Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Confronting a bad boss…brilliant or B.S.?

Cocoa Girl has experienced many not so freak-of-nature crazy bosses, meaning these notorious mofos are an all too common existence on any job, in any field.

If you worked the Mrs Fields mall counter, then they’d be the mofo monitoring how much dough you allot for each cookie. If you slang garbage into trucks for a living, your d!ckhead du jour would be the one clocking (for the head boss?) how long it takes you to bag a block. Furthermore, if you slaved away in an office, where peeps appear to be most concerned about stepping over everyone toward success (while being sure to not step on certain folks’ toes), well, let’s just say the opportunities for bullying the sub-boss set are endless.

So what – if anything – can be done to make a bad boss back down? Cocoa says not much, as girly girl has tried to reason, confront, and argue down (not recommended) crazies at work. Yet, according to an article posted on my favorite work-related site, careerjournal.com, there are ways that employees can work to check fools on the job, while continuing to chek for their paycheck. The article recommends not trying to sue (no legal footing to stand on); forming a support group for battered employees and confronting the manager-with-mange as a unit (LMBAO…yeah right!); confronting the boss solo (“don’t raise your voice unless he raises his first…your firm response may show your boss [you’re not scared]”…LOLLOLLOL!), and, should all else fail, reporting the tyrant to H.R.

ABSOLUTELY HEE-LARIOUS!

Cocoa doesn’t know about you, but I laugh at the suggestion that employees take it upon their solo selves to confront a crazy manager. I believe the article fails to acknowledge one major fact in that companies/employers/owners/top dawgs know when their managers mistreat their sub-ordinates on a mass level – and they look the other way. It’s called managing your bottom line.

Hate it or love it (ahem...perhaps this is you?), the most-brutal jerk on the job is usually a top performer. Top management fails to confront them because of this very reason – they do not want to screw around with their business. So, why would anyone outside of the star position himself as the office martyr by going up against an obviously-protected employee? Cocoa has done it before and said it has to be one of the most non-smart things girly has done at work.

Cocoa’s suggestion
: Don't tolerate daily disrespect from anyone at work, but do understand that you must choose your battles because the C.M.C. (Cubicle Mafia Crew) runs thick. Don't take up swords on behalf of all officekind. When others rise up against crazy folks who are never reprimanded for their behavior (which should read like a neon sign in the dark), don't compromise your job security by steering the bandwagon. Matter of fact, Cocoa had a smart and succesful colleague who purposedly befriended one crazy boss and acted as if she were a devoted, hard-working employee who saw the crazy in the same faux-positive light as said crazy's managers. Call it shady, but what at work isn’t? She knew her boss had 10,000 percent job security, so what was she going to do?


It’s about survival and your paycheck. Martyrdom at work is for dummies.

Oh, and if things turn hella bad for you, start looking for a new job within or outside of the company. Unless you're an also an office star, the top dawgs are not ridding of their best performer for you. Hell, even if you are a star, chances are that you're still a Cocoa...so tread wisely because the playing is not yet that leveled.


What do you think? How have you handled crazy, unfair, deplorable bosses? How would you handle one?



CG./R.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Auntie Thomasina-ing on the Job



The Kingpins.

The new Cocoa Boy at work seems to have mastered the fine art of shooting the breeze mocha-style, which set off yet another round of ANTT (America’s Next Top Tom) on the job:

Cocoa Boy: “Hey, Cocoa… how’ya doing!

Cocoa Girl (not to be outdone): “I’m g-r-r-r-eat!! What can I do for ya this morning!!”

Cocoa Boy: “Cooould I use a few of your sanitary cleaning wipes for my desk?”

Cocoa Girl: “Of course!!! Help yourself!!!

Cocoa Boy: “BTW, Haaaaappy Friday!!!!”

Cocoa Girl: “Aww…Haaaaaaaaappy Friday to you, too!!!!!”

Cocoa Boy: “Hey… that’s what I live for!!!!!!” [visualize the Bing Crosby eye-wink/finger snap to a finger point combo].

