When the Bill Comes Due

Ep 2: The Contortionists

November 23, 2020 Aaron & Tamu Season 1 Episode 2
When the Bill Comes Due
Ep 2: The Contortionists
Chapters
When the Bill Comes Due
Ep 2: The Contortionists
Nov 23, 2020 Season 1 Episode 2
Aaron & Tamu

Aaron and Tamu talk about work “bills", code-switching and TikTok. Join us for an interesting conversation about the workplace reckoning.
After the seriousness of that convo, we hope you get a giggle and a gasp as we reminisce about when we heard Closer, by Nine Inch Nails for the first time in this week's throwback song. 
Come through, y’all!

Show Notes Transcript

Aaron and Tamu talk about work “bills", code-switching and TikTok. Join us for an interesting conversation about the workplace reckoning.
After the seriousness of that convo, we hope you get a giggle and a gasp as we reminisce about when we heard Closer, by Nine Inch Nails for the first time in this week's throwback song. 
Come through, y’all!

WTBCD_Episode2_The_Contortionists

Aaron: [00:00:00]Yes,

let's go. 

Let's go. Hey

Tamu: [00:00:47] And welcome again to when the bill comes due

Aaron: [00:00:53] hi guys, you made it. Through another episode. 

[00:01:00] Tamu: [00:00:59] I'm Tamu and 

Aaron: [00:01:01] I'm Aaron. 

I haven't even had like anything major to drink yet.

Tamu: [00:01:05] What is that?

Aaron: [00:01:10] a quantum cuddle kitten. It's from my friend Kelsey. Hey Kelsey. 

this is in Portland, Maine. It's good.  I drank 

Tamu: [00:01:17] is it a beer? Or, is it like a white claw? 

Aaron: [00:01:20] No, excuse me. No 

Tamu: [00:01:25] clutch the pearls. I would never be caught dead  dranking a white claw.

Aaron: [00:01:30] No white claw after Labor Day. We know this.  

Tamu: [00:01:33] I didn't know that those are the rules.

That's tiny though. It's like your hand is bigger than the 

Aaron: [00:01:38] I mean, it's like, I don't know. 16 ounces. It's pretty big

Tamu: [00:01:41] It is a weird can. 

Aaron: [00:01:43] Hmm. Anyhow, I digress. 

Tamu: [00:01:47] Well, as long as we're showing off our wares, I am drinking. Finnegan's dead poet, Irish stout. 

Aaron: [00:01:53] Nice. I don't know anything about it. And I hate stouts. 

Tamu: [00:01:56] I know you do Finnegan's is a local 

brewery. [00:02:00] 

Aaron: [00:02:00] Sometimes I block out everything that's there, but I remember that place now.

Tamu: [00:02:05] All right. So it sounds like everybody's doing well. You survived your first podcast launch. 

Aaron: [00:02:10] I did. It was very exciting. How about you? I mean, this is old hat for you, but still , this is new for us.

Tamu: [00:02:17] This is new for us. And I'm still up to my old tricks and trying not to consistently check numbers and do things and I just need to mellow out.

Aaron: [00:02:24] Oh, yeah, I did too. 

I tried not to. I was like, ah, let me just check it out. 

Tamu: [00:02:30] So you had mentioned that you wanted to do some housekeeping because we forgot to do it last time. 

Aaron: [00:02:35] I'm trying to remember what my list is. 

Tamu: [00:02:39] telling people where to find us. 

Aaron: [00:02:40] So, number one, I want to tell you guys that we are on Instagram. When the bill comes due  is our handle on Instagram @whenthebillcomesdue all one word. Follow us, comment on our episodes. I'll do my best  to update with content, [00:03:00] maybe some funny tik-toks cause y'all know, I am all about that tik-tok life right now. 

Tamu: [00:03:05] Oh my God, he is so about it, I'm not downloading Tik ToK. We can have this argument right now.

I'm not doing it. 

Aaron: [00:03:11] No, please. 

Tamu: [00:03:13] No, you know why? Because Marco Polo, you made me download that shit and we never use it. I have already just got into Twitter recently and I cannot add another thing to go down a rabbit hole to. 

Aaron: [00:03:27] For those, if you can't hear me talking while she's saying this, I'm going to a meditation state before I reply.

So. First of all, I really don't recall 

Tamu: [00:03:44] exactly what I'm talking about.

You were like, "get on this, get on this, get on this," because instead of, I don't know, texting each other or fucking calling each other, we could do this video fucking Snapchat. 

Aaron: [00:03:59] You know, it was one of [00:04:00] my other friends trying to this fucking walkie talkie app and they would never do it with me. I've given it to the twins.

