Wednesday, June 6, 2007

This morning's random rant...

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

I’ve often lamented this point on this blog, but I feel like discussing it again. The company for which I work isn’t diverse at all. Here’s a rough demographic breakdown:

- There are only three (and soon to be two) full-time, salaried non-white people employed by the company.

- 85% of the employees are white males. The remaining percentage is comprised primarily of white women.

- 100% of the employee base is either black or white.

- 0% of the entity directors or chief executives are non-white and non-male. (Two women do serve as divisional directors. One has basically been unfairly marginalized to a senior grant administrator; the other is simply a ‘yes man’ and has been since day one.)

Although I’m young, I’m no spring chicken. I’ve been around the block on or twice. I recognize that while these numbers are a bit extreme, this type of thing, for the most part, is representative of corporate America. I experienced this type of thing a bit in high school (although it took extra-Baltimore experiences to realize what the deal is) and in college at Maryland.

With that said, it still takes some getting used to. I still often feel like I’m constantly being surveyed and monitored, not by my bosses, but by my co-workers. I often feel like everything I do is a direct representation and reflection of my race (although I do not feel that everything every other black person does represents me.) Most of my co-workers admit to never having worked or interacted with a young, black male who is college educated, articulate, polished, astute, quick-witted and clearly modest. :-)

You see, most of them hail from random states like Iowa and Minnesota and other relatively isolated environments in suburban and rural America. For many of them, BET and MTV was the extent of their exposure to people who look like me. Hell, even the urbanites seem to be from parochial, sheltered environments. I’m a commodity in the minds of these people. I’m the complete and utter antithesis to the statistically average black male in Baltimore (or in America for that matter).

With that in a eggshell, my day isn’t starting particularly well. There’s nothing wrong, it’s just one of those days I wanted to stay in bed. I contemplated not coming into the office and at 7:42am I officially decided not to. I’m supposed to be in by 8:30am everyday. To get in on-time, I have to leave home no later than 8:15 (my commute is beautiful…it’s a 15 minute drive through secondary roads, albeit vital secondary roads, in northern suburban Baltimore. The only real stop-and-go traffic headache is getting caught behind the school bus picking the kids up, but I digress). Anyway, I began to have second thoughts. I checked my Blackberry calendar, noticed that our bi-weekly division meeting was scheduled today and decided to come in anyway. “Oh no, wouldn’t want to tarnish my image”, I thought to myself. “I better not miss this one”, I said. I get myself together and head out to work.

I get to work and notice that aside from my boss, I didn’t see the car of anyone who worked in my division. I get inside and I’m the only one sitting in our section. One girl strolls in at 9am and heads back out around 9:15am. She’s been sick and my boss thought it was important for her to get rest. One intern came in at 10am, but that’s his regularly scheduled time and besides, I don’t care what he does, he’s an intern. NO ONE ELSE IS HERE TODAY FOR THE FUCKING MEETING. Two are playing hooky…one is feigning illness, the other made up a fictitious ‘site visit’ and will be out all day. One is traveling on business and is rarely in the office anyway. One girl came in around 9am and left at 11am because today is her birthday. That leaves me here with my boss, an intern and a Vista from Americorp.

WTF?!?! I should’ve stayed in bed.

3 comments:

ReddMann said...

do some damn work!!

yet another black guy said...

i know exactly what you mean. i'm a freelance a/v tech an when i'm working conferences, sometimes i'm the only black guy there. it's weird to look out into a crowd of hundreds, sometimes thousands and see nothing but white faces. and for many of them, i'm the only professional black male they'll come into direct contact with. anytime people say 'melting pot', i think of these scenes.

That Dude Right There said...

It was probably best that you went in to work today. You know that Corporate America is a game and you have to follow all of the rules when playing.

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