Cocoa Girl: “Ha, ha, ha!!!!!!”

While Cocoa Girl typically leaves the office Tom’ing to the clueless suburbanites and adoptee blacks from places like Minnesota, ain’t nobody – she repeats – NOBODY – outdoing her (that’s me, ya’ll…keep up) when it comes to pimping “the system” on the job!

(ONLY FOR THE MOST HONEST OF YOU): In what ways do/have you Tom’ed it for a little advantage at work? Changes to the ‘accent’? Strategically-arranged lunch invites? Vocab adjustments to include the top mochaisms of this age, e.g. ‘Woo-hoo,’ ‘You rock’ and ‘Awesome’? Making it a point to alert your mullet-wearing manager that you too loved Def Leopard... C'mon...spill it!

CG./R.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Chronic tardiness...a Cocoa disability?

After hearing about my fellow Cocoa folks' struggles with making it into work on time, I began to wonder if there is some scientific, social and/or medical explanation as to why negroes run so darn late. My pontifications brought me to a funny story involving my favorite Auntie, Cynthia.

Mom Cocoa (Mrs. Goody-Two-Shoes): '"Cynthia, you cannot park here...this space is a handicapper."

Aunt Cocoa: Backs the car up, ignoring Cocoa's mom

Mom Cocoa
(from the front passenger seat): "Cynthia, did you hear me? I said that you cannot park here. You're going to get a ticket or - even worse - you will be towed. It doesn't matter if this is your job's parking lot, you will get fined..."

Aunt Cocoa (totally annoyed): "Look dammit, I black ain't I?"

Mom Cocoa: Blank stare

Aunt Cocoa (invisible hand-on-hip motion): "I said: we black, ain't we? Shyt, the way them motherf*ckers act sometimes, they must think being black is a handicap. So, I should be able to park here if I damn well want to WHEN I damn well please cuz we are f*cking handicapped."

I nearly fell out the car laughing.

While I recognize that my auntie was being hella facetious, two years later, I still tend to contemplate ways that black folks on the job should/could/perhaps one day would qualify for our very own sub-section under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Of course, negroes' chronic tardiness always tops the list. I mean, what other race/group of folks runs late like we do?

Mistah Webster defines the term disability as "a disadvantage or deficiency, especially a physical or mental impairment that interferes with or prevents normal achievement; something that hinders or incapacitates."

'Hinders or incapacitates,' huh? Based on this stuff, Cocoa felt challenged to determine additional reasons why black folk should qualify for a little special treatment on the job. Thoughts so far have included a cognitive inability to grasp an understanding of Eurobonics beyond a remedial level and anxiety attacks triggered by "Woo-hoo!," which rings dangerously close to Klan battle cries and can render Cocoas scared to participate in any team-related function or event on the job.

Did I miss any?

CG./R.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Apocalypse now?

Grab the leagues of bottled water, flashlights and batteries, Cheez Its and other “foods” with a 10-year shelf life … Run for the hills; bolt underground and start scurrying for a ticket to somewhere, anywhere - but not before dropping to your knees to beg for mercy!

Cocoa Girl was actually on time for the second workday in a row! Now, given the insanity of such, you know that some crazy sheyot is about to pop off!!!

Is the negra turning over a new leaf with the spring weather? Is she now going to bed on time? Does homette require less sleep, or has she finally learned how to efficiently double as a slave to her pet AND her own impulsive, maniacal, diva, self-centered tendencies???

Who knows. Girly is just glad, as daily ANTM-esqe transformations on the 2 Express are none too cute.

With that said, please help Cocoa help herself by sharing your best time-savers for preserving the sexy (and the paycheck!) in the a.m., while of course still arriving to work on time.

Happy Monday!

CG./R.

Friday, April 14, 2006

41 Questions (and answers)...

Yesterday's post featured a pressing workplace question of my own and called for everyone to submit their own question, which would be answered by no other than Cocoa Girl (that's moi!).

So, without further adieu...

BTW, if your ass gets fired, it is NOT my fault. Based on my language, I am obviously not a f*#&ing professional!

