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Female Loners

I never stop learning. When I become intellectually interested in a topic, especially if I’m interested in opinions on it, I head to a search engine and start reading. Lately I’ve been thinking and reading more about being an introvert, being shy and being a loner. It seems a lot of people don’t know the difference among these terms. The definition of an “introvert” is pretty involved, but it seems the simplest way it’s usually defined is a person who becomes drained by social interaction/people and needs some time away to get him/herself together or think afterwards. A lot of people don’t know this word exists or don’t know what it means, which means they use “shy” or “loner” to describe people who are actually introverts. But you can be an introvert and be a loner, too, for example, as is the case with me. And you can be a loner and be shy. I am not shy, though.

I’m writing about this because a couple of interesting things happened this week–1) my work friend Clara called me shy, and 2) someone pointed out something I’d never really thought of before, which is that loners are usually men and women who are loners are often mistaken for being shy. Well, what’s the difference? Being “shy” means you want to interact with people but you don’t know how to or are too scared. Um, this is not me. I have my moments where there are certain people–certain women–I want to talk to but I “can’t.” But that’s normal if you’re romantically interested in women. Shy people have issues with just about everyone. Loners are damn-near the opposite of shy people–they usually prefer being alone or prefer minimal social interaction. People often use “loner” to mean someone who is basically socially rejected, i.e. a loner against his will, and I can grant them that, although I believe the real definition is the one I gave and the definitions I have found so far support that.

In the course of my research, I have discovered that people don’t actually know what “loner” means, nor that females can be loners or what makes a female a loner (or why more men are loners). So, what I want to do here is another one of my response posts. What I do with these is I take stuff people have written elsewhere on the web and I respond to it.

Here is the first site where you’ll find some of the excerpts that appear here, to which I respond. Here are excerpts and my responses below, starting with the question “do you know any female loners” from the original poster:

It seems that it’s rarer for a woman to be a true loner than it is a man. Even shy women often seem to have at least a few friends, whereas I know a lot of guys on the internet who have no friends WHATSOEVER in real life.
It seems if a young woman has no friends whatsoever, she either travels a lot and just talks to strangers and stuff, has a really involved job where she still socialises and stuff, or works in some remote area. Otherwise she has some severe mental or physical handicap that prevents that.
I think it’s because it’s easier for girls to make friends and they’re more inclusive than a lot of guys.
I don’t really know any loners, or many women who would be considered ‘losers’ – no job, sponging off parents.etc, also no social life. I know they exist, but they seem quite rare.

I see a lot wrong with this person’s assumptions. First of all, there’s that equating “shy” with “loner.” Second, being a loner–and I see this assumption/belief time and time again–is not about having no friends. Again, it means you prefer to be alone. This belief is probably one of the biggest reasons why people don’t recognize female loners or why female loners are mistaken for being shy. But if you insist on believing this about having friends, by my definition of “friends” I don’t actually have any. I have people who think we’re friends, but emailing, texting and/or IM-ing every once in a blue moon doesn’t cut it, to me. And having people I don’t hang out with outside of work and will probably almost never communicate with once one of us finds another job is not friendship to me. And breaking up and you wishing me well from afar, talking about me with other people, thinking about me sometimes but never communicating with me doesn’t make us friends.

I’ve got to quote this person again here:

It seems if a young woman has no friends whatsoever, she either travels a lot and just talks to strangers and stuff, has a really involved job where she still socialises and stuff, or works in some remote area. Otherwise she has some severe mental or physical handicap that prevents that.

This is just pure…moronic…bullschitt. The end. To be honest with you, the average married-with-kids woman probably doesn’t have friends. She has her husband or her partner, and I have found that that’s all most of those women want. And you grow up, graduate, move away from people, work, have families…and then your “friendships” become that crap I described above–especially if you’re still single and your “friends” aren’t–which I don’t consider friendship.

I think it’s because it’s easier for girls to make friends and they’re more inclusive than a lot of guys.

See, men always think everything’s easier for women and women always think everything’s easier for men. I just have never seen how it’s “easier for girls to make friends” and certainly have never seen where women are “more inclusive.” In fact, over the years I have envied how easy it seems for guys to bond and not have drama or emotions in the way half the time. This is especially true when I think about sports teams–I don’t think women have anything like what male athletes have with one another, not even in their sports. I just think friendship between women is different from friendship between men, and that could be why a lot of men think it’s easier for women. Women’s friendships are more involved, more emotional and just closer…but that’s once they actually form. Most women don’t like to be alone anywhere, and they’ll use other women so that they won’t be. That doesn’t mean they’re friends. Women also like to run their mouths, and they will use other women for that purpose, as well.

I think it’s hard for women to truly become friends. Men have a fairly small group of general, stereotypical interests, and that makes it easier for them to find other like-minded men to become friends with. For example, I’d say you can say most guys either like sports, video games, science fiction, technology, drinking or some combination. I’m not saying guys aren’t or can’t be interested in other things, but these seem like the biggies that bind guys together. Contrary to popular belief, women don’t have a small group of biggies that can bind them together–women are more diverse. And even if we did all like some combo of hair, makeup, shoes, shopping…you can have so many things in common with another woman and still have her flatout dislike you or reject you, usually for some shallow reason that should have nothing to do with forming a friendship. A big one is physical attractiveness. So many women hate gorgeous women, but a lot of women also are drawn to pretty women who are less intimidating in some way (i.e. very friendly) and ignore less attractive ones or women who don’t subscribe their idea of how they should do their hair, dress, etc…and this is just talking about friendship. This is hardly being “inclusive.”

I also think this is why you see more male loners, though, aside from the fact that people mis-label female loners as “shy” or some other term. It seems like male loners either aren’t into any of the biggies I listed and, thus, can’t really relate to or have discussions with or be accepted by most men…or they are into some of the geekier biggies, like sci fi, but aren’t usually around other guys who are into that stuff. Guys who like sports are a dime a dozen, so if you’re a guy who isn’t into it but you’re always around guys who are you get used to being alone. There’s also the issue of defensiveness. Sometimes it can seem like being around other guys is halfway a “prove my macho” party, and some guys don’t want to bother, especially if they know they don’t have the requisite interests or the experience with women to win at that kind of game with other guys. They’ll look stupid, and they know it.

This response basically addresses things several others mentioned on that site, but I did see a couple of people who seemed to “get” what “loner” means.

Here is another site, where the discussion goes in a different direction. They are discussing whether or not to date loners:

…there is huge potential for this to be a red flag…
Someone who has no friends may have a hard time building and sustaining healthy relationships. Theymayalso be really selfish. Both my loner exes were selfish, and didn’t really like people. They were also clingy, as I was their only form of entertainment and only confidant. 
It’s best to bring up the subject with her to find out why she has no friends. If it is because she is super shy, then I think that is a more acceptable reason, especially if she really wants to make friends but has trouble. However, if she just doesn’t want to make friends, then that sounds like trouble.

I get some of this and not other parts. I don’t know why not wanting to make friends is “trouble” or a “red flag.” Not wanting to make friends doesn’t mean you won’t; you just might not be actively interested, but if someone who could be a good friend comes along you will be receptive. As I’ve written before, relationships are just tough. I think the majority of people are spoiled and/or selfish nowadays where they’re concerned and don’t want to put the work in. I don’t think that has ever been my problem, with respect to not wanting to build or sustain a relationship–if anything, I think other people I’ve been with have not wanted to build/sustain. Recently, I have looked back over my last relationship and have definitely seen where I was selfish at times, but I don’t think that’s the norm for me in relationships.

