Party Solo for Your Birthday

Party Solo? Uh, that isn’t what any thirty-something or even forty-something really wants to do for their birthday, but as I get older I’ve noticed that most of my friends have kids, are in serious relationships, or are stuck in jobs and are unable to party with me. It always seems like a chore to gather everyone to hang out now that we are older. I’ve seen memes about people getting into their 30’s and their highlight of the weekend was binge-watching Netflix. That’s not me. I want adventure and fun. If you want the same then read on for my top ten ways to party solo.

My Party Solo Tips

Solo Travel

There are probably a billion websites dedicated to traveling in groups with people you don’t know. If your friends are too busy or too broke to party with you, try one of the groups online. They have groups dedicated to age groups, gender, religion, and more. You can find groups that travel in hostels or all inclusive resorts. Even if you just want to get away for the weekend, there are hiking trips, surfing, and skiing trips that you could join. The sky’s the limit to what type of group you want to join. Most of the time, people meet up in private groups on Facebook so they can get to know each other before traveling.

Train Travels

Another solo travel idea worth mentioning all by itself are train ride vacations. I’m sure you’ve heard about the train ride where you can travel across the country (East to West) in 2 ½ days, but did you know there are other cross-country travel routes and destinations? Visiting the website called Vacations By Rail will show you step by step how to ride the rails cross country. With their guide for beginners, you will be comfortable as a first timer. Think it’s a boring ride from place to place, think again. According to their site, “the lounge cars feature floor-to-ceiling windows, which curve up onto the roof, so sky panoramas are available, as well as a great opportunity to socialize with your fellow travelers. Snacks, light fare, wine, beer, water, and soft drinks are all offered in the lounge during certain times of the day. Entertaining and informational speakers are also brought onboard the train during certain times of the year to enthrall the lounge car’s passengers.”

Party soloThrow Your Own Birthday Party

If you build it, they will come…well maybe just for an hour or two. Throwing yourself a party lightens the burden of having to party all night at the club or go out of town for the weekend. If your friend has children or a spouse, then those options really aren’t options for them. Having a party will allow them to bring their spouse or even their kids with them so they won’t have to choose. They can decide to have a little fun instead of no fun. You could make it even more special by throwing an elegant sit down dinner, a themed dinner (African, Sports, Superhero, Movie), or a murder mystery dinner.

Enhance Your Hobbies

Turn your passions into a vacation! There are conventions and conferences for everything nowadays. Type in your favorite hobby online and add the keywords, “seminar”, “workshop”, “conference”, or “convention” and you’ll find a plethora of events going on. Whether you love paintball, fishing, or writing, there’s a place for you to visit. These places often assist you in enhancing your crafting skills. You’ll meet people who love the hobby and have a passion for the same thing you do. Sometimes, finding people like that is hard at home. Many people that meet at seminars and conventions have lasting relationships.

Travel Volunteer

I love being a role model for children. Helping them to avoid the mistakes I made when I was their age brings value to my life. One day, I would love to gather a bunch of them and take them on a trip. I especially want to travel with children who may never see another city, let alone country. Of course, I’d have to fundraise to help afford the airfare and hotel. Actually, I found that there are many organizations dedicated to helping underserved community children travel, all I’d have to do is join one and become a chaperone. However, my goal is to be able to do it for my hometown youth.

The Day is About You Anyway

Just because no one is available to do things with you doesn’t mean that you can’t do it all. Use your day to do things that make you smile. I love going to the movies, sometimes it’s better with friends, but honestly, I enjoy it just as much alone as I do with a group. Getting pampered at a spa isn’t just for females, it’s actually relaxing and makes you feel fantastic. There are male spas and male massages available, try this place and all its locations are listed here. Lastly, buy yourself something. I’m sure you deserve it. This is the day to splurge on that one thing you’ve wanted. If you absolutely have to be frugal, remember splurging doesn’t have cost hundreds of dollars.

Fun Photoshoots

Why should females have all the fun? I’ve seen women do glamour shoots and boudoir sessions and have so much fun exploring themselves and making themselves feel good. We can do the same! Get a photographer to do a male model photoshoot with you and be the sexy you always wanted to be. Don’t hold back – it’s your birthday! These make great gifts for that special lady, but it looks even better framed in your home. Watch this photoshoot on YouTube for pose ideas. Lastly, you choose a theme like sexy, classy, superhero, or dandy like Michael B. Jordan.

Birthday Fundraiser – Not for Charity

Have you ever seen someone with a couple dollars safety pinned to their shirt? It’s usually done on people’s birthday and actually brings awareness to your birthday without you having to say a thing. This year aim higher. Do a birthday fundraiser online. You can join websites like Plumfund and Payit2 to start a campaign. If you don’t want to use them try Cashapp or Paypal. You may not have the funds to go on a lavish vacation, but I’m sure if you were able to raise a couple hundred dollars, it would make your day just as special.

Freebie & Dessert Deals

Companies are always using their customer’s birthdays as promotional opportunities. Find businesses and restaurants that offer free items on your birthday and hop around your city for each freebie. Many places have loyalty programs so start with the companies that you frequently patron or have signed up for their email newsletters. Try searching and signing up for the businesses on this list.

Charity Parties

Most of these examples have been about where YOU can go or what YOU can do for yourself – and that’s fine, but sometimes we need to give back, pay it forward, or just be a blessing to someone less fortunate than ourselves. You may not have heard, but there’s a story about a man who invited friends to a special dinner and laid out his best for them, but they all gave him excuses as to why they couldn’t or wouldn’t attend. This made him furious. He decided to go out into the street and bring in all those who were considered castaways and/or devalued and have them as his guests instead. I’m not saying throw a party and then go out and find homeless men and women to attend – but I’m not saying not to either. However, there are also children in orphanages that probably don’t get the opportunity to have a real party. Bring them some cake, ice cream, and a pinata. There’s often a shortage of food so a birthday party is really like heaven to them. Research some places in your hometown and give back, it will make you feel 100 times better than that luxurious vacation you can’t afford.

I believe we’ve all entered into this world for some reason, despite the fact that most people never truly find out what it is they were “created” to do.  In honor of my belief, I also believe that the day I entered into the world should be celebrated or joyfully acknowledged. I know some people and religions decide not to celebrate birthdays, however, those who have no objection to it shouldn’t spend their big day alone and feeling sorry for themselves when others cannot help celebrate them. I hope this post inspired you to make a change for your next birthday. You’re definitely not a loser if you party solo!

