Working in a toxic environment is no one’s ideal situation. Now the job market isn’t doing so well in Jamaica; in fact, it’s the worst time to start searching for a new job.

While it’s okay to have a stressful day now and then at the office, there are significant signs that highlight you’re working in a toxic work environment. But what exactly do some of these signs entail?

A toxic work environment is any environment that makes you feel uncomfortable, unappreciated or undervalued. This ranges from an air of hostility, being talked down to, bullying, mismanagement and subtle forms of poor communication.

Those above can come from a coworker, your boss, and even your clients. 

No one should ever have to work in an environment that causes you physical/psychological pain, but unfortunately, this is more common than we acknowledge. In accepting this as the norm, we run the risk of harming ourselves over the long term, both professionally and psychologically.

Do these signs sound familiar? Does anyone else in your company feel the same way? Or are you simply being emotional? The chances are you aren’t sensitive or overreacting, what you feel is real but employers/ some employees label your feelings as such because, at the end of the day, their bottom line comes first.

1. Your boss has poor leadership skills

Sometimes a toxic work environment is derived from how a boss treats their employees. Supervisors can take advantage of their power and make the staff feel inferior by talking down to them. In some instances, the managers’ neglect of said environment can contribute to the toxicity.

2. Your colleagues are unprofessional

 If your fellow employees take credit for your work, love to spread rumors or throw you under the bus, it will be hard for you to work under such conditions and it leads to a deteriorating environment. If you don’t feel supported by your colleagues then maybe it’s time to be a part of a different team.

3. The excitement to go to work isn’t there

Isn’t this usually the telltale sign that something is wrong? Everyone has days where they don’t feel like going into the office, finding an excuse and when you do muster the courage and drag yourself out of the house, you’re not concerned with the time. You think “whatever happens, happens. 

4. You’re more aware of all the things that are going wrong

When you first started the job, the broken water cooler wasn’t an issue, the faulty WiFi, even your favorite bathroom stall being out of use for months (yes I have a favorite stall…doesn’t everyone?). But as times goes on, the rose colored glasses come off, and you’re annoyed by everything.

5. Constantly looking for a new job

If you’re searching the classifieds like clockwork, then you have a problem. Your passion or interest no longer lies in your current job.

6. Your Boss is preventing you from progressing professionally

It’s hard to imagine you could live in a world where your boss doesn’t want you to excel, but the harsh reality is you have managers who desire to confine you to a box because they are afraid of your potential. Most persons would ideally like to work with someone or in an environment that grooms us to be the successful professional we dreamed we could be. Instead, we are given ‘busy’ work even when we are capable of doing so much more.

Just because you want a job or desire to sustain your employment long term, doesn’t mean you have to deal with these issues. If you find that many of these signs are present in your work environment, then it may be time to change your career. 

Remember: your well-being should be a priority, if you should fail to carry out a crucial aspect of your duties, your employers won’t hesitate to replace you. However, experience in the current job doesn’t mean it won’t work out if you choose to pursue a different one.

Do you work in a toxic environment? Let me know how you deal with it in the comments below.

Pop Quiz: What is the key to great sex? Is it mastering foreplay? Being well endowed? Knowing all the positions in Kamasutra?

I had girl talk on the phone with a close friend of mine earlier this week who revealed that she had the worst sex in her life. What she said next had me rolling on the floor. She said, “He had a big d**k so I thought he could do it well.”

Isn’t this the age-old myth? That a man with a big penis is better at having sex?

Great sex has nothing to do with how big your penis is, how small/tight your vagina is or how freaky you are. Whoever said this, clearly has been having terrible sex. 

It’s about curiousity and open-mindedness. It’s about understanding pleasure, intimacy and satisfaction. It’s adapting and adjusting when things get weird. 
And trust me, they do.

You’ll have more weird moments than you could ever imagine.

Here are some guidelines for having steamy, toe-curling sex.

1. Know what you want

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard persons giving vague descriptions as it relates to what they desire sexually. Knowing what turns you on, what you like or dislike is a major factor in having pleasurable sex. It helps your partner to know how to get you where you want to go. 
If you don’t know, he won’t, and no one will be getting off. 

