do u ever notice how hard it is 2 get hired for a job. even after multiple calls from many employers, u can not seem to close the deal. why?
do u recognize potential employers & recruiters call based upon ur resume, but upon speaking 2 u, ur suddenly missing a qualification. why?
White Americans are majority racist. They are uncomfortable being around Black American people; for all of their education and so-called intelligence and open minds, they have not quite figured out the protocol to working with Black Americans.
The reason you get so many calls is you have a very American sounding name: Christopher Smith. Your background is even on par with that of White Americans: MBA, CPA, 7 Years work experience. But once they get you on that telephone and you start talking, they quickly notice the speech inflections and/or deep voice; a dead tale you are Black American. I think most have a clandestine edict from the superiors of the company to either hire a Black American or not to. If it’s a green light for a Black American in that particular position for the company, you may get an interview.
Sometimes you’ll notice on the interview the White American person’s discomfort in speaking with you; as much as they try to hide it, it’s saliently in their eyes. I recall in two separate interviews with White American males, each rolled their eyes as if what I was saying to him was completely irrelevant, even though when it was their turn to speak, they each seemed like affable guys whom I could have easily gotten along with as my superior; the interviewers thought otherwise. In one particular interview, the interviewer began riddling off to me regarding things I should say in subsequent interviews with other companies and suggested I could be a CPA on a music tour of recording artist or as a business manager of artist, and he rushed me out of his office before I could finish my closing statement. I never heard back from him since that interview, though I followed up twice with him regarding the position:
I am following up with you regarding our personal interview Oct 24, 2012.
Is there anything you would like to ask me, or would you like to schedule another meeting to talk; as it seems we rushed through our first interview?
What I got from the interview was that you are a great guy that I would be delighted to work under the direction of. As I have already reiterated to you, I know the company brand and would love to be a part of the team at this wonderful growth stage of your corporate life cycle; this seems like the perfect opportunity I am searching for.
What I believe you should have taken away from our meeting is a guy with a great personality to fit into the organization, who is also articulate and knowledgeable in accounting with the skills to take on the challenges of the position.
If there are any concerns you may have, please let us have a conversation in an attempt to quell them.
Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
> I am following up with you regarding our interview for the Corporate Controller position, in reference to where you’re at with your selection process.
> I think you will not find a better candidate with his/her CPA, who is familiar with your brand and excited about its growth potential.
> Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Another reason for the apprehension of White Americans hiring Black Americans is often times self-experienced tales of lethargy and lack of details in performing the job. They do not believe regardless of what our degrees may be or how long we’ve been on a previous job or how arduous a state examination we’ve passed, that we will do the job efficiently and thoroughly, and they do not want to take the chance. Even if you look them dead in the eye and say, “I’ve made past mistakes, I’ve learned from those mistakes and I am ready to roll up my sleeves and dedicate myself to the service of learning and performing the challenges of this job” Due to past experience with other Black American hires, THEY DO NOT BELIEVE YOU! Black Americans receive no second chances.
As opposed to divulging how they really feel about us in an effort to come to rapprochement and that we may correct the problems we have, they’d rather ignore it and try to hire around us, etc. In addition to that, in the spirit of nationalism, nepotism and racism, they’d also rather give the salary and position to a White American woman or man. They do not feel you, as a Black American person deserves it, no matter how well you’re dressed, how articulate you are in speaking about your experience, they do not want you past a certain level (this very day it is still noted that Black Americans experience longer search times and receive less pay than both White American men and women). In accounting, that level seems to be Senior Accountant $70K, while the $90K – $120K Accounting Manager and/or Controller/Director of Accounting roles go to a White American or any other ethnicity than Black American who is younger than you.
A Certified Public Accountant Examination, passing all four parts, is supposed to spell aptitude, attention to detail, work ethic, integrity, dedication and passion to move forward in the profession; for a Black American male like me, employers did not get the memo. But according to Malcolm Gladwell’s “Outliers”, this was the same discrimination process which created all of the great Jewish New York City lawyers born in the years approximate to 1930; in the late 1950s to 1960, prestigious downtown Wall Street law firms would not touch them (Jewish American Lawyers), even told them so to their faces after putting them through a rigorous interview process (illegal today; these days they call you on the phone, listen to nothing but your elocution to determine if you are Black American as they ask you questions for 10 minutes, cordially and properly end the call and never call you ever again, ignore your follow-up e-mails unless you press them, in which case they say, “we’ve moved on with another candidate who’s a better fit); therefore, the Jewish lawyers started their own firms (as I have), took the legal profession squalid work rejected by the top firms, in turn helping greatly to hone skills in particular areas of law such as corporate mergers and acquisitions which later redounded into torrential money rain makers; thus today, the prominent Jewish law firms with 1000 lawyers and the 80 year old Jewish partners.
