A WTF Ask a Bougie Chick...


I got a ping on Facebook a month or so back from a woman (we'll call her Isshe - as in, Is She Kidding Me With This!) who wanted to know what I would think about my man spending time in the basement before he came up to bed every night. Wait for it...

He was spending time in the basement watching sex tapes of himself and his ex-mistress. Yep. Isshe wondered if she should read something into that... Oh, and also... Dude (we'll call him WhatTha - you can guess why) had recently "loaned" ex-mistress $10,000 of THEIR money for "reasons he didn't want to share." Isshe and WhatTha have been married for three years and he began this behavior three months ago. Isshe doesn't know what she should do or if she should even be upset. 

So many questions. One - when Isshe called naked-sex-tape-woman (NSTW) an ex-mistress, what does this designation mean? Mistress implies one who is in a relationship with a married man. Was NSTW a former extramarital of WhatTha during this marriage or was he married before? Either way, EITH-ER WAY, it is not cool (So Not Cool) for him to have and watch cocoa videos of him and the ex but especially not before coming to bed with the new. Nawl. 

Next question, 10k? 10 large? Diez mil dolares? My dollars? Even if you are ballin' like that, fund disbursement over $200 must be discussed and agreed upon before it goes out the door. ESPECIALLY to your husband's ex-whatever. Isshe, girl - woman up. You are being played so hard, we should nickname you XBox. I cannot. Surely you know the answers before you wrote in? None of this is okay. Not remotely. By zero stretches of the imagination. But hey, do you...

Then as if she didn't like the answers I had given her, I got another message a few weeks later from someone using a different name asking this:

*flings monitor off desk*
I'm out. Bougieland, what ya'll got for Isshe?

Ain't nothin' changed but the date on the calendar

One of the Ask A Bougie Chick letters I just received was from a 23 year old lady who recently ran into her ex. Dana and her former-beloved, Nick were together all through college. Upon graduation, Nick told Dana that he didn't want to be "held back" or "tied down" so he broke up with her. No long goodbye, no I'll-be-seeing-you, just out. The evening of graduation no less. She got back to the spot and all his stuff was just gone. He put a post-it note next to his key that said, "Be well." And the part that really ticked off Dana? He had changed his Facebook status before breaking up with her. (Let me take a moment to thank Jesus that I didn't have to date with social media in my 20s) Back to this... Very classy, Nick. 

Fast forward 11 months to last week. Alumni happy hour. Who strolls up to Dana all smiles as if they agreed to remain friends? Yep. Nick sits down, tells her how great she looks and wants to catch up. Nick got caught up in a layoff at the bank where he was working while pursing his MBA and is not sure how he can afford to pay for the rest of his advanced degree. Dana is in the executive training program of a well known Silicon Valley tech company and the VP loves her. (Karma is that bitch, ain't she?) Anywho, Nick says he wonders if he was too hasty last year. He wonders if there's any of the old Nick-n-Dana sparks still smoldering that can whip back up into a fire. (Okay, I got dramatic. Ya'll know I write romance.) 

Dana says she'll think about it. And walks away. Since then, he's going full court press. Sent flowers to her job, dropped off her favorite takeout to her door, left messages on the phone and sent her the digital equivalent of this generation's mixtape via iTunes. 

Dana says she never got over Nick and her question to us is... have we been through this, do we have any insight and what should she do.

Hey Dana! Yes, we've been through this. The abrupt "deuces" followed by lack of closure and then later yonder they come back 'round with Le TapBack. There are so many posts about re-visiting the "ex-files" on here that you could pick anyone of them. They all basically say, "There's generally a reason why you broke up in the first place but... Do you." However, I actually have a few other thoughts: 
1. What happened to him not wanting to be tied down or held back?
2. What's his hurry?
3. Why don't you date around? If Nick is the one, he'll be the one today, tomorrow or next month.
4. I know men don't always apologize for the shiggity they do but um... he got to do better than "Hey, what's been up, pretty lady?"
5. Lastly, double-check his motives. You're doing well. He is on some struggle. Is he looking for a girlfriend or a sponsor? I'm just asking.
Dana, the game is the game is the game. Decide whether you want to play and if so, is he the one you want to play with. Those are my abbreviated thoughts. BougieLand, whatcha got for Dana?

