The Vlog is finally here!

Unfortunately, the video and audio are out of sync. It wasn’t like that when I previewed it or recorded it. I tried- to no avail- to see if I could fix it. Maybe next time it won’t be this way…

One more point (no delay here):

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14 responses to “The Vlog is finally here!

  1. I’m still relatively new to the workforce, and I’ve only worked in a couple jobs since I graduated college, but both of those jobs were/are in public health, and both were/are jobs in which the vast majority of my co-workers were/are female. As I was listening to your vlog, the word “catty” kept coming to mind, and then you said it. 🙂

    At 24, I’m the youngest in my office, and ALL of the other workers in my current program are females. 9 are black (includes myself) and 1 is white. Ages range from 24 to about 58. The average age is about 38. There is a high turn-over rate in my office, and in the past 6 or 7 months, we have lost about 3 employees and gained 2.

    Generally speaking, I am “friends” with my coworkers (the younger ones, anyway), and I say alhamdulillah that I am able to have such a great level of rapport with my coworkers. We have “cliqued” at my job, and there are some people who are, unfortunately, intentionally kept out of our loop. We do things together outside of the office occasionally (out to dinner, talking on the phone, Facebooking, etc.), and we spend time together during work hours (ie, lunch, just chatting, etc.).

    Our supervisor is not a part of our social group. She’s sort of more serious and doesn’t come off as wanting to befriend anyone in the office. She’s not at all “mean,” but just not at all as much of a “friend” as she is a “boss.”

    I expect a female boss just to be a little more sympathetic to other women in the workplace because I feel that she should be able to relate. I don’t necessarily feel that she should treat female workers better than male workers, though. If that makes sense.

    I think it’s natural for people who are demographically similar to “clique up” in the workplace, but I do feel that it should probably be avoided (especially in the cases of race or sex) so as to avoid any potential discomfort on the part of other workers.

  2. Xey, for some reason I always end up being outside of the clique. I’ve asked myself why. I realize it’s either my reserved nature (which leads many to think I’m stuck up), me not wanting “work Jamerican” and “social Jamerican’s” worlds to collide (I am a different person at work than I am at home), and because I speak up about injustice in the workplace or present ideas about a better way to do something.

    Most of the time my female bosses were intimidated by me. Sadly, because they felt intimidated by me they’d devise a plot to get rid of me or they’d try to sabotage me. I found their behavior unfortunate and a little sad since I’ve worked mostly for feminists! On the flip side, when I’ve worked for men (the two times that I did) they seemed to value my setting clear boundaries between work and home life. They didn’t become upset if I didn’t want to do something with the group or take it personally. Men found my willingness to speak up refreshing. They loved my confidence and weren’t intimidated by it in any way.

    My current boss is a woman (she’s younger than me- a first) but seems pretty cool. I don’t sense any power struggles or anything strange. She seems to respect me as an equal.

  3. asa. i heard you talking but the fly outfit was too distracting! congrats on the vlog.

  4. As-Salaamu ‘alaikum,

    I have a friend (British Pakistani, male, medical doctor) who told me that in his profession, social events are basically part of the job and you don’t strictly have to take part, but you won’t be “in” unless you do. One of these events took place at just after 1pm on a Friday, and others took part in venues that served alcohol (which was the point). This was one of the reasons he became a GP (general practitioner, i.e. a first-call community doctor) rather than pursuing a career in the hospital: because you work in a small practice and there are no old-boys’ (or girls’) networks. Whether they take it personally or not I don’t know, but you definitely miss out on the contacts which can get your career to move forward.

  5. I’ve had 5 jobs so far and 3 of my bosses were women. Two of them were very professional, very friendly but firm, and never personal. I wonder if it has something to do with the fact that they didn’t really identify as feminists, they were just successful women, but didn’t really have any agenda they could project on me. I say this because the 3rd female boss was this uber-feminist (also very successful), she was one of those women who believe the hijab is an instrument of opression (which is ironic because 3 of the 4 girls working for her were hijabis), and she was quite a nightmare to work for.

    It’s very interesting what you bring up regarding the expectations we have of the people we work for/with. Personally I don’t expect anything different of a female boss than of a male boss, but then again it might be different for unmarried women such as myself who have never had to ask to take a day off to get the kids vaccinated or something like that (which some of my coworkers have to do). If I were in that situation and a female boss gave me a hard time it’s entirely possible that I may think “she should understand, she’s a mother”.

    However, I definitely expect female coworkers to be allies, and this is something I didn’t realize until I watched your post. At every job I’ve had it seems almost automatic that the women all bond together and cover for each other if necessary. I definitely wouldn’t ever cover for a male coworker unless he had already done the same for me before, but with a female worker, I would feel like we have to stick together or something.

    Lol, come to think of it, at my current job we don’t have an office guy, so we wash our own dishes, and the boss really hates it when there are lots of dishes in the sink. Sometimes if I find another girl’s dishes in the sink I’ll wash hers along with mine. But if the dishes belong to one of the male coworkers, I don’t wash them because I figure he’s a big boy, he should be washing his own dishes!

  6. It’s kind of strange, because in some ways, even though I’m “in” the clique, I’m also “out.” Many of my coworkers were already there before I was hired, so they knew each other well. I just managed to fit in, but there still are times when I feel a bit left out (their inside jokes, stories, etc). But I just attribute it to the months they knew each other before I came around.