I am actually “clingy” in relationships, and I think that’s the problem. I don’t see the problem with wanting to be with someone whom you love and who says they love you all the time, but most people do and it kills the “love.” This is something I learned from my last relationship, and it is going to change how I act with the next woman, assuming there is one. I think one of the problems with my friendships is that most of my friends have tons of friends, whereas I don’t. I don’t know that you can be the kind of person who has 400 Facebook friends, 100 of them whom you actually do communicate with, and seriously be a good friend to any of them or have a “built” friendship with these people. Quality and [large] quantity often don’t go together. So, I always want to put in the work with a few select people and I have the time to do it, but they have 50 million other people they’re floating around and usually a serious romantic relationship/marriage, as well. And I don’t like people, either, but I have many exceptions. These friends with the 400 Facebook friends, unfortunately, are my exceptions. I like extroverts, because they approach me and they have all the right social skills, etc. But everyone else likes them, too. And extroverts like to be liked.

I probably need friends and romantic partners who are more like me in the social department, but how would two introverts/loners actually get to talking? 😉

Here is another discussion from a different site:

I think that part of it though is that women are less likely to be excluded due to problems with socialization, and shyness or anxiety may actually be seen as “cute”. Whereas the same traits in a man will often be perceived as weakness, and lead to stereotyping regardless of whether or not it’s deserved. Not to mention socially awkward men often end up taking on the dreaded “creepy” label, whereas you’ll almost never hear of a woman, regardless of what she does, referred to as creepy.

I don’t really think other women view women’s “shyness” as “cute.” Men might, but women assume the worst about other women who are to themselves. This is why I was surprised and kind of glad that Clara called me “shy.” I have never been called “shy” (not as an adult, anyway), but I have been called “anti-social” and “stuck-up.” And though no one has ever told me this to my face, I have been able to tell that black people don’t view me as a “loner” or “shy” or an “introvert”–they think I don’t want to be black because all they see is I don’t interact with black people as opposed to the fact that I hardly interact with anyone.

I basically agree about how loner men are viewed, although I did have a female co-worker who was creepy.

And this site has the dumbest discussion on female loners:

Yes there’s plenty, but most are ugly. Good looking girls loners? Nah

Funny, since one of the other sites above has people discussing how pretty women are loners. So, which is it?

I consider myself ugly, to be honest with you. I have been told by many people that I am attractive, but I definitely know there are others who don’t think so. And I have not really noticed any pretty loners–quite to the contrary, pretty women often seem to have lots of people for socializing. I have seen a couple of women who look okay who seem to be loners, but they could also be shy. Bottom line–I just don’t really think looks have much to do with it.

Females are naturally more social than males. It’s rare to find a female who is content with being alone.

They’re not the same thing. I already mentioned that I don’t think women like to be alone, but I wouldn’t say women are more social. If anything, you run into more quiet women than quiet men.

They exist and they usually smoke a lot of weed.

Haha. This.
I was just going to say.. probably a few drug addicts.

I’ve never smoked weed and never will. I don’t even know what the schitt smells like. The only “drug” I do is caffeine.

See? Dumb discussion.

Finally, a Psychology Today article discusses loners and introverts, and it profiles a female loner who grew up shy:

Matsuoka, for example, says she was “pathologically shy” as a child, which likely laid the groundwork for her current lifestyle, even though she grew much more confident in her 20s. 

What is that lifestyle?

She just strongly prefers not to socialize, opting instead for long baths, DVDs, and immersion in her art projects. She does have good, close friends, and goes dancing about once a month, but afterward feels a strong need to “hide and recoup.”

Ding, ding, ding.

I must admit that I was ridiculously shy for years and years, particularly when I was in elementary school. I also had an overprotective mother who wouldn’t let me do anything or go anywhere, which she still fervently denies was the case. Between those two things, I gave up on being able to socialize outside of school. Once I got home, it was up to me to figure out how to entertain myself at home. Somewhere along the way, I just got used to it and now that’s what I prefer–entertaining myself at home. Especially now that I’m an adult. My new job is incredibly physical at times, especially for someone like me who is out of shape. It’s Friday night/early Saturday morning as I type, but the last thing I want to do is go out. After my day at work, I can barely even walk, and I know I will probably have sore muscles all weekend.

One of the dumb comments I quote above profiles a “normal” loner female as one who just travels all the time. Well, I do like to travel. It’s just about the only thing I like to do away from home–I even shop via the internet most of the time. I’m going to Chicago next week, and I’m looking forward to it. I’m looking forward to my trip to Michigan in September even more. If I had the money, all I’d do is go to different cities and countries–even my mother said that about me when we were talking about what I’d do with my money if I won the lottery.

Notice that Psychology Today points out Matsuoka’s “good, close friends.” Again, being a loner does not mean you don’t have friends, and it doesn’t have to mean you can’t sustain/build relationships. Personally, I do see myself growing old alone. As someone who doesn’t make an effort to meet people or to socialize with the people I do meet, and then makes too much of an effort with the people who get close to me, it makes sense that I’d be alone whereas it doesn’t make sense for most people. That doesn’t mean I can’t build something that lasts if there were someone out there for me.

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Forced Socializing At Work

Last year, I wrote about how I did a little online research to find out exactly how introverts are perceived at work, and I responded to some of the opinions I found online in this post. One of the points I made is about how employers seem to be incorporating personalities and being sociable into work environments, which is quite disadvantageous to introverts.

One thing employers like to do nowadays is force socializing. For example, sometimes you have after-work parties and everyone is expected to be there. The thought that someone wouldn’t want to be there never crosses the organizer’s mind. The job I had prior to my last job–the one I had while I wrote the post to which I link above–forced socializing at times. I remember on my last day working there, the other techs had been called into one of the owners’ office to talk about some after-work holiday party–either Thanksgiving or Christmas, can’t remember. As if you don’t spend enough time with people at work…yeah, you really want to show up after work to hang with them some more.

And not long before I left that place, there was some other little thing forced on us…I can’t remember why, but we were all expected to bring a dish–not even just bring one, but actually cook it. Oh, yeah, it was a Potluck. Fuck that schitt, man–I don’t cook. But the b!tch who organized it would have been pissed if I declined to bring something, because she was precisely that type of woman. In fact, I think she sent me and a few other people an email after a while because we hadn’t signed up yet, and, if I remember correctly, in the email she claimed we didn’t have to bring anything. But you could tell–we were indirectly being pressured. You better believe I headed to Kroger, purchased a little thingy of potato salad, put it in a plastic tupperware container as if I had prepared it and was done with those b!tches.

This was that place where everyone I worked with was white, and I noticed cultural differences all the time. This Potluck was one of those times. For some reason, the old[er] non-tech bitties and I ended up talking about how my father is a better cook than my mother and how my mother almost never cooks. They started with all this crap like, “Oh, my gosh, a woman who doesn’t cook…how do you keep a man” or whatever they said, but that was basically the gist. They couldn’t fathom a woman not cooking. And this is cultural both racially and generationally. I’m not saying black women don’t cook, but black women are more often the sole breadwinners, make more money than their husbands or just have some sort of job that keeps her out of the home. This is not how white households are. A lot of older white women are housewives or have somewhat of a housewife mentality because they grew up with mothers who were housewives or during a time when a lot of mothers were housewives (where they lived). Ask a black woman, and if she’s being real with you she’ll let you know that most of us think being a housewife is one of the dumbest things we’ve ever heard.