Is there more pressure on "men of a certain age" than women to be married?

In the wake of yesterday's post about a poor life/wife choice of one of the Bougie Brethren, I was flooded via various forms of social media and inboxes to talk about the struggle of the Professional Single Black Male over 35 to wife well, correctly and with some immediacy.

I love George Clooney. As an activist, sometimes as an actor, mostly as ageless eye candy. He looks great, probably smells great, has than killer smile and sense of humor not to mention he's rich as Croesus and an Obama supporter. Yum. But I wouldn't date him for all the waterviews in his Lake Como mansion. (Didn't say I wouldn't sleep with him, let's be honest... moving on.) The chronic commitment-phobe is not my cup of tea. When you have all the women in the world at your disposal, is it really the hotness to continue to dispose of them? Nawl. But I wondered, does he feel any pressure to get married? Are his peers, partners and public relations people hounding him constantly, "Pick one and put a ring on it!" When he runs into friends of his parents (as I did at an event last week) do they ask loudly (in front of your date), "Still not married? But you're so pretty!"

That sound you hear is my teeth gnashing...

Back on topic... Do single men over 35 take the same amount of nonsensical and judgmental backlash as their female counterparts for being unmarried? And does it intensify as they get older? Hmmm...

This threw me off a little bit. It's hard as a single woman "of a certain age" to listen to single men "of a certain age" talking about how they can't find a woman. In fact, my first thought is to double blink at them, hold out my arms to the left and the right and scream, "We're right here, why don't you see us?" And don't get me started on the biological clock we've got ticking while they have no such age restrictions. Latest stats show that for every single male, there are twelve (12!!) single women in queue for them. Twelve. Let's say four are unattractive to you, three are crazy, three are incompatible for whatever reason, that still leaves 3 in the tank. I'm at -7 for finding a dude in my specified age range and preferences. Negative 7, yo. If the one I'm dating now doesn't work out, I'm for the nunnery. For reals. Let's move on.

Any time you start talking about numbers and statistics in the dating pool, that conversation always erodes to both sides listing their requirements and pet peeves and then someone breaks out the tired old memes (Black women this, black men that, women this, men that, expand your search but raise/lower your standards, stop waiting for mr./ms. perfect and just get out there, make a sandwich/learn to cook, take more time to get yourself together as a person)... we've heard them all.

I spent a good bit of time Wednesday talking to the single, divorced dating brethren of these webnets and I have to admit, I felt some sympathy. I talked to one Executive who was told at the company sales conference that if he doesn't show up at the next function with a fiancee or wife, he's not going to get the promotion he wants. Yes he should go to HR but let's look beyond that. His professional life is taking a hit because he's not seen as a family guy. However, the hours he's required to put in are also prohibiting him from finding and keeping the kind of woman he wants. Is he lazy? No. Picky? Maybe. But between going to work and back home, golf on Saturday, family dinner on Sunday, where's he meeting Mrs. Executive? In his words, "Online or hope cousin Pam brings someone cute to brunch."

There's Bougie Bruh, Dr. Martin. Young doctor easy on the eyes, great sense of humor, sane, yet chronically single. He swears he has no time to date but finally admitted that he doesn't want to put in the effort. Yet he does want to end up with the kind of woman who doesn't care if he puts in the effort or not. So he doesn't want to be married to someone who just wants to be Mrs. Dr. Martin. But he wants to be with someone who understands what he's going through. 

I could go on. I heard story after story about how much pressure there is for men to be married over 35. I know that as a single black female, I heard that if I didn't meet the guy I was going to marry in college, it was going to be a hard uphill road. It is. But we never talk about if that also runs true for the brothers. Could it be that the struggle for Ms. Right is just as exhausting as the struggle for Mr. Right?

I don't know, maybe this is all hooey. Maybe they are just cutting a swath through the sisterhood until one day they get tired and say, "She'll do." Maybe we don't shine enough of a light on the male struggle because we're dealing with our own. I don't know. But let the record reflect that I opened up the discussion. And I know everyone has opinions. So let's hear 'em. But hey!! Keep it bougie out there... 

