Hustle (less) hard

I know it’s basically the opposite of what we preach these days.

We are firm believers in the gospel of ‘while they sleep i grind’ to the point that we almost shame people who dare to rest (unless that rest involves a yacht and cha
mCJBOhX_UcAAC3_zpagne and can fit into the rubric of ‘work hard play hard’). In a very Tina Turner-esque turn of events we like things more, even the nice things, if they’re hard.

honestly, I get it.

Our lives are different from the generations before, the boom time is over, recession has been a part of our reality, and capitalism marches on.


For black folk and people of colour who have had everything including their work ethic colonised, we are busy pushing back against the notion that we are naturally lazy and dunce.


So of course we hustle to prove them wrong (I’ve always wondered why we’re so comfortable defining our lives by external terms and giving our entire existence over to disproving some myth that was used to shackle us,  but that’s another post).

The point of this post is that your body will pay for it. And at this juncture despite your best efforts your body might be the only thing that can belong to you (though they sure have tried to take the autonomy with unethical experiments and surgery  inserting birth control that could never come out, and denying us reproductive rights while supporting rape in almost every way possible). Your body (for now) can’t be repossessed and you can’t be deported from it. They can’t give you notice and tell you to vacate in 30 days.

Sleep deprivation and overwork will literally kill you.

Acute stress is the leading cause of sudden death, especially in young healthy people with no evidence of coronary disease. But it can fell people at any age. (see here for more).

What will also kill you is the other things that accompany the hustle hard lifestyle: caffeine and energy drink dependency, poor eating habits, not getting ant exercise, high levels of stress etc.

Lifestyle diseases such as obesity, hypertension, liver diseases, arthritis and high cholesterol – caused by dependency on fast food, eating as a means of escapism and coping, not sleeping, and binge drinking are now the leading cause of death – in particular among young people. The Caribbean is reported as having the highest rates of lifestyle diseases according to one study and puts a burden – yes on the government – but moreso on us who a dead earlier or live in illness more than before. This while medical technology has improved significantly.

So the issue isn’t medicine people, it’s us. Overwork is glorified and …sometimes me nuh even sure it rewarded. Me know nuff people weh a overwork demself fi years and nuh have nuttn but heart problem and poor eye sight and strained relationships wid dem partner and pickney fi show fi it.

But what can you do right? A just so the system set.

Well yes, and no. The system will be the system, you don’t have to buy into it. But it will take some work and maybe some change in aspirations.

I have a few things I think might help.

  1. Stop glorifying busy and overwork. Stop acting like always being at work is some kind of achievement.  Work is supposed to pay for your life, not eat the whole thing raw.
  2. Decide how many things you need. Yes, step away from the life they’ve sold you as ideal and think about what you need and want. Yes, I know its hard, especially since we judge our success through what we own. So maybe 2a) change how you judge success. Everything you own or want to own is a certain number of hours of work that you’ll have
    to put in.  Now go ahead and add in the hours you’ll have  to work to maintain them and you have a pretty good idea of what your life will look like. Prune, prioritise and remember life is not work.
  3. Stop equating stress with success and productivity. There are quite a few successful people who live stress free. Also stop telling yourself ‘ when I get to the top of the ladder I’ll take a break’…suppose you never get there…suppose trying to get there in the way you’ve been trying actually kills you? Success is a lot of things but it’s not stress. And the absence of stress is not laziness, it’s just called healthy living.
  4. And this is a reach – over throw capitalism. Because the capitalist system can only function if some people live in or die from poverty and if some people do far more work than they’re paid for. I think we can agree most people do that now.
  5. Since number 4 is unlikely to happen I suggest prioritising your health and learning skills to manage stress. Because honestly what’s the point of working like that if you’re less likely to be alive to enjoy it.

I recognise that for people who don’t have much financial support these can be especially difficult choices to make because this change of mindset can come with consequences. For people without financial and social buffers the consequences could mean devastation. Also, overwork may be necessary to overcome absolute poverty. It is up to people who do have financial advantages to intervene in this overwork culture and create some kind of change so people who are trying to make it don’t have to die doing it.


Take care of yourself, no matter what. If you can only afford 5 minutes to stop and eep breathe take the. To the people who don’t have to work that way to survive: stop buying into and propping up a culture that is actively hurting people, including yourself.


singular wanga gut- the ultimate betrayal

look here nuh, me used to see the meme dem and laugh after dem but me never realise how it real…

is there any betrayal that cuts more deeply than when he smaddy who claim fi deh wid you nyam and leff you out?

everything gone inna doubt after that

yes you love me…when you belly FULL

will you love me when you hungry

matter of fact

will you love me when you peckish?

me  cuddn believe it, come inna the bathroom as cool as you please wid di cheese trix crumbs a circle him mouth like lion fish inna harbour  – well proud a tell me bout him likkle snack.

like me did fi happy fi him.

like me did fi celebrate say him nah starve.

inna that moment if me see him a road a dead fi thirst me wuddn even piss inna him MOUT

so deep was the wound if you cut me you wuddn find BLOOD

JESUS wept and died and rose again for this charlatan to come moggle pon me wid cheese trix crumbs…the salty part a the bottom too…the nice part weh you all tun over the bag fi lick out.


me hurt,  me devastated, me nuh know if we can make it back again.

