What I am about to pen down might not come as a surprise to you, but if anything, enlighten you to always remember to do the right thing, stay true to yourself, and speak up even at the detriment of your own job. After a successful completion of my 8 years as a stay-at-home mom. I had no doubt it was time for me to head back to the workforce since my kids were all of school age. This was like a dream come true, a day I thought was far-fetch was finally up for grasp. I was ready for the workforce; but was the workforce ready for me? Is what we are about to find out!
If anything, I was more than excited heading back to work because I wanted to be productive out of my home, make a difference, build my long lost career and above all; make some dollars. I knew there were wolves in wall-streets, however, I had no idea wolves were everywhere human beings co-exist. That was something new I discovered and had to either adapt to their cruelty, act like I was made of rocks, voice my concern or co-mingle with them. Since you all know me so well, what do you think I did?
My daily life at work was more of a struggle due to the unfair treatment I was receiving from some of my colleagues and manager. Can you imagine getting up and going to work knowing that your ideas, work ethics and contributions are not welcomed by a particular group of people – They didn’t appreciate the knowledge behind the black veil – they would rather have it come from someone else. Either to act as if they came up with the original idea or what I had to offer is irrelevant. Being treated differently because of my beliefs, ideas and overall outlook in life. Making me feel less of a team member because I refuse to kiss butts or pick sides. I was even prevented from moving to another department or promoted, all in the name of the glass ceiling – just to name a few. Bullying comes in different form and anyone can become a victim irrespective of class, status or demeanor. We have to join forces and stop those who use their power, position and privileges to bully others because they are in authority.
As a charismatic woman of substance and a woman of color, there is no surprise what we are up against. However, there is never enough shield, guard or protection to prepare us for the storm ahead. Sometimes, we have to undergo these experiences or face these hardships/difficult moments to be resilient and fortify. The good thing about me is that I am a fighter, a go-getter, and an upright person. I will never stop informing, educating, or keeping others in the know on how their actions knowingly or unknowingly has affected me or a third party. In simple terms, I don’t shut-up – I SPEAK UP!! . And I will always go down fighting for what I believe in. “To the roots of the mountains I sank down; the earth beneath barred me in forever. But you Lord my God, brought my life up from the pit”. Jonah 2:6.
I took things upon myself to inquire from others about their own experiences in the Canadian workforce system and how they had managed to deal with their struggles. I specify on the Canadian workforce system because I am already aware how the US System operates. Is an open book system – just like the President. You can never be surprised by their actions; whereas Canada on the other hand is hidden rebuke and unwanted love. They will smile in your face, but are stabbing you the moment you turn your back. I wanted to know if this was a norm or I was just an unfortunate victim of circumstance. The consensus I received was alarming because all the people I spoke to about this matter had either gone through similar situations or worse. What was also disturbing to me was that the majority of them choose to do nothing about their predicament rather decided to suppress their feelings and displeased themselves all in the name of a paycheck.
I know we all need to work to survive or put food on the table. But what happens when our ego is being shattered, stripped to nothing or degraded? Should we be quiet or should we speak up? If we don’t speak up about the bullies in our workplaces, how then do we expect change to prevail? We are only setting up the next generation up for failure and further maltreatment. We need to be the change we want to see and set precedent for our children. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9.
Is a tough world but I do believe the black race is the toughest! If you can trace back the history of our forefathers you would realize that they endured more than what we are up against; yet survived, made it through or paved the way for us. We still have that ability in us to overcome any obstacle or circumstances. To add, “Black is the only color that when mixed with other colors remain dominant” if that doesn’t mean anything to you, then you have some waking up to do and self actualization. Some days will be better than others, but as long as we don’t lose perspective of who we are, where we came from, and where we are headed then we are in it to win it and most importantly create a better experience for others. “Hell, in my opinion, is never finding your true self and never living you own life or knowing who you are.” By John Bradshaw.
It came to a point where the maltreatment and feel of second class citizenship must have to go. I came up with an exit strategy. However, I had to ensure it was the right timing and align with God’s purpose in my life. My company was transitioning from manual processing to FX Office and they had plans to lay off some workers. But since I know my worth and whom I serve, I knew I wasn’t going to be part of those laid off, but somehow, I had to make myself available for layoff because I know I deserve more. I drafted my exit letter requesting to be among those to be laid off. Since it came as a surprise to many, they had to inquire why I came up with such a decision. This was an opportunity for me to voice my concern of all the problems I and others have been enduring within the company. Not that it would make a difference because most of the happenings in the company were already known though they chose to ignore it. It meant a lot for me because I was bold, upfront and open enough to speak my mind in spite of the outcome. After all, what did I have to lose? Only a job but keep my dignity, pride and believe intact. “There is no witness so terrible and no accuser so powerful as conscience which dwells within us”. By Sophocles.
As if I knew the outcome already; nothing was done to my oppressors – if anything, they were hailed just like I presumed. That didn’t bother me at all because I did what I was meant to do, which was voiced my concerns and issues unfolding within the organization and allow God wrath to prevail. “Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. Romans 12:19. Though I was devastated by the outcome, I knew it was the norm in the world, yet, I decided to be the change – although it didn’t benefit me today, it will certainly benefit the future generation.
After all was said and done, it was time for me to leave behind the bad, ugly and awful experiences; and take along the good, the knowledge, talent along with a package and embark on another venture with a new company. At the end of the day, it was their lost because I am a great asset to any organization. I became the talk of the company either being praised by one group for my bravery or being condemned by another group for trying to tarnish the company’s reputation.. Either way, I was a victim the only one in the position to liberate myself from the unfortunate adversity. This could not have been possible without the encouragement of my family and friends who stood by me, supported me and held my hands during these difficult period – they were a blessing. We all need people that will stand by us in times of distress. I salute you!!! “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving”. Colossians 3:23-24.
I choose to be a difference maker, not for my own interest but for the sake of the innocent children I have been blessed to call my own; and for many others who cannot fight for themselves. I don’t fight if there is nothing to fight for, I will not pray if I don’t endure these experiences, I don’t wish for trouble to come my way, yet it happens because I have the ability to act as a voice for the voiceless, my hope is not to be known, but for the Maker to be make known. Change doesn’t happen overnight, but through constant persuasion and endless sacrifices from anything that breathe it will sure make a way. We need to be part of the change, since we are all originators of the problems that have invaded our society.
There is something that needs changing within each and everyone of us, and recognizing that the faults is not from a particular group of people is the first step to recovery. I stand for the betterness of Tomorrow. What do you stand for? I pray you choose someone other than yourself that my friends is the true meaning of Paying it Forward or Sacrificial Giving. I hope you remember that this fight existed before us and might not be eradicated even after we are gone, but consistency brings awareness – our efforts will never go unnoticed as long as our intentions are pure. I would like to conclude with the words of Nancy Leigh De Moss, ‘A place of quiet Rest’ “Though my natural instinct is to wish for a life free from pain, trouble and adversity, I am learning to welcome anything that makes me conscious of my need for Him. If prayer is birthed out of desperation, then anything that makes me desperate for God is a Blessing.”
N.B. January of 2020, I learned that one of my aggressors/abusers was fired and escorted out of the building. I am glad they didn’t keep a blind eye, but took my words into consideration. There will always be Justice for the unjust if only you allow the Lord to fight your battles.