Too much "Ha!" in the A-ha! Moment - A Bougie Bachelor Chronicle

Two of our Bougie Bachelors in their late thirties started dating 2 young ladies of Asian descent in their early 20s. I say this not to judge (cuz I don't care - find you some happy) but to give you context for the upcoming BougieTale.

I had occasion to meet the young ladies early in the year and... it did not go well. One of the Harajuku Twins (Google it. Never mind, I Googled it for you here. Sorry for the snark but the similarities were plentiful) was dating an ex of mine. Which I was okay with until she turned nasty and insinuated that upon seeing me in person she understood why I "couldn't hold onto that man"...  The conversation devolved from there. I may or may not have called her Kikalolu a la Whitley from a Different World. I felt justified after she referred to me as a "round the way chick" um... me? A-ight den. But to each his own and whatnot. 

Where the story goes off the rails is when Bougie Bruh #2 (BB2) decides to marry Kikalu two or three months into the relationship. Calls me up all excited, do I want to come to Vegas to attend his Bellagio Bash avec Bridal Boo-Thang? Yeah... no. Even I knew that had disaster written all over it. About twenty folks packed their bags and headed off to Sin City on a Friday afternoon. Bachelor/Bachelorette parties Friday night with the wedding planned for midnight Saturday/Sunday. 

Here's where the story gets fuzzy. Things happened Friday night and like a good mystery novel, no one really had the whole story. What we do know is that 11:00pm Saturday night, no Kinu. Her girl was missing too. 11:15, 11:30, 11:45... M.I.A. A little after midnight folks go in search of girlie and gal-pal. They find them at a high-stakes poker table seated on the laps of two huge guys. They were either MMA or WWE or some sort of three initial fighting thing. As BB2 looks on, Kiki starts tonguing down dude in the middle of the Bellagio casino. 

Kikalu looks up, blinks and says, "Hey, I meant to call you. I got married last night!" She held up her hand to flash a ring. I'll let that sink in. 

Yeah, seems she decided that BB2 was trying to turn her into a housewife and she still wanted to part-ay. She met Clint or Clive or whatever MMA/WWE dude's name was at her bachelorette party and after five glasses of champagne explained that while she wanted to be married, she didn't want to be "all serious" with it. O__o Clint/Cliff/Clive (also not sober) suggested she marry him instead. They could just have fun. And so she did. The other Harajuku Twin decided Kikalu was right and she bailed on Bougie Bruh #1 as well. 

No one in the Bougie Crew went home happy. Except for Jay & Joy who won $5k at the blackjack table.

Upon hearing this tale, I asked BB2 the question - "What did you have in common with her? What made her wife material for you?" After a long silence, I was told that she was sweet and she didn't make him think. Oh. I didn't know someone who turned your brain off was hotness. :-/

Eight weeks later, girlie tried to say she made a mistake and she just got nervous and some other manner of foolery. He replied by sending a court order for the immediate return of the engagement ring and delivering whatever she left at his spot to her front door. She says she already gave the ring back and he must have "misplaced it"... 

So then I asked, "What did you learn from this?"  The reply, "I need a little less ha in my a-ha moments." Clever but I persevered, "Seriously, this was a life lesson. You have to have a takeaway." He shrugged, "Don't get married in Vegas?" I flung up my hands, "Vegas was not the problem." He tried again, "I should have insured the ring?"

I give up. Bougieland, can you name the twenty gazillion things our boy did wrong here? You don't need to be polite. Sometimes tough love is for the best...

The Long-Awaited Follow-Up to the Henry & The House Invaders #AskABougieChick

In early March, I posted a story about Henry. A divorced man with two kids whose ex-wife had hoodwinked and bamboozled him into allowing her to move back into his ancestral home and brought along her new, younger, unemployed boo thang.

Since then, quite a few things went down. Henry called his lawyer who called a judge. All agreed that foolery happened. In the meantime, Henry sent Andrea (the ex) and Curtis (young boo) to Vegas for a weekend with a pre-paid credit card. He knew they would be there until the money ran out. Henry wised up.

