Tuesday, February 28, 2006

A fat, three blacks(?) and a few spats...

Since mah site is about working and bullsh!t (apologies for the redundancy), I thought I’d give The Apprentice one mo’ chance to prove an interesting f$cking show. Honestly, I still almost decided not to cover the sh!t. Some uber-Negra must be there runningt production room b/c there ain't NAN photo posted to the site...and nearly 12 hours have passed since the show aired!!! A girly does have pics now. So, without future adieu…

At only 8:23p EST – meaning the show wasn't set to start for another 37 minutes – I already knew who I love and who’s going to work my gotdamn nerves….there’s a pygmy of sorts cheerleader from the University of Florida; the black girl with the bad hair (more on her later); a white boy who promos himself a “baller"; a self-made yoga chick with zip college education and a net worth of 8-million plus; a quite handsome British chap, and too many damn know-it-alls.

The Don obviously went for looks over talent. Apparently, the folks over at NBC are pulling a Real World – really, really, really good-looking subjects with little – if anything at all – interesting to say. Hmph…I wonder if they’re going to snort a lot of coke b/c they’re a gay, Asian, adoptee from a broken home in the Midwest; host same-sex orgies or have tons of unprotected sex under the night-vision cam, too?

Today's recap will focus on a little interviewing 101 and those oh-so important first impressions of Cocoas!

First things, first: My honorary negra Carolyn! Damn those nasty rumors! She wasn’t replaced by Ivanka after all and Trump really does have a brain.

Nice hurr! BTW, girly's still cut-throat, b!tchy and gangsta as f#ck! Nice to have you back, gurl!

First up, the ambigu-race dude… Michael, 29, Management Consultant Manhattan
First Impression: He’s fine. We'll (hopefully/fingers crossed/hail Mary to the lawd) be seeing more of him. Oh, I think he’s a Cocoa, too, but it’s a bit hard to tell so soon. Just pay attention to how much he stresses all things related to him of the non-negro variety. The mo' he does means the mo’ nig in his blood!

Next up, Roxanne, 26, Appellate Attorney, Texas
First Impression: It’s the 1st commercial break and honey dip hasn’t said one damn thing. Hmm? Maybe that’s a real good skrategy on her part, because we all know nothing gets a black woman on a reality show in quicker trouble than her got-damn mouth. Or, maybe a seriously basic weave...

She must be related to Omorosa.

Third up, Charmaine, 27, Real Estate Consultant, Tennessee
First Impression: The 2nd ambigu-race contestant. She’s a doll, perhaps of Blasian-persuasion. She didn’t say much, either. I'm really thinking this must be a tactic amongst the "negras." Anyhoo, I bet cha we’ll find out later about how her illegitimate American father knocked up her mom during the war and struggled to make a living ever since. Big sigh. Based on credentials, not exactly sure why she’s here.

1st challenge: Pimp that Blimp (get 'em!)...Pimp that Blimp...
Project managers: “Go Gators!” Allie (Team Synergy) and Tarek, no, he's not negro (Team Gold Rush). Challenge: Use a Good Year blimp to drive business to Sam’s Club via its “Plus” membership cards. It was a pretty boring and basic challenge. One team entices customers with free manis and pedis; another gives away free Sam’s Club-branded bags.

Is fat the new Black?
The challenge just began and the fat boy is already going crazy. Apparently, the Blacks have assimilated too well to the reality TV set up, as producers are now tapping new “minorities” for dramatic effect. It’s only the 2nd commercial break and everybody’s already all over the fatty. First, he wanted to name the team “Killer Instinct” (a corporate team with the name ‘killer,’ as if some people don’t already have issues with going ballistic in the workplace). Next, dude suggested his team set up a Karaoke machine outside the store to entice folks to stop in and shop. Figga, you're in New York City proper!

Some of his teammates first thoughts expressed about him were “he can’t talk/present ideas in a clear fashion” and “he’s eccentric.” Then, the next few clips of this “minority” show him ranting “angry” about being sidelined.

Expect for more sh!t to pop off with this one.

Black out?
Third commercial break and I still haven’t seen – or heard – a snippet from the black chick! Perhaps a blessing in disguise.

