Monday, May 24, 2010

Putting It Into Perspective

So tonight when I got home from work, I stopped by my parents' house as I normally do. I've been pissed with my mom recently about some things that she said and did as it related to my birthday.  Tonight she said something and it pissed me off so bad, I was gonna come home, blog and get it off my chest. I got distracted, watched some Star Wars, got to talking to Hank on Skype, basically, just didn't get to it. I get on Facebook not too long ago to check on my home girl who went into labor today. I had been picking on her, I wanted her to have the baby on Friday (my birthday) but she went in today (mind you she came to work today!). Earlier she posted that by the time she had gotten to the hospital she was already well on her way to delivering the baby. So when I checked on her again, she had had her son (Yay!), a little over 7 and 1/2 pounds, and born with down syndrome. I texted my co worker (a different one) about the latest edition to our expanding family. As we talked on the phone, the shock kind of just sank in. My home girl who had the baby posted this on her status : So we welcomed Valentin into the world at 5:56pm. He weighed in at 7lbs 10 ounces. However, GOD decided that I am strong enough to handle a child with Down Syndrome and I accept the challenge. I love my son more than words can express and am willing to do whatever it takes to make his life as easy as possible.

That is pretty deep,  that is powerful, that is love. It's also an opportunity for me to step back for a second. Think, reflect, pray and appreciate. I try not to hold grudges (I think I do pretty well in that department). I am disappointed in my mom right now, which is a tough thing to say. But my heart goes out to my co worker. Growing up in a household with a child with special needs, is a challenge and I can only imagine what it's like from a mother's perspective. I pray for patience, understanding and God's grace as she goes through this life with a new challenge and greater opportunities. 

Lord, in the name of Jesus, I come before you on behalf of PC. You have presented her with a great challenge, but I know that you are a great God and that you have already worked out this situation before the challenge was even presented. Lord, be with PC, her family and friends, as we try to help her as we can. Give us what we need to minister and help her with her situation. Bless baby Valentin as he grows in this new place and he feels the love surrounding him because he was loved before he was here. Lord, be with the siblings as they will have to adjust not only to a new baby in town, but one who will need a little more care and attention than the others. Grant the parents grace, patience and strength to trust in you through this transition. It's not gonna be easy Lord, but it is doable with You leading the way. Be with them and be with us. These blessings I ask in the name of Jesus, Amen.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Humbling and Interesting Moment

So earlier this week I had lunch with an old boss and it produced a humbling and interesting moment. 

Here's the background to why she is an old boss. 
In 2005 when I came home, I was looking for a job and came across a position in the public sector. I had the skill set to compete for the job and after being unemployed for close to six months, it was time for me to get back into the workforce, even if it was something completely different from what I spent five years studying at Howard. I was excited to take the job because it was a definite change from what I had just come from and I was inspired because I was going to be surrounded by people who looked a LOT like me. (Little did I know that working in an office with all black women would be more challenging than I could have ever imagined.) I was going to have a mentor, someone who could possibly help me get back on track after I had been knocked down. That wasn't exactly the case. The person that I was working for (at least it appeared to me) seemed to be a little intimated by me. (It surprises when people are intimidated by someone because of a piece a paper. The paper doesn't make the person, the experience makes the person.) Anyway, things between my old boss and I appeared to be going smoothly as things usually do during the honeymoon phase. I was encouraged and excited about my work as a public servant. That didn't last long. One of the challenges that I had to deal with with is not being properly trained in doing my job and not getting evaluations about my progress while I was on probation. Long story less long, I said and did somethings that I shouldn't have done and I was dismissed from my job. Three incidents within the span of a two week period will kind of do that. It appeared to me that the reaction of two of the events were powertrips. (I didn't want her job and had no intentions of trying to take it from her - I was not and am not that kind of person). 

