The Only Black Guy in the Office

My Neighbors Are the Worst Thing About WFH

When the challenges of remote work are all around you

The Only Black Guy In the Office
Published in
4 min readJun 7, 2021
Illustration: Michael Kennedy

The remote work revolution has changed life as we know it for corporate folks like myself. And while I’m on the record singing the praises of working from home, I’d like to set the record straight: It’s not without its faults.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve enjoyed my weekday afternoon naps and time away from co-workers. But I’ve also come to realize that before the pandemic, we were putting a little bit too much gas on working from home. Is WFH convenient? You bet your ass it is. Waking up and not having to get out of bed — or get in the shower or get dressed because I’m taking all my meetings with the camera off — is a lifestyle I’ve come to appreciate.

But what has actually depreciated is my personal satisfaction with my apartment, my building, and my neighbors.

Let’s start with my own pad, a modest one-bedroom with a nice view. It’s one of those places that often garner compliments from first-time guests after they return from the bathroom. You know what I’m talking about. They walk out, still drying their hands with a paper towel, look around, and say, “Wow, you’ve got a nice place here.” I’ve always appreciated that because I felt the same way. But about three months into the pandemic, I started to realize that what I had is not enough. When my lease is up in a few months, I’m going to be looking like I’m a client on Selling Sunset because I need something different.

Specifically, I need a building that can help a brother out when it comes to maintenance. I may not live in The PJs, but our super, Randy, has the apathy of Thurgood Stubbs. Which I wouldn’t care about if it didn’t infringe on my own work performance. Dude almost never comes to the building, and when he does, he tries to get everything done in one day. It’s inefficient as hell. While I’ve successfully plunged a toilet back in my day, I’m no Black Tim “The Toolman” Taylor, which usually leaves me at Randy’s mercy when things go haywire at home.

The true value in remote work isn’t necessarily the fact that it’s happening from your own…



The Only Black Guy In the Office
Writer for

Do you know him? Is it you? The trials and tribulations of a Black man navigating corporate life.