So I have worked at my current job for 18 years. I grew up in a Black family, where many of my relatives worked at government jobs with good salaries and pensions or in stable positions for years. When I graduated law school, I decided a career in government compliance best suited me because I had no desire to work 80 hours a week for only double the salary I could make at a job that offered me great benefits and the luxury of having time for other parts of my life. For a long while it was actually a great decision. As one of the only legally trained officers, the job came easy to me. I wrote legal decisions with ease, understood the law, and quickly became a go to for my knowledge. That translated into a promotion, that was in my wheelhouse. I developed a training program that was adopted nationwide. It was all good… until it wasn’t good.
So fast forward to last week. After having been turned down for positions numerous times that were given to much less qualified, experienced, and proven employees over the last few years, I took my last stab at a supervisory position. I currently am the go to trainer for my team; my supervisor and all the others as well, send their team members to me for help. I do the schedule. I am the team lead. I do everything but approve leave…. no one else, in the building, does that and still maintains their actual job. Hell the folks whose job that is don’t do that. I was gonna try one more time to get paid for ALL my labor, or get a lawyer. If you know any good civil tights lawyers…. Anyway…
So this position required no interview, but I am a boss in an interview so that was no concern, and was selected based on an interest letter (you’ve read my writing) and a resumé (I create resumés as a side hustle, ask about me). So, before I go on, I want to point this out. The Strong Black Woman stereotype is bullshit when used in the professional world to overlook Black women, to pile work on us, to ask us to train other people who they later hire over us, and to benefit their white male run, systematic racism mimicking offices to their benefit and our detriment. It is a form of racism and a macroaggression made up of hundreds of microaggressions… from denying us leave, WE HAVE EARNED, to care for our children, butting in our personal business like they are concerned when in fact it is just because they don’t respect our boundaries, and WORST when they use their Black overseers to mistreat us and say shit to us that they know would get them handled in the streets, hoops off and hair in a ponytail. I used to think they just didn’t like me… which is still true, but it’s much bigger and more pervasive than that. It’s bullshit. So keep that in your hat.
Anyway, I get a call from a Black female supervisor, who they like because she’s agreeable, and I ask too many questions, complain, call them out, and have grieved their bad behavior several times before. She says to me, “you know you are a rockstar, you have no backlog, you can do everything, you help everyone, the supervisors frequently send officers to you for help, I know I do, and you go above and beyond”… but we selected someone else, and we encourage you to apply for any opportunity, but I think you’ll understand when you see who we picked (loose quotation). She asked if I had questions, and I said no and got off the phone.
What the fuck? Get the lawyer on the phone…
So I know, like every other time, they picked some White girl who, like me, went to law school. They figure that is enough to overlook me. They figure I haven’t gone off yet, I still show up, I don’t run through the place wildin’ out, I haven’t brought Ray Ray, Pookie, or Man up there to threaten anyone, and I haven’t hired Geoffrey Fieger. They also figure, I am a fucking mule. I am Kizzie. I can carry a baby on my hip, a basket of cotton on my head, and knit a blanket with my free hand, while singing “Wade in the Water” in perfect pitch. I don’t matter. I was made to be overlooked, let them tell it. But they don’t know me. I stayed for the stable and easy paycheck, the eight hours max. I can do that work in my sleep. But I also have every receipt. EVERY. I have already planned my exit. But this time was different, maybe because of the three people who made the decision, they sent their token negro, to deliver that trash to me.
So, I had actually planned to spend the next part of my career counseling victims of workplace discrimination so their EEO and harassment suits would show the very real trauma and damage caused. But looks like I get to practice on myself first. I got your mule… and when it kicks them square in their ass, I hope Stephenetta is there to watch what happens to racist assholes who use race-based stereotypes in the workplace to overwork and overlook minority employees. They only like you cuz you a good nigger.
Sincerely, “Diss Nigger Here”: