Tag Archives: south

11 Things That Don’t Make Sense

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

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

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

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

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

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

4) Why Do People Think Blacks Have A Community?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

11) Why Do Southerners Think They Should Greet Everyone?

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

Gosh, I miss being almost completely ignored in Chicago.

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Maybe I Spoke Too Soon

I doubt it, but here’s the deal:

In my last post where I wrote about still having feelings for my “ex,” I mentioned that it takes me a long time to get over someone, unless someone else enters the picture. And I wrote that no one else would be doing so because I work with a bunch of men. And I do, and I spend so much time cooped up in the IT department because I have to be by the phones so that we don’t miss tech support calls from our company’s employees. We are allowed two 15-minute breaks, but I rarely take them because I am usually too busy. And because I have been leaving work early or taking days off due to doctor’s appointments over the past month, I have definitely been seeing less people outside the IT department lately. It had also been nice outside until recently, so I have been going outside more on breaks.

We have something of an on-site restaurant or cafeteria with a dining area at work, and I used to sit in there on a regular basis during my lunch break before I started missing work and taking off early weekly. This is the main way I encounter other people at my company who don’t work for the IT department, but I really don’t interact with any of these people. When I am in the dining area, I usually see the same people all the time. There’s a group of people who always either seem to sit with each other or have drive-by conversations with each other in the dining area.

I’ve been at my job three months now, and there’s one lady I have often seen with this group of people in the dining area. I usually either eat or just sit and mess with my phone (listen to sports talk shows, play games, listen to music, surf sites, IM or text someone, etc), so I don’t pay much attention to other people in the area. But I look around at times just to try and stay alert, and I had never seen this lady pay any attention to me.

As I mentioned before, the past three or four weeks, I have mainly either been outside during lunch or have not been at work for lunch time. But this week, parts of the South decided it actually is, in fact, winter time and now it’s all cold and rainy and 30-something degrees instead of 50 or 60-something and sunny. So back to the dining area I go this week after a few weeks of barely being in there.

As I was on my way there, I saw the lady coming out and she smiled at me. Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean anything in the South. Southerners smile at and greet people they don’t know all the time, especially people they see often and get to recognize by face, even if they’ve never officially met them. It’s both good and annoying. I mean, when I lived in Illinois and Michigan, I got accustomed to people not doing that as much as in the South, and it was nice to not feel obligated to acknowledge, like, 80% of all strangers or else be seen as rude or stuck-up. When I came back down South, I had to readjust to the culture once again, and that was one of the more irritating things I had to get used to again. But in this case, this lady had gone two or so months without engaging in this behavior, and even in terms of now doing it out of face recognition I seriously did not know if she’d actually ever seen me before.

Yesterday, I went out to lunch with Lazy Tech and some guys from the employment agency that placed LT and I at this company. Ugh. The place we went to did not have one morsel of real “American” food or drink in it. Before I could even finish the first dish, my face and tongue were, like, 65% numb and I felt like barfing (even though the first dish was actually good). By the time I got back to work, my stomach was killing me, my head hurt, it was a struggle to keep my eyes open…I somewhat thought about going home (and to be fair, I get sick after eating a lot of the time after having surgery a couple of years ago, but it’s usually not this bad). Instead, I set out to find a real, refreshing “American” beverage and not Saki or some other weird schitt or alcohol. Yep, it was time to hit the soda machine in the dining area.

I raced to the dining area as soon as I got back to work, in dire need of a Dr. Pepper. And there the gang was in a booth near the door, with the lady facing in my direction. Even though I saw her, I didn’t really see her because I was in a hurry to get soda. My eyes glazed over the booth when I hit the room and then I looked away quickly, just focused on the destination. And suddenly my brain went, “Wait a minute. That lady is smiling at you.” So I looked back at her, and she was still smiling at me. I did the Southern thing and acknowledged her.

