Ask Agatha: Being The Only Black Person At Work, And Busting Windows Out Of Cars » VSB

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Ask Agatha: Being The Only Black Person At Work, And Busting Windows Out Of Cars

Ashley from Harlem, NY asks:

I’ve recently been added to the strategic planning committee at my company. I’m the most junior member and I’m a woman and I’m black. I suspect adding me to the committee was for diversity purposes and not because they expect me to make any real contributions. I admit I feel out of my depth but because of this I’ve made sure to do my “homework” and I feel like I now understand all the “problems” and I’ve even come up with a few potential resolutions. However, at our last meeting after making a few proposals I was unilaterally shut down but I know my ideas are solid. I don’t know what I should do? Should I just shut up and be the black face at the meetings?

If you were assigned to the committee to be quiet and you’re doing the opposite, well shit, you’ve already failed the assignment. Maybe your job as the most junior member on the committee is to be a sponge? In fact, to the other more seasoned members nothing was probably more irritating than you breaking out your PowerPoint presentation and stretching a 40-minute meeting into a two-hour one because you have “ideas.” Being on any kind of “committee” is already a time suck and a morale killer, so I can’t imagine why you expected your over-eager exuberance to be met with anything other than venom. I mean you are the most junior member, presenting them with “solutions,” solutions I’m sure they’ve already come up with, assessed and discarded back when the Strategic Planning Committee was formerly known as the Benefits Committee and now they’re all wondering “how did we get here?”

All this to say, you getting shutdown has nothing to do with you being Black—not a thing. Well, maybe a little bit of it has to do with you being Black and having a vagina. But it’s probably more so an issue of you being so green. So green in fact, that you made the mistake of putting an idea to a vote that you didn’t already have the votes for. You’re making your case at the meeting when everyone knows all the deals are made before you sit down at the table.

So what should you do?

You need to start collecting favors. In personal relationships you shouldn’t ever give to get. Giving should come from the heart with no expectation of anything in return. But in business, you don’t ever give unless you expect to get. So let your vote matter. I don’t care if you agree passionately with a particular issue or direction, you don’t co-sign unless you have some guarantee that the person heading up that particular venture will eventually repay you in kind. Also, and this is something I loathe and will never ever do because I cherish my dignity but you have to form a relationship with these people (who likely despise you) outside of the meetings. Go to them for guidance, present your ideas over drinks, secure their backing in private.

And in the meantime, hush. The old heads don’t want to hear what you have to say. Not yet.

Krystal from Brooklyn, NY asks:

My boyfriend is a fuckboy and I’ve decided to breakup with him. How do I leave him with a bang?

There’s no way to hurt someone that doesn’t give a fuck about you. But let’s try anyway.

You can:

1. Break everything. That’s a classic. It’s also considered criminal mischief and a misdemeanor. So you’re looking at a year in jail plus three years probation OR maybe just a fine and community service. Worth it?  I think so.

2. Fuck his dad. No crime there. Just moral turpitude. Bonus points if you meet his dad before he does.  Triple point score if you get pregnant. And now your son is his brother. FOREVER.

3. Killer on the loose? Call in an anonymous tip from a burner phone.  Sure you’re breaking all kinds of rules here including that unwritten pact between Black men and women that says “no cops” but he’s a piece of shit so eh. Let him spend a weekend in jail while they verify his alibi. Or 20 years in prison if they don’t. He can always turn to the ACLU.

Here’s one I wish I’d carried through.


I created it. And then printed a few hundred color copies with every intention of plastering it all over his neighborhood. But my friends stopped me.  It’s one of my biggest regrets. In fact, looking back on it all, I’m not sure they were really my friends. I mean how else does a guy know you “don’t” care and that you’re truly over him unless you do something involved, detailed, immoral and criminal?

Anyway, we didn’t really break up for three more years after I made and printed that poster on company time.  Honey, I wasn’t done and neither are you, fuckboy or not.

Jessica from Atlanta, GA asks:

 I’ve been with this guy on and off for nine years. Every time I say I’m done, I take him back. Every time he says he’s changed he immediately does something that proves he hasn’t. How do I get out of this destructive cycle?

 Guess what? People don’t change. In the history of the world no one has ever changed. It’s amazing to me how people don’t believe in God but they believe in change. Something they’ve never seen evidence of in their lifetime. Twenty years sober and you’re still in AA introducing yourself as an addict because that’s who you are and you know it.

 You’re not going to change and he’s not going to change.

Situations change but people don’t.

Ask your parents if you’re different from who you were at seven. Ask your friends.

So stay with him or leave him. But don’t keep lying to yourself that this time either of you have become different people. You haven’t.

