Sunday, October 08, 2006

Mental Health Day

Somedays, other people will sum up my life much better than I can. I was leaving a social services building awhile back and two older black women got on the elevator with me. They worked in the building and were talking about work when they got on the elevator. I'm nosey, so I couldn't help but pick up bits of their conversation. "She had the nerve to ask me 'don't you get excited about your work and your assignments?'" One woman said. "I said, 'Hell no, I don't get excited. White people get excited about that shit." I couldn't help but crack up after I got off the elevator.

This scenario came to mind recently when a supervisor commented on my lack of enthusiasm for the job. Mind you, he just gave me an assignment that was the equivalent of counting the number of fire hydrants on our street. I told him I'd do it, 'cause Lord knows I love getting a paycheck every week, but I guess he expected some singing and dancing to go along with it. I don't know if its a cultural difference or what, but I do my work and take it for what it is .... WORK. I have a colleague (they're all white, except for me) who would've kissed my supervisor's feet if he was given the fire hydrant assignment. Loser.

Anyway, because of my on the job issues, I'm campaigning to get sent home for a Mental Health Day. I could easily call in sick, but I'd prefer that my colleagues see on their own what the working world has done to me. I've come up with a variety of ways to get me noticed and hopefully sent home:

1. The rape whistle. When the going gets rough at the office, I escape to my car and blow on my rape whistle as loud as I can. Now I’ve taken to blowing it in the office. Everytime someone does/says something to tick me off, I’ll blow the whistle in their face. When they ask what’s wrong, I’ll just blow again.

2. Music. Most days, I load my music on my computer and listen to it with headphones during lulls in the day. Now I’ve devised a series of songs with anger management themes and have bought them to work. I’m talking about Eminem, Jaguar Wright, NWA, Public Enemy. This time, I’ll let the music blast from my computer. “What are you listening to, Strength?” “'Dead N*** Boulevard,’ by Meshell Ndegeocello.” “Umm….okay.”

3. The Pound. Before I go to lunch, I will pound my head onto the computer five times quickly as I squeal ‘ow, ow, ow, ow.’ When anyone asks what’s wrong, I’ll look at them like they’re the crazy ones.

4. Talking in tongues. Every time I get off the phone with an agitated person, I’ll slam the phone down. Then I’ll jump to my feet and scream “King Kong Ain’t Got Nothin’ on Me” in a loud, booming voice. I’ll beat on my chest for a few seconds, then I’ll go back to work as if nothing happened.

5. Calling in sick. I will get to the office in the morning and check my email. Then I’ll pick up my phone and call my supervisor, who sits less than three feet away from me, and tell him that I’m sick and I won’t be able to make it into work today. He’ll think of it as a joke, but I will promptly log off my computer and walk out.

Hopefully, this will be enough to get me sent home on that special holiday. But with my luck, they'll view all of this as my newfound enthusiasm and give me a promotion. *Sigh*

(Photo courtesy of


Juicy77 said...
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Juicy77 said...

First of all, this was one of your funniest posts ever.
Secondly, I can relate. I have the same problem. One day, someone's going to ask me why I'm not enthusiastic and I'm going to tell them the truth, "Because I hate you and I hate this job and I'm only working here because I have bills to pay." I had a friend who actually did that (not in those exact words of course.) She told her supervisor that she hated her job and when her supervisor asked what they could do to change that, she told her, "Nothing. There's absolutely nothing you can do."

I had an internship once where a lack of enthusiasm was noted in my review – even though I made a conscious effort to be upbeat. (Besides that I came in early and stayed late - even during a snowstorm - unlike other interns; but I guess that didn’t count for s**t.) I wanted to ask them, "What do you want me to do??Cartwheel into the f***ing office?? What do you people want from me!?" Sometimes, I think it is a cultural thing. Maybe Black happy is different from White happy. Or, maybe they were just racist pricks who wouldn't be satisfied no matter what I did.

MotownRunnerGirl said...

yes, great post!

i told my supervisor one time (several jobs ago) that i would much rather be a greeter at walmart than work in that godforsaken office. the funny thing is that i think that started his like of me. i'm sure he felt the same way. we were all trapped by mortgages and a feeling of i'm so miserable, yes, but what the heck else am i going to do? at least i know this devil...

every job has its dreadful moments. and other jobs are all dreadful all the time. why can't i invent the next youtube???

MotownRunnerGirl said...

wait, what i actually told him is that i'd rather clean toilets at walmart!!! yes, greeter didn't seem quite right for my level of angst.