This time was a little bit different. She was in the booth with about three other people, and when I came in she stopped paying attention to them and looked at me the whole time. Even when I wasn’t really seeing her and was instead focused on my destination, looked away quickly and looked back, she was still smiling and looking at me in that way people do when they’re waiting to see if you will make eye contact with them. After I finally did make eye contact with her, I didn’t look at her again, so I don’t know what else she did after that.

And yes, she is pretty.

I’m not going to lie–there is someone else at work I’ve noticed, and she is in the IT department. There’s just something about her voice. And she totally sets off my gaydar. But I would not date her, for a few different reasons. One is that she is in the same department as me, and I see too many potential problems with that. Getting with someone outside of IT, like the lady from the dining area, would be way better, because it’d be way easier to avoid her if things don’t work out. I have to interact with the chick from IT and do so just about daily. And frankly, I mentioned in my last post that I don’t really want to date a white woman, and I’m not kidding. It’s hard to explain without writing another post…best way I can put it is I don’t feel like dealing with racial issues/differences. The IT lady is white, but the lady from the dining area is black. IT lady also smokes, and that’s just a big, um, NO.

Speaking of race, that’s the other interesting thing about the dining area lady being nice to me all of a sudden. Black women are rarely friendly with me, unless they’re significantly older than me. It’s usually black men, then white men (I get along great with white men, and they always end up my best friends at work, even when I worked at a predominantly black job–it’s really weird, haha), then white women and then black women. Dining area lady looks like she might be a few years older than I am, at best. I’m the youngest in my family and will be 32 in a couple of weeks, and the next youngest is 37 and a half…dining area lady just doesn’t look that age.

The one thing about black women, though, is they don’t play about living at home with parents. It doesn’t matter the reason why; they don’t date men or women who live at home. But I just can’t see living in the same city as my parents and not living with them, and I know that’s weird to a lot of people. It just seems like a huge waste of money to me, and maybe it wouldn’t if I weren’t planning to move back to Michigan or someone else eventually. That’s $600+ every month that I get to save towards my move or blow on whatever I want. I don’t think I could make most people understand that I love that and just like living with my parents, but definitely not a black woman, haha.

The point, though, is there might actually be someone in that big building in which I work. Maybe there will be more to come on that topic…

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Competition Between Women At Work and Life

Everything cleared with the background check, so it seems like I’m just waiting to hear about when training begins on the new job. Still haven’t quit the old one, just in case something goes wrong and the new job falls through.

So, my current employer started a new employee this past week. It’s a guy to replace the lazy afternoon tech who quit. It took weeks for them to find someone decent. At this point, he is being trained even worse than I was. I was trained for, like, a day and a half and then immediately thrown right into the fire. This guy basically comes to work and sits and does nothing. No one is really training him. At this rate, I don’t know if he will actually get trained at all. It’s worse to not train him than it would have been to not train me because he is eventually going to work all by himself since he will be working the shift that goes into the night as opposed to my working with people in the day. The new guy was kind of trained part of the first day he came, and then the rest of the days the guy whom my employer makes train everyone has barely interacted with him.

One day last week, the trainer actually didn’t show up–he called in “sick.” I didn’t really think about it, but this was going to affect me. I had no idea how much so. The one thing I should have realized, though, was that this would mean I’d be asked to stay late that day. I ended up staying at work 10 hours that day. Extra money for me, sure, but money vs getting out of a hellhole–I want out of the hellhole. I already lament working a 40-hour week…don’t really want to work more than that.

What I didn’t see coming, though, is that my supervisor would essentially ask me to train the new employee that day.

Um…been working at this place for, like, 6 months…or just a tad longer. Don’t really know the job well myself. My bitch co-worker, the female tech geek (FTG), has been there, like, 8 & 1/2 years. But my supervisor came straight to me with this. I was just kind of thinking to myself, “Um…why would you ask me?!” I had an idea why, though, which was later confirmed. But my supervisor was asking me to train him that day and was complimentary towards my performance, saying this is why she was asking me. She did all of this in front of FTG.

