The Top 5 Things That Annoy Me about Working in an Office

 

In honor of … well, there isn’t actually a holiday to correlate with this blog, so let’s make something up.

 

Ahem …

 

In honor of The Annual I Just Feel Like Complaining Celebration, I humbly present to you …

 

Drum roll please …

 

The Top Things That Annoy Me about Working in an Office

 

  1. The asshole who drinks the last of the coffee and doesn’t make another pot.

 

I counted the other day and it literally takes 35 seconds to empty the filter, rinse the pot, put in some fresh grinds, and press the “on” button. The only way the coffee machine manufacturer could have made it simpler is if the contraption flew to Madagascar, picked the beans, and ground them on the flight back home. So please, please, please explain to me why you just fill your cup and walk away. I can see by the pep in your step and paranoid looks over your shoulder during your departure that you know you’re foul.

 

Or perhaps you think that just because there’s still a trace of brown liquid in the pot means you’re in the clear.

 

Either way, all it will take is half a minute to correct your awful office faux pas.

 

Just remember Dear Sir, “If it’s not enough for a cup, fill that bitch up!”

 

  1. The women’s bathroom.

 

Women are supposed to be these tidy, demure creatures, right? Um, yeah, NO. If nothing else will convince you of this fact, take a trip into the women’s room at the office. It’s a vile, disgusting place filled with a sour mixture of aromas, bodily fluids, and unflushed toilets. I’ve seen boogers on the walls, finger prints in smeared poo, and unflushed concoctions in toilet bowls that would rival anything seen in any bar on the East Coast. I often overhear my co-workers saying things like “if these people treat this bathroom like this, imagine what their bathrooms look like at home.”

 

But I think that’s the crux of the problem. If your bathroom looks like a foreign dungeon in the privacy of your own home, have at it. You’re the only one that has to clean it up. But that’s obviously not the case at the office. To leave the bathroom in such a state of disarray is not only disrespectful to oneself, it’s disrespectful to the poor soul that has to clean up that mess. If I use the bathroom 6 times during a typical work day (I drink a lot of water), there’s something questionable going on in the stalls during at least half of those trips.

 

Let’s face it. I’m a woman, I understand how things go, but there’s nothing going on that can’t be cleaned up with some tissue and wet wipes (a must have for everyone). Get it together, ladies!

 

  1. Not being able to talk about our differences.

 

While I understand WHY we should be talking about topics such as religion and politics at work, there’s a small part of me that doesn’t. Looking at the average American workplace, you’ll find all kinds of people, of all kinds of backgrounds. There was one point where to the right of me was a middle aged Jewish woman and to my left, a 22-year-old recent college graduate from Poland. In front of me was a 30-year-old Puerto Rican woman from the inner city who also happened to be a Jehovah’s Witness and behind me was a 25-year-old young man from the Caribbean. Talk about a melting pot! There were so many different things we could have learned from each other. From food to cultural norms, understand who you’re communicating with and gaining insight into how they think could prove to have far-reaching, positive impacts. Our strengths, weaknesses, points of views are all a part of who we are and it’s all important, especially when a group of people are working toward a common goal. And if nothing else, it would be nice if when describing someone (ie: another employee whose name is escaping you) you didn’t have to whisper, “You know, the tall black guy” out of fear of sounding “racist”.

 

 

 

  1. Not being able to tell the truth.

I am by no means advocating the elimination of “little white lies”, like telling your boss you had to make a phone call when you snuck out for a quick cig break. What I am advocating is just an elimination of all the BS. Why can’t you tell your boss they’re getting on your nerves if they really are? Why can’t they tell you your desk looks like the shred box threw up on it? Why are we walking around adding all these extra words to our sentences because it’s simply not polite or professional to tell your co-worker their breath smells like shit? In my opinion, if you’re interviewing for another job in another department, you should be well within the confines of acceptableness when you say, “Listen, you know my boss is really irking me lately and I want to come and work for you for a few months or years until you start to irk me too.”

