I have never been able to put my finger on it, but I always wonder when was the point where Black people were convinced that they were “bothering” somebody when they asked for decent liberties at work. I know how they did it though. That much I am 100% sure of. It was when they titled any Black person with an issue at their job, “Angry.” Have you ever wondered what “Angry Black” man or woman really meant? I have, but it’s always compared to things that don’t really make sense to me. They say a Black woman who is too aggressive or argumentative in the workplace is an “Angry Black woman.” Pssh, Black people have had a term for that since the time of slavery, “She has an attitude problem.” Attitude problems can go to anybody white, Black, Puerto Rican or Haitian. I don’t buy it when it’s applied as this “Angry Black woman” syndrome. I’ve sat and watched and I’ve just come to the conclusion that the “angry black man card” is the white counterpart to the “race card” for Black people.
I always wonder if I’m the Angry Black guy in my office. I thought about these five things and wondered “does that make me the Angry Black guy?”
1) Am I paid enough for the BS I have to put up with?
This is probably what I spend most of my time thinking about when I’m at work. Am I making enough money and am I paid enough for all the BS I have to put up with on a daily basis? This is white people fault, sorry buddy, but you have to call a spade a spade. If you can manage to take down stories of injustice then you should take down articles that show that white people make more money on average than Black people. Since there’s no changing this fact, and I know somebody at my firm who makes more money than me, this is always going to bother me.
2) If you don’t want me to sleep with my coworkers, why do we got to hang around each other so much?
I think most Black men thought they just ain’t want Black men sleeping with white women in America… okay maybe that was just me. However, turns out they don’t want you to sleep with your coworkers because it could cause problems in the workplace should it not work out. Here’s what I don’t understand, why do we have spend so much time together? It’s bad enough that you want me here first thing in the morning and then you don’t let me go until the day is over and you HAVE to let me go home and sleep. But what the hell is all this work picnic, work happy hour, work service event on the weekend, softball and kickball with the coworkers? Please explain why you want to hang out with each other all the time. Do you guys have friends outside of work you can hang out with? I’m getting upset just thinking about this.
3) Am I smarter than my boss?
I don’t think we’re ever going to get to the bottom of this. I think we’ve all worked for someone who was a complete idiot. That’s fine, you will have good bosses and you will have bad bosses. You know what really grinds my gears to no end? When my boss intentionally has to make it known that he’s the boss despite the fact that he’s wrong. Besides all that, I just think to myself sometimes, “Didn’t I say that two weeks ago?” It’s like a never ending battle. I think the logical solution would be for bosses to give their subordinates credit when credit is due for solving a tough problem or going the extra mile. I find that this is not logical. It’s WAY more logical to just steal the idea and keep it moving.
4) If you piss me off, what is the most productive way of me expressing my discontent?
People in general have weird ways about them. They nonchalantly do something to piss you off and then get mad when you’re pissed off. You don’t include a person on several meetings, you have “brainstorming” sessions where “you don’t need to come to this, we’ll just fill you in [NEVER],” and then you write on their review, “Needs to be more proactive and take initiative.” At what? Busting you in your f*cking lip?! This is a casualty of war and people will get upset at work, but then how do you express your discontent? This is where I just don’t get it or see eye to eye with people. I’ve always said, “If you act crazy, what does that make me for coming back at you in a logical manner?” Dumb as hell.
5) Not to belabor, Point #2, but if this place isn’t made for me, why you expect me to be happy being here?
Let’s keep it all the way 100, there’s nothing about Corporate America that was made for Black people. “Consider what we’ve seen” (in my Morpheus voice), we can’t speak our language in the workplace, we can’t go to the school of our choice (Re: HBCU) and then gain equal access into it. You keep asking me to show up on-time. You seek to deny me my MLK holiday. And we celebrate Jewish and Christian holidays, but not Kwanzaa? Word, yeah okay. Sometimes when you’re in the workplace you feel like you’re in sex trafficking. You’re put in this crappy place that’s not your home and told that you better enjoy it, or you’ll end up dead or in poverty. So when you ask a Black person in the workplace, “why are you so angry?” Think about it from their perspective. The only thing they have left is an attitude.
– Dr. J
I promise to stop listening to N.W.A. while blogging, but it’s just what I like to hear at work.