Filed Under: , ,
Agatha Guilluame

Agatha is a figment of the collective VSB imagination.

  • Lea Thrace

    Um. Can I get that poster in an editable Word or Powerpoint document? For a friend?

  • Chris James

    Dear Agatha,

    How exactly do I go about finding myself a Zola? Anybody can buss it wide open, but it takes a special woman to be able to give riveting #PulitzerPillowTalk.


    Asking For A Friend

  • PDL – Cape Girl

    That flyer though…..LOL

    • miss t-lee

      I’m still laughing at usage of “mongrel”.

      • PDL – Cape Girl

        I have laughed twice since it was posted…..and out loud at that….LOL

      • Cleojonz

        LOL and @coat – stupid mohawk lol!

        • miss t-lee


  • 1. I always try to keep my head low when dealing with 2520’s as the lone black body in any situation. When it comes to meetings? Unless something of dire importance needs to be hashed out, let’s keep that ish moving so I can go to lunch, home, etc. I can’t imagine how much of my life has already been wasted on sitting at a table/on a call with a bunch of long-winded idiots who don’t know how to get to the point.

    2. There a photo floating around of a red Audi that was destroyed by a woman scorned. She broke all the windows, wrote a plethora of angry phrases on the exterior, she broke off the Audi emblem on the back, she fugged up the interior royally as well. It was a mess. That being said, I’m a strong proponent of just leaving quietly and cutting all ties with ex’s. No need to make a scene and do something you’ll regret over someone who no longer matters.

    3. I think some people enjoy being hurt. To make the same mistakes over and over again shows me that you don’t love yourself and don’t like nice things.


    • miss t-lee

      I just don’t understand why you’re committing felonies and then posting it online.
      Like…that’s exhibit A.
      If you’re gonna wild out, you gotta do it and then deny it to the very end.
      No pictures, no accomplices.

      *oh, and I was waiting on you to talk yo sh*t about the Panthers…lol

      • Sigma_Since 93

        “I just don’t understand why you’re committing felonies and then posting it online.
        Like…that’s exhibit A.”

        Exactly. All these folks posting how they stomped someone out then complaining about someone snitching.

        • miss t-lee

          When you already snitched on yourself…lol

      • I’ve never understood this either. Social media has got to be the best/worst thing to happen for law enforcement. You don’t even have to work hard to track down criminals. They stay on IG and Twitter Geotagging themselves and basically asking you to come arrest and charge them for the detailed crimes they have conveniently laid out for you online.

        I will continue to hold the torch high for the 2 Time Reigning NFC South Champions as they brazenly charge through their schedule unsullied!!!!!!

        CARDIAC CATS!!!

        • miss t-lee

          Yup. Cops ain’t even gotta try to investigate, you done laid it all out for them to find.

    • Val

      I was gonna give you an upvote until I saw that ridiculous photo.

      • A simple “Congrats” would’ve been more than sufficient ;-) But I understand that your admiration manifests itself in the form of the saltiest of salts. It’s ok. I’d hate us too if I were you.

        • You know how badly you’re going to get dragged when they lose their only playoff game again, right?

          • It’s people like you who said our season was over once Kelvin Benjamin tore his ACL, but God! Today we are 7-0, at the top of, not only the NFC South, but the entire NFC Division. The road to the Superbowl is coming through Charlotte.

            Each week we’ve been projected to take an L. Each week we’ve prospered. Each week we’ve had people telling us we’re the “worst” of the best. Each week we’ve found a way to stay on top.

            What’s your team doing? Is your team going to make it to the playoffs? Is you team over 0.500 right now?

            John 8:7-9 states “…He that is among you who has won Superbowl 50, let him cast the shade first. Again, he stooped down and wrote on the ground. When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and he was left alone…”

            • Sigma_Since 93

              Loot at you! Hott Toddin on the weekends and using the Bible for evil!! lol

              • God said can’t nobody tell me chit because ain’t nobody in the playoffs and ain’t nobody got that Lombardi trophy for Superbowl 50. Who gone check me?!

                • Sigma_Since 93

                  Imma let you bask in your glory while I sit in the corner and think about what could have been.

                  • If we get to 9-1 by week 11, we won’t lose the NFC South. You can quote me on that for sure. The Packers might catch us slipping on Sunday but, the weather will be better, so they’ll have to fight hard to hand us our first loss on the season.

            • My Chiefs will NOT be in the playoffs. Best we can do is ruin Denver’s seeding. That being said, the Panthers lead the worst division in football. The first time they get tried, they are gonna get worked.

              • The AFC South is not only the worst division in the NFL, it’s arguably the worst division of all time this year.

