Oakland / Fremont/ Hayward / Fremont / Newark

I’m in Oakland, at HipHopforChange’s office. $15 an hour

“The bank we use they’re invested in private prisons,” my co-worker says.

We’re sharing stories on how people have donated.

I remember one day, our food options for breakfast were healthy only.

There was no junk food, and people looked tired…

We’re going over stop-lines.

When it’s my turn to practice speaking, I did well, because I believe in these things with passion, and people can sort of feel that, but it also took a lot of practice too.

Why can’t I just be real, why I gotta read scripts???

My co-worker who’s training me coaches me on stop lines.

“That works,” says a random woman, sitting at a table, drinking her coffee.

Good things can happen with teamwork, being a good listener, and taking action.

1st day canvassing, my co-worker who’s training me shows up late.

I’m canvassing for HipHopforChange.

Most people won’t stop for you, after buying their groceries.

“Our culture is way too fast,” a white girl tells me.

At 7–11, I’m taking a lunch break with my co-workers.

The food isn’t healthy. Of course, I don’t eat.

My co-worker, Alyce buys her food, and we sit in the grass, under some trees.

“You can write some poems!”

We chat about what our passions are, she eats her food and decides to take a nap with the rest of her time. She wants to do presentations about domestic violence, and educate people.

Her alarm goes off.

Back to work.

Before the day ends, I go over the numbers with Evan, another co-worker, about how much money I brought in.

He tells me his day is not over, and he still has to go to the bank and deposit the money.

I really don’t like this…

Looking at all this, like it’s a game of numbers, so binary…

I’m just happy my day is over.

It’s like past 5 pm…

Yeah, I can’t deal with this commute either.

This traffic sucks.

“You can keep your shirt... :’(”

I end up thrifting it.

I call this chapter, Women’s empowerment CD. (Oakland)

I went blonde. I feel my confidence is ‘extra’ now.

Go blonde, get the job. I did that! Ezy.

I wore my own clothes too, they gonna accept me for me.

I don’t think they’ll care what I wear. They’ll gonna like my energy.

This one decision netted me 14k.

I worked 4 months at Whole Foods and was terminated in March 2020.

I dedicated 8 hours of my day to wash all of Whole Food's dishes, that’s crazy.

$15.50 per hour.

It took me 4 months, on accommodated schedule to make 5k.

I think I was working 30 hours a week, for those 4 months.

My body was aching; my legs were sore, and some days it was hard to walk.

I pushed myself to work.

#StayHome.

Calendar: Think three weeks ahead, and keep track of time.

I call this chapter, Bones. (Fremont)

In Office Depot, taking my photo for my ID.

Somewhere in Pleasanton… The store looks dead, like a zombie apocalypse. The truth is we’re in a pandemic. It could just be a dead paper store too…

I’m washing my hands, and this triggers a memory of being back in the dishroom, washing my hands; feeling alone working, missing the team camaraderie, and wondering what co-workers would say to me if I returned.

So now, I’m doing the census.

I’m having a panic attack because I couldn’t get to the option of the app for the language barrier, so there I was holding the phone, and looking for the option for 2 minutes. I got the door slammed on me! That sucked…

As I’m resigning, my supervisor tells me, “I’m sorry this wasn’t a good experience for you.”

I started doing cases on a Sunday, an unofficial day; when it really started on Monday. I started a day early, but when I called the office they said, I’m good to start. So there was a lot of disorganization in my experience, working for the government.

40 hours. It took me one week, to make $800. $25 per hour.

I call this chapter, 5G. (Hayward)

I learned I don’t enjoy being alone, being in the field, and asking people to fill stuff out.

I got a soft spot in my heart for Amazon.

They gave a person with a disability a chance to work.

If you’re ordering 40 items or more, you ballin’.

Eric, my previous manager, spoke business casual on the phone with the customer well.

He was helping me with a pick-up order. He got a promotion! Good guy.

It took me a year, working the minimum amount of hours a month, to make $2k, working part-time, as a grocery shopper.

Now, Indeed is hitting my line…

Talking about Nordstrom is interested in.

I apply. I get hired. Give ’em my accommodation letter.

Nordstrom sends me to special projects…

The employee relations advisor gives me two options, transfer or resign.

I go through the process of a company saying I eliminate essential job functions.

I get complimented on my professionalism, communication, and that Nordstrom is glad to keep me in a different role.

I went from being paid $17.55 an hour to $18.75 an hour; 20 hours a week, $600 bi-weekly. / 1 month

Bottom line: profits

“You’re replaceable… in every room, you go in, you gotta see who the big boss is,” said Ross, my formerly incarcerated co-worker.

In 1 month, sayonara. I call this chapter, 5:25 AM (Newark).

Like Drake said, “We’ll see what’s ‘bout to happen next.”

Blond
Dishwasher
Fashion
Savings
Special Projects
Prime shopper