 

Simply put, I really wish we could just cut the bullshit.

 

 

  1. Being considered lazy or lack ambition because you don’t want to stay after 5.

 

Companies all over the country talk at length about how they provide environments that foster good work/life balances for employees. What they don’t say, however, is that if you’re in that parking lot at 5 p.m., you’re fall in the ranks of the slackers.

 

I’ll do whatever is asked of me (as long as it’s legal) from the hours of 9 to 5, but I have to draw the line somewhere.

 

Has anyone ever thought that the employee still present at 7 p.m. doesn’t manage their time effectively? Better yet, ask someone who consistently works 12 hour days for someone else without compensation — because they’re salaried — if they’re happy. I bet you $100 more times than not the answer will be “no”.

 

I am away from my family for the majority of the day. If you see me running to my car in the parking lot, I’m not running away from work, I’m running to my family!

 

 

 

Love: Hang Gliding and Watching TV

Love …

Relationships …

“Situationships” …

Whatever we decide to call it, we can’t deny it’s the most puzzling dynamic between two people. It’s been written about since “man” first put pen to paper and the topic never gets old.

I mean, you “find” a person and soon make the determination that you can tolerate them enough to hang out with them (and of course, hanging out can mean anything from watching TV to hang-gliding together). A couple of weeks go by; maybe a couple of months and you start to think to yourself, “This person doesn’t annoy me as much as other people do. I think I want to hang out with them some more.”

So you do.

And along the way, while you’re taking in the hang-gliding views or watching the  14th episode of some crappy TV show, you talk.

Then you talk some more.

And as you talk, the things this person tells you about themselves aren’t so bad, so you decide you’re going to talk too. Before you know it, the two of you are watching TV and hang-gliding, and telling stories about old girlfriends or college days or whatever the heck two people talk about when they are falling in love.

More time goes by and everything is still swell; just fantastic.

You blush when you talk about them and smile when you think about them. You, my friend, are officially in love.

Then one day, they share something with you that you don’t like.

… Or maybe they poke you in one of your pet peeves …

… Or maybe it was a rough day at work or with the kids …

… And just a little, tiny bit of that love varnish comes off.

It can be a week from the time you first felt those feelings, or a month, or a year …

… But the heavenly light that used to shine down on that person when you looked at then is dimmed slightly. And the person you “love” starts to poke at your patience or climb all over your cool. Then that love, that love that made you feel so warm and wanted feels like a burden, an obligation; something you have to do or attend to before you can relax at night.

Or maybe … just maybe, that’s just me.

Maybe I’m just hang-gliding through the talking and sharing; late nights and good sex; bad days and binge watching … and I’m simply still just looking for a place to land.

Do You Choose to Love?

black love

Photo Credit: Moviepix.com

 

There is love and then there is love.

The word is the same, but two very distinct and individual experiences, as the depth of love is limitless.

You meet a boy or a girl or whatever your heart desires.

You spend hours talking.

You learn their likes and dislikes; what makes them laugh; what makes them sad.

You go out to the movies and dinner.

You blush when they whisper in your ear how much you mean to them.

Your breathing quickens when they touch you.

You make love.

You love them.

They love you.

It’s not an oversimplification of the process by which two people become connected, but the sequence of events (give or take a few artistic liberties) that unfolds between two people on the journey.

It’s beautifully intimate; lying in your lover’s arms and wishing you could hold on to that feeling forever.

But then there’s love; the love where you have to make a conscious decision to continue to be connected to another person. Because while we may yearn to hold on to the feeling of being in their arms forever, it fades.

It fades when you get up and real life does its spastic “fuck you” dance on your face every day. There’s the pressures of work, the stress of school, the mental baggage from childhood and previous relationships, the responsibility of being a parent, and the never ending list of things we all must do to function in day to day life. Most couples I know that have called it quits often point to the real world creeping in on the peace they created with each other. And it is at this point when you have to make that conscious decision to continue to love.

