The changes that I have made have so much to do with my starting to look at the big picture instead of the details I was used to looking at.
I know in previous conversations I have sat in front of someone and told them of my goals. Whether or not that worked out in my favor is not the point. I remember speaking to this woman about working with her on a website she needed done. She said that she wanted something done rather quickly. I told her that I would complete the project as fast as I could but cannot promise it will be done by the date she wanted. Her rudeness took me back. It made me think to myself that I know my worth, do you? I am trying to explain to you in the easiest way possible that I am booked. And when I am booked with projects; its’ completely unprofessional and unfair of me to add on more projects. I mean, what respect for myself does that show? None.
She wasn’t really all that interested in hearing it. After a couple weeks I gave up. It was the first time I had ever just quit a project. But I could not deal with the endless promises of help with my issues networking professionally. Her outreach in the area was a bit larger and I felt like I could use her help. It was quite sad that she didn’t understand that the reason I had no interest in working further on her specific project had less to do with the projects I had going on at this time and more to do with how she was treating me.
I was at a low point in my life at this time. I thought by sinking myself into my creative work I would be able to forget what was in front of me. Which was a broken heart at that time. I had already had projects that I was working on and didn’t wind up leaving those for dead. Just hers.
I walked into the front door of the building with an attitude like “I got this.”
She had told me I had the job. I didn’t think anything of it and believed her the whole time. See, the funny thing about people who claim to be your friend doing a ‘favor’ is that sometimes theres a little voice in the back of your head telling you to pay attention. Something didn’t feel right about it. I didn’t see evidence of her being able to help nearly as much as she promised.
And at this point I was really desperate for a job. I was looking for something different. I was looking to be and feel appreciated. At this current time I was working at a job that was draining me. Having to deal with the underlying racist comments from coworkers and I was working in HR! I eventually had enough. It was too much. And it happened too much. I tucked my septum ring under my nostril and walked in the building. The last thing I needed was them thinking they could judge me for the jewelry in my face. Some people are still stuck on old times and are outwardly ignorant in their dislike for my piercing. To which I smile and say “Thanks, but completely unbothered.”
I asked the receptionist where I was supposed to be meeting and she told me. I walked down the hall. All eyes were on me as usual. I was dressed extra special today. Trying to get this job… and clearly the attention was heavy. The man who interviewed me looked at me like I was a creature from another planet. He was good looking. I don’t know what it is, but when I have interviews with men I often feel more comfortable. The jealous childish side of women brings out a disregard for their substance. I wanted the interview to be a good one bottom line. Sometimes I have had interviews with women that went very well. But sometimes it was just like are you fucking kidding me bitch? Seriously? You’re in an interview acting like that? Wow.
After the interview I spoke with the girl who had been helping me get the job. We felt hopeful. Until I got the phone call basically telling me to let go of that hope. I really wanted that job. He offered a different position with far less money. And basically said I should be happy with it because it’s a ‘foot in the door’…
How many times have you been told that? As a black woman/person it’s like what the fuck are you talking about? Especially me, because I have worked in this field for 6 years. Like bro you have no idea what I am capable of and you are telling me I should be happy with this job you have given me as a handout? I have worked this job before. This same job type is what all of those years of experience are in. So basically you are creating a ceiling? Telling me I cannot go further right now? But what about how I feel? I feel that that is some BACKWARDS SHIT!
I kindly declined. I don’t regret it either. I declined the project and declined the job. I was feeling let down because I had my hopes set on that job. When it didn’t work out I was speechless. I was quite ready for a break. A break from this town, these people, these issues. I remember thinking about the multiple times I have dealt with that in this town. In. This. Town.
I have lived elsewhere. Elsewhere is not here. And I see that clearer every single day. Being black in this city isn’t like being Black at home. My interviews are full of judgement and ignorant assumptions.
Once I had went through that moment and came out on the other side, I realized I needed to sit back and collect all of the energy I was giving to other people and keep it for myself. Had that been done, my true intentions to succeed in the jobs I was looking for would carry me to success.
Fall down, get back up.