Unemployed: The Strength of A Woman

I blame Tamron Hall.


Not for everything in life, but she definitely gave me the push I needed to get in the situation I am in now. And it wasn’t just her. Infact, Queen Latifah, Niecy Nash, Mary J Blidge they all really share the blame in this recent turn of events. If it wasn’t for that damn Essence Fest and its “Strength of a Woman” panel I wouldn’t have been feeling myself enough to march right into my supervisor’s office and tell him that I was no longer “feeling challenged and appreciated”. I would’ve kept my two weeks and probably many more weeks after that because let’s be honest, I had been “quitting my job” for the last few months.


It was almost a weekly routine. I would sit in our company break room with water ALMOST spilling from my eyes after sitting at my desk with no lunch and being there for at least 10 hours with another 2 to go. Complaining with an indignant tone in my voice. “They only ask me for advice on clothes and styles! It’s because I’m young and I’m black and my hat’s real low.” I would quote the infamous HOV line. “God forbid they sit with me and teach me something, I want to know the numbers in and out!” I would complain.

You see, I worked as an assistant buyer. And although I was only about fifteen months in with the company, I had came over from another retailer where I had been there for the same amount of time and this would be my third year in the game. I needed to know where I was going and how I was going to get there or they would be filling a void.


Quotes from famous rappers steadily filled my head at times like this because quite frankly at this company they had no qualms about telling me that I was good at the product. They wanted me dictating styles and finding the evidence to back it up so that the higher ups felt confident in the product flying off of the shelf. It made me think of all the times I heard Jay or Ye say that we were the culture and they were just capitalizing off of our knowledge, but wanted to keep us...or ME at this point, in a entry level position and not pay for my expertise. So, when Tamron Hall was on stage with Jada Pinkett, Queen Latifah, Niecy Nash, and MJB telling all of the women in the audience that she walked away from tens of millions of dollars to tell NBC where they could go. I knew I could forfeit my little thousand-air lifestyle. More importantly she told us, she knew her worth. She knew what she was bringing to the table and how hard she worked to get her own show. We all did, I had been following Tamron’s journey, figuratively through the character that Gabrielle Union acted out on Being Mary Jane and Tameron was lit! If she could do it, I could do it. It was the principle and more importantly my pride that had me feeling so confident.     


Sitting across my Divisional I was mild mannered. I walked into his office with a white piece of paper that only had a couple lines printed on it. I had the paper folded into three sections and placed it on his desk as I closed the office door. “Do you have a minute?” I asked not really caring if he had one because this would legit take thirty seconds.


“I don’t like closed doors.” He smiled. My Divisional ALWAYS looked stressed. He was actually a really great guy. He was just overworked, and even though I knew his stress level would probably go up after my announcement, his aloofness towards my constant cries to be challenged by my direct superiors made this decision all the more easier. There is a cause and effect to everything, and just like I was about to feel the effects of being broke this section was going to have to feel the effects of my abandonment. Both effects were temporary but the cause was worthy.


“How was your vacation?” I made small talk as I pulled out the chair in front of his desk.

That’s another thing! If you are going to quit your job and potentially ruin your halfway decent credit, be sure you thought this through. Now my Divisional had took off two days prior to Essence Fest weekend and the entire week after. Which means I had over a week to change my mind for the umpteeth time. I didn’t.


“It was good.” He asked, his smile growing a little wider. Almost as if he was asking for me to get it over with.


“I’m leaving.”  I nodded as I said it. Almost reassuring myself as I placed the note on his desk.


“Okay,” there was a slight pause before continued. “Was there anything in particular that brought this on.”


From there I pretty much let it out. The final nail in the coffin was a meeting I had with my team earlier that week. My Divisional knew nothing about the meeting and quite frankly I think that pissed me off even more. The fact that so much could go on without his approval let me know that he might not have had any control of his department and consequently my development. Anyway, the meeting resulted in a decision that involved me doing more work that was supposed to be handled by the part time assistant on our team. Unless they were paying me her 20hr paycheck...that was not going down. So, I cut the cord.

In two weeks I would official be, UNEMPLOYED.

I blame Tamron Hall.