Where to work? Pt. 1

I’ve been working since I was 16 years old. I would work every summer with the government youth program. I would work for 6 weeks and at the end be given a lump sum. This meant that I would work across a lot of industries. When I migrated to Canada, I worked in the telecommunications industry mainly, the beverage market, stadium/event operations, retail and online security. My ultimate goal is the healthcare field, but a few things are slowing that goal down. Throughout my last part-time job, a few things really came to fold with what a good job entails. The amount of young people working there did not know better. They were so happy for a paycheck, they definitely didn’t realize just how bad the company was to them. It had might as well been a ‘cash job’ but I believe it had to maintain an air of sophistication due to the industry. This in part was why our uniforms made us look like officials but without any real gratification to the role. The longer I worked there the more the place seemed like a bad joke to me because management did not even make an attempt to have values or respect anyone. I had a conversation with someone who used this role as a part-time job while maintaining a full-time job with a reputable company and we confirmed the facts that made it a night and day experience.

We also both agreed that the job that paid absolutely nothing for their workers demanded so much more. It was a literal gap in our realities that confirmed that companies can do so much more but don’t intentionally. So, what makes a company decent? The obvious answer is benefits. We often act as though companies need us and should pay to keep us but do you not need the job as well? I’ve been unemployed twice and neither times found me living my best life. In fact, one instance caused me to blow through my savings and ‘rainy day’ fund. In both instances though, I learned to live on a minimal budget and a somewhat mediocre life by society’s standards. The lesson for life was that people always spend unnecessarily and way too much instead of saving. A splurge here and there resets me honestly, but gone are my days of flashing cards in the mall and adding skewers of prime meats to meals I know I won’t even be able to finish! Oh youth! Anyway, back to the topic at hand. What makes a company worthwhile? When looking for employment, ask what companies pay for their employees. Also ask, what is the culture like, how they handle feedback and manage emergencies.


A decent company pays for vacation days by letting you bank the hours and not pay what you accrue on your bi-weekly pay check. This is a lack of understanding for human behavior because if anything, companies manage people’s weaknesses first.  Plus, do you really put that $20 or so away every time? Most people don’t even check for it. Legal dogma if you will. As if you do take a vacation, knowing you won’t be getting a regular pay check, you worry your time away anyway.


They will also provide benefits if not immediately, but after a 3-month probationary period. Anything beyond that is corporate greed. It takes a lot to condition something as unpredictable as life to meet a set schedule every week, week after week. In addition, health changes and degrades as we get older. There are occupational hazards to certain jobs and working without support is very hard, not to mention when you have a family. Not to mention, a lot of insurance companies formulate benefits plans to meet company needs. You are literally able to choose what you would like covered and don’t want; essentially controlling the cost.


Corporate Catfish….

