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

Friday, May 8, 2009

Rage Against the Machine

So, if you know me, then you know that I love all , most things reality. Yes, I will allow you to judge me, right now… Done? Ok. Moving on. While I know that a majority of reality shows are scripted and contrived – there are two that definitely, for real, for real aren’t. They are: The Amazing Race and Parking Wars. The Amazing Race follows teams of two racing around the world, competing in various challenges for a million dollar prize. Parking Wars follows the woes of people who get parking tickets, boots on their car or their cars towed.

I love Parking Wars because it’s a prime example of what happens when the bureaucracy of the system and real, everyday people collide. Oh yes, did I neglect to point out that the show is taped in the one and only Philadelphia? Yes, these people are gangsta! They will cut a meter maid. Or at least cuss ‘em out and tell ‘em to get a real job! LOL! But every episode features people who are, “just doing their job” vs. people who are frustrated with the process that entails.

As I have mentioned, I recently had my vehicle stolen. And the thieves got a ticket on my car. So, I have to contest the ticket. And they want to see a copy of the police report. I go to the police station the other day, give them my police report number and the woman goes to a small, two drawer desk, with no label or anything on it and starts to look for the report. And I desperately want to yell, “is this your organizational system?”

So of course she says, "I can't find your police report." And while I hold in a, "No, really? Who would have thought that?" I just stare at her and feign disbelief. Of course I have to wait for the police officer who originally "wrote" the report to get out of roll call so he can tell me, “I don’t know what happen to your report ma’am. But if you wait 20 minutes, I’ll write you another one.” Say what?!? Where is my Straight Outta Compton CD cause I’m about to blast FCUK THE POLICE up in here! But it’s not FCUK THE POLICE, it’s FCUK THE SYSTEM! Or moreso FCUK THE PEOPLE IN THE SYSTEM WHO KEEP THE SYSTEM DISORGANIZED!! FCUK!

Cause let’s be honest, we’ve all come across a seemingly incompetent, do the least possible, government/federal/state/city employee. Or one who truly giveth not a fcuk about your issues cause they gon’ get their 8 hours of vacation and 8 hours of sick leave regardless. Or one who shuts off their phone at 4:45, when the office doesn’t really close until 5:00. Or the one who says they’ll call you back with an answer to your question. And never, ever do. These are the people who are “ruining” our lives. Ok, maybe not ruining, but making it that much more difficult to get what should be everyday, simple things, done.

I have a friend who is in the throes of a mayoral race in a major city. A major city that like all major cities has its share of problems. And while I respect his hustle, his foresight to hop on the O train of hope and change, and his true dedication and love for his hometown, it seems to me that true change really has to go beyond fixing a certain infrastructure or pouring money into this or that, if at the end of the day, you have the same, tired, can't see past what they've been taught at training, people working in the system, taking (or not taking) calls, responsible for handling money, not caring about a politician or city council's overall vision or goal. Having a job that’s really hard to lose/be fired from anyway, thus diminishing their want to even do work. Like at all.

The same people who won’t deliver books to the schools.
The same people who are stealing left and right. The same people who lack basic critical thinking skills. Who refuse to think outside of the box. Who think it’s a good idea that after I’ve put in all the legwork to track down my stolen car, I should then go by myself, alone to the neighborhood where I think it’s located. I mean me calling to request a police officer on the scene - what’s that about? Why would I even do such a thing?

As a former federal government employee who answered people's questions alll day long, we were often complimented by people for actually being helpful. We were the anomaly. People were in shock and awe when we a. called them back b. gave them an answer c. knew what the hell we were talking about. But the directors in our department truly believed that we were public servants and so that meant that we had to, you know, do our job. And do it well.

But I must tell y'all that I fear that if things are bad now, they will only get worse. For realz. I go into city schools everyday and here’s what I know: our babies can’t read. Like at all. Like for real. Like at all. And they can’t do math. And they lack reasoning skills. And I believe the children are our future. But what if they’re not being taught well? And yet, they are supposed to lead the way? Twenty years from now, they will be the people on the other side of the phone (I mean if we still have phones in the future).