Anyway, I was dismissed from my job and was unemployed yet again. I maintained a great relationship with my immediate supervisor, who kept me in the loop about things going on in the office since my departure. Every now and again, as an act of maturity (or just an attempt to be like "ha ha bitch you can't keep me down"), I would stop by the office and say hello. I had good relationships with everyone in the office, and I wouldn't be hella disrespectful towards the person who dismissed me. One thing about my immediate supervisor, she was always saying that I was definitely needed back in the office because of the things and the skills that I brought to the office. She was my biggest fan and she hated to see me go. The two of them would have conversations regularly where she would say Camille needs to be back in the office.

Fast forward to earlier this year, the department head approached me about doing some contract work for the office. Apparently, there were some personnel problems in the department and one person wouldn't make it much longer. Damn, that sucks. Now one thing about this job, is that they pay was right! I was ballin' (especially compared to where I am now). There was consistent overtime which was a good thing. If there were two things that I missed about my old job, getting paid every other week and having my car note automatically deducted from my pay check. It was a beautiful thing. So anyway, shit's a little crazy in the office. That kinda sucks. So my biggest fan tells me that the department head is going to contact me about some work in the office. So she contacts me and I told her that we should sit down some time and discuss. I prayed about the situation and was looking for some guidance as to what do to. On one hand, there was no way that I was going to work for that chick in those circumstances and run the risk of being dismissed again. But the flip side is that, the money was great and I could do more. If there was ever a time for me to seek some guidance from the Lord this was that time. So after I didn't hear from her for a while, I just charged it to the game and just doing what I was supposed to be doing. I had gone into the office one day and she was like we still need to talk. I told her to just go ahead and call me when she had some time. 

Now we're into last week. I get a phone call from my biggest fan, telling me that shit's hit the fan in the office and one person has been suspended indefinitely - creating two vacancies in the office. I get a phone call while I am in DC at my meeting on campus and a text message about talking about the work she wants done. I let her know that I am out of town and I will touch base with her when I get back to CA. So I send her a text message asking what her schedule was like and if she was about Tuesday to chat. We ended up having lunch at Kincaid's - her treat. Fancy. I got there shortly after 1 which is when I was supposed to be there and we hugged, chatted and looked at the menu. As we're getting into the meat and potatoes of the lunch, she spends HELLA time talking HELLA bad about the chick who was put on leave indefinitely. The whole time we're having lunch, she's just talking and I am taking it in. Now before I got to Kincaid's, I called my biggest fan and told her about what was getting ready to go down. She advised me to just listen to her and know that she's under hella stress. In addition to all that, I prayed which actually helped calm me before the meeting. So I'm at lunch listening to what she has to say and we get to the point that I really wanted to know about. There was a point where she just looked at me and told me that I was supposed to be right under her. She looked at me and said that to the present moment, she regretted having to dismiss me and it was the biggest mistake she ever made. Wow, really. I just smiled and nodded. She also said that I had put her in a tough position, we were at a stand still but because she was the boss - she had to win. But did you really win if you're back four years later asking for my help. 

The whole thing was quite humbling, both for me and her. I'm sure it had to hurt her pride to say what she had to say. The humbling and interesting part for me was that I told my mom about the situation and the lunch and my mom took her side. At first I was hot! But then I thought about it, she was right. The rational side of me is responsible enough to admit that I was in the wrong, even though I disagree with the outcome. I don't agree but I understand. We'll see where this whole thing takes us. She has some contract work she wants me to do. I'll look at the scope and the deliverables (as well as the cost) and see what it's looking like. For now, I'll just look at things with humble eyes and keep an interesting perspective. 


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Reality TV = Desperate to Be Famous (Again). But At What Cost?