While they were gone, he moved them out and moved them to (you will love this)... Curtis' mama's house. The kids admitted that they didn't want to live with their mother and Mr. Curt any more. When Mama and Curt rolled their broke behinds back from Vegas, they were greeted with changed locks and temporary court orders. Until Andrea could provide a stable environment where the children felt safe, Henry would have custody and Andrea would have supervised visitation.

Henry's lawyer also advised him to move his house and assets into a trust. And that he should tell Andrea that his assets revert to his sister in the case of his death. Whoa. Lawyer said he didn't put it past old girl to disappear Henry in hopes that all of his assets would go to the kids and she could control them as mommy dearest. Now that's some hot mess.

In better news, Henry is dating the legal secretary from his lawyer's office. He was there so often, they started eating lunch together everyday. That's one cloud with a shiny silver lining. So... all's well that ends well? Henry has one last question for us, "Anything I should do different this time around?"

Yes Henry. One, take your time and communicate. Two, if it feels wrong, it ain't right. And three, talk to your kids. They tend to have great radar about people. Good luck sir...

Any parting words for Henry?

If you can't step up, why did you step forward? A Mature Bougie Bachelorette Chronicle

For all the 20- and 30-something Bougienistas out there kvetching about how hard dating is; here's an unfortunate fact: It doesn't get any easier as you get older. I'm sorry. I'm dishing truth straight no-chaser, it gets no easier. In fact, the pool is smaller and your patience is shorter and let's not even talk about battle-weariness and dating fatigue. I'm in something now that I want to call a relationship but without official confirmation of said status - we just hanging on. Yep. The Struggle Continues.

You would think as daters age, they would mature. That is not always the case. You would think as folks age, they know their own mind. That's also not always the case. People tend to get less open-minded as they get older, not more so. People that have the ability and willingness to change usually have done so before hitting age forty and up. So weigh those things into the dating pool. We're going to explore this with the Mature Bougie Bachelor and Bachelorette Chronicles... cuz some of us ain't 30 anymore... Let's look at one of the 40+ Bachelorette Chronicles:

Bougie Bachelorette #1 (BB1) is back in the dating game after a hiatus. To avoid some of the foolery of past experiences, she joined a site specifically geared to singles in her age bracket. Let's skip past the fellas who couldn't form a sentence, typed in texticon-ebonicionary or had the opening salvo of whatever the 2014 equivalent of I Wanna Sex U Up is. Let's also set aside the ones that when their names were Googled revealed mugshots, entire blogs devoted to their chicanery or pages upon pages of Don't Date Him Girl dot com misdeeds. Let's talk about the fellas such as these:

Have you met any strong black man on this site? and I notice one thing about this site, that women have very high standards, you have to have a Master degree, a PhD to be a certain height,. there is not a lot of men out there that can meet the qualifications, sometimes I think women are looking for James Bond
a lot of them will be on this site and will never find what they're looking for
because their standards are too high there are more professional women then there are men

Okay then. Let's look past the grammar fails and the overt negativity. Is this how you attract a woman? This is how you come out the gate? This sounds like the re-washed jargon of "relationship experts" who swear that women can't find a "good man" because they over-reach. Le Arrgh. Wouldn't it have been more productive to lead off with some of his positive attributes? And wait - is ANYONE looking for James Bond? Isn't that character well-known for being a martini-swilling womanizer more in love with country, killing and gadgetry than anything else in his life? Moving on...

As a courtesy, BB1 responded to him.

I'm not looking for James Bond but I have a Master’s Degree and so I am looking for someone who is above average intelligence and able to hold a conversation on current topics. I have met other African American males on this site but yet to meet my match. Honestly, I'm over 50, so I don't play games and expect a man to step to me in a real way, thoughts?