So today is my daughter Janelle’s birthday. She is – years old. I called her early this morning just to say Happy Birthday really, not to talk like I usually do. Yeah, I remember when she was born. I thought I had life all figured out. I had a nice job working at Circle K Corporation, my first job out of college which it took me six months to find. I was making $25,000 a year, living with my mother, saving money, shopping a little, etc. I think I saved 5,000.00 in a year. Janelle’s mother went for child support and they awarded her $389.00 a month. She walked out of the court room happy like she’d just hit the lotto, maybe in an effort to try and piss me off. But I didn’t care cause even minus that amount, I was still bringing home more than I’d ever made before. I was still saving. With the decision to become a Hip Hop producer, I bought an ARS 10 Sampling Keyboard for $2,000.00 and starting making Hip Hop songs.
A little after that, my 1986 Oldsmobile Ninety Eight broke completely down and I had to buy a new car. I bought a brand new Chevy Malibu. After the car purchase, with payments and insurance, my pocket was low. At that point, I decided to really work on my move to New York City. I was two years in at Circle K; they had just given me a lateral promotion (meaning more responsibility with no talk of more money). Just as the change was about to take effect, I’d found me a job at this company in Brooklyn called The Italian Job, a mob spin-off legal business. I was making $34,500.00 which was only enough for my needs and bill responsibility; no money left to shop, go out, nothing. After about a year of that shit, I stopped paying my car insurance for a little extra cash, which ended up being dissolved by this new credit card I transferred to for a lower interest rate in exchange for higher minimum payments; $100.00 more a month. That’s what I get for not reading the fine print.
I really was starting to hate my job also, so much so that I stopped working because it seemed as if I was not doing anything important or learning anything. I got fired a week before the Sept 11, 2001 terrorist attack. After that, it took me six months to find another job. There were plenty of jobs out there it seemed; I went on 22 interviews before I finally got hired somewhere, which was at an advertising agency. It was a cool job, no dress code, open-bar on Fridays after work and friendly people for the most part.
I really learned my job after the guy who hired me left and this Italian lady came on board. She didn’t know what she doing so I had to learn the job with her. One thing I understood better than she was the EAS Accounting Software they had. After she and I came to an understanding of all the changes she wanted as far as my work went, she challenged every piece of work I did. When I met her challenges and began answering her questions before she asked them, she made up some bullshit to tack on to the official warning I received concerning my underperformance, according to her standard, and I was fired. I had her all figured out. Told myself, “Just do your duties, ignore her attempts to get on your nerves, and everything will be alright.” Everything was not alright. Now, I’m going on another six months of being unemployed but this time around, there aren’t many jobs out there. The economy is getting weaker by the week. I’ve only been on about five interviews.
I moved to New York to work as an accountant and to try to get work as a Hip Hop producer, neither, especially the Hip Hop production, are working out for me. If I wasn’t living with my girlfriend, I’d be on my way to being homeless right now. She thinks I eat too much salt and butter, and at age –, I’m on my way to a heart attack. I say to her, “what I got to live for?’ She says, “life is a precious gift.” She says that shit because just like me; at age –, she’s making $56,000 on her job; she’s able to take care of her daughter; she shops and buys expensive clothing; she’s doing, so it seems, better than her friends; she just moved from one room in the projects to a two bedroom apartment with nice wooden floors; and she just recently purchased equipment to start making clothing in pursuit of her dream to open a children’s clothing line store called Queen by Queen. She’s young and ambitious just like I was with the world ahead of her with her dreams.
Me, I’m starting to come to reality that my Hip Hop dreams may never materialize. I’m –; I have not a dime in the bank; my credit has gone bad; I ain’t got a job. So yes, what this life is presenting me right now is shit. What the world is presenting Watrina is sugar right now and probably for the future also. So she, in essence, would be saying some shit like, “life is such a precious gift.” Everybody says that shit when they are on their feet. I wanna hear a homeless New Yorker, on the street, in the cold of winter, say that shit. When I hear them say it, on the street, on a cold Christmas night, then maybe I’ll start singing the same song. But hearing that shit from people like Mary J Blige: who has millions of dollars, and has sold millions of records, and is so spiritually fulfilled now that she has a real man, not afraid of her success, who is gonna marry her; my response is, “shut the fuck up witt that bullshit.” Mary J wasn’t singing that same shit when was drinking, smoking, sniffing, and being in a relationship every other year with any male R&B singer who said hello to her. Lauryn Hill wants to accept grammy awards, preaching, “the money don’t matter, God matters.” This after the group she was in sold 13 million records of one album worldwide, making all three members millionaires. After that, three years later her solo album sold about 10 million worldwide, to make her more of a millionaire. When you’re a millionaire, the money don’t matter. When you have a good job making decent money, a beautiful intelligent daughter, and a nice apartment outside the New York City Housing Authority Projects, life is precious. My response to that shit is …….!
