Tag Archives: asian

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.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Looks vs Personality vs Intelligence

Just got back from my trip to Chicago. The Good: The food! Ahem…oh, yeah, and family. The Bad: The absolute worst sleep I’ve had in months, resulting in migraines every day during my trip (I thought for sure I’d come home and fall asleep right away, but here I am instead). The Ugly: Having to go back to work tomorrow. And stupid Red Line reconstruction almost ruining my entire trip.

Because of my trip, I didn’t have time to blog about this topic I started thinking about shortly before I left. It came from a conversation my work friend Clara and I had recently. First of all, Clara doesn’t know I’m a lesbian, which is something I’m not at all interested in telling people in the workplace. Second, I’ve written here before a little bit about how guys are always chasing after her, which is something I admitted that I don’t understand because I don’t think she’s that physically attractive. She’s a good person, though, which I don’t think is immediately obvious. She’s funny, works hard and knows everyone because she speaks to everyone. And she’s smart and observant. She has a son, and you can tell she’s a good mother, which I think, to be honest with you, is a dying art (being a truly good parent–in the US, anyway).

Ever since I skipped the breakfast event at work, which I wrote about a couple of posts ago, I think she has taken an interest in including me socially, as well as making sure I eat. Every time she’s going on break or going to lunch, she basically tells me to go with her and she usually has something for me to eat. One day we were eating lunch, and we started talking about skin color. At one point during the conversation, she said something like…”With as light-skinned as you are, you should have men coming after you” or something very similar to that. Some of us tease her all the time about how she has all these men interested in her, so she was partially referring back to that. Now, there are a few ways to take what she said, including as racist/offensive, especially since it wasn’t coming from another black person. But I know Asians also have skin color issues within their own race, light/dark issues like black people have. She could simply think, as many black women do, that men prefer women with lighter skin color. Regardless, when people say things like this it’s kind of ridiculous to me, but not offensive–it is hard to offend me.

For the most part, it’s ridiculous out of disagreement (I do think there’s a standard of beauty in the US that hurts most women of color, not so much in a light vs dark same-race way but in a white vs non-white or non-black vs black way, but that’s a topic for another time). I’ve told Clara several times that she wouldn’t have issues with all these guys she’s not interested in following her around, contacting her, looking for her, etc, if she weren’t so friendly. Still, I never realized exactly what I was saying until this day we were having lunch, discussing skin color. I had told her before that I don’t have to fight off men because I am not friendly (which I love), and this same day I told her in response to her comment about skin color, “It’s a personality thing.”

Light-bulb moment–guys like average-looking Clara because of her personality, her approachability. This explains why I’m always seeing average-looking, or worse, women and men with someone or getting attention, sometimes more so than someone who is more physically attractive. I’ve written several blog posts about how employers seem to value personality more than being a good employee nowadays–or at least seem to be headed in that direction–and now this.

And I don’t think it’s a matter of having a good personality vs not having a good personality. You can have a good personality and get ignored. But someone like Clara is constantly talking to people, constantly laughing and joking, and she always talks to or responds to guys she’s not even interested in despite knowing they’re interested in her–she doesn’t ignore any of them, and she’s never seriously mean to them. She might get play-mean with them, but everyone knows how she is and doesn’t get offended or hurt. I’ve told her, “If you’re not interested in these guys, stop being nice to them. You’re encouraging them.” It’s like talking to the wall, which led me to conclude that she likes the attention. These are guys she dogs when they’re not around.

Some months ago, I was reading online a discussion where the question was something like…”would you rather have looks or intelligence?” Of course, almost everyone went the PC route and said they’d rather have intelligence. Well, I have intelligence. I’m not saying you can’t have looks and intelligence, or even looks, personality and intelligence–though I think most people have, at most, 2 out of 3 and not all 3. I just so happen to have one–intelligence. Among the three, if I had to choose just one I’d choose looks, though I can’t articulate why…especially since I believe that I’ve figured out that, out of the 3, personality is what gets you farthest in love, life, career and everything in between. Most of us have spent a long time not believing that, but the older you get the more true I think this is. Personality is key, and intelligence is dead last–I speak from experience regarding intelligence and observation regarding personality. And how many famous hotties do you see with divorces on their records? Halle Berry can’t seem to pay a man to stick with her.

Still, somehow I’d rather be good-looking…maybe because I view faking personality as easier than faking physical attractiveness…maybe because I don’t think I totally lack a personality but merely appear to lack one to people who don’t know me or just don’t have the kind of personality most people appreciate. For the most part, I’m happy with my personality. And I used to be arrogant about my intelligence, I loved it so much. And then I realized others don’t value it the way I do, and now it is what it is–my guess as to “what it is” is icing on the cake if you’re either attractive or have a good personality or both…but it’s certainly not the cake. I’ve just never been happy with my looks, and, you know, the grass is always greener…

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Respecting Different Opinions

Today at work, Clara told me she is “against” people being gay. No, she doesn’t know I’m a lesbian. Work is probably the last place I’d ever come out, because you’re talking about putting your livelihood on the line…which I don’t think is worth it. I don’t have time–or money–to try to sue anybody, either.