Now a while back, I had started forming a theory about the type of person FTG is. I know in one post I had written that she seemed like one of those kids you had a class with in school who was known for being a nerd and always having the right answer when the teacher called on them, and that’s the only reason you noticed them (I had part of this confirmed not long ago, the part about being a good student…). She’s just very reliable and pretty much always does her job well. But I have also almost always felt like she’s competitive (because of how she never helps anyone, steals work from me, races to answer the phone at times, leaves bitchy and/or tattle tail-ish notes in work tickets and doesn’t communicate with people regarding important work-related information), and I started putting two and two together to get the sense that she uses doing her job well to feel better about herself and to feel better than other people at work…which is why she reacts very badly if she feels there is any insinuation she didn’t do something correctly or if she’s given constructive criticism from our supervisor.

I’m kind of realizing that one of the reasons she’d need to feel better than other people at work is because she’s not really accepted at work, which I’d honestly say is her fault. But…people who lack adequate or typical social skills sometimes don’t seem to realize they’re a big part of the problem, and I really don’t think she does realize that. People like her tend to think people are just mean to them, don’t speak to them or alienate them for no reason, and they use being even more alienating than they already are as a coping/defense mechanism. It’s kind of funny how that works. Anyway.

Didn’t mean to turn this into a psychology session, but I’m bringing all this up because I think that I just had a good chunk of this theory confirmed with my supervisor coming to me and not her to train the new co-worker, offering me praise and not her, etc.

Here’s why:

I didn’t want to be bothered with the new kid because, honestly, I am lacking on the social side of life myself (I just flatout dislike people)–I just hide it better than FTG does. Plus, I have started keeping myself occupied at work by listening to sports talk shows and blogging over at my college football blog during the day. My supervisor told me I could say no, but I didn’t think that’d look good. So I was stuck with the new kid. Being as such forced me to talk and interact with people at work more than I like to–you know, pretend to be friendly and all that. It wasn’t that bad, though–it’s just not something I like to do. I like to be left alone. I could hear FTG at the back of the room talking to herself all day. No clue what she was saying, and I don’t sit near her so I can’t see her reactions or anything. There were four of us in the room, and three of us were actually speaking TO other people all day–each other.

At some point, FTG goes to lunch. Almost immediately afterwards, the field tech comes up to me and is like, “So, what is her problem today? Did you two get into it or something?” He actually does sit right in front of her, so he could probably hear her better. At first, I was like, “I don’t know.” And then I told him what our supervisor did and what she said to me about my work performance, and he was like, “Oh, that’s probably it.” And we talked a little about her, and at some point I was like, “She seems like she’s competitive,” and he nodded vigorously. The new kid also said that when our supervisor called him into her office to let him know he’d be working with me, she basically told him not to seek help from FTG because she’s not going to give it to him.

I was just like…”Why are people warning you about her, but no one warned me when I first got here?” Because this was one of his first days there, and pretty much all of us told him essentially everything he needed to know about FTG. I basically had to learn about her myself. One of the guys who works for my employer but doesn’t work in network support with us said he thinks it was an experiment to see how things would go between us since I was the first female that had worked in network support in a long time. I have definitely noticed she doesn’t seem to have any issues with the guys who have worked with us, and I haven’t seen any sign of her having a problem with one of the guys getting promoted when he was hired years after her.

I have started wondering, though, if it’s really just about being female or if it’s race or both. She seems like a redneck (which means something different when black people say it than when white people do–something along the lines of an ignorant or narrowminded white person, at best, and a racist, at worst…and no, I don’t think of racism as ignorance). I mean, this is someone who is in her 30s, has a kid and still makes fun of the accents people from other countries have. That’s something you do when you’re a kid or a teenager who doesn’t fully know any better. If someone is doing that as an adult, you’re damn right it makes me wonder how they, in turn, feel about black people, too, especially in the South. Regardless, it’s not the kind of thing I want to hear, i.e. her sitting there mimicking an Indian’s accent and laughing when all she has to do is say, “[Whatever his name is] is calling for you.”

