Salaams dear readers,
It’s been a while hasn’t it? I have been through a lot. Some of it I will share with you all, other stuff I wont.
Lets catch up on the job search thing.. I got a job in September of 2016 – one that at first blush seemed awesome however it quickly turned into a nightmare. I have worked for many employers however I had never before experienced an hostile and toxic work environment.
There was a lot of talk at this non-profit about supporting diversity, being inclusive and all that jazz. However, the reality on the ground was something completely ignored by those in decision-making positions and questioning it led to the firing of everyone who did so.
To ask –
Why is everyone on the leadership team except for one person is white??
Why are all the staff people doing direct service PoC’s?
Why do we treat our clients of color differently than those who are not? specifically being willing to overlook infractions and/or be more flexible with them?
Why is there such a pay scale difference between those doing the direct service and those who are not?
These are the important and necessary questions to ask about any organization who serves communities of color.
There was also a clique that formed between the director, office manager and head of clinical services – if they didn’t like you – your days were numbered.
I can often be a ridged thinker however I know and understand that a job description does not always reflect the true nature of the work one may do. I went and sought direction from my manager and was told do X, Y and Z.. I did that and was punished for it.
I worked hard to keep that job knowing that I needed it to get my family on our feet and on our way out of poverty. We live in one of the most expensive geographical areas in the USA.
I got a horrible review from my manager, I came up with a work plan, followed it to letter with her approval stating it would “correct my shortcomings,” such as being an “unsafe person for youth,” and “a hard worker but not a youth magnet,” and yet there was nothing I could do to keep that job except get an employment lawyer, however, I didn’t have the money to do that. So it never happened.
Losing that job put I and my family close to being on the streets. My husband until that time refused to get a second job only happy to work his part-time hours at UPS which didn’t bring in enough money to even pay our rent.
So I had to have a come to Allah conversation with him that unless he got a job we were on the street when my last paycheck and our income tax return money ran out.
Yet again, it was I filling out job applications on his behalf. He eventually did get a second job – full time while I stayed home cared for our daughter and looked for work for myself.
I personally felt emotionally and mentally battered from that job and actually was praying about not going back into the workforce and instead of going back to school full time perhaps to get an A.A. in Graphic Design or Criminal Justice.
I had come to the conclusion that America’s racism and Islamophobia is so high and pervasive that it was probably pointless to keep looking for a job even in the Bay Area.
I even considered for a short while packing up my bags and moving back to Morocco or perhaps another Muslim majority country since I felt so unwanted in the workforce and the country.
Then I girded my loins and reentered the fray so to speak looking for another job outside of direct service instead in the administration field as an Office Manager.
I eventually landed a job about five months ago with a small non-profit as an Office Manager. InshaAllah I don’t experience what I experienced at my last place of employment and I am happy to transition out of direct service into a more administrative role.
“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”
― Theodore Roosevelt