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PRODUCTIONS

Farren Jackson

Farren Jackson is a creative person who enjoys helping others and making a difference. She received her degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2012. Since then, she has worked in Human Services and Customer Service. With her knowledge and creativity, Farren hopes to find fun, practical ways to help other live a healthy and happy lifestyle.

Check out Farren, EVERY 2nd Wednesday of the month.

Wednesday, November 10, 2016

How to Survive Corporate World 

The idea of working in a corporate job sounds so endearing and exciting until you are actually eating, living, and breathing in it damn near 24/7. Yea, working in a high rise or upscale office building is real cute until you realize its sugar on sh**. None of the b.s. you are actually dealing with on a daily basis is worth the complimentary Starbucks you receive. Because I’ve only worked in this business as a temporary worker, my outlook maybe be slightly different. (I’m sure being paid more will help you stomach your daily serving of b.s.). If you’re interested in climbing that corporate ladder, consider my guide to surviving the corporate world.

 

1. You need to be able to follow the rule as it is the basis of making it. Your hard work alone will not keep you at the job. Laughing at lame, sometimes offensive jokes and smiling until your cheeks hurt is key. Don’t ever be yourself! Unless you’re truly a fake a** individual, then being yourself is fine.

 

2. If you understand the basis, you know you have to be nice all times at all costs. In the professional corporate world, nice guys finish last so you have to appear nice but be ruthless! Get real Nasty with it by trapping and stabbing your co-workers in the back. If you plan on rising up the ladder rather briskly, you need to be able to use the backs of your counterparts. How? Take credit for their work. Lie and complain on them. Give them a hard time by issuing back handed compliments. This is a major key alert!

  1. Flush any Personal Dreams or Goals Down the Toilet!

 

3. Forget about them! If your aspirations don’t involve your company, consider them a distant memory. Remember, your loyalty lies with the company. Once your managers see that you have nothing else going for yourself, they’re going to promote you, eventually.

 

 

4. Be Neutral. Do not have an opinion. Going with the flow is key. You mustn’t kick up any dirt or step on management’s toes! They don’t care if you’ve been able to streamline a tedious task from 1 hour to 5 minutes. You’re a yes man. Never Forget!

5. Feed the sorry bastards. I promise if you bring donuts once a week or continue to have snacks, the office will love you for it! You can be nice/nasty for all eternity and no one will ever cross you. Why? Because you got the keys! The keys to their grumbling stomachs!

 

Now take heed to this map of success and punch through those glass ceilings like a boss! Because you’re a boss or going to be the boss! Well, you’ll never be THE boss because you’ll always have a boss but you get it.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Tales From My Awkward Dating Life

I’m a private person, especially when it comes to my dating life but some of my experiences are quite interesting. Have you ever met someone and did something spontaneous with a stranger? I have, let me tell you about it. This is something I wrote back in March after a random encounter.

How far would you go to get a number? A movie scene just enacted with me as the main character.  I met a guy while riding solo dolo on a Friday evening. Let me set the scene for you, I’m walking towards the mall, headed to see Dead Pool when this guy flagged me down. (Mind you I had already peeped him out while still looking for a parking spot.) I stopped and chatted with him a little and he asked me where I was going. My response, the movies. Coincidentally, (or not) 😒   he said he was going too! I thought he was joking until he followed me there and bought our tickets. (Now usually I would have curved and cussed out someone who did this but he seemed really cool and was kinda cute!) We sat together and enjoyed the movie and as we were sitting there I just couldn't help to think how crazy it was for me to at the movies with a total stranger! On one hand, I was a little nervous that he could be a psycho killer but on the other, it was a bit of a rush for me. I had never been this spontaneous in my life!

Once the movie ended, we went out for food and drinks. We had our food and drinks and just talked. It was casual conversation about things you would normally talk about when you first meet someone but it was enjoyable.  Afterwards, he asked where to next. ( In my head I'm thinking, "Oh, I thought this was it".  I said, “I don’t know” and he said, “Follow me”. (At this point, I'm thinking, I've already had dinner and a movie with this guy so why the hell not? Plus, I was still feeling a rush of excitement from the spontaneity of the night.) I attempted to follow but got lost in traffic!! 😔  I was like legit upset because after all of that I didn't even get the guy's number! WtF!? I searched for potential bae for a good minute when I found his car (my stalking ass) back at the mall! The mall is kinda big so I didn't know if there was a chance of finding him. I called up my sister and friend to tell them what happened. They told me to try to find him. I walked in to see if I saw him but did not. <sad exhausted face emoji> Not wanting to give up on potential bae, I decided to leave a note with my phone number on it. I found some paper in my car, tore it off, and left it underneath windshield wiper of his car. 

Now was that a scene from a 90’s movie or nah?!  😤  I hope he calls.