Black women have too much going on to cook all the time, and their roles often overlap that which has been traditionally thought of as “male roles”–especially more often than white women’s roles do (as I said, black women tend to make more money than their male counterparts and are also more likely to even be employed than their male counterparts are. Both of my sisters make more money than their husbands do–one of my sisters is her household’s sole breadwinner). And you also now have a generation of all kinds of women who want to be working professionals and will not even be home at dinner time, let alone cook it. Nevertheless, their comments kind of pissed me off. This is the kind of crap in which I’m forced to participate with these damn Potlucks and holiday parties and other nonsense I don’t want to attend.

So, this morning I just decided “thanks, but no thanks” and skipped the stupid little breakfast party that my co-worker Linda told me about. I contemplated my childhood and how, whether I was around or not at certain things at school, no one really seemed to know or care. Why would anyone notice or care if I don’t go to this breakfast thing? I figured no one would give a schitt. And even if they did, I hadn’t been told this thing was mandatory, and you almost always get a pass when you can say “no one told me” or “I didn’t know.”

Oh…my…world…turns out almost everybody noticed and cared…including my manager. I could barely even listen to my music for all the people harassing me about why I wasn’t at the breakfast. That’s really all I wanted to do today–listen to music, get my work done and go home. I didn’t want to sit around fake-laughing at co-workers making fun of each other…um, co-workers who are pretty much all at least in their 30s, but they make fun of each other all day. Even the manager gets in on it. Gimme a break…The most peace I had all day at work was the hour they were all gone to breakfast. Plus, only certain people are allowed to make fun of me, and that doesn’t include anyone I barely know, like co-workers.

I was really wrong about how little people would care, too. For starters, turns out that while I was relieving a craving for Dr. Pepper, Linda told another co-worker to make sure he brings me to the breakfast. I didn’t know this at the time, so when he was insisting that I come with him and another co-worker, I was thinking, “Dude, what the hell…?” He just kept telling me to come with him and wanted to know why I didn’t want to go. The co-worker who was with him happens to be related to my manager, and I’m sure she heard me when I told this guy, “I’m not going to that.” I’m sure she heard the way I said it, too, and I would bet she told our manager.

Anyway, when the co-worker responsible for bringing me to the breakfast came back, he told me Linda had food at her station. My friend/co-worker Clara kept telling me about food that was left over. It was like these people were trying to make me eat. My co-worker Corey, with whom I worked on a project last week, said something to me about not going to the breakfast. He tries to make me eat, as well, because I told him that I never eat breakfast and almost never eat lunch. He probably thinks I’m anorexic, but I definitely don’t look it. Linda acted almost horrified that I didn’t go and wanted to know if my co-worker had told me about it, where it was located, etc–that’s how I found out she told him to bring me.

And, of course, my manager said something about it. He basically let me know indirectly that garbage like that is mandatory for social reasons and that I should be at the next one. Why is stuff that people at work think up as ways to have “fun” mandatory? “Fun” and “mandatory” don’t go together, and that’s why my job is just my job to me. It has nothing to do with socializing, and, to me, it shouldn’t. Jobs are about making a living, paying for stuff that is actually fun (like my upcoming trip to Michigan to see my alma mater beat our rival Notre Dame) and paying bills; otherwise, I wouldn’t be working. See? Mandatory, not fun. That’s why all I think about at work is getting my work done, listening to music (to help me get through un-fun work) and going home. I’m not thinking about food or hanging with co-workers. (And yes, I do know work is not 100% mandatory…see the “housewife” stuff above.)

Clara and Linda didn’t let it go, either. Clara asked me again later why I didn’t go to the breakfast, and I just told her I didn’t think anyone would notice. She said that not that many people work in our area at work, so people would notice. But, I pointed out to her, I only really communicate with her at work (so why would others notice if I’m not there?). She took that as my saying that I didn’t go because I wouldn’t have anyone to talk to, which is part of it but not the point, and she said I could have sat by her.

I know that, to many people, socializing is the way they deal with un-fun, mandatory work. And they can’t even begin to understand people like me who just want to work, just want to listen to music and don’t want to go to social events or stand around half the day talking. And, for me, it’s not even about not liking my co-workers–I like most of them, and I’m fine with them one-on-one. But a room full of them, where we’re expected to socialize for an hour, is not my idea of a good time. I don’t really think it’s any introvert’s idea of a good time. It’s actually more anxiety-producing than anything else. That’s what I don’t think people understand when they come up with these work social events.

Whatever people might think about this communication style, I speak to people who speak to me…meaning if someone doesn’t initiate a conversation with me, we’re not going to have a conversation. There are very few exceptions. Some of it is just not being interested in talking to most people. Some of it is a lack of social skills. But some of it is, again, thinking back on my childhood. For example, when I was growing up, if some people were having a conversation and you inserted yourself into it–let’s say these are black people–oftentimes one of them would say something like, “Ain’t nobody talking to you!” Or “This is an A and B conversation–C your way out.” White people might just look at you like you’re crazy.

So, I’ve realized over the last few months that I believe people shouldn’t enter conversations unless they’re invited to do so. Something has changed over the years, because now if you don’t go up to people and just start talking, people want to know why you never speak to anybody.

Now I’m just wondering how I’m going to be able to tolerate the next social event at work. After I spoke with my manager, I thought about how I hope my job doesn’t have another one of these things before I move on to another job. Unfortunately, because of this trend where work and social life are expected to intertwine, the problem is not going to go away, nearly regardless of where I work. It’ll probably just get worse…until someone comes up with “Sensitivity Training In the Workplace” geared towards understanding and working with introverts.

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Judging People

Man, I am getting killed at work. My manager selected me for some dumb project that has nearly every part of my body hurting. Aside from barely being able to walk, I have cuts and bruises, too–just very physical [and completely disorganized] work that has totally screwed up my work/morning/leisure schedule. I have been so tired after work this week that, apparently, I paid one of my student loans and then forgot that I paid it just a couple of days ago. On the way home, I looked at today’s date and was like, “Oh, I have a loan due today and I forgot to pay it!” I logged in and there it was–paid 7/23.

Ahhh, I am losing it, people! I was seriously about to pay that loan again had it not been for the double zeros beside “amount due,” and I completely do not remember paying it two days ago.

After this week, though, I have to wonder if I’m also not losing my ability to judge people accurately. I’ve always been great at putting my finger on who someone is–sometimes completely on intuition, but a lot of the time it’s based on observing them, maybe speaking to them. It doesn’t take much for me. Sure I’ve been wrong before, and I’ve wondered a lot if I was just wrong about my “ex”…although one way or another, I obviously was wrong in my assessments of, at least, our relationship.

See, when I was told this week at work that I’d be working on this project with these particular two guys from work, I was just like………

Well, I was not happy. To me at the time, there were fewer combinations of people that could have been worse for me to work with. I’m cool with most of the people in my area at work, but I wasn’t with these two. I wanted to beg my work bestie Clara to come work with me on this project, but I kept my pride. Still, surely, there went laughter for the week, right out the window.

Now, one of the guys…my judgment of him did not result in dislike, but we never speak to each other. He just seemed quiet and dull, which I’m sure is how I appear to most people. Plus, if I’m being perfectly candid–and you know how I do it–despite the fact that I probably get along better with [straight] white men, incredibly oddly enough (being a black lesbian, but then again maybe that’s why–no sexual/romantic interest from either side), than any other group of people, I still do have a tendency to completely dismiss white men when I first meet them (as I usually do with white women, as well, if I’m still being honest)…meaning…I don’t view them in a social light. This certainly has not always been the case; it is something that has happened with age, for sure. Frankly, being anti-people like I am, I don’t view most people in a social light, but this is most true with white men.

So, I know that I ignore this guy at work–I am fairly aware of the fact that I do, especially since he is, like, one of two white guys in my work area. I grew up being treated this way by white people (grew up? Hell, it still happened in grad school), so now I do it back to them without even thinking about it or without correcting it when I know I’m doing it. I think the reason things changed with age is because it has happened so much that I now just assume that’s how it is between black people and white people, or even between black people and Asian people a lot of the time.

Bottom line–I know race affects how I treat people, how I interact (or don’t) with them. It’s something most people won’t admit, but I do. Sex/gender affects it, too, but in a less consistent way than race does. I perceived this guy, whom I will call Spencer, as a nice guy but a nice white guy. So, ugh, I have to spend the rest of my week working with a quiet, dull but nice white guy? Sucks, man. Yeah, that’s how I felt.

But the other dude, who is black? Yeah, he was even worse. Probably the least friendly person towards me since I have been working at this new job, but he is cool with everyone else. Spencer probably had spoken to me more than this dude had, prior to this week. I was pretty close to not liking him, but I can’t explain it–he just seemed like an ass. I couldn’t figure out if he was one of those black guys who looks down on black women (I’m the only black female in my work area) or what. Even if I said something to him, he wouldn’t say anything. Let’s call this dude Corey.

Okay, so I’m not wanting to work with these dudes. Even though I didn’t beg Clara to come with me, I did tell her that much.

People, I tell you–During the work project, I was surprised by how much Spencer was starting conversations with me and how comfortable I felt with him, and Corey seriously had me thinking that if he weren’t married I might be able to fake being hetero in a hetero relationship with him…well, maybe for two weeks, anyway, before running screaming back to homoland. Spencer and I talked quite a bit on the first day. He’s a very nice guy, period.

Corey is from Mississippi, and, let me tell you–he acts like a guy from Mississippi is supposed to act. Ladies first, opens doors, offering the lady a seat before he takes it, offering an umbrella on a rainy day, doing all the heavy lifting–just straight out of a manners manual, if there ever was one. People might consider this chivalry, but I consider this Old South. See, the one thing we Southerners loved to take pride in once upon a time ago was that we–all of us, not just the men–had better manners than everyone else. Yes, that was our belief. Some of us still believe this; unfortunately, it is a dying art in the South because parents here aren’t doing their jobs right anymore. Southern guys my age usually aren’t like Corey anymore, especially not with random chicks they aren’t trying to impress.

And it’s not as if I think guys should open doors or do all the heavy lifting, because I don’t really (however cool I think that stuff is). But I do think some of this stuff is part of being Southern, i.e. all of us down here should be holding doors open for people and all of us should thank someone who does this or who opens a door for us, but relatively few of us do anymore. I’m not saying this is or was exclusive to Southerners, but I do think we used to hold people to a certain standard of manners more so than others, that we used to teach Southern kids to be a certain way and we used to be proud of it. That’s what Corey embodies to me, and that’s why I very briefly thought I could be straight for about a week or two. Nowadays, all Southerners seem to brag about and be nationally exalted for is being better in college football than everybody else is (cheating-ass teams full of criminals and druggies, one of which produced Aaron Hernandez, but everyone conveniently forgets all that…except us Big Ten fans).

Anyway…we all judge people, so that’s nothing I’ll ever apologize for. It’s a very important defense mechanism. I just think that, for a variety of reasons best summarized as life, I have gotten too defensive. When I think about dating and relationships, I think about how I’m going to defend myself better the next time around…defend, as in protect…not as in arguments. I don’t think about the things other people probably think about when they think about love and finding the right person–happier things. When I think about work, friendships, anything social…it’s all the same. Everything has become a battle of sorts, and it’s hard to relax. On one hand, the feeling that I’m sick of people is totally real. It’s there, that’s how I feel–especially after my last job. On the other hand, it’s almost as if I dislike or dismiss people as soon as I meet them for no good reason.

I used to be better at this. Wanting to defend myself against people, I suppose, has made me, actually, a worse judge of people.

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I Am Chronically Unacceptable

I don’t like talking about romantic relationships. I find it a particularly unpleasant, uncomfortable topic. I won’t talk to most of my friends most of the time about my relationships because I can sense they don’t care, or they care up to a point–i.e. the “how we met” kind of details vs the “I’m having problems/need advice/feel hurt” type of stuff. They don’t want to hear the latter, which is all I have to talk about 95% of the time when it comes to relationships. I won’t talk to them about my lack of relationships because I know that they will poo poo the negativity, i.e. the “I will never find anyone”s and the “love is bullschitt”s. And I don’t like talking or hearing about other people’s relationships, especially if they’re happy. That’s just the truth. Keep your happy coupledom over there.

Now that I have work friends–another female has joined the mix after she walked over to me and Clara last week, told us we’re having too much fun and that she wants in on it (the adult version of “can I be friends with you?”)–I am getting badgered about why I say I am never getting married and tortured hearing about Clara’s boyfriend. That started last week. And then this past weekend, I made the mistake of stumbling across all this schitt that underscored just how unlikely it is that I will ever get married.

Dating and relationships are tough all around. I am exposed enough to the straight world to know it’s tough for a lot of straight people. It’s just a tough thing. But think about what it must be like, first of all, for gays and lesbians, who are dealing with a limited pool with somewhere between 5 and 10% of the population being gay/lesbian. And then throw being black on top of it, especially a black woman–the population that has the toughest time dating. And now I am in, I’d say, the two toughest populations when it comes to dating.

If you ever do an internet search on black lesbians and dating, you’ll probably run across a few blogs. Two of them are just…maddening bullschitt. Not going to name names, put links or anything like that. Not trying to start trouble, and I don’t waste time arguing with narrowminded people because…you might as well just find a nice, sturdy wall and yell at it. Could be because it’s that time of the month, but they pissed me off when normally I don’t get pissed outside of sports. What pissed me off is in these two blogs, black lesbians bash black lesbians. What makes me laugh is then these two b!tches wonder why they have such a hard time finding the right woman. One of them actually claims to want a black lesbian while the other one seems caught between wanting a black lesbian and being, like, a lesbian Tiger Woods. But neither get why they can’t find that right black woman. Wait, that’s not quite right–they think they can’t find that right black woman because, essentially, 99% of black lesbians aren’t good enough for them.

I don’t spend time in the LGBT community, although I have tried to do that in the past. But one thing I’ve noticed is several black lesbians are a cross between men and straight black women when it comes to the way they talk about what they want in a mate and why they reject others. I often find straight black women as snobbish and unrealistic [for them, not for all women–but considering black women aren’t on an even playing field with other women due to society’s ignorance, yes, unfortunately, unrealistic for them] with their standards. That’s not to say everything on their list is snobbish or unrealistic, but some of it is and then they wonder why they can’t find the man they want. More on that in a second.

As far as the comparison to men, what’s most notable and, perhaps, most disappointing is just the way some black lesbians describe other black women/lesbians with the tone of “you don’t match what I’m looking for; therefore, something is wrong with you” vs simply “that’s not my thing.” I feel like men indirectly send messages to women that because they’re not this, that or the other, there’s something wrong with them. That’s where a lot of our sex/gender inequality and women’s low self-esteem compared to men has come from, and, yet, we have a group of women doing this same thing to women.

