Why Does My Briefcase Matter?

WHY DOES MY BRIEFCASE MATTER?: A Question of Class.

So. Here’s something regarding the subject of discrimination, prejudice or judgement that you won’t see every day. 

Why do some people regard me differently when I carry a briefcase (aka: my laptop in a laptop case) to work and back? 

You might be wondering why I am bringing this up? Well because there’s been so much in the news about different types of discrimination or prejudice and how one person allegedly views another for various, and sometimes odd, reasons.

I wear blue jeans and tennis shoes to work everyday. I usually just wear a colored pullover shirt…like a t-shirt, and often wear logo t-shirts on Fridays.

For the particular position I have now, I do not dress up. I do not wear slacks. I do not wear dresses or skirts. I do not wear dress shoes. And I very rarely wear makeup – mostly because in the summer my building is too damn hot to cake that shit up on my face.

Despite that I dress this way, people seemingly treat me differently when I carry a laptop. For instance, on the days that I carry a laptop/briefcase, some people waiting for, or in the elevator, wearing dresses and suits who also carry briefcases, or laptop cases, and other such bags used to carry paperwork and files, look at me and smile or make small talk. Especially men! On the days that I don’t carry said case, and might just carry my bag with my lunch in it or other personal items, they ignore me. Now why is that?

I’ll tell you why that is. It’s called class division or separation. And when they ignore me, it’s quiet discrimination. For some reason, humans eye each other trying to glean information about one another. Said info is often incorrect. We view each other in particular ways. We focus on something, something that we believe defines a person and we run with it. On the days I have a briefcase or laptop case, I am important. I’m as important as the lawyers on the upper floors. Or the people who work on that floor where that very important person’s office is located – despite the fact that we all work for that main important guy. Then on the days I don’t carry a case, the same type of people don’t regard me at all, and don’t want to. Why does my laptop, or the carrying case, define me?

It’s some kind of trigger, you see. To see someone carry this type case, such as a laptop case, briefcase, or a document bag says to some people that you are well educated, employed, well paid, and that you are of a higher class than people that don’t carry these types of things. And if you have to carry these things while in a suit, you’re even higher class than the others who don’t wear suits.

I find a problem with this since I know many people that go to work everyday empty handed, wearing blue jeans, holey t-shirts and flip-flops, and they get paid double…even triple…what I do. And I know plenty of people who run off to work everyday with a case, such as a briefcase, and get paid less than I do and they have to buy their suits at places where clothes are so costly that I wouldn’t buy a pair of socks there. Oh, the vanity. We must keep up appearances.

I’m a writer. A self-published author. And I’m broke. My briefcase, or laptop case means nothing when it comes to my class status. Yes, I have a higher education. Yes, I have an okay paying public-service job. But I am really nobody outside of what I author. And my briefcase will never make me somebody.

I know that perhaps this is an odd thing for me to notice. And maybe an even stranger thing for me to blog about. But it’s bothered me for some time, so much that I felt I had to talk about it. 

Briefcase, laptop case, document case: An old-time class divider seen through new eyes.

Thanks for reading.

Really? A Mexican?

I can’t even think of a good title for this blog.

I get so tired of human ignorance.

So my WordPress blog for the day is about ill-mannered, ill-educated people.

In my book-in-progress, Angel Maker, Dorian Storm, the main hero, is a black male. I have my reasons for this. Anyone familiar with Robertson County, Texas, may know why. Maybe not. Regardless, this does not seem to be a problem for people. At least, the subject has not been broached with me.

Now Dorian’s wife’s name is Keesha. I did not name her that, she came up with that name, and it’s spelling, all by herself. Good writers…real writers, know how this works. Low and behold, I was told that I cannot name a black woman Keesha. Why, you ask? Because I’d be stereotyping. Wait… Have you ever spun around or skidded on a patch of ice just before you fell on your butt? That was me. Mental arms flailing like a mad woman. I felt like I was going to slide right off the edge of Mount Some-High-Snowy-Place. Okay, maybe I should name her Maureen, or Alma?

What was that I was looking at when I researched the name Kiesha/Keisha and found that it is European? If you dig deeply, you will find the roots of this now common American name, which is popular among both black and white females, but predominately among black girls, stems from, among other European countries, Germany and France. NOT AFRICA! I just want to get that out of the way. And the origins are so old, that the name was predominant among Caucasians ONLY for eons. End of story. Now who’s stereotyping?

This is what I mean about ignorance. Now if Keesha was a white character, and I had named her this, spelling it Keisha, Kiesha, or Keesha, or any derivative, I would have a horde of imbeciles coming down on me with, “She’s white. You can’ name her Keesha no matter what spelling you use. *Yawn*

Now, from Chicago Down, the heroine is Salbatora “Sal” Guerrera. WHAT?

Oh, she’s a Mexican? No, loser, she’s a Chicagoan. Or, wait…Am I missing something? Is the book not titled, at least at this point, CHICAGO Down?

Besides, what if she was born in Mexico? What? There aren’t any heroic Mexican women? There is not one who can defend her life and that of her family and friends against terrorists, low life politicians, and zombies? Ger the f*ck out of here!

Oh wait. Yes. I’m just stupid. Yep, unworldly, ill educated me. How dare I make the lead in my book a woman, and one that might be a non USA-born person at that. Sal is USA born. But what if I change my damned mind? Maybe she is Mexican born. Hell, maybe she’d not even legally in the USA? So what. That doesn’t mean she can’t kill zombies! What if she were still in Mexico, and there were zombies there? What? She’d have to wait for an American-born Mexican woman to come and kill the zombies?…Or the stupid, evil politician?

How can people be so silly that they can be prejudice against non-Caucasian female fictional characters as a heroine?

Listen! Get out of town with that old-school garbage. And you – I’m talking to the one that actually pissed me off, but I’ll include anyone crazy, Salbatora is staying. So you go.

Thanks for reading!