Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Working... When No One Else Is.

I'm at the office today. 82% of my coworkers are not. Rather than complain, let's list some of the benefits to being in the office so close to a holiday.

10. The commute is easier. Seats on the train. No one pushing (not really, anyway). You can put your hand out in front of you and not

9. The entire office is my office. I could take a conference call on speaker phone. And it's 11:16 a.m. and I've had 4 calls/meetings already today, so SOMEBODY is working.

8. Friendly coworkers. The people who are here either don't have enough time off to get a day off due to getting married and using all their vaca time, having a baby and using all their vaca time or being new and having no time (or like me, they know there are benefits)

7. Treats and goodies. Folks have been cooking already and are bringing in their spoils to share. I am not mad at it.

6. List checkoff time. All of the stuff that was giving you anxiety, you can do at this time because no one's stopping by your desk with emergencies.

5. Fewer calls/emails. Even if you're in the office, folks assuming you're not in the office and therefore leave you alone. This includes coworkers and vendors. My clients know EXACTLY where I am and have been on my line all morning. LOL!

4. You don't have to waste a vacation day (or a sick day). We all know how precious those are.

3. Homemade treats and goodies. Folks have been cooking for the holiday already and are bring

2. Free pizza because they don't want our lazy asses taking a lunch hour AND getting off four hours early.

1. You can MAYBE make it to the grocery store before all the people who had to work all day. (We'll see if this is really true in about an hour)


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Benefits to "Insomnia"

I'm on "vacation" in Chicago this week, but my body is on East Coast time. I woke up at 5:45 a.m. CT (6:45 a.m. in NYC) and could not go back to sleep.

It's currently 9:09 a.m. and I've...

- Balanced my checkbook
- Shared a volunteer opp with my [professional] mentee
- Reviewed a website for a nonprofit
- Joined an org I've been meaning to register for, but just haven't had the time 
- Called a company for refund on a service I don't want
- Eaten breakfast
- Chatted with my mom
- Called my healthcare spending account to get reimbursed for a claim
- Made my 2016 benefits elections (I read that whole 54 page guide, too!)
- Confirmed plans with four folks during my Chicago stay 
- Bought a couple of domain names 

If I can't sleep, I might as well get things done.

Now, on to Pinterest!

I hope you have a productive day and week!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Why It's Cheaper to Pay The 5

Today I went to Target. I'm not feeling so hot, so I took a cab there and back. It's too far to walk feeling sick and the train is STILL a long walk.

So my total including coupons and my 5% Redcard discount is $101.65. Add my two $10 cab rides, and my Target total is $121.65.

I go on, which has astronomical prices for SOME things and ok prices for everything else. They lack generic brands too, which is tough. Total for the same items and then adjusted for the couple of grocery items I bought at Target, free shipping and my total at is $111.04.

ALSO, I wouldn't have picked up a couple of items that I didn't really need that I grabbed at Target (how could you not).

I got Peapod AND Fresh Direct deliveries today (they have different inventory). Might as well add to the every other week deliveries.

We all do that though, don't we? For example driving across town for gas makes NO sense. You might save an entire 45 cents per tank, but burn up more gas than we need. Or saving a nominal amount for a flight, but then have a 4-hour layover. Then spend that nominal amount on (or more) in the airport.

Like why do we do this to ourselves to "save money?"

Monday, October 12, 2015


Social media is such a drain on my mood right now. I go back and forth from deleting Instagram and Twitter off of my phone. I just don't know what's going to come up and put me in a bad mood, so I'd rather not look at any of it.

To that end, I've been sick for about a week now. It went from a stomach flu to a fever (not the flu, I checked... twice) to a head cold. I'm now stopped up to the point that it's emotionally painful to talk because I sound so stopped up. People are just looking at me with the "Girl, are you ok, face."

But I don't want all of the notifications I get when I announce anything on Facebook, so I'm just saying over here that I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired.

Remember when I was sick for the entire month of January 2014? Of course you don't remember. You weren't sick, I was. That ended up being a cold that turned into a sinus infection. It was never the flu, but it was miserable the whole time.

I'm just hoping, praying, falling on the altar that this ain't that. I think being in New York has a lot to do with it. I cross thousands of people every day. Touching subway handles and seats and elevators and no matter how much I was my hands some of those germs probably end up on my phone, in my headphones, in my food... in my home.

Definitely on the bottom of my shoes, and therefore, my hardwood floors and probably on the bottom of my feet and on my couch and in my bed and in my lungs and good Lord, I'm gonna die.

