How to Lose an Employee

Every other week there’s an article about how Millennial employees are all lazy, entitled brats. Well, the truth is that sometimes the problem is a little higher up the food chain. Below are the best practices for running off anyone in your organization who wants to see it succeed…


  1. Be unclear about your expectations.  Whenever possible, give out work assignments with competing priorities and no additional guidance. Sink or swim!
  2. Emphasize form over function. Reward low performing employees who milk the clock by coming early, staying late, and getting little to nothing done. Chastise anyone who leaves less than an hour after closing time, even if they’re high performers.
  3. Delegate, but don’t train. Why should managers do any work as long as there is a lower ranked employee around? Pile on the to-dos, but don’t show them how to actually do their job. They’ll figure it out and if they don’t– fire them!
  4. Never admit that management could be improved. If anything goes wrong, it’s always the underling’s fault. Deny any knowledge of a crisis. Always throw your employees under the bus, that’s what they’re there for after all.
  5. Minimize feedback. Don’t take the time to meet with your employees unless something is wrong. Never give them a chance to correct the problem early. Much better to ambush them with a 10 page dossier of shortcomings so that it can really sink in.
  6. Overwork and underpay. Pay the minimum acceptable wage for every position and don’t pay benefits. Who needs full medical and dental with Obamacare? Employee bonuses should never be expected. A new car for the CEO gives peons something to strive toward–it’s practically motivational.

What Not To Wear

My social media feeds have been lit up this week over an issue that combines my hometown, fashion, and talking about professionalism–three of my favorite things! So let’s get to it.

An Atlanta teacher went viral after pictures of her posing in the classroom set off a huge debate about whether her outfits were professional. After pictures from her Instagram profile started to circulate on Twitter, the story was soon picked up by media outlets such as The Root and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (which wins the award for best headline, lol). The outfits in question are shown below.

To me, it’s not even a question. While she’s dressed appropriately (i.e., all pertinent body parts are covered) 2 out of 3 of these are definitely not okay. Tight, clingy spandex dresses are not professional attire, across the board. Each of these outfits is tight all over. Yes, she has a beautiful, curvy figure and there’s no hiding that. However, she can work around it. The first pictures is a good example–the tights and cardigan mean no skin is showing and there is something to cover her hips and bust. In the second picture, which I’ll assume is a casual Friday/jeans day, she should have worn a longer, looser shirt or boot cut pants which would balance out her hips and legs. However, there’s no saving that pink dress in the third picture. If you can wear it at the club, DON’T WEAR IT TO WORK. Forever 21 body con dresses are not professional attire!

I’m curvy and also plus size, so I know the struggle. If you have curves, they will always show but you can work around it. Buy shirts a size up so they don’t cling, wear a-line or pleated skirts and boot cut or wide leg pants. If everything is fitted, wear a longline blazer or cardigan.he key is balance. Tight all over is for weekends and after work. You don’t have to wear a potato sack, but in a work setting you can either be fitted on top or fitted on the bottom–not both. You can have bare legs or bare arms or cleavage–just one, not all three. Those are just the rules.

I saw a lot of arguments about how this was body shaming and objectification of women and reeks of rape culture. I hear that, and agree that women’s bodies are always sexualized whereas men’s bodies are not. That’s an unfortunate double standard. But in this case, I don’t think it’s that deep. Rightly or wrongly, certain jobs require us to dress certain ways in order to be taken seriously. If I show up for a hearing in khakis, a polo shirt, and Converse sneakers, the judge is very likely to send me home to change. Is it appropriate (i.e., all body parts covered)? Absolutely. Is it professional and reflective of the role I am playing? Absolutely not. Courtroom and law firm dress code are formal. Nobody wants to pay hundreds of dollars an hour to someone who can’t be bothered to put on a suit.

Like lawyer, and also doctors, teachers have to more than just apply for their job. They must have at least a Bachelor’s degree; pass a state licensing exam; and take continuing education courses to keep their license current. Why so much work? For one, we have specialized knowledge outside of what can be taught on the job. Secondly and most importantly, I think, we take care of the things that people value most: their health; their freedom and property; and their children. Because of that the standard for professionalism is higher and we are expected to conduct ourselves accordingly. In a perfect world, it would be all about competence and people could wear whatever they wanted to work. But that is not the world we live in. Her outfits were cute. She wasn’t wildly inapporpriate. But that doesn’t mean she was professional.

