She wants to lead the glamorous life!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

"I'm Just Absent-minded"

I work at the front desk of my office. From a button located under my desk, I have the power to 'buzz' my co-workers, visitors and delivery people in, allowing them access. As employees, we are all given key cards for self-entry. There is one co-worker, a young sista who forgets and/or loses her key card about 1-2 times a month, if not, more. Last week I finally asked her what was going on, to which she replied 'nothing'. That she does not know why she loses it, but it just happens. I told her I believed that there might be some dissatisfaction with her job. Why would you continuously lose something that allows you entry. I suggested it may be evidence of something deeper.

She got a little defensive and said, 'why does it have to be [like that] why can't it just mean that I'm just really absent-minded?'. To which I replied, 'well, girl, check-in! Join us!'. She smirked and walked away. Okay, I know what you are thinking, 'why don't you leave that girl alone?'. I feel you. But my observation came from love; I was not trying to chastise her. In fact, it got me to thinking about Corporate America and double standards for women of color.

In my opinion, young Black women cannot afford to be and do not possess the worldy-given permission to be lackadaisical. It is not ours. Young Black women have to be determined, critical thinkers, problem solvers and focused, all while staying fly. The whole, walk around the work place looking cute and playing/being ditzy, only works for White girls. That's what I call WGPs (White Girl Problems). You will lose your way following in their footsteps. You cannot do the whole pajama-wearing, I'm so tired thing, it does not fly with us. Why? Here is the reason: the man-made structures and systems of the world, were not made with us in mind.

This world was not set up to place us on pedestals. We do not have the luxury of being extra sweet to everyone 'just because'. It will and can back-fire in your face. Corporate America does not applaud us being 'hot' with little brains. In fact, how many sistas do you know who really slept their way to the 'top'? Laying on your back, will usually get you nothing but a wet ass and a bad reputation.

I know this first hand, armed with an M.A. in Gerontology (a field I have yet to enter some eight years later) at the ripe age of 23 years, I had no solid plan. I figured I was would just figure it out. In fact my undergrad was in African American Studies. Both, were topics I found 'interesting'. With my parents fitting the bill, I was even more careless about my future. I was never a 'school' type of person, but knew it was critical to my 'success'. Don't get me wrong, I consider myself successful, if only for the sheer fact I am gainfully employed and independent. But I sometimes wonder where I would be today, if I had not been so whimsical about my career goals and future. Where did the whole, 'let the chips fall as they may' get me? My opening line says it all, I work at the front desk, buzzing people in all day. Now when I say I love my job, I LOVE my job. I am a well-paid 'buzzer girl'! This is hands down thee best one yet, but I still wonder. If I had pushed myself more, been more focused or goal oriented, where would I be?


  1. I don't know if I agree on the whole "white girls can get away with..." thing. The especially skinny and cute ones can, perhaps. But can you see someone like me ridin the "teeheehee" train and getting away with it?

    But I HUGELY agree on the "what if I'd pushed myself harder?" line. As a fellow door-buzzer-girl, I feel that profoundly.

  2. Remember when you were little and you would tell me that you wanted to work at K-Marts and announce the blue light specials, and I would always say I was going to say, "That's my baby" when I heard you announce? You had the title job now you have somewhat of the money job. Which do you like best?

  3. Alexis- you have a point. Shirley-money is always better.