Skip to main content

But you can call me Watermelondrea! - Just Being Funny

Roberto lingered at my desk like a bee desperate for honey. I was the cute receptionist. He was the newly hired IT guy. It was his first day. He was a total Chatty Chad. Was this flirting? Was it first day jitters? I can never tell. Whatever it was, I needed it to end because I had important scumbag temp employee things to do. 

On the list: admire my hair and cute outfit in the bathroom’s full-body mirror. Drink two unnecessary cups of FREE hot chocolate. (Disregard that it’s “too warm” because we were deep into spring. Never pass up on free chocolate!). Most importantly, complete one of hopefully four rounds of squats before the morning mail delivery. Squatting better be life if your policy is never to pass on free chocolate.

A pleasant smile. Ample head nodding. Agreeing murmurs when applicable. My life goals weren’t pressing. Reminder: she who has friends must show herself to be friendly. Be kind; everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. Eh, dude was recently unemployed. Why should I – a lowly temp – snub him just because I was jonesing for chocolate?

Finally, the longest moment of small talk seemed to be rounding off. Of course, I couldn’t be sure because he’d faked me out twice before. “Anyways, I won't keep you” actually means I'll keep flapping my lips for five more minutes. Being “kept” wasn’t totally unbearable. It’s nice to be seen and asked non-rhetorical questions. “How are you?” rarely requires an authentic reply. 

“What’s your name again?”

Pointing to my name tag, I replied, “Onicia.”

“Cool. What do your friends call you?”

Be assertive. “Onicia.”

"So you don't have a nickname? What about Ni-ni?"

What in the corporate frick frack? This was a common #BlackWomenAtWork moment. Roberto blindsided me because. I thought he, a black man, would know better. Where was the understanding and solidarity? It was only his first day on the job and it’s like he completely forgot the stress us with ethnic names feel when deciding to be ourselves or in corporate environments. 

Most triggering was his audacity to conjure a hideous alternative to Onicia. Ni-ni? Gah! Did I have a big nose and over-bleached teeth and hair? Swerve.

“Like Nene Leaks? No. Onicia is easy it sounds like Alicia.” I punctuated my assertion with a curt smile and leveled chin. Hint: please miss me with that.

Insensitivity reigned. Roberto doubled down. “You don’t like Ni-ni? Ah, we'll figure it out.”
As he turned away, I thought, the Flintstones we won’t. Rob-rob, (can I call you that?) my name is Onicia and that's how you'll address me! Not no O, no Oni, and fo’sho not no Ni-ni. I rebuke you equus caballus demons. 

Dead astronaut. He tried to change my name. Shout out to all the Black Women at work who go by their birth names. May the spirit of Watermelondrea Jones be with us as we navigate the seas of corporate cubicles.


What would you do? Tweet me using #JBFxOnicia


Created on St. Maarten. Based in Chicago. Onicia Muller (@OniciaMuller) writes, says funny things, and enjoys hanging with creative minds. Originally published in The Daily Herald's Weekender, Just Being Funny is a weekly reflection where Onicia laughs at life


Want more funny? Subscribe. Buy me ice cream. Share.

Popular posts from this blog

Creative Growth - Onicia Update - May 2018

When I started this newsletter in January 2016, I used it to hold myself accountable. How can I call myself a writer if my words are never published? How do I call myself a performer if I never stand on a stage? How do I prove that I get ish done (am a successful project manager) if I don't produce receipts? Most importantly, how do I stay motivated if I never revisit past accomplishments?
May marks one year of consistently publishing my Onicia Updates (thanks, LT in the City). This month's letter features more published writings, cool creatives I fangirl for, and a few throwback portfolio items.
I'm not where I want to be, but I'm also not where I used to be.
That's all I gotta say today. Got something I should see or someone I should collaborate with? Email me or shout at me on Twitter. Upcoming Events Here where you might find me socializing and performing.
Feminist Prom - Rebellious Magazine May 19 at The Living Room The Skewer - Cafe Mustache June 6 Louder Than …

Writing all da Words - Onicia Updates - July 2018

Holy hotdog it is hot in Chicago -- like Caribbean hot! This is the summer of adulting; I'm using a coaster and choosing water over soda. Well, I'm not really a sugary drink person, but I try to get at least one when I go to parties. 
Last month, I reunited with my friend Alicia Music in DC to attend IGNITE Caribbean's 30 Under 30 award ceremony. Virginia is so beautiful. I love the hills and greenery. Between enjoying Five Guys, ice cream, and cherry danishes, I managed to squeeze in a salad or three. Told y'all this was the summer of adulting. It's been about 10 (maybe 15) years since I'd been to America's capital. Funny enough, I choose to pajamas that I'd purchased during me previous DC trip. Yuh gyal still got it!
Lately, I've been freaking out about how much I need/want to do before summer ends. I write thoughts I want to meditate on my whiteboard. Andrew Peterson inspired the quote "be kind to yourself." When it feels like I'm …

True Stories and Faithful Friends - Onicia Updates - August 2018

Aight, so what have I been up to? Oh you know, just the usual: slapping words together and creating dope art with cool people. Last month we filmed my episode of Pre-Existing. I'm so thankful that Lissette was there to direct. Lissette works well under pressure and she's was so amazing and reading my mood and redirecting my energy. Bruh, with friends like these.
I also said goodbye to a dear Chicago friend. This month's ENTIRE Fangirlin' section is dedicated the talented Ms. Candice Lola <3


Shout out my fabulous collaborators: David Audino (executive producer/cinematographer), Lissette Hall (producer/director/cheerleader), Sandy Lee (actor), Sonal Aggarwal (actor), Greg Callozzo (actor), Kyle Hendrix (production assistant), Ashley Connell (on-set producer), and Nick Torres (production assitant/cheerleader).
That's all I gotta say today. Got something I should see or someone I should collaborate with? Email me or shout at me on Twitter. Upcoming EventsThe Kates …