Where I’m from, a lot of white people have a problem when they can tell a black person is intelligent, isn’t poor or both. That was something I experienced even before I hit high school and then several times thereafter. And most of my actual conversations with FTG have consisted of her asking me about my educational background. I attended better schools than she did and went to graduate school when she hasn’t. And as I’ve kind of suggested with the “nerd who has all the answers in school” description, she seems like the kind of person who prides herself on being the smartest, knowing everything and doing everything right in order to boost her self-esteem. She doesn’t seem to have a problem with my white male co-worker knowing more than she does. Don’t know if it’s the “white” part or the “male” part that makes it okay, though.

I don’t think I’ve ever really had a competition/jealousy issue with a white female. I have never understood women being competitive with each other or jealous of each other, except maybe in something that’s competitive by nature such as sports. Well, that’s not entirely accurate–once when I was in elementary school. But it has been a really, really long time. I used to feel like being around white women was safe, for that reason. I just used to think white women didn’t see black women as competition or anything to be jealous of–and somewhat vice versa–however racist that might sound, so it would cause less problems in my interactions with them. And I do think this used to be true to some extent. I just think there used to be more of a recognition and acceptance of the fact that black women tend to differ quite a bit from white women and vice versa, which makes it harder to compare the two and see competition in the other and such, whereas now there’s more denial of that in the name of political correctness and colorblindness. When I was growing up where I was growing up, white girls had petty issues with other white girls and black girls had petty issues with other black girls, and that pretty much never happened interracially (at least not between white girls and black girls). So, this situation at work is weird to me, but it’s also funny because she’s so ridiculous, caring about schitt that doesn’t mean schitt instead of focusing on herself.

Either way, it’s really going to kill her when she finds out I managed to get another job, because she was whining that same day about how hard it is to get a job. I know she wants another job, so I know that situation and her reaction will be hysterical. I used to get pissed about how she acts, but now I just laugh. I mean, imagine someone on a basketball court knocking himself out scoring points, hot doggin’, rebounding, shooting layups, going for three pointers and thinking he’s in a serious game with someone who is just standing on the sidelines checking his iPhone or hitting on cheerleaders.

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Money and the Lack of Self-Control

Ever since I found out I was getting a raise at work, I have been trying to figure out what to buy. Every time I get extra money, I feel the urge to spend some of it. This is no different. Usually, there is some tech gadget that makes it an easy decision for me as far as how to spend some money. But there’s not really anything that I want. I was kind of thinking of the Apple TV, but I was thinking about that before I got the raise. And it’s not that expensive. I’m usually not happy unless I can spend $300+ on some big thing.

I got paid Friday. I was told when I found out about the raise that it wouldn’t apply until the next pay period. But apparently, they actually applied it for the two weeks before I’d even been told about it because my paycheck included that raise.

Oh, not good. Now I really feel the urge to spend some money.

If I could take off work, I’d just go somewhere. I’d go to another city and have fun. But that’s pretty much out of the question right now.

It’s got to be something very satisfying for me. Something that won’t be a waste of money. I hate to say it, but the last time I felt the urge to have something and I bought it…well, that item has just been lying around. It was the iPad. I just have no use for an iPad. I have a laptop, and I have an iPhone. What to do with an iPad? It’s cool and everything, but there’s nothing to do with it that can’t be done with a laptop, especially since I’m not paying for 3G on it (wifi really only makes it good at home, because I don’t hang out at hotspots). And even so, the iPhone is more mobile because of its size.

So far, all I’ve been able to come up with is…clothes?

Yeah, not a big clothes person. But I’m definitely tired of wearing the same shit to work all the time. I already ordered a few things, but I don’t think I’ve even broken $100 yet. Like I’ve said, there’s got to be one big, immensely satisfying item to make me not spend money for a while.