They don't want to do it with me. So, you know what, 

Tamu: [00:04:09] There's reasons, 

Aaron: [00:04:11] the only reason and you know, what. You will be entertained by tik-tok. Okay. 

Tamu: [00:04:16] many people. I follow post, tik toks. They just don't send me links to Tik TOK because I can't open it. And that's tik toks problem because , if I send someone who doesn't have Twitter, a tweet, they can still open it.

Aaron: [00:04:28] It's true. But my sister, I think has tik tok too, and when I send her, she gets sometimes errors too. Let me just say, this is not my fucking problem, actually, you know, so I use Tik TOK and you take issue with it. Let me finish because now you've got me started. So  now let's talk about the fact that we have been friends for almost a decade over a decade, over a decade, over a decade, and you still don't have an iPhone.

Tamu: [00:04:56] what, what does it, what does that have to do with tic-tac? 

[00:05:00] Aaron: [00:05:00] It's the same thing? 

Tamu: [00:05:04] it is not the same thing. 

Aaron: [00:05:06] Somehow I launched into the fact that, okay, I know where, you know, it's not about now. It was about Marco polo. So you griping about Marco Polo. So now I'm going to gripe about. The fact that 

Tamu: [00:05:20] so it's like a tit for tat.

Aaron: [00:05:22] To be your know, why do you know why? 

Tamu: [00:05:24] Do I know why, what? 

Aaron: [00:05:26] Why I want you to get an iPhone? 

Tamu: [00:05:29] I'm assuming it's for something stupid, but go ahead. 

Aaron: [00:05:33] See, now I don't even want to say anything.

Tamu: [00:05:39] Oh, now you have to, 

Aaron: [00:05:40] okay. Okay. Fine. I will tell you it's because when I text you and I send it into that stratosphere of Googledom/Androidland. I can't see when you text me back. Cause you don't have iMessage. 

Tamu: [00:05:55] But you get the text, when I text you back 

[00:06:00] Aaron: [00:06:00] sometimes right away. Like what if I'm like girl, remember that place we used to go to, what is that name?

And I'm like right there with Google credit card in hand, ready to buy something. And then three hours later. Hello? 

Tamu: [00:06:14] That is most likely because  I don't have my phone with me. That's usually the only reason why. And you have the audacity. If we were going to go down a rabbit hole. 

Aaron: [00:06:25] Oh shit.

Tamu: [00:06:30] Let's talk about the lack of text returns. Okay.

Aaron: [00:06:35] Hold the phone, Mary, hold the phone. Where do you think this comes from? It's from the iPhone. This is all like in through, this is, this is like therapy right now because I get it now. It is, it is me being aggressive. About the fact that you are [00:07:00] not, 

Tamu: [00:07:00] That I don't have an iPhone and  that I'm an Android person 

Aaron: [00:07:04] and it's coming out sideways.

Tamu: [00:07:06] I don't want to go down another rabbit hole 

Aaron: [00:07:08] I'm pretty sure there were like seven holes we've gone down right now.

Tamu: [00:07:11] Well, my my

Aaron: [00:07:13] did not sound

Tamu: [00:07:16] I'll save it for another time. Okay. Well guys, we hope you enjoyed that 

Aaron: [00:07:23] that was cheap therapy right there. 

Tamu: [00:07:25] Well, we didn't really get anywhere cause I'm not getting an iPhone. I barely, I don't even have an iPad anymore. Cause that piece of shit broke. So that's how I feel about iProducts right now.

Aaron: [00:07:35] You know, you just, you have to deal with that sometimes.  

Tamu: [00:07:38] I like to have an iPad and I like to have a smartphone. I like to have the best of both things. 

Aaron: [00:07:44] I understand 

Tamu: [00:07:46] you don't and I will go there because anytime you try to get me to adopt something, 

Aaron: [00:07:52] no, Nope. Don't speak it into existence.

Cause it's not true.

[00:08:00] Tamu: [00:08:01] All I'll say is move to Boston.

Aaron: [00:08:04] I'm a flawed individual. I have wishes in life guys, and I love a man. I'm human.

Tamu: [00:08:19] bottom line is Aaron wanted me to move to Boston and then he moved to Washington DC. So. There you go. 

Aaron: [00:08:25] That's right. 

Tamu: [00:08:26] Well, that kind of helps us segue into the topic of the day because it was for work. So we're going to talk about what happens when the bill comes due at work.

