resignation letter, part two:

dear administrators and mid-level supervisors:

fuck y’all.

goodbye.
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the resignation letter i wish i could write:

dear coworkers:

over these last 4.75 years i’ve had the opportunity to work with, laugh with, & occasionally cry with you all. i am thankful for the experiences i’ve had here, for without them i would not be the woman you have all come to know. it is after having reviewed these experiences that i must say that it’s time for me to move onward and upward in the interest of my own sanity & safety as well as yours. you see, office staff, i hate this job & i’d rather contract scabies than deal with this shit beyond february 9, 2009 (my 5th anniversary).

i don’t feel like we’re a collectively highly functioning group of people. some of us are higher functioning than others, which is the norm everywhere you go. but a few of y’all are teetotal assholes who don’t see past the ends of your own noses. in my 1.5 years of college & really expansively fly and dope 10 years of employment experience i have seen and done more and better than many of you. that is not to discount your life experiences, but simply to explain the stance i took when i began working here in 2004: this is not any place to build a career for someone like me. this job is, instead, a graveyard of dreams and hopes for me.

i am too much of a warrior to remain in a passive stance by working here. yes, we staff an agency that serves the public. yes, serving the public is important to me. but i believe that the bureaucracy and current structure of city government is a hindrance to giving the people what they need. while we’re arguing over expenditures and waiting for the only person who knows the answer to the question to come back from vacation, folks are losing out. while we’re trying to see who’s gonna play along w/ the wonderful things the new mayor is trying to do, the ppl who’re best-equipped to do the work are either giving up hope for change or just walking away from their “good city jobs” altogether. i don’t have the patience to wait it out on this end. i’d rather wait while working. i’m more of a direct services kind of gal, i’ve remembered. i had to take some time after the heartbreak of working in the after school program w/ ppl who didn’t care about the kids. i had to, after getting dropped from the ACLU, give myself the chance to say “no more temp jobs without benefits.” it felt good. steady check, job security, no drama. i was able to pay down debts & move out of my mom’s for good. yay, me! it felt great. but with the responsibility of keeping a roof over my own head came some massive epiphanies, the largest of these being my deep hatred of feeling caged. when i don’t feel like i have options, i’m no good to anyone. i am an air sign w/ an air sign ascendant. you cannot contain air. shit. i am bigger than what you see, i am more dynamic than what you think and for crying out fucking loud i am better than everything you can try to saddle me with. no number of creative pet projects can satisfy me as long as i work here. you all don’t seem to understand: i take community work seriously. it’s all or nothing. after nearly 5 years of nothing, i’m preparing myself to give my all.

a few things i’d like to clarify:

doula work is not a novelty. it is serious, important, necessary work that improves the quality of birth experiences for women who need support during pregnancy, birth and a year post-partum. fuck you for calling it “cute.”

becoming a midwife is neither a passing fancy, nor is it just some cute shit to do. there’s a license involved & a fucking master’s degree involved. not the same as your distance learning business writing courses, homie. respect my gangsta.

activism requires activity, regardless of how much i give to our truly awesome combined campaign program. financial contributions mean just as much as time invested.

covering my tattoos & dressing less like myself is uncomfortable. some days, i want to wear sweatpants. quit asking me why i’m wearing a dashiki. yes, those are suede ankle boots. yes, those are tweed sneakers. no, i don’t think my earrings could be any bigger. kiss my ass.

talking shit about the food someone eats is not only disrespectful, but childish. it doesn’t matter that i’m not indian but love channa, it’s inconsequential that i’m not thai but live for green curry, and for the love of pete there’s nothing wrong with vietnamese food. your asses might benefit from some daikon radish instead of the deep fried fuckery they serve at kennedy & crown fried chicken. grow up.

i don’t have to explain to you how it is that i, a black american woman, have family in mexico. i do. quit meddling.

don’t take for granted that everyone believes in jesus. i most certainly do not.

those with whom i’ve built friendships, i thank & appreciate you. you have kept me from certain madness on some days & been supportive to me from the very beginning. i will miss you, but you know i’m not gone from your lives.

the rest of y’all can kiss the pink part of my ass. i’m gonna go on down the list.

