Monday, November 30, 2009

Corporate jumpoff

I've been gone for a minute but I'm back with the jumpoff......

Good grief, Charlie Brown, I just quoted Lil, Lil Kim's ghostwriter!!!! What is the world coming to?? LOL

I once dated a guy who decided that even though the relationship was over, we should continue to engage in the fringe benefits of being in a relationship without the un-fringe benefits, title, etc. aka demoting me from girlfriend to jumpoff. Needless to say, I flat out refused. Sorry Sade, I know of at least one occasion where love ain't stronger than pride and this was it. Even in my weakest moments, my pride laid the smackdown on any thoughts of agreeing to these terms.

Years later, I find myself in a similar situation.

Today, I'm at work. Yes, I'm sitting at the plantation. When I last posted, my last day was actually supposed to be last Wednesday, and just as I was settling into the idea of waking up on Thanksgiving without a job to be thankful for, the powers that be decided they needed me through the end of this week. I agreed since a)while it may not be a full paycheck, its a paycheck none the less and b) I really hate to leave things undone. Sure it would be easy to leave them in a lurch with the project unfinished like you should have thought of that shit before you told me to WALK! (Love Jones reference for you slow ones..hahahaha) but I'm here being the good karma worker bee.

To further complicate our relationship, I was offered jumpoff status with a part-time consulting gig with my current company. I would work three days a week for my company working on the various crap that I handle now 5 days a week until either I find a new job or they are done with me, whichever comes first. Ahhh, but there's a jumpoff clause - no benefits (health, dental, etc) and no taxes out of my check, meaning it may feel good now but I'll have to pay later. So while I wouldn't get paid as much as I bring home after taxes, I would still get some pleasure out of my corporate orgasm, "my paycheck". In the back of my mind, my pride is screaming HAYELL NO, DON'T LET THEM MAKE YOU A JUMPOFF. THEY WILL NEVER RESPECT YOU. However, my wallet is ready to celebrity death match my pride, and love all over my corporate orgasm. Momma has bills to pay, money to save and shoes to buy.

Decisions. Decisions.

It should be a no brainer. Take the money while in search of a better situation. Let this be my rebound relationship, until something better comes along. But like a relationship turned sour, there is no trust here. Between payroll issues, the vague terms of my consulting agreement, and most importantly, the utter lack of respect for me displayed in my corporate breakup, I don't trust these fools. And as we all know, once trust is gone, the relationship is O-V-A and you're singing along with Beyonce and Mary J. on your "Fuck 'em, Girl" playlist.

While I'm appreciative of the effort it took to even get this offer, I hesitate to trust yet again in my life. And I know its my pride. Many times my pride rules my life like a dictatorship, instead of a democracy with my other emotions having an equal vote. I'm pretty sure I've admitted on here that I view vulnerability as a sign of weakness, and depending on this place for my livelihood now after all that has happened has me feeling pretty damn vulnerable.

Maybe there is some truth to what Sade sang. Love of me and all that I need to accomplish in the very near future has to be stronger than pride. I can't go on if I don't believe that.

You know I had to post this. I absolutely love the heartbreaking simplicity of this song. I think I envy the vulnerability and the courage it takes to say something so simplistic, yet so emotional. Hmmmm, that just came to me. Just now. Something to think about. Or not.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Road Trip

The weather was gorgeous on Sunday. So unseasonably warm, I saw fools in shorts.
As I waited in a seating area in an outdoor parking lot for my bus, I turned my attention to the baby blue sky and prayed. Actually, I sat there having a conversation with God. No need to rehash all that was on my mind, but I asked him for a sign. A sign that the plan in my mind was indeed the path I needed to take. A sign that I was in fact ready to move to where I was at the moment. I continued my conversation in peaceful silence until the bus attendant reminded everyone to pull out their ticket confirmation to make boarding easier. I looked down at my confirmation and realized, in horror, I booked my return ticket to NY for Saturday night instead Sunday. Holy crap, what if this guy doesn't let me on the bus to NY because of my silly mistake?God apparently has a sense of humor when he's doling out signs. hahahahahaa All I could do was laugh.

I went to DC this weekend. This mini getaway was planned weeks ago, before my sudden and imminent corporate divorce. I thought about canceling the trip altogether. But I'd gotten such a great rate on my hotel that it was non-refundable, non-transferable, basically "take it or leave it". I'd also purchased my bus ticket exactly 10 minutes before the proverbial shit hit the proverbial fan. Since I am definitely not in a position now to squander money, I packed my bags and left it all behind.

