How My Female White Supervisors Used Their White Privilege to Keep Me Down

I’ve made this known in many of my posts that I am a black woman. I’m proud of my blackness in a world that tells me to not to be and I’ve been working on a book.

So, as I reflect on past experiences with racism at work and in life. I can admit that I’m in a better place in my life. I have two jobs with two great supervisors who believe in me and my promotability and they are both black. And before anyone has to ask me “what does race have to do with it? ” my answer will be “everything!”. I feel like for once in my life I am judged based on the character of my personality and the quality of my work. In predominately white work spaces. A lot of the criticism I received had very little to do with my work, but my appearance and when I’d step my appearance up (wardrobe) I would get shamed for it, and when it wasn’t my appearance people would try to say it’s my attitude. I was happy go lucky and positive, but my supervisors went out of her way to provoke me in anger. I never displayed anger, but I should have.

Boss one: My first white supervisor that had it out for me was one who was married to a black man. One day while my coworkers were venting about the racism we encountered she shared her story: “I’ve experienced racism with my kids school.”

I’m no fool I know biracial children experience racism and we all were interested in her staring her story.

“My kids are discriminated against because they’re white!” what? “The school bus wont pick them up, but will pick up the Asian boy down the street because he speaks no English!”

well, this went left. “The school discriminates against my kids because they’re white!”

All of my coworkers (black) were completely silent. We knew that she was a racist bitch with a black husband.  So, I posed the question..

“Just black?”

She turns red and yells louder!

“My kids are white!”

Anyway, she had it out for me ever since and would do things to keep me from advancing. Like putting in my yearly review that I broke the dress code for wearing shorts. Even though I went home and changed before work started.  She knew that if I had received a negative reviews I couldn’t receive an increase in my pay. Another example was placing all of the work responsibilities on me and ignoring my complaints at meetings, while discussing them as issues she recently discovered in the next meeting,  And the craziest thing she’s done was to tell me to not let the fact that my physically abusive ex boyfriend, whom stalked me and attacked me on my way to work..affect my work. She also protected my white female coworker who stole my pain meds while I was recovering from surgery. She sent her to rehab twice! and to this day she still works there, but hadn’t been there in over a year.  This coworker went out of her way to bully me at work and the few times I stood up for myself.  She would say to me “It’s not what you say, It’s how you say it!”. It was after a hard critique on the fact that I came to work early and had breakfast at my desk for my yearly review that kept me from receiving a $500 bonus that I began to wish on her the worst karma possible.

When I told her I was leaving she didn’t want me to leave. Which was odd, she ignored me my entire time there, she kept me from advancing, she made sure I wouldn’t get any pay increases or bonuses, she pacified the coworker bullying me, and would steal my ideas at meetings. Why would I want to stay?

Boss Two: I’m going to skip over. Lets just say she got her karma. My success! and I hope that she learned her lesson.

Boss Three:  She was both incredibly jealous and intimidated by me. Which was strange because the last few jobs I had learned to keep quiet, so I was mostly quiet there. When she would ask me how school was, I’d be honest! “It’s great!”. She hated my general curiosity about things and hated that I could read a star chart or write chemistry equations. She especially hated me when I lost weight! and when I made a point that anyone could go to the gym and that I wasn’t a rare bird. She began her own process, but with each accomplishment she went the extra yard to put me down.  This supervisor was a straight up bully with OCD whom could barely get a word out of me.  She occasionally said cruel passive aggressive things to me. One time while having a monthly meeting with the secretary she and the secretary bonding over having a cabin they go to every summer while curtly asking me “Do you have one?” I shook my head.  She’d bully me in several different ways and opted for some sort of public humiliation. She tried to offer me more money to stay at this job. Which I found strange because she made it clear everyday how incompetent I was to me and other coworkers.

The craziest thing she did to me was after I had given her my resignation. She had four to five months to interview and hire someone new. She interviewed, and on my last two weeks and a three day weekend that involved me being sick. She hired someone.  Normally, that isn’t a big deal. But she hired someone without telling me and how I found out was through a welcome email expecting her to arrive the day I came back to work. I had to clear my desk quickly, go home, and then come back to train this woman who she hired without letting me know. She then placed me in a cubicle on the far end of the building and had me sit around and wait for her to ask for help. When I confronted my supervisor about this she burst into tears and said she was sorry, but she was overwhelmed. I just stared at her. Miraculously her tears were gone by the time I left her office.

 

 

 

 

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