Recently I was watching the movie “The Last Dragon”. This film is a cult classic, fictional tale involving a young black male by the name of “Bruce Leroy” that enjoys studying martial arts. He somehow is in the right place at the wrong time and bumps into Lora (Vanity) a popular singer and star of a make believe t.v. music show called “Seven Heaven”. It never dawned on me that the same Vanity that played Lora was also the same Vanity that dated the singer Prince for a number of years and was the real person behind his made up co-star Apollonia in his autobiographical film “Purple Rain”.
I recalled hearing a few years ago that Vanity had passed away due to kidney failure. However, there was nothing more said about it. I reflected on reading a book entitled “The Heroine Diaries: One year in the life of a shattered Rock Star” that she dated the lead singer Nikki Sixx of the Motley Crue after dating Prince for three years, with Nikki she became addicted to drugs such as Heroine, cocaine etc. She had stared in several films, as well as had a hit song entitled “Nasty Girl” which was utilized in the background of the stripper scene in Beverly Hills Cop as well as every other 80’s sex scene! However, never hitting the mark of stardom required to be a household name such as Prince aka “the symbol” or the Motley Crue she became an evangelist and before her passing become encompassed in saving souls for the Lord.
It’s cool she decided to give her life to Christ before her home going. It goes to show us all that no matter what you have been through or what life you have lived you are never too lost for the most high! Money does not buy happiness and at the end of the day ALL must go through him. But before I begin PREACHING, let me continue! Two months later Prince was found dead in the elevator of his residence at Paisley Park. He passed the SAME AGE as Vanity and only TWO MONTHS LATER!
Prince had been married after vanity but after his wife suffered two miscarriages it tore their marriage apart and they divorced. There are no reports of Prince remarrying and he had no children. Vanity didn’t have much luck in love either, she was previously married also to former Raiders NFL player and convicted murderer Anthony Smith they divorced a year after marrying. Both Prince and Vanity continued to be close friends as well as found religion as a common ground to deepen their relationship and bond.
With this being said, this is only my speculation but is it possible that Prince overdosed on Opiods because he could not live without Vanity? They passed at the same age, same year, two months apart and Prince claimed to have named Vanity “Vanity” because she was the female image of himself. Similar to Romeo and Juliet could Prince have heard of Vanity’s passing and become engulfed in depression? The last person Prince supposedly spoke to before he passed was Will Smith. Will never divulged the conversation they had the day before he was found dead however, could he have told him how hurt he was about losing the unofficial love of his life and friend Vanity?
Prince spoke briefly about the passing of Vanity stating “She loved me for the artist I was, I loved her for the artist she was trying to be” a bit vain and even boastful in the sense that it seems he is undercutting the ARTIST SHE ACTUALLY WAS. She was an actor, singer, dancer and pastor. How could he not have been happy for her accomplishments as she was happy for his. Perhaps this is why it never worked between them romantically.
When someone asks to touch my hair my VERY first thought is WHY??? Are we still not to long past being an anomaly for Caucasian people? It’s HAIR!! How often are caucasians asks this question? Hardly EVER! Why? Is it boring hair or something? What if I was in a grocery store line and out of nowhere asked a white woman if I could touch her hair. She would probably look at me like I had three eyes on my head!
Even though I will admit my hair is a bit of an eye catcher with over 100 trinkets and accessories within my locs, I personally still would not think of asking a stranger if I could touch their hair. Not only because it is weird but also unsanitary! African Americans as well as the loc style were often referred to as “dirty”, “filthy” and “unkept”. Why now is it an attraction to be pet like an animal?!
To take it a step further, I happen to be someone that believes energy, vibes and intentions can be transferred through touch, especially on the head which directly reaches your thoughts. In some cultures men only allow their wives, mother or children to touch his hair. Women in the Middle East cover their heads and hair only allowing it to be seen by her husband and children. To touch someone’s hair without their permission would be complete disrespect.
On behalf of us Black Peoples, we appreciate your admiration and interest in our locs and crowns however, please keep your hands to yourself, NO YOU CAN NOT TOUCH MY HAIR!!!!