Aaron: [00:08:39] Yes. And that'll be a very interesting conversation and probably relatable to folks. I think too, just because I think a lot of corporations are thinking about their money and thays money. Also,  how to tackle the complex issue of racism [00:09:00] in the workplace, you know? 

Tamu: [00:09:01] Well, have you experienced any sort of racism in the workplace?

Aaron: [00:09:05] I think back to everything in my life and no, I don't remember ever being or feeling as if I was discriminated against. What about you?

Tamu: [00:09:14] Yeah. It didn't happen when I first moved here, but probably I want to say  2009-ish? I worked in a company that wasn't in the city. It was out in the burbs and I felt my color one hundred percent there. that was not fun. 

Aaron: [00:09:31] I just, I was thinking about some of my jobs, I guess, maybe some positions you think about it almost triggers, for you to think about how you were treated at that time .When you were just talking about that stuff,  where I'm saying no, not really.

And then you're kind of talking about terrible time and I'm just like, yeah, there were some awkward moments. Yes. 

Tamu: [00:09:54] Well  I always have felt invisible.

I don't know if you feel this way, [00:10:00] your personality is way different from me. You're much more outgoing. And so therefore, I don't know if you necessarily feel invisible all the time, but because I'm shy and quiet. Usually I feel like that's part of the reason, but I notice it and I've noticed it forever that, people don't look at you.

They look past you I remember in the place where we both worked my former boss, I had done a project and he completely ignored speaking to me and asking me questions about it and asked one of my colleagues who was white. 

 I basically felt that it had something to do with  blackness, I think could also be being a woman.  I've always felt that way.  it's very interesting, especially  when you're in a working environment and you see somebody and then when you're not, and you still see that person outside of it, they don't know who you are.

They don't recognize you because you're just a black person in the street. But then at work , "Oh no, [00:11:00] your so-and-so's whatever." Then that makes a difference. 

Aaron: [00:11:05] I think that's interesting to say that you feel invisible because I think this is an instance to me that feels like it's different for a black man than it is for a black woman. Right? And there are many  many codes there A) for you.

Right? So I am a big, big brother fan. So I'm just going to geek out for a second, because I know you don't want to big brother, but whatever. Let me explain it. So this past season was like a hella  education in racism. They had two black girls there and they, themselves were having a battle with themselves.

this one girl Deyvon, she usually gets kicked out. Cause she pops off it's, you know, at somebody, at some point until this time she was literally telling herself, you gotta be sweet. You gotta be different this time. You can't bring in the old all Dey. She got evicted, but that is the, I think stress that black women in the workplace have to deal with. when you asked the question, have you had a [00:12:00] good work experience I have, but I've had a good work experience being this whitewashed black boy, you know, or this not true, authentic self, which obviously in my opinion is not different and everybody code switches.

Right. But black people more than any other person, especially in America, we code, switch all the time. so I would imagine, in your instance, in women specifically black women, people of color,  period that , they're having all of these, I don't know, combination of influences and worries, and anxieties and fears and stressors and walking into a work environment.

I can say too,  I remember some times in Minnesota, wherever I was, there was an unrelatable. , quality to the genuineness within the office with some folks, not everybody, but, you sort of felt like you were a different class than them.

[00:13:00] And so you were only brought in so far. I mean, that's true in any corporate structure. But very true in retail marketing, advertising those communities. It's very political and there's, turf wars and all types of things. So it's part of the game, but I think it becomes really complex for black people, in those instances.

For myself I don't know, I feel like we all have a role to play, or we all had a role to play when we were hired at that position, in particular the one black person that's in the office or whatever that I'm, I'm expected to be funny and, outgoing and gay and quick and the best, whatever.

That's, it's a different pressure, right? You just feel different things with different folks and it might be your own personal perception because what white person do, you know, is gonna come on and be like, girl, you was over there yesterday, eating your avocado toast and you just had this look like, not today, Karen, not today.

Nobody's going to say that. So we are left [00:14:00] to  ponder and frankly put these things out of our head. we've, we've had to suppress a lot of this. 

Tamu: [00:14:06] To get by, to make it.

Aaron: [00:14:08] I think that's really complex. 

The other side of that is the other experience is this: okay, so great! I got the job and I, myself personally, I want to make sure that I get my job based on my skills and qualifications, not  because I'm filling a checkbox or a quota .

 I genuinely feel like I've earned my job. Rightfully so. Did my race have a factor I'll never know, right? No, one's going to be like, yeah, we needed to put some color on the team. Nobody's going to tell you that. But you definitely feel those things for sure.

Tamu: [00:14:41] I think the trip part is depending also on where you start in the job itself. So for me, I always have felt, like I have to start at the beginning.

