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

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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.

Untitled

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.

  • Mika

    And now your son is his brother. FOREVER.

    *weeping*

  • PDL – Cape Girl

    Good advice to the chick invited to the meeting. You have to learn your way around the workplace, corporate. Don’t be darting out of the gate with blinders on. Sometimes you take yourself over a cliff. Pace yourself.

  • Wild Cougar

    People change. I’ve seen it plenty of times.

  • YeaSoh

    This flyer had to be before Facebook and duh gram because GURLLLLLL… you shoulda done that.. I mean another three years?? Hmmm maybe it ain’t too late

  • OSHH

    I have always believed you are born with your personality intact, derived from the spirit. Things that happen in life can either enhance or detract.
    “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” Maya Angelo

    Like some say the you of you doesn’t change, but behaviors can etc

    • miss t-lee

      Good to see ya round. :)

      And yes…agreed.

  • uNk

    ” 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?”

    *deep sigh* I wish the last woman I was with was at least as sarcasticlly self aware as this lol

    • YeaSoh

      oooohhhhh what she do, uNk??? You gotta tell!! Come ONNNNNN!!!

      • uNk

        no more stories from me lol

        • YeaSoh

          Whaaa?? WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY! Just one more ain’t gon hurt geez. Plus @Sigma_Since 93 said if you can’t be an adult and have a convo like the adults do then you can’t have no sprinkles… I want you to have sprinkles for real!! They’re delicious.

          • uNk

            LOL ill sprinkle on yall another time

            • YeaSoh

              Hmmmm… loooking forward to dat *wink*

        • I see you. Always dangling the carrot then when folks wanna know details, you yank it away.

          You ain’t slick.

          • Sigma_Since 93

            I see you with your natural hair and flawless pose trying to get the fellas to want to smell your shea butter scented hair but your miles away.

            You ain’t slick!! lol!

          • uNk

            The lies lol

        • PhlyyPhree

          What? Why not?????? Sharing is caring!!!

          • uNk

            *plays Care 4 You*
            See I do care Phlyy

            • PhlyyPhree

              *cues Heard It All Before*
              If you cared, you would prove it. hmph

  • 1. White dudes hate when you interrupt their circle jerking. Make sure you know your stuff but stack your money. If this is a task you actually care about, play the game. Otherwise, pad that resume.

    2. Success is the best revenge. Invite that fool to your wedding out of the blue.

    3. Jessica, get you a side ninja and let it be what it is. It takes both of you to create 9 years of shenanigans. He ain’t going and neither are you so you might as well have some happiness on the side.

    • thumbs up for using “circle-jerk” by far one of my favorite terms.

    • PDL – Cape Girl

      Upvote for #2

      Never pay the game….you’ll do that the rest of your career. Never pad your resume. My manager (now gone….see, playing the game don’t work) told me five years ago, “you just gone have to play the game.” I told her no. Nah, naw boo, I’m not playing the game. That’s what white folks do. Be yourself, establish who you are and hold to that. You want to be respected over and above liked. Folks are fickle, respecting is enduring.

      • HAHA

        Upvote upvote

      • It’s a dirty game but there is no “out”. Work politics is a black hole. All that respect breeds envy. They is a’coming sista.

        • PDL – Cape Girl

          I’ve been here 18 years, hit the hit 6 figure salary mark this year (toot toot), and treat my job with the equal amount of respect that I require. So um yeah gon and teach me something new. Y’all young bucks get on these jobs and let folks get in your ear on how to play, leading you down that black hole you mentioned. Y’all come a dime a dozen. I see ya roll in and get rolled out time and time again. But, get in where you fit in….

          • Lea Thrace

            Yeah. I’m gonna roll with you on this bit of advice. In my career, I have never played the so called “game”. Meet people, say hello, yes. All that after hours hanging, kiss ar$e, jockeying stuff though. No. Never did it. And I’m doing pretty frickin well in my career. And still have my soul.

            I suppose that is in a sense me playing a game of my own choosing. Never make a career decision that takes a piece of your soul. Cause you will never get it back and it will only lead to other chunks being taken out of you.

    • YeaSoh

      Umm your #2 tho… I’m sure that wedding is the hard part. I mean who she gon marry? Herself? Although I agree with the revenge part but since when does your new relationship = hurt for someone that was trying to dodge the “you” bullet in the first place. Nah, a better path to revenge… Since he’s a fvckboy he more than likely cares A LOT about coints and such… just roll up to his favorite wing spot in your new leased Benz (peanut butta jelly style), give him the “oh wussup, you still mopping a MLK? Dats wassup” and peal out bumping “get on my level”… when he calls block his number. Sweet sweet revenge

      • Are you the woman that Drake was singing about? If so, can you explain that stupid video?

        • YeaSoh

          Depends on the song

      • PDL – Cape Girl

        Still too much work = 1) Leased Benz (LOL), 2) showing up to show off.

        • YeaSoh

          I mean I’m just saying fvckboys like flashy things so… plus we’re talking about revenge here not tonight’s dinner, it’s gonna take some effort.

      • Sigma_Since 93

        Why does this sound like you………lol

        • YeaSoh

          You know what… I don’t know. *shrug*

        • YeaSoh

          Umm btw EYE SEE Y’ALL upvoting… am I that cold??

          • Sigma_Since 93

            I mean you are straight outta fox 2 give sooooo………..