Also, because work is the only place where I really interact with people, I get a kick out of a couple of things about being in the closet at work–1) how everyone assumes you’re straight, unless you are just obvious, and 2) the way people talk about gays and lesbians when they think they’re speaking to another straight person. I could never want to miss these two things.

In particular about #1, it’s not the assumption and its “privileges,” but the things I learn because of the assumption. What I love about #1 is, personally, I think there are too many signs that I’m not straight that people just don’t get. Lesson #1: Straight people do not have gaydar. Like, at all. Just because you’re straight and can recognize a feminine-acting man or a butch woman doesn’t mean you have gaydar. If you can’t figure out a female sports junkie who doesn’t wear makeup, never wears anything other than comfortable clothes, doesn’t wear jewelry, never does anything with her hair, doesn’t give men the time of day or talk about them romantically…just for starters…individually, these things don’t necessarily mean anything, but it should be enough to give an observant straight person (especially another woman) pause when all put together, I’d think. It doesn’t seem to, though.

About #2…I’ve found that people usually don’t, in my experience, come out and admit they have any issues with being gay or lesbian, regardless of whom they think you are. This is why I respect what Clara said to me today. Usually, people will bullschitt you in some way about gays and lesbians and their opinion. I can tell this is something other gays/lesbians haven’t learned, but I’m black. I know people are full of schitt when it comes to minority groups–all of them.

In the US, people love to do a black people vs gay people thing, just a way to make black people the bad guys because they’re sick of hearing about black people and racism. Finding ways to make black people incredibly intolerant is “in” right now. Usually, it’s white people making black people the bad guy when it comes to homosexuality, but sometimes you get some dumb black people joining in. Basically, according to these people, black people hate gay people. Black people are the only ones who hate gay people. Everyone else is so much more accepting, unless, perhaps, if they’re Republican or Christian or Southern (never mind that this is a good percentage of the population, much more so than black people make up, even if you exclude the black people who are also Republican, Christian and/or Southern. Incidentally, pointing the finger at any of these groups isn’t 100%).

I would say the majority of all [American] people fit into one of two camps: They are “against homosexuality,” or they are “okay with it” or “don’t care” at some point but say or do things at other points that indicate this is not entirely true. Personally, I’ve seen more “I don’t care, but then again, I do” stuff from people–black, white, whatever–than anything else. I know of so many black people who are like this–this is how my mother is. But maybe, just maybe, you’re more likely to get unapologetic honesty from blacks–and other racial minorities–than from white people.

I often find white LGBT allies and neutrals disingenuous in some sense, or exaggerated, or clueless, or don’t care/do care-ish. This is also how most white people are with race, and I do think the two are related–white people understand consequences of being brutally honest about gays/lesbians more than black people do, I’d say, because they’ve already seen or experienced white people suffering consequences of being brutally honest about blacks. We black people talk schitt about white people, and nothing happens. Talk schitt about Asians or Latinos…usually, not much happens, but sometimes it does (like, if the target is Jeremy Lin, NBA star). Talk schitt about gay people–surprise–schitt happens.

Bottom line–most people won’t just say what they really think about gays/lesbians or gay rights without trying to soften the blow somehow or without adding whatever statement that convinces them they’re not a bad person.

But Clara? Just flatout said she’s against women with women and men with men, and it’s not in the Bible and not what God wants.

Cookies for Clara. Seriously. I used to think that I couldn’t be friends with someone who thought like this…but…well…I am just not offended by her opinion. First of all, I view it as just that. I am not one of those people who thinks everyone has to agree with me about gay rights or else it means something really horrible about who they are or for my life. Her opinion does not make or break gay rights or any of my personal relationships [or lack thereof, on both counts]. She does some little bullschitt job for a major international company. Seriously, gay people, people who do little bullschitt jobs don’t mean schitt, unless they’re trying to cause you physical or financial harm.

Second, I don’t equate what she said to saying she hates gays/lesbians, and I think that’s the mistake most gays/lesbians make. Like I’ve written before at this blog, it’s about knowing how to read people. Even before our discussion about gays/lesbians came up, we talked about interacting with people. And she correctly pointed out several times that she talks to everyone. So, do I think she’d stop being friends with me if she knew I am a lesbian? No. Would she treat me differently? Yes, in the sense that it would end up part of our conversations and jokes/teasing, because that’s how she is. We talk candidly about all kinds of things most people wouldn’t, especially two people from different racial backgrounds. And she’s one of those rare women who doesn’t get offended by anything you say, and I always like to say I’m the same way.

