Ask Willie D: My Boss Drove Me to Antidepressants. Help!
[Editor's note:Rap pioneer and Geto Boys member Willie D answers reader questions for our sister paper, Houston Press. Something on your mind? Ask Willie D!]
BOSS LADY IS A BULLY
Photo courtesy of Peter Beste
Dear Willie D:
I am a single mother with a small child, clocking 50 hours a week at an auto-parts warehouse to pay the bills, and provide for my baby. It is an understatement to say, I work hard for the money. My problem is what to do about my disrespectful, pushy supervisor? Anytime I have an issue with something concerning my job her favorite saying is, "find a way or find a job."
If she doesn't like what I'm wearing, it's not uncommon for her to say, "That's ugly" or "That's not for you." She is very rude and uncouth. You would think with both of us being single working mothers, she would have some sort of compassion and camaraderie. I have started looking for a new job but in the meantime I have began taking antidepressants just to deal with her mess. Do you have any suggestions on what I can do until I find a new employer to avoid a nervous breakdown?
First of all, on behalf of every child raised by a single working mother, including myself, thank you for your contribution. I have a few suggestions on how to handle your bullying boss. Every time she does or says something improper, document it. If your employer has a Human Resources Department or ethics group, contact them and make a formal complaint. If it's a smaller company, go to your supervisor's boss and keep going to the top until the issue is addressed.
Either way, be prepared to move on. Companies don't like employees who shake up the natural order of things. But don't let that discourage you. Always fight back. Nothing discourages a bully more. Get off the anti-depressants. They are more trouble than they're worth. You cannot drink or dope away your problems. They pass with clever solutions and time.
MY EX, MY WIFE, OUR KIDS, AND FINANCES
Dear Willie D:
I have two sets of children: The first three are via my ex from a turbulent 10-year relationship; the last two are with my current wife. When the ex and I split, the kids went with her back to her home state. They left driving my only car. Seeing as she never held a steady job throughout the course of our relationship, I committed as much as I could to ensure their stability.
I'm now being demonized because I'm not in the same financial place I was as a newly single male, so the money I have to send is dwindling as I deal with my own income trials. I've always kept the courts out of my affairs, but I don't know what to do, as I'm tired of being told, "Well, you knew your responsibilities. You shouldn't have had any more kids!" What do I do?
Paying child support is like making records; you're only as good as your last hit. Give them 100 classics in a row and the first time you miss the mark you're a bum. Babies are expensive business. If you want to keep the courts out of this, the best thing to do is to humble yourself and have a candid conversation with your ex about your finances. Just like with the IRS, you may have to show her your financial records and work out a payment plan.
Personally, I think putting everything on record in a court of law is the best way to protect yourself. That way she can't come back and say you didn't pay. But know that the courts don't care that you have a new life, a wife and two more babies to take care of. Your ex damn sure don't care. All she considers is what you're doing for her kids. Contrarily, your wife probably feels the same way about your obligations to the children you share with her.
I feel for you man. You seem like a good dude, but this is one of those situations where you made your bed, lied in it, had sex, conceived babies and now you have to pay for them; even if the money is gone.