Live Your Best Life Locally!

best life quoteIf you can’t live your best life, then live your best life locally until you can. Just because you can’t jet set to another state or country and turn up doesn’t mean that you can’t live your best life locally. I believe there are levels of living your best life and your local best life doesn’t have to be boring or routine. You can have an adventurous lifestyle by visiting places you’ve never been. Admit it, there’s a place you drive by and wonder what it’s like inside. There’s a place advertised on local television that you’ve always wanted to go, but haven’t. It’s time to take a step out of your comfort zone and level up. Even though it may seem like baby steps to jet setting in Paris, Japan, or Brazil, sometimes stepping stones are what’s needed to get you to make real moves.

Even if there’s nothing in your immediate city or town, there’s something to do in your state. If you live in the southern part of the state, visit a place that’s in the northern part. Do the same vice versa if you live in the northern, eastern or western part of your state. Chances are there are places that you’ll love and never knew existed. Since these places can sometimes be hidden treasures, try looking through Groupon for deals, packages, or coupons for things you like to do. You can also try to do things you’ve never done before. Living your best life shouldn’t be all about being complacent, instead, it should be about adventure and taking risks. You want to be able to look back in life and be proud of your journey and the knowledge you gained when you did the unthinkable.

Nature Adventures

If you’re more of a nature person, look for state forests, caves, botanical gardens, and trails. I bet you’ll see some great scenery and take some cool pictures. Try going the night before so that you can get up early and see the sunrise. Don’t worry if you don’t make it because you could also stick around and see the sunset. Either way, it’s a beautiful moment that you don’t want to miss. Make sure to pack the right items like bug spray, sunscreen, and snacks. Check websites for forbidden and prohibited items.

Water Fun

If land isn’t your thing, try looking for harbors, bays, and other bodies of water that allow yachts and other boats. Go sailing one day and watch the wildlife in the water. There are many places that will bring you aboard to watch for whales and dolphins. Other companies will take you out to see so you can snorkel.

Relax & Unwind

If your best life is more chill, then you definitely want to check out some spa resorts and float tanks. According to this article on www.tripsavvy.com, a destination spa isn’t all about massages, facials, and body wraps. A destination spa means you will typically spend about two to three nights at their resort. They promote healthy lifestyles and offer exercise classes and lectures on wellness. You can also get spa service there as well, but they focus on the entire body, mentally and physically. If you really want to unwind, try to search for a sensory deprivation tank or a float tank. If you’ve never floated before, then you’re going to love it. A float tank looks like a large bathtub and it’s filled with a massive amount of magnesium salts (Epsom salts). The amount of magnesium salt creates a buoyancy when you get into the float tank and you float. No seriously, you don’t have to try to keep your head or limbs above water. It’s such a freeing experience. These types of tanks deprive your body of touch so that you can de-stress and relax. Depending on the package, you can spend about 60 minutes to 90 minutes in the tank. If you find a nice float business like this one from New Jersey, then you’ll have an awesome room to float in. I used their galaxy float tank. When I was done, I felt so light and relaxed.

Party Hard

If you’re set on turning things up, then you may want to plan in advance to make your experience the best. You want to search online for places that have concerts, nightclubs that are different from your hometown clubs, or events will be playing music all night long. Instead of Google, try using these apps to search for big-time fun.

  • Discotech – Guestlist, Tickets, and Bottle Service for your favorite events.
  • Eventbrite – Find fun things to do in multiple cities.
  • Night Nomads – Find all the best upcoming parties, gigs, concerts and nightlife around the city.
  • Showwoo – Trending adventures, events, and amusement parks in various cities and countries.

Depending on your taste, there’s always something to do. You never have to wish you had the life of someone else when you could be doing the same thing in your own backyard. I promise with a little planning and saving, you’ll get to jet set if you really want to, but don’t let it keep your from living your best life locally.

Dealing With The Struggle Of Returning From Prison

There’s nothing a person can’t handle if they have the confidence, support and persistence. I truly believe that, although when returning from prison after a 17-month sentence, I found it to be extremely difficult. Despite earning my Bachelor’s degree in English in 2008, it was still hard to find a job after federal prison. During my two year pre-trial, I knew that obtaining a job afterwards would be tough. It’s so tempting to give up, but how would an ex-felon or anyone else for that matter, keep from quitting?

I remember having the desire to return to prison camp because of the hardship. At least in camp I wouldn’t have to deal with rent, bills, or demanding employers. I tried everything I could think of. I even wrote and published a book called Subprime Felon: Inside Federal Prison Camp. Although I value my accomplishment, I was disappointed because I thought it would bring me freedom and happiness. Needless to say, it didn’t. Finally, I realized that I had more freedom outside of prison than I did inside of prison. My challenge was finding a way to diminish my depression and frustration of returning to society. I needed to keep a level head and find a solution to alleviate the hardship of returning home. If you’re like me and need a couple of methods to survive, then here is a list of coping mechanisms.  

Developing a Great Diet

At Herlong Prison Camp, I was able to eat as many as four meals a day, but that’s not always possible in the real world. Whether or not you eat once a day or four times a day a targeted diet is need. For better focus and mental clarity, try a diet high in fiber and protein. Also, to minimize depression and anxiety, I recently discovered that a diet high in potassium can calm over-stressed nerves.

Finding Employment

Looking for employment is more than just putting in job applications and hoping to get the right job. What you really need is a game plan. For example, If you’re applying for a low waged job and are overqualified, avoid putting in high levels of education on your resume. It’s typical for someone coming home from prison to jump at the first job that is offered in order to satisfy their PO’s. This is understandable as well as sensible, but it isn’t a long-term financial solution.

I believe that newly released inmates should set time aside every day to explore their options such as self-employment or higher paying jobs. Even if you already have a job, it doesn’t hurt to apply for a higher paying job. Yes, looking for a quality job with a felony record may be hell, but if you believe a higher salary is needed, then stay confident and persistent in your quest. Part of your game plan should be researching sites like Indeed.com, using their search bar and entering in “jobs that pay $35,000” or more. Another tip is when searching on Indeed or similar sites, be sure to narrow down the search results. My normal search might look like “English major, $35,000, -sales, -management.” By putting “-sales” this eliminates any positions that have the keyword or phrase “sales,” which usually prevents me from seeing jobs with sales involved. Lastly, having someone review and/or write your resume and/or cover letter will help you to stand out from the crowd.

