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


Unruly Brown said...

Why was he ... NEVER MIND! Just chalk that up to ASSHEAD for the day. That's like me telling someone I live in Dallas and somebody asking me something about Fort Worth! or HOUSTON!

Haven't had any Crash moments at work that I can think of! If I remember any, I'll be back wit' it!

Oh yeah...


DP said...

I ran a city council campaign in Fort Worth when I first moved down here in 04.

So the Newspaper cat comes to the building looking for the Political Consultant who set up the interview with the candidate.

I was moving some stuff around and was in my moving some ish around clothes...the editorial meeting was scheduled for hours later so I wasnt tripping.

Dude says to me "SON, have you seen the consultant around here today?"

Me: Im _________ __________, how can I help you.

Dude: no I mean the consultant who wrote the position papers.

Me: you mean (_same name__)?

Dude: No, that's you...I know YOU...youre the grass roots consultant. I want the man who wrote the position paper.

Me: sir...there is only ONE consultant here...and thats (same name once again)...and me.

Harlem Songstress said...

DAMN @ dp ::shakin my head::

I haven't seen crash yet (YES I KNOW I MUST BE THE ONLY PERSON ON THIS PLANET WHO HASN'T SEEN IT YET) but once someone came to my desk at work and asked me, the extremely short haired caramel complexion woman, if I was my coworker, who is chocolate with long shoulder length hair. WTF. I know someone described my coworker as "black" so the first one she saw had to be the person. Not to mention, my name was on the cube so that she didn't even take the time to read before addressing me as someone else's name.

Diva said...

Da hell!

My favoritest (yep made that up) crash moment had to be the day this non colored man walked up to me and asked if was going to make any coffee. Me being the diva looked around and asked who he was talking to.....cause he clearly wasn't talking to me. He expected me to make coffee because I "looked" like an admin. DA HELL. What part of Diva, MBA looked admin'ish' to you! I don't even drink coffee.

Trina said...

I have a good crash day my non black co-worker-who looks about 35ish comes over to me and truthfully I don't remember what the focus of the conversation was but out of the blue she says "You're about my age right" So I look like who is she talkin about...for one I'm 24 and don't look a day over 24 and this chick talkin about we're the same age....So I say no, I'm nowhere near ur age yet....then she goes on to comment about the 1 other cocoa worker at our job stating that "she looks young, it could be her body size (ummm ok) but "YOU PEOPLE" don't age anyways." So yes I did the first thing that came to mind...the Blank stare...and I added a walk away with no comment...hopefully she figured it out...prolly not...So sad

Amn.eris said...

I had a moment like Diva. One of our female attorneys was trying to impress a big time client and I happened to be sitting at the front desk (pre-merger fear in the office.). Chikies clients came in, I called her to tell her they were here and asked them to have a seat. She comes around the corner..."Hang up their coats." I looked at her real hard...then I went back to answering phones. She was so undone she started to turn red.

Eventually I told my boss, there are no children in this office and I dayum sure don't expect to be talked to as one.

The real shocker for this hooker was at a Christmas dinner and one of the assistants said..."Oh, ______ is an opera singer." They all whipped their heads around and looked at me. One finally asked...did you go to school for that? I said, "Yes, I do have a college degree." Ever since then, they don't say S.H.I.T. to me...about ANYTHING. LOL

T. Cas said...

White manager: We shouldnt hire her b/c she had "poor communication skills"

Me: What do you mean?

White manager - she doesn't communicate well

Me: She speaks and writes very well. I don't understand what you mean.

White Manager: I dont know if she can properly communicate with upper management.

I figured out later that "poor communication skills" means talks like they are Black. Not even Ebonics, but Black. When the white manager got promoted, I told her that I figured out her code and she was shocked. Turned red and tried to deny it.

Knockout Zed said...

People are constantly making presentations to the professional staff, trying to get us to hire consultants to do this, that or the other.

It has not failed that every consultant that has made a pitch to the staff ignores me and aims the pitch to my assistant. My assistant is a 49 year old white man.

