Readjusting My Swag For Corporate BLACKAmerica

Funnel Cake Flowers Urban Chameleon news reporter tickles.tv

I am Funnel Cake Flowers, The Urban Chameleon News Reporter for Tickles.TV.  I capture stories of Urban Chameleons who stay caught between tryin’ to  chameleon between white corporate America and our kinky hair handling, curry spice eating, hip gyrating, I-N-G droppin’ America. The stories shared here aim to highlight different perspectives on, race, culture and class in America from all different kinds of Urban Chameleons because it’s complicated out here in these streets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

Dear Funnel Cake Flowers,

When I joined Corporate America, I knew that I would have to adjust my swag, put my head down and learn the ropes. Having participated in too many all white environments, I knew the process all too well. It’s all a process. The first couple of weeks you make sure you’re ass is up in there on time, and that means 15 mins early. You need to  look good, you need to be responsive and on point. You must be friendly to everyone but become best friends with the secretary. She got all the tea, and will always let you know if there’s any on you.  

As an Urban Chameleon Black woman, you must find common ground with all the white boys on the trading floor. To accomplish that, you make sure you catch those ESPN highlights, fill in your brackets, you join the office pool. Hell, you might even go out to a game with them and look interested as you sip on that warm beer and watch the ballgame in the hot ass sun. The point is that you get it–you get the game. And since you made a conscious decision to play in the big leagues you show up on time and in uniform and you play.

Once you’ve proven to yourself and to others that this J-O-B is nothing but that, a job, you turn things around in your favor. You make things work for you. Remember the first time, things were slow in the office? You got everything on your plate signed, sealed and delivered and you just swung around to that one secretary “friend’s” desk and said: “hey girl, imma go get my nails done real quick. If Bob is looking for me, holla at me on my cell.”

Once we know we got this, then we make corporate America fit into our lives, not the other way around. And sure, we push the envelope and hell we might even rustle some feathers but the white boys know our value by then so they can’t really say nothing.

So that’s the place I was at when I left the big Wall Street firm to join a Black-owned Wall street firm. And can I just tell you that despite my “I got this, don’t come for me” attitude with the ol’ boys club, this sista was absolutely not flexing it the way she needed to be. The thing is that I didn’t realize it till I got to Black corporate America. My first business trip basically says it all.

I was attending a conference with a senior banker and the CEO and we made plans to meet in the hotel lobby at 5pm. So, knowing that I have a CPT issue, I was so on top of making sure that I was there on time (5mins early). So, I headed down right on time and sat down. And I waited, and waited. And at 5:15pm I called up to the senior manager’s room. Don’t you know that homeboy was all as nonchalant as ever like: “Oh, I’ll be down soon.” Same deal with the CEO. So already I was like, wait a minute. Why was I even trippin’. I’m acting like I had an appointment with Drew and Bob! Dammit, I am acting like a damn house negro … all trained and ish! I was a little upset that I had apparently lost the CP swag. Anyhow but that wasn’t even it. Just the next day we are headed back from a conference event and my senior banker is like: “Do you remember that Spa we passed on the way to dinner yesterday? Well, I plan to head up in there real quick and catch a 1 hour massage. Go on ‘head to the next session if you’d like but I gotta work out these knots.”

 

WHAT!!!

 

 

 

Now yall I am use to hustling my way into the same situation. I mean I have definitely been “out to lunch” meaning I was at the little express Thai massage spot working out that shoulder that I then soaked in a Jacuzzi for 20min before actually picking up lunch. But, DAMN! That’s why you gotta love Urban Chameleon Black people. Because we will close a $500,000,000 deal and head to acupuncture before that closing dinner!

 

So you can imagine the alternative I was left with when the senior banker flipped his Urban Chameleoness on me?

Don’t even play yourself with thinking too much. I walked right up in that spa too and got my massage on.

It was only right.

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Have an Urban Chameleons story to share? E-mail me at funnelcakeflowers@tickles.tv

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