Anywho, if you can breathe through your nose and don't sound like a three year old on conference calls you have won at life. I am out here losing.

Please pray for me. Being sick is a miserable existence.

P.S. I definitely turned into my mother this weekend spraying every damn thing down with Lysol disinfectant spray. Febreeze smells good, but it ain't killing influenza on hard surfaces. I know I'm right about it.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Yay Me!

I think I've been preaching for a while now about how being yourself is the only way to win at life. Myself is honest and excellent. I just am.

So my new manager (bruh's been here two weeks) just got back from an agency review with my client and their feedback was:

1. T pushes us creatively. We'd like to see more people on the team do that.
2. T is more upfront with us than other team members. We'd like to see more people on the team do that.

Now, this is not about comparison. I work on a team. But me being added to the team is showcasing a new way to do things. I'm not about this pussyfooting around when it comes to delivering good or bad news to clients. I'm also not about this "let's just do it because it's in the plan" POV. It's it's not going to work or if it could be doper, let's take a few extra days or hours and make it doper.

Anywho, sometimes [often] I forget how I got here. I think I was magically delivered into my position by some unicorn job-offering saint. But nah, I'm here because I bring my whole self to everything that I do.

And that's better than any representative I could bring anywhere else.

Hope you're having a good work day, folks!

(And sorry I don't post more often. New York is taking up all of my free time.)

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Top 10 Benefits of Exercising in NYC

I have been struggling to commit to a workout routine since April. With all of the life changes, losing my job, looking for a job LIKE it was my job, moving to NY and all of the travel in between, I gave myself lots of [well deserved] breaks.

Now that I've been a New York resident for almost four months it's time to get back in the swing of things. I'm currently doing a #30for30. The benefits of exercise are the same every time, but you never remember or appreciate it until you're back on the grind.

Below are the top 10 benefits of working out in New York.

10. I'm more efficient at work. Since I know I have to leave to make a class or in time to workout and still have some evening less, I somehow get the same amount of work done in fewer hours.

9. It's a social activity. I've already seen a couple of coworkers at the gym and I'm thinking about taking classes with friends, which is nice.

8. I have more energy.

7. Mood booster. It makes me happy (afterwards, not during.) Shout out to endorphins.

6. Self-esteem. I feel better about myself when I know I am actively contributing to making me better.

5. Eating habits. You all know I eat what I want, but when I'm exercising my body craves healthier food. AND I know that if I eat a burger and fries that it's going to feel like death on the elliptical. I'm all about these fruits, veggies and lean meats lately.

4. NYC warmup. I do SO MUCH walking in NYC. I can't describe to you how big this city is and how folks will just walk 1 or 2 miles like it's nothing to get to the next destination. All of my gym workouts are really just warmups for days and nights in NYC, which is great.

3. Exploring my hood. Before I broke down and got a gym membership, I ran a couple of time (like 2) and found Marcus Garvey park. Yes, it smells like urine and there's trash and homeless folks everywhere, but there are also steps, a track and shaded areas, so perfect for a city run.

2. Support. Our #TeamFit Facebook group has turned into a GroupMe and it's awesome. People share photos, running maps, fitness routine and most of all we cheer each other on in real time. So now I'm an active participant instead of a bystander and it feels good.

1. Cuties at the gym. Yes, sir. Please do pull-ups in front of me. I'll just be sitting here swooning!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Tea Afficionados

I was at the Cincinnati airport about a week ago and was FREEZING coming off of my flight. I was already hyped up on coffee, so I asked the independent distributor at the gate if they had any tea. As fate would have it, they actually had Inca Tea made with real purple corn.

Fam, I didn't even know purple corn was a thing.

I've been into peach flavors a lot lately. May be my body wanting summer to never end, but I got the peach tea, it was only $3.25 AT THE AIRPORT... that's like 67% off of what I pay for anything in New York or at any other airport.

So anyway, follow them on Twitter and Insta @incatea on FB @incateallc and if you're so inclined, buy me some... oops, I mean buy a bag for yourself.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Managers Be Like...

Tuesday: This is a new process for you. I'm excited to teach you how to do it. Please ask me anything. There are no dumb questions. 

Wednesday (after asking a question): I want you to feel comfortable that you can make some logical deductions based on the information that's available.

I'm sure she thinks I asked a dumb question and she's tired of answering them, but don't tell me I can ask you anything, then shut me down when I double check something.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Most Comfortable Ballet Flats

Writing this post for three reasons.

