If you haven’t done so already, please read part one of Angry Black Woman before reading the rest of the story. It’s important to know the beginning in order to understand the chain of events that landed me in labor relations.
The day after I was notified by labor relations, I was sitting at my desk working on another vacancy and chatting across the cubicle wall with my buddy when I heard whispering coming from a co-worker behind me. I saw that she was on the phone so I paid no attention and kept talking to my friend. The next thing I know, Kim brought her ass to my cubicle and accused me of talking about her application status to everybody. I lost my entire mind!! My first thought was “no this bitch didn’t come to me with this bullshit!” She was being accusatory when I jumped up out of my seat and said “let’s go to labor relations because I’m sick of this!”
We walked to the first labor rep available and closed the door. Not that it helped because I was so loud that everybody on the floor was peering through the door window before it was all over. I got in her face and laid into her ass!! The frustration of being accused of something I didn’t do had overflowed. She entered that office as a lion and came out a sheep. I had to go outside to get some fresh air. When I returned, no one said much to me for the rest of the day. During my moments of isolation, I realized it was my whispering co-worker who was instigating this mess and feeding Kim lies because they were friends, and she wanted Kim back on the floor. This all happened on a Friday afternoon.
Over the weekend, I thought about my actions; I said and did some messed up stuff!! I felt horribly for how I behaved; I needed to apologize to Kim and the managers on the floor. Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t regret defending myself, but I could have handled it differently. So, on Monday morning, Kim was the first person I called. I didn’t leave a voicemail; I called until she answered. Surprisingly she accepted my apology, and I felt like we turned a corner a little bit. The last stop on my apology tour was to my director – an older white male.
At the time, his view of me mattered the most because I never want to support the narrative of being an angry black woman. He told me that I didn’t have to apologize because he understood why I was so upset. He said anyone in my position would have reacted the way I did. He also said that it wasn’t over because Kim escalated the complaint. I just threw my hands up in defeat and thanked him for understanding.
Nothing ever came of the escalated complaint though. Kim eventually left the company altogether, and I stayed for several years thereafter. Not long after she left, I recalled a recurring dream that I had about a massive snake that would not die. I fought the snake with everything I had; I killed it, but it kept coming back to life and chase me. Nothing I did had an impact on this snake! In retrospect, I realized that God was trying to warn me of what was to come; Kim was the snake that wouldn’t die.
It wasn’t funny at the time, but my buddy, who I was chatting with over the cubicle walls, and I laugh about it now. I often think about what I could have done differently in case I find myself in a similar situation in the future. I do have some lessons learned though: pay attention to your dreams – especially recurring ones, don’t let anyone get you out of character, and don’t trust whispering co-workers!