Friday, November 12, 2010


(If you are a potential employer and you’re stumbled upon this blog, Tangela is in no way responsible for today’s content. My, uh, her evil twin hacked into the blog. She’s a horrible typist.)
As I litter the Tulsa Metroplex with my resume, I pause to reflect on past bosses. I’ve had a couple of great bosses and quite a few really bad bosses. I have bosses that I don’t even remember. I loved that dude who was manager at Lane Bryant when I worked there during the 2000 Christmas season, but I can’t remember his name to save my life. I can remember almost every stinking detail about the bad ones!
The worst boss I ever had had cancer twice and it didn’t killer. Either time. She’s still alive and kicking. Evil must be the secret to a long life. She would roll up at the school still glowing from chemo and go into a shrill hissyfit. Who in their right mind would leave chemo and come to work? Who would leave chemo and start cussing people out? BossZilla. Instead of thanking teachers and students for their prayers, she’d say something like, “That bulletin board looks like s#%^” She was principal at the last school I ever taught in. She was the bile flavored icing on the cake that soured me to teaching in Montgomery County. I watched her peel a little first grader off of her when he hugged her- not because of the chemo, but because” his hands are nasty.”
There was only one thing me and this one could ever agree on: WE HATED EACH OTHER. She embarrassed me and my co-teacher once so badly in public that it brought me to tears. After that, the gloves were off. I tapped into my inner ghetto girl, and it was on and poppin like bacon grease in Granny’s cast iron skillet. I became walking defiance. More like sauntering, electric sliding defiance. The woman had a proven record of not tenuring black teachers. The school board knew it, the unnamed lobbying association knew it, and the three black teachers at the school knew it. Unlike the other black teachers at the school, I wasn’t afraid of her. I wasn’t afraid for my future. I wasn’t afraid for my job. I knew that she was going to non-renew my contract, but what she didn’t know is I had a copy of a memo she had written to an unnamed Administrator that specifically asked how she could get me moved without her having to deal with the “race issue.” Sidebar: Always be nice to the cleaning people, they can be your greatest friend or your worst enemy. I filed a complaint with the Justice Department and the US Department of Education. There were at least 11 complaints filed against her for the same thing in 3 different school districts. I was offered 6 positions the following year; I turned them all down. She is now an Administrator in the Montgomery Public School System.

Tort Waiting to Happen Zilla
He called me “Nipples.” I was the most educated person that worked there, and he called me “Nipples.” I explained that I didn’t like to be called “Nipples.” I still can’t remember why I didn’t sue him.

