“Did he really just ask me about my hair today?”

The other day I’m sitting at work on my computer and instead of work, I’m on Twitter. Most of my coworkers are cool and while we can occasionally hang out and get into some trouble, they know we have boundaries. This one guy on my team does not know what that means and he proceeds to ask me, “Hey what’s your Twitter account?” I paused for a moment. I thought to myself, how would I explain this to him? There was absolutely no chance of him getting my Twitter account name. I looked him straight and the eye and I said, “My friends and I don’t have Twitter so we created a group account to go online and read the timeline from time to time. I can’t remember the name, it’s very discreet.” My boss was standing there and he knew that made absolutely no sense, but he also knows, we have boundaries. Today’s post is about those awkward moments and questions at work. It’s in those moments that Black people are reminded, being Black in America is like a constant state of paranoia. Check out the list.

1. When your coworker asks if you’re going to answer your phone, and since you don’t know the number you ignore it. (Secretly, you know that it’s Verizon Wireless or Sallie Mae calling from that unknown number.)

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2. When they ask you if you’ll play on the company basketball team, but never on the golf team.

3. When someone asks if you want chicken for lunch, and you really do want chicken for lunch.

4. When you’re asked to speak on an issue or topic for your entire race in the morning status meeting.

5. When you forget to silence your ringer, your phone goes off in that same meeting, and you realize that you’ve had Jeezy’s “Supafreak” as a ringtone for way too long.

6. When a family member calls you and asks you for money.

7. When your coworkers think that a good time to you is being in an establishment where they sell alcohol with all white people and you’re the only Black person.

8. When your coworkers think you’re attending the company retreat in the middle of the woods with all white people and you’re the only Black person.

9. When they assume you’re the atlas of the bad neighborhoods in the city. “Hey my friend is having a party at E. 99th street, is that the ghetto?”

10. When you’re at happy hour and the drinks cost, “on the house.99” and you’re discreetly trying to order Henny.