15 April 2007

Sneakin' Jesus...


Something has been bothering me for about three days now, and sometimes when I write stuff down, it becomes clearer to me - so, here goes.
My office has a new manager. Where I work, we call office managers - Unit Chiefs. Our new Unit Chief is known by all of us and honestly, there is some concern that she may not be the easiest person to work for. I think we all have our doubts about her management style but some of us are willing to give her the benefit of the doubt and see where she takes us. I for one, am just going to do my job like always, keep her aware of whats going on on my desk and let the chips fall where they may.
My Unit Chief left the office in the middle of this past week to go on personal travel. At about 10 o'clock on the very next day after she left, our Program Manager - a young woman in her mid-twenties came to my office and knocked on my door. When I told her to come in, she was holding a bottle of extra virgin olive cooking oil and halfway grinning. "Are you participating in the anointing?" My answer was a well thought out, "Huh?"
It turns out that she had brought in extra-virgin olive oil to conduct an anointing of my Unit Chief's office and she was rounding up the Black people in the office to participate. BTW - My Unit Chief is White. {This will probably be my ONLY racial reference here, because I don't 100% think race was really a major issue here - but I want to paint the picture as clear as possible.}
I told her I didn't understand why she was anointing the UC's office. I asked, "Are you saying she's 'evil' or something?" She said with a guilty childish giggle, "No, it's just that a lot of important decisions have to be made from that office and I..." she shrugged her shoulders and smirked. When I looked out of my office towards the UC's office I noticed two more of my co-workers standing there talking and chuckling and waiting for this 'anointing.' I asked were they are part of this too and they said, "I guess." I asked the Program Manager, "Why do this when the UC is out? Why not ask her if she wants her office anointed?" She shrugged her shoulders and said it was no big deal. I told her that I wasn't going to be a part of this because I don't "play with Jesus..." I closed my door and went back to working.
She came to my door two more times that afternoon trying to justify what she wanted to do, but I just told her that I didn't like the joking tone and the sneaky feel of her actions.
The next day, two of my co-workers asked me was I still mad about the anointing, and I am the last person in the world to mince my words so I told them that I was not "mad" per se, but I was bothered by the sneaky way it was done. Our UC is Catholic and while I'm NOT Catholic, I understand that they strongly worship The Virgin Mary where Christians strongly worship Jesus Christ. I don't think it was right to anoint with oil and pray in a woman's workspace in Jesus's name when you DID NOT ask her if she wanted it and then you choose to do it the morning AFTER she leaves on travel. I felt that was very underhanded and I felt that it was disrespectful. Then I come to find out that some other people associated with my office, but in another 'unit' did the exact same thing to their Unit Chief's office when he was on travel [same racial and religious lines - BTW].
This is my whole opinion on this. I'm a Christian. But, I'm not a Gangland Christian.
"Gangland Christian" is my personal term for Christians that carry their religion like a 'gang' member carries his gang affiliation. If you aren't down with their 'gang' then you are the enemy. If you aren't a Baptist, or a Holiness, or an Episcopal or an African Methodist or a whatever - then you ain't NOTHING! I work with SOME people that have a bible on their desk, a psalm on their screensaver, angels on their calendars and a gospel station playing on their radio and they will curse you out and stab you in the back in a heartbeat. I work with some people that have the mindset that "MY GOD IS BETTER THAN YOUR GOD, BECAUSE AT MY CHURCH WE DO THIS AND YOU ALL DON'T! AND I'M A BETTER CHRISTIAN THAN YOU!!!"
I basically told my interested co-workers that I didn't feel that Jesus had to be sneaked into any environment. If these people truly wanted to ask for the Lord's blessings toward my Unit Chief, then I think they should have had the heart to walk up to her and tell her what they wanted to do. If she was against it, then they should have respected her wishes - but this whole "sneaking" and [half] joking approach seemed so fake and so childish.
One person tried to explain her participation in this "anointing" by saying, "Well, sometimes the devil can work through people, and we just wanted to make sure that the devil wouldn't be able to work through her or her office..."
I knew then, that it was time to walk away.
Before leaving, I told her that while our UC might become a micro-manager and a few other bad things - I was doubtful that satan was really excited about taking over our office. Now, I must be honest - I don't know what the devil's list of priorities are, but I don't think my UC is evil or on the devil's "must do" list. Some of the people I work with have to check their egos and skewed religious interpretations and except the fact that in a world of heartless leaders, bloodthirsty warlords, and brutal criminals that rape and murder and terrorize, the true EVIL IN MAN is present - but it's most likely NOT in the form of an office manager that won't approve your over-time.