On a final note-for goodness sake, teachers, STOP TAKING SELFIES AT WORK. At least do it in the bathroom or the parking lot or some place that’s not obviously a classroom. These pictures were more than likely taken after dismissal when the kids were out. But when people see a picture of a teacher in a club dress with an alphabet rug on the floor, they’re usually going to assume that she was neglecting her job because the outfit is already sending cues that she doesn’t take it seriously (even if  Additionally I think a large part of the uproar is that she was doing outfit of the day pictures in the classroom– making it seem as if she potentially was neglecting her job. It’s just not a good look.

Body Party



First, can I just say that whenever you see something in all capital letters you know it’s going to be some ignorance. But this hit one of my sore spots and I felt the need to address it.

Growing up I was called fat, and to be honest it scarred me for life. Looking back, I realize that while I was what qualifies as medically overweight, it was just baby fat that I would grow out of it. And in high school, I finally did. But having spent my formative years being teased, and a doctor who lectured my mom about watching my portions at every yearly checkup, the damage was done. I was a perfectly normal size, and in decent shape thanks to that godawful Presidential fitness test we had to do in PE every year. But looking in the mirror all I ever saw was fat.

It took me until I was an adult, and legitimately plus-sized, to realize how wrong my thinking was and do something about it. It’s only now, at 28 years old that I can look at myself and say, “yeah, you’re bigger than you would like to be- but you’re still beautiful and have nothing to be ashamed of.” I was embarrassed by my body for so long that I never wanted to do anything that would call attention to it. So I shied away from sports, and even though I would have loved to take dance classes, the thought of squeezing my (roly-poly, I thought) body into a leotard was TERRIFYING.

It may seem like one of those hippy-dippy, touchy-feely, politically correct things but the plus-size and HAES (health at every size)  movements against body shaming have roots in the type of ignorance displayed above. You can’t change your body overnight. And even with living the ideal lifestyle of 100% clean eating and a tailored exercise routine, there are limits to how much you can realistically change your size and shape. For example, I’m never going to have one of those perch a tray on it booties. I can definitely build it up, but  absent a commitment to  surgical intervention, it’s just not going to be a bubble butt. But to take it even further, the demands of our careers, significant others, and family prevent us from being able to live that ideal lifestyle.

The judgment from others is unnecessary. Overweight people know they’re overweight. They can’t forget because we idolize certain body types and mock those who don’t meet the standard. For example, the Playboy model who filmed a woman changing in the gym locker room.  For all we know that woman has already lost 25 lbs. But she was made a mockery of because she didn’t have the “perfect” body.

I love myself, rolls and all. I’m strong enough now not to let anyone discourage me. I haven’t met my goals yet, but I have more energy. I look forward to moving my body. I’m getting more flexible and discovering muscles I didn’t know I had. I’m saving money by cooking more and eating out less. I’m craving more fresh foods and less sugar. Whether or not anyone else can see the changes on my body, I’m happier with myself. I’d like to lose 50lbs, but even if I only lose half that, at least now I know that I’ve done everything I can for my body to perform optimally.  I’ll end up wherever I end up and have fun doing it.


Don’t bring me no bad news!

*cue Evillene*

2016 has been kind of a bummer so I thought it was time to put some good energy out in the world. *sprinkles glitter*

I’ve been going through my share of struggle but it’s not all bad. I’ve been connected with some folks who I hope will be mentors to me. They helped me make a decision about where to go next professionally and that has been priceless.

Like so many other women, weight and body image has been my cross to bear. This year I decided I needed to make a change, or quit complaining. I’ve been working out at least three times a week for 3 months now, and it’s finally a habit. I don’t always want to do it but I do it anyway. And recently I found a gym that I’m excited to go to. It’s a women’s fitness studio that focuses has all types of classes- from Zumba to pole tricks to aerial silks. I’ve been doing the dance classes mostly and have been having a blast. This past weekend I went to a 2hr cardio dance class choreographed to Beyonce’s 7/11. And next month there will be a limited time adult ballet workshop. I finally feel like I get it now. You really have to find an activity that you love. I’ve always wanted to dance, but I felt so self-conscious that I never did anything past one year of tap/ballet/gymnastics in kindergarten. I secretly envied the drill team girls in high school, but I was a late bloomer and the thought of wearing a short skirt and *gasp* shaking my butt in front of a stadium full of my peers (and parents!) was terrifying. Now I’m more comfortable myself, and to the extent I’m still self-conscious it doesn’t overshadow my desire to let loose and get moving.