- Krystal asked on her Facebook wall and this post wrote itself.
- It'll be a nice reference when I need some ballet flats, which is like: all the time.
- I haven't posted in almost three weeks. People probably thought I quit.

Anywho, here's a list of the most comfortable ballet flats.

10. Ollio
9. Kenneth Cole Reaction
8. Call It Spring
7. Croc
6. Aerosoles (Can sometimes find at Ross for $7)
5. Me Too
4. Sam & Libby
3. Tieks

2. Indigo by Clark's
1. Pumas

Bonus B Selections
- Born
- Bjorn
- Bloch (because they make actual ballet flats)
- Banana Republic (Wait for the 40% coupon)

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

They Said WHAT?

So I chose to go to Joy's baby shower and I made the right decision. A trip to Pittsburgh on the weekend, also FURTHER lets me know I made the right decision to move to New York, but that's a whole 'nother post.

Joy's baby shower was ghetto. And I don't mean ghetto as in "In Living Color" funny ghetto. I mean I represented the height of poverty and it was one of the saddest things I've ever experienced.

When I arrived she was squatting in the back yard and one of her [17] siblings was putting on her eyelashes. Why is a woman/teen/child who is eight months pregnant squatting while someone who is clearly NOT pregnant is sitting down. Further, older family members were smoking cigarettes, weed and drinking 40s. Did I show up to a family bbq or a baby shower. I can't tell.

There were kids everywhere. You know how I feel about kids at baby showers. No.

One of her brothers and his wayward friends came in, ate all of the sandwiches and left. So by the time I got there, there was only crudite and some chicken on the grill. I was going to dinner later, so I didn't eat, but I'd be lying if I told you I wasn't looking forward to some deviled eggs. There weren't any.

There was no air conditioning in the house. Now, I have family members who are not well-to-do. But typically the baby shower is at a family member's house who has more. This led me to believe that this was the most anyone in their family has and again, that made me sad.

There was also one fan in the house that was strategically positioned onto Joy, except when it wasn't. Like, how do you take a fan off of a pregnant woman/teen/child because you're hot. I was so angry.

So, we played some games. Watched the kids dance (that's always super fun) and then she opened gifts. She wasn't registered anywhere. No one bought anything of substance outside of bottles. There were clothes, baby Jordans, about a million pacifiers and then I bought a stroller. No car seat. No pack-n-play. No high chair. No crib. No crib mat. No towels. Nothing I've ever seen at a baby shower. And it just goes to show how blessed I am to have been at all these showers where people had truckloads of things to take home.

Also, no one wrote down the gifts, so I handled that. I also sent her cards and stamps and told her the proper things to do after a shower, so she's doing it. 

Then I go to a baby shower of someone who NEEDS truckloads of things and she didn't get what she needed.

I could let ALL of what I just told you go. So people don't have a lot of money to buy fancy gifts. They have family and they love each other and that's ok. Fine. So people haven't read the Emily Post book of etiquette and don't know what to do at weddings and showers. I can stop being stuck-up for 24 hours and let that go. No problem. So I didn't get any deviled eggs. No big. Fine.

But here's when things went south for me. Joy read all of her cards out loud. She's sort of glazed over this fact in the past because I could tell she's embarrassed about it, but she can't read cursive. That's right folks, they don't teach kids cursive in schools and so some kids can't read it. I wrote my card in cursive because I forgot, so I had to read it to her aloud in front of a room of people.

It was very inspirational. I know she's not a saint or a scholar, but I treat her like she's both because I expect her to act like she's both. She lives up to my expectations when she's with me. Somewhere in the card I said:

"To be a good example for your daughter, I know you'll get good grades, finish high school AND college and be there for her no matter what."

While I'm reading the card, two or three family members are adding their horribly negative commentary. "College?" "Really?" "Hmph. I don't know about all that." 

ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME RIGHT NOW? Can you keep your negative ass , basic ass , mediocre ass comments to yourself? [I really need to stop cursing.]

It was at this moment that I realized that I was exactly where I was supposed to be that weekend. Because even though her "family" showed up for her shower (most of them bearing no gifts or contributions or even a positive attitude to the festivities), they're really not THERE for her. They didn't know I existed. They don't know anything about her or what's important to her or what she wants to do with her life. And this is not a judgement on her family. I didn't meet her at church camp, so I should have expected some of this, but I just didn't know what to expect. Sometimes you can't give what you don't have. If folks don't have ambition, they can't instill it in her. If folks don't have etiquette, they can't teach it to her. If folks don't have a positive outlook on life, they can't share it with her.