So, no, I don’t have a problem with someone not bullschitting everybody, for a change, about her opinion on gays and lesbians. Of course, I had to give her a hard time about it, but she didn’t backtrack or try to clean it up–she stuck to what she said. I can’t stand people saying racist or homophobic schitt, then coming back with fake apologies and proclaiming they’re not racist/homophobic. We’re all racist, and we’re probably all homophobic to some degree, too. If you own your truth, I will respect it.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

My Entertainment At Work

So, my new job is boring as hell. There is no work for me to do. Is it miles and miles better than my previous, oh, three jobs? Absolutely…although I must say that if I’m going to wake up early in the morning and ride out to the boonies and be forced to remain there for 9 or so hours, ya kinda need to have some reason for me to do this. If I’m going to be anywhere doing nothing, I’d rather it be at home. Plus, I still don’t even have a computer at work to slack off properly. And I can’t use my cell phone for slacking-off purposes quite as much as I’d like to because the battery life sucks.

So how to take advantage of the fact that I now get paid to do nothing?

In my last post, I broke down some of my new co-workers. I mentioned that I could already tell that either Linda or Clara would end up my “best work friend.” At this point, I’d say it’s Clara. Clara is just a complete character. She keeps me entertained with stories about men and looking up funny stuff on the internet. The afternoons are quickly becoming YouTube comedy time. Yesterday, we were watching videos of celebrities falling. We watched the clip of Beyonce falling down stairs during a performance several times, and we laughed until we cried. It’s not something I’d normally laugh at–in fact, I’ve seen the video before and told her about it, and that’s why she looked it up–but Clara thought it was hilarious, and her reaction is what made it so funny.

When I mentioned Clara in my co-worker breakdown, I mentioned that she’s Asian but there is blackness to her personality/speech. So, I asked her somewhat indirectly if she grew up around black people. It turns out she grew up around white people in a typical “strict” Asian family. Okay…how in the hell did she get to be “black” then? Usually, when Asian people grow up around white people, they turn out…white-washed. And contrary to popular belief, I don’t think that’s automatically the norm (as is often argued as to why certain people only date a particular race that is not their own), because it’s more hit-or-miss for black people who grow up around white people. Just because you grow up around white people as a racial minority doesn’t mean you turn out a certain way. Some of it is about the mentality of the individual (for example, how badly do you want to fit in with your environment’s norm), some of it is about what messages they’re receiving at home, some of it is about how brainwashed they become by the messages they receive from society and the media. I think these things combined tend to steer Asians in predominantly white environments towards becoming “white” more often than not. They certainly don’t combine to make them “black.”

What Clara told me is “I grew up around white people…so I know how they think.” Now, usually, when I say something like that, I mean something along the lines of…”Yeah, I know white people are full of schitt.” Just being honest with you. Or “Yeah, I know they’re lame.” Or “Yeah, I know they’re racist.” Not like black people aren’t racist (or full of schitt), but still…she likes “black music,” has kind of a “black accent,” has a black boyfriend and her kid looks like he’s “half-black.” I told her she seems more black, and she just laughed. And then she started kind of trying to argue with me, almost the typical PC bullschitt, like “Oh, black people aren’t the only ones who know about [XYZ].” Um, yes, we are, haha. And she told me one of our other black male co-workers told her she’s a “fake Oriental” (she actually refers to herself and her family as Oriental…one of these days, I’m going to explain to her than “Oriental” describes objects, not people). So, I’m not the only one who noticed.

And she has guys left and right! She has all these crazy stories about guys who are after her, and then she shows me proof–like crazy text messages at 3am and Facebook comments! And there’s this guy at work, who I actually used to work with where I did repairs before, who is after her, and another co-worker and I just tease her about it all day long.

I think I’m realizing that men and lesbians have different taste in women, except for the moronic lesbians who only like straight women (well, and heartache and wanting what they can’t have, not to mention being completely brainwashed by society and not trying to do a damn thing about it). I just sit at work and look at Clara like, “I don’t get this.” In fact, most women I know who have men practically stalking them all the time, I just don’t get it. Now, with my best friend, I do and don’t get it. She has blonde hair, blue eyes, she’s tiny, she’s an actress and looks the part…I know that’s what our society likes, but it does nothing for me. In fact, I don’t think there are any big-name Hollywood women who do it for me. But, trust me–there’s nothing special about the way Clara looks. And anyone who has even just one kid gets an automatic big, loud “time’s up” buzzer, no matter how she looks. I’m also not sure I could get with a non-black person who is blacker than I am…just…don’t know about that. [shrugs]

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

My New Job and Co-Workers

Finally, I have a job I like. Well…as much as I can possibly like a job. But I don’t have headaches every day anymore or tight neck/shoulder muscles from stress. In fact, I experience pretty much no stress at work. I am doing the kind of work I want to be doing. I get off work fairly early. I like a lot of the people I work with, and I already have a bunch of “work friends.” People there are nice, and there’s tons of racial/ethnic diversity. People there actually work. I can find quiet places to go when I want to be alone/listen to music–I can even listen to music while I work. I don’t have to worry about how long my breaks are or being able to take breaks because no one is monitoring me and I’m not too busy to take breaks. Best of all…no phone calls and no whining people to help with annoying issues.

