Friday, June 30, 2006

On making a famed departure...

Almost four years ago to the date, a good work "friend" was close to getting the fired. Her manager wanted her gone so bad, she was trying everything in the book to get her to quit. She excluded her from all projects; ignored her at every opportunity; gave her work terrible markings; spoke poorly of her character and ability; put her on a 30-day (to firing) probation, and even swore at her in person and via email. On of the crazy heifer's last tactics was by way of some written insanity to the effect of:

"If you want to stay here, then over the course of the next 30 days, I need to show it. Matter of fact, PROVE it to me. I want to hear you say how much you love working here and how much this work means to you!"

You see, while my friend was not a Cocoa Girl, she was just as brown as many of us and probably the most-popular person to work at the firm, ever. So, this ‘mom and pop shop; PR firm was scared sh!tless about cutting her ass and getting sued.

One day as her formerly-an-actress VP was wiping fake tears while saying that she is "so terribly sorry" that things were not working out, girly dead-panned and told her that she was not quitting without a) cash and b) a clean employment record.

Chick stopped the show and they reached an agreement, but the madness didn't stop there.

The firm agreed to write off her position, but demanded that she participate in a company-sponsored going away party FOR HER, thrown by (none other) than her coke-head/heroin-addicted manager (top paragraph). Next, they told her that she needed to make an announcement at the next staff meeting that she was QUITTING to pursue greener pastures. Mind you, girly did not even have a clue of what life held for her next.

Ya'll know Cocoa was like "Hell to the nah!!!!" but the friend agreed because she just wanted it all to be over.

If there is anything that I do not like it is f’d up employers getting away with being f’d up. That's why I was all the way thrilled to hear about the battle brewing between Star "F*ck this Job and You!" Jones-Reynolds and one step off trifling Barbara "Losing Popularity" Walters.

In case you live under a rock and haven't a clue about what's going on, The View basically fired Star, but wanted her to tell the world (a lie) that she actually decided to end her stint on the show. Star said beyotches, please! and dropped the bomb on Tuesday’s show – a month off from the timing deemed appropriate by her employer. The same day People magazine featured an exclusive interview from Star, where she broke down all the REAL details of what happened to her career on the show. The next day, there is this media war of sorts going on with Walters telling the whole world she fired Star after Tuesday’s show and that Star should have chosen to take the high road…Yadda, yadda, yadda.

Now, I'm not a fan of Star, but Cocoa is glad that she basically told them all 'fuck you – you and you!' on national TV. Why they would delude themselves into thinking that she would play the game according to their rules is beyond me. Fame, fortune or not, there is a way to treat EVERYONE and they fucked her over! Not to mention that they hired her arch nemesis Rosie O before Star even had the chance to start her “I’ve decided to leave” buzz. Now they want to get all mad? Puleez. YOU GO STAR - stand up for yourself, girlfriend!

As for my friend not standing up for herself? Cocoa took care of that one. Let's just say that the PR diva in me leaked a few leads of my own stating what really went down with my friend’s departure. She was embarrassed that somebody told everyone the truth (I denied it like Kobe, ya’ll), BUT the entire firm was on her side and angry with the skuzzy hoes in management. Image may not seem like a lot to the average person, but to a PR firm built on an image of lies and deceit, their asses were too-through and left trying to damage-control like a mug. I still laugh about it all to this day.

Cocoa Girl

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Keeping It Real vs. Keeping It @ Home

A couple of weeks ago, it was a straight up black Friday in the office. At first, Cocoa Girl thought her sense of smell was deceiving her. Yet, two minutes later and two rows over, Girly Girl discovered a plate of chicken wings and a vat of fried rice parading as somebody's lunch. Truth be told, upon first realizing what I was smelling, Cocoa just KNEW some negra had brought her grandmama's fried chicken to the job.

Much to my amazement, the perp wasn't even a Cocoa at all. Matter of fact, the worker wasn't even brown. This Asian cat was tearing up some wings, with nothing but his hands and hot sauce! I know his Korean counterpart, Little Miss Banana, was too through! Not that I would ever admit to agreeing with that chick about ANYTHING, but Cocoa still thinks that some stuff is just better left at home... Whatcha think?

January 26, 2006 - Keepin' It Real Vs Keepin' It at Home?

Quiet as kept, I’m really a little bourgeoisie and just don't let down my ghe(tto)-dar too often, ESPECIALLY when at work. Now, before you go getting all po'd at me, let me assure you that it's NOT that I believe everyone at work should resemble the person in the cubicle next door. Rather, it's more so that I KNOW the office powers-that-be expects everyone on the job to, well, to resemble the person in the cubicle next door. Unfortunately, it’s a game that we all must play when working in Corporate America, and while workers DO have a right to be pissed about it, let’s first ask ourselves: If a sistah never spots any of cubicle cohorts rocking talon-length manicures with panoramic scenes of South Beach - IN a white bread office - then why on earth would she go into work wearing that H.A.Mmy mess??? And, trust me, many of them rock the nail decals, too. They’re just savvy enough to cop a bottle of that good stuff before reaching the office on Monday morning!

