First experience with racism in the workplace as a black woman in the UK.
Ok so today’s post is more serious than my previous posts. I want to talk about this one job I had were racism was normalised.
So, I was working at this sales and marketing company with terrible hours. I was literally working from 7am to 9pm and getting home by around 11pm some days. It created distance between myself and my family and friends because I was never available so I guess it seemed like I was ignoring them and when I would tell them i’m actually just working, no one really believed me because who works 7am to 9pm right? but this was my life for 6 months.
Whilst working there, I heard a few of the managers who were not black using the n word. I remember this one day outside of work, they were talking about dating and dating apps. My manager asked this black girl in my team if there is a filter on tinder for black people. The girl was confused she was like ‘ erm, no. I don’t think so. Why?’
Manager ‘You’re getting a lot of likes.’
She then said ‘how do you know what guys like black girls, is it on their profile or something?’
Yep, you read that right. My jaw dropped to the ground.
The reason she said this is because she didn’t understand why this black girl was getting more likes then she did, so she assumed there must be like flitter for men who have a fetish for black women because why else would a black woman have more likes than a white woman on tinder?
They would make a lot of ignorant comments to black people in the company, literally straight to our face and not even behind our backs because it was something they considered to be normal. I even started seeing it as normal because I had gotten so used to it. It took me having a conversation with other black people I knew who had left this start up company to realise how strange the culture was .I don’t think they really had a HR department because of how small of a company it was.
I would snap at my co workers when they would say things like how I can’t be seen in the dark because I’m black etc when we would be working late at the office. And they wouldn’t really take me seriously and just keep going and going, having the time of their lives. It was a really strange company. I feel racism in the workplace is normally not that in your face, but in this company, they literally could not give a shit.
I left that company after six whole months and it was the best decision I ever made for my mental health.