 I always hear about cases where people have panic attacks and serious effects on their lives due to pressure from their jobs. I just never thought that would ever be me. I make the best of every situation I’m thrown and live positively. As I try to take life one day at a time, my mental strength is waning. I constantly think back on a recent work experience and how I made a bed for myself that was consistently painful. I chose this job and it was the worst work experience ever. There were so many great things about the job. The people outside of my department were very respectful, I loved the work, the company perks were amazing. There was opportunities popping up all the time and the company pride was strong. It was one of those companies that people stay at for years and eventually their family members join and do the same. Unfortunately, my role changed my life for the worst. I’m fleshing it out now on this here blog because I feel like I need to talk about it one last time and be done. This experience still has my brain hurting and foggy and when I resigned I felt like the beating was over. Except I didn’t feel relief, I felt like I was going in a downward spiral due to lack of stability. I no longer have a full-time job. I am however going to University but the uncertainty of how certain things will be covered leaves me weary and unable to concentrate. See, I have been known to go to school and work full-time, even after being a mother. It was a feat I mastered many times before but doing this at this company would have been the death of me. I held on for 8 months because of my family. It was such a draining environment for me, I began to see the parts of myself I loved slip away. There were times I had to look at pictures of my son to center myself. I could no longer bring myself to smile or even laugh when interacting with others from my team. I was always in a state of bewilderment and awe at the gall of my team members. I just never worked with people who were so clear in their message that I did not matter. It was so odd and perturbing, but I refused to give up until mentally, I was losing it. I tried meditating when hit with pressure but I couldn’t find my breathe until I added weird images. I would try to take deep breaths with my eyes closed, but I wouldn’t actually be calm until I sat still and replayed images of people doing a Tai Chi routine.  It was forcing myself to follow their rhythm that helped me quell my anxiety. I was always so anxious about work and my spouse pointed this out and opened the floodgates for tears. I had a nervous breakdown one day that shocked even him. Neither of us had ever encountered work stress on this level. I felt depressed. I didn’t feel like a victim, I more felt like I was being challenged but without a paddle to save myself. I couldn’t trust anyone. I felt like someone else was controlling my record and there was nothing I could do about it, I was to be under their thumb at all times. My manager was so absentee it made no sense causing an alarm, he didn’t have the time. People I considered peers/mentors were even advising me to retaliate with lashes but I just could not find my voice. After a few months when I gained a bit of confidence in my abilities, I attempted to defend myself and was met with a conference call to discuss my work and lack thereof. I was floored as this was real life. Everything I did incorrectly was emailed to my manager with the entire team cc’d on it with screenshots and the works. As a new person, I was so confused by this ‘call out’ trait and when I inquired was given confirmation that I was indeed being ‘reported’. There were times when it was even for things I didn’t know how to do or hadn’t been trained on. I thought it so bizarre how people refused to communicate directly to me in order to help me but would then say we’re a ‘team’. It was hodgepodge mind fuck of constant changes and finger pointing. When no one from my team but the 1 person that does the same thing as me spoke to me about my resignation; I didn’t mind. My manager spoke to me about my leaving as well, but just because it is an obvious formality. In an effort to gain wisdom on corporate going ons, I spoke to my Grand Aunt about my experiences and she told me they were making it clear they were glad I was leaving. This offended me a bit but also gave me closure. I know I didn’t give that job my best; I simply couldn’t find it, so I know she is right. I was glad to be leaving as well. I wasn’t ever on my ‘A’ game because I felt like I kept being knocked off the podium, I made a lot of mistakes and was extremely withdrawn into myself. I just couldn’t trust them. I didn’t intend to make friends, but it was like I had made enemies without them even knowing anything about me. None of them I’d seen before but one thing was for sure; that company was theirs and no one else’s! The way they treated me when I had a death in my family, sealed certain things for me and I pitied them. I felt sad for the karma that will grip their lives.

While I work on getting myself back to a good place and practice calming my mind when a thousand thoughts race to the forefront, I can’t help but try to let this devastation go. I can’t help but speak about how detrimental a horrible work life can be. In my own time of pulling myself out of the gutter, I wish that others will find the strength and courage to move on for their own health. Most importantly that opportunity will find them and heal their hearts. I wish for space and room for their brain to breathe so that they do not lose balance there and become weak. I wish that others in similar situations will hold on to at least hope that change will come.        

An ode to the Beygency et al….

I wasn’t a ‘stan’ for Beyonce growing up. It wasn’t that I didn’t like her music, my favorite kind of music was oldies. screenshot_20170201-153930The hits from the 60s, 70s and 80s is what I loved. I would always jam to her tunes but I didn’t understand her magnitude. I loved getting lost in these eras and still do. The songs from those times had the ultimate life lessons for which I was very grateful. As I became an adult I realized many things, one of which was the way people ‘work’. I saw people in two categories, those who grind and those who does and would not. Every time I was left alone pushing through a group project in college, I got a taste of people in the world. Every time I had to step up and shoulder major tasks in my role at work, I got a taste of people in the real world. Every time I have had to yell ‘I’ll do it!’; the taste lingered. The more I pushed through grand tasks, being deadbeat tired and still moving, the more I grew bewildered. There was a point in my life when I was working a full-time job, a part-time job, taking request for a paying hobby all while going to school as a full-time student. Friends and family hadn’t see me for months. One friend saw me because we worked together. The more these days turned into months, the more I was confused about how others were living. There are people in this world that cannot hold down 1 steady job. Adults, who are incapable of working steadily, earning a living and covering their bills and basic expenses. I’m talking about men and women alike, not SAHMs or SAHDs, I’m talking drifters. Significant others that just want to lay around and be carried.   We all know them and wonder how they survive. Even more so how they excel in relationships and why they are being enabled. I could never respect a capable being holding their own. I could never trust them for they don’t even love themselves. screenshot_20170201-144710It boggles my mind how comfortable people get just floating day in and day out. Stationary, still with no desire for much more than the next meal. I shuddered at that scene in Chewing Gum when Cynthia said she wanted nothing out of life but to play LUDO with Tracey all day. I know people like this exists! I wondered if my partner and I were the only ones who lived like this and why. Doesn’t everybody want a million?  Don’t they want more for their children and own life?

