms 100% in the air in order to get a good pic, especially if everyone would just do as I said and sit the fuck down until absolutely necessary. I take pics and record videos, too, but the phone/camera really should not be above your forehead, if it can be helped, because then you’re blocking other people’s view. And arms/elbows should come into your body, not be all out to the sides or up in the air.

-Drinking and eating, including getting drunk…now, I have never had these issues at a football game, but if you’re eating and drinking you’ve got to take care not to get schitt on other people. In fact, to me, as cramped as the space was at the Michigan-ND game, people shouldn’t even have been trying to eat or drink in the stands. I mean, I can’t even move my arms, but the fucker beside me is having a good ole time with, like, a hotdog and a beverage. You’re not at home. All that body movement–bending over to pick up stuff, bending your elbow out to bring a drink to your lips, etc–infringes on other people’s space. Plus, it’s common sense to me to just eat before the damn game, especially a night game.

-I don’t know what to say about alcohol…I don’t think we can drink at Michigan Stadium, so people get drunk before a night game. Luckily, I wasn’t near any drunk people during the game, and I’m sure they can be obnoxious during the game. But some drunk Notre Dame fan was harassing me and my cabbie earlier on gameday. Rivalry games are #1 to me, more important than winning championships. It’s fun to hate other teams, other schools, people with the wrong color on (okay, that makes me sound like I’m in a street gang…really, Michigan is a college gang). But getting drunk and then harassing other fans…[shakes her head]. If I seriously harass a fan of another team, I’m going to be a wimp about it and do it online anonymously while 100% in my right mind; I’m not going to do it out in the open (drunk or not) or without mainly joking. That’s why I hate Michigan State fans more than Ohio State fans–OSU fans actually tend to be more cool to Michigan fans in person vs the @ssholes that MSU fans are.

But what to do about this? You can’t make people not get drunk; it’d probably be easier to make people sit the fuck down. And you definitely can’t control drunk people; gametime etiquette would be the farthest thing from their mind.

-Listen, I went to ESPN’s College GameDay on campus earlier on Saturday, and I went to the game later on Saturday. It was hot and humid all day, and I spent well over 7 hours outdoors. So, to be perfectly frank…I am sure I was guilty of not smelling all that good during the game. I realized during the game, “Yeah, I should have cleaned up a bit before the game.” Anybody going to an outdoor football game needs to be mindful before they leave home that they might assault people around them with funk and take all preventative measures. Next time, I’ll remember. Sorry to those who sat near me…

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