Dear Diary ~
It’s been three months since I started my new job. Can you believe it? Three months. Time really does fly the older you get. The funny thing is, I feel younger the older I get so time flying by must wipe away some years from your mind. Just another one of my deep thoughts.
Anyway, this job has really opened my eyes to so many things. Having been raised in the church most of my life, including nine years of Catholic school, well, let’s just say I may have been a bit sheltered to certain parts of life. Oh sure, I have volunteered plenty, worked with the homeless, fostered children, you know, the usual fairly safe sort of things. But no, this job has taken me to an entirely new level of dealing face to face with humanity.
Did I ever mention, dear diary, that I am working in the inner city? No seriously, it’s what us white folk refer to as “the ghetto” thanks to Elvis. Other folks refer to it as “the hood”. My customers refer to it as home. Interesting people, my ghetto, hood, homie, customers. I should probably be quite frightened of many of them and yet I am anything but scared. I actually find myself relating to them more each day. Take for example the other day.
Bob had stopped in to take me to lunch. Seconds before he walked in the front door, one of our regular customers entered the store and stomped up to the counter demanding my immediate attention.
“Hey! Here yo money! I aint buying nuttin else from y’all neither! Y‘all discriminatin me!”
“Well, hello Shemika. Thanks for bringing your payment in. Now, tell me about the discrimination that is leading you to no longer do business with us.”
Shemika then went on to tell me how although she desperately needed an 82” television, our store manager would not sell her one. The unreasonable reason he gave? She had no money. I immediately empathized with her in regards to the obvious unfair treatment she had received and offered her a bottle of water and some cookies to help calm her nerves. I also told her I would be happy to sell her an 82” television as I steered her towards the 19” version. By the time she left the store, we were besties forever.
“Dang girl, you a crazy white girl. I gonna tell all the sistahs bout you. We stick togetha. We gonna buy all our @&%* from you.”
She then turned to the other two male managers who had been watching the scene unfold and yelled,
“Yeah, that right. We gonna buy from the crazy, white girl. We all done with you two.”
As my new bestie walked out the door with great, triumphant attitude, I turned to my manager as a line from Tyler Perry slipped from my lips before I could stop it.
“That’s in the playa handbook.”
Yes, dear diary, it’s a new day for this Catholic school girl. I think Bob is a bit concerned about this new colorful side of me. I just hope the gangsta don’t get up in my grill about all dat.