27 comments:

Gunfighter said...

Wow, dude... I don't even know where to start, other than to say that I am proud of you for not participating in that foolishness.

If your co-workers were really interested in blessing the workplace of the new boss, they should have started by asking her if they could bless the office, AND her.

Wow.

CreoleInDC said...

Um...WHATINTHEHELL?

You're kidding me right? RIGHT?

These are GROWN AZZ PEOPLE ACTING LIKE THIS? Wow. Just...wow.

This is probably how things like separation between church and state had to come about because of, as you rightly put it, GANGLAND Christians. Geez.

I'm floored.

Are you going to say anything to the UC? Your co-workers that participated in this are an embarrassment.

Anali said...

Wow! I don't even know where to begin. That is some office you are working in.

Golden Silence said...

Those people sound like a bunch of idiots. Good for you to take the high ground and not get involved.

The Thinking Black Man said...

Hey GUNFIGHTER! WHat's up My Bloggin' Brother?

Thanks man.

I just figure that if you have truly good intentions to do something like this - then be up front about it, like you said.

I don't know if I can really put into words how disappointed I am in some of these people that I have worked with for years. It's crazy.

Hello My Sista' CREOLEINDC! How are you handling our windy windy Washington DC this week?

I'm not going to mention this foolishness to the UC. I'm just gonna' leave it alone.

To me, I'm just going to file it under "S" for STUPID SNEAKY SH*T.

: )

Hmmm, now that I think about it. There might be some olive oil smeered on my door since I didn't join in the reindeer games!

Hello there, ANALI. How are you?

This little thing has really let some wind out of my sails. I just keep asking, "Why be so sneaky and underhanded?" This isn't some kinda' game!

Hi GOLDEN SILENCE.

Thanks for your thoughts on this! I appreciate what all four of you have said, because I was halfway wondering if MY Head was screwed on right.

It means a lot that four of my favorite bloggers have assured me that I'm not bonkers!

mark said...

" "MY GOD IS BETTER THAN YOUR GOD, BECAUSE AT MY CHURCH WE DO THIS AND YOU ALL DON'T! AND I'M A BETTER CHRISTIAN THAN YOU!!!" "

mark bey: Yo TMB good post, this along with the hypocrisy of most religions is why I grow to dislike religion more and more everyday.

The bottom line is this, all religion have this retarded clause in them that says if your not baptis,Catholic, Jehova witness ect you are going to hell. When any religion say that (and all of them do) you are basically saying that all folks who arent catholic, baptist ect are not human biengs.

Once you say to people because your not a catholic your not a human bieng well by default you are saying that you can treat that person in ways that you would not be treated. After all your going to hell.

The hypocrisy and non sense you blogged about in this article is what ran me out of the church along time ago.

Oh, and Im still waiting for someone to explain to me why the black church is going around pushing fairytales about aids bieng a curse against gay people 15 years after magic johnson had a press conference and stated clearly that he got it from heterosexual behavior.

P.S TBM I hope life is treating you well my brotha. Good Post.

DJ Black Adam said...

Yet again another example of Christians acting anything by CHRIST like in the actions.

Funny how people like to work on everyone else BUT themselves, which is where our Chirstain walk SHOULD start.

Scary

onefromphilly said...

What in tarnations is wrong with these people?? If they were so believe that the Devil can take control and run his wicked ways up and thru the place, and their OLIVE OIL could change that, then why didn't they take their happy azzes over to the White House and annoint THAT, and get us the hell out of Iraq!?

Dang, I'm a rouge Catholic and even I didn't understand the Olive oil blessing.... Jeez

B. Good said...

"Funny how people like to work on everyone else BUT themselves, which is where our Chirstain walk SHOULD start."

DJBA - Please get out of my brain cells! LOL, again, you took the words right out of my fingers.

It really irks me when folks are too busy correcting and saving OTHERS, when they need to make sure that they are living their lives in accordance to The Word themselves.

