The Office of My Familiar
"I never noticed how phat your ass is, Boss."
My wife is a pharmacist. That means she's got her doctorate (Pharm.D.) and is a nationally recognized and state-certified professional. I'm not simply bragging on my lady here (not that it would score me any points since she stopped reading my blog long ago). I mean, I'm extremely proud of her and I understand the economic and social obstacles that she's had to overcome to accomplish her goals, but the whole reason I'm mentioning it is because of two work-related incidents she's shared with me.
The first was recurring. While we were living in Virginia some years ago, she was working with a pharmacist who happened to be a black male. If any of you can recall my Heathen Manifesto post, he was the Credit to His Race who had two families, and had the temerity to chide her about not belonging to a church. At any rate, she began to notice that as soon as he became comfortable with her, he suddenly lost all traces of his professionalism. Propriety and pretense devolved into frequent and often bizarre inappropriateness. In her eyes, this fall into unsuitable familiarity was precipitated by the fact that she was a black woman. Because she was a "sister," he immediately assumed that he could get away with what one of my Houston frat brothers refers to as, "that ol' bullshit."
Fast forward to the present. My wife works with a Jewish man (let's call him Mike) who is the pharmacist-in-charge. The two of them are the regular, nine-to-fivers at her current location. Other pharmacists are often brought in to provide coverage when one of them needs to take off. Recently, an outside pharmacist (let's call him Elroy) was hired to take over for Mike when he had a doctor's appointment. For about a half-an-hour, Mike, Elroy and my wife worked together with seamless professionalism. As soon as Mike left for his appointment, Elroy asked, loudly and to no one in particular, "Alright! Where the party at?" In her words, "This Negro thought that the pharmacy transformed into a nightclub just because a white man went to a doctor's appointment."
She's not alone. EVERY SINGLE black female professional that I know has had to endure (or is doing so currently) some kind of come on, ignorant comment, leer or improper gesture from some brother that gets just a little too familiar. Now, before you rush to judgment about me, I recognize that this is not endemic to my people. Men being what they are, women in general have historically been exposed to both sexual and non-sexual workplace incongruities. Having acknowledged that, I still find it regrettable that some brothers just can't check that player shit at the office door. If I had a dollar for every complaint I've heard, from my wife, sister, mother, and women friends, about some failed attempt at workplace pimpery, I'd move my family to the Hamptons. If any of you would-be office Lotharios are reading this, my suggestion to you would be to focus on your God-damned job. Apart from having to occasionally bear witness to some of the shittiest game I've ever seen, I'm tired of sisters at my job regarding me with suspicion just because I smile at them and say "Hello."
Blaxplanation Disclaimer: I realize it was wrong to take a pic of a genial, professional black couple and contaminate it with that unfortunate quote, but, like the recently-removed editor of Golfweek, I'm just trying to generate some readership.