Friday, February 24, 2017

I've been working in offices of various kinds since I was 21 years old, and during that time you meet different people who fit the same roles. There's the complainer, the hard worker, the unreasonable boss, the couples who thinks they are discreet about having sex but they aren't, the snitcher, the person who over "cc's", and of course the old(er) person who needs to retire but doesn't. I'm sure I'm missing someone but that's a good start.

Today I would like to officially induct another person into that work pantheon, and that's the condescending black woman.

Now at first glance you may ask why I felt the need to single out the black woman in this particular instance and I will be more than happy to explain. In my experience, 95 percent of the white women I work with either snub me completely or are very friendly. In fairness, about 80 percent of black women do the same. If I'm snubbed by either race of women, I mind my business and keep it moving. The condescending black woman represents about 10 percent of the black women I've worked with, and they are very calculated in their movements.

This woman will be friendly with everyone else, except me, because I'm guessing that she assumes at some point I am going to try and holler at her. I don't know that for sure, but for the life of me I can't figure out why someone who I've said nothing but "good morning" to, would consistently not the say same to me. There's a woman like that at my job right now. She speaks to everyone in the hallway, she laughs it up with white men and women, black women, old black men, and everything in between. She says good morning, she makes small talk, etc..but when we pass each other and I say good morning, I get nothing but fleeting eye contact and silence. We have mutual work friends and occasionally everyone will be joking and smiling but when she sees me, her face changes or she just disappears from the area altogether. I asked one of our mutual work friends what her f**king problem is and if she had a problem with me, and he said he had no clue, because she never said anything about me. Fair enough.

Recently, I had to go to her office for a work-related issue, and she kept cutting my sentences off, using a real condescending tone, made little to no eye contact and then she violated one of my pet peeves by asking me questions and saying thanks before I ever answered yay or nay. I started to say something, but ultimately it is about the work, not how that work is dictated to me, and I'm pretty sure if I had said something it would have been blown way out of proportion. On a side note, I probably shouldn't be blogging about this either, but f**k it, I'm like four paragraphs deep at this point, and I need to get this out.

So yesterday, I was in the work kitchen cleaning out my bowl, the condescending lady was sitting down eating her lunch, and our mutual white male friend was standing next to me discussing the trade the Washington Wizards had just made. The dude asked me about the next time I would be covering a game at the Verizon Center, and before I could answer the question, the usually condescending black woman swooped in with barrage of questions:

Oh my god, you cover the Wizards?
Who do you write for?
Have you met John Wall?
Can you get discounted tickets?

At this point I really wanted to offer her a big bowl of these, but instead I took the high road and answered all of her questions, and I emphatically told her no when the subject of tickets came up. I'm a member of the media, I'm not ticketmaster. Anyway, I saw her twice more yesterday and again this morning, and now I'm getting the red carpet treatment. I get smiles, b.s. conversations, arm touching and all of that, which is fine, because my treatment of her remains professional. But I'm still annoyed that line between her treating me like Stanley and her respecting me enough to speak, was her discovery that I did something outside of work which she could possibly benefit from.

Perhaps I should just get over myself.

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