The Side Eye~An Office Survival Guide
Alright, so yesterday I was working hard in my office when two coworkers walk by, talking about something or the other. My headphones were in. I didn’t care. One came up to me and tapped me on the shoulder. This already annoyed me, as I was working on a very important, time sensitive, project. He and the other fellow had walked all the day down the hall to ask me this: “Hey is it Puff Diddy or is it Daddy now?” I responded with a noncommittal, passive “I don’t know,” but secretly I was using a sinister and deadly technique rooted deeply in the spirit of African-American passive aggressiveness:
The “side eye” is the ultimate tool of clandestine rage against The Man. When used wisely, it can provide you a small sense of satisfaction in the face of slights, ridiculous questions, stereotypes, and unintentional racism. In special cases, it can provide a visible sign to those around you that you are angry without notifying the actual offender. If you are lucky, then it can become a photographic treasure. Even the most famous black people in the country use the side eye as an effective weapon.
In my experience and via my extensive research (google search for 10 minutes), I have come to the conclusion that the side eye is almost an exclusively Black phenomenon. This is the only image I could find involving a non-black side eye.
I find that musicians are exceptional at using the side eye, especially when put in the company of inferior musicians to whom they are compared:
And of course, there is the classic “Black woman/white woman” side eye (The Michelle Obama side eye is a subcategory):
Aaaand the ever-present “Black Woman/Black Man side eye”:
But nothing beats the child side eye. The high prevalence of child side eyes in my (google) research leads me to believe that the side eye is genetic and inherent to African-Americans:
Use it wisely in your passive-aggressive fight against office racism. And when you are feeling weak, always remember this, the greatest side eye of them all:
If that baby can do it, so can you. May the side eye be with you.