2. Great sex is planned

Some persons believe that spontaneous sex is the only way to have sex, but that’s not true. Maybe in the initial stages of courtship but planned sex has just the same impact. For example, if you intend to have sex with your significant other on Saturday night, the week leading up to the day sets the stage for heavy foreplay.  I call it “sexual anticipation”.
So a nude picture here, graphic description of the positions you want it in there, equals to the perfect recipe to create arousal as it cooks up all kind of fantasies of what could happen on the sex date.

3. Great sex = Communication

Communication is everything when it comes to intimacy. It isn’t about putting new moves on someone and hoping they reciprocate. It’s talking about and expressing what you need as well as what your partner wants and needs.
It’s about saying ‘ Yes right there’ or ‘I like when you do that’. It’s also saying when it hurts or when you don’t like it and when to stop. Don’t endure pain just because you don’t want to ruin the mood. Your partner will understand and if they don’t then you should not be having sex with them.

4. There is no pressure

You don’t need to do anything you’re not comfortable with. You shouldn’t feel pressured to do any act or be anyone you’re not. If your partner is pressuring you, then you should discuss it.
There are a lot of materials about sex but they are based on stereotypes and traditional gender roles. Write your rules and remember that the rest is still unwritten.

What are some of your rules/tips for great sex?

Who Knew The Devil Wore Skirt?

I was called a lot of terrible names that are too inappropriate to list here. I’ve been excluded at workplaces and made to feel like I wasn’t good enough. I was told so many stories about myself that if I didn’t know me, I would think they were true because of how convincingly it was told.

Sounds familiar?

All of this hatred and anger came mostly from other women. I have been verbally assaulted more from women than I have with men, which is quite surprising. Surprising because I have fended off advances from men in such a way that warranted some of those names, but it hasn’t escalated there.

At least not yet.

In a society where #GirlPower is encouraged, it is unsettling that the root of the problem is the solution. Sounds like a pretty complicated math problem if you ask me.

How can the solution be the problem?

I see women on women assault more in the corporate world and social circles than I ever did in high school. At least in high school, I knew why the girls were mean.

Currently, I am in a ‘girl fight’ at the office. This individual showed up last year and decided that we were going to be mortal enemies. Since then it’s been rounds of evil stares, rumours and a lot of attitudes (from her of course).  My response……ignoring her.

Why waste energy on something so trivial?

Of course, she spun elaborate stories about me ignoring her, which I hope she gets tired of because it doesn’t faze me.#Unbothered

To this day, I have no clue what I did to offend.  A coworker of mine suggested that by just walking into the room, looking fabulous could be what annoys her.

Go figure.

This is a phenomenon I fail to understand. Why do some women think it’s important or of great benefit to put down other women? I just don’t get it.

Just this week, I saw a well-dressed woman on the street and admired her bold choice of colour and the way it highlighted her figure. She was STUNNING!

I couldn’t help but approach her and pay her a compliment. Just then a group of women walked by, and one of them made a snide remark about the woman being a low class because of what she wore.

Now, this woman could have been the CEO of some huge corporation but harshly judged based on her looks.

Another example is from a Jamaican public figure’s Instagram.

Excerpt from Instagram

This person (_sky_shyyyy) as an outsider, proceeded to comment on Krystal’s relationship with her current beau and compared her with his ex-girlfriend.

I loved Krystal’s response. It was pure brilliance. Instead of engaging in this person’s hate bubble, she embraced it and addressed it without going below the belt.

But the question in my mind is, what contributes to these issues? Many are of the opinion that this stems from jealousy. Jealousy perpetuated by the beauty standards inflicted on us by our society.

Are we still being confined to those standards in 2017? Hasn’t Lane Bryant’s I’m No Angel campaign, All Women Project and the Dove’s Choose Beautiful campaign broken all the stereotype of beauty?

Ladies, please stop this. It’s not attractive. If we cannot respect each other, how do we expect men to respect us? Liberate yourselves from destructive habits and inferior thoughts. Speak and do things from a place of peace and positivity. Not callowness.