stp being lazy n ur wrk ethic, especially when working 4 othr black people. its a new day lethargy has no place n obamas nation
black people everybody makes mistakes. if u do not or are not allowed 2 learn from ur mistakes is where the problem comes in.
black people n other communities, person is assigned a job & is the go 2 person 4 that job even if a fuck up, they’rereprimanded & keep job
black people after so many fuck ups, the person learns from mistakes & becomes a better professional till they no longer make mistakes black people this is how the lawyer becomes great, the doctor becomes great. they r supported by their community until they r great#support
There is a dark cloud over Black American people when it comes to doing business for one another; we tend to take one or the other for granted as customer, employer or employee. We tend to approach the business matter as if we are friends with the other Black American and they understand our personal problems which hinder us from doing the job in a timely manner or properly and vice versa. THIS IS AN IMPROPER APPROACH, especially as it relates to the new millennium. Though I do not perform my work with clients in that manner, I do feel it is a road block to me obtaining the type of clients I want, i.e. The Therapy Wine Bar and Voudou Bar, as well as Bed-Vyne wine; all within Bedford-Stuyvesant Brooklyn. I’ve spoken with the partners of each of these establishments and they each kindly blew me off as if I was not a real CPA, or that I must have been joking when inquiring to them about that type of business and they quickly argued me down when trying to push them on the matter; or placated me in face to face conversation, but never returned e-mails or calls.
Friends of mine who purchased a nice 3 bedroom home in Greensboro, NC told me a story of trying to give a Black American woman real estate agent a chance to show them homes in the area, which they described to her where they wanted to live, the type of home, school system for their child etc. They told a story that she showed them nothing of what they informed her to; and the last straw that broke the camel’s back, she showed up late to an appointment with rollers in her head. They quickly took their business to a White American male real estate agent who quickly showed them exactly what they wanted, where they wanted and they closed the deal in 30 days. I’ve heard other stories of details not being taken care of in other matters. THIS MUST STOP! BUSINESS IS BUSINESS, and in business, the person you’re doing business with IS NOT YOUR FRIEND! They are your customer, to be treated with the utmost respect and professional care to seal all of the details of the job to complete it with the best of your absolute ability.
But on the part of Black American consumers of Black American services and products, in an effort to heal and progress in the process, I asked my friends from Greensboro, North Carolina these questions: did you tell the lady her first mistake, after the first showing, of not showing property in the preferred area? Did you tell her after the second disappointing showing? When she showed up late with the rollers in her hair, did you properly reprimand her for her behavior, fire her and tell her why she was being fired? To each of the questions they replied NO! They, with their properly justifiable frustrations took their business to the most-mighty of all business dealings, A WHITE AMERICAN MAN!
It is understandable that Black American people would naturally think if a person is in legitimate business as a professional, they should know how to conduct themselves as such. Many minority Black American business owners do conduct themselves with the utmost ethical and professional standard in all dealings, but many others also tend to relax their professional presentation when dealing with other Black American people. It is a natural sense of commonality that is ingrained within the Black American diaspora and struggle within the United States of America that brings this about; seemingly saying, you should understand, overlook and/or excuse my behavior as between family not to be disclosed to outsiders. Maybe in the 1960s, – 1990s, but in the new millennium, this attitude is not excusable and though still very prevalent, it is also the duty of those insulted by inferior service from their Black American brothers and sisters to make known the indiscretion, give a warning and chance for correction and upon final termination of service, outline the reason for termination.
In every learned subject, there is a process: talking, learning another language, potty training, criminal court. The process is there to help those going through it to learn from it, its inter-workings: pull your pants down, sit on or stand in front of the toilet, release; if you release on or in your clothes, you’ve done it wrong, receive your reprimand and try to do better the next time. Without the process of reprimand and explanation of the wrong course of action taken, there is no learning. And though many Black American people may say, “that is not my job to teach other Black American people, I can just go to someone better”, more likely than not, a White American person; this, in the long-term does not help our race of people become better people, better business persons to build better companies for our future children to gain skills and employment.