All I have come up with is this cool jacket I found. Granted, it’s the coolest jacket I’ve ever seen. But $300 for a jacket? That’s not really me. Not sure I’d be properly satisfied. I also tend not to wear jackets. Look, I live in the South. The only seasons we truly have down here are warm, hot and booty burnin’ (it’s currently booty burnin’ season). And it rains, but it’s not like the damn jacket has a hood, even. If I moved back up to the Midwest, which I’d love to do, that might be one thing. But you’re talking about someone who sometimes wore flip flops in the snow and who had to lie to her mother when she asked if I was wearing the kind of crap she thought I should wear when it was, like, 7 degrees in Michigan and Illinois when I was living in those places (hats, hoods, gloves, scarves, a big coat…crap like that). Ironically, it was only when I had on shoes that were actually for inclement weather that I’d fall on my ass outside.

I keep looking at the jacket, saying “no no no.” But I don’t have a good feeling about that one. I just don’t really have self-control when it comes to buying stuff I want. That’s one reason I left Illinois–I was too poor there to hang. I kept having to look at stuff I wanted and actually leave it where it was. That wasn’t going to work. So, do I think I can or will resist here? Absolutely not. The only way I might not get it is if I can think of something better that is at least equally expensive.

Ideas?

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Employers Might Be Winning Now, But That Will Change

Since my job has so much down time, I realized I had to find ways to deal with it so that I won’t spend hours there torturing myself by looking at the time every 2 minutes. I really do not want to get accustomed to doing very little on the job, because I know I won’t be at this place for years and years. And I don’t want to get used to sitting at work, surfing the internet. But this is pretty much what is happening–I’m using the internet to pass the time in between calls.

I love sports–particularly football (American) and basketball–but there’s only so much sports news, articles and opinions I can take. So, I have started reading blogs. Today, I found this one post that instantly gave me a blog topic. I have read so many articles and blog posts online that show a vast difference between the way employers and the people who do their dirty work–managers, supervisors and the like–think and the way employees think. This is even more true when you get down to new-school workers, i.e. people who are recent graduates entering the workforce or only in the workforce full time for a few years at best.

The link above is yet another ridiculous piece that seems to be coming from the point of view of the enemy. It is a more narrow version of things I’ve read, as the primary example is about some dumb kid who thought not having soy milk was a serious issue, leading to a post that many perceive to be about employees having issues with perks. I really don’t care about perks, for the most part. I certainly miss having water coolers at work, which I had at my last job but don’t have at my new job. My new job has sodas, but you have to pay for them. That would be fine (except the paying part) because I love soda, but I have gotten into the habit of not drinking soda unless I can also have water to kind of offset/balance out having soda and/or to wash the sugary taste away. It’s kind of ridiculous to me that they have soda and not soda and water, but, then again, this is the South and as a region we haven’t at all reached the point that the rest of the US seems to be getting to in terms of seeing anything wrong with sitting around drinking sugar all day. Obviously, I hadn’t planned to say anything to anybody about this.

I also don’t particularly care about benefits, either, but I also don’t have children. This is something that I see as perfectly reasonable to worry about and maybe even expect if you are married with kids. I know that all my life I had been led to believe that jobs pretty much were supposed to offer benefits, and my parents act as if a job not offering benefits should be a dealbreaker.

My issue with pieces like this is the section of the post in which the author goes into “more blunders by new employees.” This section reminded me of my last job. Do you know how I left my last job? I quit. If it weren’t for my parents, I would have quit months before I did, and I would have quit without another job lined up. But I got fed up to the point where I stopped saying to myself and fellow co-workers who also hated working there that I need to get another job…and got another job. I got the call from my current employer on a Thursday afternoon as I was leaving work, and I walked into work the very next day, quit and didn’t return.