you, the meddling ass hater who copies what i do only after you talk copious amounts of shit about me to other people. you make twice as much money as i do, have a beautiful home & a husband who loves you. why does it matter if i’m following “god’s orders” per the bible or the pastor of your church or your weave technician or whomever? i appreciate your came-up-from-nothing-i-was-a-teen-mother story. i do — i know it couldn’t have been easy. but try doing what my mom did with three kids, a terminally ill parent, a full time job and an accelerated master’s program & then talk to me about what struggles are. then tell me my life should be a cakewalk because i don’t have any kids. you insensitive, judgemental bitch, i edited my mom’s papers & lit reviews because she was watching my grandmother die. try dealing with that & then tell me that i gave up on undergrad studies because i didn’t believe in myself. it’s called emotional exhaustion.

you, the sexist discipline officer: fuck you. you hate women, and i think it’s despicable that you’re the person who deals w/ sexual harrassment complaints. you are a phony asshole. whatever you’re hiding can’t be so serious that you need to act so terribly toward people. throwing tantrums is counter-productive if you do nothing with the feelings you realase. also: if you’re gay, JUST COME OUT ALREADY. nobody cares if you are, i promise. you are too easily upset by the least consequential shit & that to me means something deeper is going on. fix it, cuz the next person might not be nice enough to deflect your shit. you do, after all, know that nobody has to entertain your shit.

former supervisor: jesus does not cosign your bullshit. your unwilligness to actually lend your energy to the people whom you feel are less fortunate than you speaks volumes about the kind of christian woman you are, versus who you tell everyone you are. get a life; nobody cares that you make greeting cards on the color laser jet at work especially when you aren’t supposed to. stop wearing white opaque stockings with everything. nobody cares that your ill-behaved daughter won some bible verse regurgitation contest at school. you should be more concerned that she’s so destructive, with no creative outlets for her energy.

there are some of you who just came on board. to you, i say: keep your eyes open. keep your ears to the ground. i won’t even tell you not to get comfortable. just be aware.

i don’t want a luncheon or a dinner party or anything, either. just make sure my last check is right & that you make my appointment at the pension board so i can get that good lump sum.

thanks!

revelation:

i am happiest when crafting with abandon. when i can just do whatever i want with whichever medium, i feel most peaceful. i feel alive.

reason #275 why i’m leaving that job.

now i understand why

i don’t have a lot of ‘work clothes.’

1) the office gig shit is, as i’ve said thousands of times, for the birds. i’m no turkey.
2) i don’t ever want to put on a suit or anything similar ever again in my life for the sake of being someone else’s minion
3) i don’t care about how i look when i’m in a place where i don’t wanna be
4) the clothes i would wear to work are not friendly to my income
5) fuck them, who cares what i have on?
6) i know better than to wear some fly shit when i’m in the trenches, filing
7) the file room is disgusting, & i can’t wear good clothes when battling paper mites
8) i don’t plan on being there long enough to get good wear out of anything “work-appropriate”
9) i know deep down this is to be my last full time permanent office gig
10) fuck them, who cares what i have on?

i have an interview w/ the division mgr tomorrow… so let me get some damn sleep.

it goes deeper than

just hating one’s job. sometimes, the job manifests its destructive nature in how employees are treated. this post from yearning mice on fire more than explains the indoctrination that large companies (& even government entities, like the one where i work) drill into the heads of their employees. there’s a comply-or-die attitude that lots of employers seem to have. i’ve seen it everywhere from retail/ food service to non-profit environs.

this reflects exactly how i feel about the job i have now. really.

thanks to tenacious one for posting the link on her blog. (i’m digesting that transpolitics post. good GODDESS, it made my brain tingle!)

some other crazy mess

my intern said:
“i was so offended, well, kinda offended, when i saw knocked up. because, you know, they didn’t have to show the baby comin’ out and all that.”
smartly, i asked him what the rating of the film was. he responded that it had an ‘r’ rating. i coyly giggled, “that’s just what you get for seeing a film that you technically shouldn’t have without an adult guardian present, instead of your only friend who’s 18 already.”

inspired by miss dark daughta’s post on what society at large wishes to quote-unquote protect children from seeing.

i’m not gonna waste my time picking apart his logic. i don’t have the energy to. his internship is over, so now i have to tackle the recurring problem of my supervisor’s apparent unwillingness to make sure that the temporary office assistant actually knows how to do and executes his job. fuck the both of them, for the record. i have much anxiety about this job.

