Right Hand to the Champ: Part 2 Work Spouse
Tasha Robinson-White was born in Saginaw, and raised in East Lansing Michigan. She benefited from a rock-solid support system in that she was never intimidated to change, or try something different. Working for Floyd Mayweather tested everything she was raised to know was right and decent. Tasha Robinson-White had already spent ten years of her professional life working with super stars in music. Floyd was different. Boxing was different.
Similar to women working in more traditional corporate environments, Tasha’s boss became her work-spouse. A work spouse is a co-worker with whom you share connections similar to those that would be shared in a marriage. There’s loyalty and a bond there without the commitment and swearing before God. You also do things for your work spouse that you might never think to do for your real husband or wife—like hide their secrets and make excuses for poor behavior. For Tasha, that meant leaving out the times she had to evade possible gunshots while working promotional events with Floyd.
Though her memoir reveals a handful of her husband Kevin’s marital shortcomings, his gripes weren’t without merit. Notably, there’s the issue of how Mayweather switched out the diamond solitaire in her wedding ring for a more expensive $10,000 rock. It was supposed to be a nice surprise; a gesture of gratitude for her hard work. Those who know the boxer understand that the gift was more about control.
Working in the entertainment industry doesn’t afford much by way of a structured environment. When it comes down to it, you’re working for an entrepreneur whose entire career is based on temporary jobs. Tasha was on the clock upwards of 14 hours a day, sometimes doing 24 hour shifts if they had to travel. She still holds a mother’s guilt derived from missed birthdays and other major family milestones. The toll her career took on her family life is one of Tasha’s regrets.
Like many working moms, Tasha was propelled as much by financial insecurity as she was by career success. His inconsistent payroll schedule created discord in her marriage. They simply weren’t on one. She just had to be around when he felt like depositing money into her account.
I was often gob smacked by the wildly unpredictable working environment Tasha was immersed in. Phone calls at three and four in the morning beckoned her out of bed to tend to any number of Mayweather’s spontaneous requests for business, or personal support. On the one hand, he’d call her phone at 4:00 a.m. and say, “Apologize to your husband for me for calling you at this time.” Yet, he wouldn’t stop calling at that time. Mostly, she took those calls at 2:00 a.m., 3:00 a.m., and 4:00 a.m., knowing that they upset Kevin. She also knew that she might not be able to reach Floyd at 11:00 in the morning.
Somehow, someway, we all have to make a living. Tasha’s challenge was finding a way for the living not to make her. The final edition of this post will look at how she internalized the chaos, a major $15 million mistake, and her current position with Floyd Mayweather.