I can’t believe how well this seems to have worked out so far. I would say I should have taken this job back in November when it was first offered to me because I could have been happy and stress-free all this time, but I had good reasons for not taking it. I made more money at the job I left, which has allowed me to build up my bank account. And even now, I make more money at my new job than what I was being offered in November.

There are three issues, though, in order from least serious to most serious:

1) It’s a little farther from my house than I care for. I damn-near have to go to another state or county to get to work. I’ve seen parts of my hometown that I’ve never seen before trying to go to this job. I didn’t know this job was as far away as it is, partially because I got it through an employment agency and never went there until I checked it out this past weekend, and partially because the company for which I work has a bunch of different locations and I assumed I’d be working at a different one that is closer to home. I didn’t know this location existed, and there was no reason for me to know it.

2) I have to get up earlier in the morning. I’m not a morning person, plus with this job being farther from home…it’s not easy. I have to adjust to getting up at ridiculous hours and trying to find ways to force myself to go to bed early again. But like I wrote, the flipside of this is I get off work early.

3) I have a lot of downtime. Yeah, this is my most serious complaint (i.e. these issues are not that big of a deal, especially compared to what I’ve been through with jobs the last two years). I want to do work at work. I want there to be a laptop or computer waiting to be repaired when I get to work…finish it…be handed another one to work on, and on and on until the end of the day. I don’t want to have to try and find schitt to do half the work day. And anyways, eventually, once someone important notices I don’t do work for four hours but I get paid for those four hours, it’s going to be a problem. I also don’t want to end up having to do schitt I didn’t come to this place to do, which is what employers love to have people do when they don’t have enough work. Just give me computers and laptops to repair. No, I don’t understand why this place is hiring, either, if I’m not going to have enough work.

I think maybe it was expected that it’d take me longer to repair computers and laptops I work on than it does, and that might be why I don’t have work. The only other formal repair job I had hounded employees to get work done fast, whereas this place cares more about quality and is not emphasizing how quickly the work is completed. I’m used to a quality/quantity mix, so I get computers/laptops and have them for only about 30 minutes-to-an hour and then the original issue is resolved when I test these units. One of my co-workers who has been at this place for years asked me if I had done this kind of work before and told me I seem more knowledgeable than a lot of people who come through there.

Speaking of co-workers, since I love to write about them in my blog here’s a little about each of the new cast members you’re most likely to read about here (fake names, pretty much as usual):

Linda: Kind of like the lame white guy at my last job was, the one who thought he was cool and always sat on his @ss texting on his iPhone…Linda is supposed to be my go-to person for help/questions. But Linda is actually very cool. Linda might also be the only–if not, she’s in a small group–physically attractive female where I work, which is a very good thing. I could pretty much tell she is straight, though, and then it was confirmed on the second day of work that she has a husband. There’s something about straight women…I almost never get seriously interested in them, and knowing early on that she is straight is going to ensure that I don’t end up interested. Plus, I’ve got mad respect for Linda because she is Asian and actually married an Asian man. It just feels like you don’t see that anymore…I don’t know the last time I saw an Asian American (born/raised in the US) in his/her 20s or early 30s with another Asian person. Even my previous job recruiter was with a white woman. I know some people don’t get why this matters, but cookies for those who do and cookies for Linda.

Dan: Don’t know what his exact job title is, but Linda says he is my manager’s right-hand man (I rarely see my manager). So I guess he is one of my managers. He’s cool so far, but aren’t they always, in the beginning? And don’t they pretty much always eventually turn into dicks (or at least the men do, in my experience)? Stay tuned for the transformation.

Clara: She’s my crazy co-worker. I can already tell either she or Linda will end up my “best work friend,” or maybe both of them will (yes, two women and not two guys…amazing, I know!!). She’s outgoing, which are the kind of people who end up becoming my good friends. She says crazy schitt. She’s Asian like Linda (different ethnicities), but she has a little blackness to her personality and voice/speech…wonder if she grew up around or went to school with a lot of black people.

Jim: He’s this weird, big, old guy who used to do repair where I previously did repairs. There are a lot of people who used to work where I did repairs working at my new job, which doesn’t surprise me–I figured I’d see some of those people. This dude keeps harping on the fact that I have a college degree. I mean, every…single…time he speaks to me he says something about it. On my first day on the job, he walked up to me and the second thing out of his mouth was that he remembers I have a Bachelor’s degree. I bet he doesn’t remember my name, though. And then he can never remember what my degree is in, so he asks every time he talks to me. I remember this guy likes to talk, too, so I know he’ll come up with more random, annoying schitt I’ll have to share here. He already told me he got laid off at the job we previously shared, which just means he was one of the low performers doing repairs. Sorry, man–can’t relate.