How I feel when I’m in dance class:

How I probably look when I’m in dance class:


I’m also going through the agonizing process of making friends. In June I took my long awaited, first ever trip to NYC to visit my sister-from-another-mister Maya, which was SOOOOOO needed. Hopefully she comes to see me in Screwston and the hijinks can continue, but if not it won’t take another 5 years for me to come back! In the meantime Bumble, which is basically feminist Tinder, has a “BFF” feature that allows you to make a profile strictly to find your new bestie. I met two cool girls, one of them just moved to Fort Worth and the other I haven’t had a chance to meet back up with but I’m still putting myself out there. Unfortunately , a new squad is not going to just pop up on my door step so I am willing myself to be an active participant in creating the life I want.

If you have good news to share, feel free to put it in the comments!

Breaking Point

2016 has been a year.

Culturally and politically, as a Black woman, it’s been rough. We have a presidential candidate endorsed by the K_K_K who has yet to disavow said endorsement. We lost Prince. It’s apparently open warfare between the police and the Black community.

Personally, it’s also been a trial. My third wedding anniversary is coming up next month and we’ve been together for 8 years now. In all that time, we had never had a real falling out. You know, the kind where one person can’t stand to look at the other and is afraid this might be the end? Yeah, we finally had one of those. We’re back to normal now but that kind of ruined a full month of my summer. Things at my job have been. . . challenging, to say the least. If you know me personally, you know what I’ve been dealing with and if you don’t–just use your imagination. All I will say here is that I’m considering my options. Just three days ago was the first anniversary of my friend’s death. I’ve thought about him every day since he passed and it still doesn’t seem real. Riding an emotional rollercoaster on two fronts has me feeling like a crazy person. I like to stay at equilibrium. People always comment on my restraint, but it’s self preservation for me. Emotional extremes are just exhausting and if I’m too far on either side of the spectrum, it’s hard for me to buckle down and be productive.

Today I almost had a full blown anxiety attack, which has only happened to me two or three other times in my entire life. It’s the red flag, flashing lights, blaring siren sound from my subconscious to me that SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT HERE. I know exactly what needs to change and while the more prudent thing may be to wait, I’m at a point where my physical and emotional health are being compromised and that is simply not acceptable. I will find a way to do what I need to do.

I can tell from my social media newsfeeds that I’m not the only one struggling, either. The devil is busy and we all need to pray for each other.

Why I’m With Her.

News broke this week confirming what we already knew–that Donald D_ru.mpf is the official Republican presidential candidate.

For a brief moment in time, progressives all over the country were excited about the prospect of Sen. Bernie Sanders becoming the Democratic presidential nominee. Ultimately, he failed, but not before running a grassroots campaign that will likely end up in the history books. The silver lining is twofold: young and progressive voters are definitely invested in the election, and Hillary Clinton has adopted several of his key platform points. I believe that if she is elected and we continue to put political pressure, she will move to the left on more issues.

But some folks aren’t satisfied. They refuse to vote for the lesser of two evils, they say. Hillary is a liar, they say. They’ll write in for Sanders or vote for one of the third party candidates because it’s time to stand on principle, they say. While I understand where they’re coming from, ultimately I am almost as disappointed in these people as I am in D_ru.mpf supporters. That’s saying a lot because, I’m deeply disappointed in those people I know who are voting for D_ru.mpf.

The thing is, I’m black. Sure, the DNA results show that I’m just as much Nigerian as I am Native American, Russian and French. But I believe in calling a thing a thing, and I’m black. Blackity black. Negro. Colored. I’ve got chocolate skin and frizzy hair. There’s nowhere in the world I can go where I will be treated as anything else. But I’m proud to be black, despite the enormous psychic burden it confers. I’m very proud of my people and there’s nothing anyone can do to change that. I grew up just 20 minutes south of Atlanta, the birthplace of Civil Rights Movement legend Martin Luther King, Jr. It was instilled in me that Black History was just as important as American history (and that I needed to know the difference). I majored in history in college and when we studied European revolutions, I saw W.E.B. DuBois, Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X and the Black Panthers.

