In this episode of Ask a Bougie Chick: Backstabbing Co-Worker and Girl-Stealing Roomdog

BougieLand, it's that time again. Emails have come in and it's time to tackle a few. For those of you that want to send in questions for the next round, I'm emailable at This go round, I picked two about personal betrayals. Without further ado let's go in, shall we?

First up is a lady in the Pacific Northwest with a work dilemma:

Dear OneChele,

I know you're more of a relationship expert than a career consultant but I thought I'd ask anyway. I have this woman at work who was supposed to be my mentor. She had me create a 26-page deck with graphics and interactive display and voiceover that I was going to present at the leadership meeting. I found out that she took it and presented it as her own. She earned a promotion and all this praise about her "cutting-edge brilliance". When I confronted her, she said they were more accepting of the ideas coming from her and that she had said I helped out. Helped out? I sweat over that thing for two months, nights, weekends, holidays. When I refused to back down she said she's recommending me for her old job (a definite promotion and pay bump for me). Now that would be okay but I would be reporting to her again. The whole thing stinks, any recommendations?

Thanks and I love the blog. I'll just call myself – Pissed in Portland.

Dear Pissed,

Let me start by saying that your first sentence cracked me up. I am not a relationship expert. In fact, I spent the last decade and a half as a Human Resources guru. So I am actually FAR more qualified to give career advice than relationship advice. The irony of that amuses me to no end. But let's get back to you.

You, my dear have been hoodwinked, bamboozled, and led astray. The Paycheck Plantation has landed squarely on you. I have met many a barracuda like your so-called mentor. She sucks out your energy and brilliance, presents it as her own and then offers you something to placate you so she can do it all over again. This is the classic case of SmartGirl Syndrome. You have proven that you're quick, dynamic, creative and capable. She probably used to be or aspired to be and is faking it. You threaten her in a number of ways so she has to either make you look bad or make you invisible. Stealing your work and presenting it as her own makes you invisible.

Beat her at her own game. Take the promotion but find a way to watermark or footnote or otherwise embed your initials into all of your future work. Save the originals and creation dates on a flash drive that is solely yours and secure. Keep notes on your creative process. And keep a sharp eye out, if she shivved you once to get a leg up chances are she will so it again.

Did you see the movie Working Girl? You're the Melanie Griffith, she's the Sigourney Weaver. Sooner or later (almost always sooner) the time will come that she'll have to actually expound on the concepts you created. You will have the answers, she will not and you will win the day.

The workplace is a marathon, not a sprint. Take the title and the cash, lay back in the cut and wait on your opportunity to take the lead. Corporate Karma is a bee-yotch. Trust and believe.

Hope that helped. Wish I could tell you to bounce out to the next but 1) It's not that kind of job market and 2) Shine-stealers are everywhere. Better the devil you know than the devil you don't.

Best of Luck, OneChele

Next up is a gent in the Windy City who has drama at home:


Have you ever heard a case where a guy goes out of town, comes back five days later to find his girlfriend now living with his roommate? I guess it doesn't say a lot about the three of us that she could so easily be stolen from me by him. I didn't even say anything, I just looked at the two of them, walked in my room and shut the door. My lease isn't up until August, I'm forced to stay here and pretend like it's no big deal. We had been together for sixteen months. People are telling me just man up and leave it alone, if she doesn't want you and he didn't have enough respect, the hell with both of them. I do feel like both of them could go straight to hell but it's a hard way to live too and feel every day. Your thoughts?

KDL in the Chi


Dude, that sucks. Majorly. So let me give you this piece of advice – roll out. Now. Not yesterday… Not in August… today. Where was old girl living? Maybe you can lay up over there since her trifling behind is now laying all up under next to your roomdog. My second piece of advice – speak your peace. You need to tell both of them how foul they are. Don't bottle that up, it's going to come out in a bad way. Ala D'Angelo's song Sh*t, D*mn, Motherf*cker: (those easily offend, please do not listen)

I'm just saying, before you are featured on an episode of First 48, cuss everybody out and bounce. Once you're out, take a look back – any signs along the way that she was trifling and he was laying in wait? Because a significant other can NOT be stolen, they walk (or in this case slide) away. I'm not asking this to be mean or say this was your fault but so that you can spot the signs if you see them again. Also, it may be time for you to date a better class of female, weed out your treacherous friends and get your own place. Whatever you do, don't take it out on the next chick. I beg of you. Be sure to come back around and tell us how it goes. Now, go start packing. Right now. Back away from the keyboard and open a suitcase.

Better Days Ahead, OneChele

BougieLand – any advice for Pissed and KDL? Anybody been through similar circumstances? Thoughts, comments, insights… the floor is yours.