A Blue State of Mind

"The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams." Oprah

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Location: The Western U.S, United States

I spent 48 years caring about what people thought of me. I'm not spending the rest of my life caring about that anymore!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

This Looked Good, So I Stole It Too!

If you were to be the opposite sex for one day, what would you do?
I'd probably dip into my savings and buy Cardinal season tickets. They're in the new stadium and I can root for all the great teams that come play, and I could officially holler at Tyrell Owens.

If you had to name the most difficult thing about being a teenager today, what would you say?
Staying in school, definitely. Here in the Southwest we have very high dropout rates amongst our black and hispanic youth, especially our minority girls.

When was the most embarrassing moment of your life?
When I was in 7th grade our teacher refused to let us eat lunch. I complained to my father that evening and the next morning my father stomped into the principal's office threatening to shoot everybody in charge for making his baby miss lunch. All the kids laughed at me for months!

If you had to name the most overrated actor in Hollywood, who would it be?
Jack Nicholson. Granted, I've only seen one of his movies (Something's Gotta Give) but why is he hot w/the young girls? The way I see it, he's old, balding and blind. What gives?

What would you say is the personality trait that you have tried the hardest to change in yourself?

If you could go back to the Garden of Eden to give Adam advice, what would it be?
Adam, don't be a wuss! Listen to God, not that headstrong woman!

If you were to name the best "I told you so" you were able to deliver, what was it?
I told my brother he would have hard times finding good paying jobs w/o an education. He proves it everyday he works for the moving company.

If you were Whitney, what would be your next publicity stunt?
Going on Oprah and asking her to assist with an my intervention, then I'd have cameras follow me through the detox.

If you could have a lifetime 50% discount in any one store at your local mall, which store would it be?
Macy's! Macy's! Macy's

If you could have one more pet, what kind would it be and what would you name it?
It would be another dog and his name would be Enemy.

If you could have God perform one miracle today, what would it be?
Real justice for the rest of us.

If you could spend the next New Year's Eve doing anything, what would it be and w/whom?
After Watch Service I'd invite all the Saints and friends to my rented penthouse and we'd eat, laugh and have the biggest sleepover ever!

If you were to set your country's immigration policy, what would it be?
Amigos, si no pueden hablar or leer ingles, no pueden recevir ayuda hasta lo pueden! Guys, if you can't speak or read English, you won't receive government help until you're able to converse in English!

If you were given the power to settle the issue of gays in the military, what policy would you set?
You should be free to tell, even if they don't ask!

If you could have one person you have lost touch with call you up tonight and invite you to dinner, who would it be?
Probably my friend Roy, because he was the first.... to take me to see the Dallas Cowboys. He'll always have a special place in my heart.

If you could change one thing about your love life, what would it be?
I'd have one, sugar! I'd have one!

If you could have prevented one book from ever being published, which would it be?
Charles Darwin's theory. J-U-N-K!

Which is the best music album/CD ever recorded?
The Boys Choir of Harlem-Rough Crossing.

If you could have one thing made out of pure gold, what would it be?
My grandfather's bible, because it's so precious to me now.

If God were to whisper one thing in your ear, what would you like Him to say?
"Don't worry about your father and grandfather. They're here w/me and they're both having blasts!!"

Monday, April 24, 2006

The Cowardly Lion & Other Mixed Up Thoughts

Have you ever wondered what was really wrong w/the lion from "The Wizard of Oz"? Absolutely nothing! There he is, minding his own business, trying to live life the way he wants but no! Society told him he had to be mean, tough, dangerous, fierce, brutal, a murderer of the weak and ruler of the jungle. All this lion wanted to do was live, breathe, run through fields of grass and enjoy himself. Sometimes I feel just like that poor lion.

