Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Ok, so what do they really want?

I've been in meeting after meeting with some of the senior staff at my new job. They've been telling me about all of these great recruitment ideas and projects and programs that they would like to develop, implement, etc. But, what they haven't told me is how and when they expect to get it all done. While I am a woman who can to rise to any occasion and make things happen, I am also realistic. There are a lot of things that I can do, particularly with help, but then there is "what more do they want from me?"

I only say this because my office is an office of one, that one being me! I have no dedicated administrative support, yet, I will be/am responsible for numerous mass mailings, planning and in some cases attending several regional recruitment receptions and I am supposed to put on this all out bash in the spring to showcase the company. Not to mention actually talking to and having extensive interactions with possible new employees. So, my question to all of these folks with whom I am meeting is what do you really want? Yes, this is what you would like to see happen, and it may be something that is feasible at this point and time. But, without additional resources to support me, what is it that you really want?

Perhaps as event planning gets underway, I will be in a better position to gauge what is realistic and what is just not going to happen this year or ever without help. But, I don't want to seem hesitant to do things, just because I am new and I don't want to be seen as incapable, non-proactive or not a go-getter. Yeah, I am very capable, extremely pro-active and I'm not entirely sure that you can call someone who has had 5 jobs in 2 years not a go-getter, but damn are they for real? Or am I just not giving myself enough credit?

Monday, November 21, 2005

Too early in the morning for that!

Now that I am working in DC, I have decided to start taking the Metro into work. It's actually a very fascinating experience. Granted, there's nothing like the comfort and convenience of your own car, but there is definitely a "culture" developed among those who frequently ride the Metro and everyday is unlike the day before. For example, there was the woman last week who clearly is being taken advantage of by her "friend" and she was very obviously bothered by the circumstances surrounding the relationship. However, she proceeded to tell the woman that she was sitting next to (and the rest of the folks around her on the train) about how she was just enjoying what she could get out of the relationship, but when she finds someone that really loves her and only her, she's going to end things with her current boyfriend. Now, call me crazy, but I find something extremely flawed in her logic. Any person that thinks anything of themselves is not going to involve themselves with someone who is already involved in another relationship, no matter how disfunctional it may be. I wanted to tell that woman that she's going to be waiting for a long time for that knight in shining armor to come rescue her. But she wasn't talking to me and it really wasn't any of my business, though as loud as she was talking, it was the whole Metro rail car's business.

This morning I get on the train. It's cold and overcast outside . . . not the best way to get over that it's Monday morning. But, we're up and about aren't we? I got my usual seat by the window and begin reading my WP Express. (I made sure that I got an Express this morning and didn't get hookwinked into accidentally getting The Examiner!) We get to the Eastern Market metro stop and folks get on. I guess I am now starting to pay more attention to the demographic of the rideres at the different station stops more and this morning I noticed that a number of white people get on at the Eastern Market metro (gentrification at it's best--I'm just kidding). Anyway, these two late 30s-early 40s white women get on and do the "Hey how are you, blah, blah, blah" fake greeting that I notice a lot of white women give to one another. It's the "we're great friends, however, I am taking this opportunity to give you the once over under the guise of an overly friendly greeting." There's some comparative analysis for you. But, I digress.

The one woman has her small child with her; I'd say he was about 3 or 4. From the time they got on the train, you could tell who was in charge. He was swinging around on the pole and telling his mom to "watch out" so that he could continue to swing, even though she told him that he "really shouldn't." Then she told him that if he didn't stop, they were going to get off at the next stop so that he could take a deep breath. Now correct me if I'm wrong, and I know that I don't know what it's like to do things with kids, but how is this little rotten boy going to make her have to get off the train so that he can take a deep breath? Anyway, he continues spinning around on the pole and then decides that he's ready to move on. He immediately bolts from the pole yelling, "Mommy, let's go over here!" At that moment he goes tearing down to the other end of the rail car. Clearly, this mother had absolutely no control over this child and it was really a pitiful site to witness.

Parents are so busy trying to appease their children, the children have no discipline. Now, as I said, I don't have any children, so I cannot begin to philosophize on what should and shouldn't be done in order to have control over your children. However, your child should not be creating a morning time nightmare for all of the other people who are on the metro. Perhaps you can handle it, but there are some of us who can't and would rather not have to listen to or deal with your bratty kid. Hell, it's bad enough it was a cloudy and cold Monday morning!

Friday, November 18, 2005

A Little More About Me

I am a young, professional Black woman who happens to be married to a White man. Needless to say, I am very conscious about racial issues. I think that I have always been, but it has been heightened since my involvement and now marriage to a white man.

I've always considered myself to be very open-minded, appreciative of all people (for the most part) and I have always had a good mix of friends of all races and cultures. It wasn't however, until I started dating Honey that I realized that I had many prejudices that I condemned others for having. I always knew that racism existed . . . I have definitely been on the receiving end of someone dropping the "N-bomb" as Honey and I call it. I know what it's like to be followed while shopping or to have white people utterly and stupidly fascinated by the fact that I am an educated, articulate and pretty outspoken Black woman on any number of issues and that I speak from knowledge and not necessarily emotion. I know what it's like to have bad customer service experiences and know that the person providing the "service" wouldn't dare think of providing that same "quality" of service to a white person. However, the dynamic totally changes when you throw an interracial relationship into the mix. Now when I get poor service at a restaurant, it's harder to determine if the customer service is just all around bad or if it's because of Honey and I being together. People still stare at us when we are out and about. More than that, people refuse to acknowledge that we are together.