One thing I notice the more snobbish, “you’re not this way, so something’s wrong with you” black lesbians always love to do is proclaim how intelligent and/or educated they are. I…????? Like, so? These women, straight and lesbian, are always talking about how black women are looking for someone on their level but they’re going to have a hard time finding it in another black person. I graduated from top-ranked universities, got a professional degree. Let me tell you–intelligence and education don’t have to come from school. Just because I attended elite schools and earned a professional degree doesn’t mean I must only date someone who did the same thing. For years, the smartest person I knew aside from myself was someone who attended one of those acting/music schools for a while and then left and just worked jobs…then eventually went to school for audio recording, and then again went to school for acting. She has never been to a regular ole 4-year university. But philosophy, sociology, literature, politics–you name it, she could go from topic to topic for hours and give good conversation. “Intelligent” black women really have their heads up their @sses about this one, just thinking they’re too intelligent for every black person and assuming they’re the only ones who graduated from college or that it even matters whether or not they did.

Another thing–you can be intelligent and educated but still be an ignorant @ss. I am one, but I recognize it, unlike these other chicks. I know that I have some narrowminded thoughts in my head. You can also graduate from college nowadays riting lik dis. It doesn’t always mean you’re all that.

“I have my own everything.” Okay, great for you–in times like these, you’re lucky if you’re able to have everything despite the fact that you got your degree. Nowadays, degrees are more of a liability than an asset because they’re so damned costly and, yet, employers value work experience far more than that costly degree.

“Where are all the good-looking black lesbians? Most black lesbians are ugly.” Chica, hit the mirror. So many black women, both straight and lesbian, think they’re way hotter than they are. This is not to say black women can’t be hot. There are plenty of hot black women. But I don’t know what’s up with black women and black men–they’re the first to call someone ugly when they’re not all that themselves. Some of the more physically attractive black lesbians I have encountered have also been some of the more open-minded in terms of what’s beautiful.

But the worst one, other than all this “I’m educated, I’m educated, I’m educated” snobbery has got to be the weight hate. Weight hate is getting out of hand in general, but up until this past weekend in the LGBT community I thought only white gay guys needed their teeth knocked down their throats for being such @ssholes about people being overweight. Apparently, a lot of black lesbians need to be kicked up to Canada. And the thing about being a black lesbian but being a complete @ss about women being overweight is…um, the majority of black women are overweight. If an Asian guy is an @ss about overweight women, if a white guy is an @ss about it…I can kind of see that. Asian women are rarely fat, relatively speaking, and white women are not fat at the same kind of rate as black women are. But if you’re black, then overweight women should be at least somewhat normal to you. So, again, where is all this snobbish bullschitt coming from? Oh, you grew up predominantly around white people? You were brainwashed by the media shoving white women with eating disorders in your face? What is it?

In any case of events, being overweight is becoming the norm. More and more people are going to have to get over it or be single, whatever you might think about how healthy it is or isn’t or it showing they don’t take care of themselves or whatever bullschitt excuse you have for hating overweight people.

I could keep going, but I’ve got work in the morning…so two last points: I guess black lesbians think they can get away with trashing black lesbians because they are black women or black lesbians. But being a black lesbian doesn’t make it okay; it makes it worse. We already get trashed by everyone else; we don’t need black lesbians to do it bigger and “better” than everyone else does.

Also, Atlanta is just that–Atlanta. Just because most black lesbians in Atlanta seem to be a certain way doesn’t mean that’s a reflection of how black lesbians are everywhere else. If you think that’s the case, you need to take some of that money you make from your good job and your education and your own everything and go see the US, something I have had the luxury of somewhat doing. If one city in the US makes you quick to give up on or look down on black lesbians on the whole and assume they’re all uneducated, all have slept with men, all have kids out of wedlock, all have nothing in common with you, all are ghetto or lack refinement, then you’re not as cultured as you think you are and you’re just looking for any excuse to “prefer” non-black women.

Over the last 10 years, it has amazed me the schitt black men talk about black women because, from my life experiences, I’d say no one has more reason to “hate” black women than black women do. Black women treat each other like schitt, and the things I’ve read from some ignorant black lesbians would have proved it even if I didn’t live it. And yet, these black lesbians who clearly don’t think other black lesbians are good enough don’t even really have much to offer as to their problems with black women aside from the shallow and superficial. I could provide story after story of bullschitt I’ve experienced at the hands of black women, starting from elementary school going all the way to as recently as law school. No one has more reason to hate black women than I do, and, yet, I don’t.

So, why am I going to be single? Because, yes, I do prefer black women–and I mean “prefer” the way it’s meant to be used, not the incorrect way most people use it when it comes to race and dating–the very women for whom I’m not good enough for, inevitably, about 5 reasons on a 21-demands list. I like women of color, and never say never but I don’t think I’d date a white woman ever again. But I’m not going to be by myself because black women aren’t good enough for me, like some people. Instead, I’m always the one who is not good enough–not for whites, not for my ex-girlfriends, surely not for Asians and now not for black women. That’s not a plea for sympathy–that’s just telling it how it is.

The end of my Crimson Wave Rant (cookies for those who know what “crimson wave” is and where it came from).

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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]

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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).

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Rethinking Workplace Dating

When you get older, it seems like you’re more limited in ways to meet the right person. For me, I feel I have basically two options–online dating and workplace dating. Between the two, I’d much rather meet someone at work. And one thing I will say for where I work, even if I don’t like my actual job, is there are tons of beautiful women there. I don’t actually recall the last time I’ve been anywhere that is full of beautiful, smart, successful black women. But my company is full of them!

Over the last few days, I’ve realized I really have a crush on the chick from my last post, whom I am calling Belinda here at LO. I’ve been thinking about her all weekend. I saw her Friday at work and got all nervous, especially since she looked so good. And while I was working, the co-worker who sits beside me got a call from her. He said her first and last name, and my head immediately shot around towards his direction. At first I sat there smiling to myself, and then I jumped up from my seat and ran over to him to listen to their call. Then after they got off the phone, I asked him all kinds of questions about why she was calling and how often he has spoken to her.

Gosh, I totally feel and sound like a high school kid.

But I have to forget about it, and her.

See, this weekend while I’ve been thinking about Belinda, I also realized that I can’t date her even if she wanted to date me. In fact, I probably can’t date anyone at my company. Or maybe not “can’t”…perhaps “shouldn’t” is the better word.

[Sigh]

I work in the f*cking IT department, man. That means we interact with absolutely every other department at my company. There is nobody where I work whom I can absolutely say our work would never intersect. In fact, I looked through my company’s directory and realized I interact with people in Belinda’s department on a damn-near daily basis from a tech standpoint…people whom I know she knows–especially her manager.

Belinda’s a supervisor in another department. She’s not even just another f*cking employee–she’s a goddamn supervisor. She’s the equivalent of the dumbass for whom I work in IT. And although I don’t know my company’s rules on workplace dating and though I don’t really think it’d be wrong or detrimental to her for her to date me since I’m not one of her subordinates, I do see ways that my dating her could hurt me at work. Liiiiiiike…if things don’t work out…she has the power to go to my supervisor or his supervisor and complain about me, say, the way people complained to him about Lazy Tech…and then it’d be my word against hers when she’s the one in a position of power.

And because of the nature of my job, I can’t just avoid people. If things didn’t work out and she continued to contact tech support for various things–which, according to my co-worker, even though I’d written before that she hardly ever contacts tech support based on my own experience, he says he gets calls from her just about every other day–I can’t pass her phone call off to someone else or tell someone else to respond to her emails. I’d have to deal with her, and if I didn’t then, again, she could complain to my supervisor.