Recently while scrolling along my Facebook timeline, I noticed a friend of mine posted this picture on her page. In my opinion, it not only questioned a woman’s priorities but most importantly her “loyalty”. The picture depicted a thin solo blanket spread along the floor in the place of a bed, outlined in what appears to be Christmas lights, with sofa throw pillows propped upon the wall, a centerpiece comprised of a small candle and two wine glasses resting neatly on what looks to be a silver platter placed on a fury space rug complete with a trail of rose petals leading the way for a “romantic touch”. I answered in the comments section of this photo without delay “HELL NO!” I then shared this same photo to my own Facebook and allowed my friends to answer the very same question I had. The responses blew my mind to say the least:
Women from all backgrounds, ethnicities and walks of life without hesitation responded “Stay”. Only one responder thought to ask the question “for how long?” Then went on to state “this would not be acceptable for her long term, she would not “stay” UNLESS an uncontrollable situation was at hand ie: the man had recently moved and was awaiting his furniture, even then he would have to AT LEAST provide an air mattress or hotel room. I could have hugged this woman till the end of time! Simply because SOMEONE other than myself saw a problem here!!! Some women even went on to say “it’s the thought that counts!” as if it would matter the least bit to your aching back first thing in the morning when you awoke to the natural light shining in on the reality that you just allowed a man to sucker you into not only sleeping on the floor, but thinking you were special because he chose YOU to do it!!! In my opinion, women have become so complacent and accepting due to a male instigated stigma that she should be “humble” and WAIT “for a man to get his shxt together” to show her loyalty, commitment and dedication to HIM! If not she is labeled a gold digger, not a “ride or die” and overall “unworthy” of his riches when he DOES accrue them!
Dating back to biblical times women were a sought after and prized centerpiece to a man’s life. A man would work for 14 years without pay simply to have the woman’s hand in marriage he truly loved; now days men barely want to work. Especially if she happens to already be well educated and established. Once upon a time men would fight for a woman’s honor, shower them with gifts and even attempt to win over the woman’s family especially her father by showcasing how financially stable, physically dependable and logical he was….yet here we are now in the year 2021 accepting a blanket on the floor surrounded in Christmas lights! The only plus was that whoever the fellow was that set up the ambiance was generous enough to place it near a wall plug so she can AT LEAST charge her phone! That’s if he paid the electricity bill. Why has it become a woman’s burden to accept a man for who and where he is in life, especially if she has surpassed him?
Even Disney princess’s have higher standards than us!! Now days all he must do is buy her a Wendy’s combo and if she is “the one” she will be grateful! ESPECIALLY if he allows her to supersize it from a 4 count nugget to a 6! This means he must REALLY LIKE HER!!! Ladies……CUT IT OUTTTT!!!!
The number one MYTH women always seem to think or fall for is: “If I stay this will guarantee my position in his life and in his heart”.
Did Mary J. Blige teach yall NOTHING!!!! While she bellowed on for 4 minutes in the song “Not Gon Cry” about how she worked day & night for a man as his lover and secretary, assisting him in getting his business and affairs together for 11 YEARS only to find he was HAVING AN AFFAIR and wanted another woman instead! She said she wasn’t “going to cry” yet did just that the entire song.
Ladies let’s get back to standards. Demanding that a man do his part and play his role in the relationship is NOT asking for too much! We need to stop offering free samples of what a WIFE would be like to men that ARENT OFFERING SAMPLES OF A HUSBAND. Stop settling for the title of “wifey” while doing WIFE duties, that’s like accepting a lower position at work but doing your supervisors job! I know my post may come off as blunt or even like I am bashing ALL men trying to better themselves with a great woman but it’s not true. There are some that do not mind doing for a woman, simply in a bad place AT THE MOMENT. Some men have done for a woman in the past and been done wrong. This can jade them from wanting to do this again and run the risk the bad luck of getting another “using @ss woman”.
However, women risk themselves EVERYTIME we give ourselves emotionally, mentally and physically. If we held back in any of those areas, a relationship would cease to exist. Drop the excuse for being selfish, greedy and bitter men and continue to show women what they NEED YOU FOR!!!! Y’all constantly saying you hate women that “act like they don’t need a man” but who would? Seeing that we have our own jobs, pay our own bills, sponsor our own upkeep and dildos now come with bunny ears 😇. I’m not being stuck up for NOT wanting to give it up on the floor (unless we moved there from the BED😝).