Hey, Guys and Gals! I hope your Easter is going extremely well. Unlike, mine which has been a roller coaster all weekend as I’m battling the flu.👎😷

Sucks…I know.

The weird bodily fluids took it upon themselves to organize a strike during the holidays, shutting down the normal operational activities of my body.
*Shakes head* Good help is so hard to find these days?

I hate getting sick. I will admit that when I am, I’m stubborn, more needy, miserable and require every ounce of attention when trying to recover. Overall, I’m a big baby.
Nick can vouch for this as he’s the one nursing me back to health, although I refuse to take any of it the easy way. I mean come on….I may feel weak and woozy sometimes, coughing every second….. You know what? I’m just going to do what he says.

I mean I have one foot in the grave so I might as well try to get better.

 Here’s a list of some of the methods I’ve been using to keep the flu at bay.
1. Honey and Lime (for a sore throat)
2. DPH
3. Salt Wash ( for a sore throat)
4. Lots of soup
5. Drinking fluids
6. Rosemary Oil (to ease congestion)
7. Resting (most important)

However, I didn’t let the flu stop me. As I went to Portland to experience the magic that is Somerset Falls. I’ll post that later this week. Of course, it was a challenge as I was full of phlegm, galavanting in the rain, as it was a rainy day in Portland, with nothing but my peach bath suit on, full of cough syrup.

Now that I’m back home, I’m feeling the effects of my ‘wild child’ moment, sipping on DPH (more like forced by Nick), binge watching How I Met Your Mother for the umpteen time, waiting for the drowsiness to set in. 

It’s been two hours.

Anyways Guys, take the necessary precautions to avoid getting sick this weekend as I’ve noticed there’s a nasty bug is going around. Wash your hands regularly and sanitize!

Let me know some of the methods or things you do to get rid of the flu.

Everyone has one.

One terrible relationship (for me two) that lasted waaaaay too long and had you asking yourself at the end of it, “What the f**k was I thinking?”

Happens to the best of us….trust me.

I’ve had those moments where I reflect on how far I’ve come and I cringe at how oblivious I was to sh*t-storm that was heading my way. I guess it was a needed lesson for me to put away the rose coloured glasses and understand that there are a**holes in the world.

I was rather naive in my teenage years and I’m embarrassed to say that I didn’t learn my lesson the first, second or third time around. It took me being dropped off at some corner like a prostitute by my ex, who was supposed to be my ride home, at 1 a.m. and at the mercy of some pretty shady characters, to finally get a grip on my reality.

Right after shedding a few tears.

Yeah, I cried. I was nineteen and he was that guy who turned heads by walking into a room, the one who made me mad and then have me smiling like an idiot. But he was also that guy who played mind games, who made me feel important for a minute and then the lowest life form in another, that guy who I clearly had nothing in common with but somehow convinced myself that I did. The one who constantly wanted to see me…..just to borrow money. 

Classic A-hole!

This blog post isn’t a rant about him being a bad person because I’ve gotten over it. He wasn’t the one for me and I was okay with that.

Lie!…I wasn’t all that okay with it then. I mean I showed up at his school to bash his face in with a board that had two iron nails sticking out of it. Come to think of it, I hammered those nails in earlier that day.

But I’m okay with it now. He was the obstacle on my journey to better person and judge of character. His placement in my life helped me to know my worth and to make better choices so I decided to take my experience as a blessing and move on because I refused to allow it to hinder my happiness.

On the other hand, If he wasn’t an A-hole, I wouldn’t have met the man who knew my worth.  Its no secret that my current relationship exceeds any expectations I could have possibly had. He healed me in ways I didn’t know I needed and his love helped me to overcome traits that held me back from discovering happiness.

Whether you’ve been through it or going through it now, look at your terrible experience and see the positives. You may be feeling like you are the problem or thinking what you could have done better but the problem isn’t you…it’s him. This is your transformative moment, where you realize that if you want that mind-blowing relationship, you have to figure out what your priorities are. 

Don’t dwell on what you couldn’t change, acknowledge that it happened but don’t let it define you. You have the opportunity to learn and grow from that relationship.

Who was your a**hole? What was your defining moment? Leave me your thoughts below.