            • YeaSoh

              I guess if I have to ask I already know, huh? Well played, Sig.

      • Gah! *adds Cadillac Don to the random playlist of songs I haven’t heard in a minute and truthfully don’t even like that much, but somehow always seem like a good idea to bump in the Jeep at 4am on the way home from work.*

    • miss t-lee

      “Invite that fool to your wedding out of the blue.”

      Nah dawg.
      Nah.

      • It’s safe fvckboys don’t go to weddings.

        • QuirlyGirly

          I think it depends if it is in the same city as he is- if he is petty- and he will be petty-he will show up, not bring a gift, get drunk and tell your guests how he used to beat it up

          Imma have to go with Miss T-lee- nah that punk gets no invite

          • miss t-lee

            Nah, we don’t need those problems at my nuptials.
            That’s an absolutely not on an invite.

        • LadyIbaka

          Clearly you ain’t a phak boi. You don’t seem to realize they have levels to their petty and may just show up to that wedding to spite, disrupt and humiliate.

        • uNk

          A fvckboy doesnt need to be physically present to cause castastrophic damage to relationship tho. Its dangerous out in these e-streets.

        • miss t-lee

          I’m not wasting good paper.

    • Now, let’s rewind this for a bit. Would you really (really and truly) invite the ain’t shid bih you used to deal with to your wedding?

      You living dangerously like that?!

      • She might get the wrong address but heck yeah.

        • You ain’t real. :/

          Giving out fake invites and whatnot lol

      • Right? I’on care about your hurt feelings if I’m wife and you’re inviting THOT, we ain’t walking down the aisle. I won’t be petty on your behalf- you catching feelings for ol’ biddy wasn’t my business then and it ain’t the business now.

    • With #1,the best approach is to play mystical magical Negro with the data, then have them thank you for the privilege. It’s a way of protecting their ego and puncturing it at the same time.

  • htxgoodfella

    I don’t know about that last one, Agatha. People do change. It’s called growth. If you’re not growing, well then, yeah, you do go round and round doing they same things. People have to learn to let go. Why allow yourself to get sucked into someone else’s f- up whirlwind of a life?

    • Agatha Guilluame

      I knew I’d have to defend that last one. And I feel like I can.

      I really don’t believe people change at their core. And like my addict example, I believe you can actively try to be different but that’s not the same as it being instinctive. For example, I’m naturally bossy. Have been my whole life. I’ve learned over the years to temper that bossy instinct to make my personal relationships better.

      Do you think I’ve changed?

      When every situation that comes up I have to make an effort to not take over and be the alpha. I mean there’s growth there because I’m trying to be better but is there change? Can I now say “I’m not a bossy person” just like one of my friend’s who’s been laid back her whole life? Now we’re just two laid back people?

      Anyway, we can disagree on this. I’ll allow it. LOL.

      • htxgoodfella

        But you’ve evloved a little bit. Maybe not a completely new person, but slightly different from what you used to be. I’m just saying…

      • Kat

        Truth

  • I’ve changed.

  • Medium Meech

    The 7 Stages of grief of a dying e-crush
    *Looks at poster Agatha made, breaks into cold sweats*
    *Looks at Agatha’s avi, rationalizes why a poster like that isn’t that bad and why I’m special*
    *Looks at title of post and realizes that Agatha now actually has access to mass media*
    *Wonders how Champ sleeps. Wonders if history will remember him as a modern Neville Chamberlain*
    *Looks at the at the adoration she receives from the Mob/comment section*
    *Remembers the quote from Star Wars “So this is how liberty dies…with thunderous applause” for some reason*
    *Accepts that I should open heart to possibility of different e-boos, re-pledges undying loyalty to #ToddGatha movement*

    • HAHA

      Ha!

    • Sigma_Since 93

      Sounds like you’ve got Drake in repeat playa. *hands Meech Usher’s You don’t have to call maxi CD*

    • PhlyyPhree

      You say all this now, but you won’t learn until you get burned. Just gon head and get it over with. You see how pretty she is? It will be worth it.
      Also, the demise of your soul will surely end up in a post and I’m here for the entertainment.

    • uNk

      *switches sitting position in the counseling room*
      *plays Drake “Take Care” on repeat*

      Brotha Meech…..we can talk about your deep emotions and failure to commit to one e-boo at a time. I and the rest of the VSBs and VSSs are more than willing to listen.

      • Agatha Guilluame

        *waits*

      • YeaSoh

        Correction “I and the rest of the VSBs and VSSs (excluding YeaSoh of course) are more than willing to listen”

      • Medium Meech

        Et tu uNk? You repay my genuine concern compassion with this? Lightskinned ninjas…

    • -h.h.h.-

      *sets up youtube*

      *pulls up the Usher – My Way Video*

      MM, you see that fine one-eye’d avi girl? you gotta let her know how you feel, and you’ll do, anything he …wont do. ooh ooh.

      http://pbs.twimg.com/media/BrY9HD1CYAAg6Hf.jpg

      • Medium Meech

        I just did, h.h.h. And she tried to auction me off on the back end of a 3 for 1 deal like she’s trying to get rid of a slave that read Karl Marx.

        • -h.h.h.-

          see, she’s been hurt a time before. by a lotta smooth talkin’ jive hepcats like yourself. but see, you gotta show her, that you’re the number one DaddyO around these parts…and show her the light so she can be the cat’s meow. Solid?

          • Medium Meech

            Sadatay.

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