 

Epilogue

After leaving the note on his car and writing about my situation in my phone, I went home. Guess who called me on my ride home?! Potential Bae! I was too excited!! In the long run, he ended up being basic AF but the way we met was real cute, something out of the pages of a book. I'm not really sure if fairytales and romance coincide in reality but that brief adventure we went on was dope and probably the best moment out of the whole relationship. That adventure ended pretty quickly but I'm still on my adventure leading up to "The One". Stay tune for part 2.

September 14, 2016 

The Working World

I’ve noticed that jobs are not interested in teaching you s**t these days.

 

They want you to come pre-packaged and ready to go. You need to be experienced! They want you to have 3 to 5 years of experience but who’s gonna give you that break? I gotta get the experience from somewhere. Anybody interested in being the first company to give me the chance to gain experience?? Anybody?? *Inserts crickets here* Ok, sooo let me get this straight, I need 3 to 5 years of experience but no one is willing to help me get started?? Oh ok, well then what am I supposed to do?

*Applies for every job under the sun*  Rejection, after rejection, after rejection, but I can do this position! I’m a fast learner! Damn! Nobody wants to hire me? *You finally get a call back* Oh hi, you’re a call center? You’ll take anybody? High turnover? The pay is mediocre? No room for advancement? Sure, I’ll take it! When can I start???

{Day1 of call center} Oh hey! How are you? Yes, I really love it here and thank you for asking. The people are great. The phones aren’t too bad and the days go by so fast!

{Day 811 of call center} I hate this fu**ing job! I need better pay and job advancement. I get tired of wishing my days away because I hate where I work and I hate the management! What’s that? I need to watch my tone when talking to the customers? I got a complaint?

{Applies for other jobs} Rejection, rejection, rejection..{You finally get a call} Oh hi! You work for a call center? You pay how much? That’s a dollar more than what I was getting paid at the other place! I’ll take it! 

{Day 1} Thank you for calling blab la bla. How may I help you? Yes! I love it here….

 

This is just a snap shot of the hamster wheel of life that many people deal with, especially recent grads. You go to school for 4 years only to get doors slammed in your face because you lack experience. Unfortunately, no one is willing to give you that experience. However, there is one industry that is willing to hire you and that’s the call center industry. If you’ve ever worked in one, you will meet people from all sorts of backgrounds. A business filled with people with degrees who were turned down because they lack experience in their field of choice. You end up gaining all of this experience in call center customer service so that another call center can hire you once you get fed up at your current one. So now you’re in a continuous cycle fighting to get out. What do you do? Keep pushing.

August 10, 2016 

Black Power Professional

Culture representation in the workplace. Is it possible, allowed, or even considered professional? This is something I've pondered with and had issues with in the past. I wear what I want to wear and I do the same at work (within the guidelines of what is allowed). Outside of work, I represent my culture because I am proud so naturally, I want to do the same at work. My hair is natural so I rock afro/kinky 24/7. If it's not my own hair, its a protective style. I like to wear tribal and African print such as dashikis. Sadly, not everyone considers that as professional but why?

When It comes to getting a job or being professional in the workplace, we as black people sometime have to be conscious of our hair and what we have on. What if they don't hire me because I have dreads? Should I wear my afro to the interview? If I wore this shirt, would it offend?  It is a shame that we sometimes have to check our self-love at the door before entering some facilities. Right now, there's a high school, Butler High, that's is making news for basically trying to band all natural hairstyles that we black people wear. I read another story where a job prohibited workers from wearing cultural head wraps so one lady wore costumes out of protest.

Even the military tried to band certain styles like twists and dreads.Which leads me to this question, why is our culture deemed unprofessional?  I remember when I wore my hair big and curly to a mock interview my senior year in college and my professor wrote a comment on paper stating that my hair was unprofessional. I was so pissed and really contemplated reporting her but I didn't (still think I should have) . Who is to say my hair is unprofessional compared to someone who has bone straight hair? I really don't get it. Why is it so important that we assimilate into "American" or white culture? We're talking about something that grows naturally out of our scalp not being accepted in all settings. Insanity! 

This topic came about when I noticed that I put off wearing certain things to work. I decided to wear a Kinte cloth printed wrap skirt (from Negasi Fashions) but I delayed wearing it for 3 days before I actually got up the nerve to wear it. I finally had to ask myself, why?  What is stopping me from wearing this? I came to the conclusion that it was a mixture of irrelevant things. I was worried about the looks I would get, comments, and what people may think. I finally decided to say F**k what my peers think. I will wear what I want to wear. So I wore the skirt and nothing happened (shocker). There was one lame joke where somebody decide to sing the Lion King intro but who cares. So you know what I'm going to do, represent my culture more often. Hell, I wear my ankh damn near every day. 

 

This blog is to invoke thought and start a conversation. I wanna hear from you! Are you self-conscious about representing in the workplace or is that something you would rather do outside of work? Is that something you do at all? Do you think it is unprofessional to wear cultural clothing in the workplace? Is assimilation the issue?