Recently while I was scrolling along my blog timeline, I came upon a fellow bloggers post eloquently written by Wafflebywemzentitled entitled “Generational Trauma” https://wafflebywemz.wordpress.com/2021/02/01/generational-trauma/ . The picture displayed after the title is what made me stop! It was a picture of Lisa Simpson clearly frustrated with her hands out and eyes bulged with words over her head that read “Why do I have to be the one to break all of these Generational Curses”. I read the post through and even doubled back and read it again to ensure I understood the stand-point this writer was coming from.
She speaks about childhood trauma and situations that may have taken place in our younger years, that may have left permanent bruises on our hearts and minds. She was careful to describe each situation as it could pertain to an INDIVIDUAL not ALL however, I feel she hit the nail on the head when she addressed how some feel the need to carry on a particular parenting style, attitude, mind-set/thought-process or energy from their parents or people they were brought up by, in spite of understanding the negative effects it had on them. She states some individuals state “I turned out alright” then she poses the question “did you turn out alright BECAUSE of the maltreatment or IN SPITE of it”.
The unwavering and upsetting truth about this is that these individuals unleash the same negative energy, vibes and aura as their predecessor by CHOICE or by lack of EFFORT to find a more productive and positive way! STOP BLAMING “GENERATIONAL CURSES” for your abusive, negative, harmful, trauma inducing behaviors! It’s not a CURSE it’s YOU! Nobody is living in a castle waiting for a prince to come kiss them, or trapped in the woods with an evil witch that made them bite a poisonous apple! The truth is the ONLY curse is the one you utilize an an excuse to continue the same hurtful tactics to attempt to absorb some sense of closure or vindictive malice to help retrieve whatever it was YOU loss when the person that did it to you executed their actions and you were unable to protect yourself. Truth is….if you were beat to a pulp by your parents, to beat your children like that would be SEEKING REVENGE on your child for something they did not do and do not deserve. FACE IT!!! You ARE an ABUSER! YOU are a CHEATER! You are a LIAR! YOU are an ALCOHOLIC! YOU, YOU, YOU, YOU!!!
STOP BLAMING an inanimate object or fiction of your imagination to attempt to band-aid the fact that the very person you use to despise YOU HAVE BECOME and just as you could not protect yourself from that individual then, YOU ARE STILL A SLAVE to them if you can’t DO BETTER by not REPEATING there actions or carrying on their legacy of these negative ideas. Get HELP, figure out how to make a better choice than they did. DEFINITELY stop saying you’re cursed….because it seems the only curse that has been passed down is believing THERE IS ONE!
Thestudiosofalexander.com website for booking a professional photoshoot for any occasion.
It has always been crazy to me when I have had to literally blow up a plugs phone to get them to answer or send me their location so I could grab a bag. It seems they usually have no job or work seldom, their kids are with the mother or grandmother and from the looks of their social media “Love to make money, show it off and party” however, they always seem aggravated or like they are doing YOU a favor by selling their product. Many times I have felt the need to make a RESERVATION the day before to pick up a bag of herbs in a random parking lot. Most times they don’t have a car, meaning you have to drive to them and run the risk of them asking if you can drop them off some place else!
This is always a sticky situation because you don’t want to make your plug feel as bad as they made you feel when you were trying to “shop with them”. Also you don’t know who is watching them or for that matter NOW WATCHING YOU! I usually make up some excuse not to take them or why they shouldn’t ride with me and dip as fast as I can out of the location. I already run the possibility of getting caught up in an undercover sting or drug bust for an 8th, now you want me to take you to Burger King so we can both grab a double Whopper, a shake and side of DRUG TRAFFICKING! Nah fam….
Another reason it is a mission to have to hike to your connects house which is usually on the other side of town is because plugs usually live in sketchy areas, meaning you shouldn’t be there unless you live there also, visiting someone or “shopping”. Usually the whole neighborhood is on watch for when you come in and when you leave out, since they are fully aware they reside in the middle of a drug ring and possibly even participate. Riding down the block to the “Carter” is like walking the green mile, it is an unspoken rule that you don’t look left or right out of your window because that looks “suspicious”, you should already know what house you are going too therefore, have no reason to be nosy and look around at any other door or patio along your way; No need to wave or look friendly since nobody else should know you…unless you pick up from them too.
