WE ARE: 5 women navigating our twenties in search of peace, happiness and love (or not). WE WRITE: about everything and nothing. From the insane to the mundane- you will find different paths taken, lessons learned and lives lived. WE THINK: you’ll enjoy it...Warning: Consumption of these views may leave you enlightened while intoxicated.


The View From Here will conclude on Friday, October 1, our third year anniversary. We would like to spend this month thanking all of our readers, followers, haters, visitors, family, friends, and fans for your continued support, encouragement, and comments over these past few years. Thanks y'all!
-The Five Spot

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

My Audacity to Hope

I know it’s January but Dizzzzzzaum it’s cold! Layering is the word of the season when the high temperatures are less than freezing and hot coffee purchased from the shop is lukewarm by the time it’s sipped at your desk. I was seriously contemplating using sick leave today just so that I wouldn’t have to deal with the frigid temperatures. Ahhhh, just to stay warm under the covers of my bed, safe and secure from all alarms! Because you know sometimes you just don’t want to deal with stuff...cold things in particular, like the weather, people or even the chilling business of office politics. Ah yes, no matter how much we just try to be gosh darn individuals and just do our job we all become candidates subjected to approval ratings determined by our coworkers…

In 2005 I got me a good government job. Woo hoo! The benefits! The stability! The good times that I was sure to have! Ha! I was surprised to see how many non black folks held higher level positions. So when I noticed that that the mailroom crew, the folks in our plants, facilities and the administrative support staff were mostly held by folks that looked like me, I realized that Masta and his plantation hadn’t disappeared just because folks had marched to get in the doors. And so through a series of events that I’m sure I’ll write about later on in life, I was part of the admin staff, promised that it was a position were I could blossom and grow, a position where I could keep on stepping up the rings of the ladder so that one day I could be all that I could be…

But then I started talking to some of my Sistagirls in the same position. You know how we like to talk whilst we work, just to learn what exactly we have gotten ourselves into. Wow. If ever there were a bitter and sometimes brazen cast of characters in this bunch. These women were quick to tell me of all the glass ceilings that they had hit in their careers. All the managers who had promised them opportunities to grow, just as soon as they finished typing that business letter or made copies for the conference. No one really had a hopeful story to tell except in the one or two who were able to ascend after 10 or 15 years of trying! They basically were telling me I had been a victim of a classic bait and switch.

So I started thinking about what I wanted for me, but I’ll tell you you’d be surprised, but other folks have plans for you too. One manager pulled me in her office and outlined her plan for my life that included five more years of admin support and then maybe a higher level job in her group, because she could recognize my potential. So if I have potential and you see that now, why do I have to wait? (Yes, Bracky O- I understand brother). Ya’ll know I thanked her graciously for having a plan for me and tapped danced right on out of her office. And then I decided to run! I was getting off this plantation; but before I quit I was going to first try to break through the glass.

There were so many tear filled phone calls to my mama who’s down south. Every story about the craziness on my job was met with a warm platitude of hope, or a statement that my situation could be different from the others…”You never know, baby” she said. Arrrgh! I wasn’t trying to hear that mess! I wanted her to get hyped and pissed that her one and only baby was being treated as a second class employee. I wanted her to agree that system was built to keep me down because that’s what happened to the Sistagirls...so surely that’s what was gonna happen to me if I let it! Mommas are wise ya’ll. And eventually my mother stopped saying anything, other than “Okay, Amaretto”.

Well after months of applying for new jobs, interviewing, being told “No, but don’t take it personally.” After months of wondering if I was crazy for thinking I could do more with my life then what I was currently doing. After months of acting how I must and leaving my Sistagirl attitude at home. After months of just being depressed because it seemed like I wasn’t going anywhere and everything on the outside conflicted with what I knew on the inside. After months campaigning and trying to show others that I had what it takes, even though I felt they should have already known about me. After months of getting everyone on the prayer line…I got word that I had been promoted, 7 levels higher thousands of dollars more in my salary! I’m still shocked that I have been able to breakthrough that glass ceiling and to do it in 3 years!

So today is my first day in my new position. Sad that I was going to call out sick right?! I know. It is just amazing to me ya’ll that despite the odds and what usually happens to employees like me, my story gets to have a different ending. My momma was right. That despite what people say or think there is always the possibility. That small chance. That hope in spite of…

Even in my own life I’ve seen the power of a maybe.

See You in Seven


Rum Punch said...

CONGRATS!!! I'm sure that your post will inspire someone who is in that same situation. Usually we know that we are destined for something greater, we just have to keep pushing and working to get there...And change other people's minds along the way! Great post!

Dark & Stormy said...

Kudos Lady! That is wonderful.

Why do you call that man Bracky-O? LOL.

MJR-BANX said...

C-O-N-G-R-A-T-U-L-A-T-I-O-NS! Do your thing girl! I am so proud of you…like they say big things in 08!

It is always the strongest that survive. I guess that is why we as a people have to work twice as hard to get the same results as others. That is why when I had my little hick-up last week…I had to just suck it up because I deserve better and won’t have better if I don’t work for it.

It is so much easier to just accept, be content and let others create the plan for us…take the road that is easiest and be content. I find myself surrounding myself with others who have it easier than myself and it makes me work even harder. Something about the fact that they can have what I want so easily…makes me work even harder to get it so that I can prove that I deserve it too. Beside we all know I am stronger!

Beware of those who are content and have settled…it is so much easier to be miserable when you have company. Encourage those of us who are doing big things in 08 because it is the strongest that survive!

P.S. “How was the weekend?” LOL

Bellini said...

Congrats again girl!
To all you folks out there, if you are not happy and you have created a timeline (timeline and blueprints are not the same thing) and the time has expired -- keeps it movin'. Do not get caught up in a faux sense of stability-- we are too young to get complacent -- people are doin' the damn thing out here, just my 2 cents for the day


outblandish said...

Congrats young lady! Your story is very similar to mine. I went from being a temp, to being hired as one of the only folks in my department that didn't have an Ivy League education (and one of the only black people), to managing the department. An added pleasure is that I became the supervisor to the total and complete cocky jackass that trained me on my first day. Hee hee.

I almost quit so many times due to the fact that I didn't have any type of inspiration by folks that looked like me because uhhh..they didn't exist. Well, all of the brothers were in the mailroom. I was also treated unfairly. I almost quit one time because we moved to another building, and they put me in a room that had extremely loud pipes visibly going throughout the ceiling, it was freezing cold, and it happened to be right next to mailroom. I was totally isolated from the rest of my peers. Instead of quitting, I demanded to be moved 6 floors up with the rest of my folks. They eventually moved me after I wouldn't let it go. And boy, did I have one hella of a letter addressed to the head partner of the firm for their asses! But now, I have a nice office with a window lol.

But yeah, to this day (and even though I wear a suit everyday) I still run into people in my office that think I work in the mailroom. WTF?!

Always.Funky.Fresh said...

Congrats!!! Does this mean you get more sick days?

Dirty Red said...

I am in the same position that you just graduated from. I have been doing the same bullshit-ass job for 5 years, and I can't seem to get away. I told myself that after I finished my degree, I was going to move back home and on to bigger and better things. I graduated from college 2.5 years ago, and I am still in Dallas. I have even started making excuses on how much I like Dallas when in reality my heart is in Maryland. I even let my wife talk me into buying a house here, so for now I am stuck. I am still trying to get into something new, but my current position is like a black-hole. But at least somebody's persistance payed off.
Pray for me girl!!

*B* Fab said...

Hallelujia! God is good! Glad to hear it! Persistence and perseverance is key! 1st time through, I like you alls spot here :-)