This last point also makes me think about what it’d be like if I dated just anyone at my company and it didn’t work out. I’d never be able to avoid whomever it is. And if the person is vindictive, she could go to my supervisor with all kinds of lies or just silly complaints. And then what would my defense be? “Yeah, I was fucking her after work, and now she’s all mad at me and trying to get me fired.” Right, like I’m going to tell my supervisor my business…or like I’d want to be in a position where I might have to or even where people actually know anyways without my telling them. In my last post, I mentioned how one of my co-workers came up to me and was telling me about how Belinda wanted to meet me. It was kind of uncomfortable…I had to keep a straight face and act like it was no big deal. But it did matter, because I’ve noticed her. And the fact that someone came up to me and mentioned it…it feels like the person is trying to get in the middle of something or start something. Basically, why did my co-worker even tell me that, you know?

Part of me thinks that, hey, she’s a supervisor…she should know better, so that must mean that she’s just being friendly and that’s it. Of course, supervisors don’t always know better, but still. I’m also not going to forget that she was kind of a bitch with me one time because I wouldn’t do something she wanted. I felt at the time that it said something about her, and I still think that could be the case.

In fact, I’m starting to wonder if she’s one of those high-maintenance women. There are different ways to be high maintenance, but some of them intersect most of the time. I’m not saying it’s always a bad thing; my mother is a type of high-maintenance woman. It’s a little annoying waiting two hours on her to get ready just so we can go to Walgreen’s, but that’s better than being the type of high maintenance woman who will dump ya because you can’t or won’t go into the poor house buying her schitt–my mother’s not that type, although she definitely likes to live a certain way and admitted that, at this point in her life, if she were dating she couldn’t date someone who didn’t make enough money for her to live the kind of life she has gotten used to. Still, I do think a fairly good percentage of high-maintenance women have certain personality flaws that I probably can’t hang with, to put it euphemistically.

I have noticed Belinda’s physical appearance more, which I don’t know if she has just stepped her game up or I just wasn’t paying attention before or what. Like my mother, she’s one of those women whom you can tell likes to look good and puts the time and effort in. She’s got a great body, great hair and her clothes look like they were tailor-made for her. She comes to work looking more like she’s going on a date or trying to attract someone. I’m not saying she looks inappropriate, but sometimes she just doesn’t look like anyone else who is just going to work looks. She certainly doesn’t look like any supervisor I’ve ever seen. Between that and the mini-tantrum she threw the one time I didn’t do something she wanted, I just have to wonder if she’s the classic “pretty bitch” (and again, my mother is high maintenance…love mom, but she is at least kind of difficult and demanding). If she is, she’s not someone I want to take chances with at work as far as things not working out if we date. Who knows how she’d react.

This is all theoretical at this point–highly theoretical–but still very important to realize. With the type of job that I do, it’s probably best if I just look but don’t touch while I’m at this particular company. It sucks, though, because it takes away what is probably the most likely way for me–and many other adults–to meet someone who is relationship material.

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Playing Games With Women

Do any of you know of David DeAngelo or Doc Love?

I ran across these guys, like, a decade+ ago. I remember sharing my DeAngelo discovery with my best friend, and we just kind of laughed and talked about how stupid these “systems” for getting women are and how this crap only works on women with self-esteem issues. I definitely thought these guys with these systems were just jerks. Nowadays, there are a lot of systems out there, and I’m not sure how much variation exists among them. I suspect they say much of the same things.

Well, I’m about to say [write] something controversial:

It disappoints me greatly in women to realize and admit that there is a lot of truth in what these “jerks” think. I have now met decent, unique, intelligent women who seemed to be solid with themselves and who I thought would be above having to play games to keep them interested, and now I see they really are just like every other woman. I am starting to understand that, yes, if you like women romantically you have to play games with them.

Why did I, a woman, not understand this for well over a decade?

Well, because, frankly, I think and act more like men. I am the lesbian equivalent of the “nice guy.” I am realizing that’s why women don’t stay interested in me for very long. I am also looking back and seeing that when I attract women it’s pretty much always when I’m either being a jerk, being mysterious or just when I’m in a carefree place where I can take or leave the women around me and am just having fun. It’s never when I deeply give a fuck and she knows it, never when I want to spend all my time with her, never when I’m honest about everything, never when I’m giving her everything she needs and wants. You just have to hold back instead of laying it all out there, as if you’re playing cards or some such crap. You have to play it close to the vest, or the next thing you know you’re the damn doormat.

Admittedly, I often wish I were heterosexual, but not at all for the reasons most people would think. One of the biggest reasons why I have wished I were straight is because I know I would run the relationship with a guy as long as I were much the same way as I am now when it comes to interacting with men. He would care more than I would, and it wouldn’t involve my having to choreograph my moves and the things I say the way it’s apparently going to take with a woman. That might sound cruel. Why do I need to run things? That’s not how relationships are supposed to go. Maybe not, but when you’re always the one who is giving, doing, saying and then always ultimately getting dumped, you get sick of getting hurt. I can keep sitting here believing that I will eventually meet someone whom I can shower with all my feelings without being given the ole “maybe we can be friends” line before never hearing from them again and we can just be without fakeness or hiding anything from each other, or telling myself that there is a rare woman out there…or I can just spend the rest of my life alone. But I don’t think the latter is feasible, and I no longer find the former to be realistic. All of my relationships go, more or less, exactly the same way, which means something has to change.

I have been thinking about the last relationship I had a lot lately, and I don’t think it’s about wanting her back. I think I am starting to face some things and learn from them, which I think is moving me towards moving on and getting over that relationship. There are just so many things I’m learning from it, and I see so many mistakes. I was way too honest with her. And I could never see before how being honest is a bad thing, but it just is with women. I don’t mean you have to sit there and constantly lie to women, but you just don’t need to tell them everything about how you feel. I also need to exercise tons more self-control. Just because I feel like I want to be with someone all the time or speak to them all the time doesn’t mean I need to try to be with them all the time or speak to them all the time. I need to be busy and unavailable, even when I’m not. And there were times when I legitimately was busy, but I dropped things I’d normally be doing to be with her.

I need to read between the lines, too–or, more accurately, stop ignoring what I read between the lines just because I hear what I want to hear. I think there were a lot of things that I suspected, and she kind of denied them, only for them to either be admitted or implied in some way later on. And women tend not to be straight-shooters anyways, so reading between the lines is a must any way you slice it. You know what they say about actions speaking louder than words.

So, as much as I hate to do it, I’m now going to apply some of these things that I’m learning. I recently got this lady’s contact info and emailed her, and she responded after she got home from work. Normally, I’d sit at my laptop and email her back as soon as I get the email. But I’m going to wait at least a day and maybe longer to respond. I was honest upfront with her about one thing, i.e. the fact that I live at home right now because a lot of people have a huge problem with that in a prospective date/mate, and she said she doesn’t judge–which is crap because everyone judges–but we’ll see. Again, there will be further reading going on between the lines.

Tomorrow is my birthday and, thankfully, my supervisor was perfectly okay with my taking off work because work is the absolute last place on earth I’d want to be tomorrow. I tried to tell myself that I’ve missed enough work over the past month and I need to go in tomorrow, but I seriously couldn’t bring myself to tolerate it. So I’m just going to go shopping, enjoy my sports talk shows, rock out to some good music, sleep, maybe play a little basketball, eat some of my custom-made Michigan Wolverines birthday cake (my family has started having these made for me on my birthday and also had one made when I graduated from Michigan, as well) and just relax and try not to worry about women or work.