When I first arrived, I thought I'd made a mistake. Like maybe I was intruding on a personal, family affair. But, like I've always known, bloodlines don't dictate who your family is.

I'm happy I could be there for her and add some positivity at a special time in her life.

I'll keep you posted on how it goes. Pray for a successful [scholarship-receiving] college graduate. Our prayers and service are going to help break some barriers! Or at least I'll do everything in my power to make breaking barriers possible. Joy has to do the rest.

Monday, August 10, 2015

I Won Today

Today a coworker who is always dressed super cute (Think country club fly on the daily) told me I looked cute. And then she goes, "you ALWAYS dress so cute. I feel like I wear the same things over and over again."

So then I gush "But YOU always looks so cute and I feel like 'I' wear the same things over again"

You all already know I feel like a slob in NYC. I get up every day and look at my closet thinking "Don't be wack. Don't be wack." and like 2 days out of 7, I "feel like" I succeed. This just goes to show that no matter how down you get on yourself, you never know how other people see you.

AND if you don't tell people how you see them, they may never know. (Not that she needed my validation, but I was so flattered to get a compliment from such a put-together New Yorker!) 

I'm going to come back to this post when I need some encouragement. Nothing is ever as bad as my brain has convinced me that it is.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

I Miss Modesty

I'm learning in New York fashion trumps modesty. People look like whatever on the streets. On the one hand, it's empowering. It's like listen, be yourself and just rock out with whatever makes you happy. On the other hand when this "do what you want" shit shows up in my conference room, it bothers me. And the biggest issue is people don't KNOW they're wrong.

If you're in the south and you go to church without stocking on, you KNOW you're wrong. In New York, mogs will just have their skin showing at work and no one will bat an eyelash. It's driving me batty! Here are the top 10 things I sometimes love, but REALLY hate at work in New York

10. Women not wearing bras.
9. Women letting their bras show.
8. Halters, tanks, Racerback tanks (why am I looking at your back and side boob at work?)
7. Spaghetti straps tanks, spaghetti strap dresses, spaghetti strap jumpers.
6. Short jumpers at work
5. Short shorts at work.
4. Miniskirts and minidresses AT WORK!
3. Cutouts. How in the hell is it ok for me to be looking at your midriff, back, thigh, etc. at work... in meetings.
2. Club dresses at work. (This is just one chick in accounting and I just don't understand how she is still employed)
1. Bodycon dresses at work (not to be confused with shift minidresses (#4 on my list or short, but not fitted dresses #2 on my list)

Do you push the envelope with the "work" dress code? Do you have any pet peeves about how people dress at work? Am I being to uptight with my Southern Baptist upbringing and need to just let my bras and knee-length dresses go now that I'm a New Yorker.

And don't trip, on the weekend, I prefer to not wear bras (I really don't need them) and show a little thigh, but there's a time and a place and I just don't think M-F in a corporate environment is it.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Sneaking In Pools

Summertime Chi is really about that rooftop, boat and beach life, but if you want to keep it a indoors, you COULD sneak into a hotel pool.

Thrillist came up with a dope list of how to do so.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

I Cherish These Moments

I decided to go to Joy's shower as I think she needed me more than anyone else on the list and when I write about what happened there, you'll see that I made the right decision. My grandma's actual 76th birthday was on Tuesday, July 28. And I'm a New York asshole now and forgot to call her. So I spent 20 minutes out of my work day to catch up with her on Wednesday. Here's why that's a big deal.

1. I never do personal stuff during the work day. THERE'S NO TIME.
2. My grandma doesn't sit on the phone with anyone for 20 minutes. I think she's from the old school when people used to be charged by the minute on HOME phones. So she's like get to the point and get the hell off the phone. Funniest thing I ever experienced. You'll be like "so how..." and she'll cut you off like "alright, bye now."

So here's the top 10 things I learned on the phone with my grandma yesterday:

10. She's getting all of her teeth pulled. She only has 8 left and a partial denture. She told the dentist to keep her gap. She's gone 76 years with a gap and she doesn't want to go anymore without one.

9. The man in the photo with her that my mom sent to ME is named Walter. Walter is an old "friend" of my Aunt L, but he's become a son to her. He's ALSO an old friend of  Aunt P. And Aunt P is mad at his continued friendship with Aunt L. #ButThatsNoneOfMyBusiness

8. All seven of her kids showed up for this birthday. This is rare. It's usually 5-6 of them that come at any given time. Never all 7 together.