I have to start from the ground up and work my way up and work my way up. I can't jump into the middle. so I've always been lower rung jobs. And when you're in the lower rung people [00:15:00] treat you. Like you're nothing because of the type of job you have or the title that you have.

 it's a weird combination of things where it's like, are you being this way because of my title, are you being this way because I'm black? You being this way because I'm a woman? What is it?

Aaron: [00:15:17] Right.

Tamu: [00:15:18] I felt that especially where we used to work together they had a ridiculous cast system and you felt it, even going out the door, you feel  your place. When we got laid off, I didn't get a severance package that was as great because I was an hourly employee and not a salaried employee. That has nothing to do with obviously my race, but I'm just laying down what this place was like, then you top it with color where you're not recognized where you might be recognized because, oh, you're the only one here anyway.

And you're so-and-so's black, whatever. So I was always skeptical of people for those two reasons. A) you only want to talk to me [00:16:00] because of who I'm associated with and B) you don't want to talk to me anyway, because I'm black. You don't want to have shit to do with me, to the point where I was never called by my right name.

Because he pronounced it wrong. Everybody else pronounced it wrong too.

Aaron: [00:16:14] I did not know that.

Tamu: [00:16:16] So it's Tami, Tamu and T'mu,  which is not my name at all. And so I would say T'mu is at work, Tami is the fun one and Tamu  gets the job done. I dunno, I forgot what I said, but I had to wear three hats because, he set the tone for what I was going to be. That's not okay.

Aaron: [00:16:45] the interesting dynamic definitely, living in, Minnesota and I want to just say this number one. Like I said the last time in my opinion, I grew up in Minnesota and there's so many parts of Minnesota that I absolutely love [00:17:00] racism just happens to be one that I fucking hate.

So that just so happens that a lot of my significant life stories and things that happened to me happened in Minnesota. Obviously we know what happened in Minnesota twice

it also seemed like  there were no people of color that were. Like leaders I mean, yeah. We had contractors.

Tamu: [00:17:25] Very few in leadership there too.

Aaron: [00:17:27] we didn't have leadership. so anyone that you saw,  I think maybe this is a horrible thing to say, but anyone you saw, you know, running around, even if they were all cute as they want to  we knew what level we were. you knew where he or she worked, et cetera.  the other interesting thing I wanted to, say, when I lived in DC  it was really amazing to live in a city, to see professional black people get up and go to work every single day. When I moved to Minneapolis, I had [00:18:00] to look around for a black person.

I just remember, working, and walking through the hallways and you look for somebody to say hi to or whatever. Often there were lots of people that didn't acknowledge you. Or didn't look at you or didn't, it didn't speak to you or didn't say hi to you, which I thought was super duper weird and kind of fucked up, like for me anyway, because in Texas we always said, hi.

Right. And in Minnesota, I don't think so right? No. 

Even black people there it was the same thing. I really took it on to mean  I can't be seen talking to them, staying in your fucking lane, get your grind. that was my impression of why that happened.

That wasn't me. Cause I was, I really was just like, "hi!"

Tamu: [00:18:41] The only time, and this is true of where I currently work. if I'm walking down the halls or whatever. When something happened, like when Philando was murdered or something happened, we looked at each other and gave each other a nod,

Aaron: [00:18:56] Yes, yes, yes.

Tamu: [00:18:58] but otherwise not [00:19:00] so much.

Aaron: [00:19:00] Obama, same thing. 2008. I was like Yes, we did! Yes we did! How you doing?! Yes we did! 

 So is that really the only instance for you where you've ever, felt that moment where people aren't acknowledging you?

Tamu: [00:19:15] no, no. Clearly, most of my friends are not black. We go to restaurants, the servers address them. They don't address me.

Aaron: [00:19:22] Yes.

Tamu: [00:19:23] I don't know if you noticed that.

Aaron: [00:19:24] Yes, that is my pet peeve. So my husband really hates to go out with me because, well, he ain't been out with the new one yet, but he's been out with the old one. This was before we had kids. We went to this restaurant was really nice. Restaurant guy came to the table. Never, never once looked at me only address Rich. I ordered my food. He would look and speak to Rich. It was the weirdest fucking dynamic.

When the check came, I said, I will pay the check and, I gave him a tip that was below 15%. I don't pay for [00:20:00] racism. I'm sorry. And I put a note on there and I just said, here's a tip. Never assume that the white man is paying. I know I felt bad afterwards, but whatever.

Tamu: [00:20:12] was this person black.