If we do not start thinking macro instead of micro, the same complaints that were had 20 years ago (1984), the same complaints we have today will be the same complaints we have 20 years from now (2034): high unemployment among Black American people especially males; takes twice or three times as long for a Black American man to get a job than any other person; Black American people do not do great professional detailed work. Our children especially the males aren’t going for college education in greater numbers; probably because you did not have patience to work with and/or hire a Black American real estate agent, Black American lawyer, Black American CPA/Accountant and if you felt they needed it, in reference to improper service that was given you, reprimand them and tell them to correct their mistakes.
So I’ve been living with Watrina for about two weeks now. My observation is that; while we like/love each other, we don’t need each other; we don’t appreciate each other. She wants a helpless, needy nigga like her father; whereas, if she’s not home to cook, her mother is not home to cook, her aunt is not home to cook, HE WON’T EAT! Me, I make dinner for myself if she’s not here and for her and Queen to eat when they get home. She wants a man like her father who won’t or can’t: wash dishes, wash his laundry, iron his clothes, make a bed just as she would. I guess she wants a lazy video game playin nigga who may work a job, but his job and helping with the bills is all she wants him to do, and I’d put a “maybe” on the help with the bills part.
She’s probably only letting me stay here right now because I don’t have a job. And if that is the type of nigga she want, I definitely am not him. Maybe that is why she keeps Slauson, her friend’s brother, in the wing. Maybe he’s that type of helpless nigga who’d love to be served hand and foot. I mean I appreciate that she works, cooks and cleans; a few of the reasons I’ve deemed her high quality material. I’d like someone to appreciate that I can do the same on the help out.
I guess she wants to raise her daughter in that good ole Jamaican tradition that your man, husband, or whomever is not supposed to lift a finger unless it’s to fix things with a wrench or screw driver. Well, she got the wrong nigga for that lesson to be practiced on.
Besides that issue, she pays more attention to the dishes and wooden floors around here than she does me. By time she gets finished with putting her daughter to bed and wiping the dishes and wooden floors, she’s too tired to give me any attention. I’m tired of begging for sex and always the one to make the first move. At – years old, that shit is for the birds. Like tonight, after I’d made dinner, Queen was in her room, and Watrina was washing dishes. I was watching t.v. and figured I’d go and pay her a little attention. I go to make small talk and she really doesn’t have too much to say. So I just stood there watching her.
She figured I was going to say something about the preposterous way in which she washed dishes. But one thing you learn when dealing with someone else is that they are gonna do things different. She soaps up the dish towel and washes every dish separately, wetting the dish towel after washing each dish to stir up the soapy reaction; meanwhile, also diluting the soap on the towel and therefore having to add more dish washing liquid to the towel. This method of washing dishes often leaves the odor on the dishes as I discovered from her using it on my dishes at my apartment. And also since the dish being washed is not submerged under soapy warm water, in addition to the odor, food and grease spots get missed a little.
Another example of doing things different is on a sunny Saturday morning while enough sunlight shines through the windows for clear vision, she turns on the artificial white electric (which we have to pay for) light to cook, eat and clean. All you can do is try to impress upon and explain your way to the other person, if they don’t understand it or won’t understand it and insist on their way, so it will go, and no big deal.
I didn’t say nothing about her and the dishes. I just hugged her from the back, rubbed her breast and kissed her neck thinking about making love to her later. She says, “get off me”, which kind of spoiled my love making thoughts for the night but not entirely. I went and sat down and began watching a DVD I had gotten from the Queens “Ravenwood” library because it had Makhi Phifer and Lieutenant Dan’s (from the Forrest Gump movie) face on the cover. Watrina then came and asked me a question about placing garbage out back since we don’t have a trash can out front. She asked me, “so, is the garbage out back getting wet since it rained?” I was a little irritated from her telling me to get off of her in the kitchen, and also by the question because you already know the garbage is outside; you already know that it is raining, so yes, you know the garbage is getting wet. You are just asking that question to fuck with me.
So she puts on her clothes and takes the garbage down the street somewhere. When she came home from work at 9 P.M. she didn’t use the key to get in the house, instead she rang the doorbell. This time she also went outside without her key and rang the doorbell. I let her ring it a few minutes before I opened the door. What the fuck am I, her personal doorman? We both have a key, use it. Don’t kick me out of my comfort zone because you don’t feel like reaching in your bag for your keys or you have trouble opening the locks. After that incident, she went into her room, closed the doors, and I knew I could forget about sex.