                • What the heck happened to the Colts? Huston is going to get it together at some point. Tennesee and the Jags, though…

                  • They were never that good. They beat up on the AFC South. Since Luck was drafted they are 1 game below .500 when it comes to teams outside of their division.

              • Val

                ” the Panthers lead the worst division in football”

                Someone needs to put that on a billboard in Charlotte.

                • The numbers have proven that to be a lie.

                  NFC East W-L stat of 12-17
                  NFC South W-L stat of 20-10

              • How is the NFC South the worst in the division of the NFL when our division has a combined W-L stat of 20-10?

                AFC West (your division) W-L of 16-14

                The AFC South W-L combined? 9-21

                Try again sir.

                • Further, the Jaguars are 1-6 but still have a shot at winning the division.

                • Seven of your division’s team are in Carolina. NO, turrible (coming around), The Bucs turrible, Atlanta good but inexplicably lost to the Bucs. Luckily this division gets to play with each other. I’ll give you the AFC south is a joke, though.

                  • 7 of our division’s teams are in Carolina? What does this even mean???

                    Our division is comprised of 4 teams, one of which is Carolina.

                    NOLA isn’t terrible by any stretch of the imagination but teams will continue to lose to them this season thinking they are. Brees is still Brees and he showed us that last weekend. Atlanta got some insane burst of confidence with Quinn at the helm and the division next year will be exciting due to them being on the come up. The Bucs are experiencing growing pains, new QB, the season will follow accordingly.

                    • I meant wins.

                    • Brees is still the man but that defense isn’t taking them anywhere. You could probably say the same for every other defense in the division. Atl’s D should be better but they are just not. Which is too bad because they have a great running back and the best WR duo in the league.

                    • Either way, you said yourself the Chiefs will be watching from home come January. All this speculating you’re doing sounds like it’s coming from a place of personal hurt. I’m sorry your team isn’t good enough to make it out of your own division. Personal problem though.

        • Val

          I’m looking out for you, AP. I’m trying to keep your expectations low, where they should be. :-)

          • Maybe you should take your own advice :-) I mean, Eli out here throwing for 350 yds and still losing games.

            • Val

              We’re still in first place though! Lol And that is all that matters.

              • So when I was saying that last season when my team was 5-8-1 it didn’t matter? Oh, ok lol I won’t actively root for y’all to lose that division because God don’t like ugly.

                • Val

                  Being 4 – 4 means a whole lot more in the NFC East than being 5 – 8 – 1 in the sucky NFC South. Lol

                  • And yet, we still went to the playoffs and won a round. Meanwhile, the lowly Giants are floundering around in the pitiful NFC East praying that the Cowboys don’t get hot during the second half of the season.

                    Have fun with that :-)

                    We’ll be watching you all battle it out for an opportunity to lose the first playoff game.

        • Okay I chortled.

    • LadyIbaka

      He hitting the quan (sp?!) or what

  • Aly

    I’m looking forward to reading y’all’s break up/revenge stories.

    • Lol terrible! I have none that are juicy. Just me crying and wishing I paid attention to the signs sooner. I ain’t bout’ that life when it comes to breaking up dramatically. I’m good. A few of my ex’s still share some mutual associates so they find out I’m doing great without them due to proxy :-)

    • Once when I was young and didn’t know any better, I had my brother beat up my boyfriend because he cheated on me. He wouldn’t have gotten beaten up if he hadn’t followed me home though…so it’s more his bad than anything else.

    • haute_coutoy

      Girl me too. Like a waiting on a new Zola story, I’m just here like…

      • PDL – Cape Girl

        Awwww, ain’t she purrrty

        • haute_coutoy

          so friggin cute!!

  • Ani-Q

    I love these posts. So much wisdom.

    “There’s no way to hurt someone that doesn’t give a fuck about you.”

    “It’s amazing to me how people don’t believe in God but they believe in change.”

  • miss t-lee

    The flyer though. I respect it. Makes me remember that episode of SATC where Samantha did that to Richard’s ol’ punk azz.
    As far as that on again, off again? Eventually you gotta get off the ride. Forever.

  • Epsilonicus

    “”There’s no way to hurt someone that doesn’t give a fuck about you.”

    If people actually took this to heart.

    • Val

      Exactly. You have to get them to care about you again and then fcuk them over. Lol

      • Epsilonicus

        That’s too much effort lol

        • Val

          Revenge is always hard work. Lol

          • PDL – Cape Girl

            That’s why the best revenge is living well. Easy peasy! :)

            • Val

              True but in the context of this particular conversation I’m just mentioning there are certain strategies that can give one the desired satisfaction. Lol

              • PDL – Cape Girl

                I understood that. I just chimed in to say less work with same if not greater effect.