What happens when a society doesn't invest in its children and teach them basic skills so they can navigate the world? What happens when a government doesn't invest in or even properly teach its people who work within the system? I mean why was there a woman at my government job who asked me what our agency did? Say what? And you been working here for how long? 11 years? So, basically you're just collecting a paycheck... What happens when the system doesn't hold its people accountable to provide quality service to their fellow citizens? How will things get done? How will things, you know, for real, for real, change?

It seems like a never ending cycle. Of politicians promising this and that. New blood coming in to change things and make it all better! But with the same system in place. The same bureaucracy. The same red tape. The same fcuking people. Over and over. Year after year. Slowing down the process of change. And I ask, “why? Why, Lord?" And then I press one for English and wait for some help...

That’s my time y’all! Happy Rum Punch Friday!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

hi hater!

for the last few weeks now, my happiness on the job has been the topic of hot debate. it's kinda strange since i really really really love what i do now. even if i had thought of leaving my current employer i really really love my new city. after all the twists and turns it took to get here, i'm stayin local for at least 3 years.

so when my supervisors kept tellin' me that they heard i was unhappy, i was kinda surprised. at first they kept hemming and hawwing about who said what to whom about me. but finally after some digging i found the rat.

apparently, the rat told one of my bosses that i had an offer to go back to my old job and was seriously considering it. now how did the rat know this? the rat claimed that he got this information from one of my work homies over drinks one night. when my boss told me all this, i was livid! well as livid as a pisces can be.

for one, there was/is no such offer.
b) i have neva eva eva said something like this out my mouth
and most importantly, my work homie would never say something like this (truth or lie) to the rat because he thinks the rat is a punk a** biyatch.

there remains only one conclusion, the rat been lyin on a sista! mississippi gotdamn!

what's a girl to do? confront the rat or just let it go, knowing that the rat is a hatin' a** hater?

what say ya'll?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

family feud...

A good friend of mine recently had her grandpa pass away.

It's been no secret that grandpa had money in the bank (six-figures). And Grandpa didn't want folks (kids) touching his money. His kids and grandkids made him aware that Uncle Sam would take the money, all pleads fell on deaf ears.

Apparently, the baby of the siblings (my friend's auntie) had access to the bank account. So my friend and her siblings assumed Auntie would dole out the money to her other 5 siblings (one of the siblings being my friend's mother). That hasn't happened yet. So to retaliate, my friend and her siblings including her mother will not see their cousin/neice graduate on Mother's Day and no the graduate is not a student at Howard to express their disdain for their Auntie. What the hell does that have to do with the graduate? NOTHING! I told my friend she is petty. And it's sad the way black folks let money get between them and fam.

I reminded her that it was grandpa's money. Grandpa earned the money, spent the money, and saved the money -- the way he saw fit. And yes, it would be like right for her Auntie to distribute the money equitably among her siblings, but she hasn't and legally isn't obligated to -- so let it go (cue Keyshia!) Ironically, the graduate is the first and youngest among the cousins to graduate. The graduate is also an only child. So, her accomplishements might not feel so grand without her family cheering her on. The graduate started college on time (after high school) and finished. None of them can claim that feat. That needs to be celebrated.

What has me so irritated about my friend and her siblings is that they already had plans for what to do with their mother's share. One desired french doors for her home, another was going to finish their basement, and the other was going to modernize their windows. Selfish, selfish, selfish. Ain't no one think, maybe we should set up an annuity for our Mama since she's of that age. Everybody was out for self. And I think that's exactly why Grandpa ain't give them shit! excuse my french

God bless the child that got it's own!



Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A Selfless Winner

An 82 year-old man, widower, father of 10, grandfather and great-grandfather of 47, won $144 million dollars from the DC lottery!

After the Feds and DC take their cuts he will take home close to $80 million. For good reason, he wanted to remain nameless and has done the responsible thing and established trusts for his kinfolk to get educated. And while many claimed that they were happy for the man because he deserves it (I guess because he’s old)…I know many were like damn, how can an 82 year old really enjoy that kind of money? Isn’t he’s too old to enjoy it.