The Boardroom
Team Gold Rush lost. Tarek, the project manager, decides to help everyone watching know just how non-ethnic he really is by pulling a serious Okie and selecting the slow-talking southern gal, thick-accented Russian and his another - totally innocent - dark-haired dude for a meeting in front of the firing squad. Stupid, southern chick gets the boot because she tried to stick up for the asshole Tarek on some irrational, princiaplity that has absolutely nothing to do with the workplaced called "the truth" (sounds like I once knew of this subject at some point in time outside of work...) Trump even told that mofo, Tarek, that the other chick’s “stupidity” saved his “ass.” Niice! Now, if we could only get our bosses in the real world to keep it real like so. Imagine what the workplace would be like…

Cocoa Girl's Pinkslip Prediction for Next Week:
Fatty Boom Boom. Sneak peaks into episode 2 show dude dancing during a challenge and jumping up in his fellow vanillas’ faces, talking about “if you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen.” Oh lawd!

Last clip: “Scared” white woman saying “I was confronted by [fat boy]in a very intimidating manner.”

Just you wait and see... That f!gga’s a goner.


Friday, February 24, 2006

You might be black in Corporate America if...

1. Your chin/jawbone/entire face always feels strained after a staff meeting, a walk through the halls, or a ride on the office elevator.

2. You instinctively listen for the faucet following a colleague of another persuasion's exit from the stall.

3. You look upon "free" food (leftovers from a meeting?) in the workplace with great uncertaininty. Even if it's your fave dish from your fave restaurant.

4. You know better than to ask your coworker to hand you a utensil.

5. If you somehow didn't know better, you wait for said coworker to turn their back and then you promptly chuck the mis-gripped, toxic, infectious waste of a utensil in the trash.

6. You grow tense if asked for help with anything unrelated to your job function, including directions around the office, the location of the restroom, copyroom or (God forbid) the mailroom, and for car service telephone numbers.

7. Thoughts of a whip, white men and Kunta Kinte cross the mind every time you hear your name shortened (sans permission) to some annoying-a$$, monosyllabic moniker.



Thursday, February 23, 2006

When in Rome...

...okay, so don't do EVERYTHING them n!gs do!

If I've learned anything about trying to be successful at work, it's that you cannot succeed totally going against the grain. Whether your colleagues are b!tches on designer wheels and you aim to be the "nice one," or if everyone at your job prides themselves on being exact replicas of your boss and you strive to be your "own person" (BTW, if trying to be successful in Corporate America, such a thought should NEVER cross your mind), you will inevitably fail if you fail to fit in.

So, as the saying goes: When in Rome, do as the Romans do.

It's a loaded statement, for sure, as the Romans weren’t ever been known for being a classy, humble, civilized, kind or fair bunch. At best, they were extravagant and, at their worst, they enjoyed watching people getting devoured by bigger and badder elements. Yet, if you recall being appalled upon first learning what the Romans did for “fun,” how shocked you must have been upon your first realization that you encounter many un-classy, arrogant, uncivilized, mean-as-hell and non-fair folk who like to watch people get trapped and devoured by bigger and badder elements on a daily basis. They're called coworkers.

All of us have probably worked with (or been) that one employee who just never seems to get fit with the group. Nine times out of 10, said person is just not "good" peoples. Whether justified or not, this worker generally carries a bad rep. Worst, at some point in time everybody on the job (including you?) piles onto the "we hate your guts!" bandwagon, even if said worker has never done any thing bad to them personally. I’ll admit to being that b!tch of a colleague, damned to great performance reviews, but little career advancement because my colleagues decided they did not like me or that they could not take direction from me or that they were "scared" (white girl codeword for “I'm jealous heifer out to destroy you!") of me. Yet, since spending the past 15 months in what has to be the modern day workplace's closet crazy-a$$ cousin to Rome - the trading floor - I've oddly enough done quite well, while watching a few others fail terribly.

One such case involves (literally) the nicest, sweetest, humble and most-thoughtful person at my job. Matter of fact, being that I live and work in NYC and have always punched my proverbial clock in hella cut-throat industries, said coworker wins the superlative sh!t hands down because she's the ONLY f$cking nice, sweet and humble person that I've EVER known on ANY job!

It’s not that I mean to make traditionally positive traits sound like a bad thing. Nor will I go attacking the poor girl. Besides, she is a dear friend of mine. It’s just that over the past one year, I've seen this chick cry (33 years and tears, ya'll), mope and pout about like she's that cat from Friday who just had his bike stolen. Why? All because her coworkers are “mean” (her word, not mine) to her. Worst off, not only do her coworkers hate (my word) her, but the set of coworkers next to her coworkers hates her a$$, too. Why? Because she's all of those things I mentioned above and - simply put - they're not. They're all Ivy grads, snotty as hell and black-phobic (would have made excellent slave mistresses if ya ask me) and strong, Type-A personalities. You know, the kind of folk who probably encountered some horrid event early in life that damned (blessed?) them with that "Got mine; so you betta get yours" mentality. And she’s happy-go-lucky ALL the damn time; positive and perky. Again, not saying it’s a bad thing, it’s just that considering we work in an industry where whoring your morals and principals for the sake of a few hundred-thousand bucks is expected, well, her personality is, well, a bad thing. So, in all fairness to the haters, they probably look upon girly with angst only rivaled by an office Lucifer forced to share a cubicle with our homey J.C.