Here’s the rundown using that blog post:

Constant Overtime

I didn’t work constant overtime. We had peak seasons when we knew we’d have to work 12+ hours a day, maybe 10 hours on Friday if we were lucky. The job was advertised this way, so that was fine. The ad basically said we’d work 12 hours/day during peak times and then work around 8 hours/day otherwise. To me, if you’re told from the get-go that you will work a lot of overtime and you take the job, then you can’t complain. It looked good to me because, relatively speaking, my pay already was decent for where I live and overtime really was going to make it good.

What I came to have a problem with is the back and forth between overtime and barely getting 30 hours–peak time or not–plus never knowing what time I’d get off work and the start time changing sporadically. None of this was expected. The overtime was advertised as something similar to, “You’ll work from 5:45am to 5:45pm.” This is not what was going on. Except for one short-lived experiment, there was never a time through my entire employment there when I knew exactly when I’d get off work. Plus, we’d start work at 5:30am for a while and then they’d inform us on Friday, “From now on, your start time will be 6:30.” And then maybe a couple of months later, “From now on, your start time will be 6am.”

Exceptionally Late/Weekend Overtime

Long story short, the answer was no. They didn’t require us to do these things, but we could and they would ask. Uh…no. Especially during football season. Whasamattawitu? Ubettagonesumwhere!

Understanding Your Job (or Not)

Your job is what you are asked to do by your boss. This could include learning new software or assuming duties that not part of your original job description. While this can be frustrating, it is not uncommon.  What can be frustrating is that you are now evaluated on new skills which you may not be your strength. If you realize that you are not able to handle the new demands of the company including new skill sets but also perhaps mandatory overtime or required business travel, update your resume and seek employment elsewhere. 

What’s the point of job ads describing positions and duties, then, especially since most employers don’t say up front that the description might change or isn’t all-inclusive? Does it make sense that employers can lure you in by telling you that you’ll be doing ABC and then you end up either having to do XYZ or quit? Why, then, can’t we send in resumes with a degree from Harvard and CEO experience at a fortune 500, then show up at work and inform the employer, “Oh, I actually didn’t finish college, and I’ve only worked in fast food joints until now–deal with it”? Why does the fit have to be right for the employer but not for the employee?

When I had my job completely changed at my last place of employment, I tolerated that job for my parents before I exploded two months later and told my manager and supervisor that I would quit if I wasn’t going to be doing what I accepted a job with them to do. Although I got my way and my supervisor all but begged me not to quit, I was just completely done with that place (for more reasons than just what’s mentioned here) and nothing could have changed that. I had an entire week off before I started my new job, and that was the happiest I’d been in a long time.

Why Employers With This Mindset Will Lose

For one thing, as I said, there’s a difference between someone coming into a situation knowing what’s up and then whining, and coming into a situation having been told one thing and then everything’s changing. Telling someone, “If you don’t like it, get another job”–that’s not the answer, especially if you’re misleading everyone or thinking you have the right to change things whenever you want. An employer might think most people are going to deal with it, but, whether the economy gets better or not, this is going to cause quite a bit of turnover. Who does turnover hurt? On top of that, the employees who stay who thought they were getting certain hours and that turns out to not be true…well, they’re going to be unhappy employees. Unhappy employees make crappy employees more often than not. So, what this employer has is employees leaving and employees staying but unhappy and unmotivated. Again, who is really hurt?

This is exactly what my last job was like. I didn’t know anyone who liked working there, and when I quit it had reached the point where a lot of people were either leaving or applying for other jobs. And the majority of people leaving were the really good employees. But the enemy was always either whining about us, whining about the work production and standards, or trying to figure out how to motivate us. They couldn’t figure out the relationship. Also, the two things the majority of us wanted–better work-life balance and more money–were, according to them, the two things they couldn’t give us. They felt there was no way they could give us a more normal work schedule or even the 5:45-5:45 many of us were told when we were first hired–we had to stay until the work was done. I mainly wanted to be able to know what time I’d get off work on a regular basis. I’ve got that at my new job.