Building and Maintaining Relationship

Transitioning is easier when you have the support of a community. A community provides a felon job leads, counseling and the motivation needed to keep moving forward. Although some relationship will be lost throughout time, it’s essential for an ex-felon to focus on forging and maintaining relationships. This would also be the time to eliminate and avoid destructive or fruitless relationships with toxic people. Those types of people add nothing to your life except unnecessary stress.

Move to a Bigger City

The amount of opportunities for ex-felons depends on their residential area. I’ve learned the hard way that jobs in a city like Sacramento are just hard to find. Obtaining a quality job was difficult because of my criminal record and restaurant history, but when I moved to Los Angeles, things changed. I was able to reduce my time spent working in restaurants and begin working as a production assistant for films. I also worked as a background actor. Yes, these are low paying jobs, but my goal is become a Hollywood screenwriter. The experience I receive just by being on set is phenomenal!

Dealing With Depression and Frustration

There’s no magic pill or solution to dealing with the depression and frustration that a ex-felon will experience when they return home. The trick for ex-felons is to understand that they have done everything in their power, legally, to put themselves in the best possible position. Everything will work itself out in time. I truly understand the frustration of waiting for everything to work itself out. However, I constantly remind myself that if there was a better idea, I would do it.  This is why a game plan is highly valuable to newly released inmate. When you have exhausted all of your options, you must believe that what you’ve done is sufficient and that the results will manifest in time.

 

I hope this helps someone.  At the time of this post, I’m still struggling to have the life that I want. However, I see things coming together. If nothing in this article works for you, then the only advice I have left is to keep your head up and never quit.

How Mental Health Disorders Affect Success and Productiveness Within Men

By Pyerse Dandridge
Author: Subprime Felon: Inside Federal Prison Camp

Mental health disorders often result from extended time in incarceration. After release, men are sent back into society with not only criminal convictions, but gaps in employment, negative stigmas, alternate mentalities, and an extreme amount of work necessary to shed the skin society now sees. Simply reentering society can cause high anxiety and the consistent rejection can cause depression in terms of job searching.

It is clear that mental health issues are present in criminals during incarceration, but post-release, these anxieties have increased and other mental health disorders make recidivism highly likely in over 50 percent of men. Mental health issues can inhibit much of daily life including finding a good job. Successfully finding a good job is difficult because former inmates are usually subjected to obtaining low income jobs like janitorial work or fast food employment. Their past mistakes are used as ammunition in such a way that it is difficult to maintain motivation to keep up a positive path towards success. Most people have experienced the stress of job searching, however, think of the increased amount of stress when the odds are stacked extremely high against you.

Mental health issues can take a real toll on life. Success could almost be said to be completely out of reach due to the fact that underlying conditions prevent the ability to conduct oneself properly in society. Anger, paranoia, abrasiveness, high anxiety, mood swings, and other characteristics that are created during incarceration can cause major problems for many trying to create positive relationships with employers and co-workers.

It is clear that success post-release depends highly on the help these men receive to rejoin society with positive hope for something beyond a life of crime. Recidivism is twice as likely to occur in those who are released from prison with untreated mental health issues. If mental health issues were treated properly, these men could have a chance at a productive life.

Many don’t realize that male inmates must live a life completely isolated from civilized society, procure a heightened masculine mask fit for incarceration (in order to survive), and then are kicked back out into society. Often they are back in society with a completely different mentality than before their incarceration and are now without any genuine direction on how to survive outside prison walls. Considering all they’ve gone through just to pay their debt to society, these men have very little chance at success.

I Don’t Like Gay Jokes

 

52935712He laughed and said, “Don’t be down there too long. I might like it.”

I gave him a dirty look. “Hey man, I don’t play like that.” He apologized and that was pretty much the end of the day.

Many people have different types of humor, however I believe some things are unacceptable. Although I used to joke in this manner, I quickly learned my lesson when someone mentioned, “If you’re joking like that, it must mean you’re secretly like that.” I also decided to change because when I was at Herlong Prison Camp, some of the inmates would joke that way and I couldn’t tell if they were serious or just joking. The prison culture scared me because a man would rape another man just to show his dominance over other inmates and for other reason too. This stuck in my head even after I came home.

As I learned more about writing humorous stories, I found that gay jokes are a quick and easy laugh, but don’t take much talent or craftsmanship. Telling the joke gets you at least a chuckle. However, all this has to stop. Here are my reasons for why I no longer like gay jokes.

Lack of Professionalism

I have a problem with the lack of professionalism that gay jokes bring to the work environment. It’s hard enough going to work everyday and dealing with guests in the restaurant who don’t want to be courteous. I don’t need my fellow co-workers putting me in an uncomfortable position just to degrade me for their enjoyment. I understand we all need a way to destress and lighten up, but our jokes shouldn’t degrade one another.

Degradation of People

As time goes by, I consistently lose focus of the point of making fun of a group of people for enjoyment. I no longer see the humor in it. Even if those groups of people aren’t around, it doesn’t excuse or allow that type of behavior. No, I’m not gay, but I don’t think it’s a good idea that people make fun of another group for any reason. Joking in that manner reveals that person’s perspective and it’s usually that they see those individuals as less than human.

However, it seems as if I’m the only person who agrees with my point, so it looks like I’m going to be very quiet at work for the time being.

How To Make Millions With Your Ideas

5188mtDB8rL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_“Most profitable business ideas are simple: they focus on creating systems that can be multiplied and duplicated without massive costs. A few of the many critical concepts presented in this book are: premium pricing, exclusivity, niche marketing, up-selling, cross-selling, and franchising. You’ll also learn how to become a recognized expert in your field, market products directly to the public, profit from selling information, and build salable assets,” — Personalmba.com

 

While I was in prison camp, I was looking for a way to make money with my ideas and my bunky (roommate) referred the above book to me. The book talks about how to take your ideas to the next level and get paid to do so. “It’s one thing to want to do a project, but another to get paid from it,” my bunky told me.

The author, Dan Kennedy says that the best way to make money from your ideas is to create a membership option. This would allow people to come back regularly and it would bring in a steady income. Also, it’s best to make the value of the product worth more than the money the customer is required to pay. For example, one of the ideas that I came up with from reading this book was to charge $5.99 for some DVDs and maybe a second book. It’s combined is worth would be $25.00, but I would sell it for $9.99.