You can’t be friends with your boss. It’s a recipe for disaster. You really don’t want to be getting all Jacked up with the person who can decide your fate. I had a boss who was very friendly at first. There was nothing she wouldn’t do for me at first. I was her favorite at work. It was no secret. I took advantage of our relationship, at times. Everything was fine-- until it wasn’t. She became jealous of the success I was having in our industry. She found out a company in Atlanta was scouting me to come work for them, and she got mad. She found out I was asked to present at a conference about African-Americans in the industry, and her not- black-at- all ass was furious! Then she fired me. I was crushed. I got over it, eventually.
Getting fired was the best thing that ever happened to me. Yes, I was a snot ball for a few weeks, but I learned a lot. I learned to be resourceful. I learned that I was strong. I learned that I don’t do well in captivity. I learned that after all those years of thinking I was a bad employee; I really was a bad employee. I’m from the era where you graduate high school, if you’re lucky enough to go to college-you go- and then you take the first job you’re offered, and stay there until you die. Nobody retired in my old hood. I was trained to play the game, but the training didn’t take. No one ever told me I could own my own business, when I was growing up. No one ever told me I could be an artist or actor or anything that required creativity or individuality. I raged against the machine from childhood. I had no idea why I was always in trouble for speaking my mind. I became a true threat in 6th grade when I did my first and only impersonation of my music teacher. She had it put in my permenant record that I was “smart and devilish and I had an attitude problem.”Pfffffft. (Eye roll, tooth suck, cobra neck)!!!!!!!
Armed with the knowledge I have now, would I have done things differently? Probably not. I see people that started their careers the same time I started mine, and some have really great jobs and lives. Others have fallen prey to greed and power. If I had changed a thing, I wouldn’t be where I am now. I have never been able to play the game well. I’ve never been able to just shut up and go along. I’m dyslexic which makes life hard for an avid reader and even harder for a secret writer. I’m a horrible typist. I’m impatient with people over 18 and under 65. I can do just about anything, but nothing that pays the bills. But, I’m great on the phone. I could always be a telemarketer, if I can get rid of this accent.
I believe one day I’ll be rewarded for doing my own thing. Funny is the only true talent God gave me. I don’t try to be funny. I just am. I try not to offend people. I try not to curse like a sailor. Shut UP! I try not to make my Mama ashamed. I try not to come across like one of those folks on Comic View. Trying to make a career out of making people think and making people laugh is a full time job. It’ll pay off. I’ll make it. And when you see me dressed to the nines, looking like a fluffy Halle Berry, sitting beside Oprah talking about my one-woman show on Broadway; you can say you remember when they used to call me nipples.
In the event I don’t make it on Oprah next week, and I have used you as a reference, just say the following things about me: She types 100 words per minute with 99% accuracy. She has a great attitude. She is a team player. She has never filed an EEOC complaint against anyone. She has never been in Girls Gone Wild. She would be an asset to your university/firm/strip club/convenience store.
Until next time, YeeHaw!

