Some people who read this blog think I’m an angry. That I’m some bitter guy pissed off at the world.
In real life I’m a nice guy. A sweetheart. Easygoing, friendly and a lot of fun to be around. Some even say I’m too nice.
But even though I’m kind I don’t put up with bullshit. When I see bullshit, I call it.
If that’s angry ranting to some, then it’s angry ranting. But it’s not reflective of who I am in real life.
I’ve had to deal with a lot of problems over the past three going on four years. Losing a job, unemployment, and a declining savings. All the while I’ve been trying to start a self-publishing venture.
I’ve had my share of frustrations. I deal with a lot of pressures. When you are out of work and your savings are running low, you’re against the clock to find that next job before your money runs out. That pressure increases when you run into dead ends or have to deal with people who waste your time by asking you to come down to an interview for a job and then don’t even give you a chance to even interview.
In my mind it’s tick-tock. Tick-tock. A race against the clock I’m racing against the clock regarding my money, my age (38 going on 39) and time itself. The longer I stay unemployed the harder it’s going to be to find another job. In another two years I know it’s over. No one hires men over 40 who have been out of work for five years. Especially Black men.
So I’m doing what I can to stay afloat. Working hard towards getting this publishing venture going. Fighting to get sales. Fighting to keep my books in print. Trying to get some money in the house after my unemployment ran out two years ago.
All of this takes money. Money I have to spend. Money that’s disappearing with each passing day.
With each interview I spend close to a fifty dollars getting ready. Haircuts, dry cleaning, printing resumes, and bus fare here in New York City don’t come cheap. All that money is lost when I don’t get the job.
It works my nerves when I spend close to a month preparing to go to interviews like the one for the IT Assistant position at CUNY about a year ago where the guy just decides to change the job description on the fly. Or the CUNY office assistant hiring pools where they bring 30 people in for just ONE or two openings. Then tell all the Black men to leave and allow the Black women and women of other ethnicities to stay. Your name is still on the list but you’re out the fifty bucks you spent preparing to come halfway cross-town for a lousy $26,000 a year $9 an hour job.
On top of the pressures of the job search I have to deal with a lot of bullshit on these job searches. Surly receptionists. Smart-ass interviewers who want to make fun of my clothes and the articulate way I speak. People so smug they don’t think I’m good enough for their retail jobs. Racists who are already looking past me, and Black women with attitudes so nasty it’s a wonder how they keep a job in the first place.
Then there are the family members who provide next to no support. Older people who don’t understand how much the world has changed in the last twenty years. Hell, how much it’s changed in the last five. People who insist that their old approaches will work even though they’ve been proven to NOT work. People who don’t understand that doing the same things over and over will get me nowhere but broke.
People who have jobs but won’t lift a finger to help you out. They can talk a lot of shit but when you ask them to step their asses to the plate they give you an excuse. They really don’t want to help, they just want to talk a lot of shit. But that’s Black people.
People who try to help but their co-workers are just assholes.
Sometimes people don’t understand how the little things they say can make a bad situation even worse for someone. Slick little comments that can get under your skin. Stuff that makes you want to punch them in the face. Sometimes you just want to tell people to just shut the fuck up but you don’t want to hurt their feelings or escalate a situation into a bigger fight.
And I run into that a lot dealing with Black people. They just work a nerve. They just frustrate me to the point of making me want to lose it. They don’t’ understand how much pressure I’m under. How I’m walking on a tightrope that’s this close to snapping.
In addition to those pressures, I have to deal with the pressures of living in the South Bronx. Brothers like myself spend most of their time looking over their shoulders worrying about what’s going to go down. A look can turn into a fight. Or a gun battle.
So if I sound bitter in this blog, I’m dealing with a lot of shit. If any of you had to walk a mile in my shoes and deal with the bullshit I’ve had to deal with over the past four years you wouldn’t be smiling either.