When they're done, they ask how he feels about their pitch. Just like clockwork he turns to me and says I don't know, you'll have to ask my boss.

Everytime the reaction is priceless. I haven't hired a consultant yet.


P.S. Songtress, I haven't seen "Liberal Guilt Movie #86" either.

Cocoa Girl said...

Okay...Cocoa is going to STFU up now, because your stories trump mine majorly!

I've had worst stories from the past, but can attest that these folks in finance are pretty good at keeping their ignorance on the low.

BTW, you go T.Cas - That's amazing that you called her on her sheyot. I have an interesting article that speaks to how blacks who SOUND "black" lose out on opporunities at the job. Doesn't matter if they talk with correct grammar or not. I've heard the same thing regarding southern folks of any race who are removed from their environments and working in the North...especially the Northeast!

AMN.ERIS - I love how they assume that everyone who is an assistant is stupid and uneducated. I also love how you ignored that heifer who was trying to get high post.

Trina - Why oh why on the 'you people'?????

Diva - I work in sales and trading where most women who are a) minority and b) stylish/look good/dress well/look like chicks are dubbed 'assistants.' Although, I am one right now, I always get irked when unkowns assume that I am. Lord knows, what will happen once I switch to the other side...I will have to start practicing for that one now...LOL I know folks who subscribe to looking executive at every moment of the day to thwart such misinterpretations, but I don't totally believe in that. I prefer the hard-stare, reactionary method.

Songstress...LOL! That one is still funny to this day!

DP - Do southerners call every young man "son" or is that strictly reserved for black men? Is it the same as calling a black man "boy," or no?

Storm - Lucky for you. Have you always worked with other coloreds?

Cocoa Girl said...

Zed - I only wish...I only wish. Why don't I get blessed with such instances? Argh!!!

How do you keep from laughing in their faces? What do they do next? Do they dare try to continue pitching or just let it die?

Miss Ahmad said...

I think my favorite Crash moment was an old boss, who said..

"it must have been hard for your people, not being educated and all..."

I took a deep breath and replied..
"Actually since both my Great Great Grandfather, and Great Grandfather owned rental property, my Great Grandmother was college educated and had a Grand Piano gifted to her on her sixteenth birthday, Grandfather has been a millionaire since the early 70's and I grew up with a Villa in Mexico I would disagree! From what you've told me about your background, that means that while your family was still picking strawberries, my family was growing leaps and bounds...."

we didn't talk about race anymore in that office!

i like liquor and tv said...

lol@these stories! So sad

Miss ahmad, that was great!

I think I've told most of my craziest stories on the guy who called the Color Printer an African American Printer...and the time that he decided to call me and play Chris Rock's Black people vs. Niggas skit.

Cocoa Girl said...

If you guys believe we have it bad, I cannot imagine what Asians must hear...LOL!

Miss Ahmad - I've always sensed yo' peeps was old LOL!

LQ & TV - At least that guy was certified! The rest of these nuts are just stupid and rude and ignorant.

Miss Ahmad said...

Cocoa~ he was a tired ass hill billy with nothing to hang on to but his skin....I love putting folks in their place like!

Supa said...


Go 'head on, Glam! lol

Haven't had many "crash" moments..although WAAY back, on the day the LA Riots went down, I remember this white dude walked into my office to ask me something stupid & job related..

Anywho, I was on the phone, trying to figure out how I was going to get home seeing as how MY NEIGHBORHOOD WAS ON FIRE, and dude strolled in like "so, do you happen to have those reports..."

THE LOOK I GAVE HIM (like: Muhfucka, WHAT!?)was HIS "CRASH" MOMENT, ok?

He did a complete 180 & was like "never mind, now's not a good time, I see..."

For months after that I kept a BIC lighter on my desk. Just to serve as a reminder... HA HA!!

does that count? :)

P said...

I like this topic - this is the business. Everyone's comments amaze me, and it brings me to the conclusion that the more things change, the more they say the same.

I have two (both of them are with the same employer from about five years ago) and with the same person.

Let me qualify her: White, sheltered girl from the OC who has not much interaction with people of color, except for her latin husband (which I don't think her family cared for very much).

