Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Success Equals Stress.

I just wanna be, I just wanna be successful
I just wanna be, I just wanna be successful
I just wanna be, I just wanna be successful
I just wanna be, I just wanna be successful
lyrics by AUBREY DRAKE

I've been struggling with this for a minute. I'm a very persistent person. I've always dreamed BIG and will continue to do so. I can thank my mom for always telling me that I can walk out any dream or goal I have by keeping GOD first and working hard. What I am not understanding even after all the achievements of those who have gone before me to pave the way and my own success despite the odds that some say were stacked against me. Lately my work life has gone into a mad tail spin or at least I feel that way.

For me work should be about business. I don't go there to form relationships nor to be validated but I do expect pay for the work I render. I've listened to Bishop T.D. Jakes ministry tape Ten Commandments for Working in a Hostile Environment for years now. Do I believe GOD has a purpose for all the pain I've endured in my field. Of course! Does it make where I am any easier to endure? NOOOOO! What irks me beyond being irritated is what I'm dealing with. Is it job related? I'll let you determine that.

Me: "Hi, I stopped by to see if you need anything. Can I provide any assistance? How is the transition going?" (This person is new to the location)
Her: "No, but this weekend I was telling a friend about the clothes you wear and your eyeshadow."
Me: "Is this chick for real (in my head)?!?"

Me: Hi, can I speak with you about....?
Person: "Hi, Ms. Blue. You look nice today. I don't think you've worn the same thing twice (fakes laugh).
Me: "I just wanted to ask if....." (at this point I'm fuming!).

Random co-worker: How do you walk in those heels all day?
Me: " I wear gels." (I walk away like I'm on a runway even though my feet are hurting something awful, lol).

Random co-worker: "I decided to step up my dressing game after seeing my sisters looking professional."
Me: "Really?1 Glad I inspired you." Although I'm really thinking this is her job, her appearance and her presence in front of the students and she should do what makes her feel like giving 200% because for me I want to feel good, look good and give goodness to the clients I serve daily.

What I'm saying is yes, I like fashion. I love looking good and that is ingrained in me regardless of where I work. I do despise being looked at at as a Barbie and not for the quality work I bring to the table. If the individuals who are soooo busy counting my outfits would pay attention to my resume, track record on the job of accomplishments life would be much easier.

I wouldn't t be seconding guessing whether or not I should wear a certain thing to the office or if I should join the ranks of teachers who wear jeans, flip flops and ponytails (ok I took it too far). All I want is to not be scrutinized because of my looks. I want those who are intimated by me wearing a power look to either step up their game not just in the area of dressing but in giving to the students who are more important. This isn't the first time I've had to deal with this in places where I've been the only African American woman or there were a few of us in leadership positions.

Am I being arrogant? I hope not especially when these types of conversation take on a life and decisions are made about me based on these things.  My mom and I have had many discussions about this. She experiences the same thing with her hair. People asking is it real or can they touch it, as if a African American can't have naturally wavy hair. I asked mom why do I have to apologize to the world for being who GOD made me. Why do folks spend their time and energy participating in such silly things? There's so much more to this story but I'll stop here. I'd like to hear your advice on how you would handle this...and no I won't be cursing, kicking or slapping anyone.

Have you worked in a situation where you were singled out for non-job related concerns? What did you do to manage the hostile environment?



Roodlyne said...

LOL first. Girl I feel your pain, I get the same thing at my office, I work with a whole bunch of guys, so there are no other women here to help the competition, almost everyday I come to work and they told me I'm in the wrong profession, I should be in the run away, I should be a model blah blah. I guess folks thinks saying that is a compliment but I choose to be an engineer and Im a good one sometimes I do which people would take time to look at my work instead of how I look.
eh well its the blessing/curse of being FAB!

Anonymous said...

Hey Girl, have gotten that same reaction for years! Roll with it! this is who we are! what others call dressed up I call normal! And I LOVE Heels!!! God Bless @kamearachel "Twitter"

Tee said...

Kerissa, that is TOO funny because I have more conversations about my 4 inch heels than I do about the 12 kids I got to pass the CAHSEE. I know I'm a force of nature...never doubted it for a minute. But being a force of nature makes you a target for those who are barely a breeze. So sometimes I don't get recognized for my true value here at the school. If I took all the letters/comments/accolades that students have given me over the years thanking me for what I am in their lives, I could wallpaper the Taj Mahal! It just gets frustrating when my supervisors focus on the bullshit. I know I'm cute and my clothes are fly and I walk like I've got diamonds at the meeting of my thighs...dang! LOL

Anonymous said...

Lol this not only happens in the work place but it happens everywhere. At my church my family and I was given the name "The Hollywood Family", because of the way we dress and present ourselves. I remember one day after singing in the choir, a fellow church member came up to me and was like " I couldn't help but notice your shoes, when you where singing", I patiently said shouldn't you be worrying about worshiping God during that time and she looked at me with a blank stare. So, I walked away. It amazes me day to day how people lose their focus .

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