My guess is that we are not adjusting well to this, move in together, thing. I think it’s all just a matter of getting to know and dealing with each other’s ways. Do you think the other person is worth it to deal with their way of living. I think she’s worth it. But you gotta wonder if me, with no job, no money in the bank, bad credit, and a pipe dream of becoming a Hip Hop Producer; at her age of –, am I worth it to her? At – I had Elizabeth, probably considered one of the tightest girls in town. She was – living with her mom, a good job, no money in the bank, and no potential to move to New York as far as I saw, so I had to get rid of her.
Watrina is talking about quitting her job, maybe moving to Paris in a few years. There probably is no maybe, she’s probably as serious with her plans as I was about moving from a little small town in Ohio to small (but packed with millions of people) New York City. Maybe she’s just passing time with me like I was passing time with women in Warren. I would mention them coming to New York, knowing full well they wouldn’t leave their employment, family and comfort zones. Just like Watrina mentions Paris and me coming, knowing that more than likely I will not. It’s Karma! Well, as long as I know it’s Karma coming behind to bite me in the ass, I guess the pain won’t be as great as if I was ignorant to the situation. Know in your mind about the worst so the worst won’t kill you if it comes to pass. LIVE BY THIS!
Michael Jackson “Motown 25”
I think I’ve told on FB that upon hearing of the death of MJ I was in living comatose; a calm shock like I had stepped out of my body – my spirit was in the lounge/TV room at work – while I was actually moving around trying to figure out how to process that information. I finally decided, “GO TO HARLEM TO THE APOLLO“; there I found peace where I was able to cry alone, yet with others rubbing my back while we all sang on 125th St under the Apollo awning. There were reporters, bloggers, t-shirt sellers (I bought one of the REAL MICHAEL JACKSON as a 7 – 10 Yr old kid), people with his album collections, etc. I spent about 4 to 5 hours out there just taking in the scene in bereavement.
On the ride back to Brooklyn on the A-Train, I was dead silent, still in shock I guess. When I got back to Brooklyn, I was hungry (hadn’t eaten dinner) and I hopped in my car to go to The Farmer and the Deli in Fort Greene, Brooklyn for what I consider one of the best turkey sandwhiches in NYC for under $6.00 (that was then. have not been there in 3 years). As I was riding there, of course MJ was on every radio station. As the songs came on: “I’ll Be There” “Never Can Say Goodbye” “Bille Jean” “Man in the Mirror” I BEGAN SOBBING LIKE A NEW BORN BABY!
Here’s what I was thinking: “that voice is inimitable, honed from a child to a man with magnificent success; thinking of the height of his success how people, literally EVERYONE, man, woman, child, black, white chinese, was wild, out of body crazy, possessed, by MJ; I myself at the time of its release, sat with the Thriller album with the lyrics sheet, learned and sang every song all weekend long for at least a month straight; the Thriller video (never got those moves down) was such a ground breaking premier and phenomenon; the way MJ sang from his audition in front of Berry Gordy til his last album alive with such passion, i.e. “Heaven Can Wait” on the Invincible album 2001. THAT IS UNMATCHED UNDENIALE SOUL ON A RECORD; NOW, IT’S GONE!!!” And I wept until I couldn’t weep anymore at that loss.
“Where is all of this coming from, it’s not the death anniversary of MJ, it’s not his birthdate??? Well, top of the morning 1AM May 24, 2016 Motown 25 was on PBS. I happen to catch it when Richard Pryor was introducing Michael Jackson and The Jackson Five. I started to think, “I made it to work the day after MJs death announcement, but if I had come home from the weeping ride to get the turkey sandwhich and found Motown 25 playing on my television, that would have been the straw that broke the camel’s back.”
In the Motown 25 show, how beautiful brown he was (wish he could have just left his face at that); the way he danced and popped and spun and moon walked; the showmanship in his performance. To this day, I don’t think there is a SINGLE GREATER PERFORMANCE by a soloist than that of Michael Jackson performing Billie Jean on Motown 25.
To try and bring this essay to denouement, which will become protracted still; my friend Burton and I would have a Prince / Michael Jackson debate; he Prince, me Michael Jackson. I was never able to quite articulate it but I think some 15 to 20 years later I have the panaceas to that argument maybe for all that get ensnared in it (I guess I can’t say that, my opinion is mine alone).