Anyway, so a high end saleswoman - black chick (who ended up being my sister in law - long story, she wasn't at that point). Anyway, we had a meeting set up where she was going to come to our office and pick me up and take me to her office to see the product that we were looking to purchase. She came in dressed to the nine, and asked for me. I had NEVER met her before at that point.

We all worked in an open floor office - No offices, only desk spaces. So, when she came in and asked for me, the receptionist leans back and loudly whispers "Hey, Tricia, TRICIA" I look up and say "Yes??", she says:

"Your girlfriend's here to see you!"


I'm dressed to the nine - she is too. And that's my GIRLFRIEND?!?!

Anyway I walked up and we exchanged business cards and shake hands. The receptionist turned white as a sheet. Then we rolled out in her Benz.

Number two: She would always look at my hair and compliment it on being so 'straight' Whateva - I wear a flat ironed wrap). Finally, she asked me.

"Do you ever wear it the other way?"

P: "What other way?"

"You know, the curly, nappy look? I would LOVE to see that".


Had to be said. Enough said.

Diva said...

Okay I have another one! When I first started my own business and getting the upper crust clientele, the majority of my non colored clients were much older. So one day during a lunch meeting at a client's home, she invites another ole azz friend over, brings her in the study, points to me and says "See. I told you. Isn't she just the prettiest lil colored girl you've ever seen?"

My business partner grabbed my arm, leaned over and said "focus! she called you pretty!" We politely told her that we couldn't continue on her job due to conflicting personalities and got the hell outta there.

Royce's Daughter said...

My old boss called me his favorite little black girl at his retirement party (100+ white folks and me). Ironically, he was a 70+ white man whose name was Harold but since he was 3 years old everyone (family, friends, and co-workers) called him "Whitey" REAL TALK!!!

Of course when it was my turn to speak I flipped the joke and told the audience that he was "my all time favorite overseer" and I put the mic back on its stand. The few (10 or so) black people in the room fell out laughing...the rest had a blank stare.

Talk about proud...fukkers!!!

nikki said...

that co-worker deserved a smack to the back of the head. you're good, sista...real good.

i get the 'crash' moment every time people unfamiliar with my skills send me an email talking about how well i write or speak, as though shocked black folk know how to put sentences together properly. meanwhile, i'm talking and writing just like everybody else. if i was of the vanilla persuasion, they wouldn't even comment cuz it's assumed white folk know how to write and speak acceptably in a professional environment.

Cece said...

I'm glad to say I haven't had a moment like this... but I know it will come probably sooner than later. All of these were too funny. And yet still, somehow sad.

Cocoa Girl said...

I don't know what to say. You guys truly have my mouth hanging open.

I've had colleagues ask the OTHER black girl, why I wore my hair "nappy," but even still they knew not to ask me directly.

RD, Diva and P - Ya'll damn near take the cake!

BTW, Supa - seek medical attention immediately. LOL, just kidding.

Hey Nikki and CeCe *waving*

Knockout Zed said...

These are the most amazing stories. Not unbelieveable, on the contrary, but amazing all the same.

When consultants screw up like they often do with me, they have no one to blame but themselves. We hand them business cards before the presentation starts. I guess they've determined we've each handed them the wrong card. Idiots.

They try to kiss my ass afterwards and still sell me shit.


Supa said...

Oh, yeah, and I hate when Cauc (caucasian) co-workers try to use me as a go-between to other black co-workers, who they don't really want to deal with...

"say Supa, you think you could ask Lamar to move that file cabinet?"

Eh? The fuck's wrong with your mouth? Shit, I 'aint Lamar's supervisor. I'm supposed to go over there and bust out in NEGRO-SPEAK or somethin'?? Get the fuck outta here!

SO WHAT Lamar is a buff ass brotha from the Labor dept. who looks like a retired gangbanger and never removes the toothpick from his mouth when he talks. He nice to me....

Then of course, it's my duty to go right over to Lamar, tell him what went down, so he can get all THUG on dude when he finally does approach.

White folks' scary asses. Lots of fun.