Never the less, the best part are the plugs that try to get you to run a deal WITH THEM! AKA an extra gram for some “extra attention”. I have never been a fiend therefore, the extra isn’t necessary and even if it was I have no problem dropping the extra $10 to keep my dignity, pride and draws ON! The day I decide to drop to my knees and supply a 10 minute blow job for 10 extra dollars of green is the day I make a “fans ONLY” page and put a “For Rent” sign on my ass! Life has had it’s moments, but it’s never been that bad…I know…”Never Say Never”….unless it has to deal with laying butt naked on the bare floor of a plugs house which usually is not congruent with the money they seem to bring in! It has always amazed me how they can flash so many bands and still squat in a one bedroom shack eating beans straight out of the can, decked out in Coogi and Prada. I guess this would be the “trap house” but usually they LIVE in the trap house or with they mammas. The only trap seems to be thinking that THIS is the HIGH life….
Wal-Mart had taken it’s toll on me by the end of the first inventory but the truth of the matter was, I needed the distraction now! It seemed with everything else going on in my life aka: unstable marriage, dad being diagnosed with leukemia and moving three times in two years, the only thing I felt I actually knew at this point was WAL-MART. Even the ever changing customers and employees seemed to be more stable than I felt inside. This was the LAST STORE but by far to me the BEST STORE. Same Drama, Same chaos but a BLESSING in the end.
Names have been changed within this post to protect the character and individuals I will be discussing. However, I am sure that if they were to read this they would most clearly know who they are and perhaps others. I do not write this post with the intentions of demoralizing or shaming any person, especially since most are still currently people I would not mind knowing again. These stories are REAL and TRUE.
I had recently ended an abusive relationship with a great friend of mine in Greensboro named Graham when I decided to move back to Georgia. I had become intimate with him during my separation from my spouse and dealing with the many other emotions that were running a current through my body at all times. I began to lean on him and allowed myself to be comforted by him sense I had known him for over 5 years as a friend. Graham was attractive, intelligent, stable (financially) and made me feel good by listening to me and accepting my flaws…..or so I thought. If you read my blog entitled “ The Boy is Mine” you will read in detail about how cute flirtatious aggression can quickly escalate to a full on stalker and fatal attraction.
Graham went from a supportive friend to a whimsical lover to a crazed lunatic that would threaten to find me at work and do me bodily harm or be waiting for me at my apartment downtown. I remember one afternoon in particular, I had decided to break things off with him and attempt to rekindle whatever friendship was left instead. He became highly upset and accused me of wanting other people or better yet my ex back. He felt played and betrayed and decided “I needed to pay for what I had done to him emotionally”. He was waiting for me in the parking lot of the Wal-Mart in Greensboro that afternoon, I spotted him immediately since he was not parked too far away from my car. He attempted to get out and talk to me. I had nothing more to say due to the numerous threats and slanders he had thrown over text and phone the past 12 hours!
I got in my car, locked the doors and took off! Graham took off behind me and it became a high speed car chase down Bemiss, Summit and I40 for my life! I lost him at the NCA&T exit and made a quick dip for my apartment. I had just took a deep breath and held a sigh of relief before seeing his bright red car turn the corner only two streets behind me, and his light had JUST TURNED GREEN! I raced to the parking lot of my apartment, jumped out of my car, slammed the door and locked my car all while racing to my front door clutching my keys and book bag! I fumbled to open my apartment before Graham was able to gain on me, I watched in terror as he JUMPED THE CURVE and came to a screeching halt in front of my door. He jumped out of his car just as I turned the key and slammed my apartment door closed shut! He persisted to kick my DOOR until he realized someone would see him and took off. I felt like I was in a real life HORROR FLICK! I had to file a form 50B restraining order as well as take him to small claims court for repairs of which he never paid. The last time I saw Graham it was his mugshot taken in Mecklenburg County for charges of Cyber Stalking and Failure to Appear, he has attempted to reach out several times via FB to rekindle a friendship or conversation. I saw he was currently dating a well known R&B singer’s daughter and they are also in a domestic partnership of violence.
After all I had went through with my spouse I was ready to end it and not look back, hence putting my brand new home I bought 6 months prior up for rent and moving to NC in the first place. However, the options I had explored during our separation seemed to be ALOT WORST especially the latest addition! My spouse and I began talking and visiting one another again and we decided I should move BACK to Georgia to give our marriage one last chance. I assumed I would be working for the same Wal-Mart I worked at previously but instead I was assigned to a store across town.