So now she's given him an opportunity to tell her something good about himself, right? He can be erudite and share why he's able to step to her with realness. Instead he sends this:

respect that I am 57 years And I do not have the education that you have, I wish you the best and good luck

Make it stop. You all know I hate all of that "swim in your own lane, play your position, know your role, don't be a 2 reaching for an 8" nonsense BUT... If you have an obvious inferiority complex and have been burned or scorned or overlooked by professional education sisters in the past, why are you stepping to? With weak game? Yo no comprendo. Je nais comprends pas. I ont get it, ya'll. Is it just me or should he have kept that to himself and gone on to the next?

Sisters, how would you handle this kind of interaction? Fellas, does bruh-man have a point or nah? Please share....

My only thought on #KnowlesSisterGate: I don't know and neither do you

By now, the silent and somewhat disturbing elevator video of Solange Knowles attempting to beat the hell out of her brother-in-law has been seen around the world (too many times over). The speculation of what happened, why, who said what, stood by, took down photos, put up photos, said nothing and so on has reached ridiculously epic proportions.

Lookie here, I don't know what happened before during or after the "alleged" attempted assault. I don't know what sparked it. But I sorta understand. Family dynamics, particularly between sisters can range from a giddy hand-holding dance through the daisies to a tiptoe across a barb-wired minefield. I love my sister like crazy and she feels the same for me but there are times when we want to shoot each other in the pinkie-toe and laugh while driving to the emergency room. Thankfully, we don't have TMZ following us around hoping to catch us in our worst moments.

More importantly there are times where if we had stood in an elevator: her, me, and any number of my previous significant others; she would have been sorely tempted to break off a Texas-style beatdown while I stood in the corner cheering (a la the movie Friday "Kick his ass, Craig!") under my breath. No I don't condone violence (usually) but things happen. There's one ex of mine who bed-not (yes, that's the ebonics way of saying better not or really should refrain from) cross her path after dark. He might not make it, ya'll. I've got one good eye out for one of her exes every time I go to Cali. Accidents happen.

**pausing to giggle fiendishly** But really tho...

Relationships are hard. Contrary to what people would have you believe, they do not exist in a silo. There are friends and family and in this case world-wide media attention and fans up in your business far more often than is healthy. Careers happen, kids happen, moods happen, life happens and all the while you have to decide on a regular basis which relationships in your life are on your way or in your way. Families are hard work. Love relationships are even harder work. It's not all champagne in the back of the limo and surfboarding on the kitchen floor. 

I try not to judge anyone until I've stood and walked in their 5-inch Louboutin's for a minute. There are a million reasons why Solange did what she did. We don't know any of them. Before you blast your assumptions and presumptions about, before you judge any of the people in the situation; recognize that you have no idea (none of us do) what really happens in people's lives. Keep a good thought that all will work out for the best for all parties. And keep it pushing. 

Thoughts, comments, insights? Do share...

Ask a Bougie Chick - Hoodwinked, Bamboozled and Led Astray

I know it's been forever and a day since I answered any of these and I apologize. I do. Life gets in way of well, life sometimes. But this one had me so nonplussed that I had to respond quick, fast and in a hurry. Here we go (buckle your seat belts):
Dear Ms. Chele,
I came across your blog when a buddy of mine submitted a letter about two years back and you gave him some solid advice as well as some tough love. You like to say that when people write in they already know the answer to the question and that's probably the case here but I still need some cosigning. 
I'm Henry, 46 years old, living in the Inland Empire east of Los Angeles. I was married for 15 years been divorced for about nine months. Equal fault divorce, we didn't take care of the relationship and when things got bad we let them slide. I ignored her, she ignored me. Well it was time to walk away even with two kids, a boy (9) and a girl (7) between us. The divorce wasn't too bad. To get it done, we split custody and I caved on alimony and child support but kept the house. The house has been in my family for three generations left to me in my grandparents' will, wasn't giving it up no matter what. Plus we just finished remodeling it..
Four months ago, Andrea told me she was having trouble making rent at her townhouse in Pasadena. I gave her a little extra to get her caught up. Two weeks ago, she said she was being evicted and could she and the kids come stay with me. Everybody said I should tell her that I would take the kids while she got back on her feet but I didn't want to do that to the kids. I said okay everybody could come back for six months but after that, she would have to leave the kids with me if we wasn't back on her feet. She agreed. 
Two weeks ago, they all pulled up and there were two guys with them. I thought they were movers. I gave her the keys and went to work. When I got home, one of the guys was still there. I asked what he was still doing there and he (Curtis) said he lives here now. She brought her new boyfriend to move in. He can't be 30 years old and has moved into my grandmother's house. 
I didn't want to make a scene in front of the kids so I pulled her into the kitchen and told her that he had to go. She said they are engaged and he'll go when she goes in six months. Ms. Chele, I was so mad I had to walk away. Finally I said they had a month and then the two of them had to go. I talked to my attorney and he said I shouldn't have let her back in without getting a new arrangement from the court but that I needed to do that now. My sister said I need to watch out that I don't leave for work, come home and find all the doors changed. Andrea doesn't work and doesn't look like Curtis does either. He works out all the time. Isn't that crazy? The kids don't like him and neither do I.
What would you do if you were me?
Wooooosahhhh.... deep breath in. deep breath out.

