Respect Due.

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

I can’t lie. I’m typing this entry as I’m feeling a bit pissed.

I’m at work today while many of you get the day off to pay tribute (hopefully you’re paying tribute) to a man that literally impacted everyone’s life. I’m not jealous of the fact that many of you have the day off. I’m not hatin’. Not at all.

I’m pissed because I’m at work. The streets are damn near empty. No customers to be found, yet I’m in the office. My company chooses not to recognize the day as a company holiday. So if you want the day off, you have to request to take it off. To me, that’s some nonsense.

“Use one of your days or floating days” <—-That’s what HR says.

I shouldn’t have to. It is a national holiday and you need to recognize it as such. <——That’s what I say.

We (the HR department and I) go at it. Back and forth. It’s a bigger issue than giving your employees a day off. This is about educating your employees on what the day is for. This is about dealing with issues that affect everyone’s well being. It’s about the lack of diversity (and I can’t stand that word because it’s such a corporate America term). It’s about race and race relations.

Less than 6% of the employees here are African American. How do I know? I count them. I do the math.

Out of that 6%, 95% of those work in admin related jobs. **I’m not knocking anyone in admin related positions. I’m simply speaking to my demographic.** I just happen to be in the 5%.

Every receptionist that has worked here since I’ve been here (we’re talking 5+ years) has been African-American. We’ve interviewed Asian, Caucasian, Indian-American but none were hired.

Every facilities related position is filled by African Americans. The manager of the group is Caucasian. Every single person that reports to her is African American and since I’ve been here, it’s always been that way.

Yet, there are only 5 of us that are engineers. 5. When I ask why they tell me it’s a qualification thing. I tell them their answer is bullshit. I personally know 5 engineers. I even recommended a few but they claim it’s not what they were looking for. Bullshit. Yet they want to hire and pay for someone from India to come here.

The last two years I wore all black on this day. Last year I had a meeting with the VP of HR (who just happens to be a sister) and had a few of the other “brothers and sisters” lined up to attend the meeting with me. They didn’t show.
Today, I didn’t even schedule the meeting. I just walked in her office. She knows why I’m there. She even says it. Use your floaters. Fuck a floater. I should have the day off. Well what about President’s Day? I’m like what about it? I don’t celebrate that shit. Celebrate the life of one of the slavebearers. You crazy?!?! Well there’s nothing I can do. Sure there is. You just don’t want to do it. It’s all good though. I’m just letting you know, I’m not working. I’m here but I’m not working. I’m not going to any meetings. Answering any calls. Nothing. I’m boycotting.

She laughed. Shook her head. She knows I’m dead serious.

Celebrate the man’s life. Celebrate his legacy. It’s not another day off. It’s a day of service. Educate yourself of what he stood for. I just read articles on CNN about him. I’m leaving early to attend the last half of a community service event. Tonight, my 5 year old and I will talk about what he meant to our community.

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~ by alwaysfunkyfresh on January 15, 2007.

10 Responses to “Respect Due.”

  1. Sounds like normal, corporate bullshit. Sad though.

    I just moved to AZ a year and a half ago but from what I hear, today wasn’t a holiday in this state until a few years ago! They didn’t even acknowledge it!

  2. Although this post isn’t intended to be funny, I had to laugh.

    “I’m just letting you know, I’m not working. I’m here but I’m not working. I’m not going to any meetings. Answering any calls. Nothing. I’m boycotting.”

    Why can I really imagine you saying that to HR? LMAO!

    After 5+ years, no recognition at all? Damn! Much respect for your tenacity every year.

    And *smh* @ the office demographics. Mine is the same way.

  3. We have the day as a scheduled holiday and I am glad. It saves me from taking that “floater” day.

  4. fortunately enough I NOW get that day off.. in my past life.. I couldn’t get the day off.. it always fell during BUSY SEASON.. so not only didn’t I get MLK.. I didn’t get President’s day either and I couldn’t take any leave during the time from January 10th – April 15th *or whatever the end of tax season was*..

    Wow.. I remember the days of that makeup all too well.. *did you say you were an engineer*… do you want to mentor a kid? *my son.. he wants to become an engineer* I’m on the for real or can you give me some good info for him to look at?

  5. I love that you are such a responsible black man.

  6. You know if they had there way(money,transportation and other resources), a lot of whites would send most of us out of the country.

  7. You know, a few years back in the good ol’ state of Virginia, it was actually celebrated as Lee/Jackson/King Day. Now how are you going to celebrate two Confederate generals on the same day you “celebrate” MLK?

  8. @beauty – Thank you.

    @MsJayy- Get the fugg outta here! Lee/Jackson/King Day??!?!? You can’t be serious.

  9. Well, I have to say I am on of the 95% administrative assistants in the corporate world. I am not and MD, VP or Associate but I do recognize the unfair treatment that most African American get in a corporation. I must also admit that I do not attend any of our diversity meetings because; diversity in the corporate world to me is anybody other then “They”. Therefore, my question in that meeting is how this helps me. What is the purpose of the diverse meeting when an African American like me does not have a voice advocate that gets things moving? I do not need a memo I need a motion to change. I need to see more then one MD in my race category working for us and I would actually like to work with that African American person. I want to see more of me in more then one type of position in a corporation. I would like to be one of the lucky black American people that get the corporate events ticket giveaways and it not be for the circus, when you giving away Gwen Stephani Tickets and Jamie Fox, why can I only get the circus(A real issue where I work). I think Juneteenth, Black Solidarity day and MLK day should be Black American mandatory days off. We have been force to work before being paid money or attention. We should not be force to work on our holidays were we should be home acknowledging that we are able to sleep in the same home as our children, husband (if we have them) with out being shackle in a barn across state with some family we slave for. These days mean a whole heck of a lot. Why should we have to be Jewish in order to get days off? I am sure they do not have to go through this crap. A friend of mine told me that because MLK fought for “equality” which is the key word in Martins game; this is what makes it hard for us to get what we deserve. He did not fight for separate rights as a people and this is what is used against us.

    @alwaysfunkyfresh You’ve brought up one of my favorite issues. You will have me thinking about this for while.

  10. @somesweetsunshine – First let me say welcome. Second, I see exactly where you’re coming from. It’s a deeper issue than just trying to satisfy me with the diversity term. Diversity gives me nothing. It caters more towards the Middle Easterns than the African-Americans.

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