There might end up being a few more people, but that’s it for now.

Okay, I like my job and all…but I’m still so glad I don’t have to get up early and go to work tomorrow.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Manic Monday

Yesterday I gave notice at work, but I gave it to the agency that placed me since they’re technically my employer. Immediately–like the minute I emailed them my notice–they started calling and emailing me. I mean, I happened to glance at my cell phone, and saw my recruiter’s name and number on the screen while I was in the middle of something. It’s just ridiculous how they always try to call me. I answer phones for a living all day for a corporation, and they know this–they placed me in the position. Why on earth do they think I can just take their calls on my personal cell phone whenever they feel like it?

So, when I didn’t answer, my recruiter emailed me the next minute asking me to call him. Then the other recruiter emailed me asking me to call him. Then my recruiter emailed me again, asking where I got a job. Then he tried to call my co-worker New Tech, who didn’t answer but told me they were calling him. These recruiters have a habit of contacting one of their other placed employees whom they know works near the one they’re trying to reach when they can’t get a response from the one they’re trying to reach–they’ve contacted me before trying to reach both Lazy Tech and New Tech. So, we knew they were probably calling New Tech to find out where I was or if I could call them.

New Tech and I were just dying laughing at the whole thing. I knew the agency didn’t expect me to find a job that quickly, or at all. It was just last Monday when they told me they’d spoken to my supervisor and he wouldn’t let me go back to the position I liked at the company. I told them I would find something else, then. I know they didn’t believe it. In fact, they scheduled a follow-up discussion for next Monday. Turns out next Monday I’ll be at my new job. I know they couldn’t believe it and that they’d want to know just how on earth I was able to get another job that fast. That’s why it was especially funny to New Tech and me when they emailed asking where I got a job.

By the time I called these guys one of them had told my supervisor. My supervisor still hasn’t said anything to me about it, the @sshole. He acts like nothing is happening. But New Tech told me he saw one of the recruiters today in the lobby. I told him they are probably talking about hiring someone to replace me on tech support, which wouldn’t even be necessary if the kid they brought in a couple of weeks ago had just been placed on tech support to begin with.

Obviously, my recruiter did ask me all kinds of questions about where I was going, how I found the job, etc. Even about how much it pays.

I got a bit of a surprise, though, because he sounded irritated last week when I reiterated I wanted to leave the company where he placed me…

He told me, “I don’t blame you one bit.” The way he said it, too…with emphasis, hit the “one bit” part pretty clear.

He knows that situation with my supervisor doing everything he could to keep Lazy Tech and nothing to accommodate me was bullschitt. For the record, my recruiter is Asian. I have found that Asians don’t usually side with black people when it comes to anything with racial undertones or even racially overt things, but he’s Filipino and Filipinos tend to be a little bit more…racially aware and black-friendly. New Tech and I also talked about how they would have gotten rid of a black person who acted like Lazy Tech did without all of that bending over backwards to prevent it…in part because my mother asked me if I had warned him, basically. Like I wrote before, I can definitely see New Tech’s inadequacies getting more exposed without my being there to pick up after him, and he’s African. They’re not going to put up with some of the issues he has for too long. If he can’t find another job fast enough, I see him getting fired eventually.

And with it being official that I’m out the door, New Tech has really started trying to step up finding another job…to the point where over the last two days he has just come across as desperate to me. Now he’s wanting to get out of IT altogether, saying it’s not his passion. He was talking about wanting to move into IT management. He is not management material, I can tell you that. Sure, plenty of managers suck–mine does–but there’s a difference between being a bad manager and just not having a manager’s personality. My manager is the type of guy you disrespect behind his back; New Tech is the type of guy you’d disrespect to his face. I would be the same way, I think–I know I am not “leader” material.

Today, New Tech actually took off work early to go interview with an insurance company. Um. All you’re going to do at an insurance company is sell insurance. Probably won’t get paid if you don’t, either. That’s the kind of job I looked at way back when I first got out of school and wasn’t hearing schitt back from employers and was desperate, so I know what those “interviews” are like. He has a wife and kids–you need something very stable in that situation, something with a weekly or bi-weekly paycheck guaranteed.

He also sits at work and looks at our company’s internal job postings on a regular basis, only now he is looking in the customer service department. Customer service? While there’s a CS component to working many IT jobs, CS is at least a step down from doing anything in IT, or at least the positions he might qualify for would be. And with the more entry-level jobs, which I’m sure is all he could really get, you’re going to get paid like it’s at least a step down. Maybe he thinks those jobs would be easier to get or something, but I can tell from speaking to him that he has unrealistic ideas about how much he’d get paid.