Henry? Do you mind if I call you Hank because it's about to get personal. You have been hoodwinked, bamboozled and led astray. 

*pausing for church organ riff and for Sister Somebody to cut a step in the aisle of Bougieland waving a lace church hankie*

You say your ex-wife gets alimony and child support but ran through your money even when you gave her extra and then she politely sashayed back with the kids and her boo-thang into the house your beloved grands left you? The hell you say?!

Okay.... Let's first admit to ourselves that you got got. The ex-wifey Andrea done played you like a fiddle. But it happens. Shake it off. Let's also concede that she's probably been seeing Curtis (or someone like him) for more than a minute. She was having trouble making rent because she's flossing and she has Curtis to pay for as well. Pasadena is not cheap and I doubt Curtis is either. Lastly, let's understand that the one thing she did NOT get in the divorce was the house and she wants it. She wants ev-ery-thing. Ev-ery-thing? Ev. Ery. Thang.

You, Hank - are too nice for your own damn good. What would I do? Lemme tell you - Have your attorney file some motions. I'm not a lawyer, I don't know what kind but surely there are some that can work for you in this instance. NEXT - Find a reason to get Andrea and Curtis up out your house for a weekend (like THIS one coming up) and call some movers to pack up and drop off all dey shiggity over to the Extended Stay Spot where you can pre-pay a single room for them for a week. Not a month, not several weeks, one damn week. Hank. It's time to put a little gangsta in these here negotiations. 

It does not sound like Andrea or Curtis are disabled unless we are counting shady and shifty as a legal disability these days. Get a court order. Put them out. Change your locks. Keep your kids, your house and your money where they belong - with you. But what do I know? I'm not a relationship expert, married or shacked up with a buff 20-something. Let me turn it over the crew...

Bougieland... what say you? Please talk to Hank. I am unable...

Bougie Workplace Chronicles - When Helping Your Own Goes Horribly Wrong

For those not in the know, my day job on Paycheck Plantation is Human Resources. Specifically Talent Acquisition Consulting. I've wanted to quit and write full-time for over ten years. The struggle continues. Let's move on...

There was a sister-girl on my team. Grown, over 40, been in recruiting a while. She seemed professional, hard-working, knowledgeable and pleasant. Right before Thanksgiving, we had to cut resources on my project. Client was slow to move candidates to hire status which impacted our billing which impacted our budget and the next thing you know, my team is cut from five to two. Le Boo, dammit.

But since I'm good people and I liked her (we'll call her Kendra), I found a position working on a similar project for the same client. I thought Kendra would be a fit and I recommended her to the higher ups. In chatting with her, I explained that the role she would be slotted into was high visibility, high stress, and high maintenance but if she did well, she could really craft her career moving forward. It's the role I started out in at this company and I've been able to maneuver around pretty well based on the contacts I made and th e revenue I generated. She was excited, management loved her, it was a done deal. Her job was saved, the holidays would be happy. Hurray for all, right? 

Fast forward a few months. I get a call from Kendra asking if I could authorize a pay increase because she was "doing way too much work for too little money" um... welcome to Corporate America, sista girl? Surely this was not her first time at the circus, she knew how the clowns played? Anyway... I tell her I have no such authorization capability but if she hung in there maybe she could bring it up with someone over my head after the first of the year when budgets were being reviewed.

