Halved Productivity Poem

By staff May 3, 2007

Passive-aggression in the workplace.


By Hannah Wallace


“I may have halved my productivity, but I’ve doubled my job’s entertainment value.”—Me, ca. 2001


Some recycled rhymes for your Friday workday pleasure. This was the final product of a three-month stint at a local cubicle barn (my Christmas poem, if you remember, came from that same muse). True to its own narrative, this was written in whole during my final day on the job.


Pay no attention to the beheaded first feet; as I understand it, you get a little syllabic leeway if your lines begin with unstressed beats.


Oh, and I censored out the name of the company. (I’m irreverent, not stupid.)


On arrival this morning I stepped from the car,
Beaming forth through exhaustion a satisfied smirk,
For I've given due warning with efforts sub-par,
But today I shall strive to reach negative work.

Already I've been here an hour or so.
Not a minute's production completed, I bet.
Four-hundred and twenty more minutes to go,
And I've not even turned my computer on yet.

My dawdle device is the rhyming of late:
Not so much "in the meantime" of work, as "instead."
These stanzas will do, but they're not doing great.
At least I've got plenty more rhymes in my head.

I must strive in my absence of work to uphold
All the standards and ethics employees should wear.
While my efforts at [JOB] have decreased several-fold,
I think I've done well writing poetry there.

It’s not that my work ethic's gone all to pot;
I am still quite aware of the contrary fact.
The poems it works for; for [JOB] it does not.
It's the stupid compliance my work ethic's lacked.

It's well past my lunch hour, plodding along,
And that double-shot latte has made me all tense.
(I'm caffeined and given to not making sense).

So now then, where was I, and what was I saying?
It was something of coffee and slacking, I think.
I've little more humor to work toward conveying,
But there's still so much work day to pour down the sink.

It's time to depart for my afternoon break;
Of my fifteen short minutes, I'll take thirty more.
'Cause we all know it's not like my job is at stake,
And there's plenty of work here for me to ignore.

I return to my desk with a brief time to waste
And a stanza or two of my work left to write.
My time here at [OFFICE] did not suit my taste,
But salted my crazy with each boring bite.

I flee from the building at five with a grin
And the glint of the tedium pyre in my eyes.
My soul and my heart swell with hopes to begin,
And my pockets are filled up with office supplies.

Filed under
Show Comments