Being a friend, I tried unsuccessfully to get "the nice one" to match their might with might; bitchiness with bitchiness; sh!tiness with sh!tiness and aloofness with aloofness. She said she couldn't do it...it's just "not her."

Well, apparently, a decent bonus and solid job security wasn't her either. She's now on her way to work with yet another group because the old one screwed her over royally. And she's white, just like them.

I remember graduating from college and always saying "I don't come to work to make friends...all they need to worry is my work" and thinking I had every right to feel that way. So, for a few years, I failed and failed again to feel welcomed (read: got pushed out) on the job. Then, one day, I read a career-related book’s preface by Peter Noel, which stated that black folks at work are still the only ones who believe in the system of 'meritocracy.' Yet, it has to be one of the biggest lies America has told. Translation: You won't get ahead just because you do an "excellent" job; nobody is gonna promote you’re a$$ just because you’re an excellent worker. Motherf#ckers better like you, too.

The act of fitting in on the job may not guarantee that you'll get everything you deserve, but I bet that if you don't, it can guarantee that you won't a thing at all.


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The email read around the world

Forgive me if I appear a little daft, but I don't really understand the fuss surrounding Dianna Abdala's email message.

In a nutshell, William A. Korman, a Boston attorney, offered Abdala a job at his firm. She accepted, but later reneged, spawning the spat of sorts below that was soon to be read all over the world (literally)...including ABC News, the Associated Press and AOL.com...

—–Original Message—–
From: Dianna Abdala
Sent: Friday, February 03, 2006 9:23 PM
To: William Korman
Subject: Thank you

Dear Attorney Korman,

At this time, I am writing to inform you that I will not be accepting your offer.

After careful consideration, I have come to the conclusion that the pay you are offering would neither fulfill me nor support the lifestyle I am living in light of the work I would be doing for you. I have decided instead to work for myself, and reap 100% of the benefits that I sew [sic].
Thank you for the interviews.

Dianna L. Abdala, Esq.

—– Original Message —–
From: William A. Korman
To: ‘Dianna Abdala’
Sent: Monday, February 06, 2006 12:15 PM
Subject: RE: Thank you

Dianna -

Given that you had two interviews, were offered and accepted the job (indeed, you had a definite start date), I am surprised that you chose an e-mail and a 9:30 PM voicemail message to convey this information to me. It smacks of immaturity and is quite unprofessional. Indeed, I did rely upon your acceptance by ordering stationery and business cards with your name, reformatting a computer and setting up both internal and external e-mails for you here at the office. While I do not quarrel with your reasoning, I am extremely disappointed in the way this played out. I sincerely wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.

- Will Korman

—–Original Message—–
From: Dianna Abdala
Sent: Monday, February 06, 2006 4:01 PM
To: William A. Korman
Subject: Re: Thank you

A real lawyer would have put the contract into writing and not exercised any such reliance until he did so.

Again, thank you.

—– Original Message —–
From: William A. Korman
To: ‘Dianna Abdala’
Sent: Monday, February 06, 2006 4:18 PM
Subject: RE: Thank you

Thank you for the refresher course on contracts. This is not a bar exam question. You need to realize that this is a very small legal community, especially the criminal defense bar. Do you really want to start pissing off more experienced lawyers at this early stage of your career?

—–Original Message—–
From: Dianna Abdala
Sent: Monday, February 06, 2006 4:29 PM
To: William A. Korman
Subject: Re: Thank you

bla bla bla


Okay, so perhaps it is a little sass-mouth, but I do not feel it was cyberspace worthy. I mean, c'mon, are people really that fargan bored?!?! The MP3 of R-Kel pissing on somebody earned its proverbial e-passport hands down, but this crap didn't. Judging by girly's last name (and the fact that she got that super ghettois double "n" than going on in the first), Miss Dianna Abdala is obviously not white. Mr. Korman, however, is. Could this be the reason this exchange made it 'round the globe? If not, perhaps the races of said perpetrators can explain some of the hella ignant comments left on aol.com's message boards...