Anyone who knows me, knows that I can’t stand reality TV. No, I don’t watch Dancing with the Stars, I’ve never seen Survivor, could care less about Bridezillas (although I have seen that one), I just can’t stand reality TV. What kind of TV shows do I watch? Well I am glad you asked – I watch House, Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, Law and Order, Law and Order:SVU and NCIS. I used to watch Desperate Housewives, but I had to fall back because I am so far behind.  Yes, I like medical and crime dramas. I hear that Modern Family is pretty hilarious but I haven’t gotten up on in. I also like The Good Wife when I can catch it. Never been a fan of The Simpsons, but I hear Family Guy is quite hilarious! But those are the shows that I watch.  I know there are most people who are like, what the hell? You don’t watch reality TV? No! I live my own reality everyday, so why would I want to come home and watch it. And most of the time my reality is cool, it sucks a little, it blows a little, it’s a little awesome, whatever.

I was on a flight from DC this past Sunday and I couldn’t really sleep so I decided to watch TV (flying Jet Blue has it’s perks!) I sat and watched VH1’s Reality TV programming – Brandy and Ray J: Family Business, What Chili Wants and Basketball Wives. There is a common thread among all three of those shows, the main characters are black. But not only are they black, they are famous people, who have fallen off the mainstream media radar who are pressed to be famous again!

While watching these shows, I couldn’t help but be embarrassed for them.  These are people, who for the most part look like me and have nothing better to do than to look absolutely foolish on TV for the sake of fame. In the case of Brandy and Ray J, their show wasn’t terrible, I just don’t understand the point of it other than the fact that both of them are singers who (at least it appears on the surface) are looking to restart/revive their careers. I can’t be too mad at that. They are both too young to be so removed from the music game. But at the same time, I understand that life happens and plans change, cool I get that. But then I got to What Chili Wants. What the hell is Chili’s problem? There is nothing wrong with having some standards and kind of an ideal man that you’re looking for. But the shit she’s talkin’ about is unacceptable. First of all, her list seems like something that a 23 year old girl would be looking for. Chili will be 40 next year! C’mon son! You’re being ridiculous! A couple of things that really get me on Chili’s list is can’t eat pork, can’t smoke or drink. I can feel you on the smoking thing because I really can’t stand smoke at all. But what problem do you have with drinks and pork?  Your list, your business but because of your closemindedness, you are cutting yourself off from meeting your Mr. Right. Do what you do Chili, but I can’t support that.

Then we take a look at Basketball Wives. The premise of this show disgusts me. I guess the good thing about this show is that it isn’t only “black” folks. I put black in quotes because it seems like the other ex-wives are just trying to be down with the black culture – like most people. This is a show about a bunch of ex wives, dishin’ dirt on their famous ex husbands. Really? What happened to keeping things in house? I don’t care how famous you are, everyone doesn’t need to know the details of your marriage and subsequent divorce. Didn’t we learn anything from Tiger and Elin? What the hell happened to MYODB (mindin’ your own damn business!) Plus these chicks are just out being mean and cold hearted. There is nothing educational about what they are trying to do here. All they really are trying to do is get more famous off of putting themselves and their exes on blast. Don’t ever have to make yourself look better in the eyes of most by putting others down. You don’t elevate yourself, you reduce yourself. While you may be lonely because things with the “love of your life” didn’t work out, you are living in a house that is paid for, you have more than enough food in your house for you and your kids, you never have a material want in your life again. But you want sympathy from someone because you can’t get a man? Bitch get outta here. I can’t get a man either but you know what I did. I made a blog to laugh at the funny shit that I have to go through, putting myself on blast, not stepping on someone else to make myself look better. Plus all you’re doing is confirming the stereotype about women being two faced, backstabbers who can’t be trusted. That’s not my reality, so why would I support this?

For those of you who watch the shows, I’m not mad at you and I am not judging you. I’m just saying why I can’t get down with a lot of reality shows. That’s not my reality.