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Making Friends At Work

It’s no secret that I’m not at all in love with my job. One of the things I disliked about my job when I first started, which might have been the biggest cause of any semblance of regret I felt about leaving my previous job, is the stark difference between the people I worked with before and the people I work with now. I had really come to like most of the people I worked with at my previous job, and most of them liked me.

Although I typically ignore people around me, hang with myself, am quiet–and although I like to think that it doesn’t really matter to me–it’s nice to not only have friendly co-workers but to also be liked by them. I couldn’t really say why, as far as being liked. I’d still honestly prefer to have my own office with a door I can close and just stick earphones in my ears all day, switching between sports talk shows and one of my painstakingly-prepared music playlists. My father doesn’t understand why I don’t want to speak to him in the mornings; my mother doesn’t understand why I don’t want to speak to her for a while in the evenings. Aside from just not being a morning person, I spend all day speaking to people and listening to people speak. Unless it’s about sports, it’s unnatural and exhausting for me.

Despite being like this, at my last job I had developed “work friends.” Work friends aren’t the same as real friends because I don’t spend time with/on these people outside of work. But I’d gotten a couple of outside invitations, and the two guys with whom I was closest participate in trivia every week and had gotten to the point of saying I should be there. The job before that, I had three good work friends. I found one of them recently on LinkedIn, and we messaged a little bit. But my current job is the one where I can say I distinctly felt early on that I wouldn’t ever have any work friends there.

I am not sure I can put my finger on why. A lot of it is age, but then, I do actually tend to get along with older people better anyways. The friend I messaged on LinkedIn is in his 60s. Frankly, it was probably a combination of age and race. But then, for some odd reason, I get along great with white guys a lot of the time (again, the LinkedIn friend is white). So, we have older white guys. Technically, that’s 2 for 2 in my favor, even though I didn’t realize it. Third, it’s the IT department, which means it’s filled with geeks, nerds, faux cool wannabes and crabby @sses. Now, I’m a nerd, but I’m not quite an IT nerd. My IT knowledge impresses people who barely know schitt, but I can’t say that I fit in with the average tech geek mentally or otherwise. I could probably spout off more knowledgeably about literature, grammar, psychology theories, philosophers and social issues–and why not? Those are actually the things I studied in college, not IT or Computer Science. So there’s that, too, but we’re still 2 out of 3.

It has been three months at my new job, and you know what I realized recently? I am liked at work, if nothing else. That will likely translate at some point to having work friends.

Several of my co-workers are a lot friendlier to me than they were a month ago, they speak more and for longer periods of time, they greet me when they see me, they sound happy to hear from me when I contact them and they are fairly eager to assist me (that last one is most important). It’s not just guys, either–I barely work with women, but this also applies to most of the women I work with.

When I spoke with the recruiter who placed me where I work about why I was missing so much work–and this was a couple of weeks ago–he told me he hears good things about me. And I was just thinking, “Okay, he’s talking about my supervisor and the guy who is supposed to be training me.” And I was also thinking he was saying that to kind of reel me back in a little, you know, because I don’t love it there. But then he told me he has heard from other people at my company. Apparently, someone told him I am a “breath of fresh air.” I damn-near asked him outright who it was, mainly just thinking he made it up, but if he wasn’t then just wanting to know who was crazy enough to think that. Then again, the first thing I ever wanted to be was an actress, and so maybe I actually do have the chops for that. I definitely do some acting at work.

The common thread through my last three jobs, though, is my work friends are always men. I definitely work almost exclusively with men at my current job, and, though I don’t have work friends yet, there are a couple of guys I see that starting to happen with. There’s also Lazy Tech, but I don’t think it’d be right to call him a friend since I rip on him so much and will continue to do so. My previous job was a small business, so, even though I worked directly with guys I was also in regular contact with women. My work friends there still were guys. The job I had before that one was a very big, very mixed environment, and, still, my work friends were guys.

I can’t figure it out, especially the white men part (for those who don’t know, I’m black). Even though I’m a lesbian, I tend to think I know more about men than most women do. I have just always felt that men are easier to figure out and are more transparent, more direct with their thoughts, than women are. Women are confusing as hell, to the point where I don’t know whether to laugh or just gawk in complete shock when women are frustrated with guys or a guy because they don’t understand XYZ about men or why men do ABC and such. It’s not usually even a “how can you not know this” moment so much as it is a “look who’s talking” moment. But there’s one thing I’m not sure of, and it’s related to the question of why I, a lesbian, “click” with men. And it’s not just the sports thing, because I don’t talk about sports with most guys at work.

See, my theory had been that men are nicer to women they find attractive. But I don’t consider myself attractive, and I am rarely told that I’m attractive. When I’m told that I’m attractive, it’s by black guys. Even though you can find examples to the contrary, my general belief is that white guys don’t find black women that attractive. You’ll find a lot of PC comments to the contrary and a lot of “Yeah, we like black women” types of things at times, but if you look around at society, dating and the kind of black women who are used to argue to the contrary–always the same, like, two or three black female celebrities–plus just throwing in the way I was told by white “friends” growing up that they don’t find blacks attractive–I cannot really shake the idea that, particularly, white men are usually not that into black women. It’s cool with me if they’re not because it’s one of the few things that makes me feel comfortable working with white men–that I know I won’t ever have to fend off unwelcome advances. I have never been wrong about that, either.

So maybe there’s another answer, at least in my case (because I still think men are nicer to women they find attractive). Maybe some men feel comfortable with me precisely because I’m not attractive and, being a breath of fresh air, because I’m not threatening. Men definitely like “nice” and “friendly” women, and, even though I am not these things by nature, I fake these qualities at work–apparently, pretty well.

Okay, but then why do I often have issues with women, or at least don’t get anywhere near the same level of openness and friendliness from women? Ah. Might as well not even get started on that one. Like I said–women are confusing as hell. I’m having to tell myself daily to stop with trying to figure out women, whether an individual one such as my “ex” or women in general.

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Does Money Motivate You?

Lazy Tech (LT) still talks to people who work at our previous employer, so he is always mentioning things he hears from them or Facebook statuses that are related to how crazy things are there. Well, today he told me that everyone there got cash bonuses–which that employer never used to give out–and that the guy who now fills his old shift got a raise, as well.

I can’t remember if I mentioned this here, but I told LT about how they gave me a raise after three months and he got pissed. I told him this right when our current employer was trying to interview me for the job I have now. LT worked at our old employer for two years, never got a raise, and at best made what I started out making and at worst made less the whole time he worked there. I have a feeling, though, that they started me out higher than they normally do with new people because LT told me what his replacement used to make and what his raise was. So LT probably made less than I did, and so did his replacement. LT never deserved a raise because he was, after all, lazy. And he was not a good worker at our old employer at all. But I was told that I’d receive raises as long as I worked there.

We figure that our old employer is doing these things as a way to stop the bleeding, because they seem to have a lot of turnover. Two people left while I worked there, and I worked there for about 7 months. And then I left.

LT seems to be someone who is motivated by money, and his decision to leave our old employer seemed to be motivated in large part by feeling he should be making more money. He had issues with the job otherwise, but he probably would have dealt with them if he made more money there. As far as I can tell, he didn’t make anywhere near enough money to deal with the crap that we dealt with there. But we make a lot more at this new place, and he seems pretty happy. He talks about money almost daily, and he says things that suggest the money should trump any crap at this new place. For example, there was a day last week, and I don’t know if we were just talking about our old job or if something happened at this new place. LT asks me at least once or twice a week if I miss our old employer, and that always prompts me to say something I am not fond of about our new employer. So that might have been what happened on this particular day. And then our paychecks came, and he picked them up. He handed me mine and said, “This ought to make things better” or something along those lines.