And to (half) joke about an annointing concerns me greatly. I wouldn't want any part in it either. The fact that she felt the need to "explain" further lets me know that she (knows she) had no business doing it in the first place.

Young Miss Williams said...

Sounds like you got a good few interesting characters where you work... but don't we all! Despite the religious undertones I don't think it's got anything to do with that, it's just a bunch of people acting childishly for a laugh... because in my opinion, if they were seriously serious (and how could they be?!) then they would approach the woman about it, nah?

Well done for standing your ground and not joining in with the foolishness, sometimes it's hard not to get caught up in it all.

x mwah x

Cocojungle said...

First time visiting your blog-great article and the one before. I agree with you,I'm Christian and I feel that I'm caught in a world where if I don't join in some "Christian crusade" poeple are doing they perceive you as not being Christian. Christianity is not about being "held hostage" to prove your beliefs(which is sadly what the world seems to be about these days) but about your relationship with God and acting and treating other poeple just and right.

Looking forward to visiting your blog more often

chele said...

That kind of gave me the creeps. Why were they giggling and shrugging their shoulders? I totally agree with you about "playing with Jesus". Your co-workers are ignorant and I'm glad you have what it takes to tell them so.

BTW, your comment on my blog went to spam for some reason. I just got it today. Thanks for stopping by.

tjeanise said...

Anointing the office??! I have truly heard it all.

Anonymous said...

I read the blog entry and found it interesting. However, there was one point that stuck out to me more than others. "Our UC is Catholic and while I'm NOT Catholic, I understand that they strongly worship The Virgin Mary where Christians strongly worship Jesus Christ." I just wanted to clarify that Catholics DO NOT worship the Virgin Mary. Catholics worship Jesus. I will not try to go into explicit details and such on this comment because you and all those who read your blog are obviously intelligent and capable of researching for yourselves. I am not saying your boss isn't evil because she is Catholic, but anointing her office in the name of Jesus would not have been as offensive as they were trying to be because the woman believes in and worships Jesus. I mean, Mary may be more important to Catholics (as all saints and those who have died before us) than to other Christian denominations, but what would be her importance if she had not birth Our Saviour. Thus it is the Saviour that we worship, and show respect to those who assisted in bringing Him into our world, being with Him while He was here, and continuing his service in His name.

I'm getting lost in my message, but I just wanted to clear that bit up.

I must say that you work with a bunch of borderline nutty people. And how interesting is it that we Christians are so quick to pass judgment when are actions do not reflect our faith.

Tasha said...

I'm disappointed in their show of "Chrisitanity". If they wanted to pray for her, then do so in their own time and in their own space. Acting like that solves and proves nothing, and shows that they are in need of prayer themselves.

I've still got miles to go in my own walk with God, but in my heart of hearts, I know that all the holiness calendars and psalm screensavers in the world won't get you far with Him if your heart isn't right.

Liz said...

I've seen a bunch of crazy things at my job but I've never heard of something like that. Olive Oil? Next time they want you to do one of these anointing ceremonies, remind them that mere rituals don't aid and assist people, prayers do...and tell them you've heard that a whole lot of work places now have hidden cameras to protect from corporate espionage, so they better watch out.

Heavenly Zeta said...

Sometimes I think I've heard it all...and then I hear something that reminds me there's always something more crazy out there. First of all, I'm glad you didn't take part in that foolishness, TTBM, because it was in effect FOOLISH. I don't know what industry you work in, but if they were so concerned about the "important decisions" that would be made by this woman, why not organize a prayer group for those who wished? Why not commit themselves to pray daily for her and her continued good health, so that she would be in the best state of mind/health to make sound decisions? But "anointing her office with oil" is one of the most backwards, ridiculous things I've ever heard of, besides being sneaky.

The Thinking Black Man said...

Hey MARK, how are things going?

It's funny how something that in its very essence should pull all of mankind together, is often used to push us apart and keep us seperated. It's crazy.

What's up DJ BLACK ADAM?

As I read these comments I can't help but think about the fact that some of the people I know that have done some of the most low-down stuff, are the people that run around telling everyone how "Christain" they are.

While some of the people that have done the most decent stuff, don't wear their religion on their shoulders, they let their love of the Lord come out in their actions.

Thanks for the comment Brother!

Hello ONEFROMPHILLY!

