Charlie emails round to say he is going to lunch.
At a quarter to twelve or thereabouts.
And yet he never leaves his desk.
We work to show we’re working.
We work to show we’re here.
We send our CC’d emails.
So many more of them every year.
Rachel copies in the team to her every thought.
And, although there aren’t many,
They’re multiplied each time she presses send.
And then when the recipientspress send
In the Reply All landslide that follows.
You need to know we’re working.
We’re driven by our fear,
That you’ll mistake our silence for slacking.
And then our jobs will disappear.
Patrick’s meetings take an hour and a half.
Even though they’re scheduled for an hour.
And the first ten minutes, after the chat,
Which also takes ten minutes,
Is taken up with him telling us
It’s a short agenda
And we’ll be out early.
When we never are.
Our work we know isn’t working.
Our work we know isn’t here.
For all the efforts we’re making to
Maintain a decent veneer.
And it’s not for bosses or strategy
Nor for the bottom line we hold dear.
It’s so we don’t ask what we’re doing;
Doing nothing and calling it a career.