A friend of mind is going to read part way through and laugh, then will say “I told you so”, and remind me about being too personal.
I had to pull down a blog, not because it was slanderous, or a bash at this person, I stand by everything I said about this person, but it was one of my earlier pieces and may have mentioned this person by name. It got quite a few hits, but I would rather people read this blog because of the writing and not as gossip so I pulled it down.
Coincidently, I was talking to my sister this morning about women being our own worst enemies. In the minority holdings, the Asians do it best, they move up and pull their counterparts up along with them. My sisters, well we like to stand on the shoulders of others but once we have jumped up, it’s a goodbye and out. Obviously not all black women or Ghanaian women, but most I have encountered. I was reading a blog recently and the writer had started at her new job out in Ghana, and the quote “friendly as trees” described the welcome she met with her fellow Sistren, I say no more.
This person who I likened to Cruella, well she spoke to me twice. The first time was to tell me that my shoes were not the most appropriate (I was wearing sandals), the second time was to tell me that someone spotted me smoking weed. The first incident, I will give her that, the shoes were warn where the sun had beat them down, however the second time, well to this day I don’t know who would be stupid enough to smoke an illegal substance feet away from their office. Who on earth immediately jumped on that bandwagon and the guilty until proven innocent tone in her voice “if that’s what you do, then stop it”. Really? Like Seriously? I will never know who started this slanderous accusation and, who knows where this conversation could have been discussed and where this rumour could go, thankfully, my work (for which she had no clue about) spoke for itself but trust, I have no love or trust for this person and that’s why I stand by what I said.
Criticism stings a bit, but I am all for criticism as long as it is constructive. I remember once giving a presentation to a group of people that I had barely met and was so nervous and I tanked. My nose was stuffy and I sounded bored myself so I am sure that the audience fell asleep. The HR manager at the time called me afterwards and pointed out what I did, then gave me pointers for improvement. The HR manager was also someone who actually spoke to me when I saw him in the corridor and we had conversations which were not just about negativity. However, he was a guy and non Ghanaian so I am not surprised.
The weed thing, a bit extreme even in my world, but not uncommon, you would think that we have enough of a hard time collectively getting to the top (given that we are not Caucasian middle aged men from redbrick universities), then we have to be negative nelly’s on top of that. It’s like crabs in a bucket, trying to pull each other down, we even get annoyed when one of us is given a promotion.
Then when we do, it’s like “well I got here the hard way, so should you”. I remember one lady boss saying that she could not trust any of her juniors to be her successor when she eventually moved on. How about, I think I am going to groom these people to take my place, no that didn’t happen, in fact apart from her daily bashing, I don’t think that she took the time to actually be a mentor to these people. There was a young lady who had potential, but I could tell she was either going to get overlooked or she was going to find somewhere else to perch and all because the one who was supposed to be her leader would spend more time finding faults than looking to build her up.
Once in a while you do get a gem, if it wasn’t for my friend P, I would have been told that after a year of photocopying papers, I was not ready for the next step up (of photocopying papers AND posting them). Rather than being a negative nelly, she actually helped me put a good application together. My friend E, she listens without judgement, gives her opinion when asked but would never get annoyed if not taken. My friend D who is my cheerleader even when I am not feeling like I want to cheer. These are the people that inspire me to be a good black sister, these are the ones that make me see that there are a few of us who are willing to help each other on the way up to the top. These are the ones who counsel and advise rather than pass judgement and step in only to spread negativity.
We always talk about the enemy that is holding us back, maybe sometimes we need to look at the enemy within.