First order of business - check into hotel. 3hours ahead of schedule. I figured I'd get turned down and the best they would do is hold my bag until the designated check in time. Well, I figured wrong. I walked up to the counter and plainly stated, "Good morning! I'm [Resident Butterfly's government name] and I'm checking in today." Smile. And it worked! "Sure Ms. Resident Butterfly. You've already paid for the room. Here's your room key. Let me call a bellman to escort you to your room. Enjoy your stay!" Minutes later, I was in my king size bed suite, standing in awe. My suite was sweet! Not as sweet as the suite in Vegas but this was niiiiiice. And I immediately thought of all the naughty things I should be doing in that room. But I digress. I had business to take care of. Pleasure would have to wait.

I went to Howard to take my mentee to lunch. I hate calling her my mentee as if I have all the answers in the world, but she's only 18, too young to be my friend. We graduated from the same elitist high school (obviously not at the same time...hahahaha). She wanted to speak with someone who'd left the marbled hallways of our school to attend a historically black college. The Alumae Director put her in touch with me and ever since I've taken on this advisor role. While Howard is NOTHING like my illustrious Home by the Sea, I felt quite nostalgic being on campus. There is something about an HBCU, a feelings of pride and memories all rolled into one, even though this wasn't my alma mater. As we strolled on campus and headed off campus to go to lunch, I wanted to know everything - roommates, classes, parties, boys, THE WORKS. And in those 3 plus hours she filled me in on everything. I could already see that glint of school love in her eye. And as much as I love her, I will now rip her school every chance I get. That's what we do. hahahahhaaa

I later met up with my guy guru, Rashad, to coordinate the rest of the evening's plans. I met him at a restaurant/bar where he was hanging out with 2 of his friends. Okay, soooooo I promised (kinda) I wouldn't say anything bad about one of his friends anymore (kinda) so all I'm going to say is that they were both attractive men but one was an assclown while the other was a gentleman. Wait let me rephrase that. One of them BEHAVED like an assclown while the other was a gentleman. And no I won't elaborate. (Sorry, Rashad, I couldn't help it. hahahahahhaa). Oh and for the record, this wasn't some "lemme meet your friends so I can hook up with one of them". Nah, buddy. This was all about getting the evening's agenda confirmed. So also for the record, there was no need for the assclown behavior in the first place. But I digress.

Despite this minor speed bump, the rest of the weekend was beautiful. I have to thank Rashad and his lady for really showing me a good time. I got my sports fix in by going to the Wizards-Pistons game, then watched the Pacquiao - Cotto fight at a local bar. By the end of the night I was nice and tipsy, and still able to navigate my way safely back to my hotel (aka coherent enough to tell the taxi driver the address to my hotel and hold a decent conversation with said taxi driver....hahahahaa). On Sunday, after brunch, I had some alone time, to get a feel for the city. The weather was so perfect for me to just walk, and observe. Getting a feel for the city is so much easier when the weather allows you to stroll. Finally, it was time to head back to the hotel to pick up my bag and wait for my chariot back to New York.

I left New York slightly frayed. I returned with a plan. Thanks to God and his sense of humor.

For the record, the bus attendant was too busy complimenting me to notice my ticket did not have the correct date on it. To paraphrase the old American Express commercials, as far as being a woman, "membership has its privileges". hahahahhaa

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Separation Anxiety

"So ummm let's say next Friday is your last day?"

"Next Friday as in a week from 2 days from now??"

"Too soon? Okay, how about the day before Thanksgiving? That will make it 2 weeks notice. Okay? Okay. I'm off to catch my train."

And this ladies and gents, is how I found out yesterday afternoon that officially on the day when people gather to give thanks, I can cross "I'm thankful for having a job" off of my thankful list.

The saga with my job has felt like a soap opera at times. I was told months ago of this possibility to then be told "DON'T WORRY ABOUT IT" (a la Shaq in the ESPN commercial...hahahaha). The saga continued with our office management company deciding not to renew our corporate lease on our office space. The lease is up in March. Around the same time, my company issued a press release that the corporate headquarters would be moving south of the Mason Dixon line (funny, I found out about the move only when I was inundated with calls from moving companies and hotels in that area seeking to pack my shit and give me and my employees a place to stay when we transitioned to the area. Since no one was here that day, I used trusty google news search to find the press release. And voila! there it was. Don't you just love how no one bothered to tell me?? But that's another story for....who am I fooling...after today I never want to tell this story again but I digress.) With the lease ending in March and the Corporate Move to Dixieland coupled with my Shaq-like assurance, I was under the impression that my job was safe until the end of March. I began looking but not aggressively thinking I had time.

Boy was I wrong.

I can't even lie. I bawled. Right at my desk. Not in front of Mr. Gotta Catch an Amtrak Train And Have No Time to Sit and Talk to You like a Human Being I Respect. Oh no, I waited until I heard the front door whoosh back into place before I breathed and let the tears flow. It felt like a bad breakup. Like my significant other just fessed up to loving another while all the time telling me he loved me. No regard for me and my well being. No offer of a door prize (severance package) just "We used you until we're done with you. NEXT!".

