The reason why I'm sharing and exposing this reality is because Black women, more often than not, are always viewed in a negative light and often get their words and actions misconstrued.
I've experienced a great deal of trauma, on the job, in the past 3 years and to say that it hasn't impacted my mental health would be asinine. (Not to mention, the personal traumas that I've experience outside of the workplace). Experiencing mistreatment and having your GOOD/BENEFICIAL qualities unrecognized, causes most, especially me, to fall into a deep dark hole, where we become hopeless. When no one hears you, or sees you and your hardwork, it becomes incredibly difficult to merely move on and find acceptance and peace.
I never thought that my 1st experience in South Korea would end up like this - heartbreaking!
These are the statements that stood out to me, emailed on (11/17 @ 11:23am) by my former colleague (Y***** A.) at Chungham Academy (Creverse) in South Korea:
"I did not want to send you an email, but seeing how much of a coward you are, I had to do this."
Mind you, she NEVER once came to talk to ME - in person, about anything that was bothering her, she ALWAYS hid away or ran away, but she has thee audacity to call me a coward.
"You never met deadlines, lost test papers, had low scores on evaluations.
You never met deadlines (INCORRECT), lost test papers (INCORRECT), had low scores on evaluations. (Question? Who even shared any of this with her? Shouldn't information about another staff member be confidential?)"
"You spoke down to people and expected them to not say anything? (WHO & WHEN & HOW EXACTLY?) I don’t know where you got that privilege from.(I'm BLACK, I have no privilege) Majority of the teachers did not like how you spoke to them and felt uncomfortable in your presence. (A VERY BOLD STATEMENT, but the key phrase here is "felt uncomfortable")
Let me paint a picture: MOST OF THE TIME . . . I STAYED TO MYSELF AND IN MY CLASSROOM, prepping & only made contact with others, when I needed to."
Also, I don't recall anyone following me 24/7, in order to see all of my interactions. Nor aware of any messages that I sent that SHOWED MY THANKS, to certain colleagues, whenever they helped me out or did something generous. UNLESS, IIIIIIIIIII was being targeted and harassed?!?!
I guess being a STRONG BLACK WOMAN who's independent and very confident in her work/voice, triggered personal insecurities. Hmm? Think about that for a moment.
"Don’t harass me AT WORK (after going to her room to speak to her woman to woman. . . was there anger? Yes. Was there hurt? Yes) I don’t know how it worked in America for you and how you even managed to hold a job, but your behavior is not suitable for a work place." (insert a deep sigh here)
I do not let people talk down to me (TALK DOWN?) and yet you still expected me to be ok with how you spoke to me (AN UNCOMFORTABLE CONVERSATION) 20 minutes (INCORRECT) before my class started? You are a 30+ woman who keeps attacking someone younger than you. You need to GROW UP and be a GROWN ASS WOMAN. You need to learn how to speak to people. I am more mature than you, I DO NOT LOOK AT PEOPLE BASED ON THEIR COLOUR. I look at them BASED ON THEIR PERSONALITY. This is something YOU NEED TO LEARN AND IMPLEMENT IN YOUR MISERABLE LIFE. (WOW! VERY BOLD)
"You continuously attacked me, stalked me and texted me (ATTACKED? NOT SO MUCH! STALKED? NOT SO MUCH! TEXTED? --- YES!)"
"...colour? This is an absolutely childish thing to say. Yet you still claim to be mature. Maybe it is an American thing to make everything about race. But I am not American. I do not give two shits if someone has a different skin colour to me. A human is a human, if you’re shitty person then you’ll be treated like a shitty person, if you’re a good person, then you’ll be treated like a good person. This is common knowledge of human life. And with your age, you should already know this. I, someone who is younger than you, should not be teaching you this."
That is a very racist (I'M BLACK, HOW CAN I BE RACIST?) statement to make, and wit you continuously saying you are a PERSON OF COLOUR, I expected more from you. You just continuously try to find reasons to attack me and blame me for your arrogant mistakes. (Arrogance and confidence are 2 totally different attributes.)
. . . Also my LAWYER IS BLACK (INTERESTING STATEMENT)
Let me now COMBAT THIS FALSE NARRATIVE . . .
Yes, in America we are allowed to disagree and have disagreements, colleagues are no different. We are allowed not to get along, nor 'like' every co-worker. We are allowed to make mistakes. We are allowed to text whoever TF we want! We are allowed to CALL IN people for uncomfortable conversations. LEGALLY we are granted to have ALL of our hard work compensated for. More likely than not, we stick by what's written in our contracts. We are allowed to ADVOCATE for ourselves and others. We are allowed to challenge perspectives. We are allowed to ask for RESPECT, ACCOUNTABILITY AND TRANSPARENCY from not only our colleagues, but also from OUR WORKPLACE, which includes OUR MANAGERS & OUR BOSSES.
AS A BLACK WOMAN - I'VE NEVER ATTACKED, NOR HARASSED, NOR INTENDED TO MAKE ANYONE FEEL UNSAFE!!! I'VE SPOKEN MY TRUTH, I'VE EXPRESSED MY FEELINGS, I'VE ADVOCATED FOR MYSELF, I'VE PROVEN MY VALUE. AND YES, I SOMETIMES, REACT, INSTEAD OF 'RESPOND,' & YES, I F***** TEXT PEOPLE, even if/when I'm upset & so does the ENTIRE world! - THAT IS NOT A CRIME!
And here's the messed up thing. . . the colleague that wrote this email to me - we went out to dinner, SHE shared her mistreatment BY THE ACADEMY and I showed her so much empathy and support, gave her a card, sent her podcasts of inspiration, allowed her into my space, shared my empathy for her loved ones - health issues and also immediately left my classroom one day, to HUG her and allowed her to vent . . . when she endured and had an uncomfortable meeting with the BM & Manager; They did not care that she didn't have the funds for a flight back to her country because the academy was requiring her to pay certain fees. Lastly, I guess she doesn't recall how we walked to our apartment complex together and stood in the hallway, near the elevators and just laughed and vented about the academy. She seemed to have felt SAFE then? Oh! And let's not forget how she once confided in me on how she was going to SUE THIS ACADEMY & SPECIFICALLY OUR MANAGER, E*** . . . due to his harassment. IRONIC huh?
For the record, I do not feel threatened by Ya****'s email . . . there is obviously a huge cultural difference here . . . but BLACK WOMEN ARE BEYOND STRONG & WE WILL NEVER ALLOW PEOPLE TO SPEAK OUR TRUTHS FOR US.
Click here to hear about another story of how an African teacher. She's in currently in another country but this clearly shows how Black Women are treated.
There's more to the story, regarding the BIAS work culture, at this academy and how WHITE teachers, MALE teachers, and KOREAN/AMERICAN Teachers are treated very differently.
At the end of the day, if we, as black women don't speak our truths . . . others will cause us to feel LESS than who we really are. I AM NOT the picture that was painted of me in South Korea. And I will continue to share my story . . .