Here I am just trying to do what I want to do (according to the Bible and its statutes) and along comes society to tell me that I should be fierce, brutal, angry, sassy, an eye-rolling, neck snapping sista w/an attitude. I'm not going to be that stereotype. I just REFUSE!! It's okay that I don't know the latest hip-hop rapper. That I prefer classical and gospel music rather than jazz. That I'd rather spend a Saturday night at the opera or symphony than chugging 40s and finding roughnecks to buy my next drink. I'm not going to hide the fact that I like shopping, but only if I can use cash rather than my credit card. I'm going to find bargains and not keep up w/the newest, latest, gotta-have-this fake Dooney, Coach, Louie bag. I'll buy my real Coach and real Dooney when I can save the money. Oh yeah, the bag's gonna also be leather, none of this new junk made out of canvas like the Louies. All cowhide, baby!
At my job I meet new people everyday, and I work moderately hard to make a good impression, or as good an impression you can when you're 400 lbs. I'm clean, smell good and I'm usually wearing a big smile 'cause I'm doing all right. And you know the most consistent comment I get when people meet me? You guessed it: "Wow! I bet she's mean! I know she don't take no stuff! I bet she puts people in their place!" Nothing about my intelligence, my well put together wardrobe, my smile, nothing. Just the typical black sista w/the attitude.
Somewhere along the line I got tired of trying to change perception because it meant lots of people left me alone and asked the stupid, repetitive questions to their peers. This left me a lot of time to get things done and released me from having to babysit newcomers to the life of a call center employee. And, when I would need something from someone, I didn't get all the crap of 'didn't get your msg' 'sorry, I forgot' etc. And yeah, I'll admit that I would help the perception along by sufficiently growling and making roaring noises (remember the lion when he first met Dorothy and Toto?) to avoid being asked to help on certain undesirable projects.
The real story of course, is that I'm a big scaredy cat. But, like the Winans sang, "It's time to make a change!" And it's my time. Right now. And it's scarying the daylights out of me. I'm trying to be approved for weight-loss surgery (WLS) and this is involving lots of scary new things. Meeting doctors, losing weight, changing my whole perception of food and eating. I'm applying for promotions. This certainly has caused my blood pressure to remain high. I'm no longer listening to that little voice that tells me to stay in my place because no one will hire a big girl like me. Now I'm applying and asking the Lord to bless me w/the job if I will be successful.
In January I told the Lord I wasn't going to be so scared all the time and I guess He's gonna see if I'm serious because I've had to face some frightening things in these four short months. If anyone had told me last October I would be going to the gym alone, that I'd be 32 lbs lighter, that I'd actually like walking, that I'd be applying for jobs, I would have just smiled at them and quickly dismissed it as propecy from the wrong prophet given to the wrong person.
Life is so funny and weird sometimes. All you have to do is make one step and God's there to help you make two more. Just one step and He'll help you do the rest. My faith is built on nothing less than Jesus' love and righteousness. I dare not trust a simple frame, but I'll lean wholly on His name. On Christ the Solid Rock I stand. All other ground is sinking sand! All other ground is sinking sand.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