When faced with betrayal, hurt, anger (even over the smallest of issues), it’s difficult to think back to that person who made your heart race with just a kiss. The matter in which we try to chase this faded memory is when we experience what it’s like to decide to pursue true love.

For some, the pursuit is made with others; moving from one person to the next, spending a lifetime chasing … love.

For others, those who are strong enough to look into themselves and the person that pushed their heart to its capacity, they choose to … love.

 

 

 

 

Fuck Neutrogena!

“Nope, Erin, I don’t tan,” my co-worker said, lifting her flowing blue skirt to show me her almost transparent knee. “I could sit outside in the sun all day and all this Irish girl would get is red.”

“You learn something new every day,” I quipped. “I thought everyone got darker in the summer. I turn 10 different shades of brown … makes it a bitch trying to find foundation.”

We laughed.

Life went on.

And then this morning came. I came outside on the deck to get some morning writing done, found my favorite YouTube Video of “The Most Beautiful Movie Soundtracks” and pressed play.

The precursory unsolicited commercial came on (damn you, capitalistic America) and I had a flash back to the conversation I had with my pleasantly pasty colleague – thanks to Neutrogena.

Their bottles of foundation danced on my laptop’s screen as the soft spoken voice sang about how great their product was for the skin. The beautiful model turned her head slightly as the perfect lighting illuminated her blemish-free face. Hell, I was sold. “I need to go buy some of this!” I thought as I prepared to bring up their website. (Damn you again, capitalistic America!)

But when I got there, my hopes and dreams of looking like the model with the perfect complexion vanished as quickly as my fantasy began, because Neutrogena doesn’t carry any foundation darker than the color of Jersey shore sand.

Don’t believe me? Just watch … http://www.neutrogena.com/product/shine+control+liquid+makeup.do?sortby=ourPicks

Watdeehell?!?!?!

I thought this was capitalistic America. Damn, Gena! (Yes, I used a reference from Martin.) If the only color that matters is green, don’t you want me to spend my money too?

According to Essence’s 2009 Smart Beauty research study, black women spend $7.5 billion annually on beauty products, while paying 80 percent more on cosmetics and twice as much on skin care products than the general market.

Sounds like a “win-win” to me.

So I kindly clicked off Neutrogena’s page and went about my writing business – hence this blog post.

But I have to admit, it kind of hurt my feelings. There are all kinds of women in this world, from perfectly pasty to beautifully brown, one would think (or in my case, hold out an apparently unrealistic hope) that a company that claims to make beauty products for women in 2015 would recognize that.

There goes my idealistic tendencies rearing their ugly heads again.

But it’s cool Neutrogena. I see how you get down. I’ll just continue to paint my skin with another company’s product. Just don’t come looking for me when you finally decide to enter into “my market” because the giant middle finger I’m giving you right now will stay firmly planted. That’s right, I said it.

Fuck Neutrogena!

Erin T. McMillon, MSM entered into the publishing industry as an advertising copywriter. She has written for numerous magazines and online media outlets in the U.S. and abroad, including an award-winning music magazine.

Her short story, Writer’s Block was featured in the summer 2014 of The Horror Zine. Erin is also the author of The Becoming of Us, Vol. I: Love and The Becoming of Us, Vol. I: Lust and What’s Hiding in the Dark?: 10 Tales of Urban Lore and They Eat: An Episodic Zombie Thriller.

Find her on Facebook at facebook.com/theladywrites82 and on her blog at http://www.theladywrites82.com.

Life Sucks! So What?!

We live in a world saturated with images telling us we aren’t good enough.

The magazines tell us our skin is the wrong color to be considered beautiful; that we’re not thin enough to be sexy.

Pictures on social media tell us our butts aren’t big enough if they don’t drag on the floor when we walk.

There are pictures of “relationship goals”, which usually consist of some perceived financial success. There are professional goals, which usually consist of the same.