Aaron: [00:20:14] He was white. You're so right that happens so often, and I wasn't aware of it until I moved to Minnesota. And then I became like super hypersensitive about it because it was something I'd never paid attention to in my entire life. I eased off, but it happens all the time.

I'll be like, if, we come back and this motherfucker does not look at me, Rich, we are leaving, we're walking out the door. It happens all the time.

Tamu: [00:20:40] The other thing that's been interesting for me is I've done a switch from relaxed hair to natural hair in the last. probably eight years, nine years. 

I remember when  I was. Interviewing for this job, because I had to think, Oh, wait a minute, I don't have straight hair anymore.

It was my first time [00:21:00] interviewing with natural hair and wondering if that was going to be the new hindrance that I have to think about and be concerned with because I've never done it before. And people are weird when it comes to that. Right? 

Before I felt like I blended in as much as you can blend in, but then all of a sudden this is who you fully are now.

And even then I hadn't even gone full, natural, like I am now where I'm actually wearing my hair with no manipulation to it at all. It's been a weird journey and a transition in that regard as well or then the time that I decided to introduce turband and headwraps into my styling.

Aaron: [00:21:39] Shit. Don't you quick or you let them have it.

Tamu: [00:21:43] You know, rolling up in there and African print fabrics.

 And then of course, lately since George Floyd things have taken a different turn where I'm feeling like what's your name? Toby. No.

[00:22:00] Aaron: [00:22:00] No, she did not say, Toby y'all no, let me just say this for real SIS. Okay. So this is real, real. Okay. Now black people hear me out. And you too. Ma'am so how many of us refuse to take that leftover Popeye's chicken or that leftover chicken drumstick from work to the office? Because you refuse to be that person

From 

Tamu: [00:22:28] home to the office. Well, you'll never catch me eating ribs outside. You'll never catch me eating chicken. You'll never catch me doing any of that.

Aaron: [00:22:37] watermelon.

Tamu: [00:22:39] I like watermelon, but I'm not like, Ooh, I need to have me some watermenlons.  if I have to have a piece of chicken, it's a chicken breast and I'm eating then with a fork and a knife .

Aaron: [00:22:47] Right. Yeah. some people just wake up and think about what do I have to do today. we have to think about what we have to do today, but also what we cannot do,  that's our part of getting ready for the day. [00:23:00] I've never like to just, full circle, bringing it back to the bill. 

The big bill being George Floyd, I never really paid attention to these things. I never really paid attention to the fact that I was playing the game or I was suppressing myself, suppressing who I was because of the environments that I was in that, there was a level of inclusion.

Of course everybody loves a gay guy, right? And a gay black guy, like "token!"  you still feel that  you're not included or that  you're fine, you're cute. You're whatever, blah, blah, blah. But you're not serious about your career or whatever, but you're just this level or you're just doing this, you know?

I hate the politics of the corporate world. I absolutely hate it.  But to some degree, if we're to get ahead, we have to play the politics. I don't, I kiss no one's ass, no ones, but we all play the game I just think that. Our entire code is wrapped up in that. It's going to be incredibly [00:24:00] hard to unravel, not just from  me as a person of color, but these organizations, right. And their level of commitment to changing the system.

Tamu: [00:24:10] I can say. Where I am. It was literally like, okay, we had a discussion box checked,  nothing has, has happened since then in relation to all of this wokeness and how we're going to have to strive to be better. And none of that, it all fell down to the wayside.  

But at the same time, I'm still going through things I'm still changing and now I'm different. I still have to think about the fact of, if I don't want to go to this meeting, because you're going to be talking about this subject and I don't want to talk about it because I shouldn't have to fucking talk about it.

This is y'all's problem. Not my problem. I have to think about what is that going to look like? Are people going to say, well, why isn't she here? Again, I am the only black person in my department. Why isn't she here? [00:25:00] Is it because of this? Maybe we should ask her. Maybe they're going to ask me questions and I don't want to have to fucking talk about it cause I'm not ready to talk about it.

What is that going to look like? What happens the next day? Am I going to have to explain myself?What excuse am I going to make to not attend this meeting that I think is 100% racist and I don't want to be involved in it ?

 The mental gymnastics are exhausting just to try to come to the decision of, no, it was kind of like a weird Vizio of If you do this, then you go here and if you go here, then you go here and then no, then you're in a roadblock.

Then you got to go here and you've got to go back up and go back down and go back around. And then you have to find another one you got to dig through and then get a flip through fucking fire hoops and shit for why? Because you are making me uncomfortable to be me. And it's not cool.