I had another idea to start a news service that’s worth $15 a month but I’ll charge them $7.50, assuming the $7.50 will cover the business expenses. I also created an idea where I could use articles on the news site for a magazine and a podcast. However, those ideas haven’t taken place yet.

For anyone who looking to generate ideas for a business, I highly recommend this book. As always, if you have any other ideas, let’s talk about them in the comment section. 

 

 

The Minimum Wage In Sacramento Needs To Be $15 an hour

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As many people know, I’ve been working minimum wage jobs for most of my life. I’ve also been working with Sacramento ACT, along with other organizations, in the fight to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. In order to fairly pay workers for their time and effort, the minimum wage should be increased to $15 an hour.

Job pay should be based on the amount of work an employee has to do, for example, I interviewed for a dishwashing job near Sac State. As I interviewed, I was told the dishwasher was expected to wash dishes, restock dishes, and remove dirty dishes. They were also expected to assist with food prep, cooking, and anything else the manager deem necessary. I asked what else could be necessary and I was told that the other dishwashers deep clean bathrooms and more. The interviewer exclaimed that she had employees that worked for her for over 20 years. Then I noticed that the kitchen help consisted of Spanish speaking Hispanics. I have no idea if this job offered benefits, but they should considering the amount of work that needed to be done.

The job that I accepted was at the Spaghetti Factory in Elk Grove. In the dish room there was myself and another Black man. The cook line consisted of one White male, but everyone else was Mexican. A running joke within the Mexican cook line was that Americans have a lower work ethic than them and therefore they should have more jobs than us because they also don’t trip over money. However, I disagree. There is nothing wrong with our work ethic, in fact I had clients at the temp agency who loved my work.  With all of the work we did, dishwashers were paid $9 an hour, cooks were paid $9.25, and one of the supervisors (who worked the cook line by himself) was rumored to make $10.75. The only way a dishwasher could get a raise is if they were promoted to cook, which could take at least a year.

The Spaghetti Factory had a hard time finding and keeping dishwashers which made it hard to for dishwashers to get a promotion. From what I’ve heard, the only reason dishwashers make $9 an hour is due to minimum wage increasing by a dollar. To offset the dollar wage increase, the free meals that were given to employees were taken away from the back of the house employees.  It was only a dollar, $1.08 after taxes, but that was to help save the corporation money. The restaurant also saved money by making employees work alone. On Friday and Saturday nights, they would have two dishwashers due to the high volume of dishes and customers. However, I had to work alone on Sunday afternoons during brunch, which was one of the most busiest times of the week. To make up for days of high labor costs, they would often use only one dishwasher on Sundays to save the company money.

This made the job extremely stressful and made it difficult for me to create or maintain relationships because I felt used. Then I would compare this job to a second job I had at the temp agency. It was less work and they paid $10 an hour. I’ll talk more about that later. The Spaghetti Factory also required the dishwashers to do light janitorial tasks such as dusting the decorations that were placed near the ceiling (we had to use a ladder), scrubbing dirt and mold, and cleaning the freezers and refrigerators.

Despite all of the work I did, they didn’t like when I asked for days off, especially the weekends. They would constantly remind me that I was only hired for working weekends. They implied that I could be fired for needing more weekends off. If they called me on my day off and I refused to come in, they would get upset and question me about my desire for hours, which was only 25 to 30 hours a week.

I guess you’re asking why I didn’t quit. When anyone is on federal probation, they have probation obligations and that job fulfilled my obligation. I needed at least 25 hours a week and they were the quickest to hire me. However, once I was released from probation, I immediately quit.

Living off a minimum wage job would vary paycheck to paycheck. I worked for a temp agency, which charged their clients as much as $29 an hour, but only paid me $10. When I worked 40 hours, I would make about $1200 after taxes. Due to some personal expenses that were taken from my check, I would get about $800 per month. However, on weeks I didn’t get enough hours I could use my unemployment to help cover some of the missing income. Of course, if I made too much money, like closer to that $800 per month, I wouldn’t qualify for unemployment.

Do business have the money to pay employees $15 an hour? Yes! While working for a temp agency, I had an assignment with a resort in Sacramento. Their members paid as much as $1000 per month for the resort’s club benefits. They paid their banquet captains, who were the supervisors to the banquet servers, $9.75 and their regular banquet server $9 an hour, without tips or gratuity. If the banquet or wedding left a tip or any form of cash, the employees would have to give it to the managers. The only way they make additional money is with overtime.  The resort pays the agency anywhere from $16 to $29 per hour per temporary employee. Keep in mind, the resorts captains and servers couldn’t receive raises because the resort told them the company couldn’t afford raises.

Also with because I worked for a temp agency, the client isn’t allowed to hire me directly because they could get sued for poaching. If the client liked me enough to hire me they would have to pay the agency upwards to $3000 in fees and give me at least 90 shifts. Their other option was to hire me after six months.  

Overall, I support myself with family help and other temp services, which requires me to travel to and from the Bay area and Davis. Most temps or minimum wage employees have roommates and various welfare services. I believe based on my experiences that minimum wage workers are working too much for $9 to not be able to live without government help or multiple jobs.

‎Economic Dignity and employment and housing opportunities for the formerly incarcerated at the LiveFree Community Forum at South Sacramento Christian Center

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On May 19, 2015, I had the honor to speak at the Live Free Public Forum which was put on by Sacramento ACT at the South Sacramento Christian Center. This community forum was created to get state and local officials to commit to helping our communities and to reduce mass incarceration and gang violence. The forum also touched on the importance of mental health access and resources. My intent was to increase the economic dignity of the people in our communities.

I touched on my challenges as a formerly incarcerated felon who was struggling to make a good life for myself. I explained to the audience and the community leaders there that I was the lucky one because other felons had it much harder than I did. I think gave suggestions on how to help the formerly incarcerated get on their feet and be productive members of society, which would create safer streets for your children and my future children. I truly believe I sparked a conversation about the difficulties and challenges of former inmates. I hope this leads to more solutions down the road.

Below is the full speech in its entirety.


My name is Pyerse Dandridge. I’m a Sacramento ACT leader and a Prince Hall Mason with the David D Mattock Lodge #87 here in Sacramento, CA. I was convicted of bank fraud and sentenced to 17 months at Federal Prison Camp, Herlong, near Reno, NV. There I witnessed poor job training, poor mental health help and poor transitional skills teaching.When I came home, I was forced to work low waged thankless jobs. Meanwhile, I would find myself rejected for jobs I was qualified for because of my background. I also had difficulty paying for a livelihood that was below my needs because of limited income and housing discrimination.