Still, Belinda is a CS supervisor at our company…so I smiled (thinking about her tends to bring a smile to my face or make me nervous) and suggested he talk to her about the job openings they have. Dude, I cannot imagine having to report to Belinda (although I’d probably love going to work all of a sudden). But New Tech seriously went looking for her so that he could talk to her about it.

By the way…the Belinda thing. I realize that now that I’m leaving my job, in a sense I have nothing to lose by approaching Belinda. Knowing this is my last week and that I probably won’t see her again unless an effort is made to do so, I’m a little bit torn. But I’m just not ready for several reasons, not just because I feel I still need to move on more from everything that happened with my “ex.” Also, given that Belinda is never alone–today I saw her with, like, four or five other people–I wouldn’t even know how to approach her. Plus, I have never approached a woman before, at least not out of the blue. I always get approached.

And speaking of the “ex,” I thought she no longer read my blog but maybe she does, because I haven’t seen her on Yahoo! since I wrote about seeing her online and how it made me feel. I don’t know, I just thought it was interesting that she no longer shows up after that. I know there are ways to kind of find out if she still reads my blog–I work in IT, after all–but I’m not interested enough to see if she’s still following me. I just assumed she wasn’t because 95% of the time I feel like she doesn’t give a schitt about me, so why read my blog (intriguing topic, too–inspired me to do a little Google search; still not sure what the answer is)? Why would anyone read this, haha? I have actual friends who won’t even read this stuff! Plus, I’ve been through worrying about who sees what I write, and I am past that now. My blog is my friend.

Bottom line–Belinda is someone I’d love to get to know if given the opportunity, but now is just not a good time. Really, I should be coming home and continuing my studies on programming (I’ve gotten really lazy since my class ended–which I aced, by the way, and only missed two questions out of about 40 on the final exam!!!), not checking sports articles on Yahoo! (easier said than done since I am all about the majority of sports now and have even added the Tennis Channel to my obsessive sports channel surfing, what, with the French Open having ended a couple of weeks ago and now Wimbledon is on) or blogging or going out on dates. I should be figuring out how long I’m going to be with my parents vs moving out…and, to me, moving out is all about moving to another city/state, which would also complicate dating anyone where I am now. I’ve really been looking at what’s out there in Austin, TX, San Francisco, CA and Ann Arbor, MI–the latter because that’s where I’d love to be, the former two because those are more so IT hotbeds. Right now, career needs to come first, as it has for the past year+, so I can stop being quite as big a loser. 😉

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

White Women and a Sense of Entitlement

Obligatory Disclaimer: I usually try to stay away from posts like these, but on this particular issue I just can no longer continue to hold back anymore. So. If you’re someone who gets offended by candid discussions concerning race and/or sex/gender, or you do not like to hear/read about race and that there’s a such thing as racial differences, please click away from this page. Thank you much.

When I was in school, I took [almost] all the fuddy duddy courses in all the departments most people don’t respect–psychology, sociology, philosophy, anthropology, etc. When I was in law school, I took many of the “Race and Law,” “Gender and Law,” “Law and the Elderly” types of courses. I’m one of those kind of people. And people think you’ll never actually “use” these things, but, in fact, I’m about to use them right now.

This is the kind of post people who don’t follow the blog regularly will find in a search engine, so let me recap a few things. I work in the IT industry. Most of the jobs I’ve had since leaving school have been customer service oriented, and right now I work in a tech support type of capacity. I’m trying to get away from tech support because I hate it. I hate dealing with the people we support, but particularly the phone calls. Most people who work tech support/help desk/service desk complain about the people. I took my current job, knowing from my last tech support job that I’d hate it, because it pays pretty well for where I live. I have loved the money, but I am just about at my wits end and ready to take a pay cut to get out. I cannot express how sick of people I am. [Now you’re up to speed.]

But I have especially had it with white women. They are the worst customers, do you hear me? They are the bane of my existence. They are the ones whom when the phone rings and I look over at the caller ID to see who is calling and I start cursing before I pick up the phone…it’s almost always a white woman. They are the ones whom when I see an email land in the inbox and I’m sitting there like, “I do not want to answer this email. No way…somebody else is going to answer this @sshole”…it’s usually from a white woman. They are the ones whom when the guys I work with and I are sitting around complaining about certain people who call or email us…the person about whom we’re complaining is almost always a white woman. They, in my experience, are the most difficult customers…and it’s not even close.

This was surprising to me, for a while. When I was in the beginning stages of starting my career, I expected white men to be the difficult people to serve. And I have certainly had to deal with some difficult white men. Indeed, if you’re a scholar of the fuddy duddy stuff–you know, the social sciences and the humanities–and/or you like to read those kinds of things in your spare time (as I used to like to do), you love those discussions (as I still do)…you’ve probably been led to believe that white men are predominantly the bad guys. They have done most of the bad things in history. They are the ones who feel entitled to everything today. And this “white guy as the bad guy” idea is largely perpetuated by, surprise, a lot of white men–as historians, as psychologists, as researchers, as scholars and so on.