You might be wondering how Bey ties in to this. Where does Slayonce lie here? She ties in because no matter what is said about her, she does the work. All of the work, all the time. I have to respect the work ethic, I have to lift up the drive and ambition. As hard as she goes, she doesn’t always win, which is also a part of life but the works goes on. She’s on to the next project or step. She does it consistently, focused and moving on, all without an ego! As I shouldered many things alone I drew to women who were the same. I also separated from those who cannot hold their own, they felt like anchors and their relationships with others around them turned me off. It was all too transactional. I looked deeper at women who do and who get jokes cracked on them because they do. Also saw the other side of women who get criticized for the most irrelevant things. Lisa Price, Michaela Coel, Shonda Rhimes, my aunts and other women in my family, friends, Michelle Obama, Oprah, my sis-in-law. There’s a reason why they stand high, some alone. I’ve learned to channel the strength of the greats and I can’t wait to pass that aptitude on to my daughter. My son is already a work in progress. If not for yourself, do the work, all of it, all the time for those that want to respect you. Things has to be done because the world doesn’t stop for any one. Ever.

Living in a baby world!

A dear friend asked me recently how having a child has changed my life. I heaved a heavy sigh as people don’t usually want the nitty gritty but I know she would be up for the conversation, plus this will be her reality soon.  This is a fusion of our conversation; I would say a very honest conversation.

Question: How did your lives change after having the baby?IMG_20150822_204705

U become a zombie. Especially in the first 6-8 weeks.

You are on someone else’s schedule and this is someone that sleeps and eat and poops every 2hrs. So basically you’re working round the clock. Then God forbid something out of the norm happens and you have to figure out what’s wrong. The baby can’t talk so you have to study him. Study his cries, facial expressions, cycle. You have to be a keen observer. All while accepting that his cycle changes often as he grows. U basically have to learn someone new who keeps changing. On top of that, they have all these things they go through, like wonder weeks, sleep regression, growth spurts and that bitch teething!

In my case, I didn’t know shit about babies, so it was even harder for me. There’s nothing I’ve been through that I could compare it to; no familiarity. Plus, I am so used to being on the move and babies slow u right the fuck down. I think that’s one of the hardest parts for me because I was like the road runner. I found the business of staying home hard as I’m used to being on the go. Every day I was somewhere. I worked a full-time and a part-time job, plus a side job and went to school full-time. I even walked superfast lol. Prior to being off due to the baby, I couldn’t tell u the last time I stayed home all day. In my bones it feels like I should be on the move, to work or school.  Instead, I have this sweet little baby watching my every move; depending on me. All I can do now is crash in the couch or bed all day with him.IMG-20150820-WA0016

There’s also those moments where you feel like you’re losing grip and you just want to snap. Since that isn’t my personality, I have learned to hold it in. People will mess with your head no matter how simple it is and a lot of times you feel under pressure and want to just snap! You would snap on your spouse, people, yourself, your kid, you just want to snap. Especially when people are stating the obvious or you’re trying to multi-task and barely making it. You honestly have all the patience in the world but you have to work very hard to have patience with other people. You have to try your hardest not to attack people.

You know what too, for the first month of his life hubby was home and it was nice. He knows a lot about babies, we had a system and we were good. The not knowing much about taking care of babies leave you very vulnerable as well, especially when people say do this or do that and you’re unsure. Or when things happen and it weakens your soul because you don’t know what the fuck is happening! You just become threadbare. We’ve had so many moments when he’s crying, you’re crying and the doctor tells you everything is fine and what’s happening with him is normal! Our last visit was because he cried ALL night, the doctor made a big sigh and said guys…’this is what they do, you have on bad night. Deal with it.’ We went home so ashamed, we haven’t been back since.

I just appreciate the support I get from my friends though. Not having a mother or grandmother around was my choice and when my friends came around and made us feel like adults again it felt good. You will go crazy without adult interaction. Honestly, help with the baby is ok, it’s not necessary but adult interaction away from the baby is very important. This is one of the things that can lead to post-partum depression, especially if you have a fussy baby IMG_20150822_093637or a super attached baby.

I must say though, through it all, you have a sense of gratefulness. Not even love. You’re just so grateful. He’s happy and healthy, you and your partner are happy and healthy. All things considered, you develop a very deep sense of being grateful and you learn how to appreciate people more.  No matter how people judge your parenting and try to tell you what to do, your bottom line is that he is alright either way. It’s kind of therapeutic saying these things out loud. Every one act like a baby is all smiles and giggles when they take a lot of hard work. If you have someone around you that knows the ropes, of course it’s easier. Opinions and beliefs may clash but you find a common ground and carry on.

I’d never change my experience though; from during pregnancy I learned to be very grateful for health and strength.  When you see rich women, poor women, black, white, yellow women go through so many struggles and you and your family is ok, you just have to be grateful and humbled by your journey.