Friday, June 1, 2007

An Air of Impending Doom

is beginning to permeate the place in which I work. For a minute it was quiet, (and there was no Staffbash this week, adding to the quiet) and the boss kept saying "maybe it will be OK". And I thought for a moment that maybe it might except that, I know from being in bad situations that right when you think it's quiet is when everything explodes.

The BigKahuna sent several people over to be interviewed for the Web Directors spot today (Web Director just left... I'm convinced that she was "passing for White" but that's another story) and the *entire* marketing department was in on the process--except for us three. My boss, my co-worker and me. I mean BK even sent her "Press People" *over here* to sit in on the interview, and our office is generally treated like the red-headed step-child of the hospital. No love whatsoever. Now that's about as low as it gets. (Word is BK is a master at "divide and conquer"... she's a Psychologist by trade.)

Now, I don't really care. I came in leaving, so to speak. And I detect that the power is shifting over to the web crew and they will get to be the ones who stays and who goes. If I played nice and brown-nosed I could probably work a spot for myself, but unfortunately, I've made it a policy for myself to stand up for what I believe in. I believe in fairness and honesty and integrity. And I believe in myself... I won't go around bowing and scraping. I know this sounds like I'm one of those "rebel" type people who just doesn't "get along." And I guess I am that. But I'm not confrontational, especially not here. I'm cooperative and honest and usually pleasant, but I also don't "jump" the minute people expect me too. I think, at 42 and god-knows-how-many years of corporate experience I've earned the right to act like a normal human being and not a wimpy "go-fer" (or is it that I have it all @ss-backward??) I also have deep-seated aversion to the being the only "black" in the department, and the unsaid expectation that as the one "black" in the department that I should be the one most likely to smile and "do" for whoever asks. It pisses me off, actually, that expectation.

So I guess I am that rebel. Which sort of sucks because under other circumstances I'd be quite happy here. But I'm at the point today where I hope this job and/or my tolerance will last another 3 months. End of July at the worst case scenario. And what really sucks for me is that I need to work right now. Those student loans are kicking my @ss. The rent is high, but low for what the "market rate" is in NY. And I'm just not a good business hustler, which is really what is required if I were to stay freelance.

These are days when I could easily doubt myself, my abilities. Where I could get freaked out and try to "save my job" and beat myself up that I can't fit in. But I know I'm good at what I do. I mean I'm not the best and there is certainly room for improvement, but "I got skillz" as they say in the hood. I paid good money to Pratt to prove it to myself. And I know that this atmosphere is not normal, not even for corporate America. I also know that a good portion of my "doom and gloom" feeling is not mine but belongs to my co-worker who is really down today, and my boss who has retreated to his office because he has to. And from my across-the-wall cube-mate who just lost his dad (his grief is palpable).

This is the hard part... separating what I feel and my own stress from those around me. I took a walk at lunch (oooh, and got my eyebrows threaded from this East Indian place on Madison Ave.... niiiiiice job) and felt pretty damn good outside. It's hot as hell but not too humid... just the way I like it. And I saw Poppy briefly as he was leaving dialysis. So outside, I felt really good.

But I walked back in here, and the doomandgloom BAM! hit me right over the head.

*sigh*.

Working for other people really sucks. Seriously. How is that 90% of the world is able to do it, and I just can't?????? Must be in the genes.

Damn you, Grandpa! who fought for "blacks" in the army, and usually operated pretty much as a free agent.
Damn you, Great-Grandpa, who took no shit from anyone and started the largest black-owned insurance company in America.
A pox on you, Great-Grandma who was known for her 'tude!
And you, too, Hon Peter G. Morgan! You had the audacity to believe you were "equal" enough to run for an office.

And while I'm at it, you too, OtherGrandpa, who was a Garveyite and said "Do right because it is *right* to do right!" NOOOOO! Doing right gets you into trouble, can't you see!? Cuz you do right and you get shot! Or fired! Do wrong and you get to be President! Or the Big Kahuna!

And my Other Great-Grandma, after whom I'm named, who quietly held on to her pride and claimed her heritage as the granddaughter of a Confederate Colonel. And her husband, my GreatGrandpa from Porto Rico who once smashed a bar full of glasses because the Irish bartender smashed the glass he drank out of.

I'm screwed.

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