Next to “start date” and “pay day,” the next most important term for employees is “vacation.” Yeah … I’m on that! With the BET Awards over and done, kicking back for a few days on the West Side is on the agenda. The plan was to take the opportunity to decompress and do some little things that we take for granted. However, it didn’t quite work out that way.

I spent a day with some family, grabbed an Evian and tuned into CNN. I spent so many days in grind mode that I only caught doses of the potential powder keg that is the George Zimmerman trail. This was a golden opportunity for me to catch up. I can’t front—I was glued for a few hours and got an unfortunate slap back into reality. The teenagers of the house stormed in with their crew in tow and asked, “Why you watchin’ this?” before grabbing the remote and changing the dial to what they thought was really important: the exploits of Stevie J, Joseline, Lil Scrappy, Momma Dee and the rest of the cast of “Love & Hip Hop Atlanta.” So this is what we’re doing?! Sad but true. I was put on pause when trying to engage in a conversation about their viewing selection but was assured that after the show was over, we could chop it up.

After they watched the show twice, access was granted. I simply wanted to know why they cared more about a show in which the main protagonists are more in my age bracket than a real-life issue that can happen to any of them. I heard words like “entertainment,” “funny,” “sexy” and was accused of hating because the stars had more money.

I then asked what goals they had for themselves, as they are about to venture into young adulthood. In response, variations of the same words were thrown back at me. The overall consensus was that they want to be in a world filled with nothing, a world that instead caters to narcissistic needs and gaudy, expensive possessions. Their question to me was, if I go there to cover award shows and events, how can I not care about or stay abreast of what goes on in the industry? (I was also reminded that nobody mentioned Trayvon Martin at this year’s BET Awards show, so the story was old.)

I was locked and loaded with an answer that may have justified my profession, but we danced around the question, and I simply stated that my first job is that of an American Black man. If done correctly, it’s a very, very difficult and unpopular job with a varying pay scale. Not many are up to the task, but resumes are actively being sought. Step up, brothers.

As a sidebar, I was wondering if anyone caught the Instagram pictures posted by Common. The photo is called “#TwoMartins,” and it’s creating quite the buzz. Let me know what you think.

Over and out. I’m back home, so we’ve got that heat coming in seven days! Till then, enjoy the nightlife.