Attach0I would find that I was one of the luckier ones. I was single with no children. My fellow formerly incarcerated would have to worry about supporting their wives, husbands, and children. Other felons didn’t have the support of family that I had. They didn’t have ties to the community or knowledge of job resources or the educational background.

So I became a Sacramento ACT leader. My goal was to help those get a second chance at life, become more confident in themselves, and make our streets safer for your children and my future children.

And I believe the best way to do this is to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, for state and county to produce more programs like the Priority workers programs for the Kings new arena, and I would like to see ban the box extended to housing and all levels of employment.

These ideas will help to eliminate recidivism which will increase the number of productive citizens in Sacramento, and ultimately make it safer for all people in Sacramento and California.

Thank you.

 

You Don’t Act Black

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It’s bad enough that African Americans are stereotyped negatively by the media and other ethnicities. We shouldn’t have to deal with negative stereotypes within our community too, however, sadly we do. For some reason, our mannerisms are supposed to define and solidify our racial status. I’m not sure who thought of this, but it’s wrong. Our community already questions the lighter shades of color within the community and now we are questioning each other’s “proper” attitudes as if we are all supposed to act uncivilized. Unfortunately, I encountered this very problem.

One day I was having what I thought was a normal conversation with a Black friend of mine. However, things took a turn when my friend looked at me and said, “Are you sure you’re Black?  The reason I asked is because, look at you. You’re all proper, like you have a White dad or something.  I mean, and you have to admit this, you don’t act Black. See look at me, I’m into getting what’s mine no matter what.  You think you could work for yours. Now I see you got some nice stuff because you worked hard, but in this system, no Black man can work hard to get his, he gotta take it.  You’re too soft for that, I can tell.”

My parents taught me that a Black person is someone who passes on the Black culture, heritage and is a responsible man or woman.  My parents go on to say that raising children, keeping a house, providing for you family, obeying laws, making a living, and finding peace within yourself are not racial issues regardless of if it’s accomplished or not.  Those who do not do these things are sellouts because they’ve sold their soul for something that is usually materialistic like money, sex, or drugs.

Knowing this brings up an interesting set of questions. If I was doing what my parents, who are both Black, say is right to do, can I really be an Uncle Tom? Also, isn’t it possible that even if I did ‘act Black’ that I could still be a sellout? When are we as a Black community going to get tired of seeing stereotypes all of the time? Don’t you wish that once in a while, we can be pictured as normal people who just happen to be Black? I know I do. I’m sick of the belief that Blacks are supposed to live up to negative stereotypes just to be considered part of the Black community.

After 22 Years, River City Brewing Company Pushed Out For Sacramento Kings Arena

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If you’ve never lived in a small town then you probably won’t understand the outrage I’m currently feeling. Small towns are known for their close knit, neighborly communities. They take care of each other and have a genuine kindness about them. Their unique in ways that large cities aren’t because they allow its citizens to relax naturally and watch sunsets without obstructed views. Small towns usually have a few choice restaurants and stores that the people love to patronize because of familiarity. However, recently my small town has been undergoing some big city changes!

My gripe today is due to a favorite hangout spot being forced to close down and move out of my city. The River City Brewing Company has been a staple in downtown Sacramento for 22 years and now it’s moving. I really liked the idea that downtown Sacramento had a long history of unique flavor. It would be a shame to see it full of a bunch of corporate restaurants and chain stores.

The Sacramento Kings own a large area in downtown Sacramento and they feel it’s time to “upgrade” for big business. Since they forced the River City Brewing Company and other great companies out of their area, it makes me think that my city is going to be filled with corporations and franchised chains of popular stores. That’s not what a small town should be filled with. The Sacramento Kings must be focusing on becoming like L.A or San Francisco; they must be looking for money and not historical preservation.

In reality, I would love a mix of the two, not an overtaking. I want a mix of the old and new. It wouldn’t hurt to see some brand new restaurants and hotels standing next to the historic downtown Sacramento establishments. Why? Well, I understand that a small city has need of some elements of larger cities. My concern is the loss of the uniqueness of the city. It feels like Sacramento is giving up its history for large corporate dollars.

I guess I’ll have to stick around and see what unfolds. I really hope this works itself out in a few years.

Did your small town change into a large city? Let me know what happened.

Does Being Single Really Suck?

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I was reading an article from the Standard Media website called “How Being Single Painfully Sucks.” While I agree that being single sucks, I also believe that it’s not as bad as people make it out to be. Like any other situation, it has advantages and disadvantages. When I was single I obtained a better understanding of myself, mentally and emotionally. I found that being single gave me the chance to understand what I really wanted in a woman and WHY I really desired a Black woman more than any other race. Being single has a good side, but most people only see the bad side of it. I’ll keep it real with you, loneliness can be  horrible at times.

The disadvantages of being single all come down to the fact that loneliness really sucks. Here are my reasons for why loneliness makes being single worse than what it seems.

Getting Sick
When I’m sick, I hate being single even more. I had the flu a few months ago, but luckily I was living at my parents house. I would have loved it if a girlfriend walked in and checked up on me from time to time. I know that the flu is contagious so she wouldn’t have been around me all day, but just knowing she was there would have made me feel a lot less lonely. There’s nothing worse than going through an illness by yourself or away from your loved ones. That’s also the reason I hated getting sick at prison camp. The moral of the story is, having a girlfriend when your sick makes you feel loved and not lonely.

Cooking
Another thing that sucks about being single is having to cook alone. When I’m not working as a cook, I love cooking for other people. It’s only right that I would cook for that special woman in my life. I’d enjoy seeing her enjoy every bite. I would also love it when she would cook for me. A home cooked meal from a sexy woman — I mean, what man wouldn’t like that? After a long day of work I am extremely fatigued and it’s difficult for me to get up and cook. I’d be so grateful if she would do the cooking. Luckily, I’m currently living with my parents and they handle the cooking for me. Regardless, I’d still rather have a girlfriend who cooks for me.

No Sex
A lack of sex as a single man is a big issue for men. It’s true that being single means you can have as much sex as you want, but the sex will be emotionally inconsistent since it’s always with someone else. It’s annoying to me to continuously explore my partner to find out their sexual needs only to find out it’s the same old thing that the last one wanted. It’s equally annoying to find out in bed that my new partner and I have no sexual chemistry. That’s a strange and awkward moment that I want to avoid. I never know if I should just run out of the room or tough it out and try to make the situation better. Also, I found that women are boring when they can only offer sex. I want more than that. When you’re in a relationship, you have more chemistry to do things outside of sex.