But it’s also heavily perpetuated by white female feminists. In fact, let’s get real–the average visible feminist is a white woman. Hell, the average feminist, period, is a white woman. Nothing wrong with being a feminist, and I’m not saying I’m not one. I’m just saying that my observation has been that women of color, even though black women buck some of the key gender roles/stereotypes in society, still on the whole subscribe to more sexist ideals than white women do and are still more brainwashed in their thinking of what men “should” do, what men “should” have, etc, vs women.

Anyway, when these white female feminists are talking about sex and gender in our society, they are clearly speaking relative to white men…because other men do not have oppressive power, at least not in terms of the system. So, these white women are complaining about white men and their entitlement and the fact that they get things because they’re white men. This is not to say other men don’t feel a sense of entitlement. I know from dealing with black men as a black woman that black men certainly feel a sense of entitlement. All types of men feel a sense of entitlement. But my points are 1) we only ever hear about entitlement in white men and how that’s a problem, and 2) white women’s problems with men are with white men.

The funny thing I’ve come to see, though, is tons of white women act just the way they take issue with when it comes to white men. In fact, socially? White women are worse than white men. I suppose they’re making up for not having that power systemically.

If you ever run across discussions of entitlement in white women, they tend to only focus on relationships. No–white women just…feel…entitled. Period. Even though I’m a lesbian, I don’t date white women. Never say never, but I more than likely won’t date a white woman ever again, for so many reasons. So, I can’t speak with any real experience when it comes to what white women are like in romantic relationships. The reason why I say they’re entitled is customer-based.

It’s that, in my experience, the following comes from white women more than anybody else:

1) “Why do I have to do this? I shouldn’t have to do this…I don’t understand why…and it shouldn’t be this difficult…why this…why that…when is this going to be fixed…”

2) “I need this done right now!”

3) -[Emails to tech support] “I’m having XYZ problem. Call me at 200-400-5000.” (For those who don’t understand, erm…users are supposed to call tech support. We’re not f*cking supposed to call you. And why the f*ck would you email us that you have a problem and then ask us to call you? Why didn’t your prissy @ss pick up the phone and just call us?!)

4) [Attitude on the line, with a lot exaggerated scoffing] “Uck, I can’t get into Oracle, and I keep getting this error message, and, uck, I can’t work like this, and uck…”

Me: “What is happening when you try to get into Oracle? What does the error message say?”

“Uck, I don’t know…uck…I just need it fixed now!”

[Trying to figure out how to help this b!tch when she won’t give me any useful information]

5) “I need to know when I’m going to be able to log into XYZ, because I’ve really got work I need to get done. I’ve got to be able to do this now.

Me: “Well, the admin who normally works on this issue is out of the office today.”

“Uck…who else can get this done for me? Who can I talk to? Who is the admin’s supervisor?”

“Tell you what, I will check with my supervisor to see who else can work on this issue for you.”

“Okay. Will you let me know?”

“Um…” hesitating because we don’t have time to be calling people back about schitt. Like I said, you call tech support; we don’t call you. “Yes, I will.”

[Thirty minutes later, an email goes out from this b!tch and another [white] b!tch to me, my supervisor, my supervisor’s supervisor, the admin who is out and a whole bunch of other people about this exact…same…issue. Funny thing is, they basically tell her the same schitt I told her, and all of a sudden she’s cool to just wait.]

6) “I’m calling to find out why we still haven’t received [user’s] laptop. We were supposed to receive it today, but it still has not arrived. Can you tell me when it was shipped out?”

[Shipping out laptops, unfortunately, has absolutely nothing to do with me because I no longer work in the position I want to work in at this company. So, I tell the user I will check and put her on hold]

Me: [after checking] “Hello? The laptop still has not shipped out yet. It looks like the user’s ID was just created, so the tech is only just now able to start setting up the user’s profile on his PC.”

“Oh, my gosh…I can’t believe this!” [Start of an angry rant. Erm, by the way…it was this b!tch’s fault anyways. She is the one who took forever to submit his f*cking paperwork, and that’s why his user ID was created so late. We can’t complete PC setups without a user ID because a tech has to log in as the user to set up his user profile. I calmly explained this schitt to this moron without trying to make it sound like I was blaming her]

7) [Email] “Please process these Oracle account creation forms for [users].”

[My co-worker responded to the email letting this b!tch know that she has not followed the correct process and that a manager needs to submit the forms through our intranet site]

[Response] “Well, that’s not how we did it before. [Life.overrated] helped me with this before, and I was able to email the forms in.”