I was happy about this since I had wanted to work for this store originally anyway, when I found out they had an African American store manager and several other black managers. I was warned about the store manager Mr. Kelly’s stern and sarcastic personality. I had met him once before at the previous Georgia store after an extremely botched inventory. He and some of his associates came to assist. He seemed like a pretty down to earth guy that had managed to retain some humor, in spite of Wal-Mart’s daily floggings. Never woulda thought he was picking up pxssy in “pick-up today”. Rumor was floating throughout the store that Mr. Kelly had the hots for several Pick-up today and overnight girls. Upon findings of an investigation and verbal confirmation of a participant, he would lure them with money to hotels and have his way with them. This did not shock me for the first time being that I was no stranger to hours of sexual harassment CBT’s, only to still be asked if I’d “like my nipples sucked in the claims cage or family restroom”. It was confirmed when Kelly stopped coming to work and a chunky Hispanic fellow resumed his position.
This store had a happy little Indian woman at the door that could have been related to the guy that plays “Mr. Beane”. She was always over zealous about seeing me walk in. It was like sitting in a paper dress awaiting a Pap appointment and your nurse coming in singing and dancing with the speculum in hand. Nothing could bring her down, rain, sleight or snow she was always SO VERY FXCKIN “HAPPY TO HELP”!! Soon as I walked in she’d start crooning and swaying as if Oshun herself had just graced her with her presence! At first it was flattering then it became down right nerve wracking, especially since most days I wanted to slip into the store UNNOTICED and go straight to the managers office to atleast try to get emails, plans and meeting notes situated before I was taken to the ground in key turns, questions or other random disasters. I began going through the grocery entrance since she was always at the home goods entrance, until one day she had switched doors! I began going through lawn and garden, always she would rotate between the three doors until I felt the need to drive by all the doors to see which one she was at before entering or if I didn’t see her I would rather walk through the auto care center located all the way on the back of the store.
Overall, I admit it felt more like a family than any other store because it seemed everyone knew everyone outside of work. You seriously had to watch what you said about anyone because it was very possible you were talking about their uncle, aunt, cousin, niece, nephew, brother, sister, girlfriend, boyfriend, grandma, grandaddy, baby mama, baby daddy, momma or daddy! Especially if they were Haitian! This store was over ran with them, meaning that at any given point one of them could have gotten pissed off for being held accountable, terminated or just been having a bad day and decided to set the entire store on fire or hurt some folks!
Any given day you could potentially get ran over crossing the parking lot to the entrance of sliding doors by a mixed paint colored box impala, containing one of the Haitian men that worked in the auto care center named Valentine. He was 80% cocoa black skinned with small pink pouty lips like you’d find on a doll, locs to his behind and a gold oral grill. You could hear him coming a mile away but could not figure out from where until he was on your heels…LITERALLY! He would speed through the parking lot blasting something Kodak Black.
Your last sight: The grill of Valentines Impala
Last sound: 🎶📻“LIL KODAK, THEY DONT LIKE TO SEE YOU WINNNNNNINNN, THEY WANNA SEE YOU IN THE PENITENTIARY.
Last thought: OH SHXT!!!!! Well.. atleast I have enough FMLA & Sick time accrued 🤷🏾♀️*shrug*
*Car screeches* 🎶📻 “I NEED ME UH LUL BABY WHO GON LISTENNNNNNN, 👀👀👀 GIRL I DONT WANNA BE THE ONE YOU IGGIN!! 🧎🏿🚙 💥💥💥💥
My time in apparel will forever be remembered fondly for the many personalities I met. One girl named Natasha was Haitian as well and worked in the fitting room of apparel. She too had dark mahogany skin and baby doll lips. She was a petite girl and usually pleasant to be around…….when she was around! She called out every other weekend and spontaneously throughout the week as if she only worked to say she had a job and see her homegirls Shalita and Brittany (The Mink Lash Sisters). One faithful day she must had miscalculated her points (since it was often a game played among the apparel and overnight associates “Get a point, Use a point”) and called out. It was her last write up and we were to the point of termination. I called her to the office with the write-up prepared. It always amazed me when I wrote someone up or terminated them for absences because part of the conversation is showing them the exact days they called out; they would stare at the computer screen dumbfounded as if a victim of identity theft reviewing false charges on their credit card for the first time! As if someone called out for them and they simply didn’t come to work for some other reason!