Well, in defense of my wacky co-workers... I think Dick Cheney... uh... um... uh... I mean SATAN would probably strike them down before they could get within a 1000 yards of the White House.

: )

Hi B GOOD.

Yeah, the whole thing just felt too jokey for me. I wouldn't have bothered with it even if they sounded more serious - but, I think they knew it was foolish.

Hello there YOUNG MISS WILLIAMS, how are you doing?

It's funny - you couldn't write this kind of stuff in a novel and call it fiction! There's not a publisher in the world that would believe it could sell! : )

Thanks for the props!

Welcom COCOJUNGLE! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and thanks for the extremely kind words!

I agree 100%. I think that "trying to prove your Christianity" is what leads some of these people to the OVER THE TOP displays in their lives... their workspaces, cars and homes.

It's almost like they figure, "This is all I have to do to be a spiritual person. So uh, now I can go out and treat THOSE HEATHENS like the demons they are!"

Crazy.

Hey CHELE

Thanks so much for your comment! I'm just glad to know from all of you that I'm not crazy.

Hi there TJEANISE!

Yeeeeeah... I may have heard it all too.

Its been a little while now, but our PM is still walking a little quicker past my office. Maybe she thinks I'm a heathen and she doesn't want to breathe any of my heathen air. Hmmm. Sounds silly, right? I suppose it does.

Thank you for that comment!

Thanks ANONYMOUS for your comment - I appreciate that!

Yeah, I knew that Catholics worshipped Jesus, I guess I should have said that better. But I didn't know if they would do certain things in the name of The Virgin Mary as opposed to the folks in my office.

I'm just still stunned by the whole thing, and you're right - how quick some folks are to judge.

Thanks again!

TASHA! What's up Sis'?

I'm with you. Saying paryers on your own is fine. In fact it's a very decent thing to do. But ANNOINTING? AN OFFICE? Honestly, I thought annointings were for living people, not places and spaces. But maybe, I'm just wrong here.

Thanks for leaving that comment!
Take care!

Hi LIZ!

I thought I had seen it all, too - over the years. But there is never a dull moment sometimes.

I find it sad and funny that some of the folks that were ANNOINTING her office, where the same ones that will be dogging her out behind her back. This whole thing has really shown me a side of some people that I didn't know was there.

Thank you for that comment.

Hello there HEAVENLY ZETA!

How are you doing?

Thanks for that comment.

I agree. The way things go at me job, we in my office are just as important to my UC as the UC is to us. All of our success, professionally, depends on us all performing our best and working to make each other shine. I agree that annointing an "office" is like sacrificing our Canon copier to the Office Machines God!

If they want her to success, there are far better and more respectful ways to do this.

Take care.

jameil1922 said...

i call it the Christian Coalition. you do not have to beat and bedragle people with your Christianity and imply or flat out tell people they are inferior due to your 1st hand relationship with God. and then are the most lacking in compassion. drives me insane.

The Diary of Tickledpink said...

I think I would have got some of my grunger friends or Marlyin manson fans to "annoint" their desk if that ever happened to me. Thats why im not into religion because peeps get too rude trying to impose themselves "Trust me, you'll thank me later" mentality, only I never seem to thank them!

I am however a believer that objects attract energy for ex: if a lot of abuse happenens in a house it often doesnt feel right to new buyers ect so I would take it personally if someone messed with my stuff especially behind my back.

I know you say its probably nothing to do with race but I think it probably has. If it were the other way around we would probablt examine that fact, a BP would annoint another BP office if they showed some signs of being loony but this sounds a bit weird.

PS: I think this is the last time for another two years that I will use the word annoint as it sends me squirming for some reason :?

Angela L. Braden said...

Ummm... Interesting...

Well, let me preface this by saying that I am a Christian that lives in Texas. (smile)

After reading your post about your co-workers, I was so annoyed by their actions. I understand why they may have felt motivated to pray for the new supervisor, but their means was simply silly. Anointing her door with blessed oil was a bit much. Why couldn't all of them agree to just pray for the lady. And I don't mean pray for her in a little prayer circle at work. Pray for her in your own personal prayer time.

I had to deal with a lot of crap when I was working at a school district here in Houston. I would pray all the time at work. But no one but God knew it. And frankly, He was the only one that needed to know.

