I Talk To Much

Lol.  If you know me, then you know that already (so save your smart aleck comments that I’ve probably already heard a million times before).  I’m going with a different angle on this topic today…so pay attention!  🙂

Last night at work I almost got fired.  I didn’t do anything wrong per se, but did my manager see it that way?  Absolutely not!  See, what had happened was…

Basically there was a big miscommunication (I’ll spare you the details) in which I was made to look like a neglectful server.   When it was my time to speak up to give my manager some much needed insight, he didn’t give me my moment.  When I hurried after him amid a crowd of guests loudly questioning, “So are you going to stop to let me tell you my side?!  Right now you do NOT have all the facts!”  He abruptly turned on his heels to and went off on me.  “I don’t care what you have to say!  Your point of view means nothing to me!  I am the manager!  You are not!  If you do not like it, there is the door.  You can leave!”

I stood there silent…speechless…and fuming.

“Oh my gosh Ashley!  What did you do?!  What is happening?!  I can’t believe you just talked to him that way!” a couple co-workers whispered as they passed.  All I could do was shake my head as I made a mental note to begin job hunting this morning.

The longer the evening wore on, the more I tried to forget about it and just do my job, but it wasn’t working.  Every time I caught a glimpse of my manager my body would tense up…he had really hurt my pride.  “My opinion meant nothing to him?”  I found myself questioning my own integrity.  How am I supposed to work in an environment that I believe is clipping my wings and won’t allow me to fly?  I know it sounds kind of dramatic, but that’s just the way I feel.  I always compare stuff to my relationship with my father.  Would my daddy have talked to me like that?

Maybe lol.

But darn it, my daddy is the only one that can get away with that bullcrap!  This manager of mine is not my daddy!

So later that evening a friend of Kenny’s (my cousin) came in.  He works in the finance sector and was out with his team enjoying the night.  We struck up a conversation when somehow the subject began resting on the topic of the workplace dynamics between the big boss and his favorite employees.  Long story short, the friend made it very clear that I must wear the mask.

“You the only sista’ up in here, tryin to climb up and get your money.  It’s SO important that you tell these boys what they wanna hear.  You can be 100% right yet they are convinced you are 100% wrong.  You have to be able to say, ‘No problem sir,’ ‘I’ll get right on that,’ or EVEN ‘Yes, I apologize.  I know that was my mistake.’  I’m out here, chuckling at all their corny jokes making them feel like the best thing out here.”  He continued.  “I work with a few sista’s and we all play the role.  You can’t be outspoken and say what’s on your mind.  You will get nowhere.  They don’t like that.  You have to be fake.  Have too.  And when you see those extra dollars on your paycheck it will be worth it because these lonely old men will be in a dirty hotel room with some prostitutes.”

I laughed at his easy-going, practical advice and deep down I know that he is right.  The thing that gets me stuck however is the high price it’s going to cost me.  I pride myself on being a straight shooter, making sure people are aware of where they stand with me.  That fake mentality is everything I’m not about.

Can I do it?  I don’t know yet.

Is it smarter for me to do that?  Depends on what one views as being “smart.”

How important to me is it that I remain true to me?  My late grandfather, Papa, was known to say, “Integrity is everything.”

Sigh.

Thoughts?

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11 thoughts on “I Talk To Much

  1. I am soooo with you on this. I work in advertising and I am always the only Black person for miles. I also have the biggest mouth and am the first one to open my mouth and contradict the general consensus and I know everyone wishes I would shut the f*ck up. I have a reputation for being a sh*t disturber and it doesn’t do me any favours.

    But like you I pride myself on being a straight shooter. I try to be quiet and play the role, I know it will serve me better in the long run. But how can I just sit there and pretend to agree with stuff that is f*cking retarded to me? I don’t know. But I know I need to learn.

  2. Unfortunately,I think this is a game we all must play at some point, regardless of the job industry and race.

    I think what hurts the most is being raised in a strong household that has preaches (African- Americans and women) to holding your head high and voicing your opinions, yet when we feel it is most important to use these tools the outcome is always seems to shoot us in the foot.

  3. Eh, I agree with the Mask to a degree however, if when the mask compromises “you” (not your pride), then its not longer conducive to ones success.

    That said, in your particular situation, I don’t think it was a matter of “talking to much ” at all. I think it was more talking at the wrong time. You know how observant I am and this is what I deduced from your entry (less your details):

    – The situation was a matter of completing a series of objectives and no matter who or what, they did not get done. Ultimately HE is responsible for the well being of his staff, the patrons, and hell – yes, even the profit.

    – Clearly the restaurant was full of patrons, and for you to say aloud what you did was extremely defensive but also at an inappropriate time in an inappropriate environment.

    – This is where the Mask comes in. Its not about overtly conceding to him but rather saying what you need to say LATER. He IS the boss and he at ALL times must maintain a facade of control and mastery. Your rebuttal would have demonstrate to others in an open format that he can be questioned in front of others.

    In that type of situation I would have, on my break, or at close, or even the next day to spoken to him in private about the situation. It’s important that you understand the human factor. It appeared that he was emotional about it just as you were. He was upset, you were upset, yet you insisted on engaging convo while ignoring his behavioral cues – so you pushed him. You have to be observant of social and behavioral cues.

    Trust me, no matter what his response and statements to you were uncalled for, rude and unprofessional – but it is the nature of the beast.

    I’d suggest you apologize for your outburst at an inappropriate time and environment, and then further ASK if you can speak to the initial event.

    Hang in there luv, life is all about timing.

    ~dimitri seneca snowden

  4. There’s a time and place. Sometimes it is about knowing how to acurately guage your worth. If your value to an employer is high, you’ll be granted a certain amount of leeway. Unfortunately, in your current capacity, my guess is you can be easily replaced based on the nature of the business. In another context, you may not be as expendable. There are plenty of prideful, self-righteous folks in the unemployment line. In another economy, maybe you say f*ck it and tell your boss to kick rocks…this is not it (unless you have plenty of other income streams, in which case I say you throw a garbage can through the window, yelling Radiioooo!) As for playing the game? Until your the boss, you have to take it. Therein lies the dilemma of working for “The Man.”

    $0.02

  5. Dimitri and RG hit the nail on the head. Nothing wrong with voicing your opinion and speaking up, but like what was said earlier one must be cognizant when the most appropiate time is. Trust me, it’s not just us black folk playing the “game”. Most of all subordinates, black, white or otherwise, play the “game”, too. However, in order to win the “game” you must know the RULES. It would appear many of our caucasion counter-parts have the rules down to a tee and pass them down amongst themselves which is why it may seem like they’re not being as fake…but trust they’re no realer Nicki Minaj’s backside.

  6. Pingback: He Apologized. « Fancy A. Yancey

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