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  Yesterday was day four on my new job, and I’m hanging in there. The pace hasn’t slowed and I’m using prayer, faith, and my skills to keep afloat. By the time I get off work, I’m exhausted. But somehow I muster the strength to cook a home cooked meal after my two hour commute home. Luckily my husband is okay eating leftovers, so I don’t have to cook every day. If it were up to me, I wouldn’t cook at all.  Sshh. Don’t tell my husband. Well, actually a few months ago, I confessed to him that I didn’t like to cook. You would have thought I had told him I used to be a man. His face dropped and his mouth fell open. He was devastated. “But when we were dating you told me you like to cook,” he lamented. When we were dating, I ironed his boxers. Duh, I was trying to get a husband, like Cass, the heroine, in my new novel “Married in the Nick of Nine.” There’s a lot women and men say and do to impress the love of their life. I had to remind my husband of all the heroic feats he had accomplished to impress me, like going to church with me every Sunday and g...
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It seems like every day there’s a new crop of reality shows hitting the airwaves. The topics and themes of these shows are as varied as the people are who are courageous enough—or some might argue—crazy enough to put their issues and demons on front street for all the world to see. There are shows focused on married women who are actually divorced, actors who wanna try their hand at dancing, people who dream of becoming the next singing sensation, creative people who have hopes of their invention becoming the ‘next big thing’, and a host of shows about matchmakers, fashionistas, and culinary consultants. By the looks of it, it seems as if anyone could have a reality show. With that in mind, I wondered to myself how my life would look to the viewing public. Would my life be interesting enough to attract viewers or would it be cancelled after one episode? What would it be called? Every reality show has to have a catchy title: “La La’s Full Court Life,” “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” “Pimp My Ride,” and most recently “My Mama Throws Down” (you have to admit...
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Yesterday was my second day on the job, and I wanted to pull my teeth, eyeballs, and weave out. It was crazy! The assistant I replaced was not very organized and left me with a gang of pending projects, i.e., stuff she let sit until it was time for her to jump ship. So in addition to learning the inner workings of my new gig, I had to keep up with incoming assignments and get caught up on the piles of this and that she left undone. The phones rang nonstop, instant messages popped up like pimples on a pubescent teenager’s face, and every time I gave my monitor a gander there was a new email. By noon I was sucking the insides of my jaws. I sighed, hemmed and hawed, and rolled my tired eyes more than a dozen times. And of course I did it all on the down low. The last thing I want is for my new employer to think I can’t cut it, that I don’t have what it takes to support high level executives. No siree, I’m gonna fake it ‘til I make it! The problem is not the work. I’ve been doing administrative assistant work for more than a quarter of a century, and I was on my...
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Yesterday I started my new position as an administrative assistant in a financial company. Before leaving the house, I had made a decision to spread, kindness, joy, love, and happiness. You’re probably shaking your head right now, wondering how I was going to pull this off in the world of angry, bitter, underpaid nine-to-fivers. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe that everybody in the work place is miserable or unhappy with their jobs, but according to statistics, eighty percent of Americans are dissatisfied with what they do to keep a roof over their head and food on the table. I’ve been off work for eight months, so taking on a Mary Poppins persona wasn’t too much of a stretch for me. After being laid off, I’m happy to be employed! So I took my little buoyant butt into work and killed my coworkers with kindness. Most were receptive, but there were a few who gave me that “Wait ‘til she’s been here a couple of weeks,” look. I approached one woman during lunch, gave her a Kool-Aid smile, and said, “Hi, I’m Alretha. Today’s my first day. It’s nice to be here...
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Today I start a new job. I feel like I did on the first day of school—nervous, excited, and anxious. If someone would have told me nine months ago that I’d be starting over this late in life, I would have labeled them certifiably insane. I had been with my previous employer for twelve years and just knew I’d retire there. When the economy went left, I was sure I’d be rewarded for my years of dedication and that I would be exempt from any layoffs. But fate would have it that on September 27, 2011, I was informed that my services were no longer needed, that I better get to steppin’, and not to let the door hit me were the good Lord…Okay, it wasn’t that cold, but as much as my supervisor tried to soften the blow, when the words, “Today will be your last day” fell on my ears, I felt like I had been suckered punched. Who knew? Over the years I had survived several layoffs, I had been the assistant to the top dog, and I always got stellar reviews and good bonuses. But things would be different this time. The gig was up. I packed up my desk and called my husband. ...
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