Rules of Survival While at Work
Awhile back, a commenter, HunglikeJesus, asked me to formulate a post on survival in the white world. I had just done the 3 D’s of White Supremacy and he wanted a follow-up post…but just for us. So I did the best I could:
Rule #1. Never speak any thought out loud around the supremacist. Anything you say can and will be used against you.
Rule #2. Never discuss your personal life. This is BIG. Whites are always in our faces. Especially at work. “Oh! Where did you get your training? Do you live around here? Wow! You speak so well! Did you go to Harvard?” This is known as psychological interviewing…where you sum up your enemy to see “what you’re up against.” Also, resist the urge to share about your new car, your husband’s promotion, your kitchen remodel. ANY indication that you’re doing well will inflame them.
I’ve learned to simply say, “Why do you want to know?” That throws them because now they must answer…which puts them on the spot. If they come back at you, which they probably will, say: “Listen, not to be rude but I don’t like discussing my personal life at work.” Remember to keep your voice even-toned so they can’t claim that you became “aggressive.”
Rule #3. Tell your family members not to call or email you using the COMPANY TELEPHONE OR INTERNET. Why? I.T. can trace all calls and messages and it can be used against you. My boss did that to me once and I was caught off guard. Now, when I make calls, it’s from my cell phone only.
Rule #4. I CANNOT SAY THIS ENOUGH: DON’T GOSSIP!!!!! Have you ever been in this situation:
White woman: I can’t stand the new supervisor.
You: Yeah…I know…she’s seems a little out of touch.
White woman: Out of touch? How?
You: You know…she tells us about how we need to cut the budget, yet she buys a new car.
White woman: Ohhhhhh…yes, yes, yes…exactly.
Two days later, you are brought into the office…and reprimanded! Don’t gossip! It leads no where, except the unemployment line.
Rule #5. Some of you may be required to attend company picnics, parties, ice cream socials, etc…If liquor is served, don’t drink any! Stick to water and say that alcohol gives you diarrhea, heartburn, the hives, dizziness…whatever…just don’t drink any. When you are intoxicated, you leave yourself open to suggestion, if you know what I’m saying.
Rule #6. Most whites at work will feel threatened by any intelligent black person. This is a fact. My own co-worker put this one patient in harms way just to spite me with a Vascular procedure called a A-V Fistula scan for dialysis. Without getting too technical, a fistula is created when a patient has something called end stage renal failure or ESRD. This fistula is utilized to clean the blood and essentially keep the patient alive. My co-worker pretended not to know about a particular fistula, when I asked for a consult, to make me look foolish in front of the Nephrologist. If possible, do your own research on that machine, that protocol, that new rule…anything…except go to them. Or simply ask for help with Human Resources.
Rule #7. Black men, hear my plea, do not for any reason, be alone with a white woman unsupervised. When I was working in New Jersey at this wealthy hospital, we had a black man as the Chief Nuclear Medicine Tech. With his tall and strapping good looks and 3, yes…3 degrees, administration had no choice but to elevate him to Chief status. That meant that doctors went to him for advice…Now, there is a rule with our male staff: All male practitioners must have a female chaperone while with a female patient. So, having said that, listen to this short story:
One morning, around 2 am, X was called in for an emergency. The surgeon wanted quick answers so he wrote the order and X got to work. Not thinking that anything was going to happen, he never thought to call the floors to get a female chaperone. He performed the test, dictated the results and sent the patient back to her room. A few days later, he was called in to H.R. with accusations of “misconduct.” He was fired. Went on unemployment and his record, tarnished.
Black men, if you are doctors, nurses, construction workers…don’t be alone with a white woman period.
Rule #8. Write it down. If someone says something to you…and that funny voice in your head says, “Hmmmmm……” write down names, time and dates. Keep a log so if shit hits the fan, you have backup.
Rule #9. Communicate by email. Words can be twisted. Email is tangible. Keep your email short and to the point.
Rule #10. If you suspect that you are being sabotaged, run to H.R. with a typed and NOTARIZED letter. Keep it factual, not emotional and have a copy for yourself. This paper trail will maybe save your job.
Anything else I missed?