Brown Crayon in the Workplace
Updated: May 11
Remembering the Times ▼
“Telling my story of what I experienced in the workplace.”
I have worked in Finance and Accounting for over 40 years of my life. In the 1970s, I worked for a company on F Street in Washington DC. The executive and management people did not look like me. Most of the regular employees were people of “color” or from another country. We knew that most of the executive and management staff was racist. We would just go about our work and tried hard to stay out-of-the-way.
We worked so hard through the years just to receive pocket change for a pay increase. The executive and management staff got higher pay increases while doing less work. There was always high turnover in management. This company was where most of them started out building up their résumé to look for a higher paid job.
One day, I looked around and saw that most of the management was now the color “Brown.” The company was having problems recruiting “white” workers because they wanted a government job. The top executives of the company behind closed doors started to strategize how to get back “white” workers. I overheard a conversation and saw a document at the copier that the company’s corporate offices would be moving to Virginia in a NEW office building. They thought this would be too costly for people of “color” traveling that far to work.
Three years later, we were in a new office building in Virginia on Eisenhower Avenue. Most of the “Brown” people got employment in Washington DC and did not make the move. About six months later the building was mostly “White” again. The relocation plan worked!
The new executives and managers were so hard to work with. Their heads were so high mighty you could not tell them anything. They just wanted to keep throwing up their degrees in our face. Me personally, I would just let them keep making mistakes one after another. Then they would run crying to you about something their boss scolded them about. A new supervisor or manager needs to work with their staff to learn all parts of the job. Most regular staff employees have been in the company for more than 5 years. It would be wise to listen! They will be the ones to put you in place for a promotion.
As time went on, I found out that over ten "white" workers who gave me a hard time on the job had a black partner or spouse. They were trying to keep it on the download. That is so hard to do when there are children in the relationship. Eventually, it all came out in the light. Not long afterward, those workers left the company to seek another job. A few years later, the company filed for bankruptcy. They had to close its doors in 1995. I was able to continue working another year to wine down all business activities to close the company. Afterward, the building in the picture was sold.
There is so much hate in the world today. People on the job and in positions of power are treating us so bad. It is not healthy being angry with hate all the time. We must push ourselves to be better people.
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Pen Name: Brown Crayon (pseudonym)