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Working with White people...

I don't know why I keep going back to it. Well, actually I do. I gotta work to have a little something for myself. That's why. But, I always seem to find myself the only Black man in a work environment, especially at higher end restaurants. It used to make me laugh to see the great absence of Brothers in the food service industry, but now it makes me sick to my stomach.

I'm happy to have this job. The place is nice. The food is pretty impressive. But I've yet to see where the service is exemplary or unique. I know what I bring to the table when it comes to the type of service delivery I have. My one point of discomfort though... White people.

I should be used to them. I mean, after all, I've lived in America for all of my life, and there's no shortage of White folk in America...even in Portsmouth. I have simply never had a genuine level of interest when around White folk, and it lessens even more when they begin their conversations that are typically about nothing, based in nothing, and sprinkled with even more of nothing.

I know I'm not the "average" Black guy either, especially to them. I only know this because I've actually had it told to my face on more than on (or two dozen) occasion(s). That "compliment" I've always found a little bothersome anyway. That, and "You speak so well" are the ones that grind my gears the most. It's not the compliment itself, but the underlying thought or belief that most other Black people speak badly that upsets me.

The only other Black man at my job is the dishwasher(of course). And there is this Black girl that is a food runner, but to me she's kinda one of them because she's not a Cavalier Manor, Portsmouth, I. C. Norcom, or Fisk Black girl. I'm not questioning her Blackness, so before y'all come at me with all that bullshit just pump your brakes. But I'm saying that she simply seems like one of those Black girls who lived in a White neighborhood and had White friends at the White schools she attended. That's just very different(exact opposite) from my experience growing up and during my time in college as well. I just find it surprising that so many Brothers and Sisters live a life without the beautiful connections that exist between people of African descent, whether friends or family.

But, I'm just gonna keep my great-grandmother in my head when I'm there. If she managed to do the domestic type of work she did way back then, I can put on a smile and bite my tongue now in order to get me a few of the things i want and need. I've already proven to myself that I can get my foot in the door. I've already heard how impressive my resume and skills are after only a few days on the job. Now, it's just a matter of me taking my time and only focusing on one day at a time when it comes to my expectations of the job, or of the other people I work with. And that's not too much to ask of myself.


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