It had zero effect on me.

I’m not going to say I don’t care about money. One of the things I came to dislike about living in Chicago when I was there last year was I didn’t have the money to buy things when I felt the urge to buy them. I have always been able to just buy things when the impulse strikes, and I’m not happy when I can’t do that. This, ironically, means I feel that I have more freedom when I live with my parents. For example, because I pocket the money I make except for what I pay in student loans, if I want to spend $1000 to go to another city and watch a football game, stay in a hotel, buy some stuff…the only thing that will get in the way is my work schedule. It’s not going to be money.

Still, money does not make me want to work, it doesn’t make me like my job and it doesn’t make things I dislike about my job better (as mentioned in my last post, I think it might make me tolerate–at least temporarily–some things I dislike a little better, but I’m not sure). Money is also not going to make me run out and get a second job just because I can make more money by working two jobs, and it’s not going to make me be okay with or want to work overtime or crazy hours. There are people in this world who are like this, though, and I don’t understand them. I’m not saying they’re wrong–I wish I were like them. I would probably like my life better if I were, because most people do have to spend the majority of their time at work and it appears that I’m one of them.

At the same time, people who are motivated by money seem to think everyone else is, as well. LT clearly operates with that assumption. And when I did a little research to try to get a better understanding of why some people are so into money, I saw comments from those people who basically call B.S. when people say they’re not motivated by money or money doesn’t bring happiness. So they don’t understand people who aren’t motivated by money.

So, I’m still trying to figure this out.

I told my parents that I’m not motivated by money, and they kind of…reacted negatively, for lack of a better way to describe it. But I don’t think they were motivated by money when they worked. I think my mother was motivated by having kids to take care of, which is at least slightly different than being motivated by money. In that case, money is a means to an end–it’s not the actual motivation. By the way, she’s a huge hypocrite in tons of ways, but the job thing is the most annoying one right now. She gets pissed and/or lectures me if I talk about not liking my job, but she talked about not liking her job for at least 20 years and seemingly took off work every other day. I promise, she was always at home in my teenage years and my 20s.

I think my father is one of those people who needs to be busy all the time, and he uses work for that. My mother also says he likes his job, which I can’t fathom just in general but also can’t fathom for him since he “teaches.” And I say “teaches” because…well, I “joke” with him, and the joke is that he gets paid to talk for two hours a day to a bunch of people who aren’t listening.

But there might be something else with my father. I don’t know about LT’s background growing up. But I listen to a lot of sports radio, and there’s this one guy who is my favorite. He is another one whom you can tell is really into money. I read something about him online a couple of months ago, though, that discussed how he grew up poor and, essentially, vowed that he would work as hard as he had to or do whatever to keep from being poor as an adult. The article discussed how he had a lot of irons in the fire at a young age and, basically, was just really ambitious and worked his way up. Now he’s an elitist snob. My father also grew up poor and did stuff like play football, basketball and still work a job while he was in high school. That led to a basketball scholarship to college, and he was the first person in his family to graduate from college.

I didn’t grow up poor. I also didn’t grow up being taught that working hard was some sort of value and that something is wrong with people who don’t work hard, or that people don’t have anything or don’t get anywhere in life because they don’t work hard. To me, working hard has very little to do with being successful or gaining wealth. Frankly, I think you’re best off if you know the right people, have the right personality (i.e. the right people like you and end up wanting to help you), have the right body parts (if you know what I mean), have the right look (on several levels)…at least have one of these things going for you. But I think talking about “hard work” is almost like code. In other words, what are people really teaching their kids when they teach them the value of hard work? Are they really teaching them to work hard for hard-work’s sake or to build character? I think teaching “hard work” or valuing hard work is another way of valuing having or getting money. Nobody is going to work hard for a lengthy period of time if money is not at the end of the rainbow.

I was not taught this, was not taught about valuing “hard work.” I just grew up with a lot of security and still have a lot of it. I don’t fear being poor because I can’t imagine that I’ll ever be poor. I’ve never really had motivation to make sure I’m not poor. The closest I’ve been is living in Chicago, not being able to buy what I want when I want it, and that was very short-lived. Even then, it was like, “Hey, I can go home to my parents who have money, get a job there, pay student loans and pocket the rest of the cash.” And that’s what I did and do. So, why would money motivate someone like me?

I’m also female, and I think that matters. Everyone I know of for whom money cures all–in the job sense, not necessarily the gold-digger sense–is male. They’re the ones who will work outrageous amounts of hours and not complain, will work two jobs to make more money despite not necessarily needing the money (if you’re working two jobs to support a family, that’s something totally different), who look at a paycheck in their hands and say, “Oh, this makes all the crap all better.” I think this is for a number of reasons. For one thing, guys have that “breadwinner” mentality, even when they’re single. They think they need to make a lot of money to attract women, but I believe guys also think they’re expected to make as much money as they can. Women don’t really have these issues. We tend to have more security in the world one way or the other, although a lot of women are now head of household and have to bring in the money. My oldest sister works all the time and only makes more money than I do because she works overtime all the time–I actually make a higher salary, and you wouldn’t catch me dead in the office past my regular shift. She works OT because she has three kids, bills, rent, car notes and a husband who refuses to work.

So, my last employer assumed that they could keep me by paying me more and giving me raises, and they still seem to operate with the mindset that giving employees more money should keep them. Obviously, that’s not true for everyone. So how could they have kept me? They couldn’t have.

In my opinion, the answer for employers who want to retain employees is to find out what motivates them before even hiring them. That should be a job interview question–“What motivates you? If it’s money, that’s perfectly fine for you to say. I just want to get a better sense of what keeps you happy in a position.” My previous employer could have not even wasted their time hiring me if they had asked this question if they received an honest answer from me, and they could have kept LT and probably even gotten better productivity from him. See, all LT wanted was money. What I hated about that job was “trial by fire” training as opposed to a step-by-step “this is how you do absolutely everything”-type deal and dealing with jackass clients.

My situation would be tricky for an employer because it’d require honesty and self-knowledge, and a lot of people will take a position just because they need a job even if not everything about the position sounds good to them. But employers still need to paint as complete a picture of the job as they can to prospective employees and then try to find out if the employee fits that, as well as what matters most to the employee in terms of job satisfaction instead of assuming it’s money or just having any job in a rough economy. Not getting a complete picture of the job is a biggie, as well as the fact that employers never consider motivation when hiring–both lead to unhappy employees and turnover. If the prospective’s motivation is something the employer can’t handle, then the employer knows not to hire that person. If I had said, “I don’t want to deal with difficult people”–and I did basically say that to my new employer during the interview and currently hardly deal with difficult people–then I could have been mercifully spared. I probably now under most circumstances would not take a job that, training-wise, doesn’t provide enough hand holding vs putting me in stressful situations right off the bat and making me look stupid, and that would be something that an employer would need to see if they could satisfy me on before hiring me.

My former co-worker who I hated, FTG…you can tell, for example, that money isn’t her motivation so much as having a secure job with flexibility. She knows she’s not going to lose her job, and she can take off work pretty much any time she wants. She leaves early whenever she needs to, and she has no problem making whatever arrangements she makes for her kid. Making a lot of money is not much good to her if she can’t get off work early enough to pick up her child or take off with no problem when her kid is sick.

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