Aaron: [00:25:50] You know, it's interesting. That is, and we've talked about, it's weird that I didn't catch on or, or comment, I guess, but, you talk about not wanting to talk or [00:26:00] not wanting the deal, or I would say giving you the space to deal and inform those words. Right? Whereas for me, I'm kinda like, no, I want to hear about, I want to hear about it.

Philando Castile happened. Um, one of the companies I worked for is based there castiel happened. I don't know that anyone said anything. I think I was in, I don't know DC at that point. Who knows? it was on national news, but I didn't hear from my organization.

So. Fast forward to George Floyd that comes around and I was just literally like, y'all should say something and y'all better say something. So we had a little a call and they've, renewed their commitment to blah, blah, blah. Right. but what gets me the most, and it's not just my company, it's really every company, there are many, many companies out there, but what gets me the most is that we're hiding this behind diversity and inclusion and encouraging people to be their best selves when truly, what we're fighting [00:27:00] is systemic racism. Right. We're fighting racism. We're fighting bias. Right.  that's the truth of the matter. And we have to stop putting lipstick on a pig. That is, the shit that we're dealing with.

And just like I said before, until we all say I'm a fucking racist, nothing's going to move the needle. Like not at all.

Tamu: [00:27:22] I had someone in a meeting come out and just say I live in BFE. and none of this is happening over there. So I really don't feel like we should be bothered with it. And I'm like, what, what am I supposed to do with that? the fact is that you had the privilege to feel comfortable enough to say that on a phone call with someone who is black. Without giving it a second thought, do you know how many fucking conversations I have to have in my head to even say a word and that you can just come out and be like, yeah, well,  what's happening in Minneapolis is not happening over here.

 I think about it all the [00:28:00] time. I think like, God, the freedom and how unencumbered it must be not to have to think about every single step. And how you speak and what you wear and how you want to wear your hair or whatever ; just be a person and not have to think about it at all.

And you just roll out of bed and fucking go to work. Wow. How freeing is that something I will never, ever experience or know what that's like, and it's sad that we will never know what that's like.

Aaron: [00:28:29] It's very, very true.  It will take beyond my children's generations for things to be okay. My kids give me hope because I think to some degree, my twins are probably like, why is Dad fucking freaking out about this? You know? they're just kind of like, we don't fucking care,  which is great.

I'm having these woke moments with my kids. I'm having these woke moments with my husband. And I'm having  to get them to understand that our family is beautiful, but  it doesn't resemble the rest of the world.

[00:29:00] there are things you have to be concerned about?  I won't go into the laundry list of the talk with your black child, but never have I ever that I'd have to have that conversation. it's overwhelming a little bit, when you think about it.

Tamu: [00:29:11] The other thing I find interesting when I have conversations with my white colleagues and they're talking about, they just did their ancestry, genealogy profiles, and they found out that they have ancestors from Scotland and they can trace their history I'm literally sitting there and I'm like, please don't ask me anything. I cannot answer you. I have no clue because slavery and the fact that you can just sit there and just talk about your family history and where you go back to, and that you have these roots and you know where they are and you visited your ancestral lands something I will never ever be able to do .

Another thing where I'm never going to know fully. Where I come from, where my family comes from, where our lineage begins. None of us will ever know [00:30:00] because slavery, then I go, Oh, you're being a Debbie downer, but I'm not being a fucking Debbie downer. It is legit because slavery, I will never know where we hail.

I don't have roots per se. We don't have a place. We can't go back.

Aaron: [00:30:14] I do think this that's probably one of those moments where you think back and you're like, well, I could have fucking said something, right.

Even, even in your head, if you're like, please don't say anything. Right. But now I look at those moments or those moments where someone says something like. I don't really fuck with black people, but you're cool. I'm having those moments, that just run through me like a freight train. I think in that moment, had I been where I am right now, I would have just plopped it out there. And the only reason I say that is because there isn't perspective. Right. 

Tamu: [00:30:48] I just feel like people don't. And maybe it's me again. I'm super accommodating to other people and put myself in their places and think about what they would say or do. And what would I do in those positions? [00:31:00] And a lot of the time I wouldn't do half of the shit people do but again, I don't have the flexibility or the ability or the privilege to just speak my mind without a worry in the world. or without thinking about how that might impact somebody else. 

it's very interesting, especially going through what I'm going through now with the bias and racism happening at my job to just listen to people like my boss after I've explained what has been going on for her then to tell me that I'm was doing a terrible job, even though I told you why, and you knew why I had to take time off because of what was going on with George Floyd. So she knew, and then she still decided to, I'm going to say, punish me for not being able to do my job. How do you deal with that everyday? 

it's really a difficult situation in a difficult place for us to be in, especially when we have these big moments of things happening in the world that are shifting things around and then to [00:32:00] hear hypocritical comments, like, "yeah, we're all complicit. If we don't say anything," but at the same time when I said something, Treated me like, shit, you harassed me.

