Wednesday, May 21, 2008

There is a going away lunch for my boss today, and in preparation, a menu was passed around yesterday. Everyone was supposed to look at the menu, write down what they wanted, pay money, and then when the food arrives the next day (today) we would all sit around look at each other eat. That's my job's idea of a how to send someone off. Anyway, I missed the initial pass around of the menu, so one of my co-workers had to manually bring it to me, and explain what was happening. I asked her to leave the menu with me for a few minutes while I decided what I wanted to eat. When she returned five minutes later, I was undecided, so I quickly decided to get something called a Summer salad. As I was writing it down, I mentioned to her how manly of a meal a salad was, and she laughed. Then she said, "What happened to manly meals like fried chicken or something?"(yes she was white). Then came the following exchange:

Me: Fried chicken, really?
Her: *starts turning red*
Me: I didn't even see fried chicken on this menu, was it on there?
Her: On my God, I'm sorry Rashad, I wasn't trying to offend you at all, i'm so sorry
Me: Oh no its cool, just help me find chicken on the menu, because I didn't see it

*awkward pause*

Me: Ok, well let me get back to work
Her: I'm sorry again
Me: Whatever b**ch (in my head of course)

Now in defense of this woman, she has been nothing but nice to me since she's been here, and she's on the short list of people here I can actually tolerate for five minutes or less. Who knows whether she meant to be offensive or not. So in times like this, rather than going all Al Sharpton on people, I find it is best to use sarcasm and act like nothing happened, and then watch the offending party squirm and hang themselves with their own noos..I mean rope. Perhaps I handled this wrong, but it clearly would not be the first time I have botched a situation. About 2 hours later, I saw her in the hall, and I asked if she found that chicken on the menu yet, and she just awkwardly laughed. I think for today's luncheon I will toss the salad (pause) and stroll in with some KFC.


Anonymous said...

Man..I wish i could've seen her least she didn't suggest some nice watermelon!

Bashful said...

I really would love to see the look on her face if you rolled in with a bucket of chicken. LOL!

maxwellsmusze said...

If a manly meal came to mind, I would've blurted out steak. At least she didn't say chittlins...

Chubbs said...

KFC? No way...get some Popeyes at least!

As a person who takes pride in my frying of chicken, I will not let anyone offend me when it comes to fried chicken...the cooking of it, the bringing of it to part-tays, and/or the eating of it.

Yet, I still KNOW what you mean...It happens, and maybe she didn't see the underlying message until after she'd blurted it out. I think you went about it in the right way...ignoring it, and not making a big deal out of it. I think if any of us make a big deal out of it, it makes us look kinda silly and also causes that itty-bitty, old stereotype to stick around longer than it needs to.

Be gone, chicken stereotype, be gone!!

Janelle said...

Damn that's an episode of Curb your Enthusiasm and The Office all rolled into one!! hahahahahaha

I once had a white coworker (who I was cool with) wonder if it was the chicken that gave black girls such "nice round juicy booties". I had no choice but to laugh (okay we were at happy hour).

soft&subtle said...

OMG! That was the most hilarious entry I've read thus far; other than your morning falls. That was brilliant Rashad and funny as hell. I don't think I could've handled that situation any better. Thank you for making my day...LMAO!