Dreaded Questions
There’s always someone that asks, “when are you getting married?” Conversations with friends and family can be a daunting task, especially around holidays. Now I just tell them to “mind your business.” I may tell them that I’m not ready, but either way, those phrases usually end the conversation for me. When it doesn’t end and I find myself in an endless conversation about the advantages of marriage that I’m missing out on, then I give them different answers. If I don’t then they’ll start looking at me as if I’m gay or am plagued with mental, commitment, or trust issues. I started telling them that I couldn’t bring the women I dated around the family because it would be disrespectful. They know I have a way of telling the truth in a nasty or gory way, so they choose not to allow me to expand on that thought. That ends the conversation, but doesn’t end the repeat of the dreaded question the next time I see them.

Although being single has its perks, it also has its downfalls. My suggestion would be to focus on the good part of being single and find ways to combat loneliness. You could take a cooking class, find single hotspots around your city, or hire a private sexy nurse when you’re sick. Either way, you run the show and have the ability to let loneliness rule you or you rule it.

The Aaliyah Movie: Just Some Cold Garbage

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Aaliyah was a more than a great artist that was on top of the world. It seemed as though the whole world loved her, but unfortunately, she was killed in a plane crash in her prime. It has taken some years for her life to be written and portrayed as a movie. When it finally came time to reveal her long awaited movie, fans were disappointed.

When I finally watched the Aaliyah movie, “Aaliyah: Princess of R&B.” I thought it was great for maybe a website feature or an after school special. Oh, who am I kidding, it was bad for any medium to be honest.

“Executive producers Howard Braunstein and Debra Martin Chase, along with author Christopher Farley (whose book “Aaliyah: More Than a Woman” was the basis for the movie) explained that they aimed to create a very tasteful tribute to a star who “led an incredible life in 22 short years.”–Huffington Post.

I know and understand what it takes to make a movie, let alone a great movie. By watching this movie, I can tell that it was rushed and was poorly put together. The acting was nowhere near decent. The scene transitions needed a lot of work because the various time periods seemed merged together. It moved so fast I couldn’t tell if she was in high school or on tour. It also seemed as the time between her marriage to R. Kelly and her plane crash was only two weeks, but it wasn’t. If the movie was done correctly, it could have survived the bad acting. If the scene transitions were bad, the writing was even worse.

I wished that they would have just picked one area of her life and focused on that. Trying to shoot an entire life biopic was just too much for them. They could have chosen the time between her separation from R. Kelly and her second album or her home life when she wasn’t in the studio. However, the span of her twenty-two year life shown in two hours was extremely rushed. It glossed over important and interesting aspects of her life and only showed information that we as fans already knew from tabloids and newspapers. This “movie” would have been better served as a documentary instead.

My New Year

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It’s the start of a new year, at least it is for me. I’m glad another year has passed by, but instead of making some half-brained resolution that I’ll never really set my mind to accomplishing, I’ll just start my new year off doing something I love. My goal is to dive head first into all of my passions and everything else I enjoy doing.

This year I’m going to make sure I focus more on my craft. I’m also going to focus on the things that make me who I truly am. No more keeping up with illusionary friendships or working at a job that I have no passion for. No more working hard only to receive a minimal check. This is the year I’ll finally say, “I do whatever the hell I want.”

Being able to say that means I have true freedom. I mean, I have the freedom I want in the works now, but why should I compromise it to work a meaningless job? The only reason most people do so is because society says so or because someone’s expert said it and they have years of so-called evidence. Well I lived that life before and I don’t want to do it anymore. I was never really happy while doing it. If I’m truly the god I say I am, then I should be able to create my own reality. That’s what I’m going to do. I will no longer accept anything less of myself.

Do you need to start a new year for yourself? Have things been going the way you want them to go? If not, start a new year and tell yourself what’s going to be different. Let me know you’re starting a new year and what you plan on doing in the comments below!

 

Volunteering at Health Care Enrollment in with the Sacramento Urban League Young Professionals

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Serving your community is great way to give back and impact your local area. I’m always looking to help out when I can and volunteering is such a rewarding experience. This past March, I was able to volunteer to help families with insurance policies.

The event was hosted by Greater Sacramento Urban League and various health care providers. Their goal was to help families get enrolled in healthcare programs, they called it Get Covered Health Care event. I was there early to help setup the space with all that I needed for my task.

That day, it was my job to see which plan each family qualified for. I used a calculator that helped me to determine their eligibility based on information given to me by the family. I needed their social security numbers, their proof of address, a check stub or tax information, and their ID card. After I used the Covered California Calculator, I was able to let them know which plans were available to them. Based on the calculations, they were either eligible for the Medi-Cal or one of several plans with various price ranges.

The other plans were broken into four tiers; bronze, silver, gold and platinum. If they qualified for one of those types of plans, I would down write about two or three different plans for them and point them in the direction to obtain their official enrollment. This was a very short process. I even had information to explain to them and it still only took about five minutes.

Volunteering at the enrollment event was a very easy day. I only worked about four hours. The community of people that were looking for insurance were very friendly. The staff and the other volunteers were professional and pretty laid back. To me, that was perfect, it makes volunteering so much easier when everyone is enjoying their jobs and activities.

Top Five Lies Women Tell Me That Drive Me Crazy

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After reading a blog from Standard media about women lying to men, I started thinking about the lies women have told me. When a woman lies to me, I feel as though it’s my fault. Maybe I’m unapproachable or I made fun of her for something. Whatever it is, I must have made her feel like she couldn’t be honest with me. Lying is an attribute I really dislike because I try to make sure I’m as open and understanding as humanly possible towards a woman’s honest statements. However, even when I make the environment comfortable for honesty, women still find it necessary to lie to me. I guess women try to tell me what they think I want to hear or maybe they just can’t be honest with themselves. Regardless of the answer, here are my top five lies that drive me crazy!

Seriously, I’m Not Mad at You
This is a familiar saying for many men. However, she is still visibly angry, standoffish, or unwilling to talk. Then if I do the smallest things, she’ll snap at me. This makes me think things like, ‘Are you really that mad at me for turning the channels quickly? I don’t think so.’ Ladies just tell us what the problem is we so can solve it.

