You’ve recently graduated from college and gotten the job of your dreams. Okay, maybe it’s not the job of your dreams, but it’s good nonetheless. However, you’ve instantaneously connected with the other sistah in the office and together you make up the black population. After a few social happy hours, late nights at the office and a bomb project, you’re thinking, “Girl, we have to look out for one another.” Suddenly within a blink of an eye, you’re having an episode of Awkward Black Girl. You’re Jay, she’s Nina. Once, you can recall her offering to take you under her wing and “showing you the ropes.” But today, she’s your worst enemy attempting to do whatever it takes to ruin your life in the workplace. She wants all the ‘porcelain gods’ praise and will remove anyone in her way.
Isn’t that great. Not only are you battling the constant side eyes and fake smiles from the ‘porcelain gods’, but now you have to watch this chick’s every motive. Reality check ― you’re back to square one. You’re reminding yourself everyday to ‘dot’ your I’s and ‘cross’ your T’s, because its every woman for themselves now.
I can remember my ‘office hater’ vividly ― for protective reasons, let’s call her “Bonk.com” ― I admired “Bonk.com,” we had tons in common: fashion, men, natural hair, and professional/personal goals. She even went so far as to promise me a mentee/mentor relationship. Nevertheless, as soon as I excelled in my entry-level position without her assistance, she found some way to throw “shade” to my supervisor. Thankfully, my supervisor’s keen interest in my future outweighed this chick’s motive.
Sadly my situation isn’t rare; it’s quite common. In 2009, Wall Street Executive Clara A. Harris commented about black women’s office relationships in Essence. Harris claimed “she had noticed that in the workplace Black women are sometimes the ones derailing other sisters.” Hmmm…so, maybe ABG was right, “B*tches be tripping?”
Growing up I was consistently surrounded by those who looked like me. I went to a black owned, predominantly black private school, and went on to attend diverse middle and high schools. However, in college I was abruptly hazed into the “raisin in a bowl of milk” society. I was either the only or one of three blacks in my classroom. As a result, I yearned for being and having a support system to my fellow brothers and sisters. But for whatever reason people such as “Bonk.com” and other ‘office haters’ have demonstrated the opposite.
Maybe you don’t have the holy oil at your desk or a ‘devil flee’ chant such as I. Nonetheless, the ‘office hater’ could be your reality, whether she’s black, yellow or blue. You may not have one today, maybe not tomorrow, but you sure as hell don’t want to be caught off guard.
Have you ever battled an office hater? How do you cope with negativity from individuals in the workplace?