And then you put me on a performance plan because I did my job, just not where you wanted it to be.

Aaron: [00:32:14] Well,  I think that's the other part of their work culture too, right? there are people that don't feel safe to confront when they feel they have been confronted. it really goes back to not wanting to ruffle anybody's feathers. . Not wanting to expose yourself in that way or be that one with like, Oh, you're playing the black card or you're that person.

 I've never had a situation that was like, kind of what you're dealing with, but there's some. Interesting, interesting  dynamics within the office, but even within the boss structure. Right.

I wonder how I would react, having gone back to some of those situations but even still today, I don't believe that that is a safe route either. Right. [00:33:00] Because there isn't a protection for you.

I was thinking about what my work culture was like after George Floyd. I know that the people of color that I work with, we were a support group to each other. You and I, obviously we were a support group to each other as well, but it was a really tough moment and,  couple that with a pandemic.  Just the crazy fucking shit of 2020, just pick a story. It's a lot that we're dealing with and going through  black people, as people in general, this is a lot. 

I have a significant number of white people that are very close friends and family. I would imagine that this is also, a reckoning for them. So, I'm like you too, I give a shit. Right. I'm sure there's somebody that's, you know, anti or just hate white people you know?

But  that's not my reality and that's definitely not the reality I want to pass on to my kids. . Like we it's cheesy as it sounds. We got to figure out how to live [00:34:00] here and make it fair for us. All right. 

Tamu: [00:34:03] final thoughts about when the bills coming due at work?

Aaron: [00:34:09] I think that the final bill at work,  is a long way away. And I think there are people that are doing good things, but in my honest opinion, I think a significant number of people. Believe that this is not their problem. And I will say this dynamic. It is easy for me as a middle-class black male, double income, blah, blah, blah.

Living comfortably. It is easy for me to say that what's happening to black people, specifically. My people is not my problem, but it is my problem. And that's part of the awakening for me. And that really extends to giving folks a chance in the workplace, celebrating their [00:35:00] diversity, truly celebrating, not just lip service, but also, supporting.

What you're what you're preaching. I think that's probably most paramount and most important. And so what I would say too is that this is everybody's problem. This is all of our problem and none of us can look away.

 Tamu: [00:35:18] Well said.

Aaron: [00:35:19] Thanks   

Tamu: [00:35:31] okay. you ready to talk about our throwback for today?

Aaron: [00:35:36] Yeah,

Tamu: [00:35:38] Oh my

Aaron: [00:35:38] see, I'm getting my goth mode.

Tamu: [00:35:41] Oh, we're gonna jump back into 1994 kids as we, decided that our second throwback song will be Closer by Nine Inch Nails.

Aaron: [00:35:54] Hear that. Do you hear that? And you're like, Oh shit, that was my jam. Back in the day. [00:36:00] I know two drag Queens back in Austin, Texas, that we had a lit time. That was a great song

Tamu: [00:36:05] to do what to

Aaron: [00:36:07] dance.

Tamu: [00:36:08] Oh, dance.

Aaron: [00:36:10] I'll tell you my memory of that song I think this is a very interesting song for us to pick because,  I think our show also breaks down sterotypes.

 so there was this club in Austin, Texas. I think it was on sixth street. Hey, hello, Texas, Texas. Sorry. I digress.  we used to go to this bar called the faces, me and these two drag Queens.

We were under age. and that was the only place I think that let us in 18 of course we would drink.  I just remember Closer. I had never heard it before, like ever, and I don't know if it came out before or I wasn't into that music. I was into Mariah Carey and music box and Merry Christmas were released Merry Christmas was 1994.

Anyway, I love you, Mariah. [00:37:00] So one night in particular, I went out with my friends and our thing was to pre bar, but also we would order like hurricanes and just get shit face.  I think we might've taken some something beforehand. the only thing I remember. Unrelated to closer, but it brings back fond memories,  is dancing to the Eurythmics sweet dreams. And I woke up strapped to a gurney, With no clothes on. And I'm like, what the whole fuck just happened here. I think my cousin picked me up, which of course is just a different type of walk of shame.  I went home and I lived with my other cousin. And he was like, yeah, you were convulsing and spitting at the EMS people and trying to bite them.

Oh my God it was horrible. I didn't drink for a solid. Year, I would say  I never touched a hurricane ever, ever, ever again. [00:38:00] that song brings back great memories of a really dumb Aaron. When I tell people I could have died, that's one of the things I referenced.

