Uncle Thom’s Elevator (Unintentional Racism Files)

Welp, today’s story involves a character I’ve written something about, and we will write about more in the future: The Other Black Employee (TOBE for short, pronounced “tob-ee”). TOBE is usually our worst enemy and our best friend. If TOBE is of the opposite gender, then the office will inevitably always try to set you up as a couple. If TOBE is of the same gender, then you will inevitably be confused for each other and be in a constant state of kinship and rivalry at once.

My TOBE is a special type. He’s probably whiter than Tiger Woods. You know he’s the type to learn Navajo to better get in touch with his 1/32 Native American ancestry. He brings hummus to community lunches. His name is Thomas, but in a way that shows me God has a sense of humor, he goes by “Thom” after his favorite musician, Thom Yorke.  This is an artist’s rendition of what Thom looks like:

We don’t really talk much. There isn’t much competition or friendship between us, and we have about as much in common as I do with my office-mate, who is a white woman. We don’t dress alike, as he wears cardigan sweatervests and such (eww). So this is why I was SHOCKED when this happened to me on the elevator: AND HERE COMES THE UNINTENTIONAL RACISM

I got on the elevator in the bottom floor with a woman I’d never met. She looks at me in the face, and says “Oh you’re early today, THOM, no more sleeping in?” I was devastated. It was like having your Armani suit being mistaken for a Target suit. I thought we were as different as night and day, but apparently there still isn’t distinction enough. I feel like if she knew Thom enough to know when he comes to work, she should know that I clearly am NOT Thom. Add that to the fact that Thom is apparently a loafer and I (usually) get to work around 7:50 every morning, and I’m really hurt. I officially hate my TOBE. Clearly there ain’t room enough on the third floor for the two of us. Think I’ll organize a Kwanzaa party for him or make his background on his computer an image from or something to get him in trouble. Idk, but this is war. Stay tuned.

One Response to “Uncle Thom’s Elevator (Unintentional Racism Files)”
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  1. […] not photoshopping me, Milton and Tobe (The Other Black Employee) into that.  I feel like we’d get a lot less […]

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