        • YeaSoh

          yeah just find someone they DO care about and hurt them that way… be creative

          • Val

            Scared of you. Lol

            • YeaSoh

              I wasn’t saying murder… you know, just rough up a lil bit lol

          • Epsilonicus

            This ish right here…

          • Sometimes it doesn’t even have to be a person. Just an X-box or his favorite throwback jersey, or his favorite pair of J’s (this is a fcuk boy we’re talking about so he obviously owns all three of those things).

        • PhlyyPhree

          Eh. I’m already invested. Might as well get a return on that investment.

          • Epsilonicus

            But is it revenge if they hit you with the Kanye shrug?

      • Best revenge I ever made: I joined a gym.

        • Val

          Did you get a good deal on the gym membership?

          • Nope. That’s why i was sure to go.

            • Val

              Free membership and actually going would have been real revenge. Lol

        • PhlyyPhree

          Eh. I feel like I should try that but then it would be for them, not me. Idk

          • For a while, maybe. Then you walk in front of that full length mirror and get to feeling yourself.

    • Nicole Reed

      Or you could just take their heart. I imagine snatching that loser’s beating heart a la Mortal Kombat will hurt. Bad.
      Also, running over their legs with your car is a foolproof method of hurting someone who doesn’t give a fuck about you.
      Or you could take a very sharp razor blade and make a small slice right in the crease between his leg and his junk. Just 1 inch and very shallow. If the blade is sharp enough he won’t even wake up. But every step he takes for the next few days would be pure torture that he can’t figure out….

      Damn. My crazy is showing, isn’t it?

      • PhlyyPhree

        Jesus. I don’t know whether to applaud or take a screenshot just to prove I didn’t think of all this first. Sheesh.

      • Umm…. I’m just saying that maybe you should talk to a professional.

      • Val


      • htxgoodfella

        wwwwwoooooowwwwww. *opens a new tab to order “just because” flowers*

      • Why do you know this information about the slicing of the thigh meat???

        • tgtaggie

          That sounds like that would hurt like h*ll. lol.

          In other news, A&T is 5-0 in the MEAC and 19th in the nation. When I was there, they sucked. And that was like 6-8yrs ago. lol.

          • The HBCU fan in me wants them to prosper and make it to the playoffs. The Howard woman in me wants them to crash and burn soon. One day, our football and men’s basketball teams will be competitive. One day.

            • Sigma_Since 93

              Howard hasn’t been relative since Sky Walker roamed the sidelines

              • I was but a toddler when they won the MEAC. Howard better shape up soon and pay what they owe because the band just quit and they’re the only reason people halfway care about the games in the first place. Football is sooooooo profitable at the college level.

                Idk why they’ve been hustling backwards the past 15 years. They could be raking in millions if they tried to put money into the football team, staff, etc.

            • tgtaggie

              That’s just petty. lol. Don’t be mad that we beat ya’ll like a drum during homecoming. lol. I’m going to the SC State game on Saturday. If they get past SC State they might be alright.

              • I’m not mad at y’all, I’m mad at my school for allowing us to be so sub par athletically.

      • QuirlyGirly

        My crazy is showing, isn’t it?

        Maybe just a little- but not too bad-LOL

      • uNk

        *grasps junk*
        My junk and I are not amused….

      • Wait. You were one of the folks commissioned to create methods for “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques,” weren’t you?

        • Nicole Reed

          I could tell you but then I’d have to ……

      • LMNOP

        I’m just going to leave these donuts here for you, get on your good side, cause dam…

      • Epsilonicus

        Showing a WHOLE lot…

      • Me

        I hate that I just committed that last one to memory for future reference but … #lifeandshit

      • CheGueverraWitBlingOn

        “You won’t be needing this”

      • Rudy Huckleberry

        Exactly how sharp does this razor blade need to be?

        Asking for a friend…LOL

    • Word. I’ve learned that someone who claimed not to give a f*ck about me actually did… Then fell for an okeydoke about me, and we ended up splitting up. Sigh…

    • Epsilonicus

      I must say that the answers in the portion makes me praise the high heavens that I am off the dating market. I couldn’t do it if this is what revenge is like lol

      • CheGueverraWitBlingOn

        For real. Me too. Although that marriage revenge is no joke either.

  • Ari

    “Ask your parents if you’re different from who you were at seven. Ask your friends.”

    You only speak truths. Unfortunately I didn’t believe this until I became a mother.

  • Sigma_Since 93

    #1 You did everything right until you spoke. Let them ask you for the information and then show them what you’ve got. Otherwise, consider that hour meeting every week as a mental boondogle to play words with friends.

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