The Mink Lash Sisters (Shalita & Brittany) would not be caught dead without atleast 3ft of lashes and somewhere chewing and popping bubble gum. They took turns answering the phone at the fitting room, putting away returns and running the jewelry counter. Shalita was good for making 1 cart of returns last 8 hours. Brittany ran the jewelry counter and shoes and would often threaten to quit based on quarrels with another jewelry/shoe associate named Rita with long waist length locs. The department managers where the best part! Especially the one over ladiesware that had gold on the teeth that were left, wore colorful weaves daily and several gold chains at different layers all roped and tangled around her neck. She had a huge butt and liked to show it off but it was lumpy and extremely high like a botched booty shot job done in a back alley.
Ever so often managers would rotate responsibilities and resume programs and directions for a new department other than the one they had previously been in charge of which was genius to utilize as an excuse to give people that worked hard, shxtty departments to FIX! Overnights was one of those departments, the backroom continued to overflow until pallets were LITERALLY coming out of the doors near shoes, because freight was not getting worked in time. I was moved to overnights and couldn’t complain since I had a 4 on 3 off schedule and could actually have a piece of a LIFE.
I recall an overnight associate by the name of Reggie that decided he WASN’T FIRED! I was forced to terminate him due to excess no call no shows. However, the following day to my surprise I see him in the evening planning meeting amongst the other associates. I thought he was there to attempt to plead for his job back but he hadn’t bothered! He simply went to the lawn and garden area and began unloading boxes!
Manager Jan: 👀Reggie….Hi…whatcha dewin?
Reggie: Just workin hard boss lady 🥵
Manager Jan: 👀👀👀
Manager Jan: Do you remember our conversation last night Reggie? You were terminated…..
Reggie: Yea, I remember…I understand…Imma do better.
Manager Jan: I’m sorry but you aren’t eligible for rehire before 6 months…
Reggie:……..nah….I can’t wait that long ma’am😪
Manager Jan: 👀👀👀👀👀👀👀 Then you should have thought of that when you kept calling out!
Reggie: TRUUUU you right..I was bullshxttin but I get it now. *starts stocking again*
Manager Jan: 👀👀👀👀👀👀😂😂😂 I am short tonight 🤷🏾♀️🤷🏾♀️🤷🏾♀️ smh whatever!
I was able to hire Reggie back and he refrained from calling out as much but still did every other weekend so I learned to accept Reggie for who he was and plan for it…the alternative was to allow myself to be short staffed night after night and hear a lecture from the morning manager’s when their inventory was not on the shelves, zoned and ready for them to do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING the next day, while talking to me about productivity. The only way to make the overnight stock employees work faster was to threaten a shorter lunch break, stock the inventory yourself or TRY TO HIDE IT (In the crates in the backroom or in an empty slot in the steel, you could also attempt to find a spot on the action alley to place a huge pallet of OVERSTOCKED SHOES which would only end up back in the backroom the following night for you to stock all over again!!
One particular manager that I liked on a personal level was named Shelby (Code Name: Peaches), she had a huge Georgia peach booty, with shoulder length black hair that she would either have styled in some braided do or straightened to hang down her back. She was one of those down to earth managers that also did her job by the book. She showed just enough concern for her associates personally to allow them to feel supported and cared for, just before she hit them with the whammy of a write-up, termination or final discussion. To be honest she was my first observation of a black woman that could manage both, being attractive AND in charge. Before meeting Shelby, I had assumed all black women in South Georgia with education or rank under their belt’s were either total bxtch’s or got ran through by just about every support manager, assistant manager, co-manager, so on and so forth. Even the store manager Kelly had attempted to flirt with her here and there between young Pick-Up-Today girls, but she seemed uninterested in a flirtatious way that said “You want me, so I’mma use it to my advantage and you STILL will never hit” (Well except for a rumor of her dating another manager that was about 10ft tall). Male associates in the store hated to see her coming, especially if they knew they were playing around or not working to their full potential, but they loved to see her walk away 🍑.