I'se off the job today, but will check in! Enjoy!

@ P
1. Why do employees track you down like you are a fugitive from justice? You’se a negra – you iz one.

2. Why do employees ask you "Hey, I have a question, REAL QUICK?" (it neva iz!!!) They’re spineless parasites who lack confidence and esteem enough to take up as much of your time as they damn well please WITHOUT feeling guilty or actually caring if you give a f*ck.
@ HARLEM SONGSTRESS
3. WHY do people see you with your coat on getting ready to walk out the door and want to ask you a work-related question??? You need to walk expeditiously or resolve to bouncing a tad earlier (say 20 minutes before you’re actually off-the-clock versus 15...).

4. WHY do senior executives in particular feel the need to discuss business if they catch you in the bathroom at the same time while you are IN the stall with the door closed?! Two words: ‘senior’ and ‘executives.’

@ SUPA
5. WHY do people say "can I give you this" or "can I sit down for a sec", and go ahead and do it any fucking way - without even waiting for an answer?!?
Because they actually have confidence and esteem enough to take up as much of your time as they damn well please WITHOUT feeling guilty or actually caring if you give a f*ck.

@ INCIQUAY
6. Mmm hmm, I get them fools that ask me a question and then when I answer it they play this staring contest with me where they don't say nuthing else but keep lookin' dead in my eyes. I think it's a jedi mind trick where they try to make me feel uncomfortable so that I keep talking and end up looking stupid. It's like a power-trip game and it don't work on Inciquay. I am the staring contest champion!
Um, you’se a negra, so it’s actually called the Kizzy Mind trick. ‘Cept versus cracking a whip, those masahs are threatening your paycheck. BTW, please do share the name of your plantation, so Cocoa can make sure that she never works there!

@ MRS TJ
7. Why do I have to work for the man?
Count your blessings. Things could be worst…you could be working for B.E.T.

8. (Seriously) why do people act like you are being a b*tch when you are CYA, but when they do it, they just following up and doing their job? Jerks. Common law does not apply to self - especially at work.

@ I LIKE LIQUOR AND TV
9. To follow up Harlem Songstress..WHY do they like talking about work during lunch? Are they paying??? If so, then shut yo’ mouth and eat. If not, shut your mouth and listen for the scoop/gossip. It will come up.

10. Another question: Why do idiots with no lives like scheduling meetings after 4 PM and talk and talk and ask dumb questions although no one is listening to them? These meetings are generally run by the lowest managers on the totem pole who lack clout enough to secure the a.m. or noon-day “You bastards will pay attention and get this shyt done TODAY!” time slots.

@ SINGLE MA
11. Why do people walk up to my desk when they see I'm typing (so what if I'm blogging) and say "are you busy?"
Because they know you’re not really working. It’s called being diplomatic.

12. Why do people ask "can I ask you a question?" WTF! I dunno, but generally a question that should never be asked is guaranteed to follow.

13. Why do people ask me "what's wrong?" just because I'm not wasting time and gossiping with everyone else at the water cooler? Because you’re not wasting time and gossiping with everyone else at the water cooler - today. BUT you were doing the shyt yesterday. Sudden behavioral change tends to spark concern in most adults – coworkers included.

14. Why does my boss always begin his sentences with "Single Ma, I need you again. Can you do me a favor?" I mean if I say ‘no,’ then what? Then you just say no... Yeah right! Hahaha! Actually, try saying ‘no,’ followed by a blank stare/three-second pause combo and let a n!g know what happened. Holla!

15. Why does the new chick come to work looking like she's headed to the club at 5:00p? What ever happened to, when in doubt, dress like your boss or the people around you? Whatever happened to ‘men are visual creatures?’ You work in finance, right? Chances are the ‘gentlemen’ on the job do not take her seriously anyhow…but they prolly think she look good!

@ MISS AHMAD
16. Why did I date a dude that wore a doo rag like it was a security blanket who couldn't understand why he wasn't landing the jobs he was qualified for?
Two words: ‘doo’ and ‘rag.’

