"Did he just call me a B*tch?!"
How I learned to Trust My Dopeness…
I was prepared for an eventful day at work. It was day one of a new operational process designed to increase productivity among staff, but also create a smoother transition to accommodate an influx of 1,500 clients in addition to the 1, 000 we were already serving. Clients who were very accustomed to running their own program without accountability were in for a rude awakening. That was just the morning session. As the new Training Manager, I was not only responsible for ensuring my training team was supported, but also ensuring the clients were as calm as possible and understood the new process clearly.
“That’s not correct, she’s not supposed to be in there,” said a male staffer outside my classroom of 65 clients. One of my trainers tried to physically block him from walking into my class. “Actually, you belong in room three,” I said, but he paid me no mind and busted into my classroom as I was speaking.
“You are not supposed to be in this room, we were told to be here!” he exclaimed, with no regard for my students or me as a Training Manager. Frustrated and in no mood to be disrespected, I walked over to the classroom door and held it open for him to leave, and calmly said: “No. If you were paying attention in the meeting, you would know that you’re supposed to be in room three. Check the sheet.”
As I held the door open, another manager approached to assist and reiterate that he did, in fact, belong in room three. As I closed the door, I could see the anger in his face. He was pissed. After the manager walked away, he proceeded to announce to my trainer “She’s such a BITCH!” Referring to me.
The entire class heard him and was in shock. Some of the male clients flipped out and complained of his constant disrespect toward them and now me. This staffer is clearly a repeat offender. He felt entitled to ration his respect and professionalism, and only give it to those he deems worthy.
I personally don’t play that shit.
On this day, he tried it. Thankfully, my sophisti-ratchet side subsided, and I chose to lead with my intellect. Clearly, the Universe was in control to remind me of the bigger picture. When I was done providing information to the classroom my trainer took over and, I went straight to my office and sent a short but poignant email to HR.
I received a quick reply and a follow-up call from the Director of Human Resources. The next day, my Director came in to speak with me to talk about how I felt and assure me that all would be handled. I had every reason to believe that he would not only be terminated, but an example would be set and a message would be sent that as a female-owned business, leadership will not tolerate disrespect; especially from subordinates to management. This wasn’t his first issue with a woman, especially in terms of how he spoke to his mangers and colleagues, so I was certain this would be over.
Welp, I was wrong!
I mean, who was I kidding? Even if this organization was built by 3 women whose mission was to serve a diverse , under employable population, why would I be supported and protected? That was clearly, asking for way too much. So after a supposed “investigation”, and him apparently begging for his job, HR and our interim Director coordinated a meeting for him to apologize to me and for us to figure out a way to work together. I was told to let it go and move on.
In that moment, everything changed for me. I was reminded Black women have no place in Corporate American and we will almost never be supported and protected when the offender is a white male.
I met some friends for a much needed and well deserved liquid lunch after this failed apology session. As I vented for 15 minutes straight, my homeboy interrupted me to tell me that this was my fault. “What the fuck do you mean?” I asked him (yes, another sophisti-ratchet moment). “You originally accepted this opportunity to expand your training and development skillset as another stream of income for The Startup Strategist,” he explained. “The goal was to gain them as a client, writing their curriculums and facilitating trainings at different locations part-time as a balance to the other services you offered. Yet you allowed a part-time teaching position consume you back into full–time Corporate America all over again. Now your company has taken a backseat, while you’re restructuring, implementing, and operating someone else’s dream.”
Sidebar: Your tribe is crucial to your success for so many reasons, and most importantly to bring you back to life. The right tribe will not only affirm, support, critique and verbally assault your existence sincerely with love.
My friend was right. I mean what was I looking for, him to pat me on my shoulders and help me strategize which homies we would call to come through and whip this staffer’s ass?! Did I deserve to be disrespected? HELL NO! However, the Universe has a way of letting you know when you are too comfortable and getting far off track. Clearly this was the message, and I received it.
I wrote my letter of resignation when I returned to the office and scheduled it to go out in exactly six months via email. I was giving myself time to establish a strategic plan for transitioning back from employee to entrepreneur.
My clients meant everything to me. Assisting people to get off public assistance meant so much more than I realized. The face of public assistance has changed tremendously, especially in New York City. It was a privilege to come in daily and pour life into people who looked like me. These folks were often written off, mistreated, and dismissed because they were counted out solely based on their current circumstances of receiving public assistance. One of the reasons this Training Manager position was created for me first time in that company’s 20-year history as a stand-alone department was because I was highly effective. As I let doubt creep in again, and I began feeling like I wouldn’t be able to serve them without working for someone directly, I was reminded of one of my favorite quotes: “Trust Your Own Dopeness”
I liked it so much, I made it a shirt! Yes, shameless plug: buy here …
But really, the quote is true. We all have gifts, and sometimes fancy positions and salaries, or handsome, bearded black men, lol can serve as a distraction to the bigger picture of your life. Trust your own Dopeness, you have everything you need to make your next move your best move.
Not only did I follow through and resign six months later, they offered me another position in another city with full relocation fees paid! So, I moved to Washington DC to give it a try, but low and behold, the Universe spoke again and this time I quit the company for good!
Not only have I gained clarity on how to expand my vision, I am now operating a business which serves three cities.
I’m back on my #Mogulish and I will not be stopped!
Whenever doubt and negativity of others quietly creeps in to your psyche and causes doubt, let go of toxic opinions and environments and stop seeking validation, and Trust Your own Dopeness.