Sometime in mid-January, Kendra goes gangsta. Calls up the Sr. Manager and Director and asks for her $$$. In fact, she demands $$$. Bad news for Kendra, she hadn't hired anyone in 62 days. So um... cuz for why are we giving you an increase when you're not close to hitting your target numbers? Kendra goes Shaquandraeneisha on us. She calls in Human Resources and tells them that I promised her a raise to get  her to take this job. AND that I have been exposing her to "same race racism" on a regular basis. 


Can someone look that up for me? What in all the fricky-frack of God's Good Kingdom is same race racism? Colorism, classism, ageism - I got those. Same race, what? She no longer reported to me, I only talked to her on client calls once a week. Was I racist for saying, "Hey girl" on the call? She said the rest of us on the team made her feel like she was in a hostile work environment. Ma'am? We all work FROM HOME? Who is messing with your living quarters? And what does that have to do with me? Girl bye...

Kendra quit working. Oh, she didn't quit her job, she just quit even pretending to be productive. Instead, she attempted to file suit against me, everyone up the chain three levels above me, the HR girl who told her she was tripping, the HR woman that the HR girl reported to... on and on. And of course since she had quit working, I had to step in and do all her shiggity so the client wouldn't trip. Say it with me now: Michele. Was. Tart. Turned on the computer every morning with my fist balled up.

The beauty (and pain) of the consulting business is that if people love you, you get put on the best projects and you're golden. If they don't, you get put on "the bench" - unpaid purgatory until another client picks you up and falls in love. We put Kendra on the bench. Brought in a former military Dudley Do Right type to take her place. So now I'm doing her job, training her replacement and doing all the shiggity for my own job which is significant since they never re-staffed my group. Say it with me now: Michele. Is. Tart.

What you can do to help is go out and buy 1 million copies of my books so I can quit. I'll throw a great party, you're all invited. :) Ha!

No really, the lesson learned is that you can't reach out to everybody. Because some folks will bite the hand that feeds.

Anyone been through this at work? Where you tried to help somebody out and it came back to bite you in your hindparts? Do share...

Thoughts about #Scandal now that #Olitzwithdrawal Season is over

It should come as no surprise to anyone who is even an infrequent visitor (as I'm an infrequent poster these days) of this blog that I'm a fan of the hit TV show Scandal. It seems like an entire lifetime has gone by since the last new episode aired and though there was some definite #OlitzWithdrawal on Thursday nights; I have to admit the break gave me some perspective (and oxygen). I stepped back and learned a few things:

1. There are some other really, really good shows on TV. Truly, if I had the time, I would DVR all of it and just sit zombie-like all day. One such show is House of Cards on Netflix. But having powered my way through, I'm confused as to why people keep comparing it to Scandal. Yes they both take place in Washington and yes they both have plenty of jaw-dropping oh-no-they-didntness but the similarities end there. There are no characters on House of Cards that I care to be friends with, sleep with or counsel. I wish psychologists and jail time upon most of their twisted heads. If Scandal is a sledgehammer, House of Cards is a nuclear bomb.

2. I like Scandal more when my own life is together. Really, it's hard to watch Livvy's man struggles and Quinn's "who am I this week" struggles and Mellie's "I want it all and then some more" struggles with any degree of patience when your personal dramas are swirling all around you. Hot mess escapist fiction is only fun when I can feel superior to the characters on it. Holla if you hear me.

3. I figured out why some guys get all up in their feelings about Scandal. I sat in a restaurant and blatantly eavesdropped a few of the brethren going in on the show. Basically, those women on the show are not being properly controlled by their men. O__o... Mellie, Abby, Quinn and Liv are not fitting into the norms that make some men feel uber-manly so the show is a bad influence. Like Oprah was when women started listening to her. I kid you not, these words were uttered. Wow. Fellas, don't be that guy. Ever.

Looking forward to what Shonda has in store for us over the next few months. The only thing I can properly predict is that it will not be boring. What do you think will happen next?