    That’s good that your current boss seems cool. I bet it’s a little strange to have a boss who’s younger. In Public Health, that happens a lot. Many people started getting MPH degrees in the late 90s and early 2000s, so there are lots of relatively younger people directing or supervising in public health programs over employees who are nearly twice their age. My boss is in her early 30s, and, as I mentioned, one of my co-workers is in her late 50s.

  7. wow, this is interresting to hear your POV. I have never worked for a female boss, so hearing all this is new but good to know
    Congrats on the vlog, nice outfit!! 🙂

  8. BTW, anybody notice my ancient TV in the background? Still didn’t get the new TV yet. 🙂

  9. I noticed the tv, I was like daaaaang, her tv is older than mine and my tv is pretty old!!LOL! I work for the City and my department pretty much consist of mostly women with a sprinkle of men thrown in here and there. I have 3 women supervisers and they are pretty cool, but when I first started OH MAN CAT-TEE-NESS!!! You know how we EXPECT women to act, but hope that they don’t really act that way..nope..pure drama in the office, backbiting, gossip, ganging up on other females. I had two black supervisors and a white one. The two black ones were ugh..ghetto..loud..catty..Jesus this and Jesus that. Of course I didn’t fit in and when they came along trying to pick on me? Uh yeah right, mama didn’t raise a pushover. I had to tell them…don’t let the hijab fool you…I got to talking about discrimination and how I felt left out because I was the only Muslim and they were having all of these holiday problems. I haven’t had a problem since. In fact the accomodation for salaat is top notch!

    I guess that there are benefits to working for women, say if you have cramps or your kid needs to go to the doctor or is ACTING A FOOL UP AT THE SCHOOL..A woman would better understand..but at the same time..men are married to women(I hope) and my past male supervisers have understood as well.

    My sister works for male doctors and she doesn’t have a problem and sister I can tell you that I have heard several sisters talking about how they hate to work for women because of the cattiness..I’ll go either way as long as they don’t try to convert me like this man at my job was trying to do…but that’s a whole different topic.

    Salaam

  10. haha! Loved the video. Congrats!!

    I did notice the tv. I was like, wow this sista is really organized. Then I got all nostalgic because I had a set like that in a previous life. Me and my brother used to watch kung fu theatre on the late night. Okay, I digress…
    You’re right about the challenges of working for women sometimes. In academia, all my advisors were men. Although my friends said there were outstanding women professors, I have heard some of the women could be difficult, especially the old guard. But there was something else we noticed about the department. The general culture of the old guard of women professors was to de-emphasize their gender and any displays of overt femininity. They are all frumpy dressed with boyish hair styles, almost all are emaciated as if they starved away breasts, hips, any shape. It was a lose-lose situation for me as a curvey Black woman before hijab and after hijab.

  11. First of all you look too cute! And yes I did notice the tv. Look as long as there are books on the shelves I say whatever to the newness of a television.

    I’ve been thinking about this and I really couldn’t come up with a concise statement because my experiences have been so various.

    Most of my academic mentors have been women of color who have been encouraged me in environments where I have been/am the only sister. Yet, I have also found that the most feminist or radical professors were ultimately not women-friendly. Their feminism seemed to be more about power and ego rather than creating a space where women could thrive and contribute.

    In general I do like a nice line to be drawn between my personal life and my work which seems to be a problem for many people. In an environment where people are competing for recognition and often looking for weakness in others I don’t think it is a safe bet to let intimate matters become material for office gossip and politics.

  12. ASA J,
    I looovee your Vblog. I wouldn’t have the courage to do sooo…cuz i got KIDS..and they’s so want to be all up in the piece..but ANYWAY..
    I currently work in an office with 6 women and 1 man. (the one man is new, it use to be 7 women). My executive director ( I work for a not for profit in DC) is very professional. I think she does a great job with balancing work and personal. She likes to hear what’s going with people..but after all the work is done and priorities are straight. I admire that and appreciate it.

    On the other hand I feel there are women who work with me that are like ‘crabs in a barrel’ — there only there to pull you down. Not to help, guide or be decent. Its sad. My immediate co-worker (the women I work with closely with everyday) have gotten into it twice. The second time she realize that I as well had a bite!!

    I guess I thought that we as African american women in the work place should have some solidarity but I think she didn’t see things that way. She’s MUCH older than me ( I am one of the youngest members of the staff, only one other co-worker is younger than me) and is single, where as I’m muslim, married and have kids.

    So I hear what your saying…but there are definately different aspects to this dynamic.

    Ma salaama
    Umm Amirah

  13. Salams! I feel like women supervisors come in two types- the “no nonsense” and the “motherly-let-me-take-you-under-my-wing type.” Or they may be a mix of both. I feel that most though, are not as sympathetic towards being a woman, (pregnancy, period cramps and maternity leave) as a man might be just because they have had the experience. I know for me, whenever I worked for a man, and I had to go home early because of “personal problems” he was just like…”okay, whatever (puts hands up) you need to do, just go do it”. On the other hand, some of the women supervisors wouldn’t let some of my colleagues off until their water broke! I would laugh, but I’m serious! Also, on the racial note, you would think that people of the same race would help each other, but I find that it is more of a competition within members of the same race, whether you wish to participate or not.

  14. Assalamu Allaikum,

    LOL. I just noticed that ancient TV as well. BTW, I noticed the new recent heated discussions. I’m not saying anything because I have nothing to say. LOL. But sis, I sent you an email about this new muslim social network site, click on my name and check it out. You might find the site interesting. It’s started by some young african american muslims and I’m part of their staff too now.

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