Why I say MJ was better, because at the time in my provincial thinking of funky beats, soul singing, rhythm & blues proclivity, MJ wins that; even Beat It, Dirty Diana, etc which are to be rock songs, still had a funk / soul / rhythm to them and as I said before, the soul with which MJ laid his lyrics on wax, especially his runs and ad-libs, Prince did nothing of the sort. Add to that, the dancing which MJ always kept funky for you; it appealed to my senses as a Black American brought up on Funk Soul R&B.
Prince, his artistic expression was eccentric and eclectic. He, as we know, can get funky but it was never expressed on the 2 & 4 beat in the dance moves like MJ, i.e. Billie Jean Motown 25 performance. For example, take the song and video for the song “KISS“, very funky song, but Prince was in the video doing a mix of regular and eclectic type dancing with a female dancer. His varying Rock Songs, with the exception of “Let’s Go Crazy“, at the time, they never appealed to me, and it seemed as if they broke up his albums and made them sort of in-cohesive. Prince has many great hits we all know and love but, back then, to me, his music was all over the creative map whereas MJ sort of stayed in the pocket (a unique pocket nontheless).
One thing Prince did greatly were his amorous love songs: Do Me Baby, Adore, Insatiable, (is Darling Nikki considered a love song???), Call My Name / On The Couch (both on the Musicolgy album respectively); Just as MJ’s heart and soul – runs and ad-libs – delivery are unparalleled, what Prince did on those particular tracks is HANDS DOWN THE BEST, NO ONE COULD DO IT BETTER, EVER! The tracks “Rasberry Baret” (RB) and “Pop Life” (PL) on the Around The World In A Day album always bring a certain warmth and ease to my heart, from the very first time I heard them back in the 80s, (PL): “what you puttin’ in yo nose / is that where all your money goes….. is the mail man jerkin’ you round / did he put yo million dolla check in someone elses box tell may.” (RB) “built like she was ahh, she has nerve to ask me / if I plan to do her any harm / so look here / I put her on the back my bike and ahh, we went ridin’ / DOWN BY OLE MAN JOHNSON’S FARM“. In those two songs, once again you can see my proclivity toward the funk soul R&B.
ONE THING PRINCE HAS OVER MICHAEL JACKSON, ARTISTIC CREATION; this damn guy was a despotic, autocratic, megalomaniac, auteur, MUSICAL GENIUS. In these early debates of Prince/Michael Jackson, I could not give Prince’s musical genius proper credit because my ears truthfully only heard and appreciated a third of what he produced; the “Dirty Mind” album hadn’t graced my ears nor sunken in as the masterful masterpiece it was/is. Prince either directly played or personally directed and approved every note on every album/song he ever worked on. Material both released and still in the vaults unreleased IS COLOSSAL! And when we take into consideration Prince’s personal androgynous style which made his star shine even brighter, MAN LISTEN!
Musically, artistically creatively PRINCE WINS! But on Michael Jackson’s side – though (I think he could play a few chords) he never played a damn thing but maybe his finger snaps (which you must admit on “Rock With You” WERE BRILLIANT) and a tambourine – he was an auteur in his own right; let’s not forget this was the guy who turned down perfectly great tracks by the hottest producers in HIP HOP/R&B at the time, “The Neptunes (Pharrel and Chad)” which would have undoubtedly made a better album than Dark Child Rodney Jerkins and other producers made out of “Invincible”, as proved by the fact that Usher’s “8701” album and hit singles in 2001 -those were the Neptunes tracks produced for Michael Jackson – sold more than Michael Jackson’s “Invincible” released the same year.
Though he didn’t play much, – hey I just figured it out (MJ EPIPHANY) – Michael’s ear for melody and hot tracks and how to make a track hot with his voice and ad-libs “Hee, Hee” was his main – used to perfection – instrument, and those indelible stamps were on every record – MILLIONS – he sold, which on a lateral level makes Michael Jackson as great an artist as PRINCE.
I forgot to mention the Prince Falsetto and the ease with which he went/goes back and forth from Falsetto to Barritone was/is classic and untouched (well, maybe not untouched as D’Angelo kind of licked it a few times on the Voodoo album to great effect), but still Prince is the master of the Falsetto Baritone switch up.
I guess what I’m saying here is, if one says, “PRINCE IS BETTER” I understand and respect the polemic with which they come. If one says, “MICHAEL IS BETTER”, “I’m like a dog / I never speak / but I understand” (Jay Z “Never Change” Blueprint album, 2001).
#blackpeople n corporate america notice the white women & asians working late n2 the night, u go home at 5:30PM then complain about a raise
#blackpeople corporate america will never tell us this but they think we r lazy, inarticulate & ineffective which is sometimes true.