#Tessanne come fi dig up inna we feelings wid her new single #EverythingRemindsMeOfYou

#TheVoice fever may have subsided somewhat but #Tessanne fevah a bun hotter dan ever.
Chinita Goodaz debuted the first single from her new album #EverythingRemindsMeOfYou on the Voice tonight and needless to say plan fi send people right inna dem feelings
she say she cyaan talk to di man modda, fada, sister or brodder cus every single one a dem look di same
big farrin and dese tings Tessi a talk enuh
Big up YEW Tessanne
and when yu buss di small one drop

also….nuff love to 13th Street Promotions for bussing us on di link

PS it nah embed but see di link YASO

on using got ’til it’s gone carefully

while the sentiment ‘you don’t know what you got til its gone’ is true and helpful for people who are trying to heal, it should be used with care. sometimes we fixate on the idea that people don’t know what they got til its gone and fail to recognize that 1) some people never make the kind of connection with themselves necessary to have that realization and 2) regardless of how valuable you are some people will not recognize it despite their loss, also 3) no matter who you are there will be some people who find you to be a bad experience. this last one is hard to accept but in much the same way that the person you’re having a bad experience with may not seem bad to others or may be different in the future, some person may be having that same experience with you. it can be hard to swallow, especially when you’ve given your best and especially if someone hurt you. you’re sure they’re a bad person. and some people are. some, however, are just bad to you or for you. allowing for the fact that they may not be completely bad people doesn’t negate the pain they cause. and regardless of how pain is caused people will always have to pay for the harm they cause, especially if it is deliberate, especially if they harm a person who has tried to do the best by them. the universe does not allow that kind of imbalance to persist. but fair is fair (even if you’re too hurt to be fair right now) you could also be that person to them. so use it, use the sentiment to get you over the rough patch, but don’t hold on to it. do not hinge your healing on some mythical day when somebody will recognize the error of their ways, it may not come. recognize instead that with or without that realization, you are valuable. defy the odds: wish them well. if they hurt you to the point that they lost you, there’s probably some pain the haven’t dealt with that they need help with anyways- whether they know it or not. hold your own value in your hands, heal, and elevate, not because they recognize they lost you, but because you recognize what you have in yourself.

got ’til it’s gone

On Companies Snooping In the Social Media of Job Applicants

As person after person on my twitter timeline – including those who are twilebrities – makes their timeline private, i am prompted to think about the new business practice of using facebook and twitter as background checks before hiring a job applicant.
It goes like this:
You apply.
The company you applied to either legitimately or through some back door method accesses your pages and checks to make sure you’re not a murderer (I would be snide but people actually do post about that stuff), not an alcoholic (I’d say most of our Friday and Saturday night tweets would put us out of the running AND alcoholics need jobs too, especially if financial instability is fueling the alcoholism) and to make sure you’ve never said anything disparaging about the company (this is where my issue arises).
I find it interesting that companies would disqualify job applicants based on past  negative tweets about the company. Are you hiring based on qualifications or pre -existing brand loyalty? And is the person not entitled to have a difficulty with one of your services if the service is not working for them?
For example Jamaica’s two telecommunications providers (look at me not calling names because I may require a work from them…and either way I’m not pointing fingers, just using them as  relatable examples) employ MANY people (big ups to di call centre work weh a save *nuff* a we). They are also not perfect providers: service goes down, customer service agents are sometimes rude (and human),  RIM certainly gave them a bad name, and yes calling rates can seem exorbitant, offers that save money often disappear after three months and issues arise that have *nothing* to do with the provider but in anger customers will blame them. They are businesses, they care about customers but money is the bottom line, and customers who feel they get the dirty end of the deal will speak out on that feeling.
But here’s the thing, if you are a business and you are *actually* committed to improving the quality of service you offer, twitter provides free crowd sourcing of consultants for every part of your business.
They tell you at what point in the day you need to bring on more customer care agents, when you need to introduce a deal to please your customers, when you need to re-brand, which offer is no longer relevant, and even if the free gifts you’re offering fall apart after first use. That is free information people are willingly giving to you, never mind the tone.
Now, the person you are interviewing, up until this moment, was a part of that crowd. How then can you punish them for doing something that is 1) common place and 2) actually beneficial to your company (if your company uses it wisely) because now they want to offer a different kind of service to you? I understand, you don’t want anybody working with you who might undermine your organization, and yes, as an employer you have the right to know who you are hiring. But on the practice of twitter/facebook snooping and persecution (more specifically for ‘negative’ tweets about the company) I have an issue. Most of the people conducting the interviews had no loyalty to the company before they were on payroll. Why should social media be exploited to deny other people the same right to change? Furthermore this has the potential to undermine the company by only populating it with yes-men.  A company cannot grow without critique and organizations are doing themselves an injustice by scouring twitter timelines as a part of the application process with the intention of eliminating people who have not always found them to be perfect.
Let’s be honest. businesses make mistakes. Consumers complain yet retain the services. People should be free to speak about their experiences with a company in one way without feeling it will bar them from another kind of relationship with the company. Otherwise what are we doing? Seeking fans instead of hard workers. And while Britney Spears is a business i’m sure she doesn’t interview for accountants in the VIP of her concerts.