that’s another post for another time.

maybe i’m just a mean old heifer.

i don’t know. basically, yesterday, my intern (he’s 16) asked me if i understood what mos def was talking about in his songs. that is, asked, “you hear the messages in his music, talking about the third eye and all that?” i blinked. i replied, “yes, i hear him. & i don’t think what he’s saying is wrong, necessarily.” intern then says, “it’s a shame that he thinks that way,” or something like that. i had to take a deep breath, then politely inform youngin that no matter how much you listen to someone’s music, you’re only gonna begin to align your personal beliefs with what’s expressed in their music if you feel you should. i give my brain more credit than that. i also had to let intern know that it’s not ever okay to assume that (a) someone is a particular religion, (b) that they wanna have religion-based conversations with you, or (c) that anyone withn hearing range wants to be party to such a discussion. we work in city government. that’s a really bad idea. i also had to let him know, that whatever a person believes (or doesn’t believe) about god, it’s not any other human being’s business. period. he got kinda quiet. then said “i didn’t wanna get up in your business, i was just sayin . . . he shouldn’t think that way.” i didn’t waste time asking why. because i choose not to have that kind of talk with ppl at my job — i barely talk to ppl outside of work about my faith tradition or anything religion-related. i just reminded him that assumptions aren’t okay. i left it at that.

i know this child to be very much into church, into being a ‘warrior for christ,’ as i’ve heard him say. (that shit makes me cringe, just for the record) i know that he reminds me of myself when i was about 12. i thought i had to be extra preachy gospelly . . . that i had to tell the world about jesus & tell ppl they’re wrong for being non-christians. of course, as i got older, i realized that i love secular music. i also realized that i didn’t necessarily think jesus was my savior. i had questions that were not being answered by anything i read in the bible, nor did i have questions that were being answered by my elders. i also found that i disliked the idea that i had to maintain some standard of purity in my life, lest my humanity allow me to fall prey to the tools / whims of satan . . . who really was just a disgruntled former angel in the first place. there were too many holes. too many things that made no sense to me. so i kinda sat back & watched. i let everyone who identified as a christian show me how they were far from emulators of jesus christ himself. i shrugged, shook it off, & kept moving.
i dunno, my whoooooooole entire family (save my grandfather, one uncle & maybe one or two relatives by marriage) lean on jesus extra hard. that’s cool, if it works for them. i think my baby sister might be one of us witchy yoruba santeria lucumi vodou candombl√© goddess worshiper types. but i dunno for sure. my overwhelming feeling is that black folks allow whether or not someone is a christian be their deciding factor in regard to whether or not that person is acceptable.
there’s a fatal flaw in that: there are folks who you may attend church with, who still don’t have the same values you do, for whatever reason(s). i come from a family that values dialog but is still at times very authoritarian. my mother taught my two sisters & me to be as critically-thinking as possible. that didn’t go terribly well with my grandmother, grandfather & two uncles. but they all managed to get the hell over it at some point — they created little encyclopedia-reading monsters who never stopped wondering/ creating/ thinking. & it became okay. nerdiness is woven into the fabric of my family, & along with that comes talking & introduction of new ideas. my extended family identifies as christian, but what about the nurturing of growth/ encouragement of education that i experienced at home? if it doesn’t apply to them does that automatically make them bad/ wrong?
but i’m getting off topic. my basic idea about exclusively using your religion as a measuring stick for others — especially & including those who identify within the same religion — is that your measuring stick is the result of your interpretation almost exclusively. that’s not accurate. furthermore, variables are unavoidable. people vary. period. that’s a dangerous thing. it’s like fitting a square peg into a very round hole.
i hope intern learns as he gets older that that kinda shit isn’t okay. he may not — he comes from a position of privilege within the social circles where he exists. patriarchy rules supreme in his world (the worst thing i’ve ever heard come out of this child’s mouth is that no woman should ever break up w/ her high school sweetheart just because she doesn’t wanna have a long distance relationship), & it guarantees his comfort. so, i don’t know. he has no idea what this wide world holds for him as a black male in america.
i hope he he learns, though. gently, easily, gradually. because the next person may not even entertain the idea of being sweet or diplomatic. i know what it is to have everything you believe in snatched out from under you. but then again, he may need that . . .

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