Nexgrl said...

When patrons approach the reference desk(that has a huge sign with that posted above,) they always ask me,"Do you work here?" When I am being nice, I tell them yes. Other times I tell them that I just get paid to sit at the desk.

The next question is "Are you a librarian?" My responses are usually the same as those used for the previous question. These questions come from white, black, brown, and yellow, both old and young.

Cocoa Girl said...

I'm kind of sad...I was hoping for some diversity! I know Cocoa Girl has "other" readers...

C'mon guys...Cocoa Girl is an EOB (equal opportunity blogger)...

*eyes welling up*

Miss Ahmad said...

ooh girl don't get all whelmed up!

Carla said...

I love this blog. Y'all tell it like it is. I have told my 25 year old daughter to start reading...she has no idea what she is missing. Keep up the good work everyone.

Cocoa Girl said...

Thanks for the love Carla...these stories are a trip, right?

Blah Blah Blah said...

hilarious....but not. but funny....but sad.
liked that.

Vamply said...

I'm new to this site and have been reading it for hours! It's absolutely insightful and hilarious! I have "Crash" moments basically on a daily basis.

I am self-employed as a Fashion Merchandise Coordinator for brands such as Guess, Kenneth Cole, Tommy Hilfiger, Escada, Ellen Tracy etc. Basically, I visit department stores such as Saks Fifth Ave, Bloomingdales, Nordstrom and Macy's on a daily basis to train store personnel on all of my brands as well as make sure the brands collections are displayed (folded, hung, sized, color-segmented) in a presentable way. I DON'T SELL A GOT-DAMN THING! NEVER HAVE, NEVER WILL!

Each time I visit a store, I wear a huge red badge which clearly states "SAKS/BLOOMINGDALES/NORDSTROM AUTHORIZED VISITOR." Nevertheless, people (mostly of the caucasian variety) continuously walk up to me (sometimes back to back) and ask me numerous stupid questions like "Is this on sale? How much is this? Can you ring me up, I'm in a hurry?" DO I LOOK LIKE I WORK HERE?

Most times I'm wearing my purse and making business calls on my cell phone (no earpiece even!) but they'll interupt my conversation to ask where in the hell the bathroom is! Even when I do know the answers to their questions I will either say "I don't work here" with the look of death or If I've had my second Caramel Macchiato of the day by 10am,I will point to my badge and spell out "A-U-T-H-O-R-I-Z-E-D V-I-S-I-T-O-R" with the voice of a 35 year old Special Ed student. One time during the Christmas Season I taped the badge to my forehead for the entire day! You should've seen the looks on their faces!

I know this post was kinda long but I just had to finally vent!

Cocoa Girl said...

Hey Vamply -

Girl, don't get caught in a retail store wearing black in the middle of the clothes section.

It's officially over for you...

I feel your pain! It's the same thing as being assumed an assistant in a Lilly white firm for MBAs. OR, at a law firm or at a hospital...I've heard SO many stories involving attorneys mistaken for receptionists, doctors mistaken for orderlies, etc.

Thanks for checking out Cocoa Girl on the Job! Come back now, ya hear?

Juicy77 said...

My Crash moment came every time my "vanilla" colleagues seemed shocked that I owned my own home. Then again, I don't know if they were shocked because I was Black or because they knew how very little they paid me. Those a**holes.

Tired of being broke said...

First I must say your blog is hilarious.

I have had a few crash moments.

1. I was talking to a friend at work and a nosy ass white co-worker dipped her behind in the convo. Oh! you live in the Bronx, that must be so scary. I just ignored her.

2. While I was working at accounts payable a white-jewish-hip-hop-wanna-be supplier left a message on my voicemail. 'Yo J (fullname) am calling to see about the check! holla at me later! WTF
He did not get that check for about 2 months. I dared him to complain to the boss.

Tired of being broke said...

How can I forget this one.
back in 2001 while working for a private university in downtown manhattan my boss (white-butch-looking) asked me 'Can I touch your hair? I had my natural hair in twists. She got the 'look' and a ' Do I ask to touch your hair?'
Damn idiot.