Monday, November 8, 2010

The McBrothas: Preschool Pariahs

They told me I couldn’t have any more babies in 1997. They lied. I found myself inexplicably knocked up in 2005 and 2006. Ok, it’s not inexplicable, but it is surprising since I am the proud owner of a prolapsed this, half-torqued that, a scrambled egg, and Frankenwomb. Hell, I should get sole Executive Producing credit on “I Didn’t Know I was Pregnant!” Once again, I find myself robbed of a reality show, but I digress. Anyhow, after finding about the impending miracle babies, I set about finding names for the children that wouldn’t be too ethnic, too granola, or just plain cringe worthy. So, Debrickashaw, Earthflake, and Shirley were out of contention for the boy name coronation. My name drew a butt load of teasing for me as a kid. I was an Orange Bowl float without a parade. And, my husband’s name is cool for a man in France, only in France. The one thing we bonded over from the very beginning was we’d never give our kids names that would get them a front row seat on the Wedgie Express or a special dispensation by the National Bullying Association as Ass Kickees for Life. Mr. Rene and I know a thing or two about being jacked with because of names, and we were duty bound to protect them.
We settled on Daniel and Adam because they were biblical, practical, and no one would ever make any assumptions about their race, gender, or awesomeness based on their names. We thought we got it right. Daniel would grow up to be brave and faithful when faced with life’s lion dens. Adam would be man enough to listen to his woman, even when she’s telling him to do something downright stupid—I love that in a man. Theologically the kids would be alright.
In hindsight, we were wrong. Jim Bakker crying on t.v. wrong. Jersey Shore being on the air wrong. No playoff in college football wrong. We should have gone with more Nordic names: Daniel the Destroyer and Adam the Abolisher. As they have grown into toddlerhood, one thing has become very apparent: these little wonder twins can tear up anything. Theologically, the kids may be alright, but the husband and I are about ready to remove everything from the house, and force them to live and play in cardboard boxes until we can ship them off to college or boarding school. Mr. Rene looks at me with distrust after the inevitable 5pm crash—not when the stock market closes, but when one hoists the other into the kitchen cabinet to get down a plate. I think Mr. Rene thinks that he may not be the father. Well, he is their damn daddy. He is brute force incarnate. Any man who can pick up a washer and dryer without a dolly and carry it is a bit of a damn heathen.
I have a recurring nightmare about my husband taking me on Maury Povitch demanding a DNA test on me and David Banner of the Incredible Hulk Banners. I see the husband sitting there all smug, telling Maury the kids have superhuman strength, so there is no way he is the father. We cut to a commercial for Binder and Binder, while I rack my brain, “Did I do shots with that dude at Bud’s? Damn you, bartender for overserving me, again! “
Back from commercial, Maury is waving the DNA result packet around like it’s a flag on Puerto Rican Day in the Bronx. And I want to go upside his head something fierce. Old David is sitting there chameleonizing from lime green to spring maple leaf. Maury makes on last ditch effort to get me to come clean about creeping with David. “Maury,” I say, “ There is no way I had relations with THE HULK. I’d remember that, even after the Jager!” Maury slowly opens the envelope, looks at Mr. Rene, “YOU ARRREEE The Father!” I get my cobra neck roll on, as only the animated baby mamas on this show can. The audience is shouting, the Hulk is sweating green food color everywhere, and I wake up to the sound of something breaking. It’s not the Hulk, it’s one of my beloved, beautiful cherubs, knocking a picture frame off of the mantle. The Mantle. What kind of lizard toes does a kid have to climb up on a damn mantle?
Since we’ve been in OK, the boys have taken a ceremonial leap off of their bunk beds onto their ceiling fan, leaving it minus a blade. Five minutes after my new to me sofa arrived in the house, Adam bled on it. Daniel, in an effort to prove asthma can be contracted by an entire family in one sitting, sprayed an entire canister of Glade all over the bathroom to mask the smell of a heinous stinky.
There is no reason why I should have to seek employment. My children are baby model beautiful, but I don’t take them on model calls, because I’m afraid of them drop kicking a photographer or burning down a modeling agency. I think it’s a cruel joke that the big guy has given me such cute kids, yet, I’m unable to profit from them. Hell, the Lohans ain’t as cute as my boys, yet the Deena gets to spend all of her young ‘uns earnings on new clothes…I want a chance, too! In the words of Daniel the Destroyer, “Not Fair!”
Beat them. I know that’s what you’re thinking. Beating them only makes them stronger, and turn a strange shade of chartreuse. Mr. Rene says that’s all the proof he needs. I tell Mr. Rene’ it’s a side effect of race mixing. It happens to all biracial kids. It’s what the klan tried to warn you about. Then I remember sitting next to a green dude at the World Famous Johnny Zip Lounge.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The New Adventures of The Original Chocolate Cowgirl

Well, after much hubbub, I'm settled into my new home in Oklahoma. I'll be posting my new adventures here! I'm thankful, thankful for the chance to start over. I'd pretty much worn out my welcome back home in Montgomery. Done all. Seen it all. Some good. Some bad. Some joy. Lots of pain toward the end.
Funny, that I don't really miss it. I miss my baby. I miss my Mama. I miss my friends. I don't miss the diamond coated caste system. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't make a life or a living there. I was never from a good enough family to fit into the hierarchy of blacks in Montgomery...and to make matters worse, I actually thought living a fully integrated life would allow me acceptance into the power structure. I was too black to fit in with the whites and too white for the blacks. This was never more evident than when I applied for several jobs that I was more than qualified for. I'd either get shut out by a black woman who was sorority sisters with the woman doing the hiring, or a far less qualified white guy would get the job because his daddy was friends with...I'm looking at yall, Soon to Be Serving Time for Extortion Lobbyist/State Employee/Senator.

The thing I most love about being here is I'm just a person. I'm sure there's still racism, but it is not nearly as pungent or palpable as the venom in Montgomery—from both sides of the preverbal race card. I'm looking forward to being able to live a life--not just exist. Besides, I’m glad to be low priority on the racism checklist here. Mexicans and Arabs get the blunt end of the billy club here! I know it’s wrong to say, but I’m exhausted from trying squeeze my fat ass into the box. I’m glad to be able to let the chub fall where it may, and just live.
I’ll let ya know how it goes.