But as I sat there, creating water puddles on the report I no longer gave 2 shits about, I realized two things. One, I was pissed at the nature it was handled. How do you barely walk into someone's office, stand in the door way, and deliver some shit like that??? And not even have the decency to at least fake some sorrow about pulling the rug and the floor out from under them?? And secondly, I wasn't crying over the end of this relationship (the job). I was bawling over the sudden loss of the orgasm (my paycheck). As in most caustic relationships, towards the end, all you care about is the orgasm until it no longer sustains you, and then you leave in search of something new, something better. But you always want it to be on your terms. You know. Get them before they get you. Well I got got.

Then, the pissivity led to anger. How could you do this to me right before the holidays??? Seriously. Thanksgiving is stressful enough with my family as is. But now you've added no job stress to my ever present dealing with family stress. Are you trying to make me slit my wrist instead of carving a turkey (real talk: ya'll know that won't happen right?!! I have a low threshold for pain and I need my wrists in tact to support the heavy purses I carry...hahahaha) While you're all festive and spreading your holiday cheer, you've officially turned me into Scrooge. Bah-humbug motherfucker. You'll be fa-la-la-la-ing around the Christmas Tree. I'll be fucked with no tree in sight. I have officially cancelled the holidays thanks to this lack of regard for my well being. I'll go to church but all the festive fun I love about the holidays - the decorating, the gift buying and wrapping, the carols, the spiked eggnog - CANCELLED. Wait, who am I kidding?? I won't cancel eggnog. hahahahaaa

As you can see by the publish date and the actual date posted (tuesday, nov. 17), I needed a moment to wrap my brain around this. I've been numb ever since (well except for this weekend..details to come). To put it in words seemed to break my spirit all over again. I can't say that I'm all better now but I can say I haven't cried today. Isn't that progress???

I know I'll be okay. I have faith that I will land exactly where I need to be (details to come on that too). Knowing these things doesn't heal the wounds of this professional breakup but it's beginning to take some of the sting away.

One final note. Guess who was the most pissed in my office (after me of course)??? Pinky. Yes, Pinky cursed everyone to holy hell for the way the situation was handled. Even behind closed doors, I could hear every 4 letter word he spewed after he found me in tears. In the midst of my tears, I couldn't help but to smile and chuckle. The man who I make fun of the most is my champion defender in all his pinktastic glory - pink reading glasses and all.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

364 Days

One year ago today, at around 8 in the morning I voted. At that time in the morning I happen to be number 117 on voting machine number 2 at my polling precinct.

Yesterday around 6:30 in the evening, I voted. Once again on voting machine number 2 at my polling station. This time I was number 168.

Now if the polls open at 6 am and I was number 117 approximately 2 hours later last year, shouldn't I have been a higher number last night when I went to vote after work?

One year ago today, I had a childlike giddiness in anticipation of marking a little x by my candidate's name. A first for me.

This year, I faced voting with dread and uncertainty. A first for me.

For my non- New Yorkers let me explain. Yesterday was a mayoral election and it was down to 2 candidates. The incumbent who after balking at overturning term limits voted for by the people, switches gears and campaigns to overturn them so he could have one more term (at least) but generally liked more than the dude he replaced (SIDEBAR: I think Satan is liked more than the dude he replaced...hahahaha). And then there's his challenger, the former head of the bored of miseducation but generally all around quiet nice guy. On principle, I didn't want to vote for the incumbent. As a democracy, I believe we can't have politicians changing laws all willy nilly to suit their own needs. (Sorry, Willy and Nilly for once again getting the bad rap). And quite frankly, the challenger didn't inspire me. Not to mention, he would (once again) have control of the school system here, and I'm not sure what the hell he did the last time he ran it but I'm not too trusting him to do better.

One year ago today, I stared up at the names on the ballot with pride and awe inspired glee seeping through my pores.

This year, I stared up at the names on the ballot and wondered WHAT THE FUCK??!!! as I unconsciously shook my head (think: "this is some BULL").

Begrudgingly, I voted. Flipped the tiny x next to a candidate's name. While I may not like either candidate, I had to vote. People forget that it wasn't that long ago no matter how light I am, I wasn't allowed to vote in this country. We also get so caught up in the daily routines of our lives that we forget that this one single action effects the daily routine we are so caught up in in the first place. I often wonder why people find reasons not to vote instead of looking around their neighborhoods to find reasons to vote.

So while there was no rock star excitement, no hope, no change I can believe in this time around, I voted. But for the first time in my history of voting, I felt like my vote didn't matter. Maybe next time, someone's name will inspire me, will make me believe in the process again. Like it did one year ago today.