JULY 13, 2016 

Summertime  FINE

Let's get straight into it. What is your definition of summertime fine? My view on the phrase use to be what many others are; slim, trim, toned, coke bottle shape etc. Every year everyone has their own goals for summer and their own personal reasons for those goals. I wanted to look good and feel even better while the whole world agreed. There is nothing wrong at all with wanting to look in the mirror and feel good about yourself. The problem that comes into play is when you worry too much about what others think and let that negatively effect how you feel about yourself. Another issue is dogging or trashing yourself for how you currently look, holding those positive thoughts about yourself hostage until you reach that goal. In this blog I want to discuss body image, weight goals, and whether they should define your happiness or not. 

Body image, we all know the type of bodies the media portrays as "good" or "hot". Those are your slimmer body types and those are the goals that a lot of us have for ourselves especially when the weather gets hotter. Bottom line, we should not let other's thoughts on our own body image mess with us and cause us to think negatively about ourselves. Thank God for all of the bloggers and media that promote body positivity. Seeing that it's okay to love yourself and seeing women of all sizes slay has really helped me to think of myself in a better light. In the past, i use to find myself basically picking myself apart. I use focus on the parts that i did not like. I found myself looking forward to the summer of the following year versus the current summer or season because that would be the summer or season that "I get it together".

I look back at that and realize how unhealthy that type of thinking was for me. Not to mention, looking so far in the future and without enjoying the present is basically wishing and wasting the days away. I finally had this "aha" moment during the Spring of this year where I  thought to myself, "I like me, and I feel that I look good so Eff what anyone has to say about it". What helped me out was a combination of things. As stated earlier, finding positive bloggers like Garner Style, Gabifresh, and Nadia Aboulhosn. Also my appearance, getting the outside to match how I felt or moving towards how I was starting to feel internally. I did that by dressing how I wanted which i pretty much did already but the major difference was I did it without worrying about other's opinions or stares. Since then, I feel more free and positive about my body image and I have decided to always love my current image. 

Weight goals, lets talk about it. Stop putting off feeling good about yourself until you hit that goal!!! I feel like weight goals directly affect how you feel about yourself. I can speak for myself when I say that I have spent endless summers saying, "well maybe next year"."Well maybe next year I'll feel good about myself and be able to wear what I want." Don't get me wrong, I still went to the beach and still basically wore what I want but I never hit that goal I reallly wanted to hit. I was not as happy with myself as I should have been. If you focus too much on that, you will find yourself not living in the moment or loving yourself in the moment because you're too caught up with how you will look in the future. Going forward, my focus will be solely on my health and not my weight.

Let's NOT allow your body image goal or weight goal determine your happiness because if you focus to much on it, it will. This blog is not to make excuses for people or condemn people who want to be healthy and set goals for themselves. All I am trying to say is that its OK to love your current self and still work towards bettering yourself. Loving your current self will make life a lot easier. You will be happier and probably attain those goals quicker than you thought because there's less pressure. You can be summertime fine at any age or stage. Do not let your weight, goals, or other people's opinions define how you feel about yourself at the present. It's muy importante that you have the ability to feel good about yourself because if you don't, you will find yourself missing out on life.

 

Let me know what you think and what "summertime fine" means to you. Also, feel free to drop a pic of you looking summertime fine if you're feeling yourself.

JUNE 7, 2016 

I Hate My Job

Have you ever truly dreaded going into work day after day? Contemplated quitting every single f**cking day! That’s me. Why? It is a compilation of reasons. It is the getting up and working for someone else who looks at you as a number, a filled seat, a warm body, etc. It is the uncertainty of if that day is your last day of work because you’re a temporary worker. It’s the dealing with a lot of bullsh*t for a low amount of cash. It’s being micro-managed on a daily.

The constant peeping over your shoulder to see what you’re doing. I could go on…

                I often times get mad at myself for hating my job because it makes me seem ungrateful but I am grateful. I am just really ready for better. Who goes to school for four plus years and says, hmmm I think I shall work at a dead end job the rest of my days.

                I want my own career and business where I can set my own schedule. If only I had the map, game plan, or magic ticket to get me out of working at the rabbit hole leading to nowhere called a call center. Until I get that, NOTHING will be good enough.

                This was something I wrote a few months ago when I was at a job I really hated. The work environment was made to be really stressful when it did not have to be. You would have thought we worked for Mission Control or some ish but nah just a small call center. Thank God I am not in that same negative head space and have a better way of thinking. Instead of wallowing in self-pity, you have to make the necessary changes to get where you want to be. The next step for me, is taking the next step by progressing and not sitting still in a negative situation. I have to keep it moving and continue to progress. I won’t spoil it now but tune in to see what happened next in that dead in.