17. Why does my boss come to work for a few hours a day just to make everyone feel uncomfortable, then leave again??? Since he’s not around that often, he needs to ensure that nobody forgets who’s really in charge, like his passive-aggressive a$$ does every time he leaves work early to report home and get b!tch-slapped by his wife.

18. Why do folks act like making television is rocket science and freak the hell out when I try to do simple shit...like go home! Because you’re obviously in charge;-)

19. Why did my old boss corner me at a party and try to get me to quit my current job to "come back to him"... Are you going?

20. Why do all the white girls I work with have more ass than me??? Must be all that matzo ball soup.

@ HARLEM SONGSTRESS
21. WHY do managers dub everything a "project" no matter how non-related/left field it is to your key roles and responsibilities just so that it seems like whatever they are asking you seems "key" to helping the company go way above and beyond their EBIT? Harlem Songstress…WTF is ‘EBIT?’

22. WHY is it that every time I misdial any of my friends' phone numbers from work a Spanish speaking person picks up the phone? Well, if you ask the Republicans, they’ll tell you that it’s because you live in NYC with a bunch of “illegal” immigrants who hide indoors during daylight (which is when you happen to be on the job) and come out to work illegal, under-the-table jobs at night. So, in a nut shell, they’re the only ones at home to answer the phone when you misdial during the day.

@ I LIKE LIQUOR AND TV
23. WHY did I JUST (like 5 mins ago) have to curse out this man on my team cause he said that I’m not "team player" just because I wouldn't cover for him just so he can go golfing or whatever the hell he does when he skips work? It’s true. You’re not a team player. If you were, you would have played along with his bullshyt excuse…

@ SOLITAIRE
24. Why do white chicks come up to you, asking dumb questions like "Oh, are you filling in for the time being until they find someone for the position?" ... knowing fully well that you have moved into the position and they're mad as heck that you're doing it better than them.
Nobody ever said that Cocoa girls at work have exclusive rights to hateration on the job.

@ T. CAS
25. Why did I not leave work until 11:30 last night and then have people call me at 8:30 in the morning? Because you’re slave.

26. Why can't some people stop talking about their private business at work? Is it that they can’t or that they won’t?

27. Why are my boss and my colleague taking tomorrow off for Good Friday? Ain't I a Christian too? See answer #25.

28. Why is it 88 degrees and you wearing corduroy pants? Hahaha…

29. Why do you try to run a meeting with Microsoft Live meeting if you don't know how to use it? Why you think they allow slaves to be educated nowadays…that’s your job!

30. Why is you touching me? Amen!

31. Why is this the most fun I had all day? Amen again!

@ SUPA SISTA
32. WHY did the Whiny White Chick in the office come into my office start CRYING because she said she's so stressed coming to work and simultaneously having construction upgrades done on her HOUSE (as in, the b!tch got FAT money)? Because her upgrades obviously don't rely on her paycheck!

33. WHY did I just look at her ass wanting to yell GROW SOME OVARIES B!TCH!!! Because you realize that your lifestyle upgrades do indeed dependent on that shyt.

@ HARLEM SONGSTRESS
34. WHY have I worked my butt off all day, stopped off to run some errands, and come home, only to find out Cocoa has not posted the answers yet?? No hablo ingles.

35. WHY did I have a flash back to my 1st grade picture when they do that double image effect?? Did your double image flashback feature magenta and turquoise laser beams over a black background?

@ ANON
36. Why do I get along with my whole department? Cuz your name is Tom and you love all things brown.

37. Why do companies complain about "clock-watchers," but ain't trying to pay folks any OT? See answer #25.

38. Why do people who do the least work get the "equity adjustments," while you slave away and only get a COLA? See answer #25

39. Why is my institution fly paper for the walking wounded? LOL!!! Are you included in this number?

40. Why do people like hearing the same answer, verbatim, from my white boss as opposed to my fine, Black ass? Because pink is the new black.

