Wednesday, September 26, 2012

So last night/this morning, I finally caught up on a webseries I've had bookmarked for ages.

It's called The Unwritten Rules (that's a link to the first episode), and it's about this Black female Brown graduate who starts at a new job where she's the only Black girl. In fact, only Black person. In fact, only person of (visible) color. 

I don't know if I've made it clear on here that, while I'm far from the only one, I'm one of few in my workplace of 300+. That becomes one of very few if you discount the secretarial staff, Copy Room and Mail Room employees, security staff, etc. I'm both the only Black person under age 30 and the only Black female in my division. 

And I mean, those of you who have a good understanding of my history know that being a rarity is far from unusual for me, which is probably why I haven't really mentioned it. I've made fast fantastic friends at work--the young people in my division and recent hires in other divisions are seriously awesome people, and they're just one part of what makes my job le awesomest.

I get compliments on my various hairstyles, but no one has ever asked to touch my hair. I've never eaten Black ethnic food at work (when RG's mom gave me leftover fried chicken, plantains, and chilli, I decided to bring the chilli to work and eat the chicken and plantains at home, lol), so all of my "Mmm that smells good" instances aren't particularly egregious for any reason. I'm sure that once it gets colder and I start making mac and cheese, that's gonna get some attention, though. And my Nana's pies? PLEASE. The episode that really got me, though, is number 5, in which Racey (yes her name is Racey, which I just adore) tries and fails to bond with the other Black people who work in her building (in security and at the front desk, while she's some sort of manager). Their playing of dominoes (which I didn't learn were a Black thing until recently, actually) and her eating of asparagus don't really mix well...   

I'd be lying if I said I hadn't noticed that I haven't really become close to any other Black people at work (though that's starting to change with the guy closest to my age in my division). Granted, most of them are considerably older than me, but still something When I see a Black person I don't recognize at work, I will go out of my way to introduce myself to her. Like on campus, I don't pass a Black person in the office without acknowledging him or her in some way. But it occurred to me that I only know the name of about four Black people outside of my division. I know the others by face, know them enough to wave and ask how their weekends were, but I do not substantively know them in any way. There are small clusters of Black employees who regularly eat lunch together, and I don't eat with them. Granted, I've never been invited. But on the other hand, I've never asked either. 

I want to make more legitimate attempts at forming friendly acquaintanceships with other Black people in my office. Like, the next time I see a cluster eating or chatting, instead of just waving as I walk by, I'm going to wander over and chat for a little while. #babystepstonotfeelingliketheonlypocinmydailyworld  

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