A Great Employee

I'm a leader in a call center and I've seen all kinds of employees-the good, the bad and the ugly. They've all crossed my paths at one time and since I'm in the mood for sharing, here are some of my best tips on being a great employee:
*Show up to work on time.
If you're gonna call out sick, make sure you have sick time or that you've discussed making other arrangements w/your Leader. Sick time should be considered the same as money in a savings account. Running through your sick time as soon as it's accrued is just like spending your money and never saving anything. What happens when you really need it? It's gone and you're being placed on counseling. Come to work. That's what you're expected to do.
*Look like you're coming to work and not the laundromat.
Now that most businesses have converted to 'business casual', dress codes have changed dramatically. When I first started working in the mid-80's, we wore nylons, closed toe shoes and blouses. Now I see people coming in tights, torn jeans, wrinkled t-shirts, just like they're on their way to do laundry or wash the car. And let me give advice to big people...please don't wear those pants that cling to every roll and ripple in your jiggly thighs! That's disgusting! I'm a big girl-size 34- so I know what I'm talking about. If you just have to wear those pants wear a shirt long enough to cover that up! There's nothing worse than seeing your cellulite-ridden hips jiggle when you walk by my desk.
I love wearing perfume. My favourite fagrances are Shiseido's Zen, Ralph Lauren's Romance and Guerlain's Quelques Fleur. It's alright to spray a bit when coming to work but guess what? People three aisles from your desk don't need to smell you. Three sprays-one to each wrist and one behind your right knee will do nicely, thank you.
*Be nice to people.
Remember the Golden Rule? "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." It's still just as true as it was back then. It won't kill you to hold the door for others or let someone else take the last free water. Be nice to security guards, janitors, support staff and admins. Too many of us are curt, surly and downright nasty w/the people we work with. One other point to consider, the person you work with today may one day be your boss. What kind of memory do you want people to have when you walk into that interview?
*Support your leader, even if s/he's an idiot.
Yeah I said it. I've reported to leaders who couldn't spell, use correct punctuation, knew nothing about our business, cared nothing about developing their direct reports and cared nothing about their reports as people. All they cared about was looking good in front of the Big Boss. Although it's easy and tempting to show up your loser boss in front of his/her boss, take care because it may backfire on you and then you'll really up a creek. Especially if your boss's boss leaves the department. Then you're left to fend for yourself and pray your boss won't torture you as much as s/he can. Ok, let me make this clear: there's a difference in treatment if your boss is an idiot. If s/he's making racist or sexist comments, inappropriately touching you, being unethical and forcing you to be unethical, document everything, then run-don't walk- to his/her boss's office. If you're still met w/resistance, go even higher. Some companies have omsbuds who are there to do handle these kinds of complaints.
*Take your development into your own hands.
Face it folks, in today's cutthroat workplace it's usually every woman for herself. You should talk to your boss about your development plans at least twice a year but don't feel that just because you've told your boss about your plans that s/he'll remember them or even care about them. It's up to you to find your next promotion or position. Find mentors who are movers in the company or department and meet w/them. Look in the internal job openings to see what piques your interest, then contact the hiring leader to get add'l information about the positions. Try to get your boss' buy-in about your leaving but be prepared-s/he may not want you to leave. Maybe because s/he doesn't feel you have the skills for the particular job, maybe because s/he's going for the same job, and because you're such a good worker that your leaving may actually spotlight to his/her boss that you were the one doing all the work anyway:-)
*Stop grumbling and complaining. The door opens out as well as opens in.
Can't stand your boss? Can't support the business goals? Tired of the job and people you work with? Fine, leave! You were looking for a job when you found this one, why stay around making yourself sick and your peers even sicker of you? Get out! I can't stand those employees who whine and complain about the job day in and day out and won't leave! I don't care that you've lost faith in the company because we've outsourced departments. Do us all a favour and find a multinational that hasn't outsourced and go work for them. I've had to work w/people who thought they were doing me a favour by coming to work. They're picking up a paycheck, sitting in an air-conditioned building, playing on the 'Net and using benefits and they wanna complain all day and try to bring me down 'cause they're unhappy and trifling. My company doesn't like us to be direct and ask people to leave but sometimes I just have to tell them because they're making my butt burn! If you're not going to leave because you're too cowardly to go find something different then shut up, increase your performance and make the best of the situation. No one wants Dour Doras on their team so do what you're supposed to be doing and move on.
*Gossip is a two-edged sword.
It's a good thing to know the politics of your department but not all of the gossip. Too many times you hear this stuff and then repeat it, not knowing that you could be labeled the one who actually started the rumour. Trust me on this. Don't say anything you wouldn't want sent on a department-wide email. I used to hear the Saints say, "The dog who brings a bone will carry a bone." This means you hear something, give your opinion and the gossiper then spreads out your comments after embellishing it 2-7 times higher. Be safe and keep your opinions to yourself and the Lord.
*Align yourself with people of good reputation.
I've always believed this, even when I was in high school. I wanted to be w/the popular kids because I wanted to be popular. When I got to college, I hung around the AKA sisters even though I couldn't pledge (my church wouldn't allow us to join sororities back then) because they were always popular. My friends are a lot like me-we travel, read, want to do lots of things. Even at work I don't hang around others who are constantly complaining, not performing, of ill repute and who are just Dour Doras. My peer group are usually high performing leaders with good reputations. Those others I speak to (cordially of course) but that's it. Here's another old saying..."If you play in garbage, you're gonna get dirty." There are too many lies going on to give haters more ammunition. Stay close to good people.

Ok, there you have it. A free-how-to-be-a-great-employee instruction booklet free of chrg. Now get back to work:-)