[Yep…and that time before, the b!tch was trying to not follow the rules then, too. I had to go to my supervisor and get approval for this b!tch to get her way that time, and now she seems to think she can just not follow the rules every f*cking time and proceeds to argue back and forth with my co-worker]

That’s enough examples for right now (even though I failed to give an example on how white women also love to tell you how to do your job), but let me be clear on two things–1) these b!tches are not b!tches because they’re white; they’re b!tches because they’re pushy, demanding, argumentative, don’t treat people the way they want to be treated, and think rules/processes don’t or shouldn’t apply to them. This is how people who feel a sense of entitlement act when they are not getting their way or when things are not going the way they “feel” they should. 2) All kinds of people behave in ways similar to the provided examples, but I’m simply saying my experience is more (and not all) white women consistently do these things. All of these examples are of white women–except one.

Example #6 is, according to one of my co-workers, a black female. Now, if you’re smart, you should have been questioning how is it that we answer emails and phones but somehow know the race of the people we serve. There are three main ways, and some of the more politically correct among us won’t like one of these ways:

1) Sometimes at least one of us who does anything with tech support at my company has met the person. This is why we know the person in example #6 is black…because she damn sure doesn’t sound black. The new tech and I were shocked as hell when Wannabe Cool Tech told us #6 is black, and he said he thought she was joking when he met her and she told him who she was (WCT is white). So, of course, we get difficult black customers/users at times. However, my observation has been that the more difficult blacks tend to be black women who seem…for lack of a better term, “white-washed”…hence the stunning revelation that #6 is not white.

There is a black chick who works in the same building I do who is now friendlier and all “hey, girl!” when she needs assistance, but for months when I first started working at the company she was a hateful, pushy little b!tch whenever she needed anything. She is, you can tell, a “white” black female. And I don’t mean anything bad about being a “white” black person, as I am pretty “white” myself…I just don’t “ack a fool” with people who work customer service-type positions. If you’ve read about Belinda before in my blog…Belinda, though she hangs with only blacks at work, has got some whiteness to her, as well, especially vocally.

2) I’ve mentioned before, but a lot of people at my company throw a profile picture into their email accounts. So, when they email us, we either confirm they’re white or we see for the first time they’re white.

3) Look, I’m sorry if you don’t like this, but 90-95% of the time you should be able to tell when someone is white or black on the phone. It has nothing to do with intelligence, contrary to popular belief. Black people and white people–usually and typicallyjust…sound…different…okay? I am intelligent, but I also sound black. Barack Obama is intelligent, but he sounds black. It’s not a matter of speaking correct or “proper” English. We have different tones and depths of voice. Black people often have deeper voices. There are certain words a white person is more likely to use. Things like that. It’s lazy to chalk it up to intelligence, but it’s also lazy to deny that we don’t sound the same because you can sit and analyze the differences, even breaking it down regionally (black Southerners sound different from blacks other places, for example, but they also sound different from white Southerners). Now, you can sometimes tell when you’re dealing with a Latino(a) or Asian, too, but that’s a matter of accent. Otherwise, they tend to sound more like white people.

If you read my blog, you might know about my last “ex-girlfriend.” One of the first things I said to her when I first heard her voice is that she sounds white. She got pissed and started lecturing me on how there’s no such thing. We never really talked about it again, but sorry…there’s a such thing. She just doesn’t think so because she is from an African family and has had a lot of acquaintances who are from “foreign” families. Well, as I mentioned just a second ago, being more “foreign” is a little bit trickier, more diverse. But it’s not tricky for white Americans and black Americans.

I will say, though, that if I can even find a group that comes in 2nd behind white women as being a nightmare to deal with, it is those more “foreign” people–probably most especially “foreign” women and perhaps even including the American-born ones with immigrant parents. Can’t break it into groups as far as Indian, Latino(a), Chinese, except maybe to lean towards people from the continent of Asia who live in the US most of all (so, in other words, I’m saying Asian and Indian-Asian women)…just all of them. They are difficult customers who also act with some sense of entitlement, and they are, perhaps, only a distant 2nd to white women just because of the frequency with which an American is going to interact with white women vs “foreign” customers.

Over the past few months, I have done a few internet searches on this topic. That’s why I have found that a lot of discussions about white women and entitlement focus on relationships. But a couple of months ago, I found a discussion on lipstickalley.com that let me know I wasn’t the only one who found white female customers overwhelmingly give service workers the dickens…unfortunately, I can no longer find that thread, or else I would link to it. I was surprised at the near unanimity of opinion on white women’s difficulty in that thread, though.

I did, however, find one true read that somewhat explains why white men are perceived as feeling entitled and why my experience with people “acking a fool” is almost always with white women as opposed to, say, black people. Also, even though this is about a relationship, I want you to skip to the 5:20 mark of this video and watch for about 50 seconds. Note that the blog post is an acknowledgement of white entitlement by a white male and that the video features probably one of the most racist white characters ever on TV essentially describing white women much the same way as I have. Even though the female described in the clip turns out to be black, she is yet another one of those “white” black chicks (watch the rest of the video if you have time to see what I’m talking about and to get an example of the difficult b!tches I deal with at work).

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,