Honey and I can be standing in line waiting to pay for something. If another line opens up, I would say 4 out of 5 times, they will look at one of us, even though we are standing together conducting our transaction, and say that they can help the next person in line. It's not like Honey and I are like many interracial couples that you see acting like they aren't really together. There is no doubt, when we are out or otherwise, that we are a couple. So, it just constantly amazes me how people are so programmed to see things in one way and they can't deviate from that programming. It's actually rather sad if you ask me. Anyway, many of the things that I have a lot to say about involve social issues and "ways" that I notice about people. I think that this additional information about me will bring a new flavor to the things that I comment on in this blog. So, with that being said, I am going to get back to work, but will write more later. Until then . . .

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The New Job Thus Far . . .

Sometimes I wonder if there is something wrong with me. I need to be stimulated in the things that I do, particularly work. But, when I actually have things to do, I am uninterested and often bored. I know that this is only my 8th day at my new job, but I guess I'm sort of lost for lack of a better word.

On my first day, my supervisor was not in so the person who had the job before me took me under and did what she could to get me acclimated. But, there were administrative things that I would think would have been done or at least would have been well on there way to being done in preparation for my arrival. Let me be clear, I didn't need a grand entrance or anything. But, it would have been a bit more comforting if things had been a bit more organized when I began.

So while Mary has been showing me the ropes, introducing me to people and setting up meetings for me to understand what folks do and become familiar with the people with whom I will be working, she has her own stuff to do in her new office. I want to talk with her and go over things with her, but I also don't want to be pain in her you know what. This week has definitely been an orientation of sorts.

The question that I find myself going over and over in my head is "Is there something wrong with me that I keep going into jobs that seem so wonderful only to be disappointed?" Now, as I said, I am reserving final judgment for when I have been here for about a month. But, I can't help but be a little disappointed in the lack of attentiveness that I have been getting from my immediate supervisor in regard to ensuring that my office, computer and other administrative things had been handled prior to my arrival. I don't think that I, as the new person, should have to call information technology to have my computer set up or spend my time getting my phone access and privleges set up. Why should I have to be responsible for creating my own business cards, stationary,etc.? Shit, he didn't even bother to order my name plate for my door . . . I had to run around doing that and other things that I think were a total waste of time that could be spent getting acclimated to the new job.

Fortunately for me, I have been around this place before and know or at least am familiar with a lot of the folks that make things happen. Plus, I am the kind of person who will make things happen despite the silliness that I often find myself dealing with. And maybe because I am familiar with this place, he and the other folks that I would think would be responsible for these kinds of things, might have just figured that I would be fine. But, suppose I didn't know anything about this company? Would that be the first impression that they would want to leave a new employee with?

Now, maybe this has absolutely nothing to do with it, but I wonder if I had been a white man if they would have just thrown me in the water to see if I could swim? All just things to think about and keep in the back of one's mind from time to time.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

My New Job!!!

I finally started my new job as Director of Recruitment. It's been an overwhelming 7 days, but I think that I'm going to like this job. I can definitely see where it could be a bit frustrating at times. But, it's nothing that I cannot handle and I have definitely handled some miserable circumstances.

Today I had my first I hope I did the right thing moment. The Director of another division of the company called to ask me to help her out with this reception that she's hosting tonight and that the president will be there, blah, blah, blah. Well, I have two things to say about that. First, if it's reception where the president of the company is going to be there, you knew about this long before and could have told me you wanted me to be there. Second, barring some dire emergency, you cannot call people at the last minute and expect that they will be available. You just can't. Having said all of that, let me give you the background interaction that I have had with this particular individual.

She's one of those women who thinks that she is more important and most importantly more fabulous than she really is. When I came here for the second round of interviews, she was part of the team of folks who was in on it. Now, I think that I have mentioned this before, but this is my 5th job in 2 years. Needless to say, I was anticipating that my "job-hopping" would come up during the course of discussion. What I didn't anticipate was the way it would be brought up.

This woman, Leslie, says, "So, you've had quite a few jobs over the last several years. Why should we think that you would take this job and stay here if another opportunity were to come along (or something along that line)?" It wasn't so much that she asked it, but it was the way in which she did it. It was totally that condescending I don't really know why you're wasting my time kind of thing. Needless to say, that didn't leave me with a very good impression. Further, I specifically asked if there was much interaction between her office and what is now my office. She said that there really hadn't been much. So, quite frankly, I wasn't sure why her stank ass was in on my interview. But, it is very possible that I will be doing more with her office (which is an office of one because everyone that previously worked there has left) since this is a full-time dedicated position now. So, it should be rather interesting. At this point, however, I don't particularly care for her at all!!! I should also mention, as further background, I actually interviewed for her position a few years ago. I was the first choice for the folks who had been doing the actual selection of candidates. However, Leslie was an internal person that was favored by the previous president and he decided to go with her instead. I just found out that little tid-bit of info, so it really doesn't have a significant baring on the way that I feel about her.

Other than her, I think that this could be a good fit. I am reserving final comment on how I feel about it for 30 days. On December 7th, I will render my final verdict. Either way, whether I like it or not, I have to stay . . . at least through on recruitment season. So, I hope my final analysis is a good one. Back to work I go. Until next time . . .