Young workers nowadays don’t put up with crap, either. Personality-wise, I’m a little more of a cross between old-school workers and new-school workers. But I know that new-school workers not wanting to deal with overtime, changing job duties, jobs that don’t make them happy and many other issues is not always about a sense of entitlement. New schoolers just don’t have as much of a reason to stick with a job they don’t care for, unlike old schoolers. A lot of young people today are not getting married and having kids in their 20s, like me. And many of us can live with our parents, like me. The only reason I need a job is because of student loans–and, frankly, my parents would pay those, too. Although I owe a ridiculous amount in student loans, the fact that this is my only concern allows me the flexibility to look at jobs that pay a lot of money but carry a lot of stress or would make me miserable and take a pass. I did that with practicing law, although that was also at least somewhat about not being able to get a job in that field. I think had I gotten a job in that back in 2008, I would not be practicing today anyway because I would have hated it and would have seen no reason to keep putting up with something I hate.

My parents always take my tax information to their preparer and have my taxes done for me. They told me that the preparer looked at the amount of money I made from my last job and commented that I make good money (which is only good money relative to the kinds of people who live in my area). But I took a job making less money than I made there in order to get away from the stressful, maddening environment. And the money I make is enough. Each month, I can basically take one paycheck and pay student loans, then take the other one and buy a geek gadget with plenty of money left over. Being happy matters more to new schoolers than money or anything else does.

I also didn’t even make it to a full year at my last job. In fact, I’ve only stayed at one full-time job for more than a year–a year and two months.

This is the new normal, which is another reason why employers are only hurting themselves if they approach employees with an “if you don’t like it, quit” attitude.  New schoolers will quit. They’ll work two months and quit. In fact, they’ll work one day and quit. If I were more like a new schooler, I’d have quit this new job by now because it’s boring, some of the clients are jackasses, I don’t like feeling like a receptionist when I am supposed to be a tech geek, it’s not exactly what I expected and I’d rather work part time–oooh, five whole reasons to quit. And this is becoming so normal that many employers are fine if you’ve only worked somewhere for a year or two before interviewing with them. That would look bad back in the day, but not so much anymore.

The thing is we’re going to get to the point where new schoolers outnumber every other type of employee. This culture of leaving jobs if they don’t like a good bit of what’s going on there will continue to take over. That’s going to mean that if employers want more retention–especially of the best employees, whom I recently read are the most likely to leave jobs when unhappy–better long-term workers and to spend less money on hiring/training newbies, they’re going to have to get down from that power-trip throne they’ve been on since this latest recession officially began.

Employers are going to have to start caring that employees want a life away from their jobs and want to be happy at their jobs when they’re at work…or else their precious bottom lines will suffer.

 

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What Being Glued To the Cell Phone Means

Since this is a post about being glued to the cell phone, I felt it was only fitting to write it on my iPhone (or at least as much as possible). This is not easy for me, because I hardly text with people and I’m not good at it. I hate texting, actually, and I know several people who seem to insist on this method as a primary form of communication–and who get mad when they don’t get responses from people in a timely fashion over text.

I am, though, one of those people who can frequently be seen with a cell phone. I can certainly leave the house without it, especially since cell phones are not for calls–at least not in my world. They are for media. I am the kind of person who will pay $100/month for 200 talk minutes and unlimited data (internet, email, text), tv channels, music channels…really, 200 talk minutes is too much. So, it’s not essential to me to have my cell phone all the time.

Still, if I’m out and I’m fiddling with it constantly, there is one of three reasons–1) I’m bored, 2) I don’t want to look suspicious or lonely, or 3) I don’t want to talk to anyone.

Yes, I am saying that cell phones are not for talking to people, but for not talking to people!

A lot of people truly do prefer to text in order to communicate with others, and I suppose some people really are so important that they need to be one with their phone constantly. But I think the three reasons I just listed are the main reasons people play with their phones all the time or feel the need to have them near. I know some people really need to be in touch with someone, maybe a family member, and need to be easily accessible. But sometimes, you just need to not look as if you’re casing a joint–especially if you’re black, and especially if you’re a black male. I can’t just sit outside of an establishment and look around, you know? Cell phone time! Even though I know ain’t nobody emailed, called or texted me.

Not wanting to talk to people is huge, though, and not understood. One of the benefits of working with a bunch of white guys, as a black female, is that I’m fairly certain I won’t be getting hit on. I’m not saying white guys don’t like black women that way–just that the majority of them won’t hit on a black woman. Since I worked with a lot of blacks at my last job, I had to deal with a lot of black men. I’m not saying all of them were interested in me, but there is a lot wrapped up in what I am saying.

For one thing, I live in the South. My guess would be that black men expect black women to speak to them most places in the US just based on a shared racial identity, but I believe this is especially true in the South and that it’s especially in predominantly black environments. Southerners in general seem to believe in “speaking” and being friendly with random people in a way others don’t. It’s a good thing, but it can also be annoying–especially the expectation of speaking. I don’t have to deal with this with white people to the degree that I do with blacks because of race, but white Southerners definitely “speak.” People just “speak” more in the South than they do elsewhere.

Sometimes, though, a guy really is interested, and sometimes he’ll put you in awkward positions or will approach you in a disrespectful manner.

All of this is how my iPhone comes in handy.

[Switching to the laptop.]

See, at my last job, I couldn’t always avoid the expectation that I’d stop and either smile, return a greeting or engage in conversation. This almost exclusively was an issue with men. When guys clearly expect something from you or want your attention–especially when you notice this is happening with them and not with women–it’s hard not to get defensive and not want to show any signs of interest if you’re not interested. If this is going on with a number of guys, it’s hard not to get sick of it. If you’re someone like me who is naturally a loner, it’s hard not to just want people to leave you alone entirely.

That’s why on breaks, I’d immediately get “busy” with my iPhone. In fact, I’d take it a step farther than a lot of people do and shove earphones into my ears, whether I was listening to music or not. A lot of the time, though, I was. But usually what you see is people checking email, texting or finding someone to talk to on their phone (trust me, 90% of those calls are not essential). I strongly believe that, the majority of the time, these things are either a “don’t bother me” sign or an “I’m not a loser–I have a social life/I have imaginary business to take care of” sign if not just from flatout boredom.

Now, I’ve seen many an article lamenting how people can’t let their cell phones be. I, myself, used to complain about how people could barely see where they were going–uh, walking–for looking at their phones. I once had a guest check into the hotel where I used to work, and she would not stop looking at her phone the whole while. I think I had another one who wouldn’t get off his cell phone while he was trying to check in.

Are these things annoying? To me, not as much as they were about 2-3 years ago. I think now, after dealing with hiding from men and working jobs with tons of down time, I understand better why people are always staring at their phones.

The most interesting complaint I’ve seen, though, about cell phones is along the lines of how it’s ruining socialization and tearing people farther apart from each other. Basically, the complaint is that cell phones and mp3 players and phones with mp3 players are “don’t bother me” signs. But a lot of these articles and blogs have been written as if they don’t understand that this might be the point.

I’m telling you now–I think that’s the point. I know it is for me. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to make new friends, meet someone with whom I could fall in love–although, for me, that would be a woman, not a man–or just have a nice conversation with a stranger. But I think cell phones and mp3 players give us more power in terms of how and when these things happen. In other words, if I don’t feel like talking to anybody (unless it’s someone I choose from my cell phone), I can use my cell phone as a way not to talk to anybody. If I don’t want to deal with the world, I can block out the world. I know I might be missing something that could be valuable along the way, but at least I made that choice. At least I’m not doing something I don’t feel like doing because it’s culturally expected of me.

And because most of us work or go to school, there will be plenty of times throughout the day when we just don’t have the choice–we simply have to deal with people, whether we feel like it or not. So, I’m fine when people take control of the times in their day when they do have the choice.

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