Working While Black: My Boss Invited Me To A “Lynchmob”
As told to Veronica Wells
Late last year, I decided to walk off a decent job, with adequate pay but a terrible environment. Thankfully, I was able to get another position within the next month, for more money. But, at this point, I don’t know if the environment is that much better. In fact, it might actually be worse. At my last job, I was around a group of backbiters who could never address issues head on. In my new position, people are much more candid and upfront. They say exactly what they’re thinking.
And that’s the problem.
Unlike the last company I worked for, business is actually booming here. So the work place is much more lighthearted and jovial. Money has a way of doing that to people.
Just last week, one of our coworkers brought a couple of old school Nerf guns to work and launched an all out battle between their rival team. I watched from afar. Having been around more than my fair share of shady coworkers, I’m cautious about developing too many work friendships.
And sadly, my first mind was right.
The Nerf gun fight went on for far too long. What should have been a little, fun distraction for a couple of minutes, turned into an hour-long deflection from any real work being done. Hell, if I had known we were going to goof off like this, I could have had a V8…at home!
At the expense of sounding like a kill joy, it got old fast. And from the fringes of all the action, I plastered a fake smile on my face, reassuring myself that the shenanigans wouldn’t continue tomorrow.
I was wrong. Not only did the game continue the next day, my coworkers brought more guns and my boss created a calendar invite for the game, allotting a full hour to shoot each other with foam targets.
This, portioning off time during the day to have fun, wasn’t a bad idea in and of itself. But it was the wording on the invite that gave me pause.
My boss invited every last member of the sales team, including my Black a$$ to a “A Lynchmob.”
This is why I refuse to get too friendly with people. Here I am, a Black woman in the corporate world, in 2016, and I’m being invited to a lynchmob, as if that would ever be appropriate. I get it was a joke; still, it’s unconscionable.
Particularly when the town in which I work has quite the history of being extremely racist and hosting the very lynchmobs my boss felt so comfortable making jokes and calendar invites for.
The sad part is, I don’t even know if it’s worth me addressing it. They would probably just change the name of the event and talk about me being too sensitive behind me back. Perhaps, it’s just time for me to look for a new job.