At most jobs, the gap between boss and subordinate is very clear and the relationship is very estranged. This week i had the wonderful opportunity of being taken out to eat by my supervisor. At the DTE site, where I work, everyone treats each other like family members: some people you like, some people you love, some people you hate, and others you are nice to. As my supervisor took me out, I got to see her in a more relaxed setting and have personal conversation. She gave me advise and genuinely asked my questions pertaining to my goals and aspirations. She explained her struggles of being an African American woman in the company, and by excelling in her job, she broke barriers and rose to the top of her position. She explained to me that when you are doing a job, that someone is always watching and you have to be better than your best, and as an African American man, all eyes are always on me. Some might even wish for my downfall so I have to be better than the best. She gave me some advise on how I should go about getting my degree and she promoted higher education and told me getting my masters would be very beneficial. She explained in her own words, “Because this is how my degree was set up,” she had most opportunities than most. She is a fellow wolverine and wears maize and blue on her heart at all times. She told me to be proud of my university and take advantage of all it has to offer.
By having this lunch with my superior, I got to see a different perspective on the path my life could take. From talking to her I figured out that just because I have a career does not mean I can’t do other things and create new dreams for myself. I learned that DTE is a company that gives you a lot of leeway and freedom where you can change positions and have downtime to pursue other interests. And its not just the freedom, it is the positive environment. Since working at DTE, I have received nothing but love from random coworkers, partners, and higher up. They promote self involvement and something called 200% accountability where I am 100% accountable for myself and 100% accountable of my fellow coworker. They encourage us to talk about our personal lives, learning experiences, and promote higher learning. These are all things that will help me in the future and I truly value the time spent at DTE so I have a better understanding of these values.