Me & The Corporate Whale

I’m not particularly religious but the Bible story of Jonah and the Whale seems to be a perfect way to describe my corporate experience so far.

For those that are not familiar with the story, the following is my understanding of a Googled summary: Jonah was ordered by God to go somewhere. He refused and boarded a ship to go some place else. In response, God sent a storm in the ship’s direction as punishment. The ship’s crew blamed Jonah for disobeying God’s instruction, so Jonah offered to be thrown overboard to save everyone else. He was swallowed by a whale at some point and spent 3 days and 3 nights in its belly praying to be saved; after which the whale threw him up onto land.

I have been working at my current place of employment for almost a year now and it has been nothing but an emotional rollercoaster. Of late, however, the lows have been more frequent than the highs and the main cause of this has been my manager.

From her first day, she has been trying to implement all these supposedly positive changes to reinvent the image of our department. I played along at first. I respect[ed] her, not only because she is my manager, but also because in a company where most of the women holding managerial positions are white, I was happy to have a black woman as my manager. I saw her as someone who I could potentially relate to and develop a mentor/mentee relationship with. I was unspeakably deluded.

I basically began experiencing what being victimised by an older black woman in the workplace felt like. It was awful. I could feel the lack of respect when I walked in every morning. Opening up about how I felt didn’t prove to do me much good either, as I just ended up being put down even further. Some of the comments directed at me even attacked my personality and my background. The only way I could end that conversation was by bursting into tears.

After a weekend of trying to get over what happened to me, I learned that in the corporate world, there are a number of things I won’t want to do and even more things that I don’t believe in. As much as there should be mutual respect in the workplace regardless of one’s position, things won’t always happen that way, and to make it worse (for young adults in particular), we have to accept the way things are for the sake of our careers.

I just hope that 2018 brings me much better experiences.

Xo

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4 thoughts on “Me & The Corporate Whale

  1. Hi Sammi

    I know for a fact so many of us relate the situation you are in.just a week ago i burst into tears because a black female manager spoke to me in such a disrespectful manner. I was seething with anger and till this day i do not speak to her .i will never speak to her unless im forced to.
    If it all gets too much maybe a change if environment will be needed.but i feel we as young women owe it to ourselves to stand up to the bullshit and challenge these workplace bullies.

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    1. Funny enough I also have a black female. And I just think that they bring African societal norms into the workplace. Older black women always feel like they can talk to younger black women however and think that just because you’re young, you know nothing. It’s a generally disrespectful mindset to have in the workplace. You can’t be at work treating me like I’m your child. I also deserve to stand up for myself. But anyway I also ignored her and got into trouble, so I don’t advise it. Rather kill her with kindness. Fake it till it feels real 😂 then they can never say that you succumbed to the negative environment.

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  2. Hi Girl,

    Reading your story is heartbreaking to say the least. Yes, Corporates (esp those with majority of white women in leadership roles) tend to ‘mistreat’young black women who are hungry. Somewhat I’m drawn to believe that your manager has the Pull her down (PHD) syndrome. Mind you, I am a young black woman in Corporate myself.

    Personally, your story goes beyond just “Me & the Corporate whale”.

    This is a classic reminder of how we as black women are very far from winning the battle of achieving a society where women are united in their diversity, where women uplift instead of being hell bent on breaking each other down.

    Pardon me for making this a race thing but it’s rather quite difficult to overlook it. Here we are young, black and educated, constantly battling white male patriachial rule in (white) Corporate (& some what winning slowly but surely), why must – on top of the what we are already facing, be fighting amongst each other?

    I cannot begin to fathom what you are going through. 😭
    Please know that there is nothing wrong with you/ability to perform.

    Prayer, strength & light to you ❤️

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    1. Thank you! I’m so glad that my experience has been insightful to others and that they feel like they can relate. I take pride in my work and that’s something I will own until the day I die — I try not to let the circumstance surrounding that affect my performance (even though it already has, once or twice). Thank you! 🙏🏾♥️

      Liked by 1 person

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