But, hey, who I am to be judgmental? Fresh out of college and at job #1, I was broke but managed to maintain a penchant for eating out every meal of the day (I know: whole 'nother blog!). So, I, along with the two other resident black chicks always dined in at this cheap-a$$ fried-fish joint around the corner from work. BUT I nevah – I repeat, NEVAH! - brought that stuff back to the office. Why not? I was fully aware that neither my JAP, fabu Brit gay-guy, old-monied, or new-money bosses would have found that move too cute! They were snobs, but I knew this from day one, so I always proceeded accordingly. I also had enough sense to know that fried imitation crabmeat had no place alongside eel rolls, Edamame OR my promotion! Some things have always been just a matter of common sense to me, which pretty much explains why I was shocked by the (Afro-American?) antics of the only straight, black male to ever work for our supa-white P.R. firm. Brother obviously wasn’t up on G'Al Reynolds' tips for being "ethnic" on the weekends

1. TIMBS. Yes, as in the boots. If you work at a Manhattan public relations firm, where 85 percent of the office is female and 90 percent is white, you should not/cannot/must not wear Timberlands to the office on casual Fridays. This rule should be even more apparent when said white women at work find it okay to comment, “Oh, [Cocoa Boy] you dress SO cool. We were just talking about how you look like you just stepped off the cover of Vibe magazine.”

2. POPEYE’S. Every day, I shrank in disbelief as, every day, I watched homey lug that blue, red and yellow logo’ed plastic bag into the office. A sistah knew (all too well, ya’ll!) what lay ahead. Dude would even rip off a piece of box and empty onto it ‘bout 55 ketchup packets to create a mountain of “sauce” for his spicy legs and biscuit. Folk, if you have never seen or smelled shortening, Louisiana Hot or anything fried in your office – especially if the two 85 and 90 percent reasons above apply - leave yo’ sh!t of similar persuasion at home, or in the “restaurant!"

3. BAGGY JEANS. At one point during his brief tenure with the firm, a sister got so fed that I even contemplated criminal intervention on behalf of The Race. Why on earth did this Cocoa Boy think he could roll up in the office channeling the likes of Chingy and T.I. when all the other males were khaki'ed out like Bob Saget?

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Wednesday's Workplace Wordage: "Hiya"

When the 'regla old "hi," "hey" or "good morning" just won't do...

Fellas - especially black and straight fellas - steer clear of this one.

Ladies - Is your communication style at work thought to be too "direct?" Have the words "hostile" or "intimidating graced the pages of your annual review too many times? Well, then, today's workplace wordage just might be the best thing to happen to your career - ever!

Best used to offset to the tension, "attitude" and b!tchiness found in your responses to stupid, catty emails, "hiya" works to confuse enemy targets on the job who are convinced that you will respond to their nastiness with blatant nastiness. That's right, kiddies! A subtle "eff off!" body, proceeded by that hottness called "hiya" is all you need to check fools while maintaing a positive image at work.

Cocoa Girl is certain that by now you believe she is making up these terms. I mean, who on earth would dare utter something so ridiculous sounding "whelmed up" or "hiya?" Yet, you must believe Cocoa when she says that she understands your lack of belief AND that these words are 100% legit.

Try "hiya" today!

*Disclaimer: Blacks and gay males will read through "hiya" as you being the smart-a$$, plotting office trick that you are! Use on these groups at your own risk.

Cocoa Girl

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Cocoa's 'Crash' moment @ work!

If Opie gets to go on and on and on...and on and on and on about Hermes treating her like an ordinary, singletary negress, then surely Cocoa gets to post about some annoying, discriminatory-type ish that she recently experienced while on the job...

A coworker of the Vanilla persuasion recently asked me for help with a package. He was sending it overnight to somewhere far, far away. About five minutes later, he comes over and asks where I live.

“Manhattan,” said I.

A look confusion overtakes his face.

“Um, well, um...I am sending this letter to a school…hmm…you probably or maybe don’t live close to it but…
you just said that you live in the Bronx, right?”


“Oh…ok, well this package is going to a school in the Bronx…yeah, you may not be familiar with the area... OR are you???” he says, one eye-brow raised.

Needless to type, I was hella irked. Now, if you're not famil with NYC then you are probably branding me some bitter a$$ Cocoa on a rampage ( to think!). If so, do allow Miss Cocoa to break it down por tu...

Manhattan IS Manhattan. Live in another part of the country? Think about what ya'll refer to as “downtown.” The Bronx - on the other hand - is the muthafargan BRONX. Still not getting it? Think MLK Boulevard, colored folks, or police shooting innocent folks who cannot speak English and reach for their wallets at the wrong time. All this to say, while many black folks who live in Manhattan HAPPEN to live in nose-bleed territory right next to the Bronx, Cocoa Girl ain't one of them! So girly girl was too-through!

Don’t get me wrong: I know that da Boogie Down happens to house a very large, old and proud Irish community; a wonderfully accredited university, and working-class families with strong ties to the community. Yet, someone who is NOT like Cocoa (read: igno-azz colleague numero uno) only knows one (sorry, two) things about BX: 1) Yankee stadium and 2) negroes.


Regardless of the source of homey's ignorance, Cocoa was glad to learn that she has been justified for keeping that igno atop her “I perhaps one day will like you, BUT it's highly unlikely" list of coworkers.

What sort of "Crash" moments have you experienced on the job? Just like in the movie, everyone has them, so everyone please do share!

Cocoa Girl