7. She wasn't cooking NO food for her bday party and neither was anyone else in her hot kitchen. Just ice cream and cake, but Uncle J insisted that there be food, so he got hot dogs. Uncle J is most like granddaddy and granddaddy used to love to eat and COOK! 

6. My big sister has a new phone number. (Yes, my grandma has my sister's number in a notebook that looks like something detectives use on cases and gave it to me and I don't even have it.)

5. Everyone who she invited that DIDN'T come. She named them off to me one by one. (She's old and forgets things, but if she invites you to a party and you don't come, please believe she'll remember.)

4. She asked my mom if I was in town because even though I TOLD her I wasn't going to be able to make it this year, I sometimes sneak into town. But my mom told her I wasn't there, so she wasn't expecting me.

3. She went to VBS on her actual bday (the party was on the weekend). She sat on the usher board float in the VBS parade the week prior. (She wanted to know if I saw her in the pic my mother texted me. If you wonder why I'm always taking photos, you should meet my grandmother.)

2. She's still doing crafts for VBS (probably been doing that for 50 years by now). This year everyone is decorating their own [Jesus] tshirts and my cousin Chelsee has "outdone" herself. Her shirt has fringes that she tied and a very cute design on the front.

And finally, the #1 thing I learned from my grandmother on the phone yesterday. This one took me under y'all:

1. She understands that I couldn't come home and that I can't always come home and that's ok. She said I'm doing what I'm SUPPOSED to be doing. She said I'm not supposed to be laid up under my parents all the time, I should get out and see the world, like I'm doing and she's proud of me.

Traveling and seeing the world and following my dreams seems spectacular, but I have so many hard choices to make about what I can participate in and what I can't when it comes to family and relationships. It's nice to hear about things on the phone, but I would have preferred to have been there in person. Those are the tradeoffs. Adult decisions. Adult realities. What a blessing for me to have family that supports my decisions instead of making me feel bad about them.

If you have living grandparents, when is the last time you talked to them?

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Sway Has No Answers

Hit publish and blogger told me this is my 1500th post. I figured I should note that.


I live in Harlem. It's a black neighborhood. I don't want to come out of my face and says goods and services are subpar to a more diverse or mostly white neighborhood. I don't want to say that.

What I will say is that I am having a hard time finding a laundry delivery service. Yelp only yielded one place with good reviews that picks up in my zip code. I used them. They're ok. They are not punctual with the dropoff and deliveries and some of my clothes come back dirty.

They're better than doing laundry myself.

Or, they were.

Until this week. I called on Friday and asked for a Saturday 9-10 a.m. delivery. They came at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday and only after I called to figure out why they weren't there between 9 and 10.

I ordered a Monday 6 - 7 a.m. delivery. At exactly 7 a.m. I call and they don't have me in the system AT ALL. I go "this concerns me. You have all of my clothes." They call me back and they apologized, but my clothes weren't ready. They will schedule me for 6-7 a.m. Tuesday. Fine.

Tuesday at exactly 7 a.m. still no clothes. I call. The lady says the OTHER lady didn't schedule it. So I say, ok, schedule it and can I get a discount.

She then tells me that they already gave me a discount because they're SUPPOSED to charge me $1 for every hang to dry item and they didn't. And pretty soon, they're going to start enforcing the rules. AND the girls who work at the wash n fold center are not responsible for hanging my clothes to dry and so it's problematic. And no, I can't have a discount.


I get my clothes back and I sent them 4 bags of clothes with 4 sets of instructions. Only 3 bags came back (I can't find my whites) AND they hung two entire bags of clothes to dry vs. the 4 pieces is a teeny tiny bag that I instructed them to. So all of these clothes come back stinky and mildew-y. And I essentially need to do laundry all over again.

The reason this concerns me SO much is:

1. The inconsistency. I sent similar instructions 2 weeks ago. No issues.
2. The lack of accountability. I entrusted you with MY CLOTHES and you give me a dissertation about how the "wash n fold" girls don't have time to "pay attention" to my instructions and/or wet clothes. Nah.
3. The overall unprofessionalism. The cost for my time is money. If you can't see that and are instead going to just trip about how I asked for too much, when it is your job to do a service, I can't rock with you.
4. The lack of critical thinking. If it seems odd that I wanted um 20-25 pieces of clothes that say tumble dry on the tag hung to dry, why wouldn't someone call me to ask me that.

I think it's safe to say, I'll just waste four hours every weekend doing my own damn laundry. If I ever move out of Harlem, I'll give it another try, but New York has disappointed me on this front.