This tweet explanation came to mind thinking about my last 5 year stint working a job in which I was motivated to stay and work late, take on more responsibility at the job in an effort to get promoted. When my girlfriend would call me at 7 PM and I told her I was still at work, she’d quickly rebuff, “why are you still at work?” And when I’d have conversations with the few Black American people on the job about how late I stayed a particular night or was going to stay, as we chatted while I was going to get something to eat as they were on their way home at 5:00PM/5:30PM, they’d all spit out a well-known dictum within the Black American community, “they ain’t workin’ me like a slave.”
I began to think of my CFO and how he’d be on the job 9PM/10PM at night walking around jovially speaking with his executive peers, also working late. I thought of the articles I’d read where Congressman were called to meetings 11:30PM – 3AM in the morning to get some bill pushed through to the Senate. I thought of stories I read about CEOs working 16 hour days 80 to 100 hours a week or CPAs working for the Big 4 accounting firms who reported working the same amount of hours during busy tax and quarterly income statement preparation and audit season for clients. I thought of the question, “how is it possible to work that many hours in a 5 day week? I summed it up that they work on weekends and/or from home to come up with these ridiculous hour counts. I thought of how much these individuals got paid; some $1Mill a year, other $250K-$500K a year. CPAs often work 2 to 4 years at a CPA firm making $40K – $65K, then go to a corporate company as a senior accountant or accounting manager and are put on a track to make $90K – $150K; $40K to $150 respectively in 5 to 6 years.
When I walked around the office during my latest time of working at 9PM, I’d rarely see any Black Americans working at that hour. But I would see many of the Black Americans gathered at the elevator between 5;00PM/5:30PM. I spoke with one young woman and asked does she ever work late. She quickly replied no and that, “it’s not about working longer or harder but about working smarter.” I asked her where she wanted to be in 5 years, she said to have her MBA and be within a management position in her current field. I then asked her, “don’t you think that is going to require you to work longer hours?” She said, “yes, I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.” I also asked, “do you hope to get a nice raise at the end of this year of working for our current company?” She quickly blurted out an emphatic yes. While some of the younger Caucasian individuals went home at the sound of the clock striking 5PM as well, there were also quite a few who were around at 7PM – 9PM.
Apres 2007/2008 when thinking about hard work, I often think of Barack Obama and that he, a Black American man (though he’s half White American) was not supposed to win the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2008, especially over a White American woman candidate, Hillary Clinton whose husband Bill Clinton was already a proven great Democratic American President. But yet, not only did Obama win the nomination, he won the presidency by a landslide over John McCain in November 2008. I think it took tremendous emotional fortitude to stay the course and move forward to become The United States of America’s first, so-called, Black American president; he is, after all, half White American.
Once I saw this feat being accomplished by Barack Obama of being the democratic representative to run for office, is when I decided to study to take my CPA Exam, an exam which only 40% of candidates who sign up to take it, pass; the numbers are even more abysmal among the Black American candidates who sign up and take the exam. Every road block I came to in studying for the CPA Exam I thought of Barack Obama and the adversity he overcame to become the presidential nominee and eventually president; he and Michael Phelps. The tireless work ethic it took to accomplish what those two individuals accomplished that year of 2008 was a mammoth and colossal aberration from the status quo. Passing the CPA Exam was the hardest I’d ever worked in my entire life.
As I studied, passing and failing parts of the CPA Exam, and reflected upon my life and future career which I saw as being on its death bed if I didn’t pass the exam, I took a look back at my career and the careers of many White American or other Americans in Corporate America. The arduous preparation for that exam made me realize that either Black Americas are less intelligent and/or put in less work ethic than other ethnicities; a primary reason for the low passing rates among us, of not just the CPA Exam, but and seemingly (as reported in the media) any entrance type/prerequisite exam. Most CEOs of companies and those in management positions in Corporate America have their Masters In Business Administration, CPA, JD etc; Some do not have this educational training, but many do. Many Black Americans have not put in the hours of hard studying and work ethic to obtain the educational and on the job training, i.e. Malcolm Gladwell’s “Outliers” 10,000 hours, but complain about non-promotions and advancement.