@ HARLEM SNOWFLAKE
41. Why does my boss pay me change to work my A$$ off, justified by the fact that it's a "nonprofit" and then describe what we get paid to potential funders as a "living wage?" Living where? Idaho? WTH is a ‘living wage?’ Would that have ‘supported’ Jackie O’Nassis had her rich b!tch azz ever decided to lift a wage-earning finger? You know, a little pocket change for a fun hobby? I'se just sayin...

CG./R.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Why?

Why do folks on the job ask for something to be done; you tell them that it's done; provide proof that it's done and - yet - they still manage to ask you again if it were actually done?

WHAT WORKPLACE WHY'S DO YOU WANT ANSWERED? ASK AND YOU SHALL RECEIVE A SWEET ANSWER FROM COCOA...

Happy Faux-Friday!

CG./R.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The Nickname Game

No my first name ain't baby...it's Janet...Miss Jackson if ya nasty!
-- Janet Jackson, Nasty Boys

While nobody on the job has referred to me as baby - well, at least no one outside of those dudes in the awful neo-vests - I do have problem with folks automatically referring to me as another four letter word:

"Rach"

Following five years working at four different jobs (yes, I know...a whole 'nother post entirely), I have only met five people who I would deem a friend. Therefore, why on earth are the folks at work taking liberty to address me by a nickname?

While at my first two jobs, I made it a point to let all offenders - regardless of corporate rank or race - know that what they deemed my nickname was a sound and not my name.

Now that I am on job #4, I have finally been able to accept the fact that there are some folks at work do not like me, just like I do not care for many of them. Yet, we are all in the same gang at work and realize that we must feign many things on the job So, what a better way to do so other than with a pet name?

Cocoa Girl's Benefits of Using Nicknames in the Workplace

1. Nicknames help feign "like." So you cannot stand the scuzzy-ho seated in the cubicle next to you, yet you somehow got stuck working said ho on a special project for boss man? Continue to not stand her on your own time, but be sure to effectively feign friendship in front of the big guy. Try on "Scuz" vs. "Scuzzy Ho" for size.

2. Nicknames establish camaraderie. Granted, you purposely selected Harlem as the spot for your new condo because what the neighborhood lacks in amenities it makes up for in exclusivity (it's black). Yet you cannot allow your Harlem roots to overgrow your workspace. So, go out for that drink of brewsky at that Irish pub in Midtown and be sure to call your pals mono-syllabic sounds. e.g. Peter is now Pete; Doug is now "Dougie Fresh" and "Paul Gafferty" is now "Gaff.'

3. Nicknames make Cocoa seem, um, less Cocoa. Let's face it: Black folk at work already have an issued with being trusted. So there is no use in deepening the divide by appearing to be an uptight a$$ in a sea full of drunkards and shot chasers (remember: debauchery loves company!). Since Cocoa-coated types generally avoid the nickname game, purposely jump for a turn or two at key staff events, from monthly meetings to happy hour to those intense sessions with H.R.

How do you feel about being called something other than your birthname on the job?

CG

Friday, April 07, 2006

The re-birth of the beyotch @ work

Sorry for being "out" yesterday, but Cocoa was actually on the job.

Word on the Street has it that the boss is preggers. The latter saddens all parties formerly-abused parties, because girly had put that screaming beyotch persona down for a nap…at least for a little bit. I’ve officially known the news for the past 65 hours and, yet, I still find myself trying to discount this bit of cubicle intelligence. Cocoa is just not ready (again) to report to an always-defensive, over-emotional, hella moody, and nearly schizophrenic in personality boss. Oh, and lest not forget about all that shyt that comes with the rumored pregnancy, too…

I have never worked for a pregnant person (yes, I know that men cannot birth kiddies, but I am trying to sound non-biased here); however, I also have never heard about a person being anything but unstable during said person’s first two trimesters, either. Mood swings supposedly become the norm, while attitude problems and outbursts are no longer rare events that get the office rumor mill to turning. Yup, when the preggers are turned lose on the workplace populace, all of this madness allegedly becomes a regular part of the grind.

I just hope that I can chill out and shut the f$ck up through all of her bad attitudes and mood swings. I’ve already changed the name of my site about five times, so I would hate to have to do it again. “Cocoa Girl off the Job”... “Cocoa Girl on the Job Hunt”… LOL!