The entire time I had been working for Wal-Mart I had taken SPECIAL care not to get drawn into the “work husband/ work wife” junk some of the associates called each other as a slick way of claiming each other as DLF buddies. Several support managers tried to no avail, even an overweight assistant manager with short locs that must have thought we would connect on a deeper level both being greek affiliated……nah. Even though my marriage hadn’t worked out I still had no intentions of dating someone I worked with, as this would be extremely overwhelming not to mention if it didn’t work out. I’d have to continue to see them every day!! How I ended up engaged and the mother of the child of an EX HARDWARE/AUTOCARE associate is beyond me!!!😅 but eh 🤷🏾♀️ life 😘.
*Sings* Georgia!…….GEORGIAAAAA!! Never knew I could be blessed and cussed out at the same time, until I moved to Georgia. I had only visited the state once in my life at 14 years old before moving there in 2016. The trip was to Atlanta and based off the short three night stay, I had assumed the whole state was a black history riot all the time. However, this town was much more slower and drawn out. Even if you hit the highway you’d see acres upon acres of cotton fields and boarded up wooden one bedroom shacks in the middle of them. Clearly retired “Uncle Tom Cabins”, or several billboards advertising their WORLD CLASS BOILED PEANUTS!!! I instantly noticed the difference in everyone’s demeanor and priorities. This store was located in South Georgia in a town known for nothing more than their highschool football teams. In fact the city was pretty much split depending on who you, more than likely were a fan of. People literally relocated from one side of the city to the other for their child to play for a certain highschool!
Names have been changed within this post to protect the character and individuals I will be discussing. However, I am sure that if they were to read this they would most clearly know who they are and perhaps others. I do not write this post with the intentions of demoralizing or shaming any person, especially since most are still currently people I would not mind knowing again. These stories are REAL and TRUE.
The first store I worked at had a female store manager that took off for every single one of her son’s games. It did not matter if the store was on fire! She would have called 911 on her way to the game and hoped the inventory trucks still got unloaded on time. She could have played football herself seeing that she stood nearly 6 ft 6 and 4ft wide. I’m sure if she did play her name would have been “icebox”. Anyways, as a store manager she was extremely emotionless. Nothing ever startled her or caught her off guard! Someone could scream suddenly behind her and still she’d turn as naturally as if someone had said “madame, May I have a word”. Looking back I realize Wal-Mart had probably made her dead inside like so many others! There were times I too could have been being held at gunpoint and still been thinking about what I’d have for dinner when this whole armed robbery thing was over. Being at the store breakfast, lunch, dinner, weekend, morning, afternoon, night, overnight, Christmas Eve, Easter, New Years, Black Friday and thanksgiving had that affect on ya, go figure. Nothing begins to mean anything if it doesn’t deal with putting a MOD together or INVENTORY!
I stood out like a sore thumb being new and an assistant manager already coming to the store. When I arrived I did not have an ACTUAL department to be over! Therefore I ended up being a “floating” assistant manager aka “the salary managers trash bin for miscellaneous shxt they didn’t want to do or have time to do”. I seemed to be a bit of a threat even still, this I picked up instantly being that I was often asked by other black managers and department managers about my education with side eye glances up and down and how long I had been with the company. It was clear that while there were a lot more BLACK employees there were not as many BLACK managers. They were few and far in between so me dropping out of the sky was the talk, up until I decided to leave for Greensboro, NC six months later.
I appreciated working with a few more African Americans than I had at my previous store in North Dakota. (Remember I came to Georgia RIGHT AFTER North Dakota, then moved to greensboro, then moved back to Georgia…..yea….I know….EXTRA ASF!!!). Anywho, so I’m looking at all my “brothers” and “sisters” and it’s clear that I’m from out of town. Every woman within 100 miles it seemed wore a gold grill with lashes as long as whole hair extensions (They had Leslie in Wal-Mart 2.5 BEAT by at-least a yard).
One of the Co-managers in particular by the name of Sandra was a sista but had a vibe like she would look out for you best she could however, “wasn’t about to let a freshman take her spot”. She was married to a store manager at another store which made her almost DOUBLE the “Wal-Mart Status” of a black woman in leadership. It had never occurred to me that my education was such a sought after and valuable accomplishment until I realized so many DIDN’T HAVE IT!