She's an idiot and she is lucky America let her become a lawyer.That's right. I said it. She should be kissing the ground my forefathers have made for her spoiled self to even become a lawyer. Obviously, she's immature and I hope she no one ever hires her as their attorney.

Um, yeah, right anonymous comment-leaving b!tch. Last time I checked, we live in America where people can attend classes and become whatever the farg they want to be. Nobody told you Walmart was the only option!

OKAY. Now, I have to leave this mess alone, as I'm beginning to actually care that people care about this crap. However, this IS a blog site dedicated to the workplace, soooo, what the f%ck...

Whadaya think? Dianna Abdula: GROW UP!, GANGSTA! or GO HEAD, GIRL!

I say: GROW UP!


Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Tuesday's Tip...

Hey Ya'll...I'm back!!!! Sorry, but your favorite black chick on the job has been, um, off her job with Blogger because some ish just never stops!
By 'ish,' I mean the minutiae of life that keeps coming, and coming, and coming, and coming some more.

Overall, this little Cocoa's Monday was SUPER!!!!!!!!. Well, okay, not really, but ya can't tell me that it didn't make for a nice thought...

Anyhoo...it's now Tuesday and guess what???

TUESDAY'S TIP IS BACK!!! Woo-hoo!!! Excellent!!! Right On!!! Hot damn!!!

So, you got the hint.

TIP: Paychecks and Poonanny Do not Mix!
While threats of layoffs, terminations and some of fierce competition for promotions and other office perks remains at an all-time high, giving up the bootay should nevah be considered acceptable means to securing a (better?) position on the job.

As I've said before, people in my industry are quick to whore themselves for a dollar, but we can't help it! There's money all around us. So, I honestly think it's tough for everybody to stay "good," especially considering the only thing greater than the number of horny geriatric whitefellows and Viagra prescrips at my job is the number of Black folks' resumes passed up by H.R. every year (I know...whole 'nother post!). Yet, the eagerness of my managers to go Kizzy, coupled with the apparent stacking of the cards against my race, doesn't give this Cocoa the greenlight to start poplocking the coochie for my very own corner office, P-Touch, and spankin' new set of retractable Sharpies.

Besides, that kind of stuff only works for people in the entertainment industry and in the movies. Sheee-it, I know...I'm laughing right now, too...

But, for real, Grandmama Cocoa is tellin' ya: keep dem legs crossed. Case in point: I have a 30-year-old girlfriend who once faced the threat of a layoff UNTIL she started messin' round with some manager from her job worth a lil' bit of change (read $256 million).

Now, granted, she probably now makes it through the work week with very few - if any -wrinkles in her day. Yet, I wonder if losing a few proverbial wrinkles in her schedule was worth all the physical ones girly now has to, ahem, stare down (up close???) because said manager is pushing 62 years old!!!

And like my grandmama always said: Ain't nothing in life for free...ya betta watch it!


Thursday, February 02, 2006

Buzzwords: the Breakfast of workplace champions

Now, onto the $500 task! Define the word "paradigm" in complete, coherent English without first looking it up in the dictionary.

Truth of the matter is, I couldn't complete the damn thing myself.

Who deemed it necessary to create an entirely new language specifically coded for the work world? If my black girl conspiracy theorist were ever allowed to open her mouth, she'd bet cold hard cash that it was another move the by almighty man with a plan to keep back and stomp down the black man (and woman) from the motherland with a natural tan called melanin (pronounced 'nan')...

I know, I'm laughing right now, too, but the sh!t sounded good nonetheless.

Below is a list of the office buzzwords that I hate most with REAL definitions. Got any to share? If so, please do ('specially ya'll Cali folks...ya'll's non-office lingo is crazy enough as it is...)

1. "Sexy" - Adjective used to describe fluff and is generally used to hide an incredibly sorry, wacka$$ and lackluster idea.

2. "Bottom Line" - YOUR paycheck, which is directly influenced by the company's paycheck, so...

3. "Make It Happen" - A threat; nothing more, nothing less.

4. "Out of the Box" - A great-sounding, yet totally unusable, idea that helps all parties involved feel very highly creative and worthy of their titles, but will lead everyone back to the same damn fall-back methods...

5. "Tried and True" - Same damn, fall-back methods.

6. "Low-Hanging Fruit" - Loser-friendly accomplishments of those who rely on the same damn fall back methods.

7. "Download" - Codeword for "don't waste my damn time" meeting-of-sorts

8. "Spearhead" - Cuz "lead" is SO 1999!

9. "Peel the Onion" - Anyone?

10. "Open-Door Policy" - If it needs to be stated, then, Houston, we have a problem.