Like I'm so lucky to be here in life, so yeah.

Tamu: [00:38:14] I was seeing this person and they were very much into ambient music and nine inch nails and a bunch of other stuff. We had gone out on I'm going to say a quote unquote date because technically we never dated two years, three years, however long it was. but we ended up going back and having sex. And when we were done, he was like, Oh, I'm going to play the song. And this is a song he played.

 I don't know how to, do you take that?

like all you want to, all you want to do is just fuck me. That doesn't feel good for me, who was like in feelings and thinking this was, more than [00:39:00] he was because he just was. Fucking things like an animal. So it wasn't until actually tonight when I was, looking at the lyrics and this song is more than I thought it was.

It's like this person is being taken into a transcendent place as a result of having this encounter with this person. There's a piece where Trent Reznor is whispering towards the end of the song. And it says,"through every forest, above the trees, within my stomach, scraped off my knees, I drank the honey inside your hive you're the reason I stay alive."

 And I was like, Oh, that's nice. Don't fuck me. Like an animal. I don't know. I mean,  it makes me feel slightly better now because the song has different connotations to it than it did then, because you're just thinking about the part about fucking you like an animal, [00:40:00] but it ends up being a nice thing.

So now I can change my thinking about the song at that particular moment in that memory. I'm sure he's still just wanted to fuck me like an animal and didn't give a shit about the rest of the words of the song.

Aaron: [00:40:13] So, first of all, that's like, It's like romantic and like a dirty fuck kind of way.

Tamu: [00:40:22] I would be a hundred percent down with it. that is great and fine, but it wasn't, you know what I mean?  it was basically the, I want to fuck it like an animal piece. That's it, it wasn't the rest of the song.

Aaron: [00:40:32] it. I got it. I got it.

Tamu: [00:40:33] But I do love the song. I think it's a great  strip tease song.

Aaron: [00:40:36] my memory of people dancing to the song is people with dark hair, and really flowy clothes, hair across the dance floor and shit. And I just remember  like, what the fuck is this?

Tamu: [00:40:49] not danceable to me.

Aaron: [00:40:50] it isn't, that's like a dirty grinds song. Like it's. Yeah.

Tamu: [00:40:56] it's a sexy song. 

Aaron: [00:40:57] It's a very sexy song.

Love you, Trent [00:41:00] Reznor. Nine inch nails. Great song. Wow.

Tamu: [00:41:04] Yeah.

Aaron: [00:41:06] any final thoughts? Oh, I did want to ask this now.  when, so when you realize what those lyrics were, what he was whispering and how you sort of flipped it around, how long ago was that?

Tamu: [00:41:19] What time is it

Aaron: [00:41:26] No.

Tamu: [00:41:27] I just was reading it. I didn't even know he was whispering at the end. That was not, when I see the lyrics, I'm like, what is this? And I'm watching the video and I'm like, Oh, that's what he's saying. In the whisper part at the end. I didn't know. He was saying words ,

Aaron: [00:41:45] Wow. I didn't realize this was real time healing shit at all. We do it all.

Tamu: [00:41:52] yeah. Yeah. Oh, that doesn't mean that, that person's not a complete and total Dick wad,

Aaron: [00:41:59] Yes. [00:42:00] She made it through.

Tamu: [00:42:02] yes. And perhaps, maybe I was a transcendent sexual. Being for him

Aaron: [00:42:10] Something about that situation. You know how we do girl?

Tamu: [00:42:15] All right. Well, let's wrap this show up, shall we?

Aaron: [00:42:17] Yes, we shall.

Tamu: [00:42:20] Do you want to do final closing housekeeping?

Aaron: [00:42:25] So again, please like us on Instagram. Follow us on Instagram. Send us comments about our content, but also I really fucked this one up did I?

Tamu: [00:42:46] Pretty much subscribe to our podcast. 

Aaron: [00:42:50] Got it. 

Tamu: [00:42:50] Listen to us wherever you find, find podcasts. I think now we finally made it to Google podcasts, and we're on tune-in and we're on Stitcher [00:43:00] and we're on Apple podcasts and we, you can just throw a dart now and probably find us, which is great.

Share with your friends.  please write reviews because we're not going to get famous if nobody, if you just keep us a secret. 

Aaron: [00:43:15] Oh, my God. We never said congratulations to Joe and Kamala,

Tamu: [00:43:19] Congratulations, Joe and Kamala, may you become president

Aaron: [00:43:29] Oh, my.

Tamu: [00:43:30] until next time folks.