31 Things You Have To Deal With As The Only Black Person In Your Office
Please, for the love of God, stop trying to "raise the roof."
1. You encounter a lot of ideas that have just clearly not been thought through.
2. You've noticed that people get weirdly uncomfortable when describing someone as black and quickly say "African-American" instead.
3. When you show up with a different hairstyle, the ENTIRE OFFICE LOSES ITS SHIT.
4. You imagine all the hours of your life you could get back if you could remove this alienating small talk from your day.
5. You find yourself teaching some very basic lessons.
6. But you're always nervous about asserting yourself because it's interpreted as being too "loud" or "aggressive" or "angry," no matter what you say.
7. You have to deal with that one co-worker who insists on speaking to you in corny, outdated slang.
8. Everybody expects you to have the Black History Month event/bulletin board planned months ahead of time.
9. You've been told you look like [insert any black pop culture figure here], whether or not you look like them. At all.
10. You may have also been told that you remind someone of their black childhood babysitter...
11. People feel compelled to slip into conversation that they know someone does [insert do-gooder activity here] involving "underprivileged" communities.
12. Co-workers who never talk to you about the news ask you about stories like Trayvon Martin's death.
13. You hear offensive shit all the time and you feel alone when you realize no one else is going to say anything.
14. You go out to happy hour with the few co-workers who actually hold you down and then one drink in someone says some side-eye-worthy shit.
15. You're always nervous about any karaoke invites because someone inevitably does a rap song that will have you holding your breath.
16. Multiple people have gone up to you and felt compelled to note, "I really do think Lupita is the most beautiful woman in the world."
17. You find yourself explaining basic things like ~personal space~.
18. Personal space, y'all.
19. In a moment of frustration, you use the n-word under your breath at your desk.
20. You worry that you might snap one day.
21. You catch whispers of the suggestion that you were an "affirmative action hire" and somehow unqualified to be there.
22. There's the awkward moment when white co-workers are at the water cooler, laughing about something, then get suspiciously quiet when you walk up.
23. Or when a company outing takes place at a venue you're HELLA uncomfortable with. A retreat on a plantation. Drinks at a country club.
24. Even though it's a dumb stereotype, you do feel some type of way about eating things like fried chicken or watermelon in the office.
25. There's also the awkwardness that happens when maybe you do fit their stereotypes.
26. There's the absurd moment when a co-worker who listens to rap more than you do declares themselves "blacker" than you.
27. And the severe bugging of their eyes when you say you're ambivalent about The Beatles/The Stones/Neutral Milk Hotel.
28. The uncomfortable moment when there is some sort of music and dance situation with your co-workers and people look at you like you're Rhythm McGee.
Next time someone says something like this to you, just pull an Aziz Ansari.