My employee review was not what I expected. It was terrible. It was based on our team achieving phone call quotas. We did not get the number of calls that my manger had set as a goal for my team. I knew some of the call drop-off happened because of my distractions the last few months. I was not pushing the team like I used to. I also think that Brian, who played golf with my boss, had something to do with it after the “arrest incident” a few months ago. The bottom-line was I would not be getting a pay raise.
It hurt because I was trying to get some stability in my life. I was going to start Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. They did not ask for proof of citizenship or residency (which I could not prove). They accepted my application but I would have to pay out-of-state fees. This was 1 ½ times the normal fees. It was the same fees international students paid. It was still expensive on my income but I was determined to go to school. I always remember my mother saying they can take anything away from you but not your education. A raise would have off-set some of the costs. I planned on it. This type of review was one of the reasons I knew I had to get my bachelors degree, even if it meant doing 3 credits per semester.
I was disappointed. I was angry. I did not want to go back to work, but I had to. Immigration laws had changed and they now required stricter documentation. There were rumors of background checks. I was safe here.
That week things got a little “uncomfortable” at work. One of the other teams had a new manager. Her name was Selena and she was British. She was a former model. She had the perfect body. Rumor had it that she had breast implants. Her father was black Jamaican and her mother was a white English lady. She had caramel looking skin and the black, white and Hispanic guys were in “lust” over her. The way she dressed did not help. Like the typical young British person she had her own unique style. Her style bordered on provocative. She was always staring at me.
One day while I was working late in my office she walked in. There was no one around.
“I like you” she said in a very sexy British voice. I love the British accent. I think most people do. You can say anything in a British accent and it would sound good.
I was speechless. I was shocked at her boldness.
What could I say? There was no one in the office and a sexy British girl was coming on to me.
“You don’t have to say anything; I just want to put you on notice”
She walked out my office in a way I could not help watching her. She was not my type, but she was very sexy.
The incident left me a little shaken but I continued to work that evening. I had been overcompensating for the bad review and working late to see how to bring our figures up. I was almost done for the day.
An hour later I packed up and walked to the elevator. I pressed the elevator down button and waited. I heard some noise behind me. Someone was coming out of the rest room.
It was her.
I thought about turning back and going into my office but I did not. It would show that I feared her. I walked in the elevators and she followed. She started a discussion. She was smart and very engaging. We left the elevator and talked outside. She was not looking at me like I was “meat”. Based on our discussion she was an entrepreneur. She was driven and very aggressive. She would be a good business person. We had a discussion the next evening about starting a business.
I never had 3 jobs like the “stereotypical” Jamaican you see on in the TV show “In living color”. I had ideas for businesses. I dreamed about having my own business, but that dream could never be a reality with my situation. For me to have a legal business I needed to have a green card. I also did not trust filling out any paper work that involved the government.
Selena must have seen that glee in my eyes when we were talking. She approached me with an idea. She had access to a small club during the middle of the week. She wanted to know if I was interested in partnering with her on promoting a mid-week party at the club each week. It would be targeted to college students. She thought I had the management skills and contact to make it happened.
I had a few good contacts in music and promotion who I met through Ritchie. I had a friend who I met through Ritchie who was a good DJ.
The concept was interesting and it intrigued me especially with the bad review I recently received. I needed something to boost my self esteem and a goal to strive for.
I loved reggae music and this “gig” would not interfere with my job because of the time.
Rosa was not around so it should not matter to her. There was minimal investment and the opportunity to make extra money.
I thought about consulting with Rosa but needed to be my own man even though I knew it would be a selfish decision. I thought about the pregnancy scare incident which left our relationship shaky. She went out on her own to address the situation with minimal involvement from me.
What I was doing was setting a bad precedent to build back trust in our relationship. I did not care. I would make the decision them notify Rosa.
I slept on the decision. My answer was yes.
The location of the club was in North Miami Beach where there was a large Jamaican population. It was also near Florida International University north campus.
I met with Selena and told her about my decision. We would try the “college night” for a month then re-evaluate.
She was excited and we sealed the deal with a hand shake. The next day she brought a simple contract which we both signed. I would not expect any less from her. She was very savvy when it came to business.
I was happy with my decision. My mind was racing into the future. If our venture was successful I could try for a special green card I had heard about on an Immigration radio show. It was for business owners who invested money in the USA. It was the same type of green card that Sue’s boyfriend, Sidney, was currently trying to get.
Rosa had delayed the marriage plans by a few more months so it was now 2 years away. She was pursuing some other classes to better position herself once she finished her residency. I was getting anxious. Two years is an eternity. At times it felt that Rosa used the future marriage, and me getting a green card, as a way to hold on to me.
