Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Death Becomes Us

Yesterday morning started off with a message from a former coworker alerting me to the passing of a department manager. I didn’t work directly for him but, located in the same area, he was hard to miss, especially so for me because he was part of the group I use to blog about (when I had a blog titled "Black and Blue"), describing them as Klansmen, who actively tried to run me out of the company because that’s what Massa (the CEO) ordered to be done because he didn’t want a Black woman in a secretarial position.
Janitor, yes.
Bus driver, yes.
But in an office position, no, because even though I came out No. 1 on the test, and aced the interview and had years of experience at the Executive Assistant level, in his racist mind a Black Woman wasn't supposed to be good enough to be a secretary. But I’d already slipped through the cracks before Massa learned I was Black and could prevent the hire.
Consequently, the CEO did everything he could to find a reason to fire me, even personally threatening me that, “You will be taken care of!”, and encouraged his Klansmen and Mistresses of the Plantation to give me a hard-enough time so I’d leave. He even specifically hired a woman, placed her over my boss (who was well pleased with me and hired me because she said she didn't care what color I was, that she wanted someone who could do the work, even when a representative from the Personnel Department tried to get her to change her mind saying, "Why do you want to hire that n.g.e.r"). At any rate, the CEO fed the new woman some line that I was a problem and, on Friday of her first week, she called me into her office and said, “They don’t want you here, so why don’t you leave. Just go”.
This wasn’t my first rodeo with racism and abuse of authority. I knew how to maintain my spiritual integrity, professionalism and give them nothing to grasp onto as justification, and consequently gained the respect and support of those who stood by as observers. Even some of the CEO’s Klansmen didn’t put their heart and soul into harassing me, they just did what they had to do to stay safe and off the CEO’s radar, as those who did not support his views, those he deemed not loyal were themselves fired and/or harassed out. Which is what happened to the woman who was to have gotten me to leave. I didn’t leave, she couldn’t force me, she even came to like and depend on me and refused to get blood on her hands and put herself in line for a lawsuit by firing me without cause, which is what the CEO wanted her to do, so he yelled and screamed at her until she said she was demoralized/couldn’t take it any longer and quit after three months in the job.
Sound familiar?
Sounds like the same insanity, borne of insecurity and a God complex, those working for the Orange Guy are subjected to.
At any rate, this went on for six years, with two more women being hired and told to find fault and fire me. They not only did not find fault, but praised my skills, performance, eventually came to realize they were dealing with a mad man and one moved on, the other was forced out for being so bold as to say, "I don't fire good employees".
What ended it all was a series of state and federal audits wherein a number of "findings" were imposed against the agency -- financial improprieties that had to be explained. The CEO suddenly retired and fled the state ahead of an indictment, the Klansmen scattered, like rats from a sinking ship, to employment at other agencies before their part in financial misdeeds were uncovered, reputations ruined and though the four Mistresses of the Plantation and two Klansmen remained, because they were not skilled enough to go anywhere else, with Massa gone, his Main Bully Overseers out of the agency, those remaining kept a low profile, resulting in racism going down to a normal every day level, and the focus became no longer me. Now that the struggle was over, I felt my work/my reason for being there was done, eventually got bored and retired.
How much did my direct boss, the woman who hired me loved me?
When I announced I was retiring, she said, “If you’re not going to be here, I don’t want to be here” and she too turned in her papers.
She unfortunately learned a month or so after retiring that she had lung cancer and passed away. It was so unfair. She didn't get to enjoy her retirement. We were so close that I think about and miss her all the time.
The department manager I was alerted to passing was one of the two Klansmen who stayed. Only 54 years of age, his death made news as he “fell” some 16 stories from a hotel balcony in Atlanta while attending a conference.
Authorities have said no foul play is suspected, but my spidey sense is telling me “suicide”.
Yesterday and today has been facebook comments about how sad and devastated and broken hearted everyone is, that there are no words and it's not to be believed he's gone because he was such a great guy, yada yada yada.
Are they being honest or is it because death becomes us, people only speak good things of us once we’re gone?
I simply can’t believe some of the accolades I’m reading, and there are many being posted.
I’ve kept quiet because I’m not about to lie and say he was a great guy. He wasn’t the worse of the Klansmen, but he did sell his soul to the devil CEO and did a lot of things at Massa's behest, and not just to me. So, sorry, not sorry.
I imagine the Klansmen and Mistresses will all come together for his memorial, which tempts me to go as one final slap in their faces that, in spite of their machinations, I’m still alive, thriving and surviving quite well.
Depends on when the memorial is, where it is, what time and if I can still fit into that Nordstrom suit I’ve held onto.


  1. I hope it was therapeutic for you releasing these horrible memories. May the janitor rest in peace.

    1. He wasn't a janitor, he was someone in authority, head of a department. You're way kinder than I to wish he rest in peace. Me, I'm hearing the theme song of the TV Show Lucifer running though my head ... Ain't No Rest for the Wicked.