I started to delve into the aspects of my career. The most of a raise I’d ever received on my professional jobs was 3%. I began to ponder why that was. I knew exactly why. It was because at the onset of my first job out of college, I wanted to be a Hip Hop producer of musical songs to rap lyrics. I left my jobs everyday a 5PM, rarely staying past 6:30PM to complete or get extra work done or asking for more responsibility on the jobs and was often times goofing off e-mailing my cousin or girlfriend all day or writing journals in Microsoft Word on my work computer. Add to that the fact I am a Black American male and there you get the lowest raise a job would offer an individual as a simple cost of living inflation raise. On my first job, I was angry about it and quickly made steps to leave. My second job, my manager gave me warning that he knew I was jerking off and that I was not carrying as much work as the rest of the team and that I should step it up and contribute more. But I really didn’t care, I was living in New York, closer to my dream of becoming a Hip Hop producer than one could get. I was leaving the job every night by 5:30PM going to my apartment to produce a beat on my ASR10 Keyboard beat machine sequencer.
I got fired from my first job in New York due to my lack of enthusiasm. I found another job 6 months later, which after my first 6 months there, I was working under a new Accounting Manager who quickly noticed my weaknesses in lacking attention to detail and was on me like white on rice. She reprimanded me for minor mistakes and tardiness. I’d get to work at 9:20AM – 9:30AM every morning as opposed to 9AM because no one ever said anything. When she did say something, from that point on I was there every morning at 8:30AM – 8:45AM and making sure during the day I covered every inch of detail of my work to doting my “I”s and crossing my “T”s. But she eventually ended up firing me anyway, on a day no less, when she checked my work, there were no mistakes and I turned it in two days early and asked her for more work to do or if she needed help on any special assignments.
After that termination, I could not find another solid job for 3 years, literally 2003 – 2006 I was unemployed. Employers would not touch me. One thing I noticed is that I was not articulating my experience well to seem very knowledgeable about accounting. I also noticed that I had a lazy drawl to my speech pattern and delivery which my current live-in girlfriend would point out to me as well. At age –, I immediately began to work on my accounting, speech and vocabulary skills; finally 3 years later I guess I perfected it and someone agreed to hire me.
To address another matter regarding why Black Americans leave at 5:30PM; after a 3 year break from work, on this new job which I was glad to receive; ready and willing to work prodigious overtime hours, I noticed that I quickly learned my job to every last detail by the first year. My supervisor did not offer me any raise, which I didn’t want or feel I needed because I was getting paid $20K more than 3 years ago. Shortly after the first year, I told the CFO that he was underutilizing my skills and I could take on more responsibility. During the same period, the company shifted part of the accounting responsibilities to a shared services group and this severely cut into my work; with not much more responsibility, I began to hang around work less frequently and leave at 5:30PM with the rest of the Black Americans and other co-workers who felt that to be an appropriate hour of egress.
When the second year on the job rolled around; I noticed a 3% increase in my paycheck. I was livid, especially after making a great contribution to the team the first year and being told so through various e-mails by the manager who hired me. I quickly requested a meeting with the CFO and Director of Accounting. In that meeting I laid out my contribution, how I had saved the company money by filing the excise tax returns in a timely manner, which they had not filed timely a few times prior, to the tune of late penalties of $15,000. I presented all the things you read in magazine articles and blogs they tell you to do and enumerate to your superior at raise negotiation time. The meeting boiled down to the CFO telling me no, I would not receive more than 3% due to certain mistakes which he could not properly detail and recapitulate to me; I’d receive another 3% in Sept, which this was now June. I tried to propose a compromise to give me the extra 3% now as a retro-pay; mind you this only added up to $1,800, which was currently less than they were paying employees for job candidate referral bonuses. Also, unbeknownst to him, I was in his office listening while he was on the phone with a department manager giving little resistance and ultimately approving of more than a 20% raise to an employee. I made up my mind at that moment I was leaving the company and started going home every day at 5:00PM. The problem with leaving the company, it was 2008 and during the time of the housing crisis economic fall-out – Mr Hank Paulson “Mr. Bailout” – and there was not a job to be found.
I tell that story because often times it is the case, even if Black Americans do play an integral part on the team and make major contributions they still get looked over for raises and/or promotions they can economically feel. To add to the story, I was seeing White American young women and men getting promoted to supervisor of their position every three to six months which I know a raise came along with as well; some of whom I did not see working late nightly hours. So a Black American sees this and can quickly become prostrated. But, it is also often the case that Black Americans are the ones who leave at 5:30PM every day, are talking loudly to friends on the company phone or their private cell phones during work hours, they get into work late and leave a little early. After putting in 1 to 2 years on the jobs they are walking around talking about how much smarter they are and should have gotten promoted or given the opportunity. While that behavior could fly for many White American men and women, Black Americans you must stop the aphorism of lethargy and stick to the saying, “we must work twice as hard to get to the same place