Embedded in my cultural legacy are the things that make me an individual. I am passionate about political and economic empowerment, as well as community service. I believe that because I call myself a Christian, I am called to love and understand others even when they deny my humanity. I believe that people are more important than money. I believe that socialism is the best form of government, but human greed and shortsightedness get in the way. I believe in law and order, but not in blind obedience.

My grandparents grew up during segregation. When they wanted to go the movies, that had to go certain showings on certain days and times and walk in the back door. My parents attended Georgia State University less than 10 years after integration. My father had a professor who refused to give black students a grade higher than a C+. My mother wrote a genealogical history of her family and tracked down my 4x great-grandfather’s grave. The only record of Sandy Reed, other than his tombstone, is a line item in his owner’s log book:

“He was a good slave.”

Let that sink in for a minute.

I can never escape the fact that not too long ago, historically speaking, I would not have been a United States citizen but property. Chattel. An object. Not a human being, much less a lawyer. When I got married, I wanted a formal ceremony and I took my husband’s last name not just because I wanted to, but because years ago I would not have had that right. I went to a law school named after a known racist. I went to school in classrooms where the Confederate flag and the American flag hung side by side. And while I don’t know of any relation, my maiden name is that of a president who is lauded for giving the country its independence but who refused to free his own slaves.

There is not a person in this country who doesn’t know of Adolf Hitler and the Holocaust. In fact, we romanticize World War II because it is the only conflict, other than our war for independence, in which America was unquestionably one of the Good Guys. And yet, the hate filled populist rhetoric Donald Dr_ump.f is spewing doesn’t ring any bells. He has dismissed or insulted every non-white male group in this country, from black to female to disabled. He has been endorsed by the K_u.Klu.x-Kla.n and has not condemned them. He encourages his followers to beat up and kick out anyone at his rally who dares to question him. Recently, a white woman attended a Drumpf rally with a sign that simply read “No Racism, No Hate” and had protesters try to rip the banner out of her hands and cover it with the American flag. Apparently, if you support equality and understanding you don’t love America.

When people tell you who they are, be skeptical. But when they show you who they are, believe them. In the year of our Lord two-thousand and sixteen, we cannot all agree that racism is a bad thing. This is madness. But it is a madness we are familiar with. It is a madness that makes it acceptable to gun down a black person for simply being unfamiliar. It is a madness that demands a system be put in place to track the more undesirable elements of society. It is a madness that justifies the systematic isolation and extermination of an entire race or ethnicity for “the greater good”. It is a madness that turns hatred into patriotism and bigotry into justice.

Our country is facing a crisis. Do not be fooled. D.ru_mpf is not running for President on lower taxes, or more jobs, or any other legitimate reason that outweighs his real platform. He is running on hate. Whether or not he believes the bigotry that many (if not most) of his supporters ascribe to is irrelevant because he is their voice. A vote for is not a vote for making America great again. It’s a vote for making America white again. It is a vote for America to return to the days when we ni****s knew our place.

And this is why I’m with Hillary. Not just because she’s the most qualified person for the job and not just because I’m a progressive liberal who doesn’t want to see regulatory legislation gutted. But because in our current system, any vote that is not for Hillary is a vote for Trump. And I’m bone-chillingly afraid of the havoc that a presidency would wreak. It took 100 years for black people to get from emancipation to liberation, and we fought tooth and nail every step of the way. There is no telling the damage that Dr.umpf could do. He has lifted up the most radical elements of the Tea Party and given them free rein to do and say whatever they want. His RNC speech has drawn comparisons to Adolf Hitler. How much more proof do we need in order to act?

I would love to be able to vote on principle. But I don’t have that luxury. I am black, from a black family, with a black husband, and black friends. We are teachers, lawyers, engineers, doctors, entrepreneurs, nurses and more. We are church goers, athletes, musicians, and bookworms. We are loud, funny, thoughtful, and generous. We are people. We are just like you, and yet we are disenfranchised and mocked and condescended to and murdered just for being a shade too dark. So forgive me if I don’t want to hear anything about third parties and sticking it to the establishment and how you shouldn’t have to vote for the lesser evil. Sometimes the lesser evil and the greater good are so close you can’t see daylight between them, and this is one of those cases. I am black. And I want to live in an America where blackness isn’t ignored or condemned but allowed to just be.

I don’t know if Hillary Clinton can get us on the path to that America. But I know for sure that Donald D_ru.mpf will not.