I get where you’re going with this post. I truly do. And I’ve actually followed this advice (minus calling white women “Becky” — not a fan of that anymore than calling all black women “Shaniqua” or something like that). But I remember going to a happy hour last year. As soon as the liquor starts flowing, you start hearing people get way too loose at the mouth. I listened to two white women (one of which was not originally supposed to be there) go on and on about how they felt attacked by the black female receptionist and a black colleague in the breakroom. One became the “victim” of a package miscommunication. The other was “scared” of a woman regarding the microwave. Then came the conversations about why I should date the new black IT guy. It just went on and on and on like this. Finally I called them out and said, “Is this the blame-a-black-woman-happy-hour” and I was met with silence. Subjects changed.

That was the first and LAST time I went drinking with two of the three women. On a separate note, and more to your point, one of the women I enjoyed so much that I went to a festival with her and was the very first person to reach out to me after my grandfather passed away.

While I can’t get on board with just befriending people to get ahead at work (although it helps), I do agree that dodging them altogether and just doing work paints you as the antisocial worker who just sits at her desk. (I actually got a “funny certificate” for doing that, “16 Candles Style,” while a white male co-worker slammed his door and refused to come out to hang out with the group while they gave out these “funny certificates.” Magically, him not speaking to anyone, keeping his office door closed at all times but when he wanted to play Poker with a few melanin-less members, confusing coworkers by name who he’d known for well over a year, and rarely speaking to women on the team who he didn’t report to somehow did not earn the same certificate. I WONDER why.)

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Check out her five Medium publications: Doggone World, Homegrown, I Do See Color, Tickled and We Need to Talk. Visit Shamontiel.com to read about her.

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