The Sex Was Amazing
Sometimes women will stay this because it’s very true, hence, not a problem. However, it’s when I KNOW the sex sucked and she still says it, I know it’s only to boost my ego. However, boosting my echo is just patronizing. Don’t do that. Just find a tactful way of telling me you didn’t like it.

It’s Not You Dear, It’s Me
This lie is really bad because it’s just a cop out. I can respect a woman who can be honest and say that she found another man. In fact, sometimes men already know she is seeing someone else because of how she acts. She leaves clues instead of just saying so. With me, women don’t need to protect my feelings like they do with other men. I can find someone else. If she can honestly say that she didn’t want to be with me, then I would want to move on too. I can’t respect a woman that straight up lies to protect herself when there’s no threat.

I’ll Be Ready in Two Minutes
This isn’t as bad of a lie to me as the ones above. It’s more of an annoyance that I can actually overlook, unless we are pressed for time. I mean, I’ve learned that two minutes really means two hours. However, it’s important to me that she is respectful of my time. That’s all I ask.

Honey, I Don’t Mind if You Look at Other Women
This is probably true, until I’m looking at another woman who’s hotter than her. All of a sudden, I’m viewed as an extremely horny man who can’t keep his manhood in his pants.  Then I’m being told that because I looked, I must be sleeping with every woman in Sacramento. I find this to be true with overly jealous women or insecure women. Now understand, I’m definitely going to look, but I’m going to be very respectful about how I do it. However, I’m going to look nonetheless. Just know, that if you give me “permission” to look, I don’t expect you to become some insecure and jealous woman. Go look at another man or something. I don’t trip off of stuff like that.

 

Which of these lies do you dislike? Women which of these lies do you use all the time? Please leave your comments below.

Am I Uncomfortable With The Conversation or Intimidated by The Woman

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As men and women play this game called love, each side has to go back to the drawing board and figure out what went wrong with their last date. They second guess themselves and then they somehow come up with the conclusion that it wasn’t them, it was all the other person’s fault. For example, magazines and movies have been telling women that the reason men have a hard time talking to them is because they are intimidated. I disagree and believe that women should give men who seem shy the benefit of the doubt and work with him if they want to find a good man.

In fact, this is exactly what I shared with a friend of mine the other day. As we talked, she mentioned that men were afraid to talk to her because they found her intimidating. Of course, I disagreed. I suggested that maybe he was a shy brother who didn’t know how to start or hold a conversation. This is true for me as well. I think it’s difficult to find things to talk about if I don’t know you. Especially when you’re at a bar and the only thing there is the counter-top and some television screens. How can I let a start a conversation or let it flow with that?

I also done the cliche conversation starter, you know, “Hello, how are you? Or “You look amazing.” However, that only results in short responses like, “I’m fine, thank you.” Now I’m back at the beginning again, thinking ‘what the hell do we talk about now? Maybe the commercials on the screen or her nice drink.’  None of that sounds very interesting, huh. Even if I do bring it up, I’m back to short, one word answers, like “it’s fine” or “it’s okay.” Then I end up fishing for more things to talk about. In doing so, I go off like a reporter and ask questions about her jobs, her kids, and her schooling. All the while, I’m getting the same one or two word answers. It isn’t very long, maybe minutes into the conversation that I realize this is boring me, so I stop bothering her. As I analyze the situation, I think maybe she has a man or maybe I wasn’t her type or maybe I cam at her wrong. In any case, it’s not worth my time.

With that being said, I don’t think that situation has anything to do with me being intimidated. If a man acted the same way as I did, he’s not intimidated. He is just someone who isn’t very well skilled in the art of communication. He’s someone who isn’t very confident in his approach to women because he fears the worst. If we’re calling that intimidation, I don’t think I’d even approach that type of woman. I think I would have never said a word to her because she looked out of my league.

I can also say for myself that I’m very spacy. I can daydream in a heartbeat. There have been times I’ve looked right at a woman and didn’t even realize she was checking me out. Why? Because I was daydreaming. Of course once I thought about hollering at her, she’d moved on. I could understand her misunderstanding. Hell, I would have done the same thing to be honest.

My suggestion to women who are approached by shy guys is to give them something to talk about. Maybe he’s really trying to respect you and that’s why he’s shy. If you give us a topic of conversation, we’ll know that’s something you want to discuss. That could make the conversation go much smoother. Also, if you’re not interested in a man, just say so. Trust me, if he’s anything like me, he’ll just walk away politely.

What Is Love To Me as a Black Man

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Many people dream of being in love with someone. They dream of what their life will be like when they’re dating, engaged and then finally married. Society has watched movies of women who were down and out all of a sudden find her prince charming. The world has seen men who were discarded in their teens as geeks only to find that he’s grown up into a strong, muscular and rich man with hundreds of girls falling over him. In real life I doubt any of that is true, at least not for me. For me love has been a tremendous let down.

It all started when I was in middle school. I would watch the kids fall in and out of silly romances one day and back into another the next the day. I saw how much drama it caused and although I had a couple of girls, I hated the drama so I let it all go. In high school, I wanted to be with someone, but because I didn’t want to deal with the controversies associated with dating, I just didn’t. I guess I was different from my peers and that difference made me feel like a misfit. I felt as if I was unfit for love. I also didn’t want to follow in my biological dad’s footsteps and get anyone pregnant. I found out it was an accident when he had my siblings and I. We came into his life before he was ready for kids.

To prevent all of that from happening to me, I distanced myself from people, especially women. I began to believe that love wasn’t for me and I eventually didn’t want any part of love. I stopped thinking about love, I distanced my heart from it too.

As I grew older, you would think my view on love has changed, but I’m not sure about that. To me, love is still something I don’t really think about often. Part of me still feels like I’m a reject or a misfit, someone who just doesn’t find love and is unfit for it. As an adult I can look back and find my cause for a lack of intimacy.  However, I still believe the concept of love would be the reason for drama to surface in my life. I believe it to be something that would turn me into the one thing I would hate to be. Although I’m conflicted with that statement, I lean on it as truth. Better yet, I know it’s true. Then again, I know that love is the very thing that would take me up to a level in manhood that I can’t reach when I’m single. Some of the best men I know in life, have better women by their sides.

Though those things are a desire of mine, I just don’t see how love in that sense could be applied to me. My experiences with love has proven me right. Yes, I’ve been in love before. I thought it was amazing while I was in it. Then, it felt like a spine ripping when she left me or when I had to leave her. My longest relationship was only three months. That’s not a long time at all which makes me feel like relationships in general are a waste of time. I can do without them and save myself money and heartache.