Then I got to thinking about how, at minimum, 57 other people’s lives are about to change because of this one man’s winnings. I mean let’s just say that one of his 10 children had won, or even one of the 47-would they have set up trust funds and invest in their entire family for the better? I know we all boast that if we won the lottery we would pay off bills, maybe buy momma a new house…but after that I think most of us would be oh so frivolous with our spending. Buying up multiple cars, clothes, sipping champagne cause we thirstay...making rain in da club (or maybe it’s just me). And after my friend told me that he would by multiple boats and cars and gave no thought to their maintenance and insurance- I thought, yeah, maybe an 82 year-old man does deserve to win because he’s going to be wiser with his, compared to a person a fourth his age.

And I think these things as a person who is in her twenties, an only child, single, no children and a renter (all the makings of a person who doesn’t have to think of others much). So it’s hard for me to imagine myself as a responsible older person thinking about the needs, and not just the wants of others...after I have thought extensively about myself first. I have this idea in my mind that if and when I’m in my eighties-after my children are raised and their children are on the scene I’m going to be doing what I can but not be doing everythang for them.

The aged deserve a time of rest…right? I think Old Amaretto will cosign on this thought!

But at Easter, as the family assembled at my grandmother’s house I watched her busy herself with cooking and cleaning after teenagers who are more than capable of doing for themselves. I told my grandmother not to make beds or set tables. I told my teenage cousins not to let our grandmother make beds or set tables…and in the end my grandma still ended up doing it. (author's note: don’t ask me where I was in the story-just know I was sitting on the sideline in principle and for the sake of telling a story). It made me sooooo upset 1) because my grandmother has done so much for all of us 2) I just think kids today are lazy and 3) most importantly- I had to make beds and set tables when I was my cousins’ age. WTF? Why come they don't have too? (sorry only child tantrum moment).

When I told my friend all about the shameful acts of my cousins, he met my emotion with “some older people like doing things for their family.” Say whaaaat? I mean yeah they do, but after decades of doing, don’t they just get sick of it? Shoot I'm sick of it and I'm not even 30 yet!

It blew my mind, because I recognized the truth in his statement. I guess because I think that at a certain age I’m going to need folks to be doing stuff for me, I just can’t imagine getting to that point of making beds and setting tables for folks who are more than able to do that for beaver-damn selves. And while I will say that I am helpful, I can’t say that I am selfless.

At minimum this 82 year old has effected change that will affect the lives of 57 people. And though one can ask, what else could an old man do with all that money? I say that there is a lot, and being selfless just happened to be one way he could enjoy his riches,. Hopefully I grow to that point. But until then...I too would say he deserved to win every penny he got!

See You In Seven

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Financial Freedom

Last week a newly hired sista, employed with my company for less than  two months, decided our company was just not the right fit for her. She showed up to work that morning as usual and by lunch time she had her bag on her shoulder never to return. Well, I was flabbergasted. In these days of recession, who just walks out? 

That got me to thinking. Although I believe I am mentally and financially able to handle loosing my job tomorrow, I am still not signing up for a pink slip with my name on it. Who knows when these times are going to turn around? You must be pretty dang okay or insane, to just walk away.

So I ask myself, mother of none, sista living on my own... what would be my price? What would be my limit? How much would I be willing to tolerate to keep my job? A pass on a well deserved promotion? Unequal division of workload? Sexual harassment? Who knows? Many have sucked up a lot worst to put food on the table but me, I don't know. Maybe, I haven't pushed to my limit yet. I have wanted to quit so bad that I have taken a mental health day and planned my exit strategy, which by the way has never been to come in and walk out for good.

This chick, has really got me thinking. Recession or no recession. 

A friend of mine, always says "Don't get attached to your job/employer, your employer/job are not attached to you. Remember that!" 
I guess she has a point, but if I had to pick a hero of the week... this sista who I didn't even have time to have lunch with, is my pick this week. Granted I don't know her financial situation and I am not even sure what was so terrible that made her walk-out mid-day without notice, but I do admire her gumption to walk-out.

Until the day comes that I possess such courage, shout-out to the sista, I wish you all the best... much luv, peace :)

P.S. I am SO happy that Maxwell is back and I am loving the new look and single. Smooches Max! =D