I am a diehard believer. But with that being said, I believe that church and state should be separated. I believe that their should be no organized prayer at school. Prayer is personal and should be done with respect for others.

You mentioned that blessed oil was to bless people and not places and things... Well, I don't know... When we moved into our new home, I prayed in every room in the house with the blessed oil, asking God to anoint and protect our house.

I'll have to search through my Bible and see if I can find a scripture that talks about this very thing in particular.

Nina said...

It's sad that people will use the name of God to justify their actions, whatever those actions may be.

(I found you through Anali and I'll definately return!)

Anonymous said...

You wrote, in part:


"Gangland Christian" is my personal term for Christian's that carry their religion like a 'gang' member carries his gang affiliation.


and


Some of the people I work with have to check their ego's and skewed religious interpretations . . .


In both of these instances, you've incorrectly placed the apostrophe in the words Christians and egos. Both of these words are plural nouns in the context you wrote them here (as in more than one Christian and the ego of more than one person). Placing an apostrophe before the letter 's' makes them both possessive nouns (as in, belonging to Christians and belonging to egos).

As for the content of your post, I agree wholeheartedly with your sentiments, and I'm glad you stood your ground in not being party to their actions.

I work in a small office of 7 people, wherein I am the only Black male, and there's a Black woman at the desk next to mine, she's the only other Black person there. She professes up and down about the Lord, about Jesus Christ, about the Holy Spirit, and she even had the nerve to take me to task when I didn't have my Bible with me on a business trip, ok? But let her get angry about something in the office, and you'll never heard so much cursing in your whole life. She had a problem with me speaking Spanish to a co-worker, saying she could legitimately file a union greivance against me because she "felt uncomfortable". I challenged her that the use of profanity is also prohibited, and that I could also file, if I were that petty, that is. She acknowledged that she uses profanity from time tio time, and mysteriously, the issue died right there.


Signed,
ANOTHER Thinking Black Man

(sorry, I had to log on as Anonymous because this is my first time here and I have not as yet joined the blog)

The Thinking Black Man said...

Hello JAMEIL1922

Thanks for your comment. I'm with you. This whole thing has just left my jaw hanging open.

What's up Lil'Sis TICKLED PINK?

Thanks for droppin' a line for my post! I appreciate it as always! And I'm with you, if I never type the word ANNOINT again, I'll be just fine.

Hello, ANGELA L. BRADEN WELCOME TO MY BLOG - and thanks for leaving a comment.

I'm in complete agreement. I'm all for praying for someone, and I think its a fine and special thing to do for someone and their success. But this annointing deal had me stopping by a Christian bookstore to pick up a study guide, because I was starting to think that maybe my head was on sideways.

Please stop by again!

Hi there NINA! Thanks for stopping by. It is an absolute shame what people do to each other "in the name of God". I used to have this boss who treated most of us like crap because she felt that her presumed "godliness" (holiness?) made her bulletproof and perfect - so, when she dogged us, it was no big deal, because she felt that otherwise, she was right with God and heavenlybound no-matter-what.

BTW, I love Anali's blog. I always leave her blog with a big smile, and a crazy appetite!

Hello, ANONYMOUS!

Welcome to my blog, and thanks for your comment.

Uh, I have to say that you are the first commentor to feel the need to correct my grammar. I know how to write, and I know how to use apostrophes and all that, I think I just didn't proof read what I wrote, it happens. So, I'm gonna dust off my little ego, make the corrections you pointed out, and say thanks.

But, I'm with you. I've seen the holier than thou, get loose with the seven deadly words also. It's funny how what many of these people claim to be their strength and their rock seems to be the first thing they abandon when something doesn't go their way.

By the way, you uh, spelled 'hear' with a 'd' at the end. See that make it a past tense word, instead of a present tense word. But who am I to correct someone.

(HA HA HA! Look man, I had to go their. Um... they're? No, no... THERE! Yeah, I had to go THERE.)

All jokes aside - Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. I truly appreciate it. Make sure you come back once your blog is set up.

Peace, Brother.

Mizrepresent said...

Another excellent post...nothing more to say...but you did the right thing!

finny315 said...

Great post, TBM!

Just a note: Catholics ARE Christians.

Anonymous said...

Catholics DO NOT worship Mary. We're Christians too. Just a news flash for you.