We had a date that week and I told her about my decision. She did not support the idea. She was concerned about the spree of shootings that happened a few years ago at Jamaican clubs. Rumors had it that it was a gang war between the Shower and Sprangler posses. I was disappointed but then I explained it was targeted to young college students and we were going after a different audience not the Jamaican “ruff neck crowd”. I was able to convince her to agree even though it did not matter. I would have gone ahead anyway.
Next I told her who I was partnering with.
It was a dumb move.
Men can sometimes be their worst enemy. I must have mentioned Selena to her before and what was going on in the office. It is the type of thing we mention to our girlfriends when we talk about our day. I recall telling her about Selena style turning heads in the office. You mention these types of things to build trust and fill those gaps when you have nothing to say to each other. Sometimes it backfires.
Selena?” she asked with a look of jealousy on her face.
“Yes” I replied.
“I thought she was the air-head model who had a boob job that dresses too sexy for work”
“Yes, same person” I replied sarcastically. Now I had to go through a new explanation like I was a politician.
“I am not making the connection here. How did you connect with her to come up with this college night idea? What’s going on?”
I could not be honest with her and tell her we were meeting after hours. I had to do something. So I lied.
“A bunch of us were in the lunch room and started talking. She mentioned the idea and one day while walking out the building we spoke about it. That is how it started.”
“So you have been spending time with her”
“No, not really. Just chit chatting at work”
Rosa was still not happy with the explanation but I think she realized that I was not giving it up. I think she wanted to show me support even though she did not like it.
“When do you start this college night?” she asked.
“In 3 weeks” I replied.
“Am I Invited?” she asked with a smile.
“Sure your are baby” , I replied.
The next few weeks were interesting. Selena and I met a few times for planning. She always wore something very sexy but was not flirtatious. She was attractive, articulate and had the type of body any man would desire but I had no feelings for her. There was no physical desire. I don’t know if there was something wrong with me or was it her being aggressive when we first met.
We agreed to meet in a place where there would be people. I did not want her to jump me. She was a very serious business woman.
I contacted Wayne, the DJ, who I knew through Ritchie. He always had dub plates from the popular Jamaican artist. I also contacted his cousin who would make the posters we needed for marketing. I printed the flyers and distributed them on the nearby college campus with a focus on the Caribbean and Jamaican student associations. I also distributed them at Jamaican stores and other places where Jamaicans go.
I made some good contacts while out promoting the “college night”.
The Thursday arrived when we would open. I took the day off to take care of some last minute things that came up. It seems like every time you thought you had everything under control something else came up.
Selena and I got to the club early. We both had assignments. Mine was mainly logistics and the music. Hers was to be the hostess and check in on the money being collected for admission. She was dressed in a red mini skirt, showing ample cleavage, and matching red boots.
Rosa also showed up early. As we say in Jamaica “she was dressed to kill”. I had never seen her dress so sexy since we have been going out. She was in a black mini skit and I could tell she went to the hair dresser. Her hair was especially radiant. The Dominican Republic is known to have the best hair dressers. She had on light make up. She was here to check out Selena and watch me.
Sue was also there. She and Rosa kept each other’s company while I ran around doing things. Sidney was in Jamaica.
The place started to pack up pretty quickly. The club had a capacity to fit 200 people. We went 50 people over that limit before “shutting things” down. The owner told us we could not go over the limit but we were filling up so quickly there was nothing we could do. There were people in the parking lot “hainging” out that I had to keep an eye on. The music was great and people were enjoying themselves.
All night I was being pulled in two different directions. Every time I tried to spend a little time with Rosa I would be pulled away by Selena to take care of something. Rosa was getting frustrated as she wanted to dance and would seek me out while I moved around.
“The place is packed and everything is going well. Why don’t you take a break and let’s dance?”, Rosa asked.
“Sure, but if something comes up I will have to take care of it” I replied.
Something kept coming up.
“I am going home” Rosa stormed off.
I could not chase her down. I had to stay back to care of things. I was disappointed that Rosa left but was focused on business . I knew we had a great night even though the ticket sales were not counted.
As the place started to empty out late that night Selena came up to me and asked if I wanted to dance. I felt abandoned by Rosa. I thought about it for a second then declined. I would have done it if Sue was not there. It was probably best that I did not as you never know “what one dance can do”. I was vulnerable.
She found another guy and started dancing closely while staring at me. It was the look that said “You don’t know what you are missing”. She had a sly smile on her face.
I walked outside to get some air and clear my head.
We closed up later and counted the money. We made a huge profit. Our venture was a success.
Facebook Fan page: I have started a facebook fan page .