Articles on how to love your kids better, telling you too much of “this” and too little of “that” will make them permanent residents of a therapists couch in their 30s.

There’s religious pressure. “If you don’t accept Jesus Christ as your lord and savior you’re going to hell!”

What the hell!?!?

The newspaper is plastered with stories about bad people doing bad things to children, leaving you scared to death of letting them go outside to play on the front porch, let alone down the block.

History reminds you that, as a woman of color, it wasn’t long ago that your body was not your own, but a tool used to tend fields and your “owners” deviant sexual desires.

There are roles you assume within your family. Some of us are caretakers, taking on everyone else’s problems as our own. Some of us are punching bags, taking the hits for younger or lesser equipped siblings. Then there are our friends. “You’ve changed. We never hang out like we used to.”

There’s so much.

It all piles up sometimes, the pressure, the expectations, the  perceptions about what you’re supposed to be and be doing and it clogs up your pipes. And sometimes the blockage gets so bad that nothing can get through. Not even hope, happiness.

The sun could be shining, right in your face and you still wouldn’t be able to feel its warmth.

And these are the times when it seems like it would be easier throw up your hands and say “Fuck it!”

But be still. Be still and listen to the world inside you – not the world around you and its biased, contorted view.

You have to fight harder. You are good enough. You deserve better; better than you can ever begin to imagine.

There is meaning.

Meaning to it all.

And while it’s not your battle to fight to discover the truth.

It’s your battle to fight to live your own truth.

Find what makes you happy.

Do it.

Then do it again.

Then do it every day for the rest of your life.

Even if it’s as simple as listening to your favorite music …

Or playing in your hair …

Or staring at the sky.

Keep doing it.

Happiness is subjective, self-defined, a picture you paint yourself.

Praise yourself for creating such a unique piece of art.

Erin T. McMillon, MSM entered into the publishing industry as an advertising copywriter. She has written for numerous magazines and online media outlets in the U.S. and abroad, including an award-winning music magazine.

Her short story, Writer’s Block was featured in the summer 2014 of The Horror Zine. Erin is also the author of The Becoming of Us, Vol. I: Love and The Becoming of Us, Vol. I: Lust and What’s Hiding in the Dark?: 10 Tales of Urban Lore and They Eat: An Episodic Zombie Thriller.

Find her on Facebook at facebook.com/theladywrites82 and on her blog at http://www.theladywrites82.com.

Three (Yes, Three) Things I Learned from Love and Hip Hop: Hollywood

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What?!?

Don’t fret, I’m clutching my pearls too as I type this.

I mean what can one really learn from a scripted television show, posing as a candid look into the lives of young hip hop artists as they gallivant around Los Angeles punching and humping each other into professional purgatory?

A lot, dear Watson … a whole hell of a lot.

So, without further ado, I present to you, my dear subscribers, the top 3 things I learned from Love and Hip Hop: Hollywood!

Drum roll please …

Famous People Can be Just as Broke and Miserable as “Regular” People
1. From the outside looking in, the life of a celebrity can seem like the stuff dreams are made of. They appear to have money and they get to hang out with other famous people and do, I don’t know, famous people stuff. While I’m obviously an adult and I know it’s all a facade, watching this show confirmed that many of them are miserable … and in some cases, quite broke. It’s not an indictment. It’s the truth. There’s talk of rented cars, needing roommates, the embarrassment of vaginal cream thrown in faces, and exposure about sleeping with men for money. All of these things, every last one of them, is done to keep up with appearances. It’s all very sad actually, but what’s even sadder is that people (some of the general public) want to be like these people. There’s a tendency for us to be conditioned to want what they have when the truth is many of them would kill for what we have. Sucks (for them), but it brings me to my next point.