Truth be told, I am probably anticipating that my modern-day slave mistress will abuse her underlings because of my own personal fantasies to stir up drama - sans recourse - for nine months. True, the dream is a little sick indeed, but I’ve always relished at the thought of knowing that I will one day get to crack the whip on my future husband (not to mention my office lackees) like he's a Mississippi slave; whine without reason; order others to do things for me as if I’m a work camp Gustapo, and eat whatever the hell I want – all guilt free – all because I’m preggers.

Let’s hope for the sake of my paycheck that my boss didn’t have these same sick dreams as child. After all, she is an O.C., too.

CG./R.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

It's Career Day @ CGOTJ!

Since I spend so much time beyotching about the workplace, careers and other B.S. (apologies for being triply-redundant), I thought it would be cool to learn more about YOUs and what you do.

Yet, of course, in true O.C. fashion, this spoiled batch of greatness could never survive everyone else sharing their cool stuff sans my seventy-five cents...

1. School?
Yes, The 'Cuse (hated it!) and UMCP (loved it!); Journalism major - Public Relations focus

2. Is that degree earning its keep?
Uh, kinda sorta. I worked in PR and am now writing... I can promote (read whore) the hell out of anything, including mahself!

3. What's my current job & industry?
Trading floor assistant/finance

4. How much longer do I plan to stay?
In this position? 4-8 months... If I hear 'that's really great, Cocoa, you rock!' over a successfully delivered officedepot.com order ONE MORE TIME, I am going to snap! At the firm? I dunno...there's a lot of money here...

5. What was my last job and why did I leave?
Public Relations AE. I wanted to write and publish a book and the crazy schedule just wouldn't allow it. I also was tired of the anti-black air of the 97-percent white industry. Oh, I also didn't want to work with 85.5 percent women (those killa-Beckies were the absolute worst!)

6. What's my dream job & am I there yet?
Weekly newspaper columnist and broadcast commentator, allowed to say whatever the f$ck I want...just so long as it's witty, honest, irreverent and non-racist and non-religiously offensive ('cept, scientology is NON exempt)... I'm getting there...

7. The longest time I've spent at one job...the shortest?
16 mos/3 mos (no, it's not a typo!)

8. How many employers have you had?
4 in 5 years (hey - abandon judgement!)

9. Have you ever been fired?
Um... I'd have to direct you here

YOUR TURN...

CG./R.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Sisters who fight crime...


Cocoa is is dedicating today's post something truly, hands down, abso-f$cking-lutely amazing...

Woman's hair weave traps bullet as gunman opens fire (NY Daily News)
Gunfire erupted inside a Bronx nightclub early yesterday, leaving one patron dead and two others wounded - including a woman whose thick hair weave snared the bullet that pierced a door and grazed her scalp, police sources said.

Glenda Clarke, 26, was in the ladies' room at the Flamingo Lounge when the pistol-packing patron opened fire just before 6a.m., the sources said.

The slug scraped the side of Clarke's head, then got trapped in her hair, sources said.

"It got stuck in her weave," a police source told the Daily News. "It was unbelievable."
It's official: From here on out, Cocoa vows to NEVER diss another woman's hair! If homette's Frenchroll (which Cocoa is sure came with an extra-large side of H.A.M.) was able to stop a bullet, then just imagine what other great things certain sisters could do for society...

FIGHT CRIME: Girlies could flatten the car tires of thieves, or just trip up those fools trying to flee on foot.

FIGHT MO' CRIME: Force criminal confessions by threatening bodily harm (b.k.a. to this girly as 'sex'). She could also GIVE TO NEEDY by (breast)feeding all of nation's tiniest victims of hunger.

DIVERSITY TRAINING: Homegirls could teach America Something New about racial harmony and cultural diversity.The Bronx Cocoa's crime-fighting coif made this cocoa realize that the opportunities for sisters from all walks of life to better society are endless, I tell ya. Just endless!

CG./R.