My Sister and Her Bullshit

*I apologize in advance if the title and anything else said in this blog may be offensive to someone.*

So last week, I went to DC for a meeting on campus and I stayed with my sister which I usually do when I go to DC. This was a really quick trip so I didn't have the opportunity to hang out with my friends who live in the area. I got there Thursday Morning, had a meeting on campus all day Friday, went to see my grandmother in New Jersey on Saturday and came back Sunday night. As you can see by that schedule, not a lot of time to kick it with people. Anyway, Sunday morning, I leave my grandmother's house and head back to my sister's house. I get to my sister's housing at about 11:30am and have to wait for her to get out of church. Not a big deal, whatever. *Footnote - my sister sent me on a transport mission. Rather than come with me to get the stuff herself, I have to transport back a whole bunch of extra stuff for her.* Once she gets to the house, I tell her I have to go to the bathroom so hurry and let me in the house. I was in the bathroom for maybe 5 minutes and in those 5 minutes, my sister and my niece have taken all of the stuff out of the car that I brought back for them and left my shit in the car. If you're gonna take shit out of the car, just take it all out! Why the hell would you leave that shit in the car! Who does that! Anyway, so one of the things that I brought back from New Jersey was our bags of cosmetics and goodies. I had separated the bags before I left New Jersey and if you had waiting 2 extra minutes, would could have avoided some of the foolishness. *Footnote - as part of the transport mission, my sister had me bring her back 2 party tray pizzas but I ended up paying for one of them. The good ole, "I'll give you the money when you get back". Bitch stop lyin'! Yeah we're only talking about $20 but don't get beside yourself* So anyway, I get in the living room, my sister and my niece have damn near everything spread out so that she can pick and chose what she wants! Stop fucking with shit! Damn! 

Anyway, I sat down and was going through my bags and noticed that I came up on a MAC brush set! I knew I had some brushes but didn't realize that they were MAC (I am a MAC fiend). My sister was mad because everyone else's bag had MAC brushes but her's. I told her to take the ones out of her daughter's bag, since she doesn't really have any business wearing makeup let alone MAC (she's 16, but she's not taking care of her skin, which I tell her all the time). She was like whatever. So then, she called our Mom because I told her she couldn't have any brushes. Mind you my sister is a good 16 years older than me. Get your grown up on, sheesh! *Footnote - my mother was not pleased that my sister wanted to go through the bags and swap out her stuff. I feel like, don't get mad at me about something I had nothing to do with.* 

One of my sister's friends decides she wants to take her out for Mother's Day. Cool. Ya'll have fun. I finished packing and getting ready to head to the airport, said my goodbyes to my niece and nephew and peaced out. While I was on the road, I noticed that I left my bottle of rum on the table so I called my niece and asked her to put it in the freezer for me since I would be back in a couple of weeks. Me being my mother's daughter, I did get a little lost on my way to the airport, but I figured it out, no big. Got to the airport, got home, completed my transport mission (I also had to take my mom, mother's day cards and gifts from my sister who didn't take care of stuff before I got there) and went to bed. 

Fast forward to today (Tuesday May 11), I get an email from my sister this morning asking me about the 3 small pieces of paper (a receipt, the tag off my sweatshirt and my name tag) that I left in the living room. First of all, if it was that serious why would you send me an email? Plus the whole tone of the email was not a good look, so I just deleted it. I wasn't going to let her and whatever she had going on, get to me this morning. I have lots of work to do and I don't have mental energy for extra dumbness. So two hours later, the bootch sent me a follow up email saying, "I see you're online. Are you ignoring me?" Why yes I am ignoring you! You don't have shit better to do with your life than to harass me about THREE PIECES OF PAPER? Pick the shit up and let it go. It's not like I used 50 dishes and left them in the sink, it's THREE PIECES OF PAPER. Let that shit go! I am fairly certain that my sister will find a way to get my mother involved in this situation about THREE PIECES OF PAPER. And I will tell that lady to not get involved in petty disagreements with her two grown daughters! But because my sister is the oldest (I'm not so sure you can tell by this story), and she's spoiled (which I am sure you can tell by this story), there's going to be some words said and on my part a lot more ignoring. When I started writing this, I kept thinking, let that shit go, be on to the next...and then "On to the Next One" played on my YouTube. I love it.