Doo Rags


If I just burry my head in the reports from my team I can get through the day without talking to anyone. I just need to pretend that I’m busy. A little music, and I’m set to go. I hate nearly everyone in this building. It isn’t on purpose. I’m just, the only black person, at least I haven’t met anyone else. It’s a big building, could be someone on the 91st floor and I would never know. The small things that are constant drive me crazy. Still, I actually do love the work that I do. I’m not inside the labs as much as I used to be, but I still get to be one of the first people to learn every time that something new comes up. A new chemical that regenerates muscle mass on mice at a rapid pace. This could be revolutionary. As long as it isn’t toxic it could go a long way in helping people with disabilities that effect muscle growth. Actually, it looks like they weren’t able to duplicate the results in 47 straight trials. This one is probably a dud. The concept is interesting, I’ll file this one away to come back to it at a later date. I might want to work on that one myself.

“Robert, I need to see you in my office,” Evan, my boss pokes his head into my office. “And for the last time, will you turn off that nonsense music.”

I can only imagine what the legendary Evan has in store for me today. The music isn’t even loud. I’m not the only person with music either. Deborah can have little hoedown in her cubicle, but heaven forbid I play a little De La Soul or Run DMC in my office. They act like I’m playing N.W.A. I’m getting really tired of being called into this office for doing nothing. I don’t think I’ve seen anyone else ever called into the office.

“Bob, have a seat,” Evan points towards a chair across from him.

“I actually prefer Rob or Robert,” I correct him.

“Sure, no problem, Rob. Now, we do have a few problems with your behavior and dress code.”

“What would those be?”

“There’s no easy way to put this, but you’re scaring some of the other employees.”

“Scaring them? How? I’ve never threatened anyone,” I respond shocked.

“You don’t have to threaten anyone. You’re raising you voice with me right now. The thing that scares people the most is the music you play. Now we don’t have a problem with music. But your music is not work appropriate.”

“What is inappropriate about it?”

“Just today I heard lyrics that said ‘the glory has been denied by concerning eyes’ it sounds satanic to me,” De La Soul being called satanic is not something I expected to hear today.

“Fine, I won’t play any music at all. Is that it? I’ve got a lot of work to do.”

“No that isn’t it. There’s also a matter of the scarf you wear when you’re in the lab.”

“I don’t wear any scarves when I’m in the lab,” I’m just confused by this one.

“The black thing you put on. What’s it called? A duban, a derby? The thing you put on your head.”

“My durag? Are you talking about my durag, the thing that keeps my hair from getting into the lab work,” I pull the durag from my pocket and show him.

“Yes, that thing. I’ve gotten reports that its gang related. You’ll need to wear a hair net like everyone else if you’re afraid you’ll contaminate the work.”

“How is this gang related? They sell them for 99 cents at every corner store in the city.”

“Its gang related because gangsters wear them,” he argues.

“Gangsters eat food too, is food gang related?”

“Now, I don’t want to argue with you. If you keep being disobedient, I’ll have to let you go.”

“We both know you won’t I’m the best man you’ve got,” that’s not bragging. I am.

“You’re miles behind Haskins, the whole company is.”

“Am I miles behind or do you overlook my work?”

“I’ve had enough of this. We’re done with this conversation and if we need to have it again, it’ll be the last time,” Evan raises his voice at me.

“Sure, I got it,” I turn to exit the office before I go across the desk and beat Evan.

“Thanks for understanding Bob,” he just had to throw in one last insult.

Gang related my ass. How many gang members have college degrees? Graduate early at that. I can’t think of a single one. This is just them trying to police me and force me to fit with their corny boring so-called culture. Not an ounce of culture between any of them if you ask me.

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