Sandra was a dope educated black woman, she stood tall and bold around 5’7, with short natural hair, brown shiny skin with her make-up beat at all times and round pouty lips. Many of the white managers seemed intimidated by her, since her husband was a store manager and she knew her stuff. I looked up to her because I saw the power she held simply being a black woman with education. She didn’t take no stuff, but she also played the game. The game caught up with her right before I left for NC. She was under investigation for allegations that she had went off on staff members proclaiming herself to be the “head nigga in charge” which offended them a great deal and they thought was racist….imagine that.
I saw her storm out of the office one afternoon after two hours of talking to three other supervisors of some sort and she never came back. The next time I met Sandra she had invited me and my partner to her church. They welcomed us being a same sex couple and this made me feel comfortable worshipping while being who I wanted to be. From the outside looking in she seemed like a very stern high and mighty person but I learned that she truly was caring and a woman of God. I appreciate her friendship even still and recently surprised her and mailed her a necklace I wore in one of my photos on FB, because she said she liked it.
Many managers at this location had become managers due to YEARS UPON YEARS of experience and working their way up from a cart pusher to a cashier, to a CSM, to a department manager, to a support manager to an assistant and because I waltzed in on the higher tier of the food chain based on education alone I was often seen as “fake manager”. It was strange how I received more help and guidance from my white counterparts at the first store I was at in North Dakota and now here at a store where I thought BLACKS would be more successful because they weren’t the “minority”.
One assistant manager named Sarah was extremely helpful but this poor girl had the body of a 75 year old woman! It seemed each step pained her and she often walked as if the very tips of her toes were on fire. Every other week she would come in with some new brace on her leg, arm, neck or wrist. Every time she would say it had something to do with an immune deficiency type disorder that basically made her body depreciate faster……. I had never heard of this but it seemed serious and Wal-Mart gave no fxcks. She was held accountable for coming in tardy during inventory even though she was in a full back brace connected to a helmet and waist length hand grips to keep her spine straight. She was only coming to do computer work due to her condition but she was still late.
Brenda the personnel coordinator was the plug when it came to the T on ANYONE in the store just about, but it always came with a fee. You would have to exchange drama for drama with her so you always left feeling like you had the upper hand on someone else but Brenda still had the upper hand on you! The “reach around” is what one manager called it named Chad (a 45 year old, alcoholic emo that often sat in the managers office playing games on the computer instead of planning for the overnight shift). Brenda was a dark skinned ghoulish looking woman that often wore waist length corn rows that spread like tree roots from the crease of her neck over and down her mole splattered hunchback. She had a body shape of “penguin” from Batman under her clothing. She would plan Sunday meetings with us managers to all sit down with her and have breakfast. A demented and tortuous act she often got pleasure from as I could tell from the way her eyes bulged from her head as she looked at us all knowingly from the head of the table. The tension was always as thick as the scene on soul food when they had the first Sunday dinner after “Faith fxcked Terry’s husband Miles).
Everyone would know what they had said and the unnerving possibility that someone else knew about them too, if they had talked to Brenda. So it was like a last supper breakfast every Sunday with a communion of fakeness and lies. Trying to encourage a conversation was like getting distant relatives to agree upon the distribution of a will. It always ended in all the managers fighting about what the other managers weren’t getting done that was affecting what they had to do!
Chad the emo was the fatal victim of one of the last supper breakfast hunger games. A overnight manager by the name of Bobby was extremely pissed off due to never being able to get his stock on the shelves before morning due to the trucks not being fully placed on the floor at the start of shift. Chad had not been planning this due to more important space alien invasions to conquer via Microsoft, therefore he quickly got defensive.
Bobby: Man if you wanna play damn video games all day you can sit at home with my son
Chad: YOU DONT KNOW WHAT MY LIFE IS LIKE BRO!!! I HATE IT HERE!!!!!!
All the other managers: 👀👀👀👀👀👀👀
Chad:😪 guys this place literally sucks the soul out of me….and I can’t go anymore…..I quit. I truly felt Chad on that. At the time I had been fighting to maintain my marriage and tell myself I was content being in Georgia alone with my spouse’s homophobic family working a never ending rat wheel of task. I felt like CHAD!!! I HATED IT!!! So the day Chad quit was the day I decided I did too, I agreed to obtain the marital separation put in my transfer to Greensboro leaving GEORGIA far, far behind me…or so I thought….Wal-Mart tales Part 3.5 (South Georgia part 2) “The Last Store”.