Fame is the New Cocaine
2. While many people in the limelight wish for a simple existence, not many of them actually take the steps to live a normal life because their on a drug called fame. Think about it. You’re 16. You have a ton of disposable income. You get to travel all over the world where hordes of people are screaming your name. No one, not even your parents, tell you “no”. Now imagine it all stops. As suddenly as it all began, no one knows who you are. Even worse, imagine people still do know who you are, but they constantly berate you, telling you you’re a “has been” or posting pictures online of you photographed in the same dress twice. That has to be a tough pill to swallow, so I can see how they would be tempted to chase fame and “relevance”, even if it is fleeting.

Men (scratch that) People Can be So Damn Shallow
3. Last, but not least, I’ve learned a little tidbit about men. Now, let me add the disclaimer that I’m not talking about all men. I’m talking about the men I’ve seen on this show and I think it would be safe to assume that there are many others out there like them. For these men, it doesn’t matter how many men you’ve “dated”, how many sex tapes you have, how dumb or smart you are, or if any part of your body is real. As long as you have a pretty face and a “nice body”, they’ll take you home to momma. Some would say I shouldn’t be as shocked and appalled as I am, but it’s difficult to watch. I thought BBD taught us all to never trust a big butt and a smile, but some people obviously skipped that lesson. It’s not the end of the world. It’s just a little disturbing to see people with empty brains and full siliconed boobies and booties rewarded for well, nothing. Makes me depressed every time I look at my student loan bills while clipping my coupons.

Le sigh.

Welp, that’s it for this edition of what’s going on inside the randomness of my mind.

Until the next time I decide to blow the dust off this blog, good night!

Check out my books, “The Becoming of Us, Vol. 1: Love” and “The Becoming of Us, Vol. 2: Lust” on Amazon.

What I Learned from My Kid, Pt. I

Our job as parents is to teach our children how to survive. We teach them basic things from how to eat to how to use the bathroom, but it’s also our job to prepare them for the more complex things in life (although judging from the condition of the ladies room at my job, some of us could use a refresher course in the latter).

One of the things I try to show and tell my daughter is about self-acceptance. But judging from our most recent conversation I may be failing the course myself.

“Don’t care what others say about you.”

“If you like something, what does anyone else’s opinion matter?”

“If some one has something bad to day about you, that’s their business, not yours.”

I’m just trying to save her some of the time I spent trying to fit in and be like other people.

She’s awesome and should only want to be herself. After all, we all know how I feel about being normal.

So we had a Mommy/Daughter day last weekend and went to get our nails done.

I chose some boring color and she chose every color of the rainbow. When we got home, she asked me why I didn’t get the same colors she did. I told her I didn’t because I had to go to work.

The conversation went like this.

“So what.”

“Well, Bubbies, I can’t have my nails that color at work.”

“Why not?”

“Because people will talk about me.”

“What will they say?”

“They’ll say I’m unprofessional.”

“But mom, you can’t worry about what other people say about you. Isn’t that what you told me?”

*Gasp

*Clutching imaginary pearls

She was absolutely right!

I had nothing; no witty ‘I’m and adult and this is how it is’ comeback; nothing!

While it’s true that we a have to assimilate in some way for others to “take us seriously” and present a “professional” image to be successful, these things are subjective.

I don’t know about you, but I would much rather be a successful parent than anything else.

I admit, I didn’t immediately change my nail polish because that damn manicure was expensive!

But the next time we go I’m definitely going to make some adjustments to my potential color pallet.

Hell, I might even let her choose!

You’re here on the blog, might as well stop by my Facebook page and get more of my random rambling at http://www.facebook.com/theladywrites82

Erin T. McMillon, MSM entered into the publishing industry as an advertising copywriter. She has written for numerous magazines and online media outlets in the U.S. and abroad, including an award-winning music magazine. She was most recently featured in the Summer 2014 of The Horror Zine. Erin is the author of “The Becoming of Us, Vol. I and II”. Her first collection of short horror/suspense stories, “What’s Hiding in the Dark?: 10 Tales of Urban Lore”, is due in the summer of 2014. Find her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/theladywrites82 and on her blog at http://www.theladywrites82.com.

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