So what’s my outlook on love? I guess the real question is, “How do I change my philosophy on love,” because at this point, it could never truly happen until that changes.

Never Say Racist Jokes If You’re The Only Black Man In The Room

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I guess I should be used to being the in the minority. I should probably already know what to say and what not to say. I’ve been in this situation since I was a child. I still remember being in those classrooms surrounded by 25 white kids with only 2 or 3 kids from other ethnicities. Before I moved to Lodi, I grew up thinking that Whites were offended by racist jokes. My parents warned me not to say those types of jokes because I wouldn’t like it if they said that to me. I didn’t listen.

At school I was the only Black person in a mostly White class. I told comedic jokes about White people and they all chuckled. However, a white person told a racist joke about Black people and it really pissed me off, though everyone was laughing. Due to my offense, I told the appropriate titles, but they did nothing. There weren’t any disciplinary actions.  Instead they spoke to the classes and warned us about respect each other cultures. That was it.

When I got home, I told my parents. I thought I would get some sympathy, but even though they were offended by the other kids joke, they were more disappointed in me because I had used a similar racist joke. My parents made a valid point, “How can you be mad at them when you just did the same thing? This is what we were trying to tell you.”

The lesson I learned from this experience was no one is going to respect your culture, if you don’t respect their culture. That was one of my first “treat those the way you want to be treated” lessons. I stopped using using racist jokes, though that never stopped racist jokes from being directed towards me. More on that in another post.

Once I started respecting other cultures and educating myself about their cultures, I noticed I was able to show people how to respect my culture and I started getting more friends. Then I noticed something interesting—White people would be disappointed at other White people using the n-word or making fun of Blacks. Even to this day, I can only theorize that maybe their affection for me hurt them when I was hurt. Or maybe they were disappointed in their people when they tell those jokes for the same reasons my parents were disappointed at me.

Too Old For Children?

Women are known for watching their biological time clocks like a hawk, however men also think about their age in regards to having children. As I near the age of 36, my mind has been consumed with thoughts of if it’s too late for me to have children. It’s  a question only I can answer. As men and women get older there are health concerns and although I understand that, I don’t believe it will be an issue for me.

Even though my age makes me question if I’m too old for children it still doesn’t overwhelm or burden me with the fact that I may miss out on having my own children. If I miss out, then I miss out. I’m currently unsure if I can be a great role model to my children if I haven’t experienced a full life.

I came home only two years ago, but before that I kept to myself and never traveled. I usually wasn’t the type of party person who stayed out all night long nor did I spend time with great people. I also didn’t do the amount of volunteer work that I wanted to or help someone better themselves.

I like to help people but it feels like all I’ve done is spend my life pleasing others. There’s a good chance that I could get off probation in 2015. I want to live my life and get out of Sacramento. It’s not that I want to move away, Sacramento is my home no matter what, but I want to see other places in the world like Africa, Europe or the other half of the United States. I also want to see how far my writing will take me.

Living my life to the fullest also includes a path to further evolve my life. So far it’s just spiritual changes here and there, but having a child could stop my progress. I wonder if having a child would hinder my spiritual growth. I remember family members slowing down because of their children. I guess my number one question is, “Can I continue to strive when I have a child?”

I guess only time will tell. Having a child is something I shouldn’t worry about right now. I should keep growing and allow whatever happens to happen.

Have you had a child and it slowed down your achievements, spiritual growth or career? Let me know in the comment section.

 

Never Get Drunk At Company Parties

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4 Reasons to Never Get Drunk at Company Parties

Before going to prison, I remember drinking with coworkers after work at a restaurant called California Cafe. To be honest, it was pretty damn cool. It was a great way to unwind and blow off some steam. It also gave us a chance to get to know each other on a personal level. I think these little hangouts really improved our on the job chemistry.  I’ve done this with other jobs and luckily, I’ve been just as lucky to get the same type of chemistry. However, there times when I wasn’t always so lucky. Nowadays I wouldn’t do it.

The problem with drinking too much with your coworkers is that you will really get know them. That’s not always a good thing. For example, I can be direct and sarcastic when I’m not quiet and reserved. If you’re a person who is sensitive or even outspoken, then we have got a serious argument. If we are unable to resolve the situation quickly, it could carry over to work. I know this to be true because it happened to me. Here are my 4 reasons why I keep myself sober at company functions.

 

Flirting Gone Wrong
At a company party I decided to flirt with one of my coworkers. I told her how much I really liked the way she dressed. I wasn’t drunk, but I did have two drinks by then. I felt very relaxed and comfortable. She had expressed mutual feelings and we flirted even more. However, like most men, I slipped up and said something offensive. Only God knows what it was, but it completely turned her off. For the next two months, I felt like she viewed me as the creepy guy from the club that never got the hint. Even having a conversation about working in the restaurant was weird. I guess she felt like anything I said would lead me to trying to sleep with her. Once she figured out that I wasn’t, she became a cool friend.

 

They Can’t Handle The Real You
Getting to know coworkers can be a tricky skill to learn. I have had a falling out with coworkers due some of the jokes I’ve told or because of a misunderstanding. Some of these jokes I tell to my personal friends as well, but because they were my coworkers, they couldn’t handle that type of humor.

 

True Feelings Explode
Other mishaps I’ve seen include a drunken employee cussing out other employees or managers about various job related displeasures. The employee was so drunk that they were even vomiting! Days later the employer had fired the employee.

 

Exposed Secrets
Getting too comfortable with coworkers can allow us to reveal information that should be kept secret. I remember one employee told me and another coworker, “That’s why I’m always late. I tell Dave that I’m stuck in traffic, but really I’m with my boyfriend.” Little did she know, one of the manager’s little snitches was ear hustling. She was fired for being late days later.

 

With these situations in mind, I’ve learned, even though I’ve had great experiences with drinking with coworkers at parties, it’s best I stay professional. I try to talk to them as if I’m at work with them. At work, I say just enough to make myself look human with some personality, but never enough to get too personal.  At the same time, I don’t bring my friends from my personal life around those in my professional life. We may not be drunk, but my friends may bust me out or roast me and tell some secrets I really don’t want people to know. Also, I don’t tell my professional coworkers where to find my personal business. This is why I stopped adding coworkers on Facebook and Twitter (